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“Deep River” by Karl Malantes, intimidated me at first because it's 700 pages. However, I could not stop reading the historical fiction novel that begins in 1893 and concludes in 1932.

Sometimes a picture book can provide a pathway to talk about something a child has on his/her mind. “Ruby Finds a Worry,” by Tom Percival introduces young readers to a girl with a problem dogging her, a swirl of yellow representing a worry.

David Maraniss has written a riveting account of his family’s history during the 1950s Red Scare. During that era many ordinary families were disrupted because the House Un-American Activities Committee was obsessed with ridding the United States of anyone with communist leanings. The HUAC w…

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“Lady in the Lake,” by Laura Lippmann, takes place in Baltimore in 1966 and focuses on a middle-aged housewife who decides to leave her family so she can focus on herself.

In 1983, Mary Cregan gave birth to a baby girl full term who died shortly thereafter from an undetected heart condition. In “The Scar,” Cregan writes about the severe and unrelenting depression she experienced following this tragedy and her effort to understand what happened to her mind duri…

There’s a lot to chew on in “Once Upon a Goat,” by Dan Richards — just ask the main character, a sweet 4-footer with nubs for horns and the sweetest expression you’ve ever seen. Kids will get a kick out of this fun read. A bite out of the page greets them when they open the book, the culprit…

In Yoko Ogawa’s stirring novel “The Memory Police,” not only are items disappearing, but their absence is enforced through the ruthless work of the Memory Police.

The Beckoning Shadow,” by Katharyn Blair, will knock you off your feet thinking that Blair has written many other books, but surprisingly this is her debut.

Rates of anxiety, depression and suicide are on a meteoric rise in the United States, especially among the demographic that includes college students. Hibbs and Rostain who specialize in treating adolescents with mental health disorders, have written a guidebook for parents and their childre…

If you like funny and adventurous fiction, then “The Library of Ever,” by Zeno Alexander, is a must-read.

Elin Hilderbrand’s latest book will resonate with late baby boomers (myself included) who experienced cultural and political challenges in the late 1960’s.

After the 1960 publication of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” (Nelle) Harper Lee went into near seclusion, publishing only a handful of articles and rarely granting interviews. Many readers are aware that less than a year after “Mockingbird” exploded onto the literary scene Lee accompanied her chil…

With her musician husband David away on another tour, Molly struggles to juggle her responsibilities as a mother with those of her professional life. Engaged in a dig for plant fossils at a nearby quarry, Molly and her paleobotany team have unearthed several curious items from the pit, all s…

In school, the last thing a child wants is to be different. “A Normal Pig,” by K-Fai Steele, tackles this issue with humor and clever cartoons, as it introduces young readers to a porker with a problem.

This historical fiction novel is the story of a 20-year friendship between two women in the 1950s. Most of “The Chelsea Girls” takes place at the iconic Chelsea Hotel in New York City’s theater district. The hotel has historically been home to the creative: artists, musicians, actors, poets …

“The Ghost Clause,” by Norman Howard, offers a truly unique take on events told from the perspective of Simon, a ghost residing in his own Vermont house following his unexpected death from a heart attack in his 40s.

Willa lives with her dad and little brother in New York City. Her parents are divorced; Willa’s mom and her second husband live a couple of hours away. The 11-year-old in “Not If I Can Help It” by Carolyn Mackler certainly has a lot on her plate.

“The Library of Lost and Found” by Phaedra Patrick, resonated with me on so many levels. Who doesn’t love a mystery you can picture yourself in?

Jon Meacham, Pulitzer prize-winning biographer of U.S. Presidents, and Tim McGraw, popular country music artist, team up to chart the American story from the founding of the nation to the Obama era by reporting and commenting on patriotic and protest songs of the United States. This impressi…

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…

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…

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…

“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.

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