• Great Start to 2013

    Posted by Christine L, 3 years ago

    1. SUTTON by J.R. Moehringer. Born on June 30, 1901 Willie “the Actor” Sutton was a notorious bank robber through the early part of the 1900’s. He died on November 02, 1980 after having spent more than half of his adult life in prison. He served time in several different penal institutions and managed dramatic escapes three times. Willie Sutton was a legend stealing more than $2 million during his dubious. He became somewhat of a legend due to the fact that he never completed a robbery if a woman screamed or a baby cried and never hurt or killed anyone during his robberies. Willie was a gentleman thief, but also a smooth talker and a consummate liar so many versions of his escapades exist.

    Mr. Moehringer begins his book on the day of Willie’s final release from Attica on Christmas Eve, 1969. Wanting an exclusive story “Reporter” and “Photographer” (Willie never can remember their names) are sent to get the exclusive story of the murder of Arnold Shuster, who recognized Willie on the subway, thereby sending him back to prison for the final time. Willie agrees to the interview but on his terms. He wants to visit the important places in his life in chronological order, finally getting to the scene of the Shuster shooting. Although it means traveling back and for the across the city of New York several times “Reporter” and “Photographer” agree. Each stop is a story told in Willie’s voice, an important event in his life, a memory sometimes sad and sometimes humorous.

    Mr. Moehringer obviously did his research. I so thoroughly enjoyed this book I wanted to know a little more about Willie Sutton, so did a little more reading about his life. I believe Mr. Moehringer waded through the various stories and factual accounts and wove them into his narrative. The book starts and ends on Christmas Eve of 1969, but the one night is filled with Willie’s memories of decades. Unfortunately the ending is bittersweet for both Willie and the reader.

    This was my first read of 2013 and what a great way to start off the new year of reading. This is a five star book all the way. Mr. Moehringer does not go on to tell us about Willie’s life after his release, but my personal reading let me to believe that although he no longer robbed banks (???) and despite suffering from emphysema he still led a pretty interesting life. He became an advocate for prison reform, consulted with banks implementing anti-robbery techniques and even became a spokesperson for the New Britain Bank and Trust Company.

    2. MR. PENUMBRA’S 24 HOUR BOOKSTORE by Robin Sloan. As so many people in this day and age Clay Jannon must give up doing what he loves (web design) and go out and find a job that pays a little more regularly. Problem is there are not that many jobs out there that would “fit”. Happenstance leads him through the door of Mr. Penumbra’s bookstore and when his accepts the slightly unorthodox position (night clerk) he has no idea that he is about to embark on a quest. Clay notices immediately that the store has few customers but that they seem to come back regularly. When he starts getting a little bored with his night shift he cannot help but snoop around a little and he discovers that this bookstore hides many secrets and, is in fact, one of many doorways for members of a secret society to pass messages. Through circumstances and curiosity it falls to Clay to find not only the key to the secret code, but maybe to eternal life.

    I enjoyed the story and thought parts were unique and fresh. I really enjoyed the concept of mega computer giant “Google” playing off against good old-fashioned detective work to solve the puzzle. I loved the insight into books and their importance whether paper or digital. I even liked Clay and his friends. This book has received rave reviews everywhere. I wish I could rah-rah for five stars as well but I can honestly only eke out four.

Comments on this post:
  • Charity

    • Chapters Employee

    3 years ago

    I loved Mr Penumbra! (the book and the character). It made me want to hunt out really great used book stores to discover their hidden mysteries.

    report this

  • Cancel   

> Read more posts from: January 2013



< close and return to chapters.indigo.ca
  • Take your library with you wherever you go
  • Use the device you want to use… smartphone, desktop and many of today’s most popular eReaders
  • Coming soon… use Indigo gift cards to buy eBooks and subscriptions!


We love the Kobo eReading service… and we know you will too. We’ve partnered with them to bring you the most flexible, enjoyable eReading experience in Canada.


You’ll be asked to sign in or create a new account with Kobo. Once you do, you’ll immediately get access to millions of titles and be ready to start eReading. Anytime. Anyplace.

continue to kobo