An ode to a soft spoken but profound seeker of truth and racial equality. Jon Meacham gives us the background and beginnings of this great man but also gives us a glimpse into one of this country's most volatile periods in history- the civil rights movement of the 60's. There were so many brave demonstrators seeking justice in an unjust world and these accounts along with photographs help us to understand and appreciate the sacrifice they made. It is difficult to comprehend the violence and hatred and balance that with the calm and peaceful ways that John Lewis, Dr. Martin Luther King and others preached and practiced. The afterward by John Lewis is beautiful and reminds us why he will be missed and to still have hope for the future. 4 stars
A debut fantasy told in the classic style that could easily read like European historical fiction. It is a story of an abusive king who terrorizes his wife, two sons and the kingdom itself. Mirantha holds on as long as she can for the sake of her sons but she knows the king will get rid of her soon. Years pass with the king still on the throne until a group of young revolutionaries led by the elusive Sparrow attempt to work with the princes to kill the king. Old World politics, forbidden love, loyalty and some pretty vicious battle scenes - this has all the earmarks of a great new series.
Everyone wonders at some point in their life what would their life be like if they had taken a different path. Did I make the right decision? Do I have any control? For Dawn, who was on the path to becoming an Egyptologist, coming home and cutting her studies short to take care of her dying mother and raise her younger brother was the only choice. She finds comfort and love in the arms of her husband and they have a daughter.
Fifteen years go by and Dawn is now a death doula, guiding those who are drying and their families down that scary path. Something happens to send her back to Egypt to find the man and love she left behind. The path of two ways is a book that was left in the tomb to guide the dead person to the afterlife but it also applies to Dawn trapped in a life of "what if". As only Jodi Picoult can write this book is full of tearful moments, life decisions and a wealth of knowledge of hieroglyphs, burial customs and all the finds of Egyptian tombs as well as guidance and compassion for those who help terminal patients and their families. She is known for making you cry a bit but this book will clean you out of Kleenex. I listened to the audiobook which was breathtaking and also let me hear the correct pronunciation of all the ancient Egyptian. 4 stars
Anna does data processing jobs for a temp agency until an unfortunate accident which actually works out to her benefit by landing her a great full time job. She has no problem working for a super villain even one who is super mysterious. When she creates a spreadsheet that shows how collateral damage can be traced back to the super heroes, all the villains cheer but for Anna and her boss it is personal. There is a thin line between good guy and bad guy in this wonderful jaunt that feels like a cross between "Eve" and "Billions" with super powers. I really hope this one is picked up for tv or a movie. Anna is bad ass but connects with all the people out there just trying to make a living. A powerful, fun debut full of action, unique characters and a side of the bizarre that is sure to send you looking for your cape or cheering for the villains. 4 1/2 stars
The book picks up where THE GILDED WOLVES left off but now instead of Paris we find the unlikely group in the heart of Russia once more looking for treasure and to save one of their own. No spoilers but Chokshi digs deep and dark in this sequel. It has a lovely period French and Russian vibe to it with a mythology all its own. The team is made up of a mix of genders, ethnic backgrounds and personalities. They follow their leader Severin but he and the others have many secrets they won't share and while there is loyalty, there is also betrayal. This is geared for young adult but many adults fantasy lovers will enjoy this sophisticated world. Fans of SIX OF CROWS, THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE and A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES will find much in this series. 4 stars
A tell all book of five brave souls who have been a patient of Therapist Dr. Gildiner. I won't tell you that it is an easy book to read as each of the patients have been to Hell and back but the joy is that they all came out the other side. Abused as children and adults by people they trusted they all had emotional and physical scars that ran deep. Dr. Gildiner helped them slay dragons to find love and the light at the end of the tunnel. This could have been a clinical retelling of some colorful and horrific examples of the need for therapy but the author has a gift for presenting all of them in a heroic and very humanistic way. This is a must for anyone starting the journey of therapy or for young professionals guiding others in the journey. 4 stars
Grayson (Gray) is an up and coming Private Investigator. She has her first real case - that of finding out if her client's girlfriend is alive or dead and to make sure his dog is returned unharmed. What she uncovers instead is a multi layered mess that could mean Isabel ran from an abusive relationship with her client, she could be into some really bad stuff herself or she could just be dead. As Gray digs deeper her own past could come back to give her trouble. She may be in great danger of being found again despite moving around and an identity change. This is a smart crime thriller with an even smarter main character. Gray serves up equal amounts of sass and street smarts. The pace is pitch perfect playing with your sense of right and wrong and who the bad guys really are. This is a perfect recommendation for readers of crime novels featuring strong, smart women who don't wait for the white knight to come save them.
Hercule Poirot and his friend, Inspector Catchpool are on their way to Kingfisher Hill summoned by the owner who needs Poirot to get his fiancee off the hook for the murder of his brother. Things get off to a shaky start as they meet a crazed woman who is convinced she will be killed if she doesn't change seats. The strangeness continues at Kingfisher Hill where Poirot must solve the case without anyone knowing why he is there. Sophie Hannah once again channels the voice of Agatha Christie and takes a beloved character on another exciting mystery. The wit is sharp, the mystery is solvable but not given away easily and the characters are authentic. 4 stars
Kira is an xenobiologist working in space and her life is forever changed after she finds an alien ruins and a lifeform attaches itself to her by encasing her in a skin suit that works with her emotions and impulses. The being/suit called "The Soft Blade" takes some getting used to and it can send its memories to Kira's brain and cause great violence both a good thing and bad. It is an interesting partnership to say the least and one that will lead her and a ragtag spaceship crew to where another alien species is threatening to take out most of the Universe. This is a bit of a mashup between Star War's Princess Leia and the rebels, meets superhero spacesuit, meets the mind take over of Stephanie Meyer's THE HOST. There is enough action to satisfy the space junkies, wicked good banter of a ship's intelligence ( ala Hal from 2001 SPACE ODDESY) and Paolini does a good job of world building. I don't know if his earlier fans will be disappointed that there are no dragons here (spoiler!) but he has proven that he can write for an adult audience. 4 stars
This has to be the most unusual and difficult book to pin a genre on and that makes it glorious. Piranesi is a caretaker of sorts of an elaborate multi-level, multi-wing, multi corridor dwelling that seems to go on forever. Each hall is filled with statues that reminded me a bit of that weird house in Game of Thrones - The House of Black and White. There is no real way of telling time other than the one that Piranesi has developed but he is given some guidance and notice of disasters during his meetings with THE OTHER (all knowing big man in charge). Piranesi becomes aware of another who he is forbidden to talk to but starts communicating with anyway and falls deeper down the Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole. Reading this book you begin to take on the role of an anthropologist studying a new culture searching for clues. It is a wonderful unique romp down a rabbit hole and Piranesi is instantly endearing. Fans of Erin Morganstern will enjoy the twists. 4 stars
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