My favorite genre is historical fiction but occasionally I will step out of my reading comfort zone. A regular library patron suggested I try something different; he recommended Deep State: A Thriller by Chris Hauty. This is Hauty’s first novel.
In this novel, we are dealt situations of political intrigue. First, the White House Chief of Staff is found dead supposedly from a heart attack; his intern, Hayley Chill, who found the body, is suspicious of the cause of death. Soon after, a series of other deaths connected to the White House follow. Who can she trust?
There are lots of twists and turns and I did not see the end coming. Hauty is an accomplished screenwriter, so the book feels like a novel version of an exciting Hollywood thriller. Historical fiction is still my favorite genre, but this was an enjoyable dalliance in something else.
What happens when a waspy mother, her shopping addict daughter, marijuana growing son, and their families are all stuck on a luxury cruise ship together? The dysfunctional family trip of a lifetime, of course! The Floating Feldmans by Elyssa Friedland is the perfect lighthearted companion to bring the comic relief you need on your next family vacation. Beth
Run Me to Earth by Paul Yoon is set in Laos during the Vietnam War, when the country was continuously bombed in a covert attempt by the CIA to wrest power from the communist Pathet Lao, a group allied with North Vietnam and the Soviet Union. Three teens, Alasik and siblings Prany and Noi have lost their parents to opium and violence, and are surviving by working at a makeshift hospital, driving motorbikes to make deliveries, tending to patients and staking out paths between the unexploded bombs. Yoon’s spare, exacting prose expresses their hopes, their friendship, their humanity in the midst of heartbreaking events. Beautiful, just beautiful – I couldn’t stop reading it. Dori
This spooky supernatural thriller follows 20-year-old Carly Kirk as she ventures to upstate New York, having recently lost her mother to cancer, determined to solve the mysterious disappearance of her aunt Viv at the Sun Down Motel 35 years ago. Viv worked the overnight shift at the motel and completely vanished one night in November of 1982- her body was never found by authorities and her family basically wiped her from their collective memory. Carly herself signs on for the same graveyard shift at the motel, and soon discovers that the town of Fells, NY seems to have had a number of never-solved murders of local young women immediately preceding Viv’s disappearance. Readers experience the story in alternating narratives, from Viv’s point of view in 1982 and Carly in the present, with both characters experiencing terrifying moments at the motel as they dig deeper into the motel’s secrets. I haven’t made it to the end yet, but I can’t wait to see how this wraps up! Mystery and horror fans will definitely want to pick this up. Nicole
This is the political rom-com I did not know I needed. Jamie Goldberg is happy to volunteer for his local senate candidate. His cousin is the campaign manager and Jamie himself has political aspirations, which will never happen because he just can’t talk to people. Maya’s life is falling apart–her parents are separating and her best friend is too busy working and getting ready for college. When her mom runs into Jamie’s mom the two mothers hatch a plan for the teens to canvass together. What’s in it for Maya? A car at the end of the summer. The reluctant duo start knocking on doors and before they know it a new friendship has developed. Jamie and Maya expertly handle their roles as activists, but the issue of cross-cultural romance is not so easy a topic to navigate. A rare YA book with present and supportive parents as well as normal and realistic friendships. While the relationship between Maya and Jamie is cute, the book doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to addressing racism, Islamophobia, and white supremacy. Megan
Marianne and Connell are high school seniors and clandestine lovers. Both are star students, however, Marianne is an outcast, raised by her widowed mother in a wealthy home ridden with dysfunction. Connell is a popular star athlete, raised by his unwed mother, in a working class home, yet is nurtured by a caring, wonderful mom. The twist… Connell’s mother works as a maid at Marianne’s home. For the next four years, the reader follows Marianne’s and Connell’s intense yet complicated relationship that’s repeatedly muddled by secrets, miscommunication, and anxiety about their their place in the social hierarchy. As a reader, you will get mad at those two, you will root for those two, in the end, you will understand those two. If this review doesn’t draw your interest, at least treat yourself to a book taking place in Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! Mary
Journalist Lulu Randolph heads to Nassau in 1941 to investigate the governor, actually the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, for a popular New York magazine. Soon Lulu falls in love with Benedict Thorpe, a British scientist who is captured by the Nazis. Told in alternating chapters, It’s also the story of Benedict’s parents, Elfriede and Wilfred decades earlier. This is an exceptional historical novel full of romance, spies, intrigue, racial tension and murder. Emma
Check out some of the exciting new fiction titles coming to our shelves this spring!
3/03: The Night Watchmanby Louise Erdrich – A historical novel based on the life of the National Book Award-winning author’s grandfather traces the experiences of a Chippewa Council night watchman in mid-19th-century rural North Dakota who fights Congress to enforce Native American treaty rights. This powerful novel explores themes of love and death with lightness and gravity and unfolds with the elegant prose, sly humor, and depth of feeling of a master craftsman.
3/03: The Numbers Gameby Danielle Steel – Setting aside her dreams to raise a family, Eileen reevaluates her sacrifices in the wake of her husband’s affair with a famous actress’s daughter, who discovers that she needs to find herself before committing to someone else. In this stunning novel, modern relationships come together, fall apart, and are reinvented over time, proving that age is just a number.
3/03: Deacon King Kongby James McBride – In the aftermath of a 1969 Brooklyn church deacon’s public shooting of a local drug dealer, the community’s African-American and Latinx witnesses find unexpected support from each other when they are targeted by violent mobsters. From James McBride, author of the National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird, one of the most anticipated novels of the year: a wise and witty tale about what happens to the witnesses of a shooting.
3/10: The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel – A tale inspired by the final years of Thomas Cromwell describes how after the execution of Anne Boleyn and child-bed death of Queen Jane, the former blacksmith’s son orchestrates a desperate plot to fortify England and save his own life.
3/10: A Good Neighborhoodby Therese Anne Fowler – A gripping contemporary novel that examines the American dream through the lens of two families living side by side in an idyllic neighborhood, and the one summer that changes their lives irrevocably. A Good Neighborhood asks big questions about life in America today—what does it mean to be a good neighbor? How do we live alongside each other when we don’t see eye to eye?
3/10:Journey of the Pharaohs by Clive Cussler – Kurt Austin and the NUMA crew race to identify a link between an ancient Egyptian treasure, a 1927 daredevil aviator’s disappearance and the sinking of a modern fishing trawler to prevent a scheme by a cutthroat arms dealer in the thrilling new novel from the #1 New York Times-bestselling grand master of adventure.
3/10: A Reasonable Doubtby Phillip Margolin – When a magician linked to suspicious deaths goes missing in the middle of performing a new trick, criminal defense attorney Robin Lockwood untangles dangerous clues to identify a killer among numerous suspects. By a New York Times best-selling author.
3/10: Devotedby Dean Koontz – A child who has not spoken since his father’s death befriends a dog who understands his wordless communications, which are complicated by the boy’s conviction that an evil is targeting his family. By a #1 New York Times best-selling author.
3/31: Fearlessby Fern Michaels – Falling in love with a divorced professor she meets on a singles cruise, widow Anna Campbell accepts his proposal before uncovering disturbing facts about him and his children. By the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Godmothers series.
Here are some nonfiction books to take a look at! Whether you’re looking for a new memoir, a WWII history title or an interesting new science book, we have something for you!
02/04: Brother & Sister: A Memoir by Diane Keaton – The Academy Award-winning film star and best-selling author of Then Again presents a memoir of her complicated relationship with a beloved younger brother, who transitioned from a close sibling into a troubled and reclusive alcoholic.
02/04: Open Book by Jessica Simpson – An unstinting memoir by the pop artist and fashion icon traces the story of her life before and after fame, the role of faith in her achievements and her difficult decision to step out of the limelight. Guided by the journals she’s kept since age fifteen, and brimming with her unique humor and down-to-earth humanity, Open Book is as inspiring as it is entertaining.
02/11: Hold On, but Don’t Hold Still: Hope and Humor from My Seriously Flawed Life by Kristina Kuzmic – A popular speaker on family and parenting tells her story of ditching her fairytale dreams and falling in love with her unpredictable, chaotic, imperfect life. Delivering inspiration and “parenting comedy at its finest,” here is one woman’s story of ditching her fairytale dreams and falling in love with her unpredictable, chaotic, imperfect life.
02/11: Decoding Boys: New Science Behind the Subtle Art of Raising Sonsby Cara Natterson – Citing the less-recognized behavioral tendencies of male adolescence that complicate communications between parents and children, a guide to raising teen boys shares strategic guidelines on effective parenting, managing screen time and understanding the sources of negative behavior. By the bestselling author of The Care and Keeping of You series and Guy Stuff: The Body Book for Boys.
02/11: In the Land of Menby Adrienne Miller – The author of The Coast of Akron traces her coming of age in the male-dominated 1990’s literary world, discussing her relationship with David Foster Wallace and her achievements as the first female literary editor of Esquire.
02/18: Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction by David Enrich – The New York Times finance editor and award-winning author of The Spider Network presents a journalistic exposé of the scandalous activities of Deutsche Bank and its shadowy ties to Donald Trump’s business empire. Darkly fascinating and yet all too real, it’s a tale that will keep you up at night.
01/07: Animalkind: Remarkable Discoveries About Animals and Revolutionary New Ways to Show Them Compassionby Ingrid Newkirk & Gene Stone – The founder and president of PETA and a bestselling author pair their tour of the astounding lives of animals with a guide to the exciting new tools that allow humans to avoid using or abusing animals as we once did. Animalkind is a fascinating study of why our fellow living beings deserve our respect, and moreover, the steps every reader can take to put this new understanding into action.
01/07:The Phantom Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy, Updated and Expanded Editionby Elizabeth Kendall & Molly Kendall – An updated, expanded edition of the author’s 1981 memoir detailing her six-year relationship with serial killer Ted Bundy, which was the basis for the Amazon Original docuseries, includes a new introduction and a new afterword by the author, never-before-seen photos, and a startling new chapter from the author’s daughter.
01/07: Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives by Daniel J. Levitin – A leading neuroscientist and best-selling author examines how to make the most of our post-60 years by examining those who age joyously and discussing resilience strategies and practical, cognitive enhancing tricks. Levitin turns his keen insights to what happens in our brains as we age, what you can do to make the most of your seventies, eighties, and nineties today no matter how old you are now.
01/14: Elemental Knits: A Perennial Knitwear Collection by Courtney Spainhower – This book is for women who aspire to be ever stylish, more comfortable, and less wasteful. A collection of 20 customizable knitting patterns counsels do-it-yourself crafters on how to select practical patterns and fibers while creating wardrobe-enhancing fashions for different times of the year.
Every year I bemoan the fact that I didn’t read enough, etc, etc., but this year it seems truer than ever! I still, though, found quite a few books to sink into and enjoy; I listened to many through the Libby app. Below is my list, in no particular order.