Anyone that has read his previous novels like "Fatherland" or "Enigma" knows Harris can write a page turner, and "Conclave" is another riveting and ambitious novel from him. The pope has died and now the cardinals from all over the world are meeting in the Vatican to determine who among them will be the next Pope.It's a glimpse inside the world's most secret election. The power plays and the rivalries keep the novel moving up to its twist of an ending. (Bob)
This is not a book about self defense. This is a book about how to survive and, best case scenario, stop an assault, a rape, a violent encounter of any kind. Tim Larkin is a security expert. He explains in great detail the angles required to break the various body parts of your attacker but his greatest message, the one that resonated with me, was that the average person must change their mindset about violence. Violence is a tool, according to Larkin; just as decent law abiding people use a hammer or a screwdriver for building something, violence is also a tool used for a certain purpose: to stop your attacker and save your life. Violence in this case is not good or evil. It's simply the right tool for the job. Larkin makes a convincing case that simply pretending that the awful things we see happening to other people on the news only happen to other people is the wrong mindset. When, not if, violence finds you, Larkin wants to make sure you are fully equipped with your greatest & best tool: your mind. (Kim)
A real psychological, hold-your-breath, what's going to happen next thriller about a couple who appear to have the perfect marriage and life, but do they really? A true case of things are not always as they seem to be. I can't say too much because I don't want to give anything away, but definitely worth the read. (Sue)
A headless corpse is found in an abandoned warehouse by two children. So begins the terror in the "City of Endless Night" the latest Pendergast novel from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. This was clearly Pendergast's most complex case with a killer who has none of the common serial killer traits and follows no clear path. A compelling read that I had trouble putting down! (Lisa)
Stephanie Plum and her group of friends once again leave you laughing at the situations they seem to get themselves into. In addition, Stephanie and Ranger, a seductive security specialist find themselves spending more time together. A very funny and easy read. (Ann)
Aza and Daisy are the best of friends. When the town's billionaire Russell Pickett disappears and there is a $100,000 reward, the girls decide to do some investigating of their own. As Aza tries to be a good friend to Daisy she's also dealing with the downward spiral of her mental health. Will she do what needs to do to be normal? (Bonnie)
With the school year starting up it puts me in the mind to recommend a book I've always admired, and reread every so often. "On Writing" by Stephen King which is both practical and inspiring at the same time. Part memoir and part writing class, King walks us through the nuts and bolts of his writing process in a relaxed and friendly way, it's like your getting advice from a close friend, in this case a friend who's sold over 350 million copies of his books. (Bob)
What can a Roman emperor who lived 2000 years ago tell us about life in the 21st century? A great deal, it turns out. The Meditations are a series of philosophical exercises, written perhaps as a form of self help, to enable Marcus to remind himself of the things which are of utmost importance in life: looking after your own virtue, doing what is good & right for not only yourself but for everyone else, how to not let distractions, both small & major derail you from your purpose. Written during the later years of his life, Marcus found time from a long, brutal war campaign to sit down & write about how to not let the people around you annoy you with their pettiness, to tell himself to get out of bed each day & do what needs to be done, to remark that nothing in nature is evil & so one cannot be harmed by it, not even by death or the loss of loved ones. A wonderful guide for anyone seeking to find calm within during turbulent times. (Kim)
A gripping and powerful historical novel set in Italy during WWII. The story centers around Eva Rosselli and her family, who are Jewish, a Catholic boy from America destined to become a priest, who comes to live with them before the war starts. This is their love story which takes many twists and turns, but also a tale of survival, resistance and heroism during one of the darkest times of our history. I could not put this one down. (Sue)
A family is murdered in their home and a teenage girl is missing. Is the missing girl a killer or a potential victim? Lisa Gardner shines her well-researched eye on the problems of opioid/alcohol problems in families and the burden it has placed on the foster care system. Sergeant Detective D.D. Warren teams up with survivor-turned-avenger Flora Dane from Gardner's previous book "Find Her" to figure out all the pieces of this fast-paced puzzle before someone else gets hurt. Lisa Gardner is truly one of my favorite authors who never fails to surprise me with her maze-like plots that keep me on my toes and her well-developed characters that draw me into their lives and emotions. I highly recommend this book to all of my fellow thriller lovers! (Lisa)
A very strange and intoxicating story about an 8 year old boy named Edgar and his interactions with his mother, grandmother, and a man who has his own tragic story. A compelling novel that draws you in and one that you don't want to end anytime soon. (Ann)
Reading from the perspective of Anne was fascinating for me. This book has made me see her as less of a villain and more of a poor girl who got caught up in the trappings of King Henry VIII and all he had to offer. Another great read from Weir!
A female con artist (she's the razor girl) teams up with a former detective now working as a restaurant health inspector in Hiaasen's latest novel now out in paperback. They are trying to locate the missing bearded star of a redneck TV show called the "Bayou Brethren" about a family of cajun rooster farmers. He's run off after going on an off color tirade at a public appearance. Throw in some mobsters and a few Gambian pouch rats and hilarity ensues. (Bob)
Great historical novel set in 9th century Norway. Full of revenge, bloody battles, petty kings & also some surprising tenderness between characters, this story is based on Icelandic Sagas & Norse mythology. Believable, sympathetic characters anchor this fast moving tale. Perfect for Game of Thrones fans who are desperate for more action. (Kim)
A wonderful tale for fans of Downtown Abbey about 1800's English aristocracy and the different levels of class, position, and power that shaped a family or an individual's life choices. I found it very funny the snobbery and narrow-mindedness of the higher-ups in society even to those within their own family. Sophia Trenchard, the daughter of a mere tradesman, dared to fall in love with Lord Ballasis and that set the story in motion for years to come. (Sue)
Five women go on a hike for a corporate retreat in the Australian bush but only four return. The story shifts between the search for the lost woman and the challenges the group of women faced during their ordeal. Incredibly descriptive and well written, I felt the frustration of the searchers and the despair of the women while they fought for their lives in the rugged terrain. Jane Harper's vivid portrayal of how quickly people revert to their more primal instincts when their lives are on the line is riveting and truthful. I found it very hard to put this book down!
Once again John Connolly takes you to an isolated and strange community in Maine called the CUT that is ruled by terror, intimidation, and murder. Charlie Parker, a private detective, is out to protect his client Jerome Burnel, once a hero but now a hunted man. A thriller that will keep you turning the pages! (Ann)
At the young age of 18, Victoria has just inherited the throne after her uncle's passing. Her headstrong ways make her a queen no one expected her to be. With the help of Lord Melbourne she strives to make her place amongst the English monarchy without being pushed aside. "Victoria" is a must read! (Bonnie)
What appears on the surface like an insider look at the life of a "mover" turns out to be not only that, but a very entertaining look at America on the move. Where it's been and where it's going. Finn Murphy has been a long haul trucker for 30 years and he's got some great stories to tell. Like a Mark Twain behind the wheel he takes us on the road coast to coast and city to city with a voice that's honest and direct and sometimes even poetic. (Bob)
Truly absorbing account of how a SNL writer & comedian ran for his state's senate seat. Franken doesn't spend a great deal of time on his comedy career but the background he gives on his former career, as well as his early life with his parents and brother, do shed light on why he would ultimately decide to run for the senate. Throughout the book, Franken's humor shines through, even when he discusses recount procedures, constituent bean feeds & his colleagues across the aisle. Good read for anyone who is interested in how the work of governing gets done. (Hint: it involves a lot of reading & a lot of binders). (Kim)
An enchanting story set on the beautiful island of Castellamare off the coast of Italy and spanning many generations of families. Armedeo and Pina Esposito and their three children are at the center of the story, but it's the way all of the people living and interacting with each other and the descriptions of the island that pull you in and make you feel as if you are living there as well. Events in history will effect all the people living on Castellamare. Just a very enjoyable read! (Sue)
One of the best historical fiction books I’ve ever read! Set in 1896 New York City, a team lead by Dr. Lazlo Kreizler race against time to stop a brutal serial killer before he strikes again. Fast paced, vividly detailed story was one of the best books I’ve read all year! (Lisa)
A missing girl held prisoner, a tape with her voice, and bone fragments. With these few clues the Forensic Anthropologist Temperance Brennan must find the how, and the who done it. Good read if you like Forensics.
Gregory has done it again with her astounding writing. This Tudor novel about King Henry VIII's sisters Margaret and Mary, along with Katherine of Aragon is well written and kept me enthralled. As a lover of historical fiction this novel is a must read!
May Alcott is finding it hard to take. Her sister Louisa's everlasting fame is a constant dark cloud hanging over May's head. It's not as though Louisa cares about fame. She only writes books for money anyhow. By contrast, May is an aspiring artist with a dream of being just as famous as her sister. She knows however, that she is going to have to go through a lot more than her sister ever did to achieve her dream. Overall "The Other Alcott" was a very enjoyable read. Just when I expected something different, the story would take a plot twist. Louisa is the malicious villain who seems to wish for May's downfall. May finds it hard to stand up to Louisa, who is constantly putting May's passions down. However this shows May's good heart. It is easy to fall in love with determined May and be constantly hoping for her success. (Caroline M.-Guest Reviewer)
Can you absolutely love something without understanding the true meaning of it? After all, Veda might have never knowvn her true passions, if it weren't for the accident.
Aspiring dancer Veda has loved the traditional Indian dance bharatanatyam for as long as she can remember. Veda doesn't discover her true love for dance, though, until she goes through disaster. Veda had just won a big dance comptition and was over the moon. She throught nothing could take her happiness away ... until the van transporting the dancers crashes. Next thing she knows, Veda is in a hospital bed with one of her legs amputated right above the knee. For the next few weeks, Veda lives in a cloud of misery believing she will never dance again. Her turmoil gets worse when her dance teacher kicks her out of his practice. But Veda is determined to follow her passion, even with a cold, fake leg that doesn't know how to dance. A TIME TO DANCE follows Veda as she goes through an amazing journey, one that will keep you at the edge of your seat. (Caroline M-Guest Reviewer)