January/February 2021

The Cup of Coffee Club
by  Jacob Kornhauser

The Cup of Coffee Club shares the stories of eleven men who played in just a single major league baseball game and how they responded to the heartache of never making it back. Featuring exclusive interviews with each of the players, their insight provides a unique look into the struggles of being a professional ballplayer. Reaching the major leagues is a pipe dream for most young baseball players in America. Very few ever get to live it out. While many that do make it to the big leagues stay there for a long time, there are just as many that are only there for a brief moment. A select few of those players face the elation and frustration of getting to play in just one major league game. The Cup of Coffee Club: 11 Players and Their Brush with Baseball History tells the stories of eleven of these players and their struggles to reach the major leagues, as well as their struggles to get back. They include a former Major League Baseball manager, the son of a Baseball Hall of Famer, and two different brothers of Hall of Famers. Exclusive interviews with each of the players provide insight into what that single seminal moment meant and how they dealt with the blow of never making another major league appearance again. Spanning half a century of baseball, each player’s journey to Major League Baseball is distinct, as is each of their responses to having played in just a single game. The Cup of Coffee Club shares their unique perspectives, providing a better understanding of just how special each major league game can be. (Google Books)


World of Wonders
by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

From beloved, award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil comes a debut work of nonfiction--a collection of essays about the natural world, and the way its inhabitants can teach, support, and inspire us. As a child, Nezhukumatathil called many places home: the grounds of a Kansas mental institution, where her Filipina mother was a doctor; the open skies and tall mountains of Arizona, where she hiked with her Indian father; and the chillier climes of western New York and Ohio. But no matter where she was transplanted--no matter how awkward the fit or forbidding the landscape--she was able to turn to our world's fierce and funny creatures for guidance.
"What the peacock can do," she tells us, "is remind you of a home you will run away from and run back to all your life." The axolotl teaches us to smile, even in the face of unkindness; the touch-me-not plant shows us how to shake off unwanted advances; the narwhal demonstrates how to survive in hostile environments. Even in the strange and the unlovely, Nezhukumatathil finds beauty and kinship. For it is this way with wonder: it requires that we are curious enough to look past the distractions in order to fully appreciate the world's gifts. Warm, lyrical, and gorgeously illustrated by Fumi Nakamura, World of Wonders is a book of sustenance and joy. (Goodreads.com)


HRH
by Elizabeth Holmes

Veteran style journalist Elizabeth Holmes expands her popular Instagram series, So Many Thoughts, into a nuanced look at the fashion and branding of the four most influential members of the British Royal Family: Queen Elizabeth II; Diana, Princess of Wales; Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge; and Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex. Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle are global style icons, their every fashion choice chronicled and celebrated. With all eyes on them, the duchesses select clothes that send a message about their values, interests, and priorities. Their thoughtful sartorial strategies follow in the footsteps of Queen Elizabeth II and Diana, Princess of Wales, two towering figures known for using their personal style to great acclaim. With one section devoted to each woman, HRH is a celebration of their stories and their style, pairing hundreds of gorgeous photographs with extensive research. A picture emerges of the British monarchy’s evolution and the power of royal fashion, showing there’s always more than what meets the eye. (Goodreads.com)


Waiting for the Night Song
by Julie Carrick Dalton

A moving novel about friendships forged in childhood magic and ruptured by the high price of secrets that leave you forever changed. Cadie Kessler has spent decades trying to cover up one truth. One moment. But deep down, didn't she always know her secret would surface? An urgent message from her long-estranged best friend Daniela Garcia brings Cadie, now a forestry researcher, back to her childhood home. There, Cadie and Daniela are forced to face a dark secret that ended both their idyllic childhood bond and the magical summer that takes up more space in Cadie's memory then all her other years combined. Now grown up, bound by long-held oaths, and faced with truths she does not wish to see, Cadie must decide what she is willing to sacrifice to protect the people and the forest she loves, as drought, foreclosures, and wildfire spark tensions between displaced migrant farm workers and locals. Waiting for the Night Song is a love song to the natural beauty around us, a call to fight for what we believe in, and a reminder that the truth will always rise. (Goodreads.com)


A House at the Bottom of the Lake
by Josh Malerman

Both seventeen. Both afraid. But both saying yes.
It sounded like the perfect first date: canoeing across a chain of lakes, sandwiches and beer in the cooler. But teenagers Amelia and James discover something below the water’s surface that changes their lives forever.
It’s got two stories.
It’s got a garden.
And the front door is open.
It’s a house at the bottom of a lake.
For the teens, there is only one rule: no questions. And yet, how could a place so spectacular come with no price tag? While the duo plays house beneath the waves, one reality remains:
Just because a house is empty, doesn’t mean nobody’s home. (Goodreads.com)


Out of Rushmore's shadow
by Lou Del Bianco

Sometimes history does not tell you the whole story.
When 8-year-old Lou Del Bianco finds out that his Grandpa Luigi was the Chief Carver on Mount Rushmore, his young life is instantly changed. Follow Lou's journey as he and his Uncle Caesar make the painful discovery that Luigi is not even mentioned in the most definitive book on Rushmore. Cheer them on as you read the historic documents they unearth from the Library of Congress that not only tell Luigi's story but also prove his great importance. Finally, ride the roller-coaster of the 25 year journey to get Luigi the recognition he deserves. Out of Rushmore's Shadow is the dramatic and touching story of Luigi's legacy and the immigrant's struggle. (Google Books)


The Last Days of Ellis Island
by Gaelle Josse

New York, November 3, 1954. In a few days, the immigration inspection station on Ellis Island will close its doors forever. John Mitchell, an officer of the Bureau of Immigration, is the guardian and last resident of the island. As Mitchell looks back over forty-five years as gatekeeper to America and its promise of a better life, he recalls his brief marriage to beloved wife Liz, and is haunted by memories of a transgression involving Nella, an immigrant from Sardinia. Told in a series of poignant diary entries, this is a story of responsibility, love, fidelity, and remorse. (Goodreads.com)


Take a look at the five and ten
by Connie Willis

Ori’s holidays are an endless series of elaborately awful meals cooked by her one-time stepfather Dave’s latest bride. Attended by a loose assemblage of family, Ori particularly dreads Grandma Elving—grandmother of Dave’s fourth wife—and her rhapsodizing about the Christmas she worked at Woolworth’s in the 1950s. And, of course, she hates being condescended to by beautiful, popular Sloane and her latest handsome pre-med or pre-law boyfriend. But this Christmas is different. Sloane’s latest catch Lassiter is extremely interested in Grandma Elving’s boringly detailed memories of that seasonal job, seeing in them the hallmarks of a TFBM, or traumatic flashbulb memory. With Ori’s assistance, he begins to use the older woman in an experiment—one she eagerly agrees to. As Ori and Lassiter spend more time together, Ori’s feelings for him grow alongside the elusive mystery of Grandma’s past. From beloved New York Times bestselling, multiple-award-winning author Connie Willis comes another enchanting science fictional Christmas tale and screwball comedy, Take a Look at the Five and Ten. Readers in the need for a dose of Willis’s humor and heart will want to curl up with this novella for the holidays. (Goodreads.com)


The Children's Blizzard
by Melanie Benjamin

The morning of January 12, 1888, was unusually mild, following a punishing cold spell. It was warm enough for the homesteaders of the Dakota Territory to venture out again, and for their children to return to school without their heavy coats—leaving them unprepared when disaster struck. At the hour when most prairie schools were letting out for the day, a terrifying, fast-moving blizzard blew in without warning. Schoolteachers as young as sixteen were suddenly faced with life and death decisions: Keep the children inside, to risk freezing to death when fuel ran out, or send them home, praying they wouldn’t get lost in the storm? 
Based on actual oral histories of survivors, this gripping novel follows the stories of Raina and Gerda Olsen, two sisters, both schoolteachers—one becomes a hero of the storm and the other finds herself ostracized in the aftermath. It’s also the story of Anette Pedersen, a servant girl whose miraculous survival serves as a turning point in her life and touches the heart of Gavin Woodson, a newspaperman seeking redemption. It was Woodson and others like him who wrote the embellished news stories that lured northern European immigrants across the sea to settle a pitiless land. Boosters needed them to settle territories into states, and they didn’t care what lies they told these families to get them there—or whose land it originally was.
At its heart, this is a story of courage, of children forced to grow up too soon, tied to the land because of their parents’ choices. It is a story of love taking root in the hard prairie ground, and of families being torn asunder by a ferocious storm that is little remembered today—because so many of its victims were immigrants to this country. (Amazon.com)


Accidentally Wes Anderson
by Wally Koval

Accidentally Wes Anderson began as a personal travel bucket list, a catalog of visually striking and historically unique destinations that capture the imagined worlds of Wes Anderson. Now, inspired by a community of more than one million Adventurers, Accidentally Wes Anderson tells the stories behind more than 200 of the most beautiful, idiosyncratic, and interesting places on Earth. This book, authorized by Wes Anderson himself, travels to every continent and into your own backyard to identify quirky landmarks and undiscovered gems: places you may have passed by, some you always wanted to explore, and many you never knew existed. Fueled by a vision for distinctive design, stunning photography, and unexpected narratives, Accidentally Wes Anderson is a passport to inspiration and adventure. Perfect for modern travelers and fans of Wes Anderson's distinctive aesthetic, this is an invitation to look at your world through a different lens.

November/December 2020

Made Man
by Glenn Kenny

For the thirtieth anniversary of its premiere comes the vivid and immersive history behind Martin Scorsese’s signature film Goodfellas, hailed by critics as the greatest mob movie ever made. When Goodfellas first hit the theatres in 1990, a classic was born. Few could anticipate the unparalleled influence it would have on pop culture, one that would inspire future filmmakers and redefine the gangster picture as we know it today. From the rush of grotesque violence in the opening scene to the iconic hilarity of Joe Pesci’s endlessly quoted “Funny how?” shtick, it’s little wonder the film is widely regarded as a mainstay in contemporary cinema. In the first ever behind-the-scenes story of Goodfellas, film critic Glenn Kenny chronicles the making and afterlife of the film that introduced America to the real modern gangster—brutal, ruthless, yet darkly appealing, the villain we can’t get enough of. Featuring interviews with the film’s major players, including Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, Made Men shines a light on the lives and stories wrapped up in the Goodfellas universe, and why its enduring legacy is still essential to charting the trajectory of American culture thirty years later. (Amazon.com)


The Cold Millions
by Jess Walter

Orphans Gig and Rye Dolan don't have a penny to their names. The brothers work grueling, odd jobs each day just to secure a meal, and spend nights sleeping wherever they can with other day laborers. Twenty-three-year-old Gig is a passionate union man, fighting for fair pay and calling out the corrupt employers who exploit the working class. Eager to emulate his older brother, Rye follows suit, though he can't quite muster Gig's passion for the cause. But when Rye's turn on the soap box catches the eye of well-known activist and suffragette Elizabeth Gurley, he is swept into the world of labor activism-and dirty business. With his brother's life on the line, Rye must evade the barbaric police force, maneuver his way out of the clutches of a wealthy businessman-and figure out for himself what he truly stands for. The Cold Millions is a stunning portrait of class division and familial bonds. In this masterful historical take on the enduring saga of America's economic divide, Jess Walter delivers nothing less than another "literary miracle." (NPR)


Confessions on the 7:45
by Lisa Unger

From master of suspense Lisa Unger comes a riveting thriller about a chance encounter that unravels a stunning web of lies. Selena Murphy is commuting home on the train when she strikes up a conversation with a beautiful stranger in the next seat. The woman introduces herself as Martha and soon confesses that she’s been stuck in an affair with her boss. Selena, in turn, confesses that she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny. When the train arrives at Selena’s station, the two women part ways, presumably never to meet again. Then the nanny disappears. As Selena is pulled into the mystery of what happened, and as the fractures in her marriage grow deeper, she begins to wonder, who was Martha really? But she is hardly prepared for what she’ll discover… (Amazon.com)


The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop
by Fannie Flag

Bud Threadgoode grew up in the bustling little railroad town of Whistle Stop, Alabama, with his mother Ruth, church going and proper, and the fun-loving hell-raiser, his Aunt Idgie. Together they ran the town's popular Whistle Stop Café, known far and wide for its famous "Fried Green Tomatoes." And as Bud often said of his childhood, "How lucky can you get?" But sadly, the railroad yards began to shut down and the town became a ghost town, with nothing left but boarded-up buildings and memories of a happier time. Then one day, Bud decides to take one last trip, just to see where his beloved Whistle Stop used to be. In so doing, he discovers new surprises about Idgie's life and about other beloved Fried Green Tomatoes characters, and about the town itself. He also sets off a series of events, both touching and inspiring, which change his life and the lives of his daughter and others. Could these events all be just coincidences? Or something else? And can you go home again?


One by One
by Ruth Ware

Getting snowed in at a luxurious, rustic ski chalet high in the French Alps doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world. Especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a full-service chef and housekeeper, a cozy fire to keep you warm, and others to keep you company. Unless that company happens to be eight coworkers…each with something to gain, something to lose, and something to hide. When the cofounder of Snoop, a trendy London-based tech startup, organizes a weeklong trip for the team in the French Alps, it starts out as a corporate retreat like any other: PowerPoint presentations and strategy sessions broken up by mandatory bonding on the slopes. But as soon as one shareholder upends the agenda by pushing a lucrative but contentious buyout offer, tensions simmer and loyalties are tested. The storm brewing inside the chalet is no match for the one outside, however, and a devastating avalanche leaves the group cut off from all access to the outside world. Even worse, one Snooper hadn’t made it back from the slopes when the avalanche hit. As each hour passes without any sign of rescue, panic mounts, the chalet grows colder, and the group dwindles further…one by one.


To sleep in a sea of stars
by Christopher Paolini

Kira Navárez dreamed of life on new worlds. Now she's awakened a nightmare. During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she's delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move. As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn't at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human. While Kira faces her own horrors, Earth and its colonies stand upon the brink of annihilation. Now, Kira might be humanity's greatest and final hope . . .


Truly, madly, deeply
by Karen Kingsbury

In the shadow of very great loss, the only way to live with passion is truly, madly, deeply. When eighteen-year-old Tommy Baxter declares to his family that he wants to be a police officer after graduation, his mother, Reagan, won't hear of it. After all, she's still mourning the death of her own father on September 11 and she's determined to keep her son safe from danger and disaster. But Tommy's father, Luke Baxter, is proud of Tommy's decision, even arranging for his son to take part in a ride-along program with the Indianapolis Police Department. Meanwhile, Tommy is in love for the first time. Annalee Miller has been a family friend for years. Their relationship is sweet and too good to be true. After prom, Tommy begins seriously thinking about asking her to marry him but she hasn't been feeling well. Days later, tests reveal the unthinkable. While his girlfriend begins the fight of her life, Tommy is driven to learn more about the circumstances surrounding his birth...and the grandfather he never knew. Realizations come to light that rock Tommy's world, and he becomes determined to spend his future fighting crime. Or is this just his way to wage war in a battle he cannot win-the one facing Annalee? Blending romance and family drama into an emotionally satisfying story, Truly, Madly, Deeply is a testament to living and loving without fear, so that each moment is marked by reckless abandon and breathtaking passion.


The Exiles
by Christina Baker Kline

London, 1840. Evangeline lost more than just her position as a governess when she was accused of stealing, realizing she was pregnant by her employer’s son. Having languished in Newgate prison for months in her condition, she is now destined for a prison ship heading to Australia. On board, Evangeline befriends Hazel, sentenced to seven years’ transport for theft. Soon Hazel's path will cross with an orphaned indigenous girl. Mathinna is 'adopted' by the new governor of Tasmania where the family treat her more like a curiosity than a child. Amid hardships and cruelties, new life will take root in stolen soil, friendships will define lives, and some will find their place in a new society in the land beyond the seas. (Google.com)


A Dog's Perfect Christmas
by W. Bruce Cameron

The perfect, feel-good holiday gift from W. Bruce Cameron, the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the A Dog’s Purpose series. The problems fracturing the Goss family as Christmas approaches are hardly unique, though perhaps they are handling them a little differently than most people might. But then a true emergency arises, one with the potential to not only ruin Christmas, but everything holding the family together. Is the arrival of a lost puppy yet another in the string of calamities facing them, or could the little canine be just what they all need? A Dog’s Perfect Christmas is a beautiful, poignant, delightful tale of what can happen when family members open their hearts to new possibilities. You’ll find love and tears and laughter―the ideal holiday read. (Amazon.com)


Sins of the Bees
by Annie Lampman

Sins of the Bees blends the majesty and mystery of Where the Crawdads Sing with the character explorations of The Girls to present the lives of two very different women and their tumultuous interactions with a dangerous doomsday cult. Other than her bonsai trees, twenty-year-old arborist Silvania August Moonbeam Merigal is alone in the world. After first her mother dies and then her grandfather—the man who raised her and the last of her family—Silva suffers a sexual assault and becomes pregnant. Then, ready to end her own life, she discovers evidence of a long-lost artist grandmother, Isabelle. Desperate to remake a family for herself, Silva leaves her island home on the Puget Sound and traces her grandmother’s path to first a hippie beekeeper named Nick Larkins, and then to a religious, anti-government, Y2K cult embedded deep in the wilds of Hells Canyon. Len Dietz is the charismatic leader of the Almost Paradise compound, a place full of violence and drama: impregnated child brides called the Twelve Maidens, an armed occupation of a visitor’s center, shot-up mountain sheep washing up along with a half-drowned dog, and men transporting weapons in the middle of the night. As Isabelle paints portraits of Len Dietz and the Twelve Maidens ceremonially progressing toward their group marriage on the prophesized end of the world—January 1, 2000, the new millennium—Silva moves ever closer to finding her grandmother in Hells Canyon and finds herself drawn Nick, whose life is also irrevocably tied to Len Dietz. As tensions erupt into violence, Silva, Isabelle, Nick, and the members of Almost Paradise find themselves disastrously entangled. And like the ancient bonsai struggling to navigate territories both new and old, Silva is forced to face both her own history of loss, and the history of loss she’s stepped into: ruinous stories of family that threaten to destroy them all. (Books.Google.com)


The Book of Two Ways
by Jodi Picoult

Everything changes in a single moment for Dawn Edelstein. She’s on a plane when the flight attendant makes an announcement: Prepare for a crash landing. She braces herself as thoughts flash through her mind. The shocking thing is, the thoughts are not of her husband but of a man she last saw fifteen years ago: Wyatt Armstrong. Dawn, miraculously, survives the crash, but so do all the doubts that have suddenly been raised. She has led a good life. Back in Boston, there is her husband, Brian, their beloved daughter, and her work as a death doula, in which she helps ease the transition between life and death for her clients. But somewhere in Egypt is Wyatt Armstrong, who works as an archaeologist unearthing ancient burial sites, a career Dawn once studied for but was forced to abandon when life suddenly intervened. And now, when it seems that fate is offering her second chances, she is not as sure of the choice she once made. After the crash landing, the airline ensures that the survivors are seen by a doctor, then offers transportation to wherever they want to go. The obvious destination is to fly home, but she could take another path: return to the archaeological site she left years before, reconnect with Wyatt and their unresolved history, and maybe even complete her research on The Book of Two Ways—the first known map of the afterlife. As the story unfolds, Dawn’s two possible futures unspool side by side, as do the secrets and doubts long buried with them. Dawn must confront the questions she’s never truly asked: What does a life well lived look like? When we leave this earth, what do we leave behind? Do we make choices . . . or do our choices make us? And who would you be if you hadn’t turned out to be the person you are right now? (Amazon.com)

September/October 2020

The Yellow Bird Sings
by Jennifer Rosner

As Nazi soldiers round up the Jews in their town, Róza and her five year-old daughter, Shira, flee, seeking shelter in a neighbor's barn. Hidden in the hayloft day and night, Shira struggles to stay still and quiet, as music pulses through her and the farmyard outside beckons. To soothe her daughter and pass the time, Róza tells her a story about a girl in an enchanted garden: The girl is forbidden from making a sound, so the yellow bird sings. He sings whatever the girl composes in her head: high-pitched trills of piccolo; low-throated growls of contrabassoon. Music helps the flowers bloom. In this make-believe world, Róza can shield Shira from the horrors that surround them. But the day comes when their haven is no longer safe, and Róza must make an impossible choice: whether to keep Shira by her side or give her the chance to survive apart.


Shiner
by Amy Jo Burns

An hour from the closest West Virginia mining town, fifteen-year-old Wren Bird lives in a cloistered mountain cabin with her parents. They have no car, no mailbox, and no visitors-except for her mother's lifelong best friend. Every Sunday, Wren's father delivers winding sermons in an abandoned gas station, where he takes up serpents and praises the Lord for his blighted white eye, proof of his divinity and key to the hold he has over the community, over Wren and her mother. But over the course of one summer, a miracle performed by Wren's father quickly turns to tragedy. As the order of her world begins to shatter, she must learn the truth of her family's harrowing history in order to imagine a different future for herself.


Shakespeare for Squirrels
by Christopher Moore

Set adrift by his pirate crew, Pocket of Dog Snogging washes up on the shores of Greece, where he hopes to dazzle the Duke with his comedic brilliance and become his trusted fool. But the island is in turmoil. Egeus, the Duke's minister, is furious that his daughter Hermia is determined to marry Demetrius, instead of Lysander, the man he has chosen for her. The Duke decrees that if, by the time of the wedding, Hermia still refuses to marry Lysander, she shall be executed ... or consigned to a nunnery. Pocket, being Pocket, cannot help but point out that this decree is complete bollocks, and that the Duke is an egregious weasel for having even suggested it. Irritated by the fool's impudence, the Duke orders his death. With the Duke's guards in pursuit, Pocket makes a daring escape. He soon stumbles into the wooded realm of the fairy king Oberon, who, as luck would have it, IS short a fool. Oberon makes Pocket an offer he can't refuse.


A Thousand Moons
by Sebastian Barry

Winona Cole, an orphaned child of the Lakota Indians, finds herself growing up in an unconventional household on a farm in west Tennessee. Raised by her adoptive parents John Cole and Thomas McNulty, whose story Barry told in his acclaimed previous novel Days Without End, she forges a life for herself beyond the violence and dispossession of her past. Tennessee is a state still riven by the bitter legacy of the Civil War, and the fragile harmony of her family is soon threatened by a further traumatic event, one which Winona struggles to confront, let alone understand. Exquisitely written, A Thousand Moons is a stirring, poignant story of love and redemption, of one woman's journey and her determination to write her own future.


Outsider
by Linda Castillo

Linda Castillo follows her instant New York Times bestseller, Shamed, with Outsider, an electrifying thriller about a woman on the run hiding among the Amish. Chief of Police Kate Burkholder's past comes back to haunt her when she receives a call from Amish widower Adam Lengacher. While enjoying a sleigh ride with his children, he discovered a car stuck in a snowdrift and an unconscious woman inside. Kate arrives at his farm and is shocked to discover the driver is a woman she hasn't seen in ten years: fellow cop Gina Colorosa. Ten years ago, Kate and Gina were best friends at the police academy, graduating together as rookies with the Columbus Division of Police. But the reunion takes an ominous turn when Kate learns Gina is wanted for killing an undercover officer. Gina claims she's innocent, that she was framed by corrupt officers who want her gone because she was about to turn them in for wrongdoing. Kate calls upon state agent John Tomasetti for help and with a blizzard bearing down, they delve into the incident. But no one wants to talk about what happened the night Gina allegedly gunned down a fellow cop. Even Tomasetti is stonewalled, his superior telling him in no uncertain terms to back off. With whisperings of corruption and the threat of rogue cops seeking revenge, Kate and Gina hunker down at Adam Lengacher's farm. As Kate gets closer to the truth, a killer lies in wait. When violence strikes, Kate must confront a reality that changes everything she thought she knew not only about friendship, but the institution to which she's devoted her life.


Pretty Things
by Janelle Brown

Nina once bought into the idea that her fancy liberal arts degree would lead to a fulfilling career. When that dream crashed, she turned to stealing from rich kids in L.A. alongside her wily Irish boyfriend, Lachlan. Nina learned from the best: Her mother was the original con artist, hustling to give her daughter a decent childhood despite their wayward life. But when her mom gets sick, Nina puts everything on the line to help her, even if it means running her most audacious, dangerous scam yet. Vanessa is a privileged young heiress who wanted to make her mark in the world. Instead she becomes an Instagram influencer--traveling the globe, receiving free clothes and products, and posing for pictures in exotic locales. But behind the covetable façade is a life marked by tragedy. After a broken engagement, Vanessa retreats to her family's sprawling mountain estate, Stonehaven: A mansion of dark secrets not just from Vanessa's past, but from that of a lost and troubled girl named Nina. Nina, Vanessa, and Lachlan's paths collide here, on the cold shores of Lake Tahoe, where their intertwined lives give way to a winter of aspiration and desire, duplicity and revenge. (Provided by publisher)


Masked Prey
by John Sanford

Lucas Davenport investigates a vitriolic blog that seems to be targeting the children of U.S. politicians in the latest thriller by #1 New York Times-bestselling author John Sandford. The daughter of a U.S. Senator is monitoring her social media presence when she finds a picture of herself on a strange blog. And there are other pictures . . . of the children of other influential Washington politicians, walking or standing outside their schools, each identified by name. Surrounding the photos are texts of vicious political rants from a motley variety of radical groups. It's obviously alarming--is there an unstable extremist tracking the loved ones of powerful politicians with deadly intent? But when the FBI is called in, there isn't much the feds can do. The anonymous photographer can't be pinned down to one location or IP address, and more importantly, at least to the paper-processing bureaucrats, no crime has actually been committed. With nowhere else to turn, influential Senators decide to call in someone who can operate outside the FBI's constraints: Lucas Davenport.(Goodreads.com)


Countdown 1945
by Chris Wallace

April 12, 1945: After years of bloody conflict in Europe and the Pacific, America is stunned by news of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death. In an instant, Vice President Harry Truman, who has been kept out of war planning and knows nothing of the top-secret Manhattan Project to develop the world’s first atomic bomb, must assume command of a nation at war on multiple continents—and confront one of the most consequential decisions in history. Countdown 1945 tells the gripping true story of the turbulent days, weeks, and months to follow, leading up to August 6, 1945, when Truman gives the order to drop the bomb on Hiroshima.
In Countdown 1945, Chris Wallace, the veteran journalist and anchor of Fox News Sunday, takes readers inside the minds of the iconic and elusive figures who join the quest for the bomb, each for different reasons: the legendary Albert Einstein, who eventually calls his vocal support for the atomic bomb “the one great mistake in my life”; lead researcher J. Robert “Oppie” Oppenheimer and the Soviet spies who secretly infiltrate his team; the fiercely competitive pilots of the plane selected to drop the bomb; and many more.
Perhaps most of all, Countdown 1945 is the story of an untested new president confronting a decision that he knows will change the world forever. Truman’s journey during these 116 days is a story of high drama: from the shock of learning of the bomb’s existence, to the conflicting advice he receives from generals like Dwight D. Eisenhower and George Marshall, to wrestling with the devastating carnage that will result if he gives the order to use America’s first weapon of mass destruction.
But Countdown 1945 is more than a book about the atomic bomb. It’s also an unforgettable account of the lives of ordinary American and Japanese civilians in wartime—from “Calutron Girls” like Ruth Sisson in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to ten-year-old Hiroshima resident Hideko Tamura, who survives the blast at ground zero but loses her mother and later immigrates to the United States, where she lives to this day—as well as American soldiers fighting in the Pacific, waiting in fear for the order to launch a possible invasion of Japan.
Told with vigor, intelligence, and humanity, Countdown 1945 is the definitive account of one of the most significant moments in history. (Amazon.com)


A Woman of No Importance
by Sonia Purnell

The never-before-told story of one woman's heroism that changed the course of the Second World War. In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent transmission: 'She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her.' This spy was Virginia Hall, a young American woman--rejected from the foreign service because of her gender and her prosthetic leg--who talked her way into the spy organization dubbed Churchill's 'ministry of ungentlemanly warfare,' and, before the United States had even entered the war, became the first woman to deploy to occupied France . . . At a time when sending female secret agents into enemy territory was still strictly forbidden, Virginia Hall came to be known as the 'Madonna of the Resistance,' coordinating a network of spies to blow up bridges, report on German troop movements, arrange equipment drops for Resistance agents, and recruit and train guerrilla fighters. (Provided by publisher)


American Dirt
by Jeanine Cummins

Lydia Quixano Perez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is. . . fairly comfortable. . . And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with four books he would like to buy. . . Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia's husband's tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same. Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon . . . ride la bestia-trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier's reach doesn't extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to? (Provided by publisher)

July/August 2020

Suffrage : women's long battle for the vote
by Ellen Carol DuBois

Honoring the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the Constitution, this exciting history explores the full scope of the movement to win the vote for women through portraits of its bold leaders and devoted activists. Distinguished historian Ellen Carol DuBois begins in the pre-Civil War years with foremothers Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Sojourner Truth as she explores the links of the woman suffrage movement to the abolition of slavery. After the Civil War, Congress granted freed African American men the right to vote but not white and African American women, a crushing disappointment. DuBois shows how suffrage leaders persevered through the Jim Crow years into the reform era of Progressivism. She introduces new champions Carrie Chapman Catt and Alice Paul, who brought the fight into the 20th century, and she shows how African American women, led by Ida B. Wells-Barnett, demanded voting rights even as white suffragists ignored them. DuBois explains how suffragists built a determined coalition of moderate lobbyists and radical demonstrators in forging a strategy of winning voting rights in crucial states to set the stage for securing suffrage for all American women in the Constitution. In vivid prose DuBois describes suffragists’ final victories in Congress and state legislatures, culminating in the last, most difficult ratification, in Tennessee. DuBois follows women’s efforts to use their voting rights to win political office, increase their voting strength, and pass laws banning child labor, ensuring maternal health, and securing greater equality for women. Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Vote is sure to become the authoritative account of one of the great episodes in the history of American democracy. (Amazon.com)


What Happens in Paradise
by  Elin Hilderbrand

A year ago, Irene Steele had the shock of her life: her loving husband, father to their grown sons and successful businessman, was killed in a plane crash. But that wasn't Irene's only shattering news. He'd also been leading a double life on the island of St. John, where another woman loved him, too. Now Irene and her sons are back on St. John, determined to learn the truth about the mysterious life -- and death -- of a man they thought they knew. Along the way, they're about to learn some surprising truths about their own lives, and their futures. (Goodreads.com)


The Book of Lost Friends
by Lisa Wingate

Best-selling author Lisa Wingate brings to life startling stories from actual "Lost Friends" advertisements that appeared in Southern newspapers after the Civil War, as newly freed slaves desperately searched for loved ones who had been sold away. Louisiana, 1875: In the tumultuous era of Reconstruction, three young women set off as unwilling companions on a perilous quest: Hannie, a freed slave; Lavinia, the pampered heir to a now destitute plantation; and Juneau Jane, Lavinia’s Creole half-sister. Each carries private wounds and powerful secrets as they head for Texas, following roads rife with vigilantes and soldiers still fighting a war lost a decade before. For Lavinia and Juneau Jane, the journey is one of stolen inheritance and financial desperation, but for Hannie, torn from her mother and siblings before slavery’s end, the pilgrimage west reignites an agonizing question: Could her long-lost family still be out there? Beyond the swamps lie the limitless frontiers of Texas and, improbably, hope. Louisiana, 1987: For first-year teacher Benedetta Silva, a subsidized job at a poor rural school seems like the ticket to canceling her hefty student debt - until she lands in a tiny, out-of-step Mississippi River town. Augustine, Louisiana, is suspicious of new ideas and new people, and Benny can scarcely comprehend the lives of her poverty-stricken students. But amid the gnarled live oaks and run-down plantation homes lie the century-old history of three young women, a long-ago journey, and a hidden book that could change everything. (Goodreads.com)


The Henna Artist
by Alka Joshi

Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist—and confidante—to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own. Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow—a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Still she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she does. (Goodreads.com)


Relentless: Unleashing a Life Purpose, Grit, and Faith
by John Tosh

 In this engrossing memoir, Tesh describes how the obstacles that shaped him—including being suspended from college, living homeless for months, and facing a deadly disease—shaped his remarkable life. You’ll hear, in never-before-told stories, how Tesh became the youngest correspondent at WCBS News less than thirty-six months after he was working at a gas station and sleeping in a public park. You’ll go inside the unconventional way he composed the now-iconic theme song for NBC Sports basketball and how he and his wife, Connie Sellecca, created the popular, nationally-syndicated Intelligence for Your Life radio program. From live commentary for two Olympic Games to his decade-long role as co-host of Entertainment Tonight and the outrageous gamble that resulted in one of the most successful Public Television concert specials in history, you’ll learn how Tesh applied his unique process of focused practice, grit, and perseverance while maintaining a single-minded pursuit of his goals. In 2015, he fought and received treatment for a stage-three cancer diagnosis, but when the cancer returned, he and his wife turned to relentless faith and divine healing scriptures to manifest a victory over the disease.  Relentless is an astonishing story of how obstacles create opportunity and how faith will lead to triumph. (Goodreads.com)


A Perfect Explanation
by Eleanor Anstruther

Enid Campbell, granddaughter of a duke, grew up surrounded by servants, wanting for nothing except love. But when her brother died in the First World War, a new heir was needed, and it was up to Enid to provide it. A troubled marriage and three children soon followed. Broken by postpartum depression, overwhelmed by motherhood and a loveless marriage, Enid made the shocking decision to abandon her family, thereby starting a chain of events—a kidnap, a court case, and selling her son to her sister for £500—that reverberated through the generations. (Goodreads.com)


Hidden Valley Road
by Robert Kolker

Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don's work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins--aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony--and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after the other, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family? What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institutes of Mental Health. (Provided by publisher)


American Sherlock
by Kate Winkler Dawson

Berkeley, California, 1933. In a lab filled with curiosities--beakers, microscopes, Bunsen burners, and hundreds upon hundreds of books--sat an investigator who would go on to crack at least two thousand cases in his forty-year career. Known as the "American Sherlock Holmes," Edward Oscar Heinrich was one of America's greatest--and first--forensic scientists, with an uncanny knack for finding clues, establishing evidence, and deducing answers with a skill that seemed almost supernatural. Heinrich was one of the nation's first expert witnesses, working in a time when the turmoil of Prohibition led to sensationalized crime reporting and only a small, systematic study of evidence. However with his brilliance, and commanding presence in both the courtroom and at crime scenes, Heinrich spearheaded the invention of a myriad of new forensic tools that police still use today, including blood spatter analysis, ballistics, lie-detector tests, and the use of fingerprints as courtroom evidence. His work, though not without its serious--some would say fatal--flaws, changed the course of American criminal investigation. Based on years of research and thousands of never-before-published primary source materials, American Sherlock captures the life of the man who pioneered the science our legal system now relies upon--as well as the limits of those techniques and the very human experts who wield them. (Provided by Publisher)


The German House
by Annette Hess

For twenty-four-year-old Eva Bruhns, World War II is a foggy childhood memory. At the war’s end, Frankfurt was a smoldering ruin, severely damaged by the Allied bombings. But that was two decades ago. Now it is 1963, and the city’s streets, once cratered are smooth and paved. Shiny new stores replace scorched rubble. Eager for her wealthy suitor, Jürgen Schoormann, to propose, Eva dreams of starting a new life away from her parents and sister. But Eva’s plans are turned upside down when a fiery investigator, David Miller, hires her as a translator for a war crimes trial. As she becomes more deeply involved in the Frankfurt Trials, Eva begins to question her family’s silence on the war and her future. Why do her parents refuse to talk about what happened? What are they hiding? Does she really love Jürgen and will she be happy as a housewife? Though it means going against the wishes of her family and her lover, Eva, propelled by her own conscience , joins a team of fiery prosecutors determined to bring the Nazis to justice—a decision that will help change the present and the past of her nation. (Goodreads.com)

March/April 2020

The Bubble in the Sun
by Christopher Knowlton

he 1920s in Florida was a time of incredible excess, immense wealth, and precipitous collapse. The decade there produced the largest human migration in American history, far exceeding the settlement of the West, as millions flocked to the grand hotels and the new cities that rose rapidly from the teeming wetlands. The boom spawned a new subdivision civilization—and the most egregious large-scale assault on the environment in the name of “progress.” Nowhere was the glitz and froth of the Roaring Twenties more excessive than in Florida. Here was Vegas before there was a Vegas: gambling was condoned and so was drinking, since prohibition was not enforced. Tycoons, crooks, and celebrities arrived en masse to promote or exploit this new and dazzling American frontier in the sunshine. Yet, the import and deep impact of these historical events have never been explored thoroughly until now. In Bubble in the Sun Christopher Knowlton examines the grand artistic and entrepreneurial visions behind Coral Gables, Boca Raton, Miami Beach, and other storied sites, as well as the darker side of the frenzy. For while giant fortunes were being made and lost and the nightlife raged more raucously than anywhere else, the pure beauty of the Everglades suffered wanton ruination and the workers, mostly black, who built and maintained the boom, endured grievous abuses. Knowlton breathes dynamic life into the forces that made and wrecked Florida during the decade: the real estate moguls Carl Fisher, George Merrick, and Addison Mizner, and the once-in-a-century hurricane whose aftermath triggered the stock market crash. This essential account is a revelatory—and riveting—history of an era that still affects our country today.


Unspeakable things
by Jess Lourey

Inspired by a terrifying true story from the author's hometown, a heart-pounding novel of suspense about a small Minnesota community where nothing is as quiet or as safe as it seems. Cassie McDowell's life in 1980s Minnesota seems perfectly wholesome. She lives on a farm, loves school, and has a crush on the nicest boy in class. Yes, there are her parents' strange parties and their parade of deviant guests, but she's grown accustomed to them. All that changes when someone comes hunting in Lilydale. One by one, local boys go missing. One by one, they return changed, violent, moody, and withdrawn. What happened to them becomes the stuff of shocking rumors. The accusations of whose responsible grow just as wild, and dangerous town secrets start to surface. Then Cassie's own sister undergoes the dark change. If she is to survive, Cassie must find her way in an adult world where every sin is justified, and only the truth is unforgivable.


The Girls with No Names
by Serena Burdick

In New York City in the 1910s, Luella and Effie Tildon realize that even as wealthy young women, their freedoms come with limits. When the sisters discover a shocking secret about their father, Luella, the brazen elder sister, becomes emboldened to do as she pleases. Her rebellion comes with consequences, and Effie suspects her father has sent Luella to the 'House of Mercy.' Effie gets herself committed to save her sister, but when Effie's own escape seems impossible she must rely on an enigmatic girl named Mable to survive.


Moral Compass
by Danielle Steel

Saint Ambrose Prep is a place where the wealthy send their children for the best possible education . . . Traditionally a boys-only school, Saint Ambrose has just enrolled one hundred and forty female students for the first time. Even though most of the kids on the campus have all the privilege in the world, some are struggling . . . One day after the school's annual Halloween event, a student lies in the hospital, her system poisoned by dangerous levels of alcohol. Everyone in this sheltered community--parents, teachers, students, police, and the media--are left trying to figure out what actually happened. Only the handful of students who were there when she was attacked truly know the answers and they have vowed to keep one another's secrets. As details from the evening emerge, powerful families are forced to hire attorneys, while other families watch helplessly. Parents' marriages are jeopardized, and students' futures are impacted. No one at Saint Ambrose can escape the fallout of a life-altering event.


Notre-Dame: a Short History of the Meaning of Cathedrals
by Ken Follett

In this short, spellbinding book, international bestselling author Ken Follett describes the emotions that gripped him when he learned about the fire that threatened to destroy one of the greatest cathedrals in the world—the Notre-Dame de Paris. Follett then tells the story of the cathedral, from its construction to the role it has played across time and history, and he reveals the influence that the Notre-Dame had upon cathedrals around the world and on the writing of one of Follett's most famous and beloved novels, The Pillars of the Earth. Ken Follett will donate his proceeds from this book to the charity La Fondation du Patrimoine.