What I’m Reading Now

My nightstand




Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus

It’s the 1960s, and Elizabeth Zott is a chemist at a prestigious California Laboratory. She is doing important work, but she is continually relegated to unscientific female tasks (filing and making coffee for the REAL scientists–the men). One day, she steals some equipment from the most famous of those REAL scientists, Caleb Evans. He’s smitten, so is she, they move in together, have a daughter (Mad, short for Madeline), and adopt a highly intelligent dog (Six-Thirty). Out walking Six-Thirty one evening on his new leash, Caleb is killed in a traffic accident. Bereft, pregnant, and out of a job, Elizabeth struggles to put food on the table. Her kitchen is set up like a chemistry lab, because cooking IS chemistry. Somehow, she agrees to host of a local TV show, “Dinner at Six.” She soon becomes nationally famous for the way she breaks down her recipes into chemical formulas, and by the way, teaching the women in her audience exactly how to make more of themselves at the same time. Subversive? Yes!

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin

Sam and Sadie meet as children while Sam is recuperating in a hospital from a horrible accident which leaves him disabled. They are both skilled video gamers and form a bond. Years later, both are in college and meet each other again. Both brilliant, together they create a best-selling game, Ichigo, before they graduate. They borrow money, and with the help of Sam’s roommate, the three go into business together and soon become extremely successful and rich. Creative jealousies pull them apart, but the story doesn’t end there. Multifaceted and layered, the book spans 30 years, examining the nature of identity, disability, success, failure, the redemptive possibilities of play, and more than anything, the need to connect to be loved and to love.

Hester: A Novel, by Laurie Albanese

Did you ever wonder who inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne to write The Scarlet Letter? Albanese imagines a fictional woman, Isobel Gamble, who carries generations of secrets and who could have been his inspiration. Isobel is Scottish, a young, talented seamstress married to Edward, a failed apothecary who has become addicted to opium. Their debts cause them to flee Glasgow for a fresh start in the New World. Newly landed, they rent a house, and almost immediately, Edward steals what scant money they have and joins their departing ship captain as a medic, leaving Isobel to somehow make her way alone. While looking for work, she meets young Nathaniel, and they are immediately besotted with each other. Her secrets, and his darker ones, are interwoven with the pervasive fear of witchcraft, the beginnings of the Underground Railroad, and what it means to be a “real” American in the early years of our nation. 


Book Lovers, by Emily Henry

Literary Agent, Nora Stephens, is no pushover. She makes cutthroat deals for her authors, and is a hero for her little sister, Libby. Libby begs Nora for a sisters’ trip away from the city to Sunshine Falls, NC, for a relaxing month (August). Reluctant, but game, Nora agrees. Unfortunately, Sunshine Falls, is not what Libby had expected, and Nora keeps running into a grouchy book editor she detests. Is this a recipe for disaster? Read on.

Portrait of an Unknown Woman, by Daniel Silva

The most recent of Mr. Silva’s Gabriel Allon thrillers takes us to Venice where Allon, now retired from the Office, is living a quiet life with his wife and children. He has returned to work as an art restorer, and has a thriving business. Then, he gets a call about a mysterious art forger, and the game is on. 


Once There Were Wolves, by Charlotte McConaghy

Inti Flynn arrives in the Scottish Highland with her twin sister, a team of biologists and fourteen grey wolves, determined to integrate the animals into the landscape. Farmers and other people in the area are openly skeptical, but the wolves thrive, until a farmer is found dead and the wolves are blamed.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin

When your wife dies, and you have to run the bookshop by yourself (hint, A.J. Fikry’s personality is curmudgeonly, and he’s depressed because of his wife dying), things can’t get much worse. Then, a very, very valuable antique book is stolen, and an orphaned baby is left in his shop. It’s a chance to begin a new life. Maybe he’ll take it?

The Seed Keeper: A Novel, by Diane Wilson

Reaching back to tell of several generations of a Dakhota family who struggled to preserve their way of life and the seeds needed to plant a new future, it’s now up to a new generation to take up the quest. Rosalie must find her way back to her roots and the friends and family who can show her the way.  


Love You More, by Lisa Gardner

Veteran Boston Detective, D. D. Warren and Massachusetts State Trooper Bobby Dodge enter a homicide scene that seems cut and dry (so to speak). Brian Darby lies dead on the kitchen floor. His wife, State Trooper Tessa Leoni claims she shot him in self-defense and their six-year-old daughter is missing, Is she telling the truth and, where is the little girl?

AUGUST, 2022

Horse: A Novel, by Geraldine Brooks

In 1850 in Kentucky, Jarrett, a young Black slave, forms a life-long bond of understanding with a young thoroughbred horse named Lexington, who will become the most celebrated racehorse of his era. An itinerant painter of horses is hired to paint a portrait of the horse, the wealthy plantation owner whose horse this is, and Lexington’s Black trainer, Jarrett’s father. In 2019, in Washington, D.C., a Smithsonian scientist from Australia and a Nigerian-American art historian join together to pursue the long-lost history of an obscure painting and the unknown Black horsemen to were indispensable to Lexington’s success on the racetrack. Based on the true story of Lexington, the legendary racehorse.

Nothing to See Here, by Kevin Wilson

Wealthy Madison and poor Lillian, roommates at an elite boarding school, get along just fine until Madison is involved in a scandal and persuades Lillian to take the blame. Lillian agrees and is expelled. Now years later, Lillian agrees to help Madison once again by becoming a nanny to Madison’s twin stepchildren. Madison, now the wife of a Senator with high political ambition, has given birth to their first child together, and wants her two step-children to join the family at their country estate, but at a distance. Lillian soon finds out she has made a bargain with consequences she never expected.

Black Cake, by Charmaine Wilkerson

The death of their mother, Eleanor Bennett, leaves estranged siblings Byron and Benny (short for Bennedetta) a strange legacy: a black cake in the freezer and a voice recording. Reluctant at first, their mother’s lawyer persuades them to listen to the recording, which reveals family secrets they never imagined. Eleanor’s final request is that the siblings share the cake, “when the time is right.”

JULY, 2022

The Personal Librarian, by Heather Terrell and Victoria Christopher Murray

J.P. Morgan has recently built the magnificent Pierpont Morgan Library to house his huge collections of rare manuscripts, books and art. He needs a librarian who can organize, curate and add to his thousands of objects by entering New York society to meet the wealthy collectors and wily dealers she needs to cultivate if she is to succeed. Belle Greene applies and is hired. She is successful beyond her wildest dreams, but Belle has a secret that, if discovered, will ruin her and humiliate Morgan.

JUNE, 2022

The Violin Conspiracy, by Brendan Slocumb

A Black classical violinist, Ray McMillian, who has overcome (or ignored) prejudice and racist roadblocks, has begun to make a name for himself. Suddenly, just before a chance to win the extremely prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition, his instrument is stolen. What must he do to recover it?

MAY, 2022

The Sacred Bridge, by Anne Hillerman

The most recent in the Jim Chee and Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, Navaho Tribal Policemen series, begun in 1970 by beloved, award-winning author Tony Hillerman with The Blessing Way. He added 28 more Chee and Leaphorn books until his death in 2006. His daughter, Anne, is continuing the series with her seventh title, The Sacred Bridge. Her most important contribution to her father’s work is giving policewoman Bernadette Manuelito a voice. She is now Chee’s wife and a full partner in solving tribal crimes. In this latest installment, Jim Chee, after taking time off from his job at Shiprock, New Mexico, to do some soul searching, discovers a body floating at the edge of Lake Powel under the beautiful Rainbow Bridge. The man, a Navaho, has suffered a terrible head wound and it’s up to Jim to help the local police solve the crime.

The Paris Apartment, by Lucy Foley

Broke and unemployed, Jess arrives at her half-brother’s apartment in Paris, but he’s not there. No one in the building has any idea where he might be. Jess finds that strange since he’s invited her to visit. Surely, someone living in the building knows where he is.

September 2021 to August 2022 has been a busy year. My third novel, Beyond the Iron Door, came out in November, 2021. In early 2022, I was hit by a car and, while I suffered little lasting damage, it took several months to recover from severe pain and a gash in my head. This summer has been filled with travel and time spent with family and friends. I also did some reading. Life is good.

AUGUST, 2021

Red Island House, by Andrea Lee

Shay, a Black American ,marries Senna, a wealthy, successful Italian businessman who builds a house in Madagascar. It’s a vacation house, used in the summer by the couple. Shay integrates easily into her husband’s family and life in Milan, Italy, where she is a respected professor. We watch them and their children grow older, always the outsiders, unable to be more than users of their servants, who have a rich cultural life they can never understand.


After two surgeries, travel, quarantining in the midst of the world-wide pandemic, and a serious push to finish the third book in my series, Doors of the Heart, I’m back. I never stopped reading, but sometimes it was a challenge. This list includes books I would recommend from earlier this year and a few from 2020 : Miss Benson’s Beetles, by Rachel Joyce; The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig; Girl, Woman, Other, by Bernadine Evaristo; The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennet; Her Last Flight, by Beatriz Williams, Monogamy, by Sue Miller; Love Lettering, by Kate Clayborn; The Searcher, by Tana French; Winter Counts, by David Heska Wanbli Weiden; The Paris Library, by Janet Skeslien Charles; The Girl from the Channel Islands, by Jenny LeCoat; and Float Plan, by Trish Doller


Disappearing Earth, by Julia Phillips

Fiction. In a remote Russian peninsula, two small sisters vanish without a trace. Told from the viewpoint of several citizens, each have theories about what might have happened, and almost all assume they are dead by drowning or some other mischance. The women want something more than the harsh life they are living. Answers need to be found. 

My Life as a Rat, by Joyce Carol Oates

Fiction. Which is more important, family or truth? A 17-year-old African American boy is brutally beaten and later dies of his injuries. Twelve-year-old Violet Rue accidentally overhears an odd conversation between two of her older brothers that night. Troubled, she confesses what she heard to her priest, and later, to the police. Her brothers go to prison for the murder and she is put in foster care. Her parents refuse to see or talk with her. She is exiled for telling the truth. Will they ever forgive her?

City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert

Fiction. A young girl, Vivian, comes to New York City in the 1940s to live with her aunt who owns the Lily Playhouse, an old vaudeville theater. Vivian loves her new life, but one mistake threatens to destroy her. Looking back from old age, she tells “all”.

Mrs. Everything, by Jennifer Weiner

Fiction. Two sisters grow up in the same house but their very different early experiences pull them apart and into very different lives. From the 1950s to the present, changing values and mores challenge them to be their “real” selves.


The Other Americans, Laila Lalami

The suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrant in a small California town exposes ignorance, prejudice, and hypocrisy. Invisible connections between the dead man, his daughter, his wife, a police detective, a veteran of the Iraq war, an undocumented witness, and a neighbor, all deeply divided by race, religion or class are slowly exposed, as the mystery of what happened that night unfolds.  

Queen Bee, Dorothea Benton Frank

Fiction. Set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, Katherine Jensen is the “Queen Bee” (known to some as QB) for sure. She’s over 60, fat, cantankerous, more than a bit of a hypochondriac and a drama queen who spends all her time in bed shopping (catalogs, QVC, you name it). Living with her in the family home is her younger daughter, a bee keeper who “talks” to her bees. Cute and light, it’s good, quick fun.  

AUGUST, 2019

Almost Midnight, by Paul Doiron

Fiction. This is the 10th novel in the Mike Bowditch series. Mike is a Maine State Game Warden, recently promoted to Warden Inspector. Shadow, a wolf hybrid Mike once cared for, has been shot by an arrow and may not survive. Though on vacation, Mike investigates, hoping to catch the bowman. At the same time, Billy Cronk, Mike’s friend, whom Mike had to help put in prison for murder, needs Mike’s help. Juggling both, Mike is forced to break some rules to keep Billy’s family safe and find to bowman.

The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

Fiction. Without her mother to protect her (she’s run away) Cora, a young slave girl on a Southern plantation, is an outcast among her fellow slaves. Bravely, she tries to keep a tiny patch of land her mother had tilled, standing up to a bully. Her master, beats a young slave, and Cora tries to stop him, only to be beaten herself. Caesar also a slave, begs Cora to run away with him and try to escape on the Underground Railroad. Traveling through swamps, Cora murders a young boy to save herself and Caesar, just one of the roadblocks they encounter. Eventually arriving in South Carolina, they slowly discover it’s not the paradise for black people they had hoped for. Alone, Cora goes back on the Railroad, facing extreme hardship to  find a place where she can be free.

Code Name: Lise: The True Story of the Woman Who Became WWII’s Most Highly Decorated Spy, by Larry Loftis

Nonfiction. In 1942, Odette Sansom, leaves her three daughters in a convent and becomes a spy to help Britain and France win WWII for the Allies against Nazi Germany. Born in France, she married an Englishman who in 1942 was serving in the English army. Lise survived harsh spy-training exercises, and eventually made her way to France, where she served as a courier for Peter Churchill, an officer who headed a network of spies in France (one of several networks). She and Peter were eventually arrested by the Nazis and she was brutally interrogated, tortured and sentenced to death twice. Making clever use of Peter’s surname (he was not related to the British Prime Minister), she claimed to be Peter’s wife, and that helped them escape death. Lise has been the heroine of numerous books, articles and at least one movie. 

Daisy Jones and the Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Fiction. Cleverly evoking LA’s alcohol soaked and drugged out music scene of the psychedelic 1970s, When we first meet her, Daisy is a young, naive hopeful gifted with a spectacular voice, drop-dead beauty, and no inhibitions. Meanwhile The Six is a rising hard rock band led by lead singer-songwriter, Billy Dunne. Each of the band’s six members has his own issues with Billy (especially, his younger brother, always in Billy’s shadow), and Billy’s partying comes to an abrupt end when he marries Camilla, pregnant with his baby. Things go well for awhile, until he meets Daisy. Gradually, her voice and bad habits suck Billy in and things get wild. The story is narrated in turn by each character.

JULY, 2019

The Peacock Emporium, by JoJo Moyes

Fiction. Unhappy with her life, Suzanna opens a coffee and curio/art shop in her small town. She makes friends with Jessie, her shop assistant, several of her neighboring shopkeepers, and especially a lonely Argentinian male midwife named Alejandro. There’s a mystery about her parentage and other subplots. This is NOT Me Before You!

The Au Pair, by Emma Rous

Fiction. Seraphine and her twin brother Danny were born on the same day their mother died — by jumping from a cliff. Their au pair left amid gossip about those events and what kind of parents and twins and their older bother had. Years later, the adult Seraphine who is morning her father’s death, finds a mysterious photo taken on the day of her and Danny’s birth, but she is shown holding only one baby. Who is that baby, and where is the other twin? 


Long story short, I had some health issues. It wasn’t fun, but now I’m on the mend and ready to get back to reporting some of the books I read in the past several months.

MAY, 2019

The Friend, by Sigrid Nunez

Fiction. When a writer loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she learns he has left her custody of his dog. No ordinary lap dog, Apollo is a Great Dane. He eats, pees and poops massively, and takes up a lot of room in the writer’s small apartment. Grief for her friend begins to morph into acceptance of the burden or caring for his dog, and eventually acceptance morphs into love. 

APRIL, 2019

Between Earth and Sky, by Amanda Skenandore

Fiction. Alma’s father and mother ran a boarding school for Indian children to turn “savage heathens” into model citizens. Their clothing, language, cultural habits, and even toys were stripped away and destroyed. The novel alternates from the 1880s at the school to the early Twentieth Century as Alma grows up and marries a Philadelphia lawyer. One day she sees a newspaper article about a trial of an Indian man she knew at her parent’s school. She persuades her husband to represent him in court, if he will accept their help.

MARCH, 2019

Educated: A Memoir, by Tara Westover

Nonfiction. In the sparsely populated mountains of eastern Idaho, the author was the youngest child in a Mormon family of seven. Her father’s strange survivalist paranoia and dangerous work with scrap metal with no safety equipment makes the reader wonder how any of them survived. Tara was allowed no formal schooling, and no access to medical or dental care. Horrendous accidents and injuries occur regularly, including torture by an older brother. Finally, encouraged by another older brother who started studying in secret and made it through college, she begins to educate herself by reading her father’s books on 19th century Mormon prophets. Her education is just beginning. 


Circe, by Madeline Miller

Fiction. A controversial character in The Odyssey, the goddess Circe’s father was Helios, god of the sun, the most fierce of the Titans, and her mother was a lovely but vicious temptress. Circe was a odd girl, her voice was strange and she had neither her father’s power nor her mother’s allure. Friendless and mocked by her family, she turned to mortals for companionship and discovered the power of witchcraft, turning her rival into a monster. Zeus banishes her to a deserted island where she is visited by other gods and mortals. Can she use her powers for good or will she be doomed to a bleak and loveless eternity?


The Winter Soldier, by Daniel Mason

Fiction. Lucius, a 22-year-old medical student in Vienna is sent to a field hospital in the Carpathian Mountains at the outbreak of World War I. With a field nurse, he treats soldiers with all kinds of injuries, including what we now call PTSD.

Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng

Fiction. In Shaker Heights, Ohio, two families are brought together by the friendships and actions of their children. The book opens with a fire in the Richardson house. Arson is the verdict, and the arsonist may be their younger daughter. 

How to Stop Time, by Matt Haig

Fiction. A perfectly ordinary man, born in the 16th century, has watched his mother be executed for witchcraft, worked with Shakespeare, traveled the world with Captain Cook, met F. Scott Fitzgerald, and other famous people. After taking up many different professions, he is now a history teacher in modern day London. He has headaches, but he just wants an ordinary life. He meets an intriguing French teacher at his school, and contemplates what it would mean to fall in love with her.

Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty

Fiction. A luxurious health resort in a remote section of Australia offers a 10-day retreat that promises to transform their lives, making them forever healthy in mind and body. The resort is run by a strange, but strikingly gorgeous woman, and two assistants.  Alternately scary and funny, there are surprises in store for their “victims”.

Circe, by Madeline Miller

Fiction. In Ancient Greek mythology, the daughters of nymphs are expected to be like their mothers, beautiful, but with little power. Circe is different. Her father, Helios, the sun god, and her mother, a gorgeous nymph, ignore her and her siblings make fun of her. Finally, she manages to annoy Zeus and he angrily banishes her to a deserted island. What next?

January, 2019 — WHERE HAVE I BEEN?

Last summer my husband and I sold our house.

In May, we made our garden presentable (did lots of pruning, added a few new plants, put down mulch, etc.) and in June we engaged a real estate broker. We went to contract in July, busily packing all the while, and in September we turned over our house keys to the new owner. That September day, we moved into an beautiful apartment several miles away, and 28 days later, we flew to our winter home in Florida. We “suffered” aching muscles, and whiplash from the quick moves, packing and unpacking. We will return to our apartment in May, after a good rest this winter. Except, we hardly have time to rest here — so many exciting and fun activities and great friends. 

But, I’ve been missing working on my third novel and keeping up with my web site. So, apologies, and now it’s time to get back to work. 

MAY 2018

The Old Man, by Thomas Perry

Fiction. The old man in question is 60-year-old widower Dan Chase, a good citizen retiree living in Vermont. He walks his two dogs, and keeps in touch with his daughter and grandkids by phone. But now apparently, someone wants him dead, and Chase does what he has done all his life. He takes his bugout kit, loaded with guns, cash, and extra IDs under different names, and runs.

House of Spies, by Daniel Silva

Fiction. Silva’s series about Israeli spy, assassin, and art restorer Gabriet Allon, never disappoints. This time, though he is the new head of The Office, Israel’s “secret service”, he teams up with the heads of America’s, Britain’s, and France’s secret services, as well as another famous assassin most recently living in Corsica, and his own familiar team to find Saladin, the mastermind of ISIS terror.

APRIL, 2018 

An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones

Fiction. Newlywed couple Celestial and Roy are living the American dream. Roy is a young executive and Celestial is an artist, on the brink of being discovered. That they are Black and living in Atlanta, shouldn’t stand in their way. However, Roy is arrested for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Yet he is found guilty and sentenced to serve a long prison sentence. He survives that ordeal with the help of his biological father, and is released after serving only five years, his conviction overturned. He’s ready to pick up his old life, but things have changed.

Seeing Red, by Sandra Brown

Fiction. Major Franklin Trapper, a national hero who led survivors of a Dallas hotel bombing to safely, has suddenly dropped out of sight after years of giving interviews and making public appearances. John Trapper, his estranged son and a former ATF agent, wants nothing to do with his father. When Kerra Bailey, a TV journalist hoping to boost her career into the big time, tries to enlist him for an introduction to the Major, he finally agrees. But on the day of the interview, it all goes wrong.

The Disappeared, by C.J. Box

Fiction. Wyoming’s new governor has a sensitive job for Game Warden Joe Pickett. A wealthy female British business executive enjoyed a week-long vacation at an exclusive guest ranch, and then… disappears. Joe must find her, but his friend, Nate Romanowski needs him to help falconers get permission to hunt with eagles–they are being blocked by the feds, though their permits are valid. The two problems are not connected on the face of it. Can Joe solve them?

MARCH, 2018

Dimestore: A Writer’s Life, by Lee Smith

Memoir. Smith’s novels celebrated people who live in the Appalachian South for some 45 years. This is her own story, rooted in the same South depicted so vividly in her books. She was born and grew up in Grundy, a small coal-mining town in Virginia. Her father owned and operated the dime store of the title. In this fascinating collection of essays, Smith lovingly describes her colorful family, neighbors, and friends, and her journey to become a writer, while raising her own family in North Carolina.

Black Skies, Twelve Hours, Arch Enemy, For Duty and Honor, and Rogue Commander, by Leo J. Maloney

Fiction. See January


Daughters of the Dragon, by William Andrews

Fiction based on fact. A young American woman searching for her birth mother at an orphanage in Korea, discovers her mother is dead. Discouraged and ready to return home, she receives a mysterious package containing an antique comb and an address, leading her to family secrets she never could have imagined.

In the Midst of Winter, by Isabel Allende

Fiction. Allende is an acclaimed writer with best-selling novels. I looked forward to receiving this novel (I had to wait several weeks for my copy), but found it to be less than I’d hoped. After 100 or so pages, I returned it to my library. Other readers may find it more interesting than I did.

JANUARY, 2018 

The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn

Fiction. Charlotte (Charlie), a young American girl with a Little Problem (she’s unwed and pregnant) travels to war ravaged France in 1947 to find her beloved cousin, Rose, who disappeared during the war. Charlie can’t believe Rose is dead. She’s aided in her search by a disturbed drunk, Eve, with crippled hands, who has a mysterious past, and the handsome ex-con Scotsman, Finn, who who is her cook, driver, and care-taker.

Termination Orders and Silent Assassin by Leo J. Maloney

Fiction. Maloney, a 35-year veteran of black ops, spins a series of thrillers featuring Dan Morgan, a happily married father of a teen-aged daughter. A black-ops star and a family man? Yep.


The Revolution of Marina M, by Janet Fitch

Fiction. A meticulously researched depiction of a young woman, an aspiring poet, from an affluent St. Petersburg home, through whose eyes we experience the Russian Revolutionary years of 1917-1919. From exultant hope to tragic, famine, disease and blood soaked despair, political upheavals destroy Marina’s family. There may be another (or more) volume(s) coming, covering the civil war between Red and White Russians, and beyond.

The Orphan’s Tale, by Pam Jenoff

Fiction. An unlikely friendship between Noa, a 16-year-old girl who is cast out of her working class home when she becomes pregnant, and Astrid, a former trapeze artist, cast out of her affluent Berlin home by her Nazi husband because she is Jewish. They meet when Noa and a baby she rescued from a Nazi train, are found near death in a blizzard and brought back to the traveling circus where Astrid is performing.

A Rustle of Silk, by Alys Claire 

Fiction. First book of a mystery series involving a young naval surgeon. Set in Devon, just as James I ascends the throne of England on the death of Queen Elizabeth I, Gabriel Tavernor has revolutionary ideas about the practice of medicine. He uses his skills, gleaned from his days at sea, to help solve the murder of an unidentified body and the sudden disappearance of his sister’s husband.


Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan

Fiction. As a child, Anna Kerrigan goes with her father to visit Dexter Styles at his home in Manhattan Beach, to conduct some mysterious business. After her father disappears, and Anna matures, she becomes the first female diver at the Brooklyn Navy Yard — in spite of male determination to make her fail. She meets Styles again one evening, and enters a new and dangerous world. Winner of numerous awards. Egan is a former Pulitzer Prize winner.

The Weight of Ink, by Rachel Kadish

Fiction. A literary puzzle, set in both modern day and 17th century London, An Oxford professor and an American graduate student rush to uncover the identity of an unlikely medieval scribe.

Original Death, by Eliot Pattison

Fiction. Book 3 of the series about the French and Indian War. See Books 1 and 2 in October below.

An Echo of Murder, by Anne Perry

Fiction. The latest of the popular Monk series. William Monk, Captain of the Thames River Police, is still haunted by fragments of memory, as his amnesia persists. Solving murders is what he knows, and with the help of Hester, his wife, a former Crimean War nurse; their unofficially adopted son, Scamp; and his friend and lawyer Oliver Rathbone; and other unique and well drawn characters, he succeeds.


Bone Rattler and Eye of the Raven, by Eliot Pattison

Fiction. Books 1 and 2 of Pattison’s series about the French and Indian War.  Full of mysteries, mayhem, Native American lore, and a little known era of American history made fascinating!

The Life She Was Given, by Ellen Marie Wiseman

Fiction. An 8-year-old girl is kept a prisoner in an attic room until her mother sells her to the circus!

The Woman Who Couldn’t Scream, by Christina Dodd

Fiction. Romantic thriller, the latest if Dodd’s series set in Virtue Falls where a Native American Sheriff must solve problems relating to her friends and her own life.


Vinegar Girlby Anne Tyler

Fiction. A modern retelling of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.

A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles

Fiction. Unexpectedly touching and funny. In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to life “imprisonment” in the grand Metropol Hotel by a Bolshevik tribunal. His crime: having been born an aristocrat and acting like a gentleman.

Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson

Fiction. On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, but dies immediately. Then, on the same cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born again. This time she grows up, but dies in many ways and is reborn time and again, experiencing the effects of two World Wars, and seeing how her choices affect those around her.

News of the World, by Paulette Jiles

Fiction. In aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees, for a $50 gold piece, to transport a 10 year old girl — kidnapped by the Kiowa when she was 6 — from northern Texas back to her relatives near San Antonio. It’s a long journey and money is tight, the child is mourning her Kiowa life and family, and danger surrounds them. Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd gives live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. Johanna, the child, slowly forms a bond with the Kep-tun (her pronunciation of his name), and understands she must become what is expected of her in the new world into which she has been plunged.

Seeing Red, by Sandra Brown

Fiction, suspense. TV journalist Kerra Bailey was a young child when she was rescued from a bombed building by Major Franklin Trapper. The Major became a hero and media darling, enjoying the spotlight and leaving his wife and young son John Trapper neglected and feeling unloved. it’s 25 years later, and Kerra is set to interview The Major, over the objections of his son. The interview goes well, but what happens next will please Sandra Brown’s fans and keep readers on the edges of their seats.

AUGUST, 2017

The Rent Collector, by Cameron Wright

Fiction. Inspired by a documentary shot in Cambodia by the author’s son, the rent collector is a former teacher with closely guarded secrets. She lives in Stung Meanchey, Cambodia’s largest municipal waste dump, located outside Phnom Penh. When she comes to collect rent from Ki Lim’s family, who also live and work at the dump, she spots a book that means everything to her. Ki begs her to teach her to read, and an unexpected new world opens to all of them.

The Diplomat’s Daughter, by Karin Tanabe

Fiction. Emiko Kato, daughter of a Japanese diplomat, is in love with Leo, her Jewish friend from Vienna. Christian Lange, born in the U.S. of German parents, has had a privileged life in Wisconsin. After Pearl Harbor, Emi’s father is sent back to Japan, leaving Emiko, ill with tuberculosis, and her mother who is nursing her, behind. Christian’s parents are arrested on false charges of being Nazi spies. Nothing has been heard from Leo.

JULY, 2017

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, by Bryn Greenwood

Fiction. A partly autobiographical account of Wavy, who lives in rural Kansas, a terrain largly bypassed by legitimate opportunities. Her father is a meth manufacturer, dealer and user, her mother is a mess. She makes friends with Kellen, one of her father’s thugs, a tattooed ex-con after she causes him to wreck his motorcycle. Their relationship is the one beautiful thing in Wavy’s world.

The Tin Horse, by Janice Steinberg

Fiction. A multigenerational tale about the immigrant experience and family relationships. One sister disappears, a tragedy that disrupts the lives of her sisters and parents.

Everybody’s Fool, by Richard Russo

Sequel to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Nobody’s Fool, follows the further adventures, 10 years later, of Sully, Rub, Carl and Chief of Police, Doug Raymer, who may be in love with his sassy black deputy, Charice.

JUNE, 2017

The Other Einstein, by Marie Benedict

Biographical fiction. Albert Einstein’s wife, Mitza Maric, was so brilliant a physicist that she was allowed to study at the prestigious Zurich university which had never before admitted a female student, One of the male students was Albert. Lost so completely in his shadow, we can only speculate exactly how and when she contributed to his special theory of relativity.

The Girl from Summer Hill, by Jude Deveraux

Romantic fiction. First book of a new series set in Summer Hill. In this tale, our heroine doesn’t know she’s renting a guest house from a famous movie star. She hasn’t seen his movies, so when he shows up naked to take an outdoor shower on the porch, she thinks he’s trespassing. He thinks she’s some wily, stage-struck fan. When they are cast as Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy in a production of Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice, their feud continues. P.S.: He loves her cooking.

Nobody’s Fool, by Richard Russo

Fiction. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for 1993. In the unlucky fictional blue collar town of North Bath in upstate New York, a town that once was a thriving resort until the mineral springs dried up and so did tourism, Sully – North Bath’s most unlucky, aging construction worker – has a bad knee, a married lover, and friends that include a stuttering simple-minded Rub, a one-legged, diabetic lawyer, and a lazy, incompetent business owner who won’t pay Sully the wages he’s earned.

MAY, 2017

All Our Wrong Todays, by Elan Mastai

Fiction. Time travel can be dangerous. You don’t want to risk changing anything in the past because it could alter history with disastrous results. It’s an old story, but with a very different twist.

Any Other Name, Dry Bones, An Obvious Fact, by Craig Johnson

More about the exciting life of widower Walt Longmire, Sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Series, by Mary Balogh

Romantic fiction. Set during the English Regency years (while the Napoleonic wars were being fought, circa 1812), the three books in the series are Indiscreet, Unforgiven, and Irresistible. Four titled veterans of the war find love and begin families when they thought they only wanted to live it up and have fun.

APRIL, 2017

Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly

Biographical fiction. Three women are forever entwined by the events of World War II. They include New York City socialite Caroline Ferraday, Polish teenager Kasia Kuzmerick, and ambitious young German doctor Herta Oberheuser.

Hell Is Empty, As the Crow Flies, A Serpent’s Tooth, by Craig Johnson

Fiction. More about the exciting life of widower Walt Longmire, Sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by J.D. Vance

Memoir. Vance describes the Appalachian values of his upbringing and how they relate to the social problems of his hometown.

The Crossfire Series, by Sylvia Day

Erotic fiction. The five books in this series detail the struggles of two very successful, privileged – and damaged — individuals to find a way through their problems so they can meet each other on equal ground. Graphic sex.

MARCH, 2017

A Man Named Ove, by Swedish Writer, Fredrik Backman

Fiction. Ove, a grumpy man, is completely ruled by rules, he doesn’t like to be bothered by other people, and he’s been forced to retire from his job at only 59. Suddenly his ordered, solitary world is disrupted by the new people next door, and after that, he’s got the whole neighborhood bothering him.

Another Man’s Moccasins, The Dark Horse, Junkyard Dogs, by Craig Johnson

Fiction. More about the exciting life of widower Walt Longmire, Sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming

Necessary Lies, by Diane Chamberlain

Fiction. In 1960, an untrained social worker visiting a poor, black tenant farm in North Carolina, tries to help the family already burdened by health and mental issues, and targeted by the state’s Eugenics Board for female sterilization without their knowledge or permission.


Dead Wake, by Eric Larson

Nonfiction. The story of the sinking of the Cunard Line’s fabulous Atlantic cruise ship, the RMS Lusitania by a German U-Boat in May, 1915, during World War I, told using research materials that included memoirs, logs, diaries, and letters from the ship’s Captain, passengers and their relatives, Cunard officials, the British and American governments, and the German U-Boat Captain who sank the ship.

Terrible Virtue, by Ellen Feldman

Biographical Fiction. An account of the turbulent life of early birth control advocate, Margaret Sanger.

House Made of Dawn, by N. Scott Momaday.

Fiction. Pulitzer Prize winner for 1969. The account of a young Native American man trying to find his place in the world. He’s served heroically in World War II, but finds no hero’s welcome in post-war America. Struggles with alcoholism hamper his efforts to live in the white world and even within his tribal heritage. Momaday is a poet. He writes beautiful word poems about harsh realities.

The Cold Dish, Death Without Company, Kindness Goes Unpunished, by Craig Johnson

Fiction. The first three novels in Johnson’s series about Walt Longmire, Sheriff of Absaroka County, whose office is based in Durant, Wyoming. Both Durant and Absaroka County are fictitious, but Wyoming is real. It’s a rugged, difficult terrain, much like the widower Walt himself, but he has a daughter to love, and his best friend and his deputies to help him protect the people who count on him.


A Fall of Marigolds, by Susan Meissner

Fiction. A scarf with a bright pattern of marigolds connects two women from different eras. One, a nurse in a hospital in Ellis Island is struggling to cope with the death of the man she loves (in the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire of 1911), and nurses a sick widower whose wife owned the scarf. The other, working in a fabric store in Manhattan, has lost her husband in 9/11 before he knew she was pregnant with his daughter. There is love and hope in their coincidental connection.

The Trespasser, by Tana French

Fiction. Book #6 of the Dublin Murder Squad series. I’ve read them all and they don’t disappoint. If you don’t mind reading Irish accents (I don’t mind), and you love a good, fast paced mystery that gives your brain some exercise, the entire series is worth the read.

The Inextinguishable Symphony: A True Story of Music and Love, by Martin Goldsmith

Nonfiction. Goldsmith tells the story of his parents, talented Jewish musicians, who were brought together by music, fell in love and married. They were employed by one of only a few Jewish symphony orchestras allowed in Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1942, for the entertainment of Jews only, so the Nazis could show the world how well they treated Jews.