June/July 2017

Mr. Rochester
by Sarah Shoemaker

"Reader, she married me!" For one hundred seventy years, Edward Fairfax Rochester has stood as one of literature's most romantic, most complex, and most mysterious heroes. Sometimes haughty, sometimes tender-professing his love for Jane Eyre in one breath and denying it in the next-Mr. Rochester has for generations mesmerized, beguiled, and, yes, baffled fans of Charlotte Brontë's masterpiece. But his own story has never been told. Now, out of Sarah Shoemaker's rich and vibrant imagination, springs Edward: a vulnerable, brilliant, complicated man whom we first meet as a motherless, lonely little boy roaming the corridors and stable yards of Thornfield Hall. On the morning of Edward's eighth birthday, his father issues a decree: He is to be sent away to get an education, exiled from Thornfield and all he ever loved. As the determined young Edward begins his journey across England, making friends and enemies along the way, a series of eccentric mentors teach him more than he might have wished about the ways of the men-and women-who will someday be his peers. But much as he longs to be accepted-and to return to the home where he was born-his father has made clear that Thornfield is reserved for his older brother, Rowland, and that Edward's inheritance lies instead on the warm, languid shores of faraway Jamaica. That island, however, holds secrets of its own, and not long after his arrival, Edward finds himself entangled in morally dubious business dealings and a passionate, whirlwind love affair with the town's ravishing heiress, Antoinetta Bertha Mason. Eventually, after a devastating betrayal, Edward must return to England with his increasingly unstable wife to take over as master of Thornfield. And it is there, on a twilight ride, that he meets the stubborn, plain, young governess who will teach him how to love again. It is impossible not to watch enthralled as this tender-hearted child grows into the tormented hero Brontë immortalized-and as Jane surprises them both by stealing his heart. MR. ROCHESTER is a great, sweeping, classic coming-of-age story, and a stirring tale of adventure, romance, and deceit. Faithful in every particular to Brontë's original yet full of unexpected twists and riveting behind-the-scenes drama, this novel will completely, deliciously, and forever change how we read and remember Jane Eyre.


Prussian Blue
by Philip Kerr

Bernie Gunther is on the run. Ordered by Erich Mielke, head of the East German Stasi, to murder an acquaintance of his by thallium poisoning, he finds his conscience is stronger than his desire not to be murdered in turn. Now he must stay one step ahead of Mielke's retribution. The man Mielke has sent to hunt him is an ex-Kripo colleague, and as Bernie pushes towards Germany he recalls their last case together. In 1939, summoned by Reinhard Heydrich to the Berghof: Hitler's mountain home in Obersalzberg. A low-level German bureaucrat had been murdered, and the Reichstag deputy Martin Bormann, in charge of overseeing renovations to the Berghof, wanted the case solved quickly. If the Fuhrer were ever to find out that his own house had been the scene of a recent murder - the consequences wouldn't bear thinking about. And so begins perhaps the strangest of Bernie Gunther's adventures, for although several countries and seventeen years separate the murder at the Berghof from his current predicament, Bernie will find there is some unfinished business awaiting him in Germany.


Anything is Possible
by Elizabeth Strout

Here are two sisters: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother's happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton-- returns to visit her siblings after seventeen years of absence.


Say Nothing
by Brad Parks


Judge Scott Sampson doesn’t brag about having a perfect life, but the evidence is clear: A prestigious job. A loving marriage. A pair of healthy children. Then a phone call begins every parent’s most chilling nightmare. Scott’s six-year-old twins, Sam and Emma, have been taken. The judge must rule exactly as instructed in a drug case he is about to hear. If he refuses, the consequences for the children will be dire. For Scott and his wife Alison, the kidnapper’s call is only the beginning of a twisting, gut-churning ordeal of blackmail, deceit, and terror. Through it all, they will stop at nothing to get their children back, no matter the cost to themselves or to each other.


Saints for All Occasions
by J. Courtney Sullivan

Nora and Theresa Flynn are twenty-one and seventeen when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America. Nora is the responsible sister; she's shy and serious and engaged to a man she isn't sure that she loves. Theresa is gregarious; she is thrilled by their new life in Boston and besotted with the fashionable dresses and dance halls on Dudley Street. But when Theresa ends up pregnant, Nora is forced to come up with a plan-a decision with repercussions they are both far too young to understand. Fifty years later, Nora is the matriarch of a big Catholic family with four grown children: John, a successful, if opportunistic, political consultant; Bridget, privately preparing to have a baby with her girlfriend; Brian, at loose ends after a failed baseball career; and Patrick, Nora's favorite, the beautiful boy who gives her no end of heartache. Estranged from her sister and cut off from the world, Theresa is a cloistered nun, living in an abbey in rural Vermont. Until, after decades of silence, a sudden death forces Nora and Theresa to confront the choices they made so long ago. A graceful, supremely moving novel from one of our most beloved writers,Saints for All Occasions explores the fascinating, funny, and sometimes achingly sad ways a secret at the heart of one family both breaks them and binds them together.


You Don't Look Your Age...and Other Fairy Tales
by Sheila Nevins

Sheila Nevins is the best friend you never knew you had. She is your discreet confidante you can tell any secret to, your sage mentor at work who helps you navigate the often uneven playing field, your wise sister who has “been there, done that,” your hysterical girlfriend whose stories about men will make laugh until you cry. Sheila Nevins is the one person who always tells it like it is. In You Don’t Look Your Age, the famed documentary producer (as President of HBO Documentary Films for over 30 years, Nevins has rightfully been credited with creating the documentary rebirth) finally steps out from behind the camera and takes her place front and center. In these pages you will read about the real life challenges of being a woman in a man's world, what it means to be a working mother, what it’s like to be an older woman in a youth-obsessed culture, the sometimes changing, often sweet truth about marriages, what being a feminist really means, and that you are in good company if your adult children don’t return your phone calls. So come, sit down, make yourself comfortable, (and for some of you, don’t forget the damn reading glasses). You’re in for a treat.


Rise & Shine, Benedict Stone
by Phaedra Patrick

Moonstone for empathy. Azurite for memories. Lapis lazuli for truth… In the quiet village of Noon Sun, Benedict Stone has settled into a complacent and predictable routine. Business at his jewelry shop has dried up; his marriage is on the rocks. His life is in desperate need of a jump start…and then a surprise arrives at his door. Gemma is Benedict's audacious teenage niece—the daughter of his estranged brother, Charlie. The two Stone brothers had a falling out and haven't spoken in almost two decades, since Charlie left for America. Reckless and stubborn, Gemma invites herself into Benedict's world and turns his orderly life upside down. But she might just be exactly what he needs to get his life back on track. Filled with colorful characters and irresistible charm, Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone is a luminous reminder of the unbreakable bonds of family, and shows that having someone to embrace life with is always better than standing on your own.

April/May 2017

Fences
by August Wilson

From legendary playwright August Wilson, the powerful, stunning dramatic work that won him critical acclaim, including the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize. Troy Maxson is a strong man, a hard man. He has had to be to survive. Troy Maxson has gone through life in an America where to be proud and black is to face pressures that could crush a man, body and soul. But the 1950s are yielding to the new spirit of liberation in the 1960s, a spirit that is changing the world Troy Maxson has learned to deal with the only way he can, a spirit that is making him a stranger, angry and afraid, in a world he never knew and to a wife and son he understands less and less. (from Amazon.com)



From Sand and Ash
by Amy Harmon

Italy, 1943-Germany occupies much of the country, placing the Jewish population in grave danger during World War II. As children, Eva Rosselli and Angelo Bianco were raised like family but divided by circumstance and religion. As the years go by, the two find themselves falling in love. But the church calls to Angelo and, despite his deep feelings for Eva, he chooses the priesthood. Now, more than a decade later, Angelo is a Catholic priest and Eva is a woman with nowhere to turn. With the Gestapo closing in, Angelo hides Eva within the walls of a convent, where Eva discovers she is just one of many Jews being sheltered by the Catholic Church. But Eva can't quietly hide, waiting for deliverance, while Angelo risks everything to keep her safe. With the world at war and so many in need, Angelo and Eva face trial after trial, choice after agonizing choice, until fate and fortune finally collide, leaving them with the most difficult decision of all.


If Not for You
by Debbie Macomber

"Having lived under her parents' thumb for 25 years, Beth Prudhomme is finally taking charge of her own life. She moves from Chicago to Portland to live near her favorite aunt, finding employment as a music teacher at a local high school and a fast friend in Nichole Nyquist (who readers will recognize from A Girl's Guide to Moving On). Everything is coming together, though her love life leaves something to be desired. Until Nichole introduces Beth to Sam, a tattooed mechanic who's the epitome of her conservative parents' worst nightmare. Beth doesn't want to upset her parents more than she already has, and for himself, Sam has no interest in being set up with a prissy music teacher. But both learn that appearances aren't everything ..."--Provided by publisher.


Gunmetal Gray
by Mark Greaney

After five years on the run Court Gentry is back on the inside at the CIA. But his first mission makes him wish he had stayed on the outs when a pair of Chinese agents try to take him down in Hong Kong. Normally the Chinese prefer to stay eyes-only on foreign agents. So why are they on such high alert?  Court’s high stakes hunt for answers takes him across Southeast Asia and leads to his old friend, Donald Fitzroy, who is being held hostage by the Chinese. Fitzroy was contracted to find Fan Jiang, a former member of an ultra-secret computer warfare unit responsible for testing China’s own security systems. And it seems Fan may have been too good at his job—because China wants him dead. The first two kill teams Fitzroy sent to find Fan have disappeared and the Chinese have decided to “supervise” the next operation. What they don't know is that Gentry’s mission is to find Fan first and get whatever intel he has to the US. After that, all he has to do is get out alive...


Death on the River of Doubt
by Samantha Seiple

"I did have a murderous trip down South, but it was mighty interesting." In October 1913, Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on a tour of South America. The thrill-seeking adventurer had no idea that he would soon receive an offer hecouldn't refuse: the chance to lead an expedition deep into the Amazon jungle to chart an unmapped river with his son Kermit and renowned Brazilian explorer Candido Mariano da Silva Rondon. Death on the River of Doubt takes readers inside the thrilling journey that unfolds as Roosevelt, Rondon, Kermit, and their companions navigate an unpredictable river through an unforgiving jungle. With new threats at every turn, from bloodthirsty piranhas and raging rapids to starvation, disease, and a traitor in their own ranks, it seems that not everyone will make it out alive. Through it all, the indomitable Teddy Roosevelt remained determined to complete their mission and rewrite the map of the world. Or die trying"


Lincoln in the Bardo
by George Saunders

February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body. From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul. (from Amzon.com)


The Twelve Live of Samuel Hawley
by Hannah Tinti

After years spent living on the run, Samuel Hawley moves with his teenage daughter Loo to Olympus, Massachusetts. There, in his late wife's hometown, Hawley finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at school and grows curious about her mother's mysterious death. Haunting them both are twelve scars Hawley carries on his body, from twelve bullets in his criminal past - a past that eventually spills over into his daughter's present, until together they must face a reckoning yet to come. Both a coming of age novel and a literary thriller, THE TWELVE LIVES OF SAMUEL HAWLEY explores what it means to be a hero, and the price we pay to protect the people we love most.


The Women in the Castle
by Jessica Shattuck

"Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany's defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband's ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband's brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows"--Dust jacket.

February/March 2017

Twenty-Six Seconds
by Alexandra Zapruder

Abraham Zapruder didn't know when he ran home to grab his video camera on November 22, 1963 that this single spontaneous decision would change his family's life for generations to come. Originally intended as a home movie of President Kennedy's motorcade, Zapruder's film of the JFK assassination is now shown in every American history class, included in Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit questions, and referenced in novels and films. It is the most famous example of citizen journalism, a precursor to the iconic images of our time, such as the Challenger explosion, the Rodney King beating, and the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers. But few know the complicated legacy of the film itself. Now Abraham's granddaughter, Alexandra Zapruder, is ready to tell the complete story for the first time. With the help of the Zapruder family's exclusive records, memories, and documents, Zapruder tracks the film's torturous journey through history, all while American society undergoes its own transformation, and a new media-driven consumer culture challenges traditional ideas of privacy, ownership, journalism, and knowledge. (from Amazon.com)



Under Lincoln's Hat
by James M. Cornelius and Carla Knorowski

What is the oldest artifact linked to Abraham Lincoln? What does a poem written when he was just a schoolboy say about his character? Taking its cue from The History of the World in 100 Objects, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum have selected 100 items from their extensive and rare collection that will give readers an intimate glimpse into the turning points of Lincoln’s life and presidency. From a page taken from his sum book, to the gloves Lincoln wore the night he was assassinated, these objects reveal a sense of the man and his times in a fresh and immediate way. Handsomely designed, with more than 125 photographs visually complimenting the text, Under Lincoln’s Hat will be a gorgeous book and a great gift for anyone interested in one of the most iconic figures in American history. (from Amazon.com)


Setting Free the Kites
by Alex George

"From the author of the "lyrical and compelling" (USA Today) novel A Good American comes a powerful story of two friends and the unintended consequences of friendship, loss, and hope. For Robert Carter, life in his coastal Maine hometown is comfortably predictable. But in 1976, on his first day of eighth grade, he meets Nathan Tilly, who changes everything. Nathan is confident, fearless, impetuous--and fascinated by kites and flying. Robert and Nathan's budding friendship is forged in the crucible of two family tragedies, and as the boys struggle to come to terms with loss, they take summer jobs at the local rundown amusement park. It's there that Nathan's boundless capacity for optimism threatens to overwhelm them both, and where they learn some harsh truths about family, desire, and revenge. Unforgettable and heart-breaking, Setting Free the Kites is a poignant and moving exploration of the pain, joy, and glories of young friendship"


The German Girl
by Armando Lucas Correa

In 1939, the transatlantic liner St. Louis set sail for Cuba with more than 900 passengers, most of them German Jewish refugees. In journalist Correa's first novel, among the passengers is 12-year-old Hannah Rosenthal, so much of a blue-eyed blonde that her photograph appears on the cover of The German Girl, a propaganda magazine. Also on board are Hannah's parents, her best friend, Leo, and Leo's father. When they reach Havana, only Hannah and her mother are allowed to disembark. Many years later, a package arrives at the home of 12-year-old Anna Rosen, who lives in New York with her mother. The contents-a copy of the magazine with Hannah's picture and a cache of photographic negatives- prove the catalyst for Anna's exploration of her own identity, and she and her mother travel to Cuba to meet Hannah, who is Anna's great-aunt. The novel loses momentum once Anna and her mother arrive in Havana, but the growing sense of peril that the Rosenthals experience in Berlin and the anxiety underlying the luxurious conditions on the St. Louis are conveyed with remarkable power.


The Ear of the Heart
by Mother Dolores Hart

Dolores Hart stunned Hollywood in 1963, when after ten highly successful feature films, she chose to enter a contemplative monastery. Now, fifty years later, Mother Dolores gives this fascinating account of her life, with co-author and life-long friend, Richard DeNeut. Dolores was a bright and beautiful college student when she made her film debut with Elvis Presley in Paramount's 1957 Loving You. She acted in nine more movies with other big stars such as Montgomery Clift, Anthony Quinn and Myrna Loy. She also gave a Tony-nominated performance in the Broadway play The Pleasure of His Company and appeared in two television shows, including The Virginian. A new chapter in her life occurred while playing Saint Clare in the movie Francis of Assisi, which was filmed on location in Italy. (from Amazon.com)

December 2016/January 2017

Behind Closed Doors
by B.A. Paris

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You'd like to get to know Grace better. But it's difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love. Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace's friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call -- so why doesn't Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim? And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows? The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?


Perfume River
by Robert Olen Butler

Robert Quinlan, a seventy-year-old historian teaching at Florida State University, must confront his crumbling marriage and the family he lost touch with over his political views during the Vietnam war. From one of America's most important writers, Perfume River is a masterful novel that examines family ties and the legacy of the Vietnam War through the portrait of a Robert's family. Profound and poignant, it is an examination of relationships, personal choice and how war resonates down the generations. It is the finest novel yet from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author.


The Book that Matters Most
by Ann Hood

An enthralling novel about love, loss, secrets, friendship, and the healing power of literature, by the bestselling author of The Knitting Circle. Ava's twenty-five-year marriage has fallen apart, and her two grown children are pursuing their own lives outside of the country. Ava joins a book group, not only for her love of reading but also out of sheer desperation for companionship. The group's goal throughout the year is for each member to present the book that matters most to them. Ava rediscovers a mysterious book from her childhood-one that helped her through the traumas of the untimely deaths of her sister and mother. Alternating with Ava's story is that of her troubled daughter Maggie, who, living in Paris, descends into a destructive relationship with an older man. Ava's mission to find that book and its enigmatic author takes her on a quest that unravels the secrets of her past and offers her and Maggie the chance to remake their lives.


The Wrong side of Goodbye
by Michael Connelly

Desperate to know whether he has an heir, a dying billionaire hires private investigator Harry Bosch to track down a Mexican girl from his past, who may or may not have had his baby. With the billionaire's fortune at stake, Harry realizes that his mission may be dangerous not only for himself, but also for the heir he seeks. As he uncovers the story--and discovers surprising links to his own past--he knows he cannot stop until he uncovers the truth.


Moonglow
by Michael Chabon

Moonglow unfolds as the deathbed confession of a man the narrator refers to only as “my grandfather.” It is a tale of madness, of war and adventure, of sex and marriage and desire, of existential doubt and model rocketry, of the shining aspirations and demonic underpinnings of American technological accomplishment at midcentury, and, above all, of the destructive impact—and the creative power—of keeping secrets and telling lies. It is a portrait of the difficult but passionate love between the narrator’s grandfather and his grandmother, an enigmatic woman broken by her experience growing up in war-torn France. It is also a tour de force of speculative autobiography in which Chabon devises and reveals a secret history of his own imagination.


Everything is Possible
by Jen Bricker

Jen Bricker was born without legs. Shocked and uncertain they could care for her, her biological parents gave her up for adoption. In her loving adoptive home, there was just one simple rule: "Never say 'can't.'" And pretty soon, there was nothing this small but mighty powerhouse set her sights on that she couldn't conquer: roller-skating, volleyball, power tumbling, and spinning from silk ribbons thirty feet in the air.


The Magnolia Story
by Chip & Joanna Gaines

The husband-and-wife team from HGTV's Fixer Upper share an in-depth portrait of their lives together and the renovations that have forged their partnership, offering behind-the-scenes stories about their courtship, early marriage and rise as entrepreneurial celebrities. 

October/November 2016

Sam Phillips: the man who invented rock 'n' roll
by Peter Guralnick

The author of Last Train to Memphis brings us the life of Sam Phillips, the visionary genius who singlehandedly steered the revolutionary path of Sun Records. The music that Phillips shaped in his tiny Memphis studio, with artists as diverse as Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ike Turner, and Johnny Cash, introduced a sound that had never been heard before. He brought forth a singular mix of black and white voices unabashedly proclaiming the primacy of the American vernacular tradition while at the same time declaring, once and for all, a new, integrated musical world. With extensive interviews and firsthand personal observations extending over the author's 25-year acquaintance with Phillips, along with wide-ranging interviews with nearly all the legendary Sun Records artists, this book gives us an ardent, intimate, and unrestrained portrait of an American original as compelling in his own right as Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, and Thomas Edison.


Killing the Rising Sun
by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard

A latest entry in the best-selling series dramatically portrays the events of World War II in 1944, when escalating Pacific battles between the forces of General Douglas MacArthur and the Japanese army lead to the development of humanity's deadliest weapon and newly appointed President Truman's impossible choice.



Winter Storms
by Elin Hilderbrand

Margaret Quinn is finally marrying the charming Dr. Drake Carroll, and all three of her children will reconvene on Nantucket for the event. Her oldest, Kevin, is struggling for his place in the world, especially now that he and his girlfriend have a baby girl. His sister, Ava, is badly managing two boyfriends and swears off men until Christmas, only to meet a handsome stranger while on vacation in Anguila. Patrick is finally out of prison, having served his sentence for insider trading, but the shine on his charmed life is dulled by his wife's addiction to pain pills and the fact that her dealer is Kevin's toxic ex-wife. Meanwhile, the Quinn patriarch, Kelley, has defeated prostate cancer with his formerly estranged second wife, Mitzi, by his side, though a celebration just doesn't feel right without their son, Bart, still MIA in Afghanistan. There's a lot going on in this dishy and readable conclusion to the Winter Street trilogy, with some luxurious details adding a touch of glamour to the drama.- 2016 Booklist Reviews


Small Great Things
by Jodi Picoult

A woman and her husband admitted to a hospital to have a baby requests that their nurse be reassigned - they are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is black, to touch their baby. The hospital complies, but the baby later goes into cardiac distress when Ruth is on duty. She hesitates before rushing in to perform CPR. When her indecision ends in tragedy, Ruth finds herself on trial, represented by a white public defender who warns against bringing race into a courtroom. As the two come to developa truer understanding of each other's lives, they begin to doubt the beliefs they each hold most dear.


The Christmas Angel Project
by Melody Carlson

Five women from different walks of life have become close friends through their book club--enjoying one another's company even more than they enjoy the books. So when the leader of the book club unexpectedly passes away on the cusp of the Christmas season, the four remaining friends are stunned. They relied on Abby for inspiration and motivation. She was the glue that held them together, and they're sure that without her the group can't continue. When the group gathers "one last time" to open a bag Abby's husband gives them, they find Abby had made each of them an angel ornament for Christmas, crafted especially for each woman and accompanied by a sweet and personal note. Inspired by their beloved friend, together Cassidy, Louisa, Grace, and Belinda decide to commit themselves to becoming Christmas Angels to others in need. Each woman will use her life situation and talents to reach out and help others in her own unique way--little knowing that her own life and her relationships will be changed forever. Fan favorite Melody Carlson is back with another touching Christmas story sure to grip readers' hearts and perhaps inspire them to become Christmas Angels themselves.


Alton Brown: EveryDayCook
by Alton Brown

 My name is Alton Brown, and I wrote this book. It’s my first in a few years because I’ve been a little busy with TV stuff and interwebs stuff and live stage show stuff. Sure, I’ve been cooking, but it’s been mostly to feed myself and people in my immediate vicinity—which is really what a cook is supposed to do, right? Well, one day I was sitting around trying to organize my recipes, and I realized that I should put them into a personal collection. One thing led to another, and here’s EveryDayCook. There’s still plenty of science and hopefully some humor in here (my agent says that’s my “wheelhouse”), but unlike in my other books, a lot of attention went into the photos, which were all taken on my iPhone (take that, Instagram) and are suitable for framing. As for the recipes, which are arranged by time of day, they’re pretty darned tasty.


The Other Einstein
by Marie Benedict

Benedict's novel, her first, of love, ambition, disappointment, and betrayal begins in 1896 with a young Serbian woman enrolling in the Swiss Federal Polytechnic to study physics. Though possessed of exceptional intellect and talent, Mileva is not easily accepted by her male classmates and professors, except for one outspoken student. Their classroom relationship leads to much more, first sharing music, then mutual scientific theorizing, on to a sexual relationship that yields a child and marriage. The remarkable hook here is that Mileva's love interest is Albert Einstein. The sweetness of the courtship and the bitterness of his betrayal, both scientific-the source of the theory of relativity might have been her rather than him-and personal, with his unfaithfulness leading to divorce, provide the tension. Benedict insightfully portrays Mileva, Albert, and other European intellectuals of the time and dramatizes the difficulties a woman faced when attempting to enter that world. She also vividly captures the atmosphere, the cafes, the boardinghouse, and the customs of Mileva's world, making for an engaging and thought-provoking fictional telling of the poignant story of an overshadowed woman scientist.- 2014 Booklist Reviews.

August/September 2016

The City Baker's Guide to Country Living
by Louise Miller

When Olivia Rawlings—pastry chef extraordinaire for an exclusive Boston dinner club—sets not just her flambéed dessert but the entire building alight, she escapes to the most comforting place she can think of—the idyllic town of Guthrie, Vermont, home of Bag Balm, the country’s longest-running contra dance, and her best friend Hannah. But the getaway turns into something more lasting when Margaret Hurley, the cantankerous, sweater-set-wearing owner of the Sugar Maple Inn, offers Livvy a job. Broke and knowing that her days at the club are numbered, Livvy accepts. Livvy moves with her larger-than-life, uberenthusiastic dog, Salty, into a sugarhouse on the inn’s property and begins creating her mouthwatering desserts for the residents of Guthrie. She soon uncovers the real reason she has been hired—to help Margaret reclaim the inn’s blue ribbon status at the annual county fair apple pie contest. With the joys of a fragrant kitchen, the sound of banjos and fiddles being tuned in a barn, and the crisp scent of the orchard just outside the front door, Livvy soon finds herself immersed in small town life. And when she meets Martin McCracken, the Guthrie native who has returned from Seattle to tend his ailing father, Livvy  comes to understand that she may not be as alone in this world as she once thought. But then another new arrival takes the community by surprise, and Livvy must decide whether to do what she does best and flee—or stay and finally discover what it means to belong. Olivia Rawlings may finally find out that the life you want may not be the one you expected—it could be even better.



Truly, Madly, Guilty
by Liane Moriarty

Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It's just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong? In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty turns her unique, razor-sharp eye towards three seemingly happy families. Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there's anything they can count on, it's each other. Clementine and Erika are each other's oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don't hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid's larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite. Two months later, it won't stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can't stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn't gone? In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty takes on the foundations our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don't say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the most innocent of moments that can do the greatest harm.


Rosalia's Bittersweet Pastry Shop
by Rosanna Chiofalo

Food writer Claudia Lombardo has sampled exquisite dishes by the world's greatest chefs. But when she hears about the remarkable desserts that are created in a pastry shop operated out of a convent in the sleepy Italian hillside town of Santa Lucia del Mela, she wants to write a book featuring the sweets and the story behind their creator-Sorella Agata. But the convent's most famous dessert-a Cassata cake-is what really intrigues Claudia. Everyone who samples the cake agrees it is like none other they've tasted. Yet no one can figure out what makes the Cassata so incredibly delicious. Though Sorella Agata insists there is no secret ingredient, Claudia is determined to learn the truth behind the mysterious cake. As she samples each delectable treat-marzipan fruit, rich cream puffs, and decadent cakes-Sorella Agata relates the pastry shop's history and tells of the young woman, Rosalia, who inspired her. Kidnapped and separated from her family, Rosalia is subjected to a terrible ordeal-until the nuns find her. As she heals, she learns the art of pastry making, and soon she even finds love with Antonio-an apprentice in the pastry shop. But her heart still aches for the family she lost. And Rosalia knows she will not be whole again until she is reunited with them.  As Claudia unravels the secret of the Cassata cake, she discovers a deeper, fascinating story-one that affirms food can do more than nourish the body...it can stir memories, heal the deepest heartaches, and even act as a bridge to those we love, no matter how far apart.



Charcoal Joe
by Walter Mosley

Picking up where his last adventures in Rose Gold left off in L.A. in the late 1960s, Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins finds his life in transition. He’s ready—finally—to propose to his girlfriend, Bonnie Shay, and start a life together. And he’s taken the money he got from the Rose Gold case and, together with two partners, Saul Lynx and Tinsford “Whisper” Natly, has started a new detective agency. But, inevitably, a case gets in the way: Easy’s friend Mouse introduces him to Rufus Tyler, a very old man everyone calls Charcoal Joe. Joe’s friend’s son, Seymour (young, bright, top of his class in physics at Stanford), has been arrested and charged with the murder of a white man from Redondo Beach. Joe tells Easy he will pay and pay well to see this young man exonerated, but seeing as how Seymour literally was found standing over the man’s dead body at his cabin home, and considering the racially charged motives seemingly behind the murder, that might prove to be a tall order. Between his new company, a heart that should be broken but is not, a whole raft of new bad guys on his tail, and a bad odor that surrounds Charcoal Joe, Easy has his hands full, his horizons askew, and his life in shambles around his feet.


The Trouble with Goats and Sheep
by J Cannon

England, 1976. Mrs. Creasy is missing and the Avenue is alive with whispers. The neighbors blame her sudden disappearance on the heat wave, but ten-year-olds Grace and Tilly aren’t convinced. As the summer shimmers endlessly on, the girls decide to take matters into their own hands. Inspired by the local vicar, they go looking for God—they believe that if they find Him they might also find Mrs. Creasy and bring her home. Spunky, spirited Grace and quiet, thoughtful Tilly go door to door in search of clues. The cul-de-sac starts to give up its secrets, and the amateur detectives uncover much more than ever imagined. As they try to make sense of what they’ve seen and heard, a complicated history of deception begins to emerge. Everyone on the Avenue has something to hide, a reason for not fitting in. In the suffocating heat of the summer, the ability to guard these differences becomes impossible. Along with the parched lawns and the melting pavement, the lives of all the neighbors begin to unravel. What the girls don’t realize is that the lies told to conceal what happened one fateful day about a decade ago are the same ones Mrs. Creasy was beginning to peel back just before she disappeared.



The Woman in Cabin 10
by Ruth Ware

In this tightly wound, enthralling story reminiscent of Agatha Christie's works, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo's stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for--and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo's desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong.


The Underground Railroad
by Colson Whitehead

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. Their first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels.


Florence Foster Jenkins
by Nicholas Martin

'People may say that I couldn't sing. But no one can say that I didn't sing.' Despite lacking pitch, rhythm or tone, Florence Foster Jenkins became one of America's best-known sopranos, celebrated for her unique recordings and her sell-out concert at Carnegie Hall. In Florence Foster Jenkins, Nicholas Martin and Jasper Rees tell her extraordinary story, which inspired the official film starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, and directed by Stephen Frears. Born in 1868 to wealthy Pennsylvanian parents, Florence was a talented young pianist but her life was thrown into turmoil when she eloped with Frank Jenkins, a man twice her age. The marriage proved a disaster and, in order to survive, Florence was forced to abandon her dreams of a musical career and teach the piano. Then her father died in 1909 and, newly installed in New York, she used a considerable inheritance to fund her passion. She set up a prestigious amateur music club and began staging operas. Aided by her English common-law husband, St Clair Bayfield, she worked tirelessly to support the city's musical life. Many young singers owed their start to Florence, but she too yearned to perform and began giving regular recitals that quickly attracted a cult following. And yet nothing could prepare the world for the astonishing climax of her career when, at the age of seventy-six, she performed at the most hallowed concert hall in America.

July 2016

The Memory of Lemon
by Judith Fertig

The author of The Cake Therapist returns with another sweet and emotional tale featuring Neely, the baker with a knack for finding exactly the right flavor for any occasion... A crisp tang of citrus that is at once poignant and familiar, sharpening the senses and opening the mind to possibilities once known and long forgotten... Claire "Neely" Davis is no ordinary pastry chef. Her flavor combinations aren't just a product of a well-honed palate: she can "taste" people's emotions, sensing the ingredients that will touch her customers' souls. Her gift has never failed her-until she meets a free-spirited bride-to-be and her overbearing society mother. The two are unable to agree on a single wedding detail, and their bickering leaves Neely's intuition frustratingly silent-right when she needs it most. Between trying to navigate a divorce, explore a new relationship, and handle the reappearance of her long-absent father, Neely is struggling to make sense of her own conflicting emotions, much less those of her hard-to-please bride. But as she embarks on a flavorful quest to craft the perfect wedding celebration, she'll uncover a family history that sheds light on both the missing ingredients and her own problems-and illustrates how the sweet and sour in life often combine to make the most delicious memories.


Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither
by Sara Baume

A debut novel already praised as "unbearably poignant and beautifully told" (Eimear McBride) this captivating story follows - over the course of four seasons - a misfit man who adopts a misfit dog. It is springtime, and two outcasts - a man ignored,even shunned by his village, and the one-eyed dog he takes into his quiet, tightly shuttered life - find each other, by accident or fate, and forge an unlikely connection. As their friendship grows, their small, seaside town suddenly takes note of them,falsely perceiving menace where there is only mishap; the unlikely duo must take to the road. Gorgeously written in poetic and mesmerizing prose, Spill Simmer Falter Wither has already garnered wild support in its native Ireland, where the Irish Times pointed to Baume's "astonishing power with language" and praised it as "a novel bursting with brio, braggadocio and bite." It is also a moving depiction of how - over the four seasons echoed in the title - a relationship between fellow damaged creatures can bring them both comfort. One of those rare stories that utterly, completely imagines its way into a life most of us would never see, it transforms us not only in our understanding of the world, but also of ourselves.


The Road to Little Dribbling
by Bill Bryson

"Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to discover and celebrate that green and pleasant land... Now he has traveled about Britain again, by bus and train and rental car and on foot, to see what has changed-and what hasn't. Following (but not too closely) a route he dubs the Bryson Line, from Bognor Regis in the south to Cape Wrath in the north, by way of places few travelers ever get to at all, Bryson rediscovers the wondrously beautiful, magnificently eccentric, endearingly singular country that he both celebrates and, when called for, twits."--Amazon.com


Britt-Marie was Here
by Fredrik Backman

Walking away from her loveless marriage and taking a job in a derelict, financially devastated town, 63-year-old Britt-Marie uses her fierce organizational skills to become a local soccer coach to a group of lost children, becoming a vital community member along the way.






Hamilton: the Revolution
by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Offers a behind-the-scenes view of Hamilton the musical, detailing the many dramatic episodes in Alexander Hamilton's life.











The Fireman
by Joe Hill

When a bizarre virulent plague breaks out in the world's major cities, causing victims to spontaneously combust, a dedicated nurse resolves to survive until her baby is born and receives protection from a mysterious infected man who uses his fire symptoms to help others.






Bill O'Reilly's Legends & Lies: The Patriots
by David Fisher

A companion to Bill O'Reilly's docudrama by the same name shares insights into how the American Revolution was a civil war, exploring such events as the child's murder that led to the Boston Massacre, the return of Ben Franklin from the Continental Army's first victory under Washington and the "Swamp Fox" guerrilla campaign.


Rise of the Rocket Girls
by Nathalia Holt

Traces the pivotal achievements of the elite female science recruits at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where in the mid-20th century they transformed rocket design and enabled the creations of the first American satellites.