Hot Reads for Adults

ICE TWINS: A NOVEL by S.K. Tremayne

The Ice Twins begins in London, but quickly moves to a remote island in Scotland. Reeling from the loss of one of their twin daughters, Sarah and Angus relocate to the island Angus inherited from his grandmother with the hope that a new start will be better for everyone – – including their surviving twin daughter Kirstie. The only problem . . . Kirstie has started claiming she is the dead twin Lydia. As the story progresses and the weather turns colder, things begin to heat up. A particularly rough Scottish storm leaves Sarah and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) isolated on the island alone. But are they really alone? This page turning suspense novel will keep you guessing as to what really happened the day that Lydia (or was it Kirstie?) fell to her death. Reviewed by Jennifer Harden

THE POCKET WIFE: A NOVEL by Susan Crawford

The Pocket Wife slowly draws you into the manic world of Dana Catrell. When her neighbor, Celia, turns up dead, Dana is not sure who is to blame, but she relentlessly works to find out the truth. Wafting in and out of sanity, Dana works tirelessly to put together the pieces of Celia’s death. Along the way, she meets a bevy of interesting people, all who seem a wee bit guilty and elusive about the role they may, or may not, have played in Celia’s murder. This book draws you into Dana’s teetering on the edge of sanity and keeps you cheering for her throughout. But is she a murderer? Reviewed by Jennifer Harden

1920: The Year that Made the Decade Roar

The Roaring Twenties stir up an immediate mental image of flappers, speakeasies, and a life that seemed devoted to putting behind the misery of World War I. Eric Burns, former NBC News correspondent, revisits the events of the first year in that infamous decade – and does so with insight and vivid style. From the terrorist bombing of Wall Street to the rising tide of anti-immigrant feeling, the passage of Prohibition to the strengthening of the organized crime movement, Burns demonstrates that this first year after the armistice was anything but peaceful. The turmoil of social change was felt in the passage of the 19th Amendment, allowing women to vote, and in an upsurge in the hateful activities of the KKK. Robber barons were dealing with strikes, commercial radio broadcasting was born, and Harlem came alive with literature, art and that wonderful music called jazz. Burns will take you on a fascinating and wild ride through 1920. There will be times when you wonder if you’re reading an account of something that happened nearly a century ago or looking at today’s headlines. Reviewed by Kate Tesdell

TWISTED SISTERS by Jen Lancaster

What do you get when you put a New Age healer, a television psychologist, a hairdresser and a mom into a book? You get a seriously funny book! I listened to the audiobook version in my car and I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to just sit in my car to continue the book. This story is about Reagan, a psychologist, daughter and sister who thinks pretty highly of herself and is not afraid to let others know it. She is constantly belittling her two sisters and feels like no one gives her the credit she deserves, especially her family. She finally achieves the fame she so desperately seeks when her show goes to network television but finds it still doesn’t impress her family. When Diva, her New Age healer friends, helps her out with a few guests on the show, Reagan decides that the method they use can help her in her own life. Of course it doesn’t go the way she planned and she learns a thing or two about herself – not good things either. Can it be that she hasn’t given her sisters nearly enough credit and herself way too much? Lancaster has . . . → Read More: TWISTED SISTERS by Jen Lancaster

THE BOOKSELLER by Cynthia Swanson

Kitty owned a Denver bookstore with her best friend, Frieda. It was 1962 and both were unmarried. Their store wasn’t getting as many sales as they used to, because the streetcar lines changed. Kitty started to question her choices. Then one night she had a vivid dream of herself in a new life as Katharyn – her given name. She was a wife and mother, living in a new house in the suburbs. She discovered if one day of her life had gone differently, it would have changed everything. This is a fun book to read. There are a lot of details about 1962-63, such as book titles, popular music and clothing styles. It can be interesting to wonder what could have been, especially if it helps you realize what you might try now.

Reviewed by Fiona Swift

THE OPPOSITE OF SPOILED: RAISING KIDS WHO ARE GROUNDED, GENEROUS, AND SMART ABOUT MONEY by Ron Leiber

With advice for parents of every income bracket, personal finance columnist and father Ron Lieber addresses many familiar parent-child interactions regarding money. Mr. Lieber provides common motivations and reactions, concrete advice, and real-life stories illustrating how what parents teach their children about money also develops important character traits. A wonderful bibliography is included for parents seeking additional resources. Reviewed by Jennie Tuttle

AS YOU WISH: INCONCEIVABLE TALES FROM THE MAKING OF THE PRINCESS BRIDE by Cary Elwes with Joe Layden

In 1987, Cary Elwes was a young, unknown actor about to embark upon his biggest leading role yet. The part was Westley, a swashbuckling Man in Black, in a “romance, adventure, fantasy, drama, comedy, action” film called The Princess Bride and it changed his life. Though the movie had an underwhelming theatrical run, it found an audience on home video and today it’s a beloved, and oft-quoted, classic.

Elwes’s memoir of the making of the film is as warm and wickedly-funny as William Goldman’s screenplay. He happily shares backstage antics (a couple of which sent him to the emergency room) and gushes over his costar, Robin Wright. The closest Elwes comes to dishing dirt is fondly telling a few drinking stories about André the Giant, who played Fezzik. Sidebars written by Rob Reiner, Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal, and other members of the cast and crew make it clear that everyone involved in production knew they were part of something special.

If viewing The Princess Bride puts a smile on your face, this book will, too.

Reviewed by Lynn Heitkamp

Refire! Don’t Retire: Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life by Ken Blanchard and Morton Shaevitz

Larry and Janice are a couple who feel their lives have gone stale as they’ve gotten older. They go to a counselor and after each session Dr. Jeffrey sends them to meet a couple who have embraced the principle described in the chapter. The conversations sound like little lectures, and the format would be annoying if the content weren’t so good. The truth is, this book is a dynamic exploration of how to refire yourself emotionally, intellectually physically and spiritually. The concepts are easy to understand and the book successfully challenges the reader to take stock and try new things. Especially useful is the short series of reflections and action steps at the end of each section. Although aimed at those of retirement age, this book will be of value to anyone who feels that life has become routine and unfulfilling. Reviewed by Kate Tesdell

COLD COLD HEART by Tami Hoag

Dana Nolan was on the fast track to success as a TV reporter until she was captured by a serial killer who wanted to make her his 9th victim. “Where there is life, there is hope” becomes Dana’s mantra and she conquers this killer only to find out that this is just the beginning of a very long road back to her new normal. Suffering from closed head injuries, Dana goes back to her hometown to stay with her mother and step-father while she recovers. Still plagued by nightmares and missing memories, Dana decides to focus on a cold case from her past, the disappearance of her childhood friend Casey Grant. Dana will soon learn that things aren’t always as they appear and sometimes those closest to us are the most dangerous. The author offers a very insightful look at the misconception and agony of PTSD through Dana’s challenges. This well-written book will keep you on the edge of your seat and you won’t want to put it down.

Reviewed by Brenda Rodammer

CARE AND MANAGEMENT OF LIES by Jacqueline Winspear

This is a story of the beginning of World War I from a woman’s perspective. Kezia has married the brother of her childhood friend and moved to his farm in Kent, England. She is the daughter of a vicar, and has never cooked a meal or kept a house. She settles into her new role in her own particular way, not worrying too much about what others think. Two months later, England declares war on Germany. Soon Kezia’s husband, Tom, has enlisted, leaving her to run the farm with two remaining farmhands (who are unable to enlist.) Her friend and sister-in-law, Thea, also joins a medical unit as an ambulance driver and is off to war after Christmas. Kezia doesn’t want to worry Tom about changes taking place on the farm – she has been ordered to cut down the apple orchard to grow wheat for the army, for example. She fills her letters with imaginary meals that she has prepared for him, not mentioning any food shortages. There is a lot of detail about the food they ate. It was a charming story, but it ended rather abruptly. Reviewed by Fiona Swift

. . . → Read More: CARE AND MANAGEMENT OF LIES by Jacqueline Winspear