“Winterwood” is the kind of book you pick up while snowed in and won’t want to put down until the very end. It’s a perfect combination of the eerie and magical. It’s author, Shea Earnshaw, is able to meld genres in creating this wonderful book.

Ann Napolitano has written a novel that is mesmerizing from the beginning. A reader who doesn’t have the time to read all day or can’t stay up all night probably shouldn’t start “Dear Edward” until that kind of time is available.

“The Wicked Redhead” is a thriller that combines history and romance. It’s a follow-up to “The Wicked City," also by Beatriz Williams.

I loved the book “All the Days Past, All the Days to Come." It is a wonderful historical novel by Mildred D. Taylor that takes place from 1944 to 1963 and covers the Great Migration.

Rene Denefeld’s chilling novel “The Butterfly Girl” tells the story of an investigator who is searching the city streets for a younger sister she hasn’t seen for almost 20 years. Set in a city in the northwest teeming with street people, Naomi Cottle knows the runaways she is seeking, some a…

Elaine Pagels is an American religious historian who has conducted extensive research into early Christianity and Gnosticism. A controversial scholar because she questions many traditional Christian teachings, Pagels is called a heretic by some peers while others herald her as one of the gre…

Today we welcome a new reviewer to MO Books, Lynda Klarner, a retired registered nurse. After working as an RN, Lynda moved to Utilization Review and Case Management for a local insurance office from which she retired.

The late, brilliant historian Edmund Morris has written the definitive biography of one of America’s most prolific inventors, Thomas Alva Edison. Morris immerses the reader in Edison’s historical context with exacting details, an arresting vocabulary and a narrative that pulsates with Edison…

In 2009 journalist Susannah Cahalan was hospitalized for treatment of symptoms consistent with schizophrenia. A consulting neurologist was skeptical of the diagnosis, and upon further testing Cahalan was found to have an autoimmune disorder that attacked her brain. She was treated and her sy…

The title of the novel “A Long Petal of the Sea” refers to Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s description of the physical appearance of Chile. The country is a long stretch of land that includes deserts, rain forests, and beaches along the coast of the Pacific Ocean in South America. The graceful a…

Tongue-in-cheek humor, a hare-brained plot and a rich palette of off-the-wall characters make Deb Caletti’s “A Flicker of Courage: Tales of Triumph and Disaster,” a zany, captivating read.

This book is so titled because the main characters assume other identities. The novel is set between 1913-1915, and is narrated using the voices of Jeanne, the mother; Effie, her daughter; and Mable, a central character. There is another daughter, Luella. Her voice is heard through dialogue …

All good things must come to an end as evidenced by “The Toll” by Neal Shusterman. This is the third book in the series, so before you read it, read the first two. And if you’ve read the other two, welcome back.

Ryan Holiday, author of three previous books distilling classical thinking and history for the modern reader, turns his attention to how we can capture and use stillness in modern life.

Those watching “The Crown” on Netflix know that its second season is focused on Princess Margaret, sister of Queen Elizabeth. By today’s’ standards among British royalty, the life of Princess Margaret, who died in 2002 at age 71, seems tame.

Kate Bennett, a CNN reporter, is the only journalist in the White house press corps to solely cover the first lady of the United States. This biography presents her look at the enigmatic Melania Trump and proposes that, behind the Slovenian stoicism, a strong, independent woman holds differe…

“In the Dream House” is a memoir by Carmen Maria Machado, author of “Her Body and Other Parties.” In her newest, Machado recounts her relationship with someone she only refers to as “the woman.”

“Home Work,” by Julie Andrews, written in collaboration with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, tells the story of Andrews’ years in Hollywood from 1963 to 1986. This book follows her previous memoir, “Home,” which was about her experiences growing up in England during World War II and her …

You can’t erase the past. In “Scars Like Wings,” by Erin Stewart, the main character Ava Lee knows this better than anyone; her past is written all over her body, and it defines what everyone thinks about her.

“Ninth House,” Leigh Bardugo’s first novel for adults, is a terrific fantasy filled with magic, great characters, and some detailed world-building that is both scary and fascinating.

Exposing malfeasance by political leaders in high positions is always risky. Whistleblowers face conflicting tendencies. On the one hand they want to perform an important public service by revealing the misconduct of powerful people, but on the other hand, they want to protect themselves fro…

Any book from Oklahoma author/illustrator Hannah E. Harrison earns a resounding A-OK. “Bear is Awake! An Alphabet Story” is Harrison’s newest, a charming tale chosen as this month’s Baby Buzz Pick.

The late Pat Conroy, a well known Southern writer admired for his bestsellers “The Prince of Tides,” “The Great Santini,” and “Beach Time,” among other books, is the subject of “Tell Me a Story” by his wife Cassandra King Conroy, a famed writer in her own right. Cassandra’s voice is folksy, …

Most readers are familiar with the limerick, a form of light verse consisting of five lines, of which the first, second, and fifth lines rhyme and the shorter third and fourth lines rhyme with each other, AABBA in form. For example:

When Libby Jones turns 25, she inherits the house in which she was found as a baby, alone in a crib. Three people were dead in the kitchen, two of them her parents. Although it was evident that the bodies had remained untouched for a few days, baby Libby seemed to have been cared for during …

Kids will get their chill on with Dan Bar-El’s “The Very, Very Far North,” a novel with a cast of cold-landers certain to warm young readers’ hearts. This charming story is related by an unnamed narrator who adds his unique brand of humor.

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…

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.”

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

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.

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