Sammy is a (not quite so innocent) bartender thrown into a weird and dangerous situation in this new favorite from Christopher Moore! NOIR perfectly balances sweet characters, film noir style and lingo, and Moore's trademark humor. In short, I loved it. It may actually be in my top 5 favorite Chris Moore books. I fell in love with nearly all the characters in this book, and I didn't always know where it was going in the best way.
From an early age Carol has fallen into comas so dangerously deep that doctors can barely detect a heartbeat. Now her husband has concocted a dastardly plan to have Carol buried alive! Is there no one who can save her? Mr. Malerman has already proven himself to be an original thinker (see his first novel “Birdbox”) and now he has outdone himself! Check out this Poe worthy story set in the old West.
— Mary T..
Yes, I was afraid of what former Sec. of State Albright knows about the strength of a Fascist pulse in the U.S. that the rest of us are oblivious to. What I found was her first-hand knowledge of living under Fascist rule in Europe as a child and her later political experience dealing with Fascist rulers after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Her commentary on Pres. Trump’s brash foreign policy practices are downright nervy, but well documented. Most importantly, Sec. Albright courageously advises how to heed the warning signs of Fascism.
Escape to the North Fork of Long Island for the perfect summer read. Imagine a beautifully restored house on the water that you have to rent out each summer to make ends meet. On top of that add a wealthy renter who's ready to take over so much more than the house. Fans of Adriana Trigiani and Cathleen Schine will love this witty, touching, funny and revengeful story.
A hard-hitting collection from the US Poet Laureate. At once vulnerable and empowered, it forces us to reckon with our country's fraught history and reconcile it with the injustice and inequality of today. The poems she created by splicing letters written by former slaves and by erasing parts of the Declaration of Independence are especially moving -- and especially haunting.
If you fell in love with Leslie Jamison's compassion and care in her collection of essays "The Empathy Exams," you will not be disappointed by her latest work. While delving into her own struggles with addiction she also draws many correlations between creativity and addiction. She chronicles the works and the habits of everyone from Billie Holiday to David Foster Wallace, offering keen insights into the daily struggles and the role that these struggles played in their creative mediums. Part cultural history and part memoir, this book is perfect for anyone who is seeking something thought-provoking.
After a long and dreary winter, this fresh, bright cover drew me in. I wondered, "What could this book possibly be about?" Inspiring, humorous, and highly readable, it is about hopes and dreams -- and will make you think about social class and discrimination. This gem will teach you that we can all overcome challenges once we learn to believe in ourselves. Quite simply, this book will make you happy!
If you adore the 1968 sci-fi masterpiece as much as I do, then you're going to devour this book. Yes, Kubrick's genius was and still is unparalleled, and Clarke's prescience was remarkable, but this book is really about the astonishing depth of collaboration between each and every member of the cast and crew -- from the lowly errand boy to the groundbreaking special effects team. Fascinating and inspirational, Space Odyssey pays tribute not only to one of the best movies ever made, but also to the act of creation itself.
Father to a young daughter and husband to a wife pregnant with twins, Kif Kehlmann is also a struggling, penniless writer desperately looking for a break. So when notorious con man and convicted white-collar criminal Siegfried Heidl asks Kif to ghostwrite his tell-all memoir, Kif lunges at the opportunity. But Kif’s hopeful excitement quickly turns to fear as the dark and disturbing truth of Heidl’s past reveals itself. As Kif slowly loses his grip on reality and is consumed by paranoia and self-doubt, the story feverishly crescendos to a chilling conclusion. Richard Flanagan, blending his characteristically stunning prose with a palpable sense of danger found in the best thrillers, has crafted an emotional, darkly comic parable for our age of alternative facts.
The Road to Unfreedom reads like an intellectual true crime novel. Snyder masterfully connects the dots from Russia to Ukraine to Brexit to EU to the US elections, and from Putin to Russian intelligence to Facebook to Twitter to Trump. This well-researched contemporary history explains how our world has lost its way and provides a road map to getting back on track.
I've been this car pool mom! And, like the main character, Frances, I've seen/overheard/learned many neighborhood secrets. Things are not always as perfect as they seem behind the picket fences!
Take the turn and drive through this neighborhood. It's a smart entertaining view of friendship, parenthood and marriage.
What would you do if you woke up one day with 108 predictions in your head? What would you do when they started to come true?
Will Dando is an everyday guy living in New York City when this happens to him. To say too much about what exactly Will does with these predictions would ruin it, but I will say that this book and its characters hooked me immediately and didn't let go. I loved seeing how even the smallest, seemingly insignificant prophecy came true… no matter what. Fantastic, a must read for 2018.
Funny, poignant and suspenseful! A story of two actors and their public break-up, their private soul-searching on a remote, tropical island; and one thrilling ending. For fans of Where'd You Go Bernadette. What would you do for love? Enjoy a break from the news and get lost in this jungle.
Is Anna Anderson an impostor or the Russian Grand Duchess....Anastasia Romanov? Between 1918 and 1970, in Russia, Germany and Virginia; Lawhon makes you feel sympathetic toward the incredibly rich Tsar and his family, while understanding the plight of the Bolshevik Revolution. Stay focused, read to the very last thrilling page and decide for yourself. An exciting new take on an intriguing story!
Elegantly written and extremely insightful of the human condition, The Balcony dives deeply into the lives of the residents of a manor house and caretaker’s cottage located in a tiny village near Paris. Over the course of 100 years, this compelling narrative examines the internal lives, motivations and life choices of the residents through a series of interconnected stories.
Friendship, individual growth, relationships…these are some of the themes throughout this beautiful coming-of-age story focused on two boys from different backgrounds. This novel allows the reader to step onto the Dolomites, the mountains in NE Italy, and understand what some crave from their natural beauty as well as the thrill and exhilaration they provide. When Pietro and Bruno meet as young boys, they form an instant bond which lasts despite the divergent paths their lives take. Thought provoking and emotional!
Disillusionment, Conviction, Bravery, and Martyrdom in Maoist China. It's amazing that this rebel poet's story survived to tell, often written in her own blood on her own clothing, and then confiscated by prison guards. It's a startling story, and a timely reflection on the dangers of populism told through the life, letters, and poetry of a woman with an unflinching sense of justice.
Even though I lived in NYC for many years, I was not aware of the “hidden gem” dead end neighborhoods, which have all the perks of city living, but with the close-knit community of a suburb. The way the main character weaves between the two worlds and manages to rise above after an incident that pits neighbor against neighbor and husband against wife is enviable.
Very rarely do I find a book that I could read more than once - this is it! Based on a true story and a searching of one's faith, it’s told from the view of a paralyzed veteran, his care-taker sister, his doctor, a journalist, a Vatican investigator, and the film crew anxious to portray a certain story. This is an incredibly touching, engaging, and powerful novel!
Don't let "Donner Party" scare you away from this unique telling of the infamous tale. Knowing its ultimate conclusion allows one to explore the conflicts and personality differences within the group that may have added to its demise. Hinting at a possible demon spirit from Native American folklore that plays like another character gives a different possibility for their fate. I couldn't put it down!
As Big Angel prepares to celebrate his birthday, which he knows will be his last one, he suddenly has to bury his mother. In the week between her funeral and his birthday party, we are taken on a reminiscent journey through the lives of his big, messy Mexican American family.
Though very much about the passing of time and the inevitability of death, the plot offers plenty of twists and turns. I found that I was grabbing a tissue and marking passages filled with tender moments and then laughing out loud as I continued down that same page.
The present and the past meld into the stories of lovers, faith, identity and the theology that led to the Christian attack against the Jews. The stories of Abelard and Heloise are mingled with that of a contemporary priest and a Jewish docent at the Cloisters in New York, who survived the Holocaust. Your view of true love, as well as your view of the Catholic Church, may never be the same. Carroll's historical fiction is hypnotic.
Take one Miss Marple, subtract 10 years, add one bad wig and a lust for, if not life, then uniformed police officers. Move her to Italy via Bavaria. Now wit back and enjoy as Auntie Poldi investigates the case of the Sicilian Lions. Delightful!
I was hooked from the first line! For the past 2 days I've been living in a 1994 Mercury, in "nowhere Florida" next to the trailer park, with Pearl and her mother. The author dropped me into a world of violence and love, both toxic and comforting. I was surrounded by damaged, real-life characters and guns, guns and more guns. Unflinching, lyrical, horrific and hazy...it's so hard to describe, but I feel as though I've just awakened from a dream. I had to be persuaded to read this book and I'm so glad I did. Whew!
— Kathy W.
A coming-of-age story that takes an abrupt and heartbreaking turn just when you think you have it figured out. Written with care and compassion, a tale of first love and heartbreak, true loss and fear. This book is an excellent depiction of the times we live in – I could not put it down.
Viscount Aiden Gallagher has decided to sell his family’s 700 year old castle located in County Wicklow, Ireland. His family, as well as the castle itself, are opposed to this idea. Throw in the Irish legend of the Darkling Bride, mysterious deaths, and a little romance for good measure, and you have an exciting story with great characters, both dead and alive, that you will really care about. Dark, gothic, and entertaining to the end, I couldn’t stop until the mystery had been solved.
I was fascinated by this exploration of two very different men who immersed themselves with indigenous people in the wilds of Borneo in the 80’s and 90’s. Intriguing motives and grand obsessions come into play here in this untamed world that no longer exists.
The premise is irresistible: Imagine you’re watching a movie you rented from your local video store… suddenly, the film is interrupted by a short clip of a dimly lit home video of someone blindfolded and tied to a chair in what appears to be an abandoned barn…then the normal movie continues playing again.
One of the most unique and unpredictable books of 2017, Universal Harvester is simultaneously a creepy, menacing mystery and a touching portrait of a young man coming to terms with the death of his mother. Darnielle is an author to be watched.
We are all riveted and chagrined and even frightened by what looks like our risk of losing, compromising or damaging our democracy. In this provocative, smart and important book we learn what might contribute to that and more importantly what each of us can do to preserve our democracy and why it is so critical.
I've been on a mystery jag of late, thrilling in that AHA! moment when the killer is revealed. Would a true crime book, so unresolved that the author even dies before completion, work for me? YES! This is a spellbinding look at the obsession, frustration and burden of hunting down a serial killer. Highly recommended for any mystery fan(atic)!
In these chaotic, stressful times, Shriver's book is an inspiring, soulful breath of fresh air. Read this if you are seeking a happier, more meaningful life. It will give you the courage to make yourself a priority. Start today! Have faith in yourself, let Shriver's reflections be your guide, and enjoy your journey!
I am continually surprised to learn about important events in our country’s past when reading great historical fiction. This powerful story of racism, family bonds, and power puts us in the eye of a tornado in Tupelo, MS in 1936. As devastation takes over the town, the heroes that snap into action aren’t necessarily the obvious choices. Dovey, a black grandmother, and Jo, a white teenager alternate as main characters connected by a common demon as well as by the will to carry on. A fantastic read all the way to the last word!
I couldn’t put this book down! When she is 13-years-old, Venus Black is arrested for killing her stepfather. A few days later, her autistic brother Leo is kidnapped. The book follows both of their stories and is totally a page turner. Great characters, and a great story about family and what family truly means. I loved, also, how it demonstrates the gray areas of life.
An unbelievable debut by newcomer Michael Andreasen, The Sea Beast Takes a Lover is a maddcap and heartfelt exploration of being human through a surreal collection of short tales. He seems to meet in the middle between Dean Koontz and Lewis Carroll, but his unique voice and writing style stand worlds apart from anyone else's.
I loved the world building in this book of four short stories set during the same time period in a world where magic has been banned by a corrupt government because dangerous brambles grow when it is used. Follow four unique perspectives – an alchemist, an Executioness, two formerly rich siblings, and a female blacksmith – as they live, work, and try to survive in the world as it changes before their eyes.
Set in 1995, when secrets were easier to keep hidden, this novel is a tantalizing slow burn with characters I loved one minute and hated the next. Psychological thriller? Modern crime noir? Old fashioned detective story? Yes, yes and yes! I wasn’t sure who was manipulating whom until the very end…and I was dying to get there. On the Wall Street Journal’s list of 12 Books to Read this Winter.
— Kathy W.
We think we know everything possible about Eleanor Roosevelt, yet Amy Bloom’s novel brings into view a tenderness, a love story between Eleanor and Lorena Hickok that endears us, informs us, and charms us. I read this in one fell swoop, relishing the view of history, the Roosevelt presidency, and the capacity of two women to find their way together.
The world feels a little scarier these days— what have we stopped paying attention to and what can we do about it? Amy Chua once again brings her clear and smart perspective to geopolitical realities in her new book, Political Tribes.
By understanding the human need for belonging to groups, Amy argues that we can overcome divisiveness by rediscovering a national identity, but it will mean respecting our differences, not pretending they do not matter. I finished her book with more understanding and more optimism for the future.
Relax, this is far from a legal treatise. It is an extremely engaging account of post-revolutionary war America, and the critical role Justice Marshall play in establishing federal vs state authority. Guess who was Marshall’s greatest political nemesis – his cousin Thomas Jefferson. JR Paul’s read will have you rethinking who among the founding fathers were the real revolutionaries.
Do not miss this breakout memoir of 2018. Strikingly well-written and uncompromising, Educated relates a woman’s journey from a child of a survivalist family to a Cambridge-educated PhD. Standing squarely beside The Glass Castle, Westover’s story will break your heart and then lift you up.
For the fan of the secret lives of housewives, this book has it all—high society, money, sex, blackmail, and gossip. Follow Philippa, Gwen, and Minnie as they traverse the Upper East Side and speculate about Philippa's shaded past, how Minnie's husband made all of his money, and the potentially devastating secret Gwen is keeping that somehow connects them all. The perfect choice for someone who wants a fast-paced, juicy read.
This smart novel delighted me with its extraordinary dose of absurd, dry humor. Selin is a character that I loved spending time with as she negotiates her first year at Harvard in 1995. Superbly written, with gorgeously crafted phrases and enough Eastern European references to justify borrowing the title from Dostoevsky, this is a book I absolutely devoured.
Hilarious, outrageous, and oddly insightful. The wit, candor, and irreverence in this book may be the perfect approach to discussing grieving, preparing for the death of a loved one, or preparing for your own death. It's kind of like "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning" for the sarcastic and not-so-gentle.
Here is a captivating memoir – a life story told through encounters with death – some minor, some too close for comfort. O’Farrell’s lyrical writing encourages the reader to examine the (mile)stones life presents – and how precarious those (stepping)stones can be! From a reckless teenager to motherhood, it was a privilege to witness the author’s experiences and emotions – definitely unique to her, while also quite universal. We will not all experience the horror of severe blood loss in childbirth, or the dangers of being pulled under a violent ocean’s riptide, but with any luck, we WILL learn how to swim with the ever changing tide, as Maggie O’Farrell has done so elegantly.
An intriguingly unique literary work, Asymmetry stretches the bounds of what you would expect from a novel. Exploring the dynamics of power, age, and circumstance in two seemingly unrelated halves, this is a distinct debut from a rising talent that challenges your assumptions and contains layers that will reveal themselves only upon further reflection.