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Back to books again

Mile Vacation is over, and I've recovered from the Miami Book Fair - which may well be one of the best I've ever attended. I tend to say that every year, of course. But really, this year's edition was great, if draining in terms of trying to see everybody I wanted to see.

Caught up with some reading while I was off, too. Inspired by her terrific "Evenings with..." performance, I first tackled Patti Smith's National Book Award-winning Just Kids, which I enjoyed (and which drove me back to digging out my old CDs of Horses and Wave). The book was good, but seeing Smith read from and talk about it made it all the more entertaining. Also read Tom Franklin's Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, a decent thriller about two high school friends whose lives intersect again in the wake of a girl's disappearance. Loved the moody Mississippi atmosphere.

But the book I was most happy to get my hands on - FINALLY! - was Dennis Lehane's Moonlight Mile. What with all the book fair craziness I didn't have time to review it, but I'll say if you're a fan, it's essential (while still not being in the same class as Gone Baby Gone or Darkness Take My Hand). Love the grownup, more thoughtful but still impulsive Patrick and Angie. And for the record, I think Patrick was wrong to return Amanda to her crackhead mother in GBG, so him getting a second chance to help her was sweet indeed. More, please, Mr. Lehane.

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