Best New Books: Week of 4/13/2021

“Books could be an incredible adventure. I stayed under my blanket and barely moved, and no one would have guessed how my mind raced and my heart soared with stories.” – Paula McLain, The Paris Wife


The Good Sister by  Sally Hepworth ★

From the outside, everyone might think Fern and Rose are as close as twin sisters can be: Rose is the responsible one and Fern is the quirky one. But the sisters are devoted to one another and Rose has always been Fern’s protector from the time they were small.

Fern needed protecting because their mother was a true sociopath who hid her true nature from the world, and only Rose could see it. Fern always saw the good in everyone. Years ago, Fern did something very, very bad. And Rose has never told a soul. When Fern decides to help her sister achieve her heart’s desire of having a baby, Rose realizes with growing horror that Fern might make choices that can only have a terrible outcome. What Rose doesn’t realize is that Fern is growing more and more aware of the secrets Rose, herself, is keeping. And that their mother might have the last word after all.

Description from Goodreads.

“It’s a warped tale of twisted memories and skewed perceptions that will make fans of psychological thrillers say, ‘Wow, I didn’t see that coming.'” – Library Journal

“Sally Hepworth’s The Good Sister achieves the impossible trio of creepy, tender, and funny… Hepworth is an author poised to break out.” – Business Insider

“Hepworth’s latest further solidifies her place among the top domestic suspense authors… Fern is drawn as smart, capable, and probably on the spectrum, and she is multilayered and relatable, illustrating Hepworth’s talent for page-turners with depth.” – Booklist

“…addictive… Punchy prose helps propel the twisty plot to a creepy but satisfying conclusion. For fans of domestic dramas, this is a treat.” – Publishers Weekly

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook | eBook | eAudiobook

What Comes After by  Joanne Tompkins

In misty, coastal Washington State, Isaac lives alone with his dog, grieving the recent death of his teenage son, Daniel. Next door, Lorrie, a working single mother, struggles with a heinous act committed by her own teenage son. Separated by only a silvery stretch of trees, the two parents are emotionally stranded, isolated by their great losses–until an unfamiliar sixteen-year-old girl shows up, bridges the gap, and changes everything.

Evangeline’s arrival at first feels like a blessing, but she is also clearly hiding something. When Isaac, who has retreated into his Quaker faith, isn’t equipped to handle her alone, Lorrie forges her own relationship with the girl. Soon all three characters are forced to examine what really happened in their overlapping pasts, and what it all possibly means for a shared future.

With a propulsive mystery at its core, What Comes After offers an unforgettable story of loss and anger, but also of kindness and hope, courage and forgiveness. It is a deeply moving account of strangers and friends not only helping each other forward after tragedy, but inspiring a new kind of family.

Description from Goodreads.

“If you enjoyed The Searcher by Tana French, read What Comes After by JoAnne Tompkins… a mystery — and a gritty meditation on loss and redemption, drenched in stillness and grief.” – Washington Post

“Atmospheric, propulsive… a grieving community grapples with two slain teenaged boys and the young pregnant girl who may hold the key to the their tragic fates. An American Tana French, Tompkins is a writer to watch.” – O, The Oprah Magazine

“Like Anne Tyler and Marilynne Robinson, who explore similar territories of the heart, Tompkins sensitively portrays her characters’ pain, isolation, and hard path to redemption. A graceful debut.” – Kirkus Reviews

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook

When the Stars Go Dark by  Paula McLain

Anna Hart is a seasoned missing persons detective in San Francisco with far too much knowledge of the darkest side of human nature. When overwhelming tragedy strikes her personal life, Anna, desperate and numb, flees to the Northern California village of Mendocino to grieve. She lived there as a child with her beloved foster parents, and now she believes it might be the only place left for her. Yet the day she arrives, she learns a local teenage girl has gone missing. The crime feels frighteningly reminiscent of the most crucial time in Anna’s childhood, when the unsolved murder of a young girl touched Mendocino and changed the community forever.

As past and present collide, Anna realizes that she has been led to this moment. The most difficult lessons of her life have given her insight into how victims come into contact with violent predators. As Anna becomes obsessed with the missing girl, she must accept that true courage means getting out of her own way and learning to let others in.

Weaving together actual cases of missing persons, trauma theory, and a hint of the metaphysical, this propulsive and deeply affecting novel tells a story of fate, necessary redemption, and what it takes, when the worst happens, to reclaim our lives–and our faith in one another.

Description from Goodreads.

“[An] absolutely incredible literary thriller.” – Good Morning America

“[A] stunning crime novel… McLain matches poetic prose with deep characterizations as she shines a light on the kindness in her characters’ souls. Fans of literary suspense won’t be able to put this one down.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“A muted yet thrilling multilayered mystery enriched by keen psychological and emotional insight.” – Kirkus Reviews

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook | Playaway | eBook | eAudiobook

Second First Impressions by  Sally Thorne

Distraction (n): an extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.

Ruthie Midona has worked the front desk at the Providence Luxury Retirement Villa for six years, dedicating her entire adult life to caring for the Villa’s residents, maintaining the property (with an assist from DIY YouTube tutorials), and guarding the endangered tortoises that live in the Villa’s gardens. Somewhere along the way, she’s forgotten that she’s young and beautiful, and that there’s a world outside of work—until she meets the son of the property developer who just acquired the retirement center.

Teddy Prescott has spent the last few years partying, sleeping in late, tattooing himself when bored, and generally not taking life too seriously—something his father, who dreams of grooming Teddy into his successor, can’t understand. When Teddy needs a place to crash, his father seizes the chance to get him to grow up. He’ll let Teddy stay in one of the on-site cottages at the retirement home, but only if he works to earn his keep. Teddy agrees—he can change a few lightbulbs and clip some hedges, no sweat. But Ruthie has plans for Teddy too.

Her two wealthiest and most eccentric residents have just placed an ad (yet another!) seeking a new personal assistant to torment. The women are ninety-year-old, four-foot-tall menaces, and not one of their assistants has lasted a full week. Offering up Teddy seems like a surefire way to get rid of the tall, handsome, unnerving man who won’t stop getting under her skin.

Ruthie doesn’t count on the fact that in Teddy Prescott, the Biddies may have finally met their match. He’ll pick up Chanel gowns from the dry cleaner and cut Big Macs into bite-sized bits. He’ll do repairs around the property, make the residents laugh, and charm the entire villa. He might even remind Ruthie what it’s like to be young and fun again. But when she finds out Teddy’s father’s only fixing up the retirement home to sell it, putting everything she cares about in jeopardy, she’s left wondering if Teddy’s magic was all just a façade.

Description from Goodreads.

“Thorne manages to bring all the characters to vivid life, endearing them to the reader through the enumeration of their quirks and fleeting revelations about their pasts. Each scene between the protagonists—whose first meeting will make you laugh and wince simultaneously—is a delight, as is Ruthie’s motley found family.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Following 99 Percent Mine, Thorne’s latest novel is a sweet story, merging a woman whose fears tend to overpower her dreams, and a slow-burn romance that turns her world upside down.” – Library Journal

“…sweet, cheeky… The couple bond in part over their surprising mutual love for a late 1990s, 7th Heaven–esque family drama. As with that show, readers longing for laughter and heart will find comfort here.” – Publishers Weekly

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook | eAudiobook

Open Water by  Caleb Azumah Nelson

Two young people meet at a pub in South East London. Both are Black British, both won scholarships to private schools where they struggled to belong, both are now artists – he a photographer, she a dancer – trying to make their mark in a city that by turns celebrates and rejects them. Tentatively, tenderly, they fall in love. But two people who seem destined to be together can still be torn apart by fear and violence.

At once an achingly beautiful love story and a potent insight into race and masculinity, Open Water asks what it means to be a person in a world that sees you only as a Black body, to be vulnerable when you are only respected for strength, to find safety in love, only to lose it. With gorgeous, soulful intensity, Caleb Azumah Nelson has written the most essential debut of recent years.

Description from Goodreads.

“[A] once-in-a-blue-moon kind of read, a truly remarkable debut from a gifted young wordsmith… The novel is at once a celebration of Black love and Black art and expression; its words vibrate and resonate at a steady, rhythmic cadence throughout the text… thoroughly unforgettable.” – Buzzfeed

“A first-rate love story that hasn’t been written before… essential and beautiful.” – The Face

“Nelson’s impressive first novel is tender, lyrical, and all-consuming… In expertly crafted, poetic prose, this British Ghanaian writer tells the story of two young Black artists falling in love, falling out of love, and learning how to be soft and vulnerable in a society that refuses to allow them to be so… A truly exceptional debut.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

Hoopla eBook

Under the Wave at Waimea by  Paul Theroux

Now in his sixties, big-wave surfer Joe Sharkey has passed his prime and is losing his “stoke.” The younger surfers around the breaks on the north shore of Oahu still idolize the Shark, but his sponsors are looking elsewhere. One night, while driving home from a bar after one too many, Joe accidentally kills a stranger near Waimea, a tragedy that sends his life out of control. As the repercussions of the accident spiral ever wider, Joe’s devoted girlfriend, Olive, throws herself into uncovering the dead man’s identity and helping Joe find vitality and refuge in the waves again.

Set in the lush, gritty underside of an island paradise readers rarely see, Under the Wave at Waimea offers a dramatic, affecting commentary on privilege, mortality, and the lives we choose to remember. It is a masterstroke by one of the greatest writers of our time.

Description from Goodreads.

“Immersive… [Theroux’s] fans will appreciate the perfectly rendered exotic setting, which takes the reader deep inside the Hawaiian surf culture.” – Publishers Weekly

“Devotees of Kem Nunn’s Tapping the Source who have been searching for the next great surfing novel need search no more. In flowing, lyrical prose, Theroux celebrates the sheer individualistic exhilaration of riding waves.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“…superb… Its immersion in the physical essence and social divides of Hawaii feels profoundly experienced rather than merely observed… This probing tale of a man who’s come undone and the strong, stark woman who thinks she can reassemble him is one of Theroux’s best novels.” – Seattle Times

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook

All the Children Are Home by  Patry Francis

Set in the late 1950s through 1960s in a small town in Massachusetts, All the Children Are Home follows the Moscatelli family—Dahlia and Louie, foster parents, and their long-term foster children Jimmy, Zaidie, and Jon—and the irrevocable changes in their lives when a six-year-old indigenous girl, Agnes, comes to live with them…

When Dahlia decided to become a foster mother, she had a few caveats: no howling newborns, no delinquents, and above all, no girls. A harrowing incident years before left her a virtual prisoner in her own home, forever wary of the heartbreak and limitation of a girl’s life.

Eleven years after they began fostering, the Moscatellis are raising three children as their own and Dahlia and Louie consider their family complete, but when the social worker begs them to take a young girl who has been horrifically abused and neglected, they can’t say no.

Six-year-old Agnes Juniper arrives with no knowledge of her Native American heritage or herself beyond a box of trinkets given to her by her mother and dreamlike memories of her sister. Before long, this stranger in their midst has strengthened the bond in this unusual family, showing them how to contend with outside forces that want to tear them apart. Heartfelt and enthralling, All the Children Are Home is a moving testament to how love can survive in the face of devastating losses.

Description from Goodreads.

“Francis traces the heartbreaking pains of a foster family in this beautifully drawn saga… The shifting viewpoints and well-rounded characters coalesce to create a tragic and resilient image of an atypical family. This powerful and deeply moving story deserves a wide audience.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook | eBook | eAudiobook


The Devil’s Hand by  Jack Carr

It’s been 20 years since 9/11. Two decades since the United States was attacked on home soil and embarked on 20 years of war. The enemy has been patient, learning, and adapting. And the enemy is ready to strike again.

A new president offers hope to a country weary of conflict. He’s a young, popular, self-made visionary… but he’s also a man with a secret.

Halfway across the globe a regional superpower struggles with sanctions imposed by the Great Satan and her European allies, a country whose ancient religion spawned a group of ruthless assassins. Faced with internal dissent and extrajudicial targeted killings by the United States and Israel, the Supreme Leader puts a plan in motion to defeat the most powerful nation on earth.

Meanwhile, in a classified facility five stories underground, a young PhD student has gained access to a level of bioweapons known only to a select number of officials. A second-generation agent, he has been assigned a mission that will bring his adopted homeland to its knees.

Description from Goodreads.

“Carr delivers engrossing backstory, incorporates current events seamlessly, and never flinches from breathless depictions of violence.” – Publishers Weekly

”Carr continues to draw on his own experiences as a SEAL to give the story a level of realism that writers who’ve not actually served sometimes have a hard time achieving.” – Booklist

The Terminal List is widely regarded as one of the best debut thrillers of all-time, and rightfully so, but The Devil’s Hand is even better, and should go down as one of the best books in the genre, period.” – The Real Book Spy

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook | eBook | eAudiobook


What You Never Knew by  Jessica Hamilton

Idyllic Avril lsland, owned by the Bennett family, where their hundred-year-old cottage sat nestled in acres of forest. Forty-year-old June Bennett believed that the island had been sold after the summer of her father’s disappearance when she was only twelve years old. It’s months after the shocking death of her older sister May in a fatal car accident, that June finds out that the cottage was never sold. Avril Island is still owned by the Bennett family and now it’s hers.

Still reeling from the grief of losing her sister, June travels back to Avril lsland in search of answers. As she digs, she learns that the townspeople believe her father may have, in fact, been murdered rather than abandoning his family in the dead of night, as she was led to believe by her mother. And that’s when she begins to notice strange things happening on the island–missing family possessions showing up on her bed, doors open when she had locked them closed. It takes June no time at all to realize that her childhood summers at Avril Island were not at all what they had seemed to be.

Description from Goodreads.

“One of those rare finds that keeps you up for days… You won’t put it down.” – New York Journal of Books

“Light and easy writing brightens the characters’ traumas in this debut novel.” – Kirkus Reviews

“A solid thriller with twists and turns you don’t see coming… You won’t want to put the book down.” – Red Carpet Crash

Available Formats:

Hoopla eBook | Hoopla eAudiobook

Ocean Prey by  John Sandford

An off-duty Coast Guardsman is fishing with his family when he calls in some suspicious behavior from a nearby boat. It’s a snazzy craft, slick and outfitted with extra horsepower, and is zipping along until it slows to pick up a surfaced diver… a diver who was apparently alone, without his own boat, in the middle of the ocean. None of it makes sense unless there’s something hinky going on, and his hunch is proved right when all three Guardsmen who come out to investigate are shot and killed.

They’re federal officers killed on the job, which means the case is the FBI’s turf. When the FBI’s investigation stalls out, they call in Lucas Davenport. And when his case turns lethal, Davenport will need to bring in every asset he can claim, including a detective with a fundamentally criminal mind: Virgil Flowers.

Description from Goodreads.

“Entertaining… Fans will enjoy seeing the two old buddies and their cohorts wading into dangerous waters.” – Publishers Weekly

“Great! All action from the beginning with a few light-hearted LOL moments between the two friends. By far the best novel in the Prey series so far.” – Red Carpet Crash

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook | Playaway | eBook | eAudiobook


Victories Greater Than Death by  Charlie Jane Anders

Tina has always known her destiny is outside the norm—after all, she is the human clone of the most brilliant alien commander in all the galaxies (even if the rest of the world is still deciding whether aliens exist). But she is tired of waiting for her life to begin.

And then it does—and maybe Tina should have been more prepared. At least she has a crew around her that she can trust—and her best friend at her side. Now, they just have to save the world.

Description from Goodreads.

“Charlie Jane Anders has been quietly building a reputation as one of the most imaginative writers working in sci-fi and fantasy today, and Victories Greater Than Death just confirms it.” – BookBub

“A space opera with a charming and diverse crew… The story’s easy affirmation of gender identities, sexual orientations, and mental illness give this space opera a hopepunk flavor that will be refreshing to many teens.” – School Library Journal

“Charlie Jane Anders has written the super-fun, out-there fantasy sci-fi space opera adventure that we all need to lose ourselves in right now.” – Ms.

Available Formats:

Print Book


Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by  Patrick Radden Keefe

The Sackler name adorns the walls of many storied institutions—Harvard, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oxford, the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations to the arts and the sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing a blockbuster painkiller that was the catalyst for the opioid crisis.

Empire of Pain begins with the story of three doctor brothers, Raymond, Mortimer and the incalculably energetic Arthur, who weathered the poverty of the Great Depression and appalling anti-Semitism. Working at a barbaric mental institution, Arthur saw a better way and conducted groundbreaking research into drug treatments. He also had a genius for marketing, especially for pharmaceuticals, and bought a small ad firm.
Arthur devised the marketing for Valium, and built the first great Sackler fortune. He purchased a drug manufacturer, Purdue Frederick, which would be run by Raymond and Mortimer. The brothers began collecting art, and wives, and grand residences in exotic locales. Their children and grandchildren grew up in luxury.

Forty years later, Raymond’s son Richard ran the family-owned Purdue. The template Arthur Sackler created to sell Valium—co-opting doctors, influencing the FDA, downplaying the drug’s addictiveness—was employed to launch a far more potent product: OxyContin. The drug went on to generate some thirty-five billion dollars in revenue, and to launch a public health crisis in which hundreds of thousands would die.

This is the saga of three generations of a single family and the mark they would leave on the world, a tale that moves from the bustling streets of early twentieth-century Brooklyn to the seaside palaces of Greenwich, Connecticut, and Cap d’Antibes to the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. Empire of Pain chronicles the multiple investigations of the Sacklers and their company, and the scorched-earth legal tactics that the family has used to evade accountability. The history of the Sackler dynasty is rife with drama—baroque personal lives; bitter disputes over estates; fistfights in boardrooms; glittering art collections; Machiavellian courtroom maneuvers; and the calculated use of money to burnish reputations and crush the less powerful.

Empire of Pain is a masterpiece of narrative reporting and writing, exhaustively documented and ferociously compelling. It is a portrait of the excesses of America’s second Gilded Age, a study of impunity among the super elite and a relentless investigation of the naked greed and indifference to human suffering that built one of the world’s great fortunes.

Description from Penguin Random House.

“…explosive… Keefe marshals a large pile of evidence and deploys it with prosecutorial precision…” – Washington Post

“…another dizzying, provocative investigation… Keefe has a way of making the inaccessible incredibly digestible, of morphing complex stories into page-turning thrillers, and he’s done it again with Empire of Pain…” – Entertainment Weekly

“What starts out as a humble origin story in 1913 — the year of Arthur Sackler’s birth in Brooklyn, to immigrants from Central Europe — becomes an engrossing (and frequently enraging) tale of striving, secrecy and self-delusion… Keefe nimbly guides us through the thicket of family intrigues and betrayals… Even when detailing the most sordid episodes, Keefe’s narrative voice is calm and admirably restrained, allowing his prodigious reporting to speak for itself. His portrait of the family is all the more damning for its stark lucidity.” – New York Times

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook | eAudiobook

Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing: Essays by  Lauren Hough

As an adult, Lauren Hough has had many identities: an airman in the U.S. Air Force, a cable guy, a bouncer at a gay club. As a child, however, she had none. Growing up as a member of the infamous cult The Children of God, Hough had her own self robbed from her. The cult took her all over the globe–to Germany, Japan, Texas, Ecuador–but it wasn’t until her mother finally walked away that Lauren understood she could have a life beyond “The Family.”

Along the way, she’s loaded up her car and started over, trading one life for the next. She’s taken pilgrimages to the sights of her youth, been kept in solitary confinement, dated a lot of women, dabbled in drugs, and eventually found herself as what she always wanted to be: a writer. Here, as she sweeps through the underbelly of America–relying on friends, family, and strangers alike–she begins to excavate a new identity even as her past continues to trail her and color her world, relationships, and perceptions of self.

At once razor-sharp, profoundly brave, and often very, very funny, the essays in Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing interrogate our notions of ecstasy, queerness, and what it means to live freely. Each piece is a reckoning: of survival, identity, and how to reclaim one’s past when carving out a future.

Description from Goodreads.

“Oh, does Lauren Hough have a story to tell… These essays are funny, profane and deceptively loose, as if Hough is talking to you late at night in a quiet bar. But they’re also well crafted and make unexpected connections among Hough’s disparate experiences, her search for identity and the larger culture. Most of all, Hough’s writing is about voice, and her distinctive style is what carries the reader through. By the collection’s end, you feel you know her, and you know she’s finding her own way through writing. Hough is a writer to watch.” – BookPage

“Searingly powerful… Even as she lays bare some of her most intimate memories, Hough’s sharp humor and unflinching honesty shines through, further highlighting her affecting story of resilience.” – Book Riot

“[Hough’s] writing is candid and harrowing… A page-turning account of belonging and not belonging, and what it means to start over.” – Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook

Genesis: The Story of How Everything Began by  Guido Tonelli

Curiosity and wonderment about the origins of the universe are at the heart of our experience of the world. From Hesiod’s Chaos, described in his poem about the origins of the Greek gods, Theogony, to today’s mind-bending theories of the multiverse, humans have been consumed by the relentless pursuit of an answer to one awe inspiring question: What exactly happened during those first moments?

Guido Tonelli, the acclaimed, award-winning particle physicist and a central figure in the discovery of the Higgs boson (the “God particle”), reveals the extraordinary story of our genesis—from the origins of the universe, to the emergence of life on Earth, to the birth of human language with its power to describe the world. Evoking the seven days of biblical creation, Tonelli takes us on a brisk, lively tour through the evolution of our cosmos and considers the incredible challenges scientists face in exploring its mysteries. Genesis both explains the fundamental physics of our universe and marvels at the profound wonder of our existence.

Description from Goodreads.

“Tonelli’s lyrical story of creation is sure to ignite the imaginations of American readers.” – Publishers Weekly

“From his descriptions of the Big Bang to human creativity and storytelling, [Guido Tonelli’s] writing is lush and inviting, offering countless points of entry… With clarity and just the right amount of technical language, Tonelli tackles complex subjects such as supersymmetry, dark matter, and the births of stars and planets.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Einstein meets Ovid in Tonelli’s compelling account of how the universe was born and how it has since evolved. Grounded in theoretical science but sustained by artistic fervor, this account not only illuminates the precepts of modern cosmology for nonspecialists, but also endows those precepts with rare imaginative power… Readers will thrill at the opportunity to accompany a world-class physicist to the frontiers of cosmological science, there to contemplate the unfolding of the universe and to gauge the dazzling new technologies enabling scientists to scrutinize that unfolding.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook

On the House: A Washington Memoir by John Boehner

Former Speaker of the House John Boehner shares candid tales from the halls of power, the smoke-filled rooms around the halls of power, and his fabled tour bus.

John Boehner is, in many ways, the last of a breed. At a time when the arbiters of American culture were obsessing over organic kale, cold-pressed juice and Soul-Cycling, the man who stood second in line to the presidency was unapologetically smoking Camels, quaffing a glass of red and hitting the golf course whenever he could.

There could hardly have been a more diametrically opposed figure to represent the opposition party in President Barack Obama’s Washington. But when Boehner announced his resignation, President Obama called to tell the outgoing Speaker that he’d miss him. “Mr. President,” Boehner replied, “yes you will.” He thought of himself as a “regular guy with a big job,” and he enjoyed it.

In addition to stories from the halls of power and of his comeback after getting knocked off the leadership ladder, Boehner will also offer his impressions of other leaders he’s met and what made them successes or failures, from Ford, Reagan and Thatcher to Obama and McCain to Trump. He’ll share his views on how the Republican Party has become unrecognizable today, his advice—some harsh, some fatherly—dished out to members of the media, and his acid-tongued comments about his former colleagues in the house. And, of course he’ll talk about golfing with five presidents.

Through these honest and self-aware reflections, you’ll be reminded of a time when the adults were firmly in charge.

Description from Goodreads.

“…reads like he’s simply here to share some of his favorite tales over a couple of drinks… Boehner is candid but never cruel in his recollections… It’s refreshing to read a memoir with a politician’s honest accountings of repeated failures rather than self-inflated successes.” – NPR

“Written in his folksy manner, On the House is certainly more entertaining than the standard ‘halls of power’ narratives, as Boehner calls them… Boehner’s memoirs are an X-ray into the mind of Reagan-era Republicans who did whatever was necessary to win and who today are seeing the high costs of their decisions.” – New York Times

“Most political memoirs these days are staid, buttoned-down affairs, written with an eye on a higher office or a place in history. Leave it to former House speaker John Boehner to drop the airbrush… warm, engaging, occasionally profane… having his excoriating assessments collected between hard covers makes for a powerful indictment…” – Washington Post

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook | eBook | eAudiobook

Susan, Linda, Nina, & Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR by  Lisa Napoli

In the years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, women in the workplace still found themselves relegated to secretarial positions or locked out of jobs entirely. This was especially true in the news business, a backwater of male chauvinism where a woman might be lucky to get a foothold on the “women’s pages.” But when a pioneering nonprofit called National Public Radio came along in the 1970s, and the door to serious journalism opened a crack, four remarkable women came along and blew it off the hinges.

Susan, Linda, Nina, & Cokie is journalist Lisa Napoli’s captivating account of these four women, their deep and enduring friendships, and the trail they blazed to becoming icons. They had radically different stories. Cokie Roberts was born into a political dynasty, roamed the halls of Congress as a child, and felt a tug toward public service. Susan Stamberg, who had lived in India with her husband who worked for the State Department, was the first woman to anchor a nightly news program and pressed for accommodations to balance work and home life. Linda Wertheimer, the daughter of shopkeepers in New Mexico, fought her way to a scholarship and a spot on-air. And Nina Totenberg, the network’s legal affairs correspondent, invented a new way to cover the Supreme Court.

Based on extensive interviews and calling on the author’s deep connections in news and public radio, Susan, Linda, Nina, & Cokie will be as beguiling and sharp as its formidable subjects.

Description from Goodreads.

“Napoli narrates the origin stories of NPR’s female journalistic superheroes… a history filled with so many powerful moments and fascinating details about journalism, perseverance, and gender bias.” – Kirkus Reviews

“[Napoli] illuminates the terrifying, thrilling energy of NPR as start-up… Napoli clearly admires her subjects, and they come across as trailblazers…” – New York Times

“[A] fascinating, highly readable account of the women of National Public Radio… Readers interested in feminism, women’s history, and biography will be rewarded with a great story that deserves to be widely known.” – Library Journal

Available Formats:

Hoopla eBook

The Pepper Thai Cookbook: Family Recipes from Everyone’s Favorite Thai Mom by  Pepper Teigen

A cookbook from Chrissy Tiegen’s mom, Pepper!

Pepper Teigen is the Thai mom and Yai (grandma) we all wish we had! Anyone who is a fan of Chrissy’s knows Pepper—she is prominently featured in Chrissy’s Instagram and website, CravingsbyChrissyTeigen—and often can be seen in her own feed cooking with granddaughter Luna or preparing soup for grandson Miles. Known as “Pepper Thai” for her love of spicy chiles, Pepper whips up the most delicious dishes in the Teigen-Legend household on the regular, like Roasted Lemongrass Chicken, Pad Thai Brussels Sprouts, and Nam Prik Moo Sloppy Joes, and Seafood Pad Cha.

In this debut cookbook, a kind of prequel to Cravings, Pepper shares more than 80 playful, inspiring, bold-flavored recipes for the dishes that fuel this busy household and made Chrissy fall in love with food and cooking. The chapters are quirky and fun, like “Always Snacking” (Thai Beef Jerky, Son-in-Law Jammy Eggs), Salads but not Boring (Naked Shrimp Salad), Back Home in Khorat (Turkey Grapow), and Pepper’s Pantry (Puffy Fried Eggs, Sweet Chile Jam). In addition to recipes, Pepper tells stories about her early days in the U.S., learning to cook Thai dishes with American ingredients and substitutes, and what it’s like to raise and live with a famous daughter. Creative and delicious, this cookbook will leave Chrissy and Pepper’s fans hungry for more.

Description from Goodreads.

“Even if Pepper Teigen didn’t have the best endorsement of them all (…Chrissy’s), we’d be beyond excited to learn all there is to about Thai cooking from her.” – delish

“Teigen thoughtfully provides plenty of substitutions for readers who may have trouble finding Thai ingredients, such as DIY dark soy sauce and toasted rice powder. This is a great guide for readers ready to take the plunge into Thai cooking.” – Publishers Weekly

“…exactly what I needed at this stage of my quarantine cooking…” – Food & Wine

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook


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