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The Mother's Promise by Sally Hepworth

The Mother’s Promise is the latest novel by Sally Hepworth, whose previous works include The Secrets of Midwivesand The Things We Keep. Although she is considered a writer of “women’s fiction,” to do so would be to limit both her own body of work and our perception of what a woman writing fiction can achieve.

The novel revolves around the stories of four women: Alice, whom has recently been diagnoses with cancer, her teenage daughter Zoe who suffers from crippling anxiety, as well as two hospital workers, Sonja and Kate. Although the story begins somewhat slow...

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March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

This unforgettable final volume in Congressman John Lewis’s multi-part memoir about the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and ‘60s has rightfully won numerous major book awards. Book Three maintains the graphic novel format of the first two parts, moving back and forth in time between when Lewis was a leading member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and the day of President Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009.

Nate Powell’s powerful illustrations, which brought to life lunch counter sit-ins and the March on Washington in the earlier book...

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The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan

Pulitzer Prize finalist, Dan Egan, has just released a new work of non-fiction entitled The Death and Life of the Great Lakes. The book was a winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Award – given annually to provide funding necessary for the completion of a non-fiction work focusing on an American topic that is of political and/or social concern.

Egan’s book starts by educating us on the engineering marvels of the late 1800’s that broke down the barriers of the Great Lakes – Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior – for improved shipping and to allow Chicago...

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The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang

Charles Wang came from Taiwan to the United States and amassed a fortune in the cosmetics industry. He married, bought a house in Bel-Air, and had three children. His first wife died and he married Barbra, who was also from Taiwan. Then in 2008, he made a few mistakes and managed to lose everything. This is the story of Charles and Barbra leaving their home to pick up two of the children from boarding school and college. Luckily, the oldest daughter has her own house in upstate New York. The Wangs are making their way to her in an old Mercedes station wagon. Charles still has a grand scheme...

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The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen

I happened upon this title while searching for an ‘end of days’ read. The concept that has riddled numerous societies and populations for millennia intrigues me and I search out good books on the subject whenever I can. Although a fictional work, the author ties in a historical background and largely unknown historical facts to produce an engaging and thought provoking work that I stayed up late nights pondering.

A coming of age story set within a very plausible setting, the beginning of the book reads fairly slow and deliberate, with easy to justify moral complications. ...

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Lucky Bastard by Joe Buck

Buck, Son of legendary broadcaster Jack Buck, spins a self-deprecating tale of growing up in the shadow of his famous father. From an early age, Joe was allowed to tag along and watch his dad do the play-by-play for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.

Brutally honest about his own and his father’s shortcomings, Buck tells how it was growing up with the most famous father in St. Louis, who never turned down a speaking engagement or a request for an autograph. As he begins to blossom in his own broadcasting career, Joe faces stinging criticism and accusations of favoritism fro...

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I am Princess X by Cherie Priest

May and Libby become best friends in fifth grade.  They invent a fictional character they name Princess X and spend hours writing and drawing stories about her.  Tragedy strikes a few years later when Libby drowns.  May’s parents get a divorce.  She and her mom move out of state.  Every summer May travels back to stay with her dad.  The year she is sixteen, she finds a sticker with a picture of Princess X.  How could it even be possible?  She investigates and finds a website with the stories she helped write, along with new ones.  Did someo...

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Barkskins by Annie Proulx

Barkskins is the newest book by author Annie Proulx, the critically acclaimed author of Brokeback Mountain and The Shipping News. This weighty work begins in the late 1600’s with the arrival of two young French immigrants to the dense forests of the rugged new world of Canada. It traces the fate of their descendants and the devastating impact of deforestation through to the present day. It is a sweeping and engaging story rich in French Canadian, Michigan and Native American history. The fate of the two young men and their families diverge widely due to chance, choice and hard work. L...

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I am Princess X by Cherie Priest

May and Libby become best friends in fifth grade.  They invent a fictional character they name Princess X and spend hours writing and drawing stories about her.  Tragedy strikes a few years later when Libby drowns.  May’s parents get a divorce.  She and her mom move out of state.  Every summer May travels back to stay with her dad.  The year she is sixteen, she finds a sticker with a picture of Princess X.  How could it even be possible?  She investigates and finds a website with the stories she helped write, along with new ones.  Did someo...

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Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

South African comedian Trevor Noah was largely unknown when he was tapped to succeed Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Showin 2015. Instead of talking about showbiz in his first memoir, he focuses on his formative years under Apartheid and life with his indomitable mother, Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah.

Parts of Noah’s memoir are tremendously funny. (The future humorist had the gift of smart talk and knack for trouble at an early age.) But the title of this book reflects its serious undercurrents. Under the laws of South Africa when he was born, Noah’s existence was literally...

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The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

In the vein of Agatha Christie, Ruth Ware gives us a classic murder mystery set at sea. Lo Blacklock, travel journalist, embarks on a week-long luxury cruise aboard a boutique ship. This is just what Lo needs after her flat was burglarized while she lay passed out in the bedroom. For a brief moment, Lo thinks she just may be able to unwind and looks forward to advancing her career. After all, the cabins are luxurious, the guests are a-list, and the ship, while a bit claustrophobic, is decked out. 

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