As frontline diplomats are being publicly ignored and ridiculed by the President and his supporters, 30-year veteran newspaper reporter Paul Richter brings the history and daily work of four recently active career U.S. diplomats to the attention of readers. He cites these Ambassadors—Ryan Cr…

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John Hornor Jacobs' two novellas “The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky” and “My Heart Struck Sorrow” are published in tandem in his latest book “A Lush and Seething Hell.”

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The characters in “Crown of Oblivion,” a fantasy by Julie Eshbaugh, face similar trials as those in Stephen King’s “The Long Walk.”

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Iris has a pet — a lovable lion, gentle as a tabby cat. As Christmas approaches, lion helps with holiday preparations, so Iris is incredulous when mother says she can’t take lion to her aunt’s for Christmas because it will alarm the townspeople. That conundrum kicks off “How to Hide a Lion a…

Emma Donoghue, author of the best-selling novel “Room,” writes of the relationship and family history of an 11-year old boy and his great-uncle in “Akin.” It tells the poignant story of an older man who discovers truths about his mother while on a quest to find her story, and of a boy who le…

“Is your book pro-Trump or anti-Trump?” is the question most frequently asked Angela Denker at readings from her recent book, “Red State Christians: Understanding the Voters Who Elected Donald Trump.” Denker replies that the book is not about the current occupant of the Oval Office, but rath…

Paul Hendrickson has written an unconventional biography of America’s iconic architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  The maverick designer was born in 1867, shortly after the Civil War, and died in 1959, the year Alaska and Hawaii became states. Wright has been described as a narcissist, philanderer,…

The third book by mortician and author Caitlin Doughty, “Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?” answers exactly the kind of questions its title alludes to. Known for her web series “Ask a Mortician” and as the founder of “The Order of the Good Death,” Doughty has become somewhat of an expert on the s…

The cover of “The Topeka School” by Ben Lerner shows a tornado barreling down a highway lightly populated with semis and cars. It’s a scene one could expect to see in Kansas. The tornado is just a symbol, though, for the somewhat dysfunctional family and associated characters depicted in the novel.

In an exhilarating and fast-moving memoir, Amaryllis Fox describes a life lived under extraordinary secrecy and stress. She depicts in well-developed detail her job as an agent of the most elite operations unit of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Author Eliza Wheeler, a personal favorite picture book author/illustrator, brings love and family camaraderie to a story based on her grandmother’s life during the Depression. “Home in the Woods” is lovely and hopeful as it reveals a tale narrated by 6-year-old Marvel, who we meet at the ons…

Edwidge Danticat was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She immigrated to the United States when she was 12-years-old and has lived in this country ever since. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Brown University, and teaches creative writing at New York University and the U…

The crime novel “A Bitter Feast” is Deborah Crombie’s 18th in a series about Scotland Yard detectives and spouses Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. I was unaware that this was a series and never suspected it, thus confirming it’s a great standalone read. The book is character-driven—even minor…

“The Lying Room,” by Nicci French, is a psychological thriller as well as a domestic thriller full of suspense, emotion and unpredictable twists.

It’s a contemplative story, much like the mood fall ushers in; “The Hundred-Year Barn” by Patricia MacLachlan relates the seasons of life for a stalwart structure that means the world to a family — a barn built “in a meadow” in 1919, townspeople working on its shared construction.

Christopher McDougall has written a pleasant memoir about a rescue donkey and a dedicated runner. This initially lighthearted story progresses into a heartwarming and serious look at the important connection between humans and animals.

Nathalia Holt has written a timely novel about five women who worked for the Walt Disney Studio in its early years. They were pioneers in art and vital contributors to the most popular Disney films beginning with “Snow White.” Even the icy colors and story structure of the current film “Froz…

“Spin the Dawn” is about a girl who takes on a boy’s persona in a high-stakes fashion competition. Maia Tamarin is one the best tailors in the kingdom. Unfortunately, she's a girl so all she can do is hope for a good man to marry because all of the tailors in the kingdoms are men and they ar…

Main Street U.S.A. comes to life in “Hi, I’m Norman, The Story of American Illustrator Normal Rockwell,” a book that celebrates Americana at its best—folks rocking on front porches, flags waving overhead and apple pie cooling on windowsills. This stunning tribute, by Robert Burleigh, has mar…

Vivian Morris is failing her freshman year at Vassar and her disappointed parents send her to live with her free-thinking aunt in Manhattan. There, Vivian finds the world she was destined to inhabit. She begins a life of independence working at what she loves. She discovers the value of each…

This psychological thriller had me riveted from the beginning. I quite literally couldn’t put “The Winter Sister” down. Sylvie was 14-years-old when her older teenage sister Persephone was murdered. Her death tears apart her already unstable family and Sylvie is wracked with guilt over what …

Fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776. One of the lesser known of these was Benjamin Rush, a 31-year-old Philadelphia physician. Even though he was among the youngest of the signers, Rush had more wisdom, experience and vision than some of his e…

“A Castle in Wartime,” by Catherine Bailey is a true account about the Italian and German Resistance during World War II. It is a powerful, well-written story that reads like fiction.

“The Long Call,” a new detective/mystery series by Ann Cleeves is driven by strong characters who are deep, likeable and presented in great detail. Cleeves also is adept in providing a good sense of place. You can easily picture the little town of Barnstaple in North Devon, England.

“It’s the one ‘Silver Bullet’ is based on!” my husband offered up excitedly as I stared at the cover of “Cycle of the Werewolf,” confused as to why I was reviewing a book published the same year as my lycanthrope fanatic of a spouse was born.

As a young man, Harry Turner was underprivileged, and struggled to support his mother. He poured over horror stories in the local bookstore where he met Margaret, poised to marry into an affluent family, at the urging of her parents. After an uncomfortable exchange in the bookstore, she agre…

With unblinking frankness, Samantha Power seamlessly weaves the story of her personal life, her diplomatic career and her moral quandaries into her memoir, “The Education of an Idealist.”

It’s 1937, in the back roads of Romania. Theo is a daughter of a legendary treasure hunter. She has been focused on following in her father's footsteps since she could walk, but that honor doesn’t go to her. It goes to her “once upon a time” lover and ex-friend, Huck.

“The Two Lila Bennetts,” by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, is a fast-paced read—a psychological thriller and legal drama. It’s a story of choices, actions and their subsequent consequences.

Pelo and Leanna are completely different. He is a college dropout working night shifts and is constantly behind on his apartment rent. Leanna is a superstar, able to get anything she wants.

Longlisted for the National Book Award, “A Place to Belong” is a historical fiction gem by Cynthia Kadohata that relates the poignant story of a Japanese family after World War II, free after spending almost four years in a “high-security segregation center” during the war. Their fate after …

James Poniewozik chronicles the parallel histories of Donald Trump and the development of television in his informative and revealing book “Audience of One.” The author is an observant, caustic writer who studies Trump’s rise to the White House under a high-powered microscope.

Elizabeth Strout won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2009 for her book “Olive Kitteridge.” Now Strout has penned a sequel, “Olive, Again.”

Libraries are filled with stories upon stories. Each book holds a tale that is just waiting to be told, but sometimes these stories are lost among the stacks. Luckily hidden gems fall into the laps of those willing to look for them. That is the case in Laura Taylor Namey’s book “The Library …

Rivalry runs rampant in “The Evil Princess vs. The Brave Knight,” by Jennifer and Matthew Holm, the sister-brother team responsible for the ever-popular “Baby Mouse,” “Swish” and “Sunny Side Up” series.

Fleeing her abusive boyfriend, Kate and her son, 7-year-old Christopher, leave their home in Michigan for the small town of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. Though their means are beyond meager, Kate, a loving, nurturing mother, sacrifices to make sure Christopher attends a good school and has ever…

Novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux has traveled extensively and written books on five of the seven continents, missing only Australia and Antarctica. Theroux’s first book, “The Great Railway Bazaar” (1975), details a 4-month journey from London through Europe, the Middle East, India, an…

With fur the color of a dreamsicle, a heart-shaped nose and eyes of two different colors, readers will fall for “Stretchy McHandsome,” a fetching feline sprung from the imagination of Judy Schachner.

“Dearly beloved,” he began. They were the words that started weddings, not baptisms, but the people in the church were his beloved, so dear that as he spoke his heart and throat grew tight.”

Weather is endlessly fascinating; for centuries it was thought to be beyond human control. But Jonathan Foer theorizes that climate is directly related to human behavior. His research indicates that animal agriculture as currently practiced worldwide is a major cause of climate change.

Cathleen Schine has written a delightful novel about twin girls whose baby talk with each other consists of analyzing the words and phrases uttered by their parents as they coo over and discuss their babies with each other. The parents, Sally and Arthur, adore their redheaded twins but are s…

“The Whisper Man,” by Alex North, is a dark, suspenseful, psychological thriller, a crime novel full of twists and surprises. It’s also a multi-generational story that deals with father/son relationships.

American attitudes regarding aging, death, and dying are evolving. More Americans are choosing to receive care and die at home, and the growing availability of home care options has made this increasingly possible.

Evvie Drake has packed, put cash in an envelope, and has started driving down the street prepared to leave her high school sweetheart to whom she has been married for four years. Then she gets a call that her husband has been killed in a car accident. It comes from the hospital where her hus…

There are intricate stories woven into “The Peacock Emporium,” by Jojo Moyes, characters whose lives cross like ripples from a pebble thrown into water.

“True Believer,” by Jack Carr, is a realistic book that will appeal to anyone who likes political or military thrillers. The slow beginning is merely the calm before the storm as the story soon gears up and becomes action packed and suspenseful.

Anthropologist Maggie Paxson sets out to explore the question of whether there are existing “communities that are somehow resistant to violence, persistent in decency?” Her search for a peaceful community leads her to an isolated plateau in southern France, called Le Chambon Vivarias-Lignon.

“Swipe Right For Murder,” by Derek Milman, follows rebellious, hotheaded Aidan. The 17-year-old is in New York City for spring break and things are about to get even more interesting than his experiences with spontaneous hookups.

Shy, sensitive, emotionally wounded Elizabeth Bishop travels to Paris with three friends the summer after her graduation from Vassar in 1937. An avid keeper of journals, Elizabeth atypically keeps no notes while she is away from her traveling friends for several weeks.

Lisbeth Salander, the punk-style hacker who came to prominence as “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” in Stieg Larsson’s best-selling Millennium Trilogy, is back to continue her mission of ridding the world of injustice in this newest installment of the series, a series continued by David Lag…

Kids can reel off Raina Telgemeier books like baseball fans spouting stats: “Smile,” “Sisters,” Drama,” Ghosts” and “Share Your Smile: An Interactive Journal.”

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