February 28, 2014


 
The Museum of Extraordinary Things
by Alice Hoffman

Mesmerizing and illuminating, Alice Hoffman's "The Museum of Extraordinary Things" is the story of an electric and impassioned love between two vastly different souls in New York during the volatile first decades of the twentieth century. Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the sinister impresario behind The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a Coney Island boardwalk freak show that thrills the masses. An exceptional swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid in her father's "museum," alongside performers like the Wolfman, the Butterfly Girl, and a one-hundred-year-old turtle. One night Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man taking pictures of moonlit trees in the woods off the Hudson River. The dashing photographer is Eddie Cohen, a Russian immigrant who has run away from his father's Lower East Side Orthodox community and his job as a tailor's apprentice. When Eddie photographs the devastation on the streets of New York following the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, he becomes embroiled in the suspicious mystery behind a young woman's disappearance and ignites the heart of Coralie. With its colorful crowds of bootleggers, heiresses, thugs, and idealists, New York itself becomes a riveting character as Hoffman weaves her trademark magic, romance, and masterful storytelling to unite Coralie and Eddie in a sizzling, tender, and moving story of young love in tumultuous times. "The Museum of Extraordinary Things" is Alice Hoffman at her most spellbinding.

 
Teatime for the Firefly
by Shona Patel

Layla Roy has defied the fates. Despite being born under an inauspicious horoscope, she is raised to be educated and independent by her eccentric grandfather, Dadamoshai. And, by cleverly manipulating the hand fortune has dealt her, she has even found love with Manik Deb--a man betrothed to another. All were minor miracles in India that spring of 1943, when young women's lives were predetermined--if not by the stars, then by centuries of family tradition and social order. Layla's life as a newly married woman takes her away from home and into the jungles of Assam, where the world's finest tea thrives on plantations run by native labor and British efficiency. Fascinated by this culture of whiskey-soaked expats who seem fazed by neither earthquakes nor man-eating leopards, she struggles to find her place among the prickly English wives with whom she is expected to socialize, and the peculiar servants she now finds under her charge. But navigating the tea-garden set will hardly be her biggest challenge. Layla's remote home is not safe from the powerful changes sweeping India on the heels of the Second World War. Their colonial society is at a tipping point, and Layla and Manik find themselves caught in a perilous racial divide that threatens their very lives.

 
The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry that Built America's First Subway
by Doug Most

In the late nineteenth century, as cities like Boston and New York grew more congested, the streets became clogged with plodding, horse-drawn carts. When the great blizzard of 1888 crippled the entire northeast, a solution had to be found. Two brothers from one of the nation's great families--Henry Melville Whitney of Boston and William Collins Whitney of New York--pursued the dream of his city digging America's first subway, and the great race was on. The competition between Boston and New York played out in an era not unlike our own, one of economic upheaval, life-changing innovations, class warfare, bitter political tensions, and the question of America's place in the world. The Race Underground is peopled with the famous, like Boss Tweed, Grover Cleveland and Thomas Edison, and the not-so-famous, from brilliant engineers to the countless "sandhogs" who shoveled, hoisted?and blasted their way into the earth's crust, sometimes losing their lives in the construction of?the tunnels. Doug Most chronicles the science of the subway, looks at the centuries of?fears people overcame about traveling underground and tells a story as exciting as any ever ripped from the pages of U.S. history. The Race Underground is a great American saga of two rival American cities, their rich, powerful and sometimes corrupt interests, and an invention that changed the lives of millions.

   
Andrew's Brain 
by E.L. Doctorow

This brilliant new novel by an American master, the author of" Ragtime, The Book of Daniel, Billy Bathgate, "and" The March, "takes us on a radical trip into the mind of a man who, more than once in his life, has been the inadvertent agent of disaster. Speaking from an unknown place and to an unknown interlocutor, Andrew is thinking, Andrew is talking, Andrew is telling the story of his life, his loves, and the tragedies that have led him to this place and point in time. And as he confesses, peeling back the layers of his strange story, we are led to question what we know about truth and memory, brain and mind, personality and fate, about one another and ourselves. Written with psychological depth and great lyrical precision, this suspenseful and groundbreaking novel delivers a voice for our times--funny, probing, skeptical, mischievous, profound. "Andrew's Brain" is a surprising turn and a singular achievement in the canon of a writer whose prose has the power to create its own landscape, and whose great topic, in the words of Don DeLillo, is "the reach of American possibility, in which plain lives take on the cadences of history."

Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War
by Robert M. Gates

From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vividly written account of his experience serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Before Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House in 2006, he thought he'd left Washington politics behind: after working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happy in his role as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty. Now, in this unsparing memoir, meticulously fair in its assessments, he takes us behind the scenes of his nearly five years as a secretary at war: the battles with Congress, the two presidents he served, the military itself, and the vast Pentagon bureaucracy; his efforts to help Bush turn the tide in Iraq; his role as a guiding, and often dissenting, voice for Obama; the ardent devotion to and love for American soldiers--his "heroes"--he developed on the job. In relating his personal journey as secretary, Gates draws us into the innermost sanctums of government and military power during the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, illuminating iconic figures, vital negotiations, and critical situations in revealing, intimate detail. Offering unvarnished appraisals of Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Presidents Bush and Obama among other key players, Gates exposes the full spectrum of behind-closed-doors politicking within both the Bush and Obama administrations. He discusses the great controversies of his tenure--surges in both Iraq and Afghanistan, how to deal with Iran and Syria, "Don't Ask Don't Tell," Guantanamo Bay, WikiLeaks--as they played out behind the television cameras. He brings to life the Situation Room during the Bin Laden raid. And, searingly, he shows how congressional debate and action or inaction on everything from equipment budgeting to troop withdrawals was often motivated, to his increasing despair and anger, more by party politics and media impact than by members' desires to protect our soldiers and ensure their success. However embroiled he became in the trials of Washington, Gates makes clear that his heart was always in the most important theater of his tenure as secretary: the front lines. We journey with him to both war zones as he meets with active-duty troops and their commanders, awed by their courage, and also witness him greet coffin after flag-draped coffin returned to U.S. soil, heartbreakingly aware that he signed every deployment order. In frank and poignant vignettes, Gates conveys the human cost of war, and his admiration for those brave enough to undertake it when necessary. "Duty" tells a powerful and deeply personal story that allows us an unprecedented look at two administrations and the wars that have defined them.

On Such A Full Sea 
by Chang-Rae Lee

In a future where America has been in a long-decline, self-contained labor settlements replace abandoned urban neighborhoods, containing contented workers who devote their lives to the cultivation of pristine produce and seafood for the wealthy residents of distant elite walled villages. Fan, a Chinese descendant, fish-tank diver, and resident of the B-Mor labor settlement, shocks her community by leaving the safety of the walls to search for the man she loves after he disappears. 

Saints of the Shadow Bible
by Ian Rankin

Rebus and Malcolm Fox go head-to-head when a 30-year-old murder investigation resurfaces, forcing Rebus to confront crimes of the past Rebus is back on the force, albeit with a demotion and a chip on his shoulder. He is investigating a car accident when news arrives that a case from 30 years ago is being reopened. Rebuss team from those days is suspected of helping a murderer escape justice to further their own ends. Malcolm Fox, in what will be his last case as an internal affairs cop, is tasked with finding out the truth. Past and present are about to collide in shocking and murderous fashion. What does Rebus have to hide? And whose side is he really on? His colleagues back then called themselves "The Saints," and swore a bond on something called the Shadow Bible. But times have changed and the crimes of the past may not stay hidden much longer -- and may also play a role in the present, as Scotland gears up for a referendum on independence. Allegiances are being formed, enemies made, and huge questions asked. Who are the saints and who the sinners? And can the one ever become the other?

North of Boston
by Elisabeth Elo

Dennis Lehane meets Smilla's Sense of Snow : a big discovery in the world of female suspense, about an edgy young woman with the rare ability to withstand extreme conditions Elisabeth Elo's debut novel introduces Pirio Kasparov, a Boston-bred tough-talking girl with an acerbic wit and a moral compass that points due north. When the fishing boat Pirio is on is rammed by a freighter, she finds herself abandoned in the North Atlantic. Somehow, she survives nearly four hours in the water before being rescued by the Coast Guard. But the boat's owner and her professional fisherman friend, Ned, is not so lucky. Compelled to look after Noah, the son of the late Ned and her alcoholic prep school friend, Thomasina, Pirio can't shake the lurking suspicion that the boat's sinking#151;and Ned's death#151;was no accident. It's a suspicion seconded by her deeply cynical, autocratic Russian father, who tells her that nothing is ever what it seems. Then the navy reaches out to her to participate in research on human survival in dangerously cold temperatures. With the help of a curious journalist named Russell Parnell, Pirio begins unraveling a lethal plot involving the glacial whaling grounds off Baffin Island. In a narrow inlet in the arctic tundra, Pirio confronts her ultimate challenge: to trust herself. A gripping literary thriller, North of Boston combines the atmospheric chills of Jussi Adler-Olsen with the gritty mystery of Laura Lippman. And Pirio Kasparov is a gutsy, compellingly damaged heroine with many adventures ahead.

An Officer and a Spy
by Robert Harris

Robert Harris returns to the thrilling historical fiction he has so brilliantly made his own. This is the story of the infamous Dreyfus affair told as a chillingly dark, hard-edged novel of conspiracy and espionage. Paris in 1895. Alfred Dreyfus, a young Jewish officer, has just been convicted of treason, sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil's Island, and stripped of his rank in front of a baying crowd of twenty-thousand. Among the witnesses to his humiliation is Georges Picquart, the ambitious, intellectual, recently promoted head of the counterespionage agency that "proved" Dreyfus had passed secrets to the Germans. At first, Picquart firmly believes in Dreyfus's guilt. But it is not long after Dreyfus is delivered to his desolate prison that Picquart stumbles on information that leads him to suspect that there is still a spy at large in the French military. As evidence of the most malignant deceit mounts and spirals inexorably toward the uppermost levels of government, Picquart is compelled to question not only the case against Dreyfus but also his most deeply held beliefs about his country, and about himself. Bringing to life the scandal that mesmerized the world at the turn of the twentieth century, Robert Harris tells a tale of uncanny timeliness--a witch hunt, secret tribunals, out-of-control intelligence agencies, the fate of a whistle-blower--richly dramatized with the singular storytelling mastery that has marked all of his internationally best-selling novels.   



The Book of Jonah
by Joshua Max Feldman
A major literary debut, an epic tale of love, failure, and unexpected faith set in New York, Amsterdam, and Las Vegas The modern-day Jonah at the center of Joshua Max Feldman's brilliantly conceived retelling of the book of Jonah is a young Manhattan lawyer named Jonah Jacobstein. He's a lucky man: healthy and handsome, with two beautiful women ready to spend the rest of their lives with him and an enormously successful career that gets more promising by the minute. He's celebrating a deal that will surely make him partner when a bizarre, unexpected biblical vision at a party changes everything. Hard as he tries to forget what he saw, this disturbing sign is only the first of many Jonah will witness, and before long his life is unrecognizable. Though this perhaps divine intervention will be responsible for more than one irreversible loss in Jonah's life, it will also cross his path with that of Judith Bulbrook, an intense, breathtakingly intelligent woman who's no stranger to loss herself. As this funny and bold novel moves to Amsterdam and then Las Vegas, Feldman examines the way we live now while asking an age-old question: How do you know if you're chosen?


The Wedding Gift
by Marlen Suyapa Bodden
A captivating and unforgettable historical novel and underground national bestseller that explores the powerful bonds between a slave girl, her mother, the slave master's wife, and her daughter. When Cornelius Allen gives his daughter Clarissa's hand in marriage, he presents her with a wedding gift: the young slave she grew up with, Sarah. Sarah is also Allen's daughter and Clarissa's sister, a product of his longtime relationship with his house slave, Emmeline. When Clarissa's husband suspects that their newborn son is illegitimate, Clarissa and Sarah are sent back to her parents, Cornelius and Theodora, in shame, setting in motion a series of events that will destroy this once powerful family. Told through alternating viewpoints of Sarah and Theodora Allen, Cornelius' wife, The Wedding Gift, a stunning novel that shows where the complicated and compelling bonds and relationships between women explored in novels like The Help and The Secret Life of Bees began. It is an intimate portrait that shows where this particular American story and dynamic all started and will leave readers breathless.



Dollface
by Renee Rosen
Vera Abramowitz leaves her childhood behind for the glamour of Chicago, and soon she is the ultimate flapper with two boyfriends, one a nightclub owner and the other a gambler, but as she gains entrance into the world of bootleg bourbon, jazz music and money to burn, she discovers that her boyfriends are from rival gangs involved in Chicago's infamous Beer Wars, the battle between opposing organized crime gangs.

The Secret of Magic
by Deborah Johnson


Working for a prominent member of the NAACP in 1946 when a request comes from her favorite childhood author to investigate the murder of a black war hero, Regina Robichard travels to Mississippi, where she navigates the muddy waters of racism, relationships, and her own tragic past.

January 17, 2014


An Old Betrayal
by Charles Finch


In the seventh book of Finch's bestselling series of Victorian mysteries, a case of mistaken identity has Charles Lenox playing for his highest stakes yet: the safety of Queen Victoria herself. On a spring morning in London, 1875, Charles Lenox agrees to take time away from his busy schedule as a Member of Parliament to meet an old protégé's client at Charing Cross. But when their cryptic encounter seems to lead, days later, to the murder of an innocuous country squire, this fast favor draws Lenox inexorably back into his old profession. Soon he realizes that, far from concluding the murderer's business, this body is only the first step in a cruel plan, many years in the plotting. Where will he strike next? The answer, Lenox learns with slowly dawning horror, may be at the very heart of England's monarchy.  Ranging from the slums of London to the city's corridors of power, the newest Charles Lenox novel bears all of this series' customary wit, charm, and trickery--a compulsive escape to a different time"--



The Death of Santini
by Pat Conroy


In this powerful and intimate memoir, the beloved bestselling author of "The Prince of Tides" and his father, the inspiration for "The Great Santini," find some common ground at long last. Pat Conroy's father, Donald Patrick Conroy, was a towering figure in his son's life. The Marine Corps fighter pilot was often brutal, cruel, and violent; as Pat says, "I hated my father long before I knew there was an English word for 'hate.'" As the oldest of seven children who were dragged from military base to military base across the South, Pat bore witness to the toll his father's behavior took on his siblings, and especially on his mother, Peg. She was Pat's lifeline to a better world--that of books and culture. But eventually, despite repeated confrontations with his father, Pat managed to claw his way toward a life he could have only imagined as a child. Pat's great success as a writer has always been intimately linked with the exploration of his family history. While the publication of "The Great Santini" brought Pat much acclaim, the rift it caused with his father brought even more attention. Their long-simmering conflict burst into the open, fracturing an already battered family. But as Pat tenderly chronicles here, even the oldest of wounds can heal. In the final years of Don Conroy's life, he and his son reached a rapprochement of sorts. Quite unexpectedly, the Santini who had freely doled out physical abuse to his wife and children refocused his ire on those who had turned on Pat over the years. He defended his son's honor. "The Death of Santini" is at once a heart-wrenching account of personal and family struggle and a poignant lesson in how the ties of blood can both strangle and offer succor. It is an act of reckoning, an exorcism of demons, but one whose ultimate conclusion is that love can soften even the meanest of men, lending significance to one of the most-often quoted lines from Pat's bestselling novel "The Prince of Tides" "In families there are no crimes beyond forgiveness."



The Lost Girls of Rome
by Donato Carrisi


A grieving young widow, seeking answers to her husbands death, becomes entangled in an investigation steeped in the darkest mysteries of Rome. Sandra Vega, a forensic analyst with the Roman police department, mourns deeply for a marriage that ended too soon. A few months ago, in the dead of night, her husband, an up-and-coming journalist, plunged to his death at the top of a high-rise construction site. The police ruled it an accident. Sanda is convinced it was anything but. Launching her own inquiries, Sanda finds herself on a dangerous trail, working the same case that she is convinced led to her husbands murder. An investigation which is deeply entwined with a series of disappearances that has swept the city, and brings Sandra ever closer to a centuries-old secret society that will do anything to stay in the shadows.



King and Maxwell
by David Baldacci


David Baldacci brings back Sean King and Michelle Maxwell--former Secret Service agents turned private investigators--in their most surprising, personal, and dangerous case ever . . . KING AND MAXWELL It seems at first like a simple, tragic story. Tyler Wingo, a teenage boy, learns the awful news that his father, a soldier, was killed in action in Afghanistan. Then the extraordinary happens: Tyler receives a communication from his father . . . after his supposed death. Tyler hires Sean and Michelle to solve the mystery surrounding his father. But their investigation quickly leads to deeper, more troubling questions. Could Tyler's father really still be alive? What was his true mission? Could Tyler be the next target? Sean and Michelle soon realize that they've stumbled on to something bigger and more treacherous than anyone could have imagined. And as their hunt for the truth leads them relentlessly to the highest levels of power and to uncovering the most clandestine of secrets, Sean and Michelle are determined to help and protect Tyler--though they may pay for it with their lives.


 
Vintage Attraction
by Charles Blackstone


Before Peter Hapworth meets Izzy, he knows the difference between Pinot Noir and peanut butter, but that's about it. Lonely and frustrated with his academic career--as well as with dating--his life takes a sudden turn one night when he turns on the television. He's transfixed by the woman staring back at him, a glass of wine swirling delicately in her hand--Isabelle Conway, one of the preeminent sommeliers in the world. There's something about her. Somehow, he feels like he already knows her. On a whim, he pitches himself as a guest on her popular TV show, and the two embark on a whirlwind courtship. But relationships require a delicate balance of nurturing and belief, much like winemaking. Hapworth and Izzy must navigate the complex mysteries of wine--and the heart--from glamorous social events and domestic travails in Chicago to the vineyards and rocky bluffs of Santorini in Greece. Vintage Attraction is a rich and insightful novel by an exciting, young literary talent.





Invention of Wings
by Sue Monk Kidd


The story follows Hetty "Handful" Grimke, a Charleston slave, and Sarah, the daughter of the wealthy Grimke family. The novel begins on Sarah's eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership over Handful, who is to be her handmaid and follows the next thirty-five years of their lives.




The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams
by Ben Bradlee, Jr.
At long last, the epic biography Ted Williams deserves--and that his fans have been waiting for. Williams was the best hitter in baseball history. His batting average of .406 in 1941 has not been topped since, and no player who has hit more than 500 home runs has a higher career batting average. Those totals would have been even higher if Williams had not left baseball for nearly five years in the prime of his career to serve as a Marine pilot in WWII and Korea. He hit home runs farther than any player before him--and traveled a long way himself, as Ben Bradlee, Jr.'s grand biography reveals. Born in 1918 in San Diego, Ted would spend most of his life disguising his Mexican heritage. During his 22 years with the Boston Red Sox, Williams electrified crowds across America--and shocked them, too: His notorious clashes with the press and fans threatened his reputation. Yet while he was a God in the batter's box, he was profoundly human once he stepped away from the plate. His ferocity came to define his troubled domestic life. While baseball might have been straightforward for Ted Williams, life was not. THE KID is biography of the highest literary order, a thrilling and honest account of a legend in all his glory and human complexity. In his final at-bat, Williams hit a home run. Bradlee's marvelous book clears the fences, too.





Belle Cora
by Phillip Margulies


In 1838, Arabella Godwin and her brother are orphaned and shipped to their aunt's farm where Bella finds suffering at the hands of a rival cousin before working as a prostitute and transforming herself repeatedly to win the love and life she desires.





Twelve Years A Slave
by Soloman Northup 

Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup is a memoir of a black man who was born free in New York state but kidnapped, sold into slavery and kept in bondage for 12 years in Louisiana before the American Civil War. He provided details of slave markets in Washington, DC, as well as describing at length cotton cultivation on major plantations in Louisiana.


George Washington's Secret Six:
The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution
by Brian Kilmeade

Portrays the intelligence agents known as George Washington's secret six, who were recruited by George Washington to gather information secretly and thus contributed significantly to the general's successes in the Revolutionary War. 

December 4, 2013


Bruce Springsteen
In Focus 1980-2012
by Debra L. Rothenberg

SELECTED BY THE WALL STREET JOURNAL AS ONE OF THE TOP FIVE PHOTO BOOKS FOR FALL 2013. A unique photographic tribute to Bruce Springsteen, the book chronicles the intersection of a musical icon and a photographer's power to capture a man, a musician and an inspiration to millions at key moments in his career. Through iconic photos, testimonials from fans, and quotes from musicians, we follow Bruce's career from the small clubs at the Jersey Shore to stadiums around the world, and gain an understanding of what sets Bruce Springsteen apart from other superstars-his connection to his fans. From Debra Rothenberg's first photo of Bruce in 1980, taken as a college student, to stints as a staff photographer for a newspaper at the Jersey Shore and then as concert photographer for The New York Daily News, Debra chronicles her photographic journey through Bruce's music and tours -- a journey that shaped her own life and career in the process. Her images have been exhibited in galleries worldwide and published in top magazines, including Rolling Stone, People, Us Weekly, Q Magazine, Time and Newsweek. A wall of her photos resides at the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey, where the launch party for this book was held on October 12, 2013. An award-winning photographer, she currently resides in New York City.


Stella Bain
by Anita Shreve

An epic story, set against the backdrop of World War I, from bestselling author Anita Shreve. When an American woman, Stella Bain, is found suffering from severe shell shock in an exclusive garden in London, surgeon August Bridge and his wife selflessly agree to take her in. A gesture of goodwill turns into something more as Bridge quickly develops a clinical interest in his houseguest. Stella had been working as a nurse's aide near the front, but she can't remember anything prior to four months earlier when she was found wounded on a French battlefield. In a narrative that takes us from London to America and back again, Shreve has created an engrossing and wrenching tale about love and the meaning of memory, set against the haunting backdrop of a war that destroyed an entire generation.

Tip and The Gipper
by Chris Matthews
 
"TIP AND THE GIPPER" is a magnificent personal history of a time when two great political opponents served together for the benefit of the country. Chris Matthews was an eyewitness to this story as a top aide to Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill, who waged a principled war of political ideals with President Reagan from 1980 to 1986. Together, the two men forged compromises that shaped America's future and became one of history's most celebrated political pairings--the epitome of how ideological opposites can get things done. When Ronald Reagan was elected to the presidency in a landslide victory over Jimmy Carter (for whom Matthews had worked as a speechwriter), Speaker O'Neill realized Americans had voted for a change. For the first time in his career, O'Neill also found himself thrust into the national spotlight as the highest-ranking leader of the Democratic Party--the most visible and respected challenger to President Reagan's agenda of shrinking the government and lowering taxes. At first, O'Neill doubted his ability to compete on the public stage with the charming Hollywood actor, whose polished speeches played well on TV, a medium O'Neill had never mastered. Over time, the burly Irishman learned how to fight the popular president on his key issues, relying on legislative craftiness, strong rhetoric, and even guerrilla theater. "An old dog can learn new tricks," Tip told his staff. Of O'Neill, one of his colleagues said, "If Martians came into the House chamber, they'd know instantly who the leader was." Meanwhile, President Reagan proved to be a much more effective and savvy leader than his rivals had ever expected, achieving major legislative victories on taxes and the federal budget. Reagan and his allies knew how to work the levers of power in Washington. After showing remarkable personal fortitude in the wake of the assassination attempt against him, Reagan never let his political differences with Democrats become personal. He was fond of the veteran Speaker's motto that political battles ended at 6 p.m. So when he would phone O'Neill, he would say, "Hello, Tip, is it after six o'clock?" Together, the two leaders fought over the major issues of the day--welfare, taxes, covert military operations, and Social Security--but found their way to agreements that reformed taxes, saved Social Security, and achieved their common cause of bringing peace to Northern Ireland. O'Neill's quiet behind-the-scenes support helped Reagan forge his historic Cold War-ending bond with Mikhail Gor-bachev. They each won some and lost some, and through it all they maintained respect for each other's positions and worked to advance the country rather than obstruct progress. As Matthews notes, "There is more than one sort of heroic behavior, and they don't all look the same." "Tip and the Gipper" is the story of the kind of heroism we need today.
 
 
The Luminaries
by Eleanor Catton
 
Winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize and Canada's Governor General's Literary Award, a breathtaking feat of storytelling where everything is connected, but nothing is as it seems.... It is 1866, and young Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men who have men in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: A wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky. Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bus, The Luminaries is a brilliantly constructed, fiendishly clever ghost story and a gripping page-turner. It is a thrilling achievement for someone still in her midtwenties, and will confirm for critics and readers that Eleanor Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international writing firmament.


November 23, 2013


11 Stories
by Chris Cander

When Roscoe Jones, a one-time trumpet prodigy, loses his finger, he loses more than his ability to play. Instead of becoming a musician, he becomes the superintendent of the Chicago apartment building where he has lived since birth. Very soon, his life is no longer his own; he fades into the background, plumbing and fixing and toiling for the tenants populating the eleven stories above him. Although they hardly notice him as anything but a working part of the building, he develops a sometimes uncomfortable intimacy with the details of their complicated lives. Every night, in the privacy of his basement quarters, alone with his secret longings, he plays his trumpet. That is until the evening he climbs to the roof to play in public for the first time in fifty years - and the course of his life is irrevocably changed. For some, losses may turn, unexpectedly, to gain. For Roscoe, the relationships he forms with the tenants - two, in particular - justify the amputation of his finger and the forfeiture of his dreams. This is a story about sacrifice and service, longing and love - and the abiding hopefulness of the human heart that connects us all.



Winter in Full Bloom
by Anita Higman

Lily Winter's wings are folded so tightly around her daughter that when empty nest arrives, she feels she can no longer fly. But Lily's lonely, widowed life changes in a heartbeat when she goes to visit a woman who is almost a stranger to her-a woman who also happens to be her mother. During their fiery reunion, her mother reveals a dark family secret that she'd been hiding for decades-Lily has an identical twin sister who was put up for adoption when they were just babies. Without looking back, Lily-with her fear of flying-boards a jumbo jet and embarks on a quest to find her sister which leads half way around the world to Melbourne, Australia. Befriended by imprudent Ausie, he might prove to be the key to finding her sister. But her journey becomes a circle that leads her back home to attempt a family reunion and to find the one dream she no longer imagined possible-the chance to fall in love again.



I Am Malala
by Malala Yousafzai

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.
 
 
Police
by Jo Nesbo
 
Harry Hole returns--or does he?--in a terrifyingly paced, vertiginous new roller coaster of a thriller by the internationally best-selling author of The Snowman and The Redeemer, "the king of Scandinavian crime fiction" (Kirkus). The police urgently need Harry Hole . . . A killer is stalking Oslo's streets. Police officers are being slain at the scenes of crimes they once investigated but failed to solve. The murders are brutal, the media reaction hysterical. But this time, Harry can't help . . . For years, detective Harry Hole has been at the center of every major criminal investigation in Oslo. His dedication to his job and his brilliant insights have saved the lives of countless people. But now, with those he loves most facing terrible danger, Harry is not in a position to protect anyone. Least of all himself . . .


We Are Water
by Wally Lamb

In middle age, Annie Oh--wife, mother, and outsider artist--has shaken her family to its core. After twenty-seven years of marriage and three children, Annie has fallen in love with Viveca, the wealthy, cultured, confident Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her professional success. Annie and Viveca plan to wed in the Oh family's hometown of Three Rivers, Connecticut, where gay marriage has recently been legalized. But the impending wedding provokes some very mixed reactions and opens a Pandora's box of toxic secrets--dark and painful truths that have festered below the surface of the Ohs' lives. We Are Water is an intricate and layered portrait of marriage, family, and the inexorable need for understanding and connection, told in the alternating voices of the Ohs--nonconformist Annie; her ex-husband, Orion, a psychologist; Ariane, the do-gooder daughter, and her twin, Andrew, the rebellious only son; and free-spirited Marissa, the youngest Oh. Set in New England and New York during the first years of the Obama presidency, it is also a portrait of modern America, exploring issues of class, changing social mores, the legacy of racial violence, and the nature of creativity and art. With humor and breathtaking compassion, Wally Lamb brilliantly captures the essence of human experience in vivid and unforgettable characters struggling to find hope and redemption in the aftermath of trauma and loss. We Are Water is vintage Wally Lamb--a compulsively readable, generous, and uplifting masterpiece that digs deep into the complexities of the human heart to explore the ways in which we search for love and meaning in our lives.


Empty Mansions
by Bill Dedman

"Empty Mansions" is a rich mystery of wealth and loss, connecting the Gilded Age opulence of the nineteenth century with a twenty-first-century battle over a $300 million inheritance. At its heart is a reclusive heiress named Huguette Clark, a woman so secretive that, at the time of her death at age 104, no new photograph of her had been seen in decades. Though she owned palatial homes in California, New York, and Connecticut, why had she lived for twenty years in a simple hospital room, despite being in excellent health? Why were her valuables being sold off? Was she in control of her fortune, or controlled by those managing her money?


 
The Valley of Amazement
by Amy Tan
 
New York Times bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club Amy Tan brings us her latest novel: a sweeping, evocative epic of two women's intertwined fates and their search for identity--from the lavish parlors of Shanghai courtesans to the fog- shrouded mountains of a remote Chinese village Shanghai, 1912. Violet Minturn is the privileged daughter of the American madam of the city's most exclusive courtesan house. But when the Ching dynasty is overturned, Violet is separated from her mother in a cruel act of chicanery and forced to become a "virgin courtesan." Half-Chinese and half-American, Violet grapples with her place in the worlds of East and West--until she is able to merge her two halves, empowering her to become a shrewd courtesan who excels in the business of seduction and illusion, though she still struggles to understand who she is. Back in 1897 San Francisco, Violet's mother, Lucia, chooses a disastrous course as a sixteen-year-old, when her infatuation with a Chinese painter compels her to leave her home for Shanghai. Shocked by her lover's adherence to Chinese traditions, she is unable to change him, despite her unending American ingenuity. Fueled by betrayals, both women refuse to submit to fate and societal expectations, persisting in their quests to recover what was taken from them: respect; a secure future; and, most poignantly, love from their parents, lovers, and children. To reclaim their lives, they take separate journeys--to a backwater hamlet in China, the wealthy environs of the Hudson River Valley, and, ultimately, the unknown areas of their hearts, where they discover what remains after their many failings to love and be loved. Spanning more than forty years and two continents, The Valley of Amazement transports readers from the collapse of China's last imperial dynasty to the beginning of the Republic and recaptures the lost world of old Shanghai through the inner workings of courtesan houses and the lives of the foreigners living in the International Settlement, both erased by World War II. A deeply evocative narrative of the profound connections between mothers and daughters, imbued with Tan's characteristic insight and humor, The Valley of Amazement conjures a story of inherited trauma, desire and deception, and the power and obstinacy of love.
October 25, 2013

Carissima
by Rosanna Chiofalo

In college, Pia Santore dreamed of going to New York and taking it by storm with her younger sister Erica. Instead, Pia has arrived in Queens with a prestigious journalism internship at a celebrity magazine--and no Erica, the pain of losing her still fresh. Pia's arrival coincides with an unexpected sighting. Italian movie icon Francesca Donata is rumored to be staying nearby, and with the help of a handsome local artist, Pia convinces the legend to grant her a series of interviews, even traveling to her house in Rome. There, Pia begins to unearth the truth behind the star's fabled romances and tangled past--and gradually learns how to love and how to let go.

 
Identical
by Scott Turow
 
State Senator Paul Giannis is a candidate for Mayor of Kindle County. His identical twin brother Cass is newly released from prison, 25 years after pleading guilty to the murder of his girlfriend, Dita Kronon. When Evon Miller, an ex-FBI agent who is the head of security for the Kronon family business, and private investigator Tim Brodie begin a re-investigation of Dita's death, a complex web of murder, sex, and betrayal-as only Scott Turow could weave-dramatically unfolds...
 

The Ghost Bride
by Yangsze Choo

A startlingly original voice makes her literary debut with this wondrous coming-of-age story infused with Chinese folklore, romantic intrigue, adventure, and fascinating, dreamlike twists One evening, my father asked me whether I would like to become a ghost bride. . . . Though ruled by British overlords, the Chinese of colonial Malaya still cling to ancient customs. And in the sleepy port town of Malacca, ghosts and superstitions abound. Li Lan, the daughter of a genteel but bankrupt family, has few prospects. But fate intervenes when she receives an unusual proposal from the wealthy and powerful Lim family. They want her to become a ghost bride for the family's only son, who recently died under mysterious circumstances. Rarely practiced, traditional ghost marriages are used to placate restless spirits. Such a union would guarantee Li Lan a home for the rest of her days, but at a terrible price. After an ominous visit to the opulent Lim mansion, Li Lan finds herself haunted not only by her ghostly would-be suitor, but also by her desire for the Lims' handsome new heir, Tian Bai. Night after night, she is drawn into the shadowy parallel world of the Chinese afterlife, with its ghost cities, paper funeral offerings, vengeful spirits, and monstrous bureaucracy--including the mysterious Er Lang, a charming but unpredictable guardian spirit. Li Lan must uncover the Lim family's darkest secrets--and the truth about her own family--before she is trapped in this ghostly world forever.


Camelot's Court: Inside the Kennedy White House
by Robert Dallek

In his acclaimed biography of JFK, Robert Dallek revealed Kennedy, the man and the leader, as never before. In Camelot's Court, he takes an insider's look at the brain trust whose contributions to the successes and failures of Kennedy's administration were indelible. Kennedy purposefully assembled a dynamic team of advisers noted for their brilliance and acumen, among them Attorney General Robert Kennedy, his "adviser-in-chief"; Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara; Secretary of State Dean Rusk; National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy; and trusted aides Ted Sorensen and Arthur Schlesinger. Yet the very traits these men shared also created sharp divisions. Far from unified, JFK's administration was an uneasy band of rivals whose personal ambitions and clashing beliefs ignited fiery debates behind closed doors. With skill and balance, Dallek details the contentious and critical issues of Kennedy's years in office, including the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, civil rights, and Vietnam. He illuminates a president who believed deeply in surrounding himself with the best and the brightest, yet who often found himself disappointed in their recommendations. The result is a striking portrait of a leader whose wise resistance to pressure and adherence to personal principles, particularly in matters of foreign affairs, offer a cautionary tale for our own time. Meticulously researched and masterfully written, Camelot's Court is an intimate tour of a tumultuous White House and a new portrait of the men whose powerful influence shaped the Kennedy legacy.



Sister Mother Husband Dog
by Delia Ephron

In "Sister Mother Husband Dog," Delia Ephron brings her trademark wit and effervescent prose to a series of autobiographical essays about life, love, sisterhood, movies, and family. In "Losing Nora," she deftly captures the rivalry, mutual respect, and intimacy that made up her relationship with her older sister and frequent writing companion. "Blame It on the Movies" is Ephron's wry and romantic essay about surviving her disastrous twenties, becoming a writer, and finding a storybook ending. "Bakeries" is both a lighthearted tour through her favorite downtown patisseries and a thoughtful, deeply felt reflection on the dilemma of having it all. From keen observations on modern living, the joy of girlfriends, and best-friendship, to a consideration of the magical madness and miracle of dogs, to haunting recollections of life with her famed screenwriter mother and growing up the child of alcoholics, Ephron's eloquent style and voice illuminate every page of this superb and singular work.

The King of Sports: Football's Impact on America
by Gregg Easterbrook

Gregg Easterbrook, author of the wildly popular ESPN.com column "Tuesday Morning Quarterback" takes on football's place in American society. Gridiron football is the king of sports - it's the biggest game in the strongest and richest country in the world. Of the twenty most-watched television broadcasts ever, both in the United States and internationally, all twenty were Super Bowls. In "The King of Sports, " Easterbrook tells the full story of how football became so deeply ingrained in American culture. Both good and bad, he examines its impact on American society at all levels of the game. " " "The King of Sports" explores these and many other topics: * The real harm done by concussions (it's not to NFL players). * The real way in which college football players are exploited (it's not by not being paid). * The way football helps American colleges (it's not bowl revenue) and American cities (it's not Super Bowl wins). * What happens to players who are used up and thrown away (it's not pretty). * The hidden scandal of the NFL (it's worse than you think). Using his year-long exclusive insider access to the Virginia Tech football program, where Frank Beamer has compiled the most victories of any active NFL or major-college head coach while also graduating players, Easterbrook shows how one big university "does football right." Then he reports on what's wrong with football at the youth, high school, college and professional levels. Easterbrook holds up examples of coaches and programs who put the athletes first and still win; he presents solutions to these issues and many more, showing a clear path forward for the sport as a whole. Rich with reporting details from interviews with current and former college and pro football players and coaches, "The King of Sports" promises to be the most provocative and best-read sports book of the year.


The Telling Room: a tale of love, betrayal, revenge, and the world's greatest piece of cheese
by Michael Paterniti
 
In the picturesque village of Guzman, Spain, in a cave dug into a hillside on the edge of town, an ancient door leads to a cramped limestone chamber known as "the telling room." Containing nothing but a wooden table and two benches, this is where villagers have gathered for centuries to share their stories and secrets--usually accompanied by copious amounts of wine. It was here, in the summer of 2000, that Michael Paterniti found himself listening to a larger-than-life Spanish cheesemaker named Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras as he spun an odd and compelling tale about a piece of cheese. An unusual piece of cheese. Made from an old family recipe, Ambrosio's cheese was reputed to be among the finest in the world, and was said to hold mystical qualities. Eating it, some claimed, conjured long-lost memories. But then, Ambrosio said, things had gone horribly wrong. By the time the two men exited the telling room that evening, Paterniti was hooked. Soon he was fully embroiled in village life, relocating his young family to Guzman in order to chase the truth about this cheese and explore the fairy tale-like place where the villagers conversed with farm animals, lived by an ancient Castilian code of honor, and made their wine and food by hand, from the grapes growing on a nearby hill and the flocks of sheep floating over the Meseta. What Paterniti ultimately discovers there in the highlands of Castile is nothing like the idyllic slow-food fable he first imagined. Instead, he's sucked into the heart of an unfolding mystery, a blood feud that includes accusations of betrayal and theft, death threats, and a murder plot. As the village begins to spill its long-held secrets, Paterniti finds himself implicated in the very story he is writing.



 
The Year of the Flood
by Margaret Atwood
The long-awaited new novel from the author of "The Handmaid's Tale" and "The Blind Assassin, The Year of the Flood" is a dystopic masterpiece and a testament to Atwood's visionary power.  Ren, a young trapeze dancer locked inside a sex club, and Toby, barricaded in a luxurious spa, both live through the biological disaster predicted by God's Gardeners, a group dedicated to the melding of science and religion, and, with a handful of other survivors, try to figure out how to live in a new, very different world.

 
 
Nicholson
by Marc Eliot
 
The definitive biography of a man with one of the most iconic and fascinating careers -- and lives -- in Hollywood. For five decades, Jack Nicholson has been part of film history. Whether in breakout roles like Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces, comedies like As Good as It Gets, tearjerkers like Terms of Endearment, villainous turns in films like The Shining and Batman, or legendary parts in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and A Few Good Men -- where his delivery made "You can't handle the truth!" part of the pop culture lexicon -- Nicholson creates original, memorable characters like no other actor of his generation, and he makes every role truly his own. His personal life has been no less of an adventure -- Nicholson has an affectionate "bad boy" reputation and has dated some of the most famous and beautiful women in the world, including Anjelica Huston and Michelle Phillips. Relying on all-new research and interviews with the insiders who know Nicholson best, acclaimed biographer Marc Eliot explores the actor's upbringing in New Jersey, where he was raised by his grandmother, believing she was his real mother, a dirty family secret that changed his life forever; his start in Hollywood working for legendary animators Hanna and Barbera; and his frequent collaboration with producer and director Roger Corman, who gave him his first role in The Cry Baby Killer. Taking us behind the scenes of Nicholson's films and providing new insight into his private life, Nicholson is the biography fans have been waiting for, and a tribute to a one-of-a-kind life and career.
 
 
September 17, 2013



The Cuckoo's Calling
by Robert Galbraith

A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide. After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man. You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this. Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.





The Road Out: A Teacher's Odyssey in Poor America
by Deborah Hicks

Can one teacher truly make a difference in her students' lives when everything is working against them? Can a love for literature and learning save the most vulnerable of youth from a life of poverty? The Road Out is a gripping account of one teacher's journey of hope and discovery with her students--girls growing up poor in a neighborhood that was once home to white Appalachian workers, and is now a ghetto. Deborah Hicks, set out to give one group of girls something she never had: a first-rate education, and a chance to live their dreams. A contemporary tragedy is brought to life as she leads us deep into the worlds of Adriana, Blair, Mariah, Elizabeth, Shannon, Jessica, and Alicia seven girls coming of age in poverty. This is a moving story about girls who have lost their childhoods, but who face the street's torments with courage and resiliency. "I want out," says 10-year-old Blair, a tiny but tough girl who is extremely poor and yet deeply imaginative and precocious. Hicks tries to convey to her students a sense of the power of fiction and of sisterhood to get them through the toughest years of adolescence. But by the time they're sixteen, eight years after the start of the class, the girls are experiencing the collision of their youthful dreams with the pitfalls of growing up in chaotic single-parent families amid the deteriorating cityscape. Yet even as they face disappointments and sometimes despair, these girls cling to their desire for a better future. The author's own life story--from a poorly educated girl in a small mountain town to a Harvard-educated writer, teacher, and social advocate--infuses this chronicle with a message of hope.





Letters from Skye
by Jessica Brockmole

A sweeping story told in letters, spanning two continents and two world wars, Jessica Brockmole's atmospheric debut novel captures the indelible ways that people fall in love, and celebrates the power of the written word to stir the heart. March 1912: Twenty-four-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotland's remote Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when her first fan letter arrives, from a college student, David Graham, in far-away America. As the two strike up a correspondence--sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets--their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love. But as World War I engulfs Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he'll survive. June 1940: At the start of World War II, Elspeth's daughter, Margaret, has fallen for a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against seeking love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesn't understand. Then, after a bomb rocks Elspeth's house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears. Only a single letter remains as a clue to Elspeth's whereabouts. As Margaret sets out to discover where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago. Sparkling with charm and full of captivating period detail, Letters from Skye is a testament to the power of love to overcome great adversity, and marks Jessica Brockmole as a stunning new literary voice.





Lawrence in Arabia
by Scott Anderson

A thrilling and revelatory narrative of one of the most epic and consequential periods in 20th century history - the Arab Revolt, and the secret game to control the Middle East The Arab Revolt against the Turks in World War One was, in the words of T.E. Lawrence, "a sideshow of a sideshow." As a result, the conflict was shaped to a remarkable degree by a small handful of adventurers and low-level officers far removed from the corridors of power. Curt Pruefer was an academic attached to the German embassy in Cairo, whose clandestine role was to foment jihad against British rule. Aaron Aaronsohn was a renowned agronomist and committed Zionist who gained the trust of the Ottoman governor of Palestine even as he built an elaborate anti-Ottoman spy ring. William Yale was the fallen scion of the American aristocracy, who traveled the Ottoman Empire on behalf of Standard Oil, dissembling to the Turks in order to gain valuable oil concessions. At the center of it all was Lawrence. In early 1914 he was an archaeologist digging ruins in Syria; by 1917 he was riding into legend at the head of an Arab army, as he fought a rearguard action against his own government and its imperial ambitions. Based on four years of intensive primary document research, LAWRENCE IN ARABIA definitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed. Sweeping in its action, keen in its portraiture, acid in its condemnation of the destruction wrought by European colonial plots, this is a book that brilliantly captures the way in which the folly of the past creates the anguish of the present.



Montaro Caine
by Sidney Poitier

A baby is born with a coin in her hand. An orphan crafts a mysterious wooden object. The CEO of a large corporation finds himself under extraordinary pressure at work and at home. And on a remote hilltop on a Caribbean island, a medicine man seems to understand the meaning of all these events and to hold the key to the future. Montaro Caine, CEO of the Fitzer Corporation, is losing control of the company he built just as his teenage daughter is experiencing her own difficulties. At this moment of crisis, a man and woman appear at his office with a coin of unknown provenance, composed of a metal unknown on Earth. Montaro immediately recognizes it as the companion of a coin he analyzed as a graduate student working in a lab at MIT, which was later returned to its unidentified owner. The coins appearance draws the attention of scientists, collectors, financiers, and thieves, all of whom vie to get their hands on it, and Montaro himself hopes that the discovery of the coin will save his company. But the value of the coin lies not in its monetary worth but in its hold on the people who come into contact with it. These include the young woman who is not aware of the object that was found in her hand at birth; an old man who, as a boy, crafted a wooden compact as a gift for a young Montaro Caine; and the elusive healer Matthew Perch, who, from his hut on a small Caribbean island, knows precisely why these people have been brought together and what wisdom the coin imparts. In his first novel, the beloved actor and director Sidney Poitier takes us on a wild and unexpected adventure--from New York to Europe to the Caribbean and beyond. The novel offers Poitiers heartfelt message about the potential each of us has within ourselves, and about being open to the possibility that there are mysteries in the universe, and here on Earth, far greater than we can imagine. An enthralling journey into the magic of existence, "Montaro Caine" is a radiant debut from an American legend.




Courting Greta
by Ramsey Hootman

Samuel Cooke knows most women wouldn't give him a second glance even if he were the last man on earth. He's the cripple with crutches, the nerdy computer genius every female past puberty feels compelled to mother. So when he leaves his lucrative career to teach programming to high schoolers, romance definitely isn't on his radar. Perhaps that's why Greta Cassamajor catches him off guard. The sarcastic gym coach with zero sense of humor is no beauty-not even on the inside. But an inexplicably kind act toward Samuel makes him realize she is interesting. Samuel is certain she won't accept his invitation to dinner-so when she does, he's out of his depth. All he knows is that he'll do whatever it takes to keep her as long as he can. Pretending he's got his class under control? Easy. Being vulnerable enough to admit why he ditched his programming career for teaching? Um, no. That would require honesty. And if there's one thing Samuel can't exist without, it's the lies he tells himself. In this poignant, witty debut, Ramsey Hootman upends traditional romance tropes to weave a charming tale of perseverance, trust, and slightly conditional love.




Cain's Blood
by Geoffrey Girard

Ted Bundy. The Son of Sam. The Boston Strangler. Albert Fish. Henry Lee Lucas. The DNA of the world's most notorious serial killers has been cloned by the U.S. Department of Defense to develop a new breed of bioweapon. Now in Phase Three, the program includes dozens of young men who have no clue as to their evil heritage. Playing a twisted game of nature vs. nurture, scientists raise some of the clones with loving families and others in abusive circumstances. But everything changes when the most dangerous boys are set free by their creator. A man with demons of his own, former black ops soldier Shawn Castillo is hot on their trail. But Castillo didn't count on the quiet young man he finds hiding in an abandoned house--a boy who has just learned he is the clone of Jeffrey Dahmer. As Jeffrey and Castillo race across the country on the trail of the rampaging teens, Castillo must protect the boy who is the embodiment of his biggest fears--and who may also be his last hope. Melding all-too-plausible science and ripped from- the-headlines horror, Cain's Blood is a stunning debut about the potential for good and evil in us all.




The Lincoln Deception
by David O. Stewart

In March 1900, as former Congressman John Bingham of Ohio lies dying, he begins to tell a strange tale to his physician, Dr. Jamie Fraser. Bingham famously prosecuted eight members of John Wilkes Booth's plot to kill Lincoln. But during the 1865 trial, conspirator Mary Surratt divulged a secret so explosive it could shatter the republic. Though Bingham takes the secret to his grave, Fraser cannot let go of the mystery. Bored with smalltown medical practice, he begins to investigate, securing an unlikely ally in Speed Cook, a black, college-educated professional ballplayer and would-be newspaper publisher. Cook is fascinated by Fraser's inquiry and, like Fraser, thinks the accepted version of Lincoln's assassination rings false. Was Booth truly the mastermind or were other, more powerful forces pulling the strings? From Maryland to New York City, from Indiana to Washington, Fraser and Cook track down key figures and witnesses-including Mary Surratt's neurotic daughter Anna, Booth's nephew, actor Creston Clarke, and Clarke's attractive business manager, Mrs. Eliza Scott. Piece by piece the truth emerges -separating fact from rumor, innocent from guilty, and revealing a story of greed, ambition, courage, and tragedy. Blending real and fictional characters, The Lincoln Deception is a superbly researched, brilliantly plotted and thoroughly gripping mystery that explores one of the nation's darkest and most fascinating eras and the conspiracy that changed world history.