The cold, wet weather means more time for reading.
“Flight of the WASP” by Michael Gross provides a detailed socio-political look at our country, beginning with the pilgrims and features outstanding portraits of the men (and they were predominantly men who had power) who shaped our country then and now. Admittedly, this is focused on WASPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) so it’s not meant as an inclusive description of how power was built and maintained, but it shines a harsh light on much of the bad, unethical, and illegal behavior that the elite used to keep themselves in control.
“The Lost Tomb” by Doug Preston. You may know this author from his collaboration with Lincoln Child and the adventure books they have written, but Preston has written many pieces on science and exploration, particularly archaeological finds. I am a huge fan of all of his work and this collection of his essays is fascinating.
“The Mystery Guest” by Nita Prose. By the author of “The Maid,” main character Molly Gray is now head maid at the Regency Grand Hotel. Another murder occurred and her superb observational skills aid in the solution of the mystery. Prose is never gory, and her characterizations are often humorously spot-on, making for a fun whodunit.
“Going Zero” by Anthony McCarten is a twisty, fast-paced story. The hook is two hours of notice to escape and avoid detection from a high-tech watchdog for 30 days to win a million dollar prize. Very fun read and the tech snooping will give you the creeps.
“Welcome Home, Stranger” by Kate Christensen. From the author of “The Great Man” (which I highly recommend), comes a story of going home and facing people and family you thought you left behind.
“The Sun Walks Down” by Fiona McFarlane is set in South Australia in 1883. It features evocative writing about a community where a young boy has gone missing and the actions and interactions of farmers, wives, husbands, children, police, pastors and Indigenous. McFarlane writes with vivid detail.
“Night Watch” by Jayne Anne Phillips will appeal to fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Louise Erdrich. The setting is a mental health facility after the Civil War, but the book covers so much more as it tells this story of a family undone by circumstance and malicious men. Sobering story, worthy of reading.
“Mercury” by Amy Jo Burns. Marley West arrives in small town Mercury, Pennsylvania, as a teenager and becomes enmeshed in the Joseph family. It revolves around secrets of family and place, and how our decisions shape our future.
“The Ascent” by Adam Plantinga. Plantinga is a cop which lends authenticity and credibility to this thriller that features a rapid pace, a lot of violence, and scrappy action. How would you get out of a maximum-security prison with the inmates in control?
“Black Sheep” by Rachel Harrison is the creepy story of a girl who escapes her cult community, but is lured back with horrifying consequences.
“River East, River West” by Aube Rey Lescure is a social-cultural novel of modern China. What truly is your heritage and how do you reconcile a mixed cultural heritage when you idealize one, or both? With a fascinating depiction of life in China, it’s excellent for discussion.
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