Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens
This book is a one-stop shop for every avid reader. It’s a murder mystery, detective story, environmental essay, love story, dysfunctional family narrative, and suspenseful survival adventure punctuated with breadcrumbs of mysterious poetry throughout. In beautiful, lyrical language the author tells the story of a girl abandoned at a young age by her family who learns to survive and finally triumph in the marshes of the North Carolina coast.
The Stationery Shop – Marjan Kamali
A moving love story set in 1953 Tehran during the Mosaddegh coup d’état. Roya, a 17-year-old poetry lover, meets Bahman, an 18-year-old supporter of Iran’s democracy. The two meet at a stationery shop/bookstore and, encouraged by the owner, fall immediately and deeply in love. On the way to get a marriage license they are separated during a political demonstration, and brokenhearted Roya must move on with her life. Will they ever be reunited?
Cash Landing – James Grippando
The definitive proof that Murphy’s Law is a real thing, Cash Landing tells the story of a hapless band of outlaws who have devised the perfect heist: liberating a few million dollars from an international cash shipment to the Federal Reserve. Surprisingly, they pull it off — most of it, anyway. But things start to unravel almost immediately. Although the story is set in Miami, it’s not a comedy (à la Carl Hiaasen), but the plot’s twists and turns are highly entertaining.
The Night Visitor – Lucy Atkins
A taut psychological thriller about a woman at the top of her game and profession who’s teetering on the brink of breakdown. A professor of history, TV personality, bestselling author, and devoted wife and mother, Olivia has a secret that could bring her down. A housekeeper turned research assistant could be the person who could make that happen. The story moves tensely between these two strong, complex, and fiercely determined women.
How to Forget: A Daughter’s Memoir – Kate Mulgrew
Kate Mulgrew is best known for her roles in “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Orange Is the New Black,” but she’s a heck of a good writer too. This compelling memoir recounts her decision to suspend her career to care for her ailing and aging parents. Like most of us, she had challenges and heartaches with her parents in a family with its own share of secrets. She narrates this family history with honesty, compassion, and deep love.
Educated, A Memoir – Tara Westover
Raised in the Idaho mountains by a survivalist father and meek mother who don’t believe in education, Tara has a deep hunger to learn but is forbidden to attend school. She and her mother harvest and prepare herbal medicines, and her mother becomes a midwife — with Tara required to follow in her footsteps. Tara and her brothers also work in the father’s junkyard, sustaining various serious injuries along the way, which are treated at home with needle and thread and homemade ointments and poultices. Through all of this, Tara devoured an old encyclopedia set, enabling her to pass the ACT, attend college, and finally earn a doctorate from Cambridge University.
The Night Agent – Matthew Quirk
FBI agent Peter Sutherland, whose father was suspected of selling secrets to Russia, is assigned to pull night duty monitoring the White House Situation Room tip line. A terrified woman calls with the cryptic message that “Osprey is happening,” which sets off a desperate search for a Russian mole in the White House. It could be anyone…
The New Girl – Daniel Silva
“Ripped from the headlines” is a hoary old cliché, but the plot of this thriller warrants that description. In this 19th book of the popular Gabriel Allon series, Gabriel is asked to rescue the kidnapped daughter of the conniving but charismatic future reformer-king of Saudi Arabia. As is typical with the Allon novels, Middle Eastern politics plays a strong supporting role, and in this book an outspoken journalist is killed and dismembered, echoing the tragic event of 2018.
The Winter Soldier – Daniel Mason
The Great War (World War I) rages in Europe and Lucius, an idealistic young medical student, enlists, hoping to be assigned to a battlefield hospital. Instead he is sent to a nearly deserted remote outpost where a lone nurse, Sister Margarete, battles typhus along with horrific war injuries. All the doctors have died or deserted. Desperate, Margarete presses Lucius into service, teaching him emergency surgical procedures at her side. Amid the horror and deprivation during that winter, Lucius and Margarete fall in love, only to be torn apart . . . and reunited?
Transcription – Kate Atkinson
Told in flashback, this is the story of a young stenographer who is recruited by MI5 to transcribe conversations of a London fascist group during World War II. Eventually she becomes a full-fledged spy. Ten years after the war she is employed as a BBC producer. Walking down the street one day she recognizes her old boss at MI5, who refuses to acknowledge her, leading to a re-examination of the past she had tried to escape.
The Woman in the Window – A J Finn
The “perfect” family who just moved in across the street fascinates an alcoholic, agoraphobic woman who lives vicariously by spying on her neighbors. But when she sees something definitely not meant for her eyes, her world falls apart and she no longer knows what or whom to believe.
The Devil Aspect – Russell Craig
Psychiatrist Viktor Kosárek, a disciple of Carl Jung, obtains a position in an ancient castle near Prague that has been converted to an insane asylum. The asylum also houses six infamous murderers who are kept under continuous heavy sedation because of their violent psychoses. Viktor persuades the medical director to allow him to study Jung’s “devil aspect” archetype in these patients. Meanwhile, a serial murderer is loose in Prague with a dogged police inspector a few frustrated steps behind. When these two storylines intersect, unexpected connections are revealed.
The Library Book – Susan Orlean
If you remember the fire that ravaged the Los Angeles Public Library in 1985 — and even if you don’t — as a book lover you’ll enjoy this fascinating story of not only the fire and the mystery of its origin but also the history of the institution and the people who love it.
Bad Blood – John Carreyrou
Another story ripped from the headlines and reading like a suspense novel, Bad Blood is the inside story of the Theranos scandal and the young Stanford dropout who convinced many prominent people to invest in and support her sham blood testing device. Elizabeth Holmes was ballyhooed as “the female Steve Jobs,” but her product was an unsustainable Jenga game that eventually collapsed under her deceit. She will go on trial for fraud next August.