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Stuart Shiffman


Stuart Shiffman

A lifelong avid reader, upon his retirement after 22 years as a state court judge in Illinois, Stuart Shiffman was looking for an opportunity to turn passion into a project. Stuart is an active participant in the "Law and Literature" movement, where works of literature are examined in an effort to better understand legal issues. He also served on the faculties at Illinois State University and the University of Illinois Springfield, where he taught several legal subjects. Additionally, he serves on two legal book award committees. Beyond books about the law, he enjoys biographies, history, politics and sports with a special interest in golf. And now that he has grandchildren, Stuart enjoys spreading the joy of reading and rediscovering new classics with them each year.

Stuart Shiffman

Reviews by Stuart Shiffman

by Tom Clavin - History, Nonfiction

The dreaded Dalton Gang consisted of three brothers and their rotating cast of colorful accomplices who saw themselves as descended from the legendary James brothers. They soon became legends themselves, beginning their career as common horse thieves before graduating to robbing banks and trains. On October 5, 1892, the Dalton Gang attempted their boldest and bloodiest raid yet: robbing two banks in broad daylight in Coffeyville, Kansas, simultaneously. For the first time ever, the full story of the Dalton Gang's life of crime, culminating in one of the Wild West’s most violent events, are chronicled in detail --- a last gruesome gasp of the age of gunfights.

by John Grisham - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

What became of Mitch and Abby McDeere after they exposed the crimes of Memphis law firm Bendini, Lambert & Locke and fled the country? The answer is in THE EXCHANGE, the riveting sequel to THE FIRM, the blockbuster thriller that launched the career of America’s favorite storyteller. It is now 15 years later, and Mitch and Abby are living in Manhattan, where Mitch is a partner at the largest law firm in the world. When a mentor in Rome asks him for a favor that will take him far from home, Mitch finds himself at the center of a sinister plot that has worldwide implications --- and once again endangers his colleagues, friends and family. Mitch has become a master at staying one step ahead of his adversaries, but this time there’s nowhere to hide.

by Michael Lombardi - Nonfiction, Sports

From “Monday Night Football” to Super Bowl Sunday, the NFL is a dominating force in the lives of millions of fans who tune in and passionately cheer for their favorite teams. And when the games are over, the conversation is just getting started. Who's the greatest player of all time? Which coaches truly shaped the game we know and love today? What was the most unforgettable game? Why is professional football such an undeniable part of our culture? Three-time Super Bowl winner Michael Lombardi has done it all --- from scout to executive to coach --- and now he sets the record straight on these questions and more. With FOOTBALL DONE RIGHT, Lombardi tackles all aspects of the sport, discussing the best of the best.

by John Scalzi - Fiction, Humor, Science Fiction

Charlie's life is going nowhere fast. A divorced substitute teacher living with his cat in a house his siblings want to sell, all he wants is to open a pub downtown, if only the bank will approve his loan. Then his long-lost uncle Jake dies and leaves his supervillain business (complete with island volcano lair) to Charlie. But becoming a supervillain isn't all giant laser death rays and lava pits. Jake had enemies, and now they're coming after Charlie. His uncle might have been a stand-up, old-fashioned kind of villain, but these are the real thing: rich, soulless predators backed by multinational corporations and venture capital. It's up to Charlie to win the war his uncle started against a league of supervillains.

by Jamel Brinkley - Fiction, Short Stories

In these 10 stories, each set in the changing landscapes of contemporary New York City, a range of characters --- from children to grandmothers to ghosts --- live through the responsibility of perceiving and the moral challenge of speaking up or taking action. Though they strive to connect, to remember, to stand up for, and to really see each other, they often fall short, and the structures they build around these ambitions and failures shape not only their own futures but the legacies and prospects of their families and their city. In its portraits of families and friendships lost and found, the paradox of intimacy, the long shadow of grief and the meaning of home, WITNESS enacts its own testimony.

by Dwyer Murphy - Fiction, Noir, Suspense, Thriller

Jack might be a polished, Harvard-educated lawyer on paper, but everyone in the down-at-the-heels, if picturesque, village of Onset, Massachusetts, knows his real job: moving people on the run from powerful enemies. The family business --- co-managed with his father, a retired spy --- is smooth sailing, as they fill up Onset’s holiday homes during the town’s long, drowsy off-season and help clients shed their identities in preparation for fresh starts. But when Elena, Jack’s former flame --- a dedicated hustler who's no stranger to the fugitive life --- makes an unexpected return to town, her arrival upends Jack’s routine existence. It isn’t long before Jack finds himself enmeshed in her latest project: intercepting millions of dollars’ worth of raw diamonds before they’re shipped overseas.

by Danielle Trussoni - Fiction, Literary Fiction, Supernatural Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

Once a promising Midwestern football star, Mike Brink was transformed by a traumatic brain injury that caused a rare medical condition: acquired savant syndrome. The injury left him with a mental superpower --- he can solve puzzles in ways ordinary people can’t. But it also left him deeply isolated. Everything changes after Brink meets Jess Price, a woman serving 30 years in prison for murder who hasn’t spoken a word since her arrest five years before. When Price draws a perplexing puzzle, her psychiatrist believes it will explain her crime and calls Brink to solve it. What begins as a desire to crack an alluring cipher quickly morphs into an obsession with Price herself. She soon reveals that there is something more urgent and dangerous, behind her silence, thrusting Brink into a hunt for the truth.

by Luis Alberto Urrea - Fiction, Historical Fiction

In 1943, Irene Woodward abandons an abusive fiancé in New York to enlist with the Red Cross and head to Europe. She makes fast friends in training with Dorothy Dunford, a towering Midwesterner with a ferocious wit. Together they are part of an elite group of women, nicknamed Donut Dollies, who command military vehicles called Clubmobiles at the front line, providing camaraderie and a taste of home that may be the only solace before troops head into battle. After D-Day, these two intrepid friends join the Allied soldiers streaming into France. Through her friendship with Dorothy and a love affair with a courageous American fighter pilot named Hans, Irene learns to trust again. Her most fervent hope is for all three of them to survive the war intact.

by James Comey - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

When a years-long case against a powerful mobster finally cracks and an unimpeachable witness takes the stand, federal prosecutor Nora Carleton is looking forward to putting the defendant away for good. The mobster, though, has other plans. As the witness’s testimony concludes, a note is passed to the prosecution offering up information into the assassination of a disgraced former New York governor, murdered in his penthouse apartment just days before. It’s enough to blow the case wide open, and to send Nora into a high-stakes investigation of conspiracy, corruption and danger.

by John Feinstein - Biography, Nonfiction, Sports

John Feinstein, who has spent four decades finding intriguing sports characters and narratives and turning them into classic books, chronicles the life and career of David Feherty. The two have known each other for years, beginning with Feinstein’s work on A GOOD WALK SPOILED, which was researched and written at a time when Feherty was an excellent player who won five times in Europe and was on the '91 Ryder Cup team, but also was a functioning alcoholic. In retirement from the game, Feherty has sobered up, while his golf world persona has only grown in stature. Feherty is now a grand ambassador for golf, a man who is feted by US Presidents and respected by every big name in the game.