This wonderful novel grabbed me with its immediate sense of heart and humor. Returning home for a year to help with her father's Alzheimer's, 30-year-old Ruth introduces us to her family with a quirky tenderness as she navigates new uncertainty in her life. Full of poignant details and hilarious moments, the relationship between Ruth and her father is layered with complexity and emotion. The story remains moving and sweet, and manages to never turn maudlin.
This is a really GOOD book! You never know what new element of story will crop up on the next page. Joshilyn Jackson has brought together a host of disparate story lines and woven them beautifully into a warm and human tale of love, family, race relations, MURDER, family values, loyalty, Alzheimer's disease, compassion- I could go on Don't get a lot of details about this story before you begin to read this book. Just let the story and characters unfold. I guarantee you will not want to put it down One of my favorites for sure
Tremendous fun for fans of Seinfeld. Jennifer Keishin Armstrong shares an abundance of anecdotes, trivia and detailed history about the wildly popular and smart sitcom about nothing. The book is also a great read for those interested in television history, as the show undoubtedly will go down as one of the best comedies ever, one that continues to significantly influence sitcom creators and writers today.
A terrific trip back to the 1970s. A feel-good memoir that will instantly transport readers back to a time before cell phones, tweets and texting, when a kid could be carefree with no helicopter parents hovering around. It’s clear Steve Rushin thoroughly enjoyed recollecting his Midwestern youth – including the TV shows, fads and toys of the day- in this funny and sweet book. Along the way, he takes readers for a ride to a simpler time that most will undoubtedly long for, complete with a very close-knit, loving family.
This could also be titled “Keeping up with the Jhas”. Meet the Jha family and several other Delhi families making their own way while knowing (and criticizing) everyone else’s business! I laughed out loud many times throughout this story!
Wonderful new fantasy! Elegant writing, fantastic characters and a unique twist on some familiar storylines. As a young child, Elanna is taken hostage as a result of her father's rebellion against the king. For 14 years she grows up in a completely different culture, being taught that her family and her home are enemies, and that the magic she holds inside is illegal. Yet, she is still the enemy to some, including the king's daughter. Then Elanna is framed for the king's murder and her father sends his people to bring her home. Loyalties torn, Elanna comes to learn about her true home, her country and her magic... and she discovers that things aren't exactly as she thought, and that her magic could save both countries she loves. I loved how Elanna is truly torn between her two countries. Her growth and exploration of magic is wonderful.
The Amazing Telemachus family truly is amazing. Teddy is a conman. Maureen can astral project and works for the government. Then there are their children. Irene is the human lie detector, Frankie is getting mixed up with the mob and could once move objects with his mind, and Buddy can see the future whether he wants to or not. Irene's son Matty discovers he has inherited his grandmother's abilities at the start of the book, and that's when things really start to get interesting.
Told from multiple perspectives within the family, SPOONBENDERS mixes past stories with present day (1995 present) happenings in a beautiful way. It is a well told family drama, with a healthy dose of mystery and magic thrown in. The book also gives glimpses and hints at the future through one family member's psychic abilities, you just have to wait to see how it all ties together. I loved every minute of reading about the Telemachus family. Every character was completely fleshed out, from Teddy the con man and his wife Maureen, the true psychic, to their children, friends, acquaintances and enemies.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to escape with a fun, dysfunctional family and their psychic abilities.
Celebrate the forever female friendship of the self-named "Supremes" as they enter their 60's in their hometown of Plainview, Indiana. The fears, family dysfunction, aging issues and concerns we all face are explored with humor, humility and ultimately growth. Fans of The Supremes at Earl's All You Can Eat will not be disappointed. Each chapter is a story unto itself while it moves the novel forward. These women are a real hoot! - Barb
Like cop books? Then don’t think twice—pick up this book, walk to the register, and buy it. Most of the cops in this book are dirty, but that makes them all the more interesting. Denny Malone is a dirty cop, but does that make him a bad cop? Well, it depends on who you ask. His wife and two kids will have a different answer than his lifelong friends and partners, and they’ll have a different answer than the team at Internal Affairs who try to turn him into a rat. Surprisingly unpredictable with an explosive finale, The Force is sure to be the top cop book of the year. - Brian
The Map That Leads to You is the book of summer 2017. Sweeping, romantic, complex, it's a trip to Europe and into the hearts and psyches of two fascinating characters. Joe Monninger (JP Monninger) writes with power and beauty and can hold his own in the literary pantheon while telling a passionate and wildly emotional story that will keep you up all night turning the pages--and leaving you with the desire to start reading his novel right away.
— Luanne Rice
The sudden death of an iconic children's author interrupts a movie, a museum opening and the lives of those who cared for him. Past, present and future intertwine in this exploration of the many paths to a creative life.
Made very clear in Roxane Gay's stunning memoir is that her body is one of strength and resilience, and it has been thoroughly tested. In a work of remarkable honestly and vulnerability, Gay exposes herself and her past with deeply raw writing, detailing a life of traumas and triumphs. As she shares her thoughts on weight, grief, family, love, self-protection, and Ina Garten, she works to reconcile the girl she was with the woman she has become. Personal recollections of pride, stubbornness, shame, and longing at various chapters of her life resonate with depth and beauty.
Funny, inspiring and moving. Eddie Izzard writes much like he speaks in his shows, in tangents and facts, footnotes and humor. It was fascinating to read his story, from age six when his mother passed away, to now. An amazing biography about the inspiring ways Eddie built up his career over time as well. Things didn’t just fall into his lap, it took time and a lot of work for him to reach fame. Inspiring and fun read.
Being a substitute teacher in a high school is hard enough; but when a student is discovered hanging in his backyard, Mr. Botts feels a whole new level of stress. This creepy labyrinth of a mystery also features alternating chapters narrated by some kind of young psychopath. Piecing together their lives will require you, the reader, to deny your normal expectations.
— Mary T
Evelyn Hugo is selfish, loving, stubborn, calculating, independent, fiercely loyal, and absolutely captivating. In short, she is the best character I have encountered in quite a while. After decades as one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood, and having outlived everyone she ever truly loved, Evelyn is finally ready to tell her story. The details of her marriages, her affairs, her career choices, her manipulations and lies are ready to be set free. Evelyn will break your heart, she will force you to admire her while telling you that you shouldn't, and then she will stun you with the wrenchingly human tale of her dazzling and extraordinary life.
A bookseller turned book writer produced this intriguing mystery for the rest of us to enjoy. Naturally, the setting is a bookstore and the victim is discovered swinging in the history alcove of said bookstore.The victim leaves behind a legacy of vandalized books for his favorite bookseller to piece together and to hopefully unravel his meaning. There are puzzles and enigmas, and smack in the middle of all that - a horrific murderer known as The Hammerman. In short, it's clever and heart wrenching and downright scary. Well done and bravo fellow bookseller!
— Mary T
I adored this sparkling story told in two eras involving a mysterious Indian necklace. In the 1920’s Ambrose Quincy brings back the amazing ornament to his beloved. Alas, passion and happy endings don’t always go hand in hand as their fate is woven through the story. In the current day, Nell Quincy’s great Aunt unexpectedly leaves her the stunning piece that had been hidden for many years. She has now drawn the attention of grasping relatives, dealers and the charismatic family lawyer. A delightful romance and family drama through generations with the rare necklace as the centerpiece.
Extremely unique and ambitious, this illuminating novel considers whether some questions can really be answered. In a desperate attempt to address some of her life's complications, Mary becomes involved in a movie star's experiment to engineer the perfect relationship and find scientifically lasting love. Filled with intelligence, unexpected humor, and superb prose, this is a masterful exploration of what can truly be measured as we try to know another person.
Follow Avery Stafford as she unravels her family history and finds love along the way. How is Avery's elderly grandmother connected to the infamous Tennessee Children's Home Society? Children from this "orphanage" were not always orphaned but had been taken from poor or indigent families by nefarious means. Having been adopted into wealthy, prominent or famous families, were the children better off? And what consequences did it have as they grew up? Both heartwarming and heart wrenching, this is a story of family secrets and the triumph of love. Well written, comfortable read for a summer (or winter) afternoon. Enjoy.
Great summer read!! Three well-to-do families head to South America on a cruise ship with plans to see the Panama Canal. What could go wrong? How about everything! The kids go missing and the parents play the blame game while hounded by the press. Fascinating character study that will keep you riveted for hours. You may never cross another gangplank after reading this.
- Mary T.
Beautiful, cutting and timely. Tracey Chevalier’s Hogarth Shakespeare adaptation of Othello is a necessary read. Set over the course of one fifth grade school day in Washington D.C. in the 1970’s, the reader could be forgiven for expecting a tamer re-telling of Shakespeare’s tragedy about love, friendships and race. Chevalier’s take is loyal right to Othello’s gruesome end and this makes it one of the most unique and gut wrenching relevant fiction books of the year.
Real people, real family secrets, and a 'pull-you-right-in' read can be found in Sullivan's latest and (in my opinion) best novel to date. The story follows two Irish sisters who come to Boston in the 1950's, and the life-altering changes that occur when one sister ends up unmarried and pregnant in an Irish Catholic family during that time-period. Follow the family secrets that evolve through the years in this beautiful and heart-wrenching narrative as the sisters' struggle with the consequences. Every bit of detail and dialogue is recognizable in some way to every reader. Sad to turn the final page!
Fans of Sarah Dunant (The Birth of Venus), will devour this fiction of Pope Alexander VI and his power plan to conquer the principalities of Italy. The Pope's illegitimate children, Lucrezia and Cesare, are vividly brought to life in this fascinating story of how they were used to ultimately create, and expand, the Borgia dynasty. Lucrezia and Cesare were bloody, ruthless, corrupt, passionate, cunning, and fiercely loyal. Niccolo Machiavelli, influenced and impressed by Cesare's political manipulating, used much of what he learned in writing The Prince. I love historical fiction - especially when so well written!!
A page turner for sure!! Daphne du Maurier is a master at creating suspense. Is Cousin Rachel good or evil? Is Phillip capable of thinking clearly as an adult, or is he stuck with the infatuated thinking of a very young man? You will be enthralled all the way to the last page. I Loved it!
A gripping portrait of a roller coaster ride of a campaign.
For those still trying to get their heads around the outcome of the 2016 U.S. President Election, scholar Susan Bordo’s “The Destruction of Hillary Clinton” will provide both perspective and clarity. The noted media critic and cultural historian addresses head-on how Clinton, seen as a lock to win the general election, was upset by Donald Trump. Bordo examines not only how the Right, the Left, and the media impacted Clinton’s quest for the White House, but also other key forces, including James Comey, possible Russian influence, and the youth vote.
This haunting novel draws the reader into Nazi-occupied coastal France with a powerful story and masterful narrative. Emma, the baker's young apprentice, creates a network of stealthy endurance and remarkable ingenuity to help her community survive. With an evocative and compelling description of D-Day, we are reminded of the tremendous sacrifice that invasion encompassed. A true trifecta: Moving, Engaging and Powerful.
In her truly captivating and superbly crafted debut novel, Bryn Chancellor draws you in with her remarkable characters and the thoughtful and insightful details of their lives. As residents of Sycamore, Arizona, are faced again with a decades-old tragedy, they grapple with memories of past loves, betrayals, dreams, and losses. A thrilling plot lurks behind beautiful storytelling, laced with humanity, grace, and a compassionate complexity. The people of this desert community will linger in your thoughts long after the compelling and satisfying end.
Uh oh! Is the weatherman predicting a rainy weekend but you still want to feel like it's summer? The Book of Summer takes you to a historical Nantucket home and right into the lives of the strong women of Cliff House from 1914 to the current day. From great-grandmother Sarah to her granddaughter Bess, we learn the secrets, celebrations, and tragedies of life in a grand house. Historic snapshots are skillfully unveiled, clever twists and turns will keep you engaged, and the "swell" time period dialog will keep you entertained. A perfect rainy day read...even better at the beach!
Yes, THAT Mr. Rochester! For fans of Jane Eyre, this is the backstory of the dark, morose character Edward Fairfax Rochester. For those who have not read Jane Eyre, this is an entertaining character study straight out of the 19th century. Very enjoyable from either perspective, but especially yummy for fans of Jane Eyre.
I have Connecticut sensibilities: I'm not overly friendly, no one would ever describe me as laid-back, and living in La La land for me would be like living on the moon. So, naturally, the California lifestyle fascinates yet repels me. If you feel the same, you must check out Woman Number 17. It's quintessential SoCal - rich, arty lives perched in the Hollywood Hills and unique, dysfunctional lives that will grow on you. You may have to Google a few phrases - Hottentot Venus for example - but learning and reading go hand-in-hand! This novel is offbeat, smart and tender so, like, read it.
— Mary T
Thick with tension, this novel lets the relationships and secrets between its characters build slowly to a simmering intensity that mirrors the sultry heat of its Hollywood Hills setting. Lady Daniels and her newly hired nanny S form an unconventional and intense friendship as they both find themselves questioning their present circumstances. Filled with sharp ideas about art and LA, this novel is smart, brilliant, and frequently hilarious. Before you know it, you'll find yourself liking both complicated women, even as they make choices that beg you to turn your back on them.
The lake in the title is gorgeous Lake Como, in northern Italy, and the shadows emerge from a dark past when a body is discovered beneath a mountainside hut. This is the first in a translated Italian mystery series that entertains with its charming investigator, food, historical references, and its beguiling setting. Also, it doesn't hurt that there is a little romance in the air!
— Mary T
Lucy meets Gabe for the first time on the momentous day of Sept. 11th. While viewing the smoke from the Towers, they vow to each other to make their lives meaningful. When fate brings them together again one year later, they quickly fall in love and it seems they will be together for ever, but both make choices that send them continents apart. Though they stay in touch, their lives could not be more different in their endeavors to stay true to their vow. Santopolo takes us on a journey through love, life choices, tragedy and eventually love again, right up until the unexpected ending that you will never forget. I couldn’t put it down!
Have you heard the the very unromantic notion that passionate love lasts but 6 months, maybe a year if you're lucky? Thank goodness for books and authors, like this one, who take a contrary approach and tell a contemporary story of an all consuming and powerful love that transcends all reason, time and place. This is perfect escapism for those who want a love story. Period. No apologies needed.
— Mary T
In a small, secretive English town, women have been killed in a section of the local river known as the "Drowning Pool" for generations- a place of obsession for its most recent victim. As her death ripples through the close-knit community, the relationships that run through town are challenged and years of lies threaten to be exposed. With a vibrant sense of folklore and an eerily tense setting explored through many points of view, this novel will keep you guessing until every long-held secret is revealed.
Can an IT guy and a beautiful actress make a go of it? Well, maybe not the first go 'round - despite the fact that they share the same passion for music. Set in Australia, Great Britain and France, this is a book about second chances, taking risks, exploring your feelings, and sexuality. If you love the Beatles, Joe Cocker, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins then you'll be singing along as you reminisce with Adam and Angelina. Oh, and there's a very twisty and satisfying ending!
This is stupendous stuff. A follow up to The Girl with all the Gifts , I enjoyed this book more than I can say. The boy of the title is a genius of the idiot savant type; and with courage, heart and gusto he takes on a worldwide apocalypse and does it with style. I put this book down but only reluctantly because I had to eat and sleep. Now it's your turn.
— Mary T
Beartown, a thought-provoking and heart-wrenching story, is definitely my favorite Fredrik Backman novel yet. In a small town where hockey is everything, the junior hockey team is about to play for the National Championship. However, when a tragic event happens, the community is divided by extreme loyalties. This could be any town where sports, politics, and good vs. evil are controversial and dangerous. Beartown begins and ends with a bang, and it’s one of the best books I've read in years -- seriously!
Once again, Elizabeth Strout proves herself a master! She takes us to a small town exposing the intricacies of lives crisscrossed in even the most remote ways. Each chapter, although an individual story in itself, reminds us that the past is extremely powerful and can result in different interpretations. Fans of Olive Kitteridge will enjoy a similar style book and once again, come out with favorites. Some tough stories, but well worth every moment spent reading this amazing book!
Women who didn’t conform to the most subservient, pious behavior in mid-1600’s England were in danger of being rounded up and tossed in jail, after all they must be witches! Matthew Hopkins was a real life self-appointed Witchmaster General. This chilling historical fiction shows Matthew’s obsession growing through the eyes of his widowed sister, who had little power to stop the inhumane imprisonments and ultimate executions. It is a devastating look into insular villages with strange belief systems involving witchcraft tests, forced confessions and devils imps.
Daphne du Maurier, the author of Rebecca with the famous first line "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again," was the sophisticated, urbane product of British wealth and position during the 20th century. Her position allowed her to indulge the inner voice (or "Boy" as she called him) that controlled her unwavering determination to create the environment and solitude she needed to WRITE. She was a prolific writer who preferred dark, grisly subjects to the more saleable happy endings. A fascinating read about a women of independent thinking and means-quite ahead of her time.
A must for anyone experiencing loss, whether by a death, illness, a relationship’s end, abuse, job change. In great, personal detail, Sheryl Sandberg, FaceBook’s COO (Lean In), shares what it has been like to suddenly become a widow with two young children. She also conveys her determination to find “flashes of joy,” her “Year of Firsts,” and the ways her deep grief have influenced her leadership role at the social media giant.
Ultimately, the book is a how-to guide for facing down crisis and moving forward. It’s co-written by Adam Grant, the Wharton School’s top-rated professor/psychologist (Originals), so it also is full of intriguing scholarly research, such as “the three P’s,” and other practical findings on building resilience.
Every once in a while a book comes along that pays kindness, love and gentleness forward. My heart opened and filled and, at the same time, grew in faith that something somewhere is giving us all what we need when we need it.
I always enjoy a story that unravels within a story!
Current day: In Sofia, Bulgaria, a young American woman has a chance meeting with a family at a taxi and ends up with an urn in an ornate box engraved with a name. With only this to use, she enlists the help of the taxi driver to get the urn to the rightful owners. Along the way, history reveals itself and actually involves them in some danger!
Great setting! Great read!
Anne Lamott's latest book shows us how to make mercy a constant part of our lives; and, in effect, her words teach how having empathy and being kind to others can set us free. Lamott is at her best in Hallelujah Anyway, writing as candidly and openly as ever about her failings and her uphill battles, as well as how her experiences and family history have shaped her. Ultimately, it is a book to return to again and again, during challenging times, when resentment or detachment seem the only response.
This is a lovely and versatile cookbook for home cooks that features a huge variety of recipes for every occasion- from a small breakfast for yourself to larger gatherings with family and friends. The book happens to be largely gluten-free, but the focus remains on modern, wholesome and delicious dishes that can be useful any day of the year.
Of the course the names have been changed to protect the innocent, but this novel brings to light how the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme of the 90's could have happened. The Widow of Wall Street explores the workings behind a "legitimate" brokerage house, and the shandy under doing of the 37th floor private "Club" that was exclusive to only those who had money to invest and were too naive to ask about double digits on their investments.....until the bottom dropped out! The book shows the ramifications of this "Club" on family members, and close friends. Jake may have thought he had the brilliant mind, but it was his loving, ever faithful wife that took the brunt of the fall. A very interesting read that sheds light and details on how these illegal schemes come about.
— Jan B
Tess and Gus first cross paths in Florence, as 18-year-olds with their futures stretching ahead of them. Back in England, they live their lives oblivious to all the near misses and chances they have to encounter one another again. The meandering way their lives circle each other is charming rather than frustrating, but the heart of this book lies in the choices Tess and Gus each make as their lives unfold in ways neither anticipated.
Exceptionally poignant and filled with relatable and deeply human characters, this is a thoughtful book about how you can never quite guess what life has in store for you, and maybe that's for the best.
Told in alternating points of view, Brimstone is the story of Alice, a young clairvoyant moving to a town of clairvoyants in Cassadaga, Florida to learn, and Tomas, a solider home from WW 1 only to find his wife has died of the flu while he was away. Dreams of fire, and actual fires, connect the two until they meet and must fight in a battle of good vs. evil together with the town of Cassadaga.
There is something about Cherie Priest’s writing that immediately pulls me in, every single time. From the moment I was introduced to insecure, but brave, Alice and depressed, but determined, Tomas… I had no trouble flying through the book to find out the rest of their story. Simple, but beautifully written, I loved this book. Cherie presents the small town in bursts of color and character. I could see Cassadaga and its residents just as clearly as I could see Alice and Tomas and Felipe (how could I forget the adorable dog Felipe?)!
Sarat is the ultimate rebel, loyal and dedicated to the Southern territories in the U.S. Second Civil War. Set just 60 years in the future, the North and the South battle over outlawed oil. From caretaker of family after the slaughter of their refugee camp, to prisoner of war, and finally, martyr, Sarat is a Southern rebel soldier thru and thru. The idea that this extraordinary – and plausible! - debut novel is set only 60-years in the future is terrifying.
Do you want to sit down and laugh out loud while you read a tale that offers mystery, romance and familial craziness? Lipman's dialog will pull you right in. Stuck in a boring job in a private school, Faith is engaged to a bizarre loser, buys a fixer upper that harbors a possible murder mystery, and finds a potential new love all the while her parents marriage is falling apart. Every conversation and observation is hilarious.
What an engaging little book with a big story! On New Year's Eve in 1984, eighty-four-year-old Lillian decides to take a walk within the Manhattan haunts of her past career as the highest paid female advertising writer in the USA in the 1930's and 40's. Her memories flood back as she walks and her life as a mother, a wife and a poet is told. Lillian is acerbic, brilliant and heartfelt in her journey. A lovely book.
Based on the historic and catastrophic fire that engulfed much of the Maine coast in 1947, the story of Grace Holland will pull you right in and not let you go ... even after the final pages. A young devoted mother in an increasingly unhappy marriage, Grace is thrown into both natural and relationship-based disasters while still finding strength and happiness in the process. Great dialogue and descriptive settings make for a very engaging read!
This is a triumphant book about human kindness and forgiveness. The story follows three amazing German women – all with very different backgrounds – who share secrets about their involvement in the resistance during World War II. If you love historical novels as much as I do, this heart-wrenching story will keep you caring about the women in this castle long after you’ve read the last page.
Lola is the battle-weary secret leader of a South Central gang capable of being both vicious and loving, as circumstances dictate, particularly when it comes to family and a little girl whose mother pimps her out for drugs. When she becomes entangled in an impossible situation with the cartel, rival dealers, a corrupt prosecutor and police after attempting a major drug deal rip-off, will she survive and live to fight another day?
Samuel Hawley has been shot twelve times over the course of his life as a criminal. Alternating between the stories behind each of those twelve bullets and Samuel’s present day life as a father raising a teenage daughter, Hannah Tinti tells a story that is both tender and intense. This is an excellent literary thriller with a relentlessly-paced plot, complicated characters you can’t help but root for, and a dynamite ending.