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  • By Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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There’s nothing better than an awesome audiobook to wile away highway miles, or escape the drudgery of dusting. Edoardo Ballerini’s stellar reading of “The One Man,” by Andrew Gross, is just the ticket, a thriller with heart set largely in Auschwitz during World War II.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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With her new book, “News of the World,” author Paulette Jiles has outdone herself. It’s my pick for the coveted National Book Award, one of five finalists, the winner to be announced next month. “News” is a tiny treasure, 209 pages of poetic passages and scenes that burst to life with brilli…

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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Author Laura McHugh gained enthusiastic fans with her debut, “The Weight of Blood,” previously reviewed in “Novel Ideas.” The Columbia, Mo., author scores again with “Arrowood,” an atmospheric read that’s being touted as a modern-day “gothic” novel.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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Adoration of someone with an evil bend can take root in a gullible teen with few friends, a bullied child whose parents aren’t available, themselves experiencing delayed adolescence.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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Across the board appeal, abundant chills and thrills, all this and more will be yours with “Before the Fall,” out next week. Noah Hawley’s novel grabs you by the throat and won’t let go. Just what you’d expect from the producer, writer and showrunner of FX’s riveting “Fargo.”

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  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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Across the board appeal, abundant chills and thrills, all this and more will be yours with “Before the Fall,” out next week. Noah Hawley’s novel grabs you by the throat and won’t let go. Just what you’d expect from the producer, writer and showrunner of FX’s riveting “Fargo.”

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider, Missourian Book Editor
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Mothering Sunday was established in Great Britain as a day for domestics to visit their mums. The Brits now call the fourth Sunday in Lent “Mother’s Day,” and everyone celebrates their mothers and grandmothers, not just maids in great households.

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  • By Chris Stuckenschneider, Missourian Book Editor
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Get hooked on page one with “Bottomland,” by Michelle Hoover. That’s when the book’s mystery is revealed, possibly a crime. Two young girls in a German family have disappeared from a farmhouse in Iowa, just after the end of World War I, when distrust of Germans ran rampant and speaking the l…

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  • By Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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Within the crime genre, there’s a subcategory of raw, explicit reads that feature meth heads, murderers and other drug users caught up in a life they can’t, or don’t want to escape. These books are often set in rural, barren landscapes.

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  • By Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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“When Breath Becomes Air” is a heartbreakingly beautiful memoir, the story of a promising young neurosurgeon whose life is cut short at 37. Without a trace of “poor me,” Paul Kalanithi writes about the lung cancer that leads to his death in March 2015, just two years after his diagnosis.

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  • By Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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It’s fun to fantasize about what life would be like with pots of money—with the fame and fortune that comes with movie-picture stardom, nights of elegant parties hobnobbing with the rich and famous, days spent in a mansion with a butler at the door, the only pressing commitment a tennis matc…

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  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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It’s a thrill to happen upon a treasure of a book. This month, I’m pleased to share my favorite find, “This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!” by Jonathan Evison, a novel that has it all, humor and pathos, and a main character named Harriet who’ll wend her way into your heart.

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  • By Chris Stuckenschneider, book editor
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Well-drawn characters make you wonder what it would be like to walk a mile in their shoes. Rajia Hassib’s novel “In the Language of Miracles” has several that will make you stop and think in a story sure to stay with you. The cause of the tragedy that Hassib writes about occurs far too often…

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  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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“Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee is making quite a name for itself. On Tuesday, when it was released, the book sold more first-day copies than any adult title in Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million history. That’s pretty impressive for a novel some sources claim was just a draft, and nev…

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  • By Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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Ann Packer’s “The Dive From Clausen’s Pier” has long been a favorite, so I turned to her new novel, “The Children’s Crusade” with anticipation. I finished it contemplative and in awe of Packer’s ability to create rich, redemptive characters.

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  • By Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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“So Long Joe,” Lahane Wraps up His Coughlin Trilogy

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  • By Chris Stuckenschneider, Missourian Book Editor
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Don’t pause — put a jiggle in their bells and a spring in their step with a read that’s sure to please. Send book lovers of all ages to the rooftops with these “Novel Ideas” suggestions. They’ll provide hours of entertainment and knowledge, a tried and true gift sure to be treasured. From fi…

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