Susan's Staff Picks
"When the shoe dropped into her lap the foot was still in it" is the first line of this novel. Newman has thrown down the challenge. Could you read this line and then calmly put the book down? I couldn't and so I began the roller coaster ride with one drop after another as Captain Bill Hoffman is faced with an impossible choice while flying a commercial plane. We are introduced to a good man who seems to be forced into a decision with only terrible results. If you like suspense but are tired of guessing the conclusion early in the story then please read this book. You won't be disappointed."
"Confusion reigns and encompasses Windsor Horne Lockwood III (Win), who is only a fan of confusion when he causes it. His customary plan is to deliver justice without regard to due process but now he has a twofold purpose, deliver justice and discover and protect the hidden truths within his own family. It is never good to learn that your family has been lying and hiding things for years.
This is fast-paced, complex, violent and entertaining story."
"Garrett Kohl is a native Texan but living with his father and older brother became untenable after his mother died so he left home, joined the military and eventually became a DEA agent. Following a difficult mission in Afghanistan he needs to hide a young boy and he takes him home to Texas. There he finds another situation and he now is protecting a boy and protecting his family and their ranch. If you have read any C.J. Box books you will like learning about the High Plains of Texas, the beauty of the land and the strength of the people who live there. This is a fast paced story incorporating much of the traditional western but also adding in contemporary criminals who underestimate the strength and resources that Texans have needed to survive. I will be looking forward to more of Garrett Kohl and his family."
"While many novels reveal the story in bits and pieces, they usually narrow at some point to draw the reader toward the conclusion (or back to the beginning). We begin with 13 year old Duchess Ray Radley, caretaker of her 5 year old brother and her mother, Star. She is a self-proclaimed outlaw, doing whatever she deems neccessary to care for her family. Mystery, drama, revenge, corruption, love, strength, and commitment all play a part as Duchess' story circles around her past and her present until pieces are finally drawn together. What we liked best about this story is that on its way to completion each twist is less a reveal and more a widening, leading to its excellent and profound end."
"Krueger has written a few books about the old forest and lakes in Aurora, Minnesota where Cork O'Connor is now the retired sheriff but in Lightning Strike he has taken us back to meet 12 year old Cork. That summer Cork and a friend were the first to find a body hanging in an logging camp - a respected Ojibway from the community. Though it looks like a possible suicide Cork's dad, the current sheriff is not convinced. While Cork's mom is part Ojibway, his dad is not and the other members of the tribe do not usually confide in him or trust him. Cork lives in both worlds and so becomes his dad's helper. It is the summer that changes him and his relationship to his father. It is the beginning of his life protecting and serving in his community. This is a well written coming-of-age story about a man we thought we knew. This story paints his life as a whole picture."
"It is 1938 and Reno Nevada is quickly becoming the divorce capitol of the country. Wealthy women that they must 'reside' in the state for six weeks before their divorce can be finalized. Some choose to stay at one of the dude ranches where they can be pampered and yet be as involved as they might choose in riding or hiking and exploring.
Ward is now working at one of those ranches - he eminently qualified. He grew up in a wealthy family until they lost their money and he spent a year at Yale. This is his story of one summer on the ranch and a few of the women he met - one of who he loved.
A slice of American history, one summer in Reno, Nevada, and the repercussions that rolled on through the years."
"Though I am not a McConaughey fan, this book looked interesting so I picked it up, read a little bit and bought it. Though I was not a fan when I began the book, I am a fan now! I will keep it and probably re-read it. It is that interesting and thought-provoking.
I don't believe I can say it better than Matthew wrote on the book jacket. I found depths and dimensions in McConaughey that I would have never suspected. There are humorous ancedotes, stories of failures and problems, recounting of adventures that most of us only dream of and/or might not have the courage to pursue. The man behind the movies is much more interesting than his Hollywood persona would indicate.
I highly recommend this book."
"Thoughts of the man and the career she left behind 15 years ago dominate Dawn's thoughts. A family emergency pulled her away from an Egyptian archeology site where she and her partner were bboth researching and physically digging for The Book of Two Ways - an Egyptian concept of the afterlife. Her career continued and hers veered off in annother direction - she became a death doula helping her clients transition from life to death.
Following the crash landing and the offer of a free flight anywhere, Dawn flies to Egypt. Almost immediatley she is immersed in memories and current discoveries that pull her toward further action. The conundrum is how to combine your past life with your present life as a wife and mother for 15 years. How to explain to your much loved daughter that you are coming home immediately.
A fascinating book, but be forewarned of the depth of Egyption theology and be willing to travel the twists and turns this story takes.
I was soo intrigued."
"Ana is a brilliant and rebellious young woman who marries the 18-year-old Jesus. She and Jesus were both in the process of following their inner passions.... Each understoof the depth of the other's calling and loved and supported each other enough to make some unconventional choices. Ana's story will resonate with women today who understand that women are still silenced and underappreciated in many ways. Kidd's characterization of Jesus is about the human Jesus as he was growing into his future. Sue Monk Kidd has written a compelling, lovely story without trying to contradict any Biblical truths. Here is a possibility written in a compelling, heartfelt way. I loved it!!!"
"In the beginning pages Melody writes 'Look at ne on the last day in May. Finally sixteen and the moment like a hand holding me out to the world.' Born to a sixteen year old mother whose unworn dress lays on the bed ready to be worn, Melody puts on the dress and in some ways also puts on the expectations of her college educated grandparents who believe she will carry on the family legacy of attending her grandmother's college and becoming an educated black woman in their Brooklyn community.
Through the ensuing pages, Melody shares the pieces of her story. Her father gave up his dreams to raise her as they lived with her maternal grandparents; her mother left for a non-legacy college to find her own dream. Family history has given her much to process as she weaves her current story with their past.
Excellent writing, a great character development, and an understanding of different choice and where they might lead."