RaveBooklistKane’s preternaturally self-aware heroine is an intriguing mix of frustrating curmudgeon and aging ingenue, and in her quest for self-improvement, she voices the doubts and dreams of any woman who has questioned what it means to be a true friend. Rich in subtexts and lush imagery, Kane’s novel is a sure bet for lively book discussions.
PositiveBooklist[Gates\'] is an ecumenical message made personal by the unexpectedly candid revelations she shares about her own life and marriage, motherhood and career. At a time when beneficial globalization is being threatened by nationalism, and women’s rights are in danger of being rolled back to nineteenth-century norms, Gates offers urgent reminders of why it’s necessary to help women everywhere achieve their full potential.
RaveBooklistLike Franzen or DeLillo, Alcott brings awe-inspiring exactitude and lyricism to her dive into three of America’s most iconic moments ... In her exquisite and poignant reimagining of historic events, Alcott dissects their impacts in a sweeping yet intimate saga that challenges assumptions and assesses the depths of human frustration.
PositiveBooklist\"Jarrett’s quiet determination, unparalleled work ethic, and deep commitment to a city rich with family roots won her respect at a time when, as a newly divorced single mother, she needed it most. Revisiting her illustrious career, from inner-city Chicago to the White House and beyond, Jarrett reveals the life-changing events that, though perilous at the time, enabled her to become a virtuoso corporate and philanthropic leader, and a valued presidential adviser.\
RaveBooklistCombining vast historical research, perceptive cultural interpretation, and a gift for keen, biographical storytelling, Abe’s study of one man’s passion for a singular plant species celebrates the beneficial impact such enthusiasts can have on the world at large.
PositiveBooklist...a hoot and a half ... In nearly two-dozen essays filled with belly laughs and bits of hard-won wisdom, Ellis’ self-deprecating wit and tongue-in-cheek charm provide the perfect antidote to bad-hair, or bad-news, days.
RaveBooklistThe openness of the Australian countryside is an apt setting for a complex exploration of grief, faith, and restoration, and in poignant, meditative, and stirring prose Hillman tells a heartrending and heartwarming tale of love and sacrifice.
PositiveBooklistAt a time when local newspapers are nearing extinction, and reporters are deemed enemies of the people, Landvik’s smart and lovely paean to journalists is a welcome reminder of the important role they play in the lives of those who depend on newspapers for more than just information.
PositiveBooklist\"Bowden returns to the story that catapulted his career with a horrific portrait of a sociopath and honors the dedicated officers who were determined to get justice for two innocent girls and their grieving family.\
PositiveBooklistBright with anecdotes from his lengthy and illustrious career, Bharara’s razor-edge judgments about punishment, procedure, outcome, and outlook address issues of governance and moral grounding that form the crux of the nature of justice. Bharara speaks with a clear, firm, and engaging voice in this essential primer about the importance of a fair and open justice system.
PositiveBooklistA balanced portrait of this most influential of judges. What surprises is the unprecedented glimpse at the interpersonal, and often contentious, relationships that reverberate throughout the court.
PositiveBooklistManji brings a fresh voice to the interpretation of Islam. She’s an educator and philosopher, author and advocate, a Muslim and a lesbian ... Although Manji ponders such deeply divisive subjects as Black Lives Matter and homophobia through the slightly precious construct of talking to her deceased dog, Lily, it is nonetheless an apt device for the larger conversations she champions in the hope that society can evolve to bridge its divides and abandon its labels.
PositiveBooklistThe question of who gets to tell one’s own story lies at the heart of Lipman’s smart, sassy, and satisfying rom-com. Luckily for fans of contemporary women’s fiction, the answer is Lipman as she once again delivers a tightly woven, lightly rendered, but insightfully important novel of the pitfalls to be avoided and embraced on one’s path to self-discovery.
Joshua S Goldstein
PositiveBooklistAlthough their discourse borders on the polemic, Goldstein and Qvist offer food for thought, making this a viable resource in the arsenal of arguments for and against the best methods of staving off a global energy crisis.
Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson
PositiveBooklistExploring cultural imperatives from Kenya to Korea, social researcher Bricker and journalist Ibbitson delve into myriad conditions and examine the trends that could lead to a prediction that most established and many developing nations will see a reversal of overpopulation patterns ... Thanks to the authors’ painstaking fact-finding and cogent analysis, this treatise offers ample and persuasive arguments for a re-evaluation of conventional wisdom.
PositiveBooklistAn eye-opening account of what it takes to protect wildlife under improbable conditions. Dehgan’s zeal for conservation, passion for humanitarian outreach, and admiration for the Afghan people spring from every page.
PositiveBooklistRezaian’s candid and revelatory memoir of his incarceration is interlaced with touching tributes to his Iranian-born father, his journalistic mentor, Christopher Hitchens, and his beloved wife, Yeganeh. At a time when journalists find themselves increasingly under fire, both abroad and at home, Rezaian’s dedication to his craft is an inspiring homage to the fearlessness of these intrepid purveyors of truth.
RaveBooklistNever better than when she is detailing her personal professional crises when inherent conflicts between old and new media rattled Times management, Abramson offers an engrossing \'behind the curtains\' journey into the demanding business of modern media ... Abramson’s expert and frank assessment of the struggles of the press in the \'fake news\' era will attract avid attention.
PositiveBooklistAlthough the high-stakes race to thwart Huber provides the framework for Johansen’s latest thriller, the sexual cat-and-mouse dynamic between Jude and Rachel supplies an equally alluring narrative. Johansen’s loyal and never-before readers alike will want more of this newly introduced and provocative pair.
RaveBooklistWith lightning speed and relentless determination, Shapiro tracks down the sperm donor who was her biological father and navigates an emotional and ethical minefield to create a relationship. The notion of identity, once so defined, suddenly becomes amorphous and untrustworthy. Shapiro’s anguish over a flawed past is palpable; her anxiety regarding an indeterminate future is paralyzing. Page after page, Shapiro displays a disarming honesty and an acute desire to know the unknowable.
PositiveBooklistQuietly astute and surprisingly engrossing, Kennedy’s spare, old-fashioned fable about trust and faith, loyalty and love is a charming read with a hidden punch, providing a much-needed antidote to contemporary cynicism and doubt.
PositiveBooklistHudson’s rags-to-riches story is revealed by Griffin’s comprehensive overview of Hudson’s filmography as well as his frank but objective discussion of Hudson’s complicated personal life.
PositiveBooklistExtensively researched, Jarnow’s deep and accomplished portrait of these iconic musicians reverberates with a mastery that will appeal to both fans and everyone interested in the history of music.
PositiveBooklistGubar combs novels and poems, movies and plays to gain insight into the type of loving reflective of the bond she and Don enjoy ... Gubar confronts life’s most personal circumstances and her innermost fears and triumphs with wit, joy, sensitivity, and abundant honesty.
PositiveBooklistPlaintive, probing, and painfully honest, Beard’s reflective examination of loss and acceptance will bring beneficial insights to other grieving survivors.
RaveBooklist\"...The 1960s was a time of protests over race and war and gender, fueled by rage and sorrow over the assassinations of three now-iconic figures, President John F. Kennedy; his brother Robert, a presidential candidate; and Martin Luther King Jr. Journalist and southern historian Gaillard was a child of that era, and he now presents an intensely personal yet thoroughly vetted and factual account of one of history’s most tumultuous interludes, a detailed, chronological, and illuminating look at pivotal events and influential people. Anyone alive during that time will read this and recall with wonder all that transpired during those 10 years. Anyone born since will experience awe for the overwhelming changes that were wrought during a time as productive as it was destructive.
RaveBooklistShortly after her husband, Brendan, dies, Martha Cassidy steels herself to make the trip from their London apartment to his cottage on the remote west coast of Ireland. There she finds more sheep than people, while the humans she does encounter arouse her curiosity and provide sources of both comfort and contention ... Through the rugged and unforgiving beauty of the Irish countryside and the spare but heartfelt empathy of this place of wise souls, Martha navigates the hardest transition a wife and mother must ever face. For her keen and gracious insights into the relentless grieving process, for her transcendent evocation of the rough charm and enduring splendor of Ireland’s rural treasures, Hubbard deserves a place in the literary pantheon near Colm Tóibín, Anne Enright, and William Trevor.
Therese Anne Fowler
RaveBooklistBeing called well-behaved would not necessarily have pleased Alma Smith, yet such a demeanor was vital for her success as the wife of one of Manhattan’s wealthiest and most respected men. Although born to wealth in Alabama, Alva found herself in greatly reduced circumstances when her father lost the family fortune. A fortuitous marriage was her only chance for salvation, so when her dear friend Consuelo played matchmaker, pairing her with William K. Vanderbilt, Alva followed her head instead of her heart into a loveless marriage ... With you-are-there immediacy fueled by assured attention to biographical detail and deft weaving of labyrinthine intrigue, Fowler creates a thoroughly credible imagining of the challenges and emotional turmoil facing this fiercely independent woman.
PositiveBooklist\"...If Bill Clinton, a young, small-state governor, was the unlikely choice to lead the Democrats back into power, then Newt Gingrich, a brash, come-from-nowhere Georgia congressman, was the equally improbable provocateur who would thwart him at every turn. As Clinton hoped to captain the country on a course of economic growth and social and cultural acceptance, Gingrich’s plan was to challenge every initiative with a scrappy, street-fighting demeanor not previously experienced in the once-genteel halls of government ... NBC/MSNBC political numbers cruncher Kornacki is known for his predictive ability to read electoral tea leaves and spot trends. Now his journalistic prowess is on display in this sharp narrative tracking the steps and missteps over the last quarter-century that brought us to today’s combative political stasis.
PositiveBooklistThe notion of voter fraud is itself a fraud perpetrated on the American voting public ... Anderson examines the treacherous machinations of a government actively working to exclude voters based on undisguised racial profiling. This a whiplash-inducing chronicle of how a nation that just a few short years ago elected its first black president now finds itself in the throes of a deceitful and craven effort to rip this most essential of American rights from millions of its citizens.
PositiveBooklistKerry’s astonishing level of recall of the resonant moments of his life both in and out of politics turns his memoir into a rich and revealing look at signature public events during the last seven decades. Gracious and dedicated, Kerry epitomizes the term statesman.
PositiveBooklistHers was one of the few female faces in her 1973 law-school class. And, like so many women of her generation coming-of-age during feminism’s second wave, Warren juggled often-conflicting roles of wife and mother while building dual careers as a lawyer and professor. Defying odds, she emerged victorious over the popular incumbent Scott Brown in her campaign for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts ... Felix deftly brings the backstory of this progressive icon to life in a detailed and revelatory look at one of the country’s most admired and outspoken leaders.
PositiveBooklistFor all the bleak desolation and underlying sadness that informs the Connors’ existence, there is a stronger sense of joy and wonder that infuses their magical thinking with a relentless assurance in the possibilities life can hold. Hooper follows her wise and delightful Etta and Otto and Russel and James (2015) with an equally charismatic and haunting fable about the transformative power of hope.
PositiveBooklistGekoski’s deceptively simple tale of a troubled marriage is elegantly crafted, and its deft portrait of 1950s constraints and values masterfully conjures a rich atmosphere reminiscent of Richard Yates and John Cheever.
RaveBooklist\"Pithy and profound, Fountain’s political observations fly off the page in a torrent of mantra-worthy quotes, while his historical analyses stun with their depth of research and relevance ... Fountain’s mix of salient lessons from the past and essential guideposts for the future is a must-have addition to the \'how did we get here\' canon of political scrutiny in and of the age of Trump.\
RaveBooklistGarden & Gun contributor Reed’s latest paean to southern culture is loving in the way of a parent indulging a capricious child. Yet the way she brings this same perspective to the greater human condition is shrewd and imaginative. One need not be of the South to appreciate her wisdom and wit, for Reed’s is an expressive and enthusiastic voice for humanity everywhere.
PositiveBooklist\"Through her protagonist, debut novelist Walker gives a plaintive yet powerful voice to anyone who has struggled with body image, feelings of marginalization, and sexual manipulation. Her robust satire also vibrantly redefines what it means to be a woman in contemporary society.\
PositiveBooklistAs he uncovered the labyrinthine and corrupt supply chain of human labor, he met Jeet\'s young widow, Kamala, whose life in an impoverished Nepali village became infinitely harder after Jeet’s death. Along with a team of intrepid human rights’ attorneys, Simpson battled one of the world’s most powerful corporations to gain justice for Jeet and compensation for his widow. The ensuing court battle and Kamala’s personal journey of redemption is a mind-boggling story that champions courage, perseverance, and resilience.
RaveBooklist OnlineGriswold’s (The Tenth Parallel, 2010) empathetic yet analytical account of Haney’s indefatigable role as advocate for justice is a thorough and thoroughly blood-pressure-raising account of the greed and fraud embedded in the environmentally ruinous natural-gas industry. As honest and unvarnished an account of the human cost of corporate corruption as one will find.
PositiveBooklistAs always, Weisberger’s timely social satire packs some bite along with the pop-culture froth. The return of characters from Weisberger’s most popular book will propel her latest to the top.
Seymour M. Hersh
RaveBooklist\"In this candid and revelatory memoir, Hersh chronicles his evolution as a reporter in both style and substance ... Hersh remains at the vanguard of tenacious and purposeful writers who speak truth to power, and surely he’s inspiring the best at work now. Journalism junkies will devour this insider’s account of a distinguished career.\
RaveBooklistCrime thriller authors have nothing on Carreyrou’s exquisite sense of suspenseful pacing and multifaceted character development in this riveting, read-in-one-sitting tour de force. Investigative journalists are perhaps the country’s last true protectors of truth and justice, and Carreyrou’s commitment to unraveling Holmes’ crimes has been literally of life-saving value.
RaveBooklist Online\"First loves, summer flings, mad crushes, and unrequited longings—set all these heady things against the backdrop of Llamalo, a rugged summer camp in the Colorado mountains and within the context of Reagan-era policies and a looming Gulf War, and the experience is a roller-coaster of high drama and shattered ideals ... Abel’s first novel is a finely textured exploration of committed individuals caught in the throes of an idealistic atmosphere.\
PositiveBooklistIn Eve’s world there is no such thing as coincidence; indeed, the brutal killer who murdered Darcy’s sister and attacked Cara is intent on destroying both girls’ families in a deranged quest for vengeance. Johansen is beloved for her strong female protagonists, and Cara and Darcy are worthy additions to this coterie of heroines.
RaveBooklistIn a series of self-revelatory essays, Russo lets his readers behind the curtain to divulge the myriad sources of his profound wisdom and boundless generosity as both writer and teacher. Scholarly yet accessible examinations of the works of both Twain and Dickens illustrate their abiding influence, while discussions on point of view are brief but brilliant master classes. For aspiring writers, Russo’s musings on the art and craft of the novel are a trove of knowledge and guidance. For adoring readers, they are a window into the imagination and inspiration for Russo’s beloved novels, screenplays, and short stories.
PositiveBooklist\"Along with providing insights into Eunice’s roles as wife, mother, sister, and daughter, McNamara uses her journalistic prowess to produce a complete and detailed portrait of this spirited and magnetic activist.\
RaveBooklistAn intimate yet wide-ranging chronicle of a life in the trenches and at the pinnacle of her profession, Richards’ enthralling memoir will provide rousing motivation for anyone passionate about social and political causes.
RaveBooklistWith America’s global standing now downgraded from \'full democracy to \'flawed democracy\' by the Economist Intelligence Unit, this is no time for complacency. Albright outlines the warning signs of fascism and offers concrete actions for restoring America’s values and reputation. There is priceless wisdom on every page.
RaveBooklist Online\"Ehrenreich, who holds a PhD in cellular immunology, offers a healthy dose of reformist philosophy combined with her trademark investigative journalism. In assessing our quest for a longer, healthier life, Ehrenreich provides a contemplative vision of an active, engaged health care that goes far beyond the physical restraints of the body and into the realm of metaphysical possibilities.\
RaveBooklist OnlineSure to appeal to architecture and political junkies alike, Rodota’s history provides a thorough and thoroughly engrossing insider account of this legendary Washington address.
PositiveBooklistThough she writes with a deceptive casualness about dashed dreams and squandered hopes, Quindlen’s quietly precise evaluation of intertwined lives evinces a keen understanding of and appreciation for universal human frailties. Complex themes and clever motifs make this eminently suitable for book groups.
RaveBooklist\"Sweeping yet intimate, Wolitzer’s timely saga places her characters at the heart of a new wave of feminism, one clinging to the old paradigms of protest while encompassing current politics of personal responsibility. In a complex web of friends, lovers, mentors, and rivals, Wolitzer compassionately and artfully discerns the subtle strengths at the core of these essential connections.\
RaveBooklist\"Rachman’s haunting addition to the list of novels about children overshadowed by famous parents is a momentous drama of a volatile relationship and the fundamental will to survive.\
RaveBooklistBohjalian is an unfaltering storyteller who crosses genres with fluidity, from historical fiction to literary thrillers. He is also that rare male writer who has mastered the female point of view with adroit credibility ... Bohjalian revisits the notion of what happens when an individual loses control of his or her environment in a read-in-one-sitting escapade that is as intellectually satisfying as it is emotionally entertaining.
RaveBooklistBased on a five-year stint as a television reporter in China, journalist and producer Lake presents an intimate yet wide-ranging examination of this economic and cultural phenomenon, a book that sparkles with personal revelations as well as important social and cultural details.
PositiveBooklist“Before there was a Carrie Bradshaw or a Mary Richards, a Bridget Jones or a Holly Golightly, there was Marjorie Hillis ... Scutts’ biography of this Depression-era feminist positions Hillis very much as a woman of her own time, and her thorough scholarship deftly illustrates how Hillis’ iconic views continue to make her a woman for all time.”
RaveBooklistSet against the backdrop of the final years of his vice presidency, Biden’s memoir of his son’s battle with cancer is a spare yet sturdy chronicle of how one family, one very public family, coped with the reality of a monumental health crisis as privately and seamlessly as possible ... Biden weaves the narrative of Beau’s decline with the global events that equally required his attention ... Given its dual focus on his political accomplishments, some may see this memoir as a preamble to a future presidential run ... Written without an ounce of self-pity, it serves instead as an homage to a man Biden admired above all others and offers a passionate ray of hope to those who have suffered the loss of a loved one with the reassuring message that there is, indeed, a way through their grief.
Jared Yates Sexton
RaveBooklistSexton’s first-person account is both candidly relatable and viscerally frightening. Self-deprecating scenes of drowning his sorrows at campaign-stop pubs juxtaposed against edge-of-darkness encounters with agitators sporting MAGA-logo garb create a you-are-there immediacy. Sexton’s seamless blending of his reporter’s objectivity with the personal evaluations of a voter who has skin in the game yields trenchant analysis. Although most of his ire is reserved for the mercurial and Machiavellian Trump organization, Sexton also takes a penetrating look at the other contentious campaigns—the fervency of the Bernie camp, the fecklessness of Clinton’s overconfident team, and even a foray into the Green Party hoopla—and counts himself among the myriad pundits who absolutely did not see the end result coming. Based upon its title, readers could be forgiven for thinking this is a tsunami survivor’s memoir. With the outrage, violence, and intolerance the 2016 campaign unleashed, it very nearly qualifies. But Sexton’s is a critical and important voice in helping readers understand the cultural and political sea change the election created.
RaveBooklistSalvaging this essential piece of American military history from certain obscurity, Mundy’s painstaking and dedicated research produces an eye-opening glimpse into a crucial aspect of U.S. military operations and pays overdue homage to neglected heroines of WWII. Fans of Hidden Figures (2016) and its exposé of unsung talent will revel in Mundy’s equally captivating portraits of women of sacrifice, initiative, and dedication.
RaveBooklistMcBride’s short stories joyfully abound with indelible characters whose personal philosophies are far wiser than their circumstances allow ... Whatever the situation, McBride’s protagonists encounter life’s foolishness and futility courtesy of their outlier status, yet their compassion and wisdom put them at the heart of the most salient and critical junctures confronting humanity. McBride brings the snappy satire that endeared him to fans of the National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird and the courage and pathos that shone in The Miracle at St. Anna to this stellar collection of short fiction.
RaveBooklistA worthy companion to Jane Mayer’s Dark Money (2017), MacLean’s intense and extensive examination of the right-wing’s rise to power is perhaps the best explanation to date of the roots of the political divide that threatens to irrevocably alter American government.
RaveBooklistNg’s stunning second novel is a multilayered examination of how identities are forged and maintained, how families are formed and friendships tested, and how the notion of motherhood is far more fluid than bloodlines would suggest. Ng’s debut, Everything I Never Told You, was a book-group staple. Laden with themes of loyalty and betrayal, honesty and trust, her latest tour de force should prove no less popular.
RaveBooklistAt 59, Ove is a grumble Gus of the first degree. Rules are made to be followed, signs are meant to be obeyed, and don’t even get him started about computers and mobile phones … Though Ove’s dark mission mitigates any treacly upstaging by animals and small children, readers seeking feel-good tales with a message will rave about the rantings of this solitary old man with a singular outlook. If there was an award for ‘Most Charming Book of the Year,’ this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down.
PositiveBooklist\"The sentimentally savvy Backman takes a sobering and solemn look at the ways alienation and acceptance, ethics and emotions nearly destroy a small town ... Backman sagely taps into teen angst while portraying sensitive issues of identity, loyalty, and ambition.\
PositiveBooklistWriting with clarity, intelligence, and compassion, Hayes deftly illuminates the complex state of affairs that has evolved since the 1960s civil rights protests, and resulted in the current backlash.