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The Crimson judges books by looking at their covers

By Rachel A. Burns, Contributing Writer

A new book by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) hit bookshelves last Tuesday. The title is a mouthful—“The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream”—but Obama looks sharp. He leans forward with a knowing smile, probably thinking about how his presidency intimations are driving the media into a frenzy. According to the dust jacket, the book is about 400 pages of hollow political drivel about bringing hope, happiness, and milk and honey back to America. The inside flap promises a few personal stories about Obama, but don’t expect anything too profound. As a potential presidential candidate, Obama has to keep things boring.

Richard Powers is out with a new novel, “The Echo Maker.” The cover is deceptively serene—a solitary bird casually flies over an empty field. The book is actually about a truck accident, memory loss, and discovering dark secrets. The amnesic victim, his sister, and a renowned neurologist team up to figure out just what happened. There is no mention of a bird. However, the back flap does list the impressive awards that Powers has won for his past work, which includes eight novels. An innovative plot and a strong authorial track record makes this book a tempting read.

And of course, I could not resist picking up the latest Michael Connelly novel, “Echo Park,” released two weeks ago. I see two things: the name “Harry Bosch,” Los Angeles police detective, inside the jacket, and the properly stern face of Connelly on the back. Looks like a must-read.

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