On an unnamed island once ruled ruthlessly by murderous dictators, Lena, a student revolutionary, succumbs to the charms of an older student named Victor.

Cranky Bruce the bear is back in “Santa Bruce,” a picture book Scrooge would relish. All things Christmas have bear wishing he could sleep through the holiday as he’s done in the past, so goes Ryan T. Higgins' newest “Mother Bruce” book.

“500 Words or Less,” by Juleah Del Rosario, is the heart-wrenching, very relatable story of a girl trying to find herself.

Mark Lilla, political scientist and Professor of Humanities at Columbia University delivers a convincing critique of the self-defeating practices of today’s liberals. Lilla assesses how, during “the great liberal abdication” which occurred during the Reagan administration, liberals gave up p…

Have a warm cup of cocoa, snuggle up with a youngster and share “Winter is Here,” a charmer by best-selling, award-winning Kevin Henkes. It’s the third book about seasons Henkes has written; previously he penned “When Spring Comes,” and “In the Middle of Fall.”

“Twenty-five years ago I killed my mother.” So goes the startling opening of a novel rooted in mystery, terror, and uncertainty surrounding a host of crimes occurring in the past and the present.

“The Kinship of “Secrets,” by Eugenia Kim, is the story of two Korean sisters separated as toddlers. Miran moves to Washington D.C. in 1948 with their parents Najin and Calvin Cho. The younger daughter Inja is left behind in South Korea with their grandparents, aunt and uncle.

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The world might be awash in red and green, but you’ll strike gold gifting a copy of “Blue” to a little one in your life.

“Night of Miracles” by Elizabeth Berg is comfort food on a frosty day, a welcome reunion with characters we met in Berg’s novel “The Story of Arthur Truluv,” and an introduction to some new faces too.

The 25th anniversary of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s appointment to the Supreme Court has inspired several books and movies. Jane Sherron De Hart’s biography marks the first full-length chronicle of the renowned justice.

Sixteen-year-old Bridget, the main character in “If Only,” hadn’t imagined her life as it has turned out to be in Jennifer Gilmore’s young adult novel. She didn’t think that her boyfriend would dump her for another girl. And she certainly didn’t think that she would be pregnant.

Released in paperback last month, “The Wife Between Us,” by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, is a thriller set in New York City that revolves around Nessie, a newlywed who discovers her perfect, rich and handsome husband may not be the man he appeared to be. This realization causes her to…

On Thanksgiving Day, my thoughts naturally turn to the blessings of family, home and friends. But on this thoroughly American holiday, I also remember those who journeyed to the United States, putting down roots in hopes of making a new and better life here. Among them are my British mother,…

“The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter” is a historical fiction novel with themes of love and courage. The book switches back and forth between 1838, at the Longstone Lighthouse on Farne Island in Northumberland, England, and the lighthouse on Rose Island in Newport, Rhode Island in 1938.

W. Scott Poole is a professor of history who teaches and writes about horror and popular culture. “Wasteland” relates how World War I became the wellspring of a new category of literature and film known as the horror genre. The book traces the origin of this imaginative and shocking form of …

Don Marsh can be heard Monday through Friday at noon as the host of St. Louis Public Radio’s “St. Louis on the Air” program or podcast. In addition to an award-winning journalism career in broadcast journalism, Don also is the author of three books. His latest “Coming Of Age” is a tender loo…

There’s a cast of zany characters in “The Wall in the Middle of the Book,” a picture book with an off-the-wall plot by Jon Agee. The story opens with a rhino, front feet against a stone wall, peering up, a droll-faced tiger beside him. On the opposite side of the wall, a knight approaches, l…

In an alternate world where everyone has nine lives to live, a problem arises. Each time you die, you come back with new “upgraded” features, but you can also come back with a disease that threatens your memories and life. This is the premise for “Nine,” by Zach Hines.

Greg Miller has written a credible, comprehensive and up-to-date account of Russian interference in the 2016 election and the subsequent turbulence still grabbing headlines in U.S. media every day. Some have called Russia’s meddling the political crime of the century. The investigation into …

“Fortune’s Magic Farm,” by Suzanne Selfors, is a very good read if you are interested in magic and love. As a baby, Isabelle was left on the doorstep of Mama Lulu’s boardinghouse. Grandma (not Isabelle’s real grandmother) finds her and takes care of her.

The second book of John Scalzi’s Interdependency Series, “The Consuming Fire,” is another breezy space opera that feels plucked from today’s news.

In her new memoir, Sally Field relates her childhood struggles to be accepted as an actress, and the difficulty she experienced coming to grips with her relationship with her beloved mother. “In Pieces" lays bare Field’s enormous difficulties, revealing the deep sadness and shame she felt be…

“The Thank You Book,” by Mary Lyn Ray, offers a nod to the little things we take for granted. Ray’s sweet book shines a light on our daily blessings, and Stephanie Graegin, a personal favorite, illustrates Ray’s poetic words with petite pictures of animals and children cute beyond words.

“The Brilliant Death,” by Amy Rose Capetta, is a beautifully written fantasy complete with a charismatic gender-bending magical tutor. The world building is lush and detailed, and I loved the setting.

While walking her dog one morning, Mikita Brottman sees a poster for a missing man named Rey Rivera. She begins to wonder about this handsome smiling man in the photo and his life…. What happened to him?

Completed 18 years ago, Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” is a modern fantasy classic. I liked Book 1, loved Book 2, and admired Book 3. New he returns with the first book in another trilogy, set in the same Universe.

The title of “When the Lights Go Out” is ironic because the lights never go out for the main character of this book. In fact, Jessie Sloan hasn’t slept for 10 days. She knows that 11 days is the longest a person can go without sleep before he or she dies.

Two hundred years ago, a group of writers staying in Switzerland challenged one another to write a ghost story. Among them was Mary Shelley, a young woman who wanted to be a writer, like her friends, and her intended, a poet.

“Our Homesick Songs,” by Emma Hooper, is the story of a family, its values and challenges. The Connors are living in the dying fishing village of Big Running on the Newfoundland coast. Aidan and Martha Connor grew up in the village and are struggling to remain there. The once prosperous fish…

There’s heartbreak and wisdom in “The Widower’s Notebook,” a memoir that never stoops to being maudlin as it explores the grief of losing a long time spouse and coming to grips with living again…alone.

There are stories told around the campfire of an evil being, but they are just stories… right? On the small island of Sawkill everything seems perfect, well except for the girls who gone missing for over 150 years.

Delight cute spooks with “Ghoulia, Making Friends Can Be Scary,” by Barbara Cantini, a new Halloween series kids are sure to be bat-crazy about.

“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…

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…

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.”

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