Searbookers Are Reading

To see the 2019 list of books, click here.

Wings of Morning: The Story of the Last American Bomber Shot Down over Germany in World War II
by Thomas Childers
On April 21, 1945, the twelve-member crew of the Black Cat set off on one of the last air missions in the European theater of World War II. Ten never came back. This is the story of that crew—where they came from, how they trained, what it was like to fly a B-24 through enemy flak, and who was waiting for them to come home. (1995, 276 pgs; Nonfiction)

Night Boat to Tangier
by Kevin Barry
From the acclaimed author of the international sensations City of Bohane and Beatlebone, a striking and gorgeous new novel of two aging criminals at the butt ends of their damage-filled careers. (2019, 255 pgs; Fiction)

The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age
by David E. Sanger
This is the startling inside story of how the rise of cyberweapons transformed geopolitics like nothing since the invention of the atomic bomb. Cheap to acquire, easy to deny, and usable for a variety of malicious purposes—from crippling infrastructure to sowing discord and doubt—cyber is now the weapon of choice for democracies, dictators, and terrorists. (2018, 384 pgs; Nonfiction)

The American Story: Conversations with Master Historians
by David M. Rubenstein
Philanthropist and TV host Rubenstein debuts with a collection of 16 interviews he’s conducted as part of the Congressional Dialogues, a series of dinners held at the Library of Congress in which historians and biographers discuss their subjects in front of an audience of lawmakers. The interviews include such heavy hitters as Ron Chernow on Alexander Hamilton, Robert Caro on Lyndon B. Johnson, Doris Kearns Goodwin on Abraham Lincoln, and Taylor Branch on Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. (2019, 396 pgs; Nonfiction)

My Notorious Life
by Kate Manning
Inspired by the true history of an infamous female physician, this is a mystery, a family saga, a love story, and an exquisitely detailed portrait of nineteenth-century America. Axie Muldoon’s inimitable voice brings the past alive, and her story haunts and enlightens the present. (2013, 438 pgs; Fiction)

American Duchess
by Karen Harper
Reimagines the life of American heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt as the reluctant and bullied bride of the Duke of Marlborough before she finds the inner strength to fight for women’s equality. (2019, 350 pgs; Fiction)

The Boy Between Worlds
by Annajet van der Zijl
When they fell in love in 1928, Rika and Waldemar could not have been more different. She was a thirty-seven-year-old Dutch-born mother. He was her immigrant boarder and a wealthy Surinamese descendant of slaves. The child they have together brings the couple great joy yet raises some eyebrows… until the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands explodes their promising life. (2019, 272 pgs; Nonfiction)

A Well-Behaved Woman
by Therese Fowler
Marrying into the newly rich but socially scorned Vanderbilt clan, Alva navigates society snubs and dark undercurrents in the lives of her in-laws and friends while testing the limits of her ambitious rule-breaking. (2018, 392 pgs; Fiction)

Lady Clementine
by Marie Benedict
This historical tale inspired by the life of Clementine Churchill traces her unflinching role in protecting the life and wartime agendas of her husband, Winston Churchill. (2020, 322 pgs; Fiction)

The Dry
by Jane Harper
Federal Agent Aaron Falk returns to his old hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood best friend, Luke. Falk teams up with a local detective and tries to uncover the truth behind Luke’s sudden mysterious death, only to find more questions than answers. (2017, 328 pgs; Fiction)

A Very Stable Genius
by Daniel Rucker
Washington Post reporters Rucker and Leonnig deliver a granular critique of the Trump presidency, from Michael Flynn’s ill-fated tenure as national security advisor to the release of the Mueller Report. (2020, 465 pgs; Nonfiction)

The Perfect Horse
by Elizabeth Letts
In the chaotic last days of World War II, a small troop of American soldiers captures a German spy and learns that on a secret farm behind enemy lines, Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebred horses in order to breed the perfect military machine–an equine master race. But with the starving Russian army closing in, the animals are in imminent danger of being slaughtered for food. With only hours to spare, one of the U.S. Army’s last great cavalrymen, Colonel Hank Reed, makes a bold decision–with General George Patton’s blessing–to mount a covert rescue operation. (2016, 369 pgs; Nonfiction)

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland
by Patrick Radden Keefe
From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe comes a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions. (2019, 441 pgs; Nonfiction)

The Yellow Envelope
by Kim Dinan
Plagued by anxiety and a persistent feeling that there was more to life than paychecks and mortgages, Kim and her husband decide to uproot their lives and travel around the world. Just before their departure, they’re given an unexpected gift that will shape their adventures: a yellow envelope containing a check and instructions to give the money away to those they encounter on their journey. (2017, 346 pgs; Nonfiction)

The Splendid and the Vile
by Erik Larson
Larson delivers a fresh and compelling portrait of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold the country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally-and willing to fight to the end. (2020, 585 pgs; Nonfiction)

The Rise and Fall of the House of Windsor
by A.N. Wilson
1992 was the year the roof fell in on the storybook existence of the British royal family, the Windsors, and Queen Elizabeth referred to it as the “annus horribilis.” The British press could barely keep up with the succession of scandals that undermined popular support of the monarchy. Readers with an interest in history will be fascinated by Wilson’s tracing of the misery of the Windsors to the quarrels and eccentricities of elder generations, and perhaps to an even more ancient family curse. (1993, 211 pgs; Nonfiction)

Summer of ‘69
by Elin Hilderbrand
Four siblings experience the drama, intrigue, and upheaval of a summer when everything changed in Hilderbrand’s first historical novel set in Nantucket not far from Martha’s Vineyard. (2019, 425 pgs; Fiction)

Toward the Midnight Sun
by Eoin Dempsey
From the bestselling author of White Rose, Black Forest comes a page-turning epic of adventure, suspense, and romance set against the rich and ruthless backdrop of the Klondike gold rush. (2020, 266 pgs; Fiction)

The Heart’s Invisible Furies
by John Boyne
Adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple who reminds him that he is not a real member of their family, Cyril embarks on a journey to find himself and where he came from, discovering his identity, a home, a country, and much more throughout a long lifetime. (2017, 580 pgs; Fiction)

The Gifted School
by Bruce Holsinger
Crystal, Colorado, is an affluent community where a new gifted magnet school for grades six through 12 will soon open. With limited spaces available, the competition among parents to get their offspring into the school, called the “Stuyvesant of the Rockies,” turns ruthless. (2019, 452 pgs; Fiction)

Becoming Nicole
by Amy Ellis Nutt
This poignant account of a transgender girl’s transition offers a heartfelt snapshot of a family whose only objective is to protect their daughter. Tackling the subject from a biological, social, and psychological viewpoint, Pulitzer-winning reporter Nutt weaves complex elements of what being transgender means into a compelling narrative about a young woman who has identified as female since early childhood. (2015, 279 pgs; Nonfiction)

The Alice Network
by Kate Quinn
Featuring a timeline split between a woman desperately seeking her cousin in 1947 postwar France and the doings of the “Alice Network” of female spies during World War I, this fast-paced story offers courageous heroines, villains you love to hate, and dramatic life-or-death stakes. (2017, 503 pgs; Fiction)

The Library Book
by Susan Orlean
New Yorker staff writer Orlean doubles as an investigative reporter and an institutional historian in this sprawling account of the 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Central Public Library. (2018, 317 pgs; Nonfiction)

Women Rowing North
by Mary Pipher
Pipher offers a timely examination of the cultural and developmental issues women face as they age. Drawing on her own experience as daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, caregiver, clinical psychologist, and cultural anthropologist, she explores ways women can cultivate resilient responses to the challenges they face. (2019, 262 pgs; Nonfiction)

The Gift of Rain
Tan, Twan Eng
Set during the tumult of World War II, on the lush Malayan island of Penang, this novel tells a riveting and poignant tale about a young man caught in the tangle of wartime loyalties and deceits. (2008, 435 pgs; Fiction)

One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow
by Libbie Hawker
Set in 1876 Wyoming, Hawker spins an enchanting, suspenseful female-survivor story that fully captures the hardscrabble life on the American frontier. (2019, 479 pgs; Fiction)

The Dearly Beloved
by Cara Wall
Set in the years 1950-1970 in a changing America and London, the story follows two married couples – ministers and academics – whose intricate bonds of faith and friendship, jealousy and understanding, are tested by the birth of an autistic child. (2019, 342 pgs; Fiction)

When Breath Becomes Air
by Paul Kalinithi
One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from medical student into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality. (2016, 228 pgs; Nonfiction)

In a Dark, Dark Wood
by Ruth Ware
What should be a cozy and fun-filled weekend deep in the English countryside takes a sinister turn. (2015, 310pgs; Fiction)

The Glass Hotel
by Emily St. John Mandel
Mandel’s novel follows a brother and sister as they navigate heartache, loneliness, wealth, corruption, drugs, ghosts, and guilt. Settings include British Columbia’s coastal wilderness, New York City’s fashionable neighborhoods and corporate headquarters, a container ship in international waters, and a South Carolina prison. (2020, 320 pgs; Fiction)

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line
by Deepa Anappara
Enamored of police reality shows, nine-year-old Jai decides to become a detective himself when a classmate goes missing from his impoverished urban Indian settlement. Hoping to solve the case, he enlists the aid of his two best friends, Faiz and Pari. Their mettle is tested when other children begin disappearing, and the corrupt local police ignore the situation. (2020, 347 pgs; Fiction)

The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel–a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors. (2007, 552 pgs; Fiction)

The Rain Watcher
by Tatiana de Rosnay
This powerful family drama is set in Paris as the Malegarde family gathers to celebrate the father’s 70th birthday. Their hidden fears and secrets are slowly unraveled as the City of Light undergoes a stunning natural disaster. Seen through the eyes of charismatic photographer Linden Malegarde, the youngest son, all members of the family will have to fight to keep their unity against tragic circumstances. Audiobook narrated by Simon Vance. (2018, 229 pgs; Fiction)

Year One
by Nora Roberts.
Year One, book one of the series Chronicles of the One,  is an epic of hope and horror, chaos and magick, and a journey that will unite a desperate group of people to fight the battle of their lives. Audiobook narrated by Julia Whelan. (2017, 419 pgs; Fiction)

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
by Rachel Joyce
Harold Fry is convinced that he must deliver a letter to an old love in order to save her, meeting various characters along the way and reminiscing about the events of his past and people he has known, as he tries to find peace and acceptance. (2012, 320 pgs; Fiction)

Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune
by Bill Dedman
This nonfiction account of wealth and loss, complete with copper barons, Gilded Age opulence, and backdoor politics has at its heart a reclusive 104-year-old heiress named Huguette Clark. It is a touching story of an eccentric, a last jewel of the Gilded Age, who lived life on her own terms. (2013, 470 pgs; Nonfiction)

Tangerine
by Christine Mangan
This debut novel–a chilling portrait of a female friendship set in the 1950s– follows two young women, Alice and Lucy. After a mysterious accident at college, Alice impetuously marries John and they move to Tangier where Lucy unexpectedly appears. Then Alice’s husband goes missing and Alice starts to question everything around her: her relationship with her enigmatic friend, her decision to ever come to Tangier, and her very own state of mind. (2018, 388 pgs; Fiction)

Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America
by Michael Ruhlman
Ruhlman dives into the mysterious world of supermarkets and the ways in which we produce, consume, and distribute food. He examines how rapidly supermarkets–and our food and culture–have changed since the days of your friendly neighborhood grocer. But rather than waxing nostalgic for the age of mom-and-pop shops, the author seeks to understand how our food needs have shifted since the mid-twentieth century, and how these needs mirror our cultural ones. (102, 307 pgs; Nonfiction)

Dimestore: A Writer’s Life
by Lee Smith
Candid and unsentimental, Smith’s book sheds light on her beginnings as a writer while revealing her resilience and personal transformations over the course of a remarkable life. (2016, 202 pgs; Memoir)

A Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman
A curmudgeon hides a terrible personal loss beneath a cranky and short-tempered exterior while clashing with new neighbors, a boisterous family whose chattiness and habits lead to unexpected friendship. (2014, 337 pgs; Fiction)

The Bookseller
by Mark Pryor
Hugo Marston buys an ancient book from his friend Max, at the old bookseller’s stall beside the River Seine.  Moments later, Max is kidnapped. Hugo must now connect the old man’s bizarre history with the ancient book, and solve the mysterious disappearance of other booksellers. This book is the first of a currently 9 book series set in Paris. The author is a prosecutor who resides in Austin, TX. (2012, 303 pgs; Fiction)

Code Name Helen
by Ariel Lawhon
Lawhon’s novel is based on the real-life story of socialite spy Nancy Wake, the astonishing woman who killed a Nazi with her bare hands and went on to become one of the most decorated women in WWII. (2020; 464 pgs; Fiction)

The Book of Longings
by Sue Monk Kidd
This audacious novel centers on Ana, the fictitious Galilean wife of Jesus and sister of the infamous disciple Judas. Ana is able to read and write, unusual for Jewish women of the time. Her powerful desire to record the stories of women who would otherwise be forgotten drives the first-person narrative. (2020, 432 pgs; Fiction)

Homegoing
by Yaa Gyasi
Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, unknown to each other, are born into two different tribal villages in 18th century Ghana. Effia is married off to an English colonial and lives in comfort in the Cape Coast Castle. Her sister, Esi, will be imprisoned in the Castle’s women’s dungeon, and then shipped to America, where she is sold into slavery. This beautifully written novel stretches from the tribal wars of Ghana to slavery and Civil War in America, from the coal mines in the north to the Great Migration to the streets of 20th century Harlem. (2016, 305 pgs; Fiction)

Ribbons of Scarlet: A Novel of the French Revolution’s Women
by Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Laura Kamoie, Sophie Perinot, Heather Webb, E. Knight; with a foreword by Allison Pataki
Six authors worked together to create an epic novel illuminating the hopes, desires, and destinies of princesses and peasants, harlots and wives, fanatics and philosophers – six unforgettable women whose paths cross during one of the most tumultuous and transformative events in history: the French Revolution. (2019, 514 pgs; Fiction)

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
by Jon Meacham
Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson’s genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously, catapulting him into becoming the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American history. (2112, 759 pgs; Nonfiction)

The Bedford Boys
by Alex Kershaw
On June 6, 1944, 19 boys from Bedford, Virginia, USA – population 3,000 – died in the first bloody minutes of D-Day when their landing craft dropped them in shallow water off Omaha Beach. This is both the story of that tragic day and of the small town they called home. (2003, 274 pgs; Nonfiction)

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
by Stuart Turton
Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden Bishop must solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle in order to escape the curse in a world filled with enemies where nothing and no one is quite what they seem. (2018, 435 pgs; Fiction)

Hunter’s Moon
by Philip Caputo
A collection of short stories set in the same Michigan Upper Peninsula town, including tales of old high-school buddies on a hunting trip, once-a-year lovers, and a middle-aged man and his grief-stricken father, combine together to form a novel. (2019, 272 pgs; Fiction)

All about Dinner: Simple Meals, Expert Advice
by Molly Stevens
Like most readers, Stevens has no team of prep cooks, no vast pantry, and no one paid to clean up her home kitchen. What she does have are delicious, time- tested recipes made from easy-to-find ingredients, collected for the first time in this cookbook. (2019, 335 pgs; Nonfiction)

The Lager Queen of Minnesota
by J. Ryan Stradal
In this novel of family, Midwestern values, hard work, fate and the secrets of making a world-class beer, the characters are rich and the sense of place is wonderfully real. From the bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest. (2019, 368 pgs; Fiction)

Murder in the Marais
by Cara Black
The initial installment of a series of mysteries set in Paris, this first novel introduces dauntless PI Aimee Leduc. The French-American, whose specialty is computer forensics, is confronted with a seemingly mundane task: to decipher an encrypted photograph from the ’40s and deliver it to an old woman in the Marais. When Aimee arrives at the home of Lili Stein to present the photo, however, she finds the woman dead. (1998, 354 pgd; Fiction)

Palisades Park
by Alan Brennart
When Eddie Stopka first visits New Jersey’s Palisades amusement park with his family in 1922, he is so charmed he knows he is destined to come back. When he does return, it is to become a french-fry vendor, marking the beginning of nearly half a century of work at the park. Brennart weaves history through this nostalgic story all the way to the park’s demolition in 1974. (2013,  421 pgs; Fiction)

Sharpe’s Eagle
by Bernard Cornwell
Cornwell’s historical fiction series, composed of several novels and short stories, charts Richard Sharpe’s progress in the British Army. He begins in Sharpe’s Eagle  and he is gradually promoted through the ranks, finally becoming a lieutenant colonel in Sharpe’s Waterloo. The stories formed the basis for a television series featuring Sean Bean in the title role. (1981, 292 pgs; Fiction)

Bluebird, Bluebird
by Attica Locke
Forced by duty to return to his racially divided East Texas hometown, an African-American Texas Ranger risks his job and reputation to investigate a highly charged double-murder case involving a black Chicago lawyer and a local white woman. (2017, 307 pgs; Fiction)

The Education of an Idealist
by Samantha Power
In her memoir, Power offers an urgent response to the question “What can one person do?”–and a call for a clearer eye, a kinder heart, and a more open and civil hand in our politics and daily lives. Follow her distinctly American journey from immigrant to war correspondent to presidential Cabinet official. (2019, 580 pgs; Nonfiction)

Underground: A Human History of the Worlds Beneath Our Feet
by Will Hunt
From sacred caves and derelict subway stations to nuclear bunkers and ancient underground cities—this is an exploration of the history, science, architecture, and mythology of the worlds beneath our feet. (2019, 275 pgs; Nonfiction)

Bowlaway
by Elizabeth McCracken
A sweeping and enchanting new novel from the widely beloved, award-winning author Elizabeth McCracken about three generations of an unconventional New England family who own and operate a candlepin bowling alley. (2019, 373 pgs; Fiction)

Before We Were Yours
by Lisa Wingate
Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong. (2017, 342 pgs; Fiction)

How to Be an Antiracist
by Ibram X. Kendi
In his book, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. He weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism. (2019, 304pgs; Nonfiction)

A Burning
by Magha Majumdar
Kolkata-born and Harvard- and Johns Hopkins–educated book editor Majumdar presents an electrifying debut that serves as a barometer measuring the seeming triviality of human life and the fragility of human connections. (2020, 293 pgs; Fiction)

Olive, Again
by Elizabeth Strout
Olive Kitteridge is back, crustier than ever and just as unapologetic as she was when she first appeared 11 years ago. In this new collection of linked stories about the residents of Crosby, ME, Olive is never far from wielding her influence, even if she’s offstage. A retired schoolteacher with very few filters from brain to mouth, Olive once again has opinions about everyone and everything–baby shower games, her husbands, motherhood, adult diapers, the ravages of aging. (2020, 289 pgs; Fiction)

Solitary: Unbroken by Four Decades In Solitary Confinement
by Albert Woodfox
A man who spent four decades in solitary confinement for a crime he did not commit tells his shocking story… one that should find wide readership. Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction and Finalist for the National Book Award in Nonfiction. (2019, 433 pgs; Nonfiction)

Sea Level Rise: A Slow Tsunami on America’s Shores
by Orrin H. Pilkey and Keith C, Pilkey
From NPR: [The authors] identify the legal, political and financial decisions required to cope with sea-level rise as it threatens nearly every aspect of American life, including commerce and shipping, the military, tourism and the design and functioning of major cities. The sober assessment questions whether the recent trend toward building resilient coastal communities is even possible. (2019, 208 pgs; Nonfiction)

The Beauty in Breaking
by Michele Harper
Dr. Harper, a high achieving Black woman, operate, literally, in a world populated by mostly white, mostly male doctors. She was drawn to emergency medicine and in her memoir, she shares what she’s learned from her patients and colleagues. (2020, 304 pgs; Nonfiction)

44 Scotland Street
by Alexander McCall Smith
Reminiscent of Maupin’s Tales of the City, McCall Smith’s serialized novel introduces the reader to some interesting denizens of a particular house in Edinburgh. Quintessential McCall Smith with whimsical characters, a location as intriguing and entertaining as any of the characters, this first-in-another-series from this enormously prolific author is delightful. (2005, 325 pgs; Fiction)

This Is Not How It Ends
by Rochelle B. Weinstein
Charlotte has some decisions to make as she navigates a new life and ponders with whom she’ll share it. This is a tender, moving story of heartbreak and healing that asks the question: Which takes more courage–holding on or letting go?” (2019, 329 pgs; Fiction)

This Land Is Our Land
by Suketu Mehta
This heavily researched and passionately argued work deconstructs American misbeliefs about immigration. The US is better not worse because of immigration, says Mehta. An immigrant himself, Mehta weights his personal, readable manifesto with history and data. The result is profoundly disturbing, convincing, clear-eyed, and hopeful. (2019, 306 pgs; Nonfiction)

What You Have Heard Is True
by Carolyn Forché
The author describes her deep friendship with a mysterious intellectual who introduced her to the culture and people of El Salvador in the 1970s, a tumultuous period in the country’s history, inspiring her work as an unlikely activist. (2019, 390 pgs; Nonfiction)

The Book of Lost Friends
by Lisa Wingate
A new novel inspired by historical events: a story of three young women on a journey in search of family amidst the destruction of the post-Civil War South, and of a modern-day teacher who rediscovers their story and its connection to her own students’ lives. (2020, 388 pgs; Fiction)

Spying on the South
by Tony Horwitz
The author retraces Frederick Law Olmsted’s journey across the American South in the 1850s, on the eve of the Civil War. Olmsted roamed eleven states and six thousand miles, and The New York Times published his dispatches about slavery and its defenders. More than 150 years later, Tony Horwitz followed Olmsted’s route, and whenever possible his mode of transport–rail, riverboats, in the saddle–through Appalachia, down the Ohio and Mississippi, through Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, and across Texas to the Rio Grande, discovering and reporting on vestiges of what Olmsted called the Cotton Kingdom. (2019, 476 pgs; Nonfiction)

A Very Punchable Face
by Colin Jost
Saturday Night Live head writer and Weekend Update co-anchor Colin Jost shares memories of growing up on Staten Island, attending Harvard, and ending up on SNL where he has held sway over the entertaining news segment for years. (2020, 315 pgs; Nonfiction)

The Sound of Gravel
by Ruth Wariner
Wariner’s true story of coming-of-age in a polygamist family, where she was the thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two children, follows her life on a farm in rural Mexico, where authorities turned a blind eye to the practices of her community. (2015, 342 pgs; Nonfiction)

The Plaza: The Secret Life Of America’s Most Famous Hotel
by Julie Satow
This is the account of one vaunted New York City address that has become synonymous with wealth and scandal, opportunity and tragedy. With glamour on the surface and strife behind the scenes, it is the story of how one hotel became a mirror reflecting New York’s place at the center of the country’s cultural narrative for over a century. (2019, 358 pgs; Nonfiction)

The Black Swan of Paris
by Karen Robards
Glamorous Parisian singer Genevieve Dumont uses her alliance with the Resistance to rescue her mother from the Nazis in this suspenseful WWII historical fiction. Genevieve courts the attention of the Nazis while secretly helping her manager, Max Bonet, an intelligence operative working with the British. The setting, the excitement, and the romance make this a page-turner. (2020, 475 pgs; Fiction)

The Book of Lost Names
by Kristin Harmel
Eva Traube Abrams, a part-time librarian in living in Florida, was part of the French Resistance during WWII. Her skill at forging official documents aided hundreds of children to escape before the Nazis could round them up. In this stirring historical fiction novel, Harmel weaves together suspense, a bit of romance and forgotten stories. (2020, 388 pgs; Fiction)

The Order of the Day
by Eric Vuillard
February 20, 1933: on an unremarkable day during a harsh Berlin winter, a meeting of twenty-four German captains of industry and senior Nazi dignitaries is being held in secret in the plush lounges of the Reichstag. They are there to “stump up” funding for the accession to power of the National Socialist Party and its fearsome Chancellor. This inaugural scene sets the tone of consent which will lead to the worst possible repercussions. March 12, 1938: the annexation of Austria is on the agenda and a grotesque day ensues that is intended to make history. (2018, 132 pgs; Fiction)

The Quantum Spy
by David Ignatius
A hyper-fast quantum computer is the digital equivalent of a nuclear bomb: whoever possesses one will be able to shred any encryption in existence, effectively owning the digital world. The question is: Who will build it first, the United States or China? (2018, 323 pgs; Fiction)

The Lost Vintage
by Ann Mah
In this page-turner, a woman returns to her family’s ancestral vineyard in Burgundy to study for her Master of Wine test and uncovers a lost diary, a forgotten relative, and a secret her family has been keeping since WWII. (2018, 372 pgs; Fiction)

American Dirt
by Jeanine Cummins
Lydia Quixano Perez lives in Acapulco where she runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. Through some very unfortunate circumstances, Lydia and Luca are forced to flee, and soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia- trains that make their way north toward the US. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what are they running to? (2020, 386 pgs; Fiction)

A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-torn Skies of World War II
by Adam Makos
On December 20, 1943, in the skies above war-torn Europe, an American B-17 pilot and a veteran German fighter ace met in what became one of World War II’s most unusual encounters. Two airmen of opposing nations managed to put aside the violence and hatred of armed conflict when the German ace escorted the severely damaged B-17 to safety. (2013, 392 pgs; Nonfiction)

Searching for Sylvie Lee
by Jean Kwok
A poignant and suspenseful drama that untangles the complicated ties binding three women–two sisters and their mother–in one Chinese immigrant family and explores what happens when the eldest daughter disappears, and a series of family secrets emerge. (2019, 317 pgs; Fiction)

All the Devils Are Here
by Louise Penny
Penny’s 16th novel featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Quebec finds him investigating a sinister plot in the City of Light. In order to find the truth, Gamache will have to decide whether he can trust his friends, his colleagues, his instincts, his own past. (2020, 439 pgs; Fiction)

The Castle on Sunset
by Shawn Levy
Levy recounts the wild revelries and scandalous liaisons, the creative breakthroughs and marital breakdowns, the births and deaths that the Chateau has been a party to. The result is a glittering tribute to Hollywood as seen from inside the walls of its most hallowed hotel. (2019, 366 pgs; Nonfiction)

Last Boat Out of Shanghai
by Helen Zia
The dramatic, real-life stories of four young people caught up in the mass exodus of Shanghai in the wake of China’s 1949 Communist Revolution–a precursor to the struggles faced by emigrants today. (2019, 499 pgs; Nonfiction)

Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation (1838-1839)
by Fanny Kemble
In 1863, Kemble published an account of her plantation experience, “Journal of a Residence on a Georgia Plantation,” in a very successful attempt to influence British public opinion against the Confederate states. This piece circulated among abolitionists prior to the American Civil War and was published in England and the United States once the war broke out.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
by Trevor Noah
The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. (2016, 288 pgs; Memoir)

Fair Warning
by Michael Connelly
Veteran reporter Jack McEvoy has taken down killers before, but when a woman he had a one-night stand with is murdered in a particularly brutal way, McEvoy realizes he might be facing a criminal mind unlike any he’s ever encountered. McEvoy investigates – against the warnings of the police and his own editor – and makes a shocking discovery that connects the crime to other mysterious deaths across the country. (2020, 399 pgs; Fiction)