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Terry's Picks

Book Cover for The Nightingale Hannah, Kristin
The Nightingale

Hannah's novel is a touching narrative of how two sisters' lives were rearranged by the Nazi invasion of France. Vianne is the older sister that teenager Isabelle never got to know. Being born more than a decade apart, Isabelle was just a small girl when her sister had several miscarriages. Vianne couldn't provide the emotional support her little sister needed upon the death of their mother, and their father washed his hands of both of them. He had gone from being a loving father to a changed man after his own experiences in the Great War. The sisters have been separated for years before Isabelle comes to live with Vianne for a short time at the dawn of World War II. Isabelle is an impulsive young woman who then leaves their small village for Paris, delivering messages for the underground French resistance and rescuing Allied pilots who have crashed there. Vianne, a mother and the wife of a French soldier in a prisoner-of-war camp, never thought of herself as brave like her sister, but she too contributes to the war effort, helping to hide Jewish children until the war is over. The sisters' paths cross several times during the war, and they finally reunite by the end of the story. The horrors they both endure are powerfully detailed in this emotional tale of love and perseverance. A terrible act at the end of the story results in an unexpected blessing for one of the sisters, proving that, out of the atrocities of war, wonderful things may come.
Recommended August 2015

Book Cover for China Dolls See, Lisa
China Dolls

Three women from different walks of life become fast friends as they try out for dancer positions at the Forbidden City, a fancy nightclub in San Francisco in 1938. Though they have very different backgrounds and come from different parts of America, they find they share many things in common as they struggle to make a living in a country anxious about the growing instability in other parts of the world. Because they don’t look like "typical" Americans they are treated differently, and the women bond together as “orientals” for many years. When Pearl Harbor is attacked, however, their friendship and their lives as they know them become threatened. This story paints a vivid cultural history of Chinese Americans in the time period as told through the voices of these three women, who alternately narrate chapters.
Recommended October 2014

Book Cover for City of Ash Chance, Megan
City of Ash

This is the fictional story of how two women from very different walks of life find themselves as allies, resulting from the historic Great Seattle Fire of 1889. Geneva is a member of high society, the daughter of a wealthy businessman. She is used to spending her time holding salons for artists in her lavish Chicago home, helping various unknowns become famous while her husband works with her father in his shipping business. She goes too far, though, when she disgraces her father and her husband, Nathan, by posing nude for a sculpture. She is forced to move to Seattle with Nathan or else be put in a mental institution by the men who control her life. Because of her tarnished reputation, Geneva is forced to stay at home alone in Seattle while her husband rubs elbows with the social elite and tries to forward his political ambitions. She eventually meets Beatrice, an actress of much lower class, who is actually her husband’s mistress. Understandably, the two hate each other and, furthermore, are both attracted to Sebastian, the theater’s new playwright, who has been commissioned by Nathan. However, when the fire occurs the two are both caught at the city’s theater, and Ginny and Bea help each other escape the flames. It isn’t until the days following the fire, though, that the two women realize that they can save each other in a different way by combining forces against the cruel Nathan. This tale is a vivid description of 19th-century Seattle and its newly emerging cultural scene, as well as the challenges faced by women in a man’s world.
Recommended August 2013

Book Cover for Care of Wooden Floors Wiles, Will
Care of Wooden Floors

The (unnamed) narrator of this fiction debut agrees to fly from his home in Britain to stay in the flat owned by a college friend in an (unnamed) Eastern European country. He will also be caring for the friend’s two cats. The friend, Oskar, will be away for an unspecified time finalizing divorce details with his wife in California, and the protagonist is looking forward to some relaxation and undisturbed time to write during his stay. What begins as an utterly boring stay in the impeccably neat flat quickly becomes anything but. First, a drop of red wine spills on the expensive wooden floor. Oskar has left explicit instructions for him about everything regarding the care of his home, including that he not spill anything on the floors. The narrator is painfully aware of the mortal sin he has committed, remembering Oskar has always been obsessive about his belongings. Things quickly go downhill from there as the more the house-sitter tries to take care of things, the more that goes very, very wrong. After only eight days, he has destroyed more than just Oskar’s flat. This book is hilarious, because the reader is truly not prepared for the events that occur. Fans of dark humor with unscrupulous characters will love reading about the happenings in Oskar’s flat during his absence.
Recommended May 2013

Book Cover for I’ve Got Your Number Kinsella, Sophie
I’ve Got Your Number

Poppy loses her engagement ring – a stunning and priceless heirloom that has been in the Tavish family’s possession for generations. In addition, someone steals her cell phone! She finds another and hangs on to it even though she knows who it belongs to, because when the hotel finds her ring, they have to be able to contact her. Plus, she has already given all her friends the new number. The phone belonged to the former personal assistant of Sam Roxton. Now Poppy has access to all Sam’s emails, which she won’t read of course! (Well, maybe just one or two.) She meets Sam but won’t give his phone back until her ring is found; he is quite charming and handsome, it turns out. When Poppy’s fiancé turns out not to be the man she thought he was can you guess what happens? This romance is full of laugh-out-loud humor in the Shopaholic style, and even though the reader must suspend her disbelief a bit, the payoff is worth it. A charming story, Kinsella’s latest will have you racing through the pages to find out what happens next! It’s obvious who will end up together, but getting there is half the fun!
Recommended June 2012

Book Cover for Clara and Mr. Tiffany Vreeland, Susan
Clara and Mr. Tiffany

When the Louis Comfort Tiffany exhibit visited the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh in 2006, the docent told us of a remarkable woman who did much behind-the-scenes designing of Tiffany lamps, while Mr. Tiffany got all the credit. Tiffany hired only unmarried women, so they would be fully dedicated to the job. This novel is the story of Tiffany's most important female employee, Clara Driscoll, as Vreeland imagines her—a woman who struggles to get ahead in a man’s world. At the turn of the twentieth century, she is ahead of her time both in what is expected of a woman in her work life, and in her relationship with men. Clara is devoted to her work. However, she also wants love, and is sometimes torn between the two. Tiffany will not let her have both. Tiffany’s company is at the forefront of decorative glass manufacture with novel designs, yet Clara struggles to get the recognition she deserves. I loved the historical setting of this story, including descriptions of the World’s Fairs where Tiffany’s new works were showcased. This is a beautiful, descriptive novel, made even better for fans of Tiffany’s art.
Recommended November 2011

Book Cover for Abide with Me Strout, Elizabeth
Abide with Me

A small-town Maine minister, Tyler Caskey, grieves the death of his wife, the mother of their young children. The townspeople, however, wrapped up in their own petty concerns, are unable to give Tyler the support and love he has been hired to show them during times of crisis. Her mother's death has taken a toll on Katherine, Tyler's five-year old daughter, who has stopped talking and has been misbehaving since the loss of her mother. Meanwhile, Tyler’s mother continues to belittle him, claiming that he can do nothing right and insisting on caring for his baby daughter. This separates the two girls since she refuses to help with the ill-tempered Katherine. Tyler keeps his pain and stress bottled up inside until he has a public breakdown on the pulpit and tries to leave the town that has been central to all his problems. Will the congregation let him go? Read this novel about what lurks beneath the surface of a quaint New England town.
Recommended October 2011

Book Cover for Between, Georgia Jackson, Joshilyn
Between, Georgia

Nonny is by blood a Crabtree but was adopted by the Frett family. The two families have been feuding in tiny Between, Georgia, for generations, and Nonny is caught in the middle. Tension escalates when vicious dogs owned by Ona Crabtree, Nonny’s biological grandmother, attack Nonny’s adopted mother and aunt and put the women in the hospital. To get back at the Crabtrees, Nonny’s other aunt fatally shoots the dogs. Now Nonny fears that Ona will call on her trouble-making sons to come to town to get even. Meanwhile, Nonny is in the midst of divorce proceedings with her husband, but she’s not sure she wants to leave the comfort of marriage, or her apartment in nearby Athens, but the feud, her cousin’s little girl who she wants to adopt, and a new love interest keep her coming back to the town she wants to escape. If you’re looking for a light drama with a happy ending, try this novel.
Recommended by Terry, September 2011

Book Cover for Homer and Langley Doctorow, E. L.
Homer and Langley

This is a fictional account of two actual brothers who were born in the late nineteenth century and lived their lives in a Harlem brownstone, with a view of Central Park. Doctorow takes liberties with the facts surrounding their lives, but one thing remains true—they were hoarders. When the nation learned of the Collyer brothers in the 1940s and how they lived, they became celebrities. They wanted to avoid publicity, however, and the mental illness of one and physical afflictions of the other caused them to become recluses who left the house only to garner the necessities of life. Doctorow’s novel investigates not only the strange goings-on of the Collyer household, but explains their lifestyle with compassion by delving into the psyche of one brother through the voice and mind of the other. The characters are lovable and their tale will make you laugh out loud as well as shed a few tears. I loved this story!
Recommended April 2011

Book Cover for Ape House Gruen, Sara
Ape House

John Thigpen is assigned to cover a story about the Great Ape Language Lab in Des Moines. He becomes enthralled with how well the bonobo apes communicate with each other—they even communicate with humans using American Sign Language. He's also attracted to Isabel Duncan, the scientist who works most closely with the apes, although he has a wife back home. When the laboratory is bombed by protestors who are convinced the apes are being tortured, Isabel is severely injured. The apes are then purchased by a company run by a pornographic movie producer, and they are broadcast on a 24/7 reality TV show! The premise is hard to believe, the side stories among the human characters aren’t entirely plausible either. Ape House is not the spectacular read that Water for Elephants is. However, Gruen’s respect and love for apes (she has worked with an ape communication center) is obvious, and her message about the intelligence of apes is clear. Despite the silliness, I eagerly turned pages to find out what would happen. I recommend this book, especially to animal lovers.
Recommended January 2011

Book Cover for Pink Slip Ciresi, Rita
Pink Slip

A romantic comedy, with smart prose adding to a delightful plot. Lisa decides to leave her rat-infested apartment in New York City for a new job upstate. She is attracted to her supervisor, Eben Strauss, a corporate vice president and a quiet man with good manners who is a decade older. Two people could not be more different. They begin to see each other, but agree to tell no one at work since it could compromise both their careers. When their relationship starts to become serious, Lisa struggles to keep her history hidden, including drugs, more men than she can list on a single sheet of paper (including a married man), and other risky behavior. Eventually she must tell Eben of her checkered past in order to protect him, though she fears it will destroy their relationship. Pink Slip is strongly recommended to more than just romance fans.
Recommended July 2010

Book Cover for The World of Normal Boys Soehnlein, K.M.
The World of Normal Boys

This is a coming of age story about a New Jersey boy named Robin, whose family becomes dysfunctional after a tragic accident. From the start, Robin doesn’t quite fit in at high school. He is not interested in sports or gym class, and is not the son to his father that his brother Jackson, the jock, is. He prefers trips to New York with his mother where he tours museums, and he's more introspective than most boys his age. Robin's first sexual encounters are homosexual. He finds nothing in common with anyone until he meets Scott, and everything just clicks. When Scott moves away, Robin rides his bike to a new town to find him. I really enjoyed this book, as much for the 1970s setting as for the cast of colorful characters and the close inspection of one family’s dynamics before and after a tragedy.
May 2010

Book Cover for Fatally Flaky Davidson, Diane Mott
Fatally Flaky

Goldy Schulz is back with another tantalizing mystery, including tantalizing recipes, in Davidson’s newest series installment. This time, caterer extraordinaire Goldy is preparing for the wedding of Bridezilla Billie Attenborough. Billie's changed plans again—at the last minute adding 50 more guests and changing the venue to a spa. Goldy has it covered. But the day before the big wedding, Doc Finn, a beloved, retired family doctor, is found dead at the bottom of a ravine. Was it a car accident or was it murder? Goldy puts on her best face and goes forward with the wedding despite the tragedy, but disaster can’t begin to describe what happens next! This book will make you laugh out loud as well as keep you guessing, and you'll crave a quadruple espresso and cream (or at least a full-fat smoothie).
Recommended December 2009

Book Cover for The Daily Coyote Stockton, Shreve
The Daily Coyote

Shreve Stockton drove through Wyoming on her Vespa as she traveled cross-country, and loved it so much she moved there. Before long she became friends with a cowboy who worked protecting farmers’ livestock by shooting coyotes. But something came over him one day and he scooped up a newly orphaned coyote pup and took it to Shreve. Thus began the tale of how Shreve nursed a newborn in the seclusion of her cabin. Soon the pup called Charlie, though too young to survive on his own in the wild, was old enough to go outside, hidden in the confines of Shreve's yard so that no one would shoot him. Shreve, a photographer by trade, began to email daily photos of Charlie to friends and family. This turned into a blog, which became her source of revenue. In the blog, which she is still publishing at, Shreve’s photographs can be savored. The book itself is moving—Shreve is an animal lover, living alone with Charlie and her cat Eli (who, not surprisingly, refused to come home for several days upon Charlie’s arrival). At first, she doesn’t fret much that her boyfriend continues to shoot coyotes every day while she raises one. She seems at home in a farming and hunting community, at peace with man’s domination over animals. What is emotional about the story is Shreve’s love and loyalty for this coyote, and her fear of how her relationship with him may change as he grows older. She acknowledges that keeping a coyote is of questionable judgment. She knows Charlie has wild genes. Because she doesn’t want to confine him, she gives him as much freedom as she can, taking him on long walks through the isolated land her boyfriend owns. Charlie begins to snap at her, and Shreve starts to doubt whether the two of them have a future. With beautiful images of Wyoming landscape, this tale of love and sacrifice will hold your interest until the very end.
Recommended August 2009

Book Cover for Very Valentine Trigiani, Adriana
Very Valentine

Another Italian delight from Trigiani. Valentine goes on a quest to save her family’s Greenwich Village shoemaking business from disappearing among better known names like Prada. Along the way, she falls in love with Roman Falconi. But Valentine and Roman are so caught up in their respective businesses (he owns an Italian restaurant), that she starts to question their relationship. Throw in a month-long trip to Italy to buy fine leathers and fabrics for shoemaking, and a new possible love interest born on Italian soil, and you have all the necessary requirements for a compelling read. Trigiani describes things so successfully, from the embellishments on a fancy shoe to the gardens of the Italian landscape, that I didn’t want to put this one down.
Recommended May 2009

Book Cover for The Marriage of True Minds Evans, Stephen
The Marriage of True Minds

Lena and Nick were once married and ran a law firm together in Minneapolis. When Nick asked for a dog, Lena got him a puppet dog named Sancho instead. From then on it became apparent that something was wrong with Nick—he thinks Sancho is real. While still having feelings for Nick, Lena divorces him and takes over the business. After all, how could she stay married to someone living in an altered reality? Despite the divorce, she somehow always finds herself responsible for supervising him; one outrageous stunt after another finds him now on the wrong side of the law. Lena questions her decision to leave him, as she remembers how much fun they had. In addition to Lena and Nick, we meet Oscar, Nick’s attendant at the psychiatric ward who works kids parties blowing up balloons on the side, and Ralph and Alice, the couple who run the animal shelter where Nick is sentenced to community service. This story is both comedic and tender, and all of Nick’s companions learn that maybe his insanity is not an illness, but a unique way of looking at life.
Recommended April 2009

Book Cover for Bob Schieffer's America Schieffer, Bob
Bob Schieffer's America

Over the course of forty years Schieffer has hosted the weekly CBS television program Face the Nation, occasionally closing with short commentary. This collection contains 171 of these essays. They are divided into chapters on such subjects as campaign spending, journalism's role in politics, and who we really are as Americans. He shares his political opinions with a bit of humor that we can all relate to, whether we agree with him or not. His overall view is nonpartisan, as he is not afraid to side with either Democrats or Republicans, and actually declares himself to be Independent. In addition, he certainly has a lot to say about each of the seven presidents who have been in office during his career. Schieffer's special insights into all aspects of journalism, politics, and even war are informative and entertaining, and if you have even a small interest in current events, you won't want to put this one down.
Recommended by Terry, December 2008

Jones, Lloyd
Mister Pip

Matilda is 13 and lives on a tropical island in the 1990s. War has broken out. School is cancelled because of the fighting, and the natives are living with minimal resources. Mr. Watts, the last white man on the island, decides to teach the children. They go to the school building each day and learn about Mr. Watts’ favorite book, Dickens’ Great Expectations. Through listening to part of the story each day, the children are transported to another world where there is no fighting. They live the life of Pip and travel where he travels, learning words for things they've never seen, like “frost”. But eventually, their imagination puts Mr. Watts and themselves in trouble with the invading army. Even so, Jones’ tale shows that the power of imagination can help humans thrive in unbearable conditions.
Recommended October 2008

Book Cover for Sister Mine O’Dell, Tawni
Sister Mine

Western Pennsylvania author O’Dell weaves a haunting and original tale of a woman, her sister, and the coal mining life, set in the region she calls home. Shae-Lynn lives in Jolly Mount, PA, home of five miners who nearly lost their lives when trapped underground for several days. Her sister, thought to have died, returns to town, nine months pregnant and using a fake name. Several people follow her to Jolly Mount as her past begins to catch up with her. Shae-Lynn’s own past is looming as well, as the father her son doesn’t know decides to reveal his identity. Will she lose her son, the only part of her life that has remained constant? In addition to the main storylines, several secondary threads run through the novel. Glimpses of Shae-Lynn’s coal mining relatives and neighbors include the details and dangers of their jobs, the emotional and financial struggles they face, and the affects of the mining culture on everyone in the town. O’Dell’s characters are colorful and amazingly realistic. The novel is suspenseful with plenty of drama, as well as O’Dell’s own brand of black humor.
Recommended September 2008

Book Cover for My Father's Secret War Franks, Lucinda
My Father's Secret War

FFrom a small child who felt safe and important in Daddy’s arms, to the adolescent and young adult of the 1960s who protested his conservative ways, Lucinda Franks always had strong emotions regarding her father, Tom Franks. As a middle-aged woman and parent, Cindy becomes a caregiver for Tom—something she tries to avoid for a period. When sorting through her father's belongings, she learns that not only was he overseas during the war, he was a secret agent sent to spy on the Nazis—something he never talked about and continued to deny after being confronted. In learning about some of his activities during the war, including a visit to a newly discovered concentration camp, she realizes why her father grew apart from her mother during the first years of their marriage, and why he held certain beliefs. She gathers information from research, as her father does not freely give up the details of his service. Caring for him in his final years as his mind begins to fail, she finds the love she felt for him as a child. This poignant memoir is written straight from the heart. The author was also the first female recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.
Recommended by Terry, August 2008

Book Cover for The Senator’s Wife Miller, Sue
The Senator’s Wife

Newlyweds Meri and Nathan buy the house on the other side of the wall from Delia Naughton, wife of the former senator, Tom Naughton. They soon learn that Tom doesn’t actually live there, but he visits from time to time, sometimes spending the night. Delia, on the other hand, goes to Paris alone for part of the year. Intrigued by this seemingly odd marriage arrangement, Meri finds herself searching through Delia’s personal items, including letters from Tom, while she housesits for her. She feels a longing to know who Delia really is inside, as she offers very little of the details of her life to her new neighbors. What Meri learns about Tom and Delia’s marriage from those letters shocks her. How could a woman keep forgiving a man like Tom? During Delia’s next trip to Paris, Tom has a stroke, and Delia agrees to come home and take care of him despite the protests of their formidable daughter. Delia is happy now at finally having Tom as she always wanted him--hers and hers alone--despite his compromised state. But can this new arrangement really be what Delia wants?
Recommended by Terry, May 2008

Book Cover for Fruit of the Lemon Levy, Andrea
Fruit of the Lemon

A young woman of Jamaican descent, Faith Jackson, grows up in England. She has spent her entire life around white people, even living with white friends, and never learned anything about her heritage. Faith starts to become depressed about the racism she begins to realize is all around her, although she never seemed to notice it before. Hoping to bring her out of her depression by illuminating the family’s past, her Jamaican-born parents send her to their homeland to visit. Levy’s story about Faith and her family is heartfelt and warm and she paints each character colorfully and lovingly. As Faith learns to fit together the branches of her family tree, she sees how rich her heritage is with ancestors from all over the globe and realizes their hopes and desires are universal to all, regardless of ethnicity. The storytelling is generous and detailed. I couldn’t wait for each new character to be introduced.
Recommended March 2008

Book Cover for All He Ever Wanted Shreve, Anita
All He Ever Wanted

Nicholas Van Tassel sees Etna Bliss for the first time by chance. At that moment he decides he wants to marry her. But does she feel the same? This book is about a fateful meeting and how it changes the course of two lives. The story is written from the point of view of Nicholas, 15 years after they met, while riding on a train to Florida. It is about love and obsession and secrets and desires. I became so enamored with these two characters, their interactions, and their private wants and needs, I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. This story begins innocently, but many surprises are in store.
Recommended by Terry, November 2007

Book Cover for Trouble Kellerman, Jesse

Jonah is just a medical student trying to get home in New York, when he hears a woman scream. In an attempt to save the woman from the man attacking her, Jonah inadvertently kills him. This is only the start of Jonah's problems in this thriller involving murder, sex, and deception. He ends up having a sexual affair with Eve, the woman he saved, but she’s not the woman she appears to be. Complicating matters further, Jonah also feels obligated to help take care of his former girlfriend who is now mentally ill. From vivid descriptions of operating room endeavors to the dark accounts of Eve’s sadistic desires, this chilling novel of suspense is sure to make Jesse Kellerman a novelist to watch-- a writer with his own bold, contemporary style.
Recommended by Terry, September 2007

Book Cover for The Good Husband of Zebra Drive McCall Smith, Alexander
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive

This is the latest installment in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. Precious finds herself investigating the mystery of three suspicious deaths, her assistant resigns, and her husband decides to do some investigating of his own. In addition, Charlie, the garage assistant, embarks on his own taxi business. Finally, Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni begins to wonder if he is exciting enough for his wife. For those looking for the brand of humor and warmth in his characters only McCall Smith can dream up, this addition to the series does not disappoint.
Recommended by Terry, June 2007

Book Cover for The Pale Blue Eye Bayard, Louis
The Pale Blue Eye

Set at West Point in 1830, this unique mystery features as one of its main characters, none other than Edgar Allan Poe. When a murder and mutilation of a young cadet occurs, a retired police officer, Gus Landor, is summoned from his cottage to do the detective work. He drafts the young Poe, who is also a cadet, as his assistant, and together they try to solve not one murder, but eventually two. And who is stealing hearts from the bodies? Landor and Poe form a bond of friendship because of their mutual intellect (and their love of alcohol) but soon questions arise between them and distrust threatens to destroy their alliance. Poe is a wonderful character and the best part of this book, although the mystery itself is inventive and will keep you guessing. But Poe's personality is just as you would imagine a dark poet's to be. He continually mourns for his mother who died when he was just a young child, and he falls in love with the sister of a fellow cadet (this cadet, by the way, seems to be the prime suspect in the case), lamenting that he'd rather die than live without her. Bayard's beautiful language only adds to the Gothic quality of the work.
Recommended by Terry, April 2007

Book Cover for Next Crichton, Michael

This was a frightening book. Imagine a world where a university can own your cells, and, therefore, those of your offspring. Also, ocean creatures are genetically engineered to have corporate logos on them. There are transgenic creatures such as humanzees that think and talk like humans, but are aggressive like chimpanzees. Parrots can carry on a conversation and do math, and wild orangutans can curse at observers in Dutch. Through several story-lines, Crichton presents these and other possibilities, and the ethical questions that surround them. He has done lots of research in the field of genetic engineering, so his stories are not creepy because they are only science fiction, but because they are real extrapolations of science today. Anyone who reads this book will realize that we are just a stone's throw away from such frightening realities, and that we must address such topics now, before we really do find ourselves in such a world.
Recommended by Terry, March 2007

Book Cover Nevada Barr
Track of the Cat

Anna Pigeon, a Law Enforcement Ranger in national lands near El Paso, stumbles upon the body of another ranger in a remote area of the park. Evidence at the scene makes it appear the ranger was killed by a mountain lion. After other "accidents" occur in the park Anna realizes that not all the evidence in the death of the ranger fits a cat attack. Anna begins to piece clues together and, because of her investigation, soon finds that her world of peaceful tranquility in the wilderness has become more violent than the old life she left behind.
Recommended by Terry, February 2006

Book Cover Koontz, Dean

Bartender Billy Wiles leads a fairly reclusive life, spending spare time only by himself and with his fiance who lies in a nursing home in a coma. That is, until he finds a note on his windshield: If you don't take this note to the police and get them involved, I will kill a lovely blond schoolteacher somewhere in Napa County. If you do take this note to the police, I will instead kill an elderly woman active in charity work. You have six hours to decide. The choice is yours. While not sure whether or not it is a joke, he does confide in a friend. But the next day a schoolteacher is found murdered. Then his friend is murdered. When Billy receives a second note, he realizes he cannot go to the police because evidence of the murders has been planted in his house. For the next few days, Billy finds himself doing things he never imagined doing-- breaking into houses, hiding corpses, destroying evidence, and stalking a killer that keeps souveneirs of his murders in formaldehyde in glass jars. But can he find the killer before the killer murders his fiance, the only person that makes him want to be alive? Velocity is a fast-paced thriller that keeps the reader guessing until the end.
Recommended by Terry, November 2005

Book Cover Schlosser, Eric
Fast Food Nation

If the low wages of restaurant workers, anti-Union practices of fast food corporations, dangerous slaughterhouse conditions, and government lobbies for big business don't make you want to stop eating fast food, certainly the descriptions of how dirty our meat supply is will. Although the book begins with a brief history of the fast food industry and a description of how it became such an integral part of American culture, it then points out "the dark side of the all-American meal". After reading this you will never look at McDonald's the same way again, and you will understand the true "price" of a fast food hamburger.

Recommended by Terry, July 2005

Book Cover Evanovich, Janet
Metro Girl

Alexandra Barnaby's life is hum-drum until her brother calls her long-distance and a woman screams in the background. Then he disappears and Alex's (Barney's) life becomes anything but ordinary. She travels to the Florida Keys to find him and finds herself caught up in a mystery of international intrigue. With Hooker, aka Nascar guy, Barney sets offshore into Cuban territory to save her brother's life, dodging angry Cuban gold seekers and cops along the way. The novel is classic Evanovich with loads of mystery, laughs in the style of sexual innuendo, and a bit of romance. I thoroughly enjoyed this new set of characters even though I'm already addicted to the Stephanie Plum crew of Evanovich's most popular previous books.
Recommended by Terry, January 2005