Books

Author Joseph Kanon Is the Master of the “Slippery Slope”

Joseph Kanon is a master of the nearly-undetectable “slippery slope.”  In his novels, both the protagonist and the reader almost miss the spider web beginning to tighten from practically the first page. He is also a master of what I term the “intelligent thriller”—much of the action takes place in the characters’ minds as they investigate actions and motives.

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Read: How to Walk Away

Katherine Center writes of 20-something Margaret Jacobson, who is looking forward to two things—a new dream job and an engagement ring from her boyfriend, Chuck.  Although Margaret is afraid of flying, pilot-in-training Chuck persuades her to go on a short flight before what she assumes is their “proposal dinner.”  Up in the air, everything looks fine, until it isn’t, and the plane crashes.  Chuck walks away from the wreckage; Margaret does not.

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Read: Travel This Summer to Europe with P.S. From Paris

Reminiscent of the movie Notting Hill, P.S. From Paris by Marc Levy is a story about a world-famous actress and an American writer, as they seek respite from their lives in Paris. Mia is avoiding her philandering husband while Paul, hiding from the worldwide popularity of his first novel, is comfortable with the mediocre success his recent novels have found only in South Korea. When Paul’s friends trick him into going on a blind date with Mia, they bond and struggle to keep their relationship uncomplicated. The book’s humor and levity made it a quick and enjoyable read.

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Read: Devour-worthy Series

There’s been a spate of new novels involving libraries or bookstores set in remote, picturesque locations. One of the more recent titles is The Library at the Edge of the World, set in the fictional Irish peninsula of Finfarran (very similar to the Dingle Peninsula, the windswept, most westerly bit of Europe), is penned by Felicity Hayes-McCoy.
 

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Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult

There are certain books from our childhoods that continue to resonate well into adulthood. In Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult, author Bruce Handy takes readers on a journey through some of the most memorable children’s stories and characters, from Maurice Sendak’s wild rumpus to Dr.

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Read: Devour-worthy Series

Readers who enjoy authors Luke McCallin, Ben Pastor, Joseph Kanon, Susan Elia MacNeal, Alan Furst and Philip Kerr should dive into James Benn’s series, featuring Billy Boyle.

Did you know that General Dwight D. Eisenhower had an intrepid, young nephew who investigated sensitive military matters in WWII Europe? Well, in truth he didn’t, but Benn has created the ingenious character in Irish-American Boyle, who stars in a long-running series of mysteries just perfect for an afternoon of armchair spying.

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Read: Ink in Water

In her graphic novel memoir, writer, podcaster and body image advocate, Lacy J. Davis, tells the history of her eating disorder from the first nagging thought that she might be “too big” to admitting she had a problem, to her gradual recovery. In Ink in Water: An Illustrated Memoir (Or, How I Kicked Anorexia’s Ass and Embraced Body Positivity), Davis also writes about her life as an artist and awakening activist in the body positive movement.

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Read: Author Offers New Take on Othello in New Boy

Bestselling author of Girl With a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier, is a master of compelling historical fiction. In this slim but powerful new novel, she takes Shakespeare’s Othello and sets it into the racially-charged 1970s world of a suburban Washington, D.C. middle school. The characters are all sixth-graders—Ian, the calculating class bully; kind but naïve Dee; and Osei or “O,” the son of a Ghanaian diplomat.

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Read: Duluth Marathon Inspires Novel’s Backdrop

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see.”  This is a good way to approach Brian Freeman’s new book, Marathon, the eighth in his award-winning Jonathan Stride series.

The setting is Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth (although it’s referred to as “a marathon”). Reminiscent of the 2013 Boston Marathon, a bomb is detonated, killing and injuring runners and spectators. Readers are taken into the investigation, seeking the perpetrator and the motivation behind the crime.

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Read: Digging for Richard III

Digging for Richard III: The Search for the Lost King (revised edition) by Mike Pitts offers readers a meaty summer read. For centuries, speculation had abounded with respect to the fate of King Richard III’s remains—were they moved to another location or dug up, desecrated and scattered? Given Richard’s nefarious reputation, the latter wouldn’t have been surprising.

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