“The Escape Artists,” by Neal Bascomb, is a suspenseful tale of heroism, of extraordinary fortitude and determination, a story of wisdom, intelligence and duty.

When Barbara Kingsolver began to cast about for the central theme of her most recent novel, “Unsheltered,” she said, “I had a vague feeling the world as we knew it was ending. Soon the feeling was no longer vague. Shocking new leadership styles were ascendant, fueled by fear and polarization…

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Jane Leavy brings an extensive knowledge of sports history to her latest biography, “The Big Fella,” which portrays the 215 pound, 6’2” Babe Ruth as the prototype for 21st century athletic stardom.

“The Collector’s Apprentice” is a novel that mingles fictional characters and historical figures. Spanning two continents in the 1920s, the tale begins with Paulien Mertens on trial in Philadelphia. The knowledge she gained of fine art, while growing up in Belgium and attending arts school i…

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A small dog with the spots and stand-up ears peers from behind a fence, as cute-a-package of bow-wow as you’ve ever seen eagerly watching a child and her mom head off on a bike ride.

Zuri Benitez, the main character in “Pride,” lives on a small street in Brooklyn. She’s known as ZZ and ZZ On the Block in her neighborhood. Her hood is absolutely perfect and everything she has ever wanted with parties and food offerings galore. Her group runs their block—until a wealthy fa…

“Becoming Belle,” by Nuala O’Connor, is a passion-filled historical fiction novel about ambition, love, feminism and family. It’s based on the true story of Isabel “Belle” Maude Penrice Bilton, in the years 1887-1891. This quick read with its short chapters reads like a memoir.

Olen Steinhauer’s eleventh novel, “The Middleman” is a fast-paced spy thriller about the fate of the Massive Brigade, a radical anti-capitalist organization that captures the attention of the media and the public.

If you like the “Humphrey” series by Betty Birney, you’ll love this book starring Humphery’s new green friend, Og the Frog.

Shortly after midnight on Monday, July 30, 1945, the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Indianapolis was struck by two Japanese torpedoes and sank in 12 minutes, taking about 300 of the crew down with her and depositing the remaining 900 in the Philippine Sea, where they would struggle to survive four day…

In John Scalzi’s first volume of his new science fiction series, “The Collapsing Empire,” he turns once again to interstellar space. This time, he sets up an advanced civilization and then follows his characters as an impending collapse threatens everyone in the Interdependency.

“Muse of Nightmares” by Laini Taylor will sweep you back into the world of Weep, a world introduced in its prequel, “Strange the Dreamer.” Both fantasies by Taylor are full of adventure and mysticism.

Dino Buzzati is a master of the short form. Twenty of the noted 20th-century Italian writer’s haunting short stories have been deftly translated by Judith Landry and published by Ecco.

For those who have grown up on or near one of North America’s five great lakes, or for anyone who has stood on their shores and marveled at the vast expanse of water stretching out before them, the thought that anything might cause them damage is nearly unimaginable. Yet the unthinkable has …

As parents, we hope that our children will be friends, eventually. But in childhood we don’t hold out much hope with constant squabbles as siblings battle for parental attention and equal treatment, screaming “That isn’t fair,” over perceived injustices.

When Betts meets Aiden at the candy store where she works, their connection is like a sugar rush to the heart. Betts already knows the two of them are infinite, inevitable—destined to become an “us.”

Add “Saving Winslow” to a growing list of heartfelt books by Sharon Creech. Readers are sure to relish the touching story of a newborn miniature donkey, a “pitiable-looking thing” that Louie, a 10-year-old raises when his dad feels sorry for the creature born on his brother’s farm and brings…

“Foundryside,” by Robert Jackson Bennett, is an adventurous, exciting story of a girl trying to do what she thinks is honorable; the novel will transfix you from first page to last.

In the 1920s, the wealthiest people in the world were the Osage Indians. Once oil was discovered beneath their North Eastern Oklahoma acreage the Osage became staggeringly well-off. They built splendid homes, sent their children abroad to the best schools, kept servants and owned the latest …

“The Shortest Way Home,” by Miriam Parker, is a quick read with a theme of self-discovery. It's a story filled with love, family, friendship, new beginnings and wine.

“Nothing was forgiven…Somethings were forgotten, but only for a time. But nothing is ever forgiven.” This statement is the thread that runs through “Up From Freedom,” by Wayne Grady.

Francine Day is successful; she plays by the rules. She is well on her way to becoming one of the most prestigious lawyers in her firm in “Mine,” by J.L. Butler.

The title “The King’s Witch” refers to a fictional young woman, Frances Borgees, the favorite caretaker of the daughter of King James VI of England, successor to Queen Elizabeth (1558-1603). Frances was a healer who used herbs and flowers to cure her patients. King James persecuted witches a…

“Vox,” by Christina Dalcher, is set in the United States, in a world like our own, but where women can only speak 100 words a day. When you consider that average people speak around 16,000 words per day, 100 words is nothing but a crumb at a feast.


Doris Kearns Goodwin was inspired to write her latest book after a student asked her, “How can I be like the giants you write about? Could I recognize whether I will be a leader?”

Have some zany “007” fun with “Mac B., Kid Spy.” Anything author Mac Barnett writes wows me from the get-go, but he scores five “Goldfingers” with this clever tale of espionage, illustrated by Mike Lowery.

Richard Powers’ twelfth novel, “The Overstory,” is the most recent of his explorations of the relationship between, in his words, “human ingenuity and natural fecundity.”

In 1970, futurists Heidi and Alvin Toffler wrote “Future Shock” in which they defined the term as a certain psychological state of individuals and entire societies.Their short definition for future shock is “too much change in too short a period of time."

“Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree,” by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, is a heart-wrenching reimagining of an innocent, bright young girl kidnapped by the Boko Haram terrorist group.

The contemporary thriller, “The Last Cruise,” is a melodramatic story of a nightmarish cruise. The Queen Isabella, a 1950s vintage ocean liner is making her final voyage to Hawaii before being retired and scrapped. The cruise company, Cabaret, has decided to make Queen Isabella’s last cruise…

“The Masterpiece,” by Fiona Davis, is a historical novel that involves two time periods—one during the late 1920s, when Grand Central Terminal in New York City was bustling, beautiful, and housed businesses, studios and apartments, and the second in the mid-1970s when the terminal was in dec…

In the young adult novel “Tyler Johnson Was Here,” Marvin Johnson is concerned about his twin, Tyler. His brother is starting to hang around with a crowd that is known for selling drugs and starting trouble.


I was a student intern at the St. Louis State Hospital on Arsenal Street about 50 years ago. Initially called The St. Louis County Lunatic Asylum when it opened in 1869, the original buildings were still the heart of the campus in the early 1970s. None of these buildings was air-conditioned,…

Good books for tweens can be difficult to find – a personal favorite features a mouse with innocence, posh and charisma, Babymouse is now more grownup and the star of a series that kicked off in 2017, “Babymouse Tales from the Locker,” by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.

“Sick: a Memoir,” by Porochista Khakpour, is one of a few non-fiction biographies that detail a life of struggle following a diagnosis of Lyme disease, a tick-borne infectious disease that has varying degrees of complications.

In “Sanctuary,” by Caryl Lix, the main character, Kenzie, is a teenage girl and a guard at Sanctuary, a high-tech prison in space. Everything she has ever learned about the prison comes from rules and regulations dictated by Omnisteller, “the most powerful corporation in the solar system.”

Vice presidents hold a unique and important office, operating sometimes in the center of the action and sometimes on the sidelines. Forty-eight vice presidents have served the United States. Nine vice presidents were catapulted into the Oval Office during their vice presidency by the death o…

Legos have changed in the 60 years since they hit toy shelves, but kids’ passion for the bricks remains strong. Celebrate Legos with “I’m Fun, Too!” a picture book any beloved blockhead will adore.

Linda D. Dahl, author of the memoir “Tooth and Nail: the Making of a Female Fight Doctor,” introduces readers to an exceptional world. Dahl was an ENT doctor in an upscale New York office in Manhattan by day and a fight doctor by night.

“Lady Be Good” is a funny story, a quick-paced read with great characters and some nice twists. It is a tale of romance, friendship and women becoming empowered.

“Dopesick,” by journalist and author Beth Macy, is an eye-opener, a comprehensive and thoroughly researched book on the history, and reasons why we’re losing so many people to opioids, with crime running rampant as users steal to support their habit.


“Fly Girls” is the exhilarating true story of five women willing to risk their lives for the sport they loved. It is a soaring addition to the recently compiled canon of books about trailblazing women who shattered or, at least, cracked the glass ceiling of historically male activities.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book of fiction, the “Paris Metro.” It is a contemporary novel, taking place in the 21st century. The character development is perfect and the historical details are worth reading twice.

Not many of us have reason to consider the border between the United States and Canada, the world's longest at over 5000 miles, if you include Alaska with the “lower 48.” This border has been explored, surveyed and defined by intrepid men, beginning as early as the American Revolution. Parts…

Until the turn of the 20th century, the food choices available to most people in the United States were limited to bland staples such as wheat and potatoes. But then David Fairchild (1869-1954), an intrepid young botanist, began to change all that.

With “The Book of Essie,” author Meghan Maclean Weir has written her first novel, a debut about fame, religion, families and cults. Those who remember the massacre at Waco involving the Branch Davidians, and readers who are fans of reality television involving large religious families, will …

For those of you who enjoy the Warriors series by Erin Hunter, I would recommend reading “Riders of the Realm: Across the Dark Water” by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez.

If you like aviation and its history, this is a great book. If you like the bygone era of flappers and Prohibition, this will be a fascinating read. If you like tales of adventure, danger and daring, this book will lure you in. If you like romance and a love triangle with a suicide—or a murd…

“Sunburn,” recently released in paperback, is a great summer read set in the sand and sun along the eastern seaside. Laura Lippman’s sizzling suspense story kicks off with Polly Costello at the beach with her husband and young daughter, Jani. The family seems to be enjoying a relaxing week, …

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