Books We Love – NPR’s interactive list of recommended books

Today I came across NPR’s Books We Love, a helpful and fun-to-use interactive list of recommended books. They’ve been doing this every year going back to 2013, so there is a lot to look at. Want more information? Here’s an explanation of how they select books.

There’s never a shortage of books to read these days and this list helps you sort things out according to your reading tastes. I’m often frustrated by book recommendations because they aren’t always in line with what I want to read. I haven’t gone through the whole list for 2022 (there are more than 3200 books!), but I was pleased to see that I’ve already read and enjoyed several of these. That’s a good sign to me.

Books I thought were great:

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

French Braid by Anne Tyler

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

Love Marriage by Monica Ali

Books I want to read:

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St John Mandel       

Scenes from My Life by Michael K. Williams

The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb

I don’t like to make a long list of books to read for the new year because I find that overwhelming, so I like that I can go back to this and look when I’m ready for something new.

Do you know what your next read will be? Do you like referring to lists like these? Have you read any of the books I picked? Leave a comment!

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Books on my list

Last week I shared a link to a reading challenge from and we had a lot of fun seeing how well read we were. Today I went back to the list of 500 books and picked out these to read. I’m hoping to get to them this year because they are books I had already wanted to read.

What was funny about the list is that these two books are already on my schedule to read for our mystery book club at work

Have you read any of these books? Leave a comment and let me know what you thought!

(By the way, today I tried out the tiled image and gallery options from the new block editor and I think they worked out pretty well.)

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Library book strategies – managing (or not managing) holds on the new and popular books

Last week I scored big on a library book. My Facebook friends group is about to discuss Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes. The holds list is a mile long, but I was able to grab the one-week rental copy (no holds allowed) and read it quickly! It worked out great. (Read my review here.)

But now I’m in a bit of a library holds bind. Many of my other holds on new and popular books have come in at the same time. I have one eAudiobook on my phone and three eBooks on my Kindle and the clock is ticking!

It’s a little ambitious to think I’ll be able to read the three eBooks in the two-week period, but I’m going to try. I’m not so sure if I’ll have time for the eAudiobook, though. The good news about that one is that my eBook hold of the same title is coming up soon!

Here’s what’s on deck. (All book blurbs are from Amazon.)

The Warehouse by Rob Hart

I’ve seen a lot of blog reviews about this one and have already started the audio of this one.


Cloud isn’t just a place to work. It’s a place to live. And when you’re here, you’ll never want to leave.

“A thrilling story of corporate espionage at the highest level . . . and a powerful cautionary tale about technology, runaway capitalism, and the nightmare world we are making for ourselves.”—Blake Crouch, New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter

Film rights sold to Imagine Entertainment for director Ron Howard!

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

I didn’t think I’d get this one so fast. My mystery book club at work is going to read it…next June! I’ll probably read it twice.


“One of my favorite books of the year.” ―Lee Child

“Cancel all your plans and call in sick; once you start reading, you’ll be caught in your own escape room―the only key to freedom is turning the last page!” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“A sleek, well-crafted ride.” ―The New York Times

In Megan Goldin’s unforgettable debut, The Escape Room, four young Wall Street rising stars discover the price of ambition when an escape room challenge turns into a lethal game of revenge.

We Are All Good People Here by Susan Rebecca White

I saw this one reviewed by a few bloggers and it sounded interesting to me.


From the author of A Place at the Table and A Soft Place to Land, an “intense, complex, and wholly immersive” (Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author) multigenerational novel that explores the complex relationship between two very different women and the secrets they bequeath to their daughters.

Refugee by Alan Gratz

Saw this reviewed and wanted to read it!



A New York Times bestseller!

JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world . . .

ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America . . .

MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe . . .

All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers — from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, shocking connections will tie their stories together in the end.

We have a feature at our library that allows you to “freeze” specific holds and not lose your place in line. I haven’t tried that, but I’m thinking it would be a good idea.

I’m going to try to read all of them before they are due. Which would you read first? What’s your library book strategy?

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Book Club Mom’s dream list TBR

I don’t keep an official TBR list, but I always have a dream list of books I want to read. Oh, but if time weren’t such a problem, how many more books I would read! If I had unlimited time (and resources), I’d buy a bunch of the latest books that have caught my eye, load up my bookshelf and settle myself into my favorite chair. What would be on that shelf? Here’s that list:

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

The Bees by Laline Paull

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Factfulness by Hans Rosling

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

Layover by David Bell

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

Naturally Tan by Tan France

New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson

Our House by Louise Candlish

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Recursion by Blake Crouch

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

There There by Tommy Orange

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

One of the reasons I don’t make an official TBR list is because I feel pressure to stick to it and that takes the fun out of it. I hope I’m not jinxing it by posting the list! What’s your TBR strategy? Do you make a list? Do you feel obligated once you do?

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The many books in my future!

Image: Pixabay

Reading lists only grow. Isn’t that the truth? It’s a good thing I’m a bit of a planner because my list has gotten pretty darn long and it’s time to do something about it! Here’s a look at some of the many books in my near future:


The Bone Curse by Carrie Rubin – I’m starting this one today, Carrie Rubin’s newest medical thriller. This one says “Medicine has no cure for evil.” Can’t wait to see what it’s about!  You can check out all of Carrie’s books here.

Hinting at Shadows by Sarah Brentyn – I love Sarah’s short fiction, so this collection will be a treat! Visit Sarah here.

On the Edge of a Raindrop by Sarah Brentyn – Sarah has an endless supply of story ideas and I especially enjoy her flash fiction. Looking forward to her twisty wit.


Second Chance Romance by Jill Weatherholt – I’ve already had a peek and I just know I’m going to enjoy Jill’s feel-good romance! Click here for more about Jill.

Second Street Station by Lawrence H. Levy – I’m re-reading this historical mystery about Brooklyn’s first woman detective because my Whodunits book club at work is skyping Larry Levy in for our discussion. Can’t wait!

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin – there is a lot of buzz about this new book, called “a captivating family saga” by The New York Times Book Review. My book club is reading it in March.


The Storyteller Speaks by Annika Perry – Annika recently published her 5-star debut collection of short fiction. I read her blog all the time and you can visit it here.

Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney – Jay was very generous to provide me with a copy of his debut novel. Looking forward to this family drama.

I have a bunch of additional titles waiting patiently on my Kindle. I hope to read these in 2018. Here’s a peek:


Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
David Bowie – a Life  by Dylan Jones

Leaving the Beach by Mary Rowen
Reserved by Tracy Ewens
Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine
Talent by B. Goodwin
The Edge of Lost by Kristina McMorris

Those Girls by Chevy Stevens

I feel good knowing I have a little library stashed on my Kindle. It’s not hoarding if it fits into a slim leather case, right? What about you? Do you have a lot of unread books on your eReader?

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How deep is your reading list?

Image: Pixabay

There’s something exciting about finishing a book and thinking about what to read next. I’ve gotten a little ahead of myself this month, though, because now I have a mini stack of books to be read. It’s not a bad problem to have. Even when I’m in a bit of a time crunch, I always relax while I’m reading. It’s my escape!

Here’s a peek at what’s coming up:

Last Stop in Brooklyn:  A Mary Handley Mystery by Lawrence H. Levy

I know this is going to be a fun read and I can’t wait to start. This is the third book in the Mary Handley historical mystery series, featuring New York’s first female detective. For all you NetGalley readers, Last Stop in Brooklyn is up and ready to go!

And if you want to start at the beginning, click on the links below to learn more about the first two books in the series:

Second Street Station
Brooklyn on Fire

Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate

I read about this on Cleopatra Loves Books and knew I wanted to read it! Originally published in 1940, it’s part of the British Library Crime Classics collection and follows a jury’s intense deliberation. At 237 pages, it’s a shorter read, something good to read between the bigger books.

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

My ladies book club is reading this for our December meeting. This is another short one, published in 2016. It’s about a group of friends in 1970s Brooklyn and sounds great, perfect to read during the busy holiday season. We’ll be chatting about this one while we celebrate the holidays with our annual book exchange.

 Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate

You see a lot of books when you work in a library and this one caught my eye. It’s a Young Adult book about high school kids, friendship, scandals and lies. Redgate wrote this as a senior economics major at Kenyon College and it is her first novel.

 The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders

Our mystery book club at work has chosen this one for December, the first in `The Laetitia Rodd Mysteries’, six novels featuring a Victorian lady detective. Here’s what Amazon has to say:

The Secrets of Wishtide brings nineteenth century society vividly to life and illuminates the effect of Victorian morality on women’s lives. Introducing an irresistible new detective, the first book in the Laetitia Rodd Mystery series will enthrall and delight.”

David Bowie:  A Life by Dylan Jones

This biography came to me from NetGalley and I’m looking forward to it because of Bowie’s music and my high school memories, including one of my friend singing “Changes” in Algebra II and hanging out in the cool crowd’s “Bowie Room” one night.

I’m ready to go with this nice mix of books, including a couple to add to my New York Books list!

So what about you? What’s on your December list?

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Five books to keep me busy

Did you know that today is National Read a Book Day? Well that’s good news because my reading binge is about to begin! I have three NetGalley books to read and two book club titles on the list. No need to procrastinate because they all look good to me!

Here’s what’s in line:

Bunny Mellon – The Life of an American Style Legend by Meryl Gordon –

NetGalley Description

“A new biography of Bunny Mellon, the style icon and American aristocrat who designed the White House Rose Garden for her friend JFK and served as a living witness to 20th Century American history, operating in the high-level arenas of politics, diplomacy, art and fashion.

Bunny Mellon, who died in 2014 at age 103, was press-shy during her lifetime. With the co-operation of Bunny Mellon’s family, author Meryl Gordon received access to thousands of pages of her letters, diaries and appointment calendars and has interviewed more than 175 people to capture the spirit of this talented American original.”

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

Excerpts from NetGalley Description

“From the New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Room, a powerful story about the ways an entire life can change in one night: A flight attendant wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man – and no idea what happened.

Set amid the captivating world of those whose lives unfold at forty thousand feet, The Flight Attendant unveils a spellbinding story of memory, of the giddy pleasures of alcohol and the devastating consequences of addiction, and of murder far from home.”

The Surrogate by Louise Jensen

Excerpts from NetGalley Description

“Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream.

But Kat and Lisa’s history hides dark secrets.

And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye.

As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat’s perfect picture of happily-ever-after, she realises that she must face her fear of the past to save her family…”

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

September choice by my book club friend for this month’s literary gab fest!

Excerpt from Amazon description:

“Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. It was a belief that helped shape her own childhood and that of her brother. It shaped her view of her family and their dynamics. It influenced her entire life. Now, more than twenty years later, her father has passed away and she’s in New Bern, North Carolina, cleaning out his house when she finds evidence that what she has always believed is not the truth. Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity…”

The Chessmen by Peter May

Book 3 of The Lewis Trilogy and September choice for my library mystery book club. Books 1 and 2 were great so I’m looking forward to this one!

Excerpt from Amazon description:

“Living again of the Isle of Lewis, ex-Detective Inspector Fin Macleod is working as a security officer for a local landowner. While investigating illegal activity on the estate Fin encounters the elusive poacher and former childhood friend, and bandmate, Whistler Macaskill.

When Fin catches up with Whistler among the windswept hills of the estate, the two witness a freak natural phenomenon–a bog burst–which drains a loch of all its water in a flash, revealing a mud-encased light aircraft with a sickeningly familiar moniker on its side…”

Will you be reading a book tonight? What’s on your September reading list?

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The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction – how many have you read?

Someday I’d like to say I have read all the Pulitzer Prize winners for fiction. I took a look at the all-time list, and discovered I have a long way to go!

2019: The Overstory by Richard Powers

2018: Less by Andrew Sean Greer (read and reviewed)

2017:  The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

2016:  The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

2015:  All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (read and reviewed)

2014:  The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

2013:  The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson

2012:  No award

2011:  A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

2010:  Tinkers by Paul Harding

2009:  Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (read and reviewed)

2008:  The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

2007:  The Road by Cormac McCarthy (read and reviewed)

2006:  March by Geraldine Brooks

2005:  Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

2004:  The Known World by Edward P. Jones

2003:  Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (read but not reviewed)

2002:  Empire Falls by Richard Russo (read and reviewed)

2001:  The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

2000:  Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

1999:  The Hours by Michael Cunningham (read but not reviewed)

1998:  American Pastoral by Philip Roth

1997:  Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer by Steven Millhauser

1996:  Independence Day by Richard Ford

1995:  The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields

1994:  The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx (read but not reviewed)

1993:  A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler

1992:  A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

1991:  Rabbit At Rest by John Updike

1990:  The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos

1989:  Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler

1988:  Beloved by Toni Morrison (read but not reviewed)

1987:  A Summons to Memphis by Peter Taylor

1986:  Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

1985:  Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie

1984:  Ironweed by William Kennedy

1983:  The Color Purple by Alice Walker (read but not reviewed)

1982:  Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike

1981:  A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

1980:  The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer

1979:  The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever

1978:  Elbow Room by James Alan McPherson

1977:  No award

1976:  Humboldt’s Gift by Saul Bellow

1975:  The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

1974:  No award

1973:  The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty (read but not reviewed) 

1972:  Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

1971:  No award

1970:  Collected Stories by Jean Stafford

1969:  House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday

1968:  The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron

1967:  The Fixer by Bernard Malamud

1966:  Collected Stories by Katherine Anne Porter

1965:  The Keepers Of The House by Shirley Ann Grau

1964:  No award

1963:  The Reivers by William Faulkner

1962:  The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O’Connor

1961:  To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (read and reviewed)

1960:  Advise and Consent by Allen Drury

1959:  The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters by Robert Lewis Taylor

1958:  A Death In The Family by James Agee

1957:  No award

1956:  Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor

1955:  A Fable by William Faulkner

1954:  No award

1953:  The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (read and reviewed)

1952:  The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk

1951:  The Town by Conrad Richter

1950:  The Way West by A. B. Guthrie

1949:  Guard of Honor by James Gould Cozzens

1948:  Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener

Note – prior to 1948, the awards were split between Novel and Drama. The following winners are from the Novel category

1947:  All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

1946:  No award

1945:  A Bell for Adano by John Hersey

1944:  Journey in the Dark by Martin Flavin

1943:  Dragon’s Teeth by Upton Sinclair

1942:  In This Our Life by Ellen Glasgow

1941:  No award

1940:  The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (read and reviewed)

1939:  The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (read but not reviewed)

1938:  The Late George Apley by John Phillips Marquand

1937:  Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (read and reviewed)

1936:  Honey in the Horn by Harold L. Davis

1935:  Now in November by Josephine Winslow Johnson

1934:  Lamb in His Bosom by Caroline Miller

1933:  The Store by T. S. Stribling

1932:  The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (read but not reviewed)

1931:  Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes

1930:  Laughing Boy by Oliver Lafarge

1929:  Scarlet Sister Mary by Julia Peterkin

1928:  The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder

1927:  Early Autumn by Louis Bromfield

1926:  Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis

1925:  So Big by Edna Ferber

1924:  The Able McLaughlins by Margaret Wilson

1923:  One of Ours by Willa Cather

1922:  Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington

1921:  The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (read and reviewed)

1920:  No award

1919:  The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington

1918:  His Family by Ernest Poole

To reward you for making it to the bottom of this list, here are a few facts about the Pulitzer Prizes!

  • The Pulitzer prizes were established in 1917 to recognize outstanding journalism, photography, literature, history, poetry, music and drama.
  • There are twenty-one award categories. Only United States citizens are eligible to apply for the prize in Letters, Drama and Music, except for the History category of Letters, in which the book must be about the United States, but the author may be of any nationality.
  • John F. Kennedy has been the only President to receive the Pulitzer Prize. He was awarded the prize in 1957 for his biography, Profiles in Courage.
  • And for all those self-published and indie authors: Self-published books are eligible for the prize, but they must be available in print!

Image: Wikipedia

Click here to visit an earlier post with interesting facts about the man behind it all, famous newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer.

Visit to learn more about the Pulitzer Prizes.

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Book Club Mom – Books Read in 2017

Image: Pixabay


Talking about books is just as fun as reading them. Choosing the next one is lots of fun too. And lists are a great way to get things started. Today I’m between books, but I’m looking forward to picking something new soon! I’ve added a page to show my running list of books read in 2017. Check it out up top or click on the link below.

Book Club Mom – Books of 2017

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Books I want to read in 2017 – What’s on your list?

The end of the calendar year is always a time to look back, but it’s also a fun time to look forward.  While I don’t always stick to a reading list, I do like to make one.  Here’s what is looking good to me.  What books are in your reading future?

(All summaries provided by individual publishers.  I have edited for space.)

At the Edge of the Orchard
by Tracy Chevalier

James Goodenough, whose family had originally settled in Connecticut from England brings his family to Ohio to carve out a new life for them in the Black Swamp in 1838, but as swamp fever gradually picks off their children and they wrestle daily with survival, this course will see their family engulfed in tragedy. Fifteen years later we pick up with their youngest son, Robert, who has been running west since then trying to escape his memories of what happened, taking solace in a very different kind of tree–the redwoods and sequoias of California. But Robert’s past catches up with him and he’s forced to confront what he’s running from and work out for himself that you can’t run for ever.

Born To Run
by Bruce Springsteen

Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs. He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination.  He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song “Born to Run” reveals more than we previously realized.

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
by Susannah Cahalan

A gripping memoir and medical suspense story about a young New York Post reporter’s struggle with a rare and terrifying disease, opening a new window into the fascinating world of brain science.

In this swift and breathtaking narrative, Susannah tells the astonishing true story of her inexplicable descent into madness and the brilliant, lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn’t happen.

by Ann Patchett

The enthralling story of how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families’ lives. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved.   A story of love and marriage, death and divorce, and a dark secret from childhood that lies underneath it all.

Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art
by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo

The extraordinary narrative of one of the most far-reaching and elaborate deceptions in art history. Investigative reporters Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo brilliantly recount the tale of a great con man and unforgettable villain, John Drewe, and his sometimes unwitting accomplices. His story stretches from London to Paris to New York, from Manhattan art galleries to the archives of the Tate Gallery. Provenance reads like a well-plotted thriller, filled with unforgettable characters and told at a break-neck pace.

still-aliceStill Alice by Lisa Genova         

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life—and her relationship with her family and the world—forever. As she struggles to cope with Alzheimer’s, she learns that her worth is comprised of far more than her ability to remember.

the-memory-palaceThe Memory Palace by Mira Bartok

In the tradition of The Glass Castle, two sisters confront schizophrenia in this poignant literary memoir about family and mental illness. Through stunning prose and original art, The Memory Palace captures the love between mother and daughter, the complex meaning of truth, and family’s capacity for forgiveness

the-swans-of-fifth-avenueThe Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin

When Truman Capote gains access to New York high society, he builds an unlikely friendship with socialite Babe Paley.

Of all the glamorous stars of New York high society, none blazes brighter than Babe Paley and her friends, the alluring socialite Swans. But beneath this elegantly composed exterior dwells a passionate woman, desperately longing for true love and connection. Enter Truman Capote. Through Babe, Truman gains unparalleled access to the scandal and gossip of Babe’s powerful circle. Babe never imagines the destruction Truman will leave in his wake– even when the stories aren’t his to tell.

The Woman in Cabin 10
by Ruth Ware

In this tightly wound, enthralling story reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s works, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard.

What She Knew
by Gilly Macmillan

Rachel Jenner is walking in a Bristol park with her eight-year-old son Ben when he asks if he can run ahead. It’s an ordinary request on an ordinary Sunday afternoon, and Rachel has no reason to worry–until Ben vanishes. Police are called, search parties go out, and Rachel, already insecure after her recent divorce, feels herself coming undone. As hours and then days pass without a sign of Ben, everyone who knew him is called into question, from Rachel’s newly married ex-husband to her mother-of-the-year sister.

when-breath-becomes-airWhen Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

A profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis who attempts to answer the question, What makes a life worth living? At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.

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