In “If You Want to Make God Laugh,” Bianca Marais draws the reader into daily life in a transformational time in South Africa through the lives of three women, two white, one black. Told from alternating perspectives, the story traces how the lives of Delilah, Ruth, and Zodwa intersect as th…

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first manned spaceflight to the moon. Worldwide, millions listened and watched the grainy live television broadcast of Neil Armstrong stepping down from the lunar lander Eagle’s ladder as he uttered the words, “That’s one small step for (a) man, on…

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An innocent mistake is all it takes to derail the life of Elwood Curtis, a black boy being raised by his grandmother in Tallahassee. That mistake lands him in a Florida juvenile reformatory, the Nickel Academy. There, he makes friends and enemies, and learns that no amount of goodwill and go…

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“Giants of the Monsoon Forest,” is a well-researched, detailed account of elephants. The author concentrates on the threatened Asian elephants and touches briefly on African elephants that far outnumber their Asian cousins.

Jason D lives with his Afghan mother in an apartment in New Jersey. One night, on his mother’s birthday, she tells Jason that she is living illegally in the United States. Jason is surprised, but promises not to tell anyone. The next day, Jason goes to his mother’s work. He sees her getting …

Marie-Madeline Fourcade, a convent-educated, upper class Frenchwoman, was raised by her parents to be independent and socially aware. She was by nature adventuresome, not one to limit herself to the traditional role of French women.

Münchausen syndrome by proxy is a mental health disorder in which a caregiver seeks medical attention for an illness or injury they construe in a person under their care. This syndrome most often occurs in mother/child relationships—the child often not really sick.

Seventy-five-year old Miss Judith Kratt lives in a dilapidated ancestral home modeled after the famous Biltmore mansion in North Carolina. The white woman’s home is 7,000 square feet on four acres; the largest house in Bound, South Carolina, population 400 in 1929, now 200 in 1989. Miss Judi…

Charles Jenkins has a big problem. His wife is expecting a new baby and his security consulting firm is struggling to make payroll. He’s worried about his growing family’s financial solvency. Then Carl Emerson, his former CIA boss, shows up with a new mission that could solve Jenkins’ financ…

In the teen novel, “Call It What You Want,” by Brigid Kemmerer, the main character Rob was once the most popular boy in school. He was a star lacrosse player and the guy everyone wanted to be. But ever since his father was caught stealing money from half the people in the community, Rob has …

For Dan and Bea, life in London is simple. While Dan is constantly reminded of his discontent—the monotony of his tedious estate job, his inability to make a career from his art—Bea is happy with her work as a psychotherapist and satisfied with their limited means.

“Becoming Dr. Seuss: Theodor Geisel and the Making of an American Imagination,” is an interesting biography of Dr. Seuss.

We all know about the grand lady that stands in New York Harbor, holding her torch to welcome all to America. But it seems there are many things about the Statute of Liberty that we don’t know.

White supremacy has been a curse to the United States since the country’s founding. As old as The Three-Fifths Compromise reached by the state delegates during the 1787 Constitutional Convention and as new as today’s white supremacist rallies, the belief that white people are superior to peo…

The death of rising artist and “starter wife” Colleen May has been declared a suicide by the police. Her coat has washed up on the beach near Cleveland, Ohio, and her car was found in a parking lot near the lake. Her professor husband has an alibi; he was with another woman the night she dis…

“Out of Place,” by Jennifer Blecher, is a book about friendship and love. The main character is Cove. She is an ordinary girl from an ordinary island. She lives on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts with her mom. In her house, like in every other home, there are rules.

Cannibalism in contemporary cultures is typically associated with a mental disorder or an act of desperation, but biology professor Bill Schutt examines the subject with a light touch and summarizes research on cannibalism in tadpoles, spiders, polar bears, chimpanzees and humans. His breezy…

National Public Radio once sponsored a competition titled “Three Minute Fiction,” in which listeners were challenged to submit short stories of 600 words or fewer. These stories were judged by professional writers, and the winners were read on the air, then published in “The Paris Review.” B…

This historical fiction novel opens in 1826 at the Old Bailey, a London prison, where criminal trials and hangings were public spectacles. Frannie Langton, on trial for murdering two people, is writing her story for her lawyer to read following her execution, should it come to that. In this …

“I Know Who You Are” the second novel by New York Times bestselling author Alice Feeney is a nail-biting page-turner. Upon discovering that her husband Ben is missing, rising star Aimee Sullivan’s carefully curated public persona starts to crumble.

Sophie Scholl’s life doesn’t have a happy ending. In 1942 Scholl joined the “White Rose,” a small group of Germans who resisted Hitler’s regime by publishing and distributing anti-Nazi leaflets. Disgusted by the Nazi atrocities, members of the “White Rose” risked their lives in their attempt…

“If She Wakes,” by Michael Koryta, is the story of two strong women fighting for their lives. Tara Beckly is a senior at Hammel College in Maine. Tara works part time for the college and has been assigned to pick up guest speaker/professor Dr. Armandi Oltamu from the airport and take him to …

If you like mysterious and adventurous books that you can’t totally figure out until the end, than “Eventown” is for you.

Fans of Harlan Coben will appreciate “Run Away,” his newest book of suspense and adventure. The title refers to the disappearance of Paige, a college age woman singing for pocket change in the middle of Central Park where she is spotted by Simon, her father.

In “Birthday,” by Meredith Russo, the two main characters, Morgan and Eric have known each other from day one, since the day they were born, both sharing the same birthdate.

In “The Damascus Road,” Jay Parini presents the story of Paul of Tarsus with a wide scope as well as intense detail. This new novel depicts how the early Christian movement may have developed. Paul and his scribe and travel companion Luke alternate as narrators describing their adventures as…

“Women Talking,” by Miriam Toews is a book of philosophy, argument, wisdom and horror. Philosophy because the totally uneducated women talking in the novel debate matters of good and evil, life and death; argument because compelling reasons are given for and against making a change that will…

Author Margaret Wise Brown is best known for her classics, “The Runaway Bunny (1942) and “Goodnight Moon,” (1947), both illustrated by Clement Hurd. Now, thanks to award-winning author Mac Barnett, a stellar new book is available that honors this unique woman’s life, “The Important Thing Abo…

The Amazon is one of the planet’s remaining wild places. Tribes still isolate themselves deep in the jungle forests, cut off from the modern world. During the 2014 World Cup members of a tribe made contact. This alarmed Brazilians, for they would not make contact unless something was wrong. …

Welcome to our newest reviewer, Jennifer Johnson, who’s “excited to be contributing to the MO Books blog because it allows her indulge in two of the things she truly enjoys: reading and writing.

Jared Cohen deftly adds to the canon of U.S. Presidential history by recounting events surrounding the abrupt ascension of eight vice presidents to the Oval office due to the untimely deaths of elected Presidents.

They’re our role models, beloved and boisterous, fun loving and hardworking. This month we celebrate fathers with “Daddy-Sitting” by Eve Coy.

Set in Victorian era London, Tim Mason’s “The Darwin Affair” is a fantastic and original historical thriller. In fact, this one of the best thrillers I’ve read in years.

Newsbee hopes his trusty Buzzers and Buzzettes won’t take a break from summer reading. “Loving Our Libraries” is a mantra he honors, and he trusts young readers will live by that mantra too. Summer provides free time to swing by the library and check out Book Buzz Books and other treasures o…

Karen Kingsbury has created a world revolving around the adult lives of the Baxter family in her famed novels, but her latest book is written about the childhood of the Baxter kids. The five children are the main voice of this book.

Widely recognized journalist Susan Page has written a full and readable biography of Barbara Pierce Bush, the wife of the 41st President and the mother of the 43rd President. Page conducted five interviews with Barbara Bush during the final months of her life. The author was given access to …

When 19-year-old Naoko Nakamura falls in love with an American soldier stationed in Naoko’s hometown 12 years after World War II has ended, prejudice against Naoko and the soldier, Hajime (James) thwarts their union.

“The Royal Secret,” by Lucinda Riley, is a modern day mystery involving characters slightly resembling the current inhabitants of Buckingham Palace. The mystery centers on a letter and the death of James Harrison, an actor similar in fame to the late Laurence Olivier, the great British stage…

John Burnham Schwartz’s “The Red Daughter” is a fascinating fictional account of the life of Svetlana Alliluyeva, the only daughter of of Joseph Stalin. Knowing nothing of Svetlana’s life, I quickly immersed myself in the novel. Svetlana led a fascinating life.

“Henry Himself,” by Stewart O’Nan, is the story of an everyday man doing normal daily activities. It is a simple story of daily life; there is no plot or action just sparse prose written in short simple chapters. This is the third novel O’Nan has written about the Maxwell family and it’s a p…

Lindsay Stern’s debut book is a sophisticated tale that explores communication as it fails and succeeds in human and animal relationships. The story considers the differences between language and communication by tracing the breakdown of an academic couple’s marriage.

“Learning to See” is a historical fiction account of Dorothea Lange, a photojournalist in the 30s and 40s, the story of a talented and skilled photojournalist. The author captures the emotional dilemmas and questions facing women in these difficult years.

Immunology is a relative newcomer to the world of scientific exploration. The first description of the immune response came in the late 19th century when the Russian biologist Metchnikov observed a microscopic cellular reaction when foreign materials were introduced into starfish larvae, wor…

"Dealing in Dreams” by Lilliam Rivera, is a young adult dystopian novel in which females rule the world. In Mega city, girls run the fierce crews and girls have the power. It’s a hard life full of violence and throw downs.

Award-winning journalist Scott Pelley has written a captivating memoir from the front lines of modern history. The book opens with words from his essay on the November 18, 2015 “CBS Evening News” after the ISIS attack on Paris:

Today we welcome a new reviewer, Annie Snider, a fifth grade student at South Point Elementary School. Annie says she loves to read fantasy, science fiction and thrillers. She hopes writing for the blog will help her “learn to be a better writer.”

“Daniel’s Good Day” is a happy story with vibrant illustrations by Micha Archer about a little boy who’s going to see his grandmother. Daniel lives in a busy area and knows many in his neighborhood. Each person he meets on his walk tells him to “Have a good day.”

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