Recommended Reads

Recommended Reads: ‘The Night Circus’ a magical tale that delivers

Recommended Reads: ‘The Night Circus’ a magical tale that delivers

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern “The circus arrives without warning. . . It is simply there when yesterday it was not.” It’s a mystical Victorian circus and as it travels its fame grows. The appeal is to all ages, and a group of fans form with mysterious ways to predict where the circus may appear next. Open only from sunset to sunrise, the night hours are filled with magic, caramel popcorn,... »

Recommended Reads: Book sheds light on secrets to a happy life

Recommended Reads: Book sheds light on secrets to a happy life

The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die, by John Izzo What does a happy life, a life well lived, look like? That is the question this author sets out to research. This book is a description of what he learned from interviewing over 200 people ages 60 to 106. Each person had been identified by friends and family as “the one person they knew who had found happiness and meaning.” It turns o... »

Recommended Reads: The secret spy ring that saved the American Revolution

Recommended Reads: The secret spy ring that saved the American Revolution

George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution, by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger Here is an historic example of ordinary people living extraordinary lives. These people acted with heroism and patriotism that they had to keep secret from their friends, family, and community. This book is centered on General George Washington’s persistence to win New York back from B... »

Recommended Reads:  ‘The Violets of March’ all about family secrets

Recommended Reads: ‘The Violets of March’ all about family secrets

The Violets of March, by Sarah Jio Psssst. I have a secret. When you hear those words, especially with a lowered voice, it gets your attention. This novel is all about family secrets. The story holds added fascination with most of its action set on beautiful Bainbridge Island. Vivid writing brings the Island to life, as if it’s another character in the novel. Sarah Jio lives in Seattle with her fa... »

Recommended Reads: ‘Harvest’ a chilling look into world of transplant medicine

Recommended Reads: ‘Harvest’ a chilling look into world of transplant medicine

Harvest, by Tess Gerritsen Did anyone ever warn you that sometimes you will reap what others sow? I’m not talking agriculture; this “Harvest” is within a medical thriller. This novel is a chilling, heart-pounding look into the world of transplant medicine. And especially a look into what is reaped when a system goes unthinkably wrong. Dr. Abby DiMatteo is a medical resident at Boston’s... »

Recommended Reads: ‘The Fire’ presents a mysterious, living game of chess around the world

Recommended Reads: ‘The Fire’ presents a mysterious, living game of chess around the world

The Fire, by Katherine Neville There has been a 200-year-long quest for the fabulous, bejeweled chess set of Charlemagne. The historical and modern people participating in this quest have taken on the persona of each of the different, opposing chess pieces. The Black Queen from the first novel “The Eight” suddenly surfaces in Russia 30 years later, launching the living chess game searc... »

Recommended Reads: ‘The House at the End of Hope Street’ spellbinding

Recommended Reads: ‘The House at the End of Hope Street’ spellbinding

The House at the End of Hope Street, by Menna Van Praag Overwhelmed by life, a magical house offers a 99-night reprieve to women who need an oasis to sort out their way. Why 99? It’s just enough time to transform a life, but not too much time so you’ll procrastinate. At the end of Hope Street, an enchanted house can appear just in time for a distraught young woman. The house is kept up by a beauti... »

Recommended Reads: ‘A Gift from the Enemy’ a poignant WWII memoir

Recommended Reads: ‘A Gift from the Enemy’ a poignant WWII memoir

A Gift from the Enemy: Childhood Memories in Wartime Italy, by Eric Lamet This memoir spans 67 months, more than 2,000 days, starting from the ill-fated Sunday in March 1938 when Hitler’s troops invaded Austria and turned this Jewish family into nomads. Sixty-seven months of running, hiding, trying to stay alive and maintaining sanity is a compelling story, particularly as it is told through the v... »

Recommended Reads: ‘Me Before You’ about love and overcoming limitations

Recommended Reads: ‘Me Before You’ about love and overcoming limitations

Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes Two people are thrown together by circumstances, and destiny. When you meet each of them you’re certain that these two personalities are not naturally drawn to each other. That is a description of me before you . . . for them. By that I mean, it’s a description of what they were before coming into each other’s lives, not what they become. Louisa (Lou) Clark is a workin... »

Recommended Reads: ‘Purse of Your Own’ gives women big picture on finances

Recommended Reads: ‘Purse of Your Own’ gives women big picture on finances

Purse of Your Own: An Easy Guide to Financial Security, by Deborah Owens with Brenda Lane Richardson Have you resolved to get your finances under control and make headway on defining and achieving your financial goals? Here is a very helpful guide for how to do just that. It is written especially for women, encouraging them to take control of their lives, their futures, and their purses by leverag... »

Recommended Reads: ‘Republic of Thieves’ an epic adventure story

Recommended Reads: ‘Republic of Thieves’ an epic adventure story

The Republic of Thieves, by Scott Lynch Herein is an epic adventure story. It begins curiously as a narrative like Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist,” with an orphan gang and the Fagin type of character. It develops into parallel plot lines that tell, in alternating chapters, about the main characters’ childhoods and their adult magical adventures. Yes, it is magical adventures. This fant... »

Recommended Reads: ‘A quirky little novel illustrated with photos’

Recommended Reads: ‘A quirky little novel illustrated with photos’

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs This story intrigues from the beginning. As the author modestly describes it, “this is a quirky little novel illustrated with photos.” The odd collection of vintage photos that is showcased, integral to the story, fascinates and haunts you. Your excitement to read the next plot turn is matched by your eagerness to see the next curious ph... »

Recommended Reads: ‘Across a Hundred Mountains’ puts human face on immigration issue

Recommended Reads: ‘Across a Hundred Mountains’ puts human face on immigration issue

Across a Hundred Mountains, by Reyna Grande Illegal immigration from Mexico to the U.S. is most often a political or economic discussion. This novel puts a human face on the families involved in the 1980s. This is the story of one family, their tragedies, and the impacts of their extreme poverty in Guerrero, Mexico. The father labors in the fields for pesos. He hears tales from others about big wa... »

Recommended Reads: ‘Tarnished Beauty’ about believing in miracles

Recommended Reads: ‘Tarnished Beauty’ about believing in miracles

Tarnished Beauty, by Cecilia Samartin This is a story about believing in miracles. The message is everything in life is an illusion; the truth is what we believe with the power of conviction. We make our own miracles. Choose your stories and believe in them with all your heart, and all your soul – your entire being, and they will be your truth. Jamilet is marked from birth. Her face radiates beaut... »

Recommended Reads: ‘Men We Reaped’ a memoir of loss and love

Recommended Reads: ‘Men We Reaped’ a memoir of loss and love

Men We Reaped — A Memoir, by Jesmyn Ward Jesmyn Ward won the National Book Award for her second novel, “Salvage the Bones.” I chose to first sample her writing with her third book, this memoir. She recounts the tragic events that predated, and in some ways gave birth to, her career as a writer. In four years she lost five young men who were dear to her. One was her brother. They were lost to... »

Recommended Reads: Mystery ‘All Mortal Flesh’ will keep you on edge of your seat

Recommended Reads: Mystery ‘All Mortal Flesh’ will keep you on edge of your seat

All Mortal Flesh, by Julia Spencer-Fleming This mystery has as many unexpected twists as a car with bald tires driving into a New England nor’easter snow storm. Hang on to the edge of your seat and this author will take the wheel. In full disclosure, this mystery novel is one of an eight-book series. You can dive into the middle of the series with this book and completely enjoy the characters, the... »

Recommended Reads: ‘The Art Forger’ based on real-life theft of Degas paintings

Recommended Reads: ‘The Art Forger’ based on real-life theft of Degas paintings

The Art Forger, by B. A. Shapiro Isabella Stewart Gardner, art collector and philanthropist, founded a museum of international art in Boston. On March 18, 1990 a pair of thieves disguised as Boston police officers entered this Museum and stole 13 works of art. This true story is the catalyst for the plot in this art crime novel “The Art Forger.” The novel’s heroine Claire Roth is a tal... »

Recommended Reads: ‘Sight Reading’

Recommended Reads: ‘Sight Reading’

Sight Reading, by Daphne Kalotay To “sight read” is to read and perform a piece of written music that the performer is seeing for the first time. Through the interwoven lives of this ensemble of characters, this novel surfaces life lessons. You’ll watch the characters as they live life’s symphony that builds crescendos, has its sad points, and also its joyful allegrezzas. Remy plays violin and is ... »

Recommended Reads: Book helps couples patiently find ‘middle ground’ in relationships

Recommended Reads: Book helps couples patiently find ‘middle ground’ in relationships

The Power of the Middle Ground: A Couple’s Guide to Renewing Your Relationship, by Marty Babits The middle ground is the place between selfishness and selflessness. This area of the relationship belongs to neither partner. Neither partner can claim or dominate this space. It is between partners, in the middle. It is not a compromise; it is the place of shared perspective. With tending, the middle ... »

Recommended Reads: ‘Follow Her Home’ an irresistible mystery

Recommended Reads: ‘Follow Her Home’ an irresistible mystery

Follow Her Home, by Steph Cha Juniper Song would love to be a detective. Now her dear friend asks her for help in a private, family investigation. That’s irresistible. It’s especially irresistible when the investigation quickly turns into a mystery. Her friends call her Song, and she’s been a Phillip Marlowe fan since her 20-something self had first read “The Big Sleep” at 13. As she s... »

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