March 2022 Book Marks
Sometimes I have so much to say. Other times, like now, watching the images of war and strife on the news after the pandemic rollercoaster we’ve been on, I feel mute. We all just need to be kinder, more tolerant, move giving. But you know that.
And yes, I know, you’re thinking that I need to watch less news and read more books. So that’s why I’ve thrown together a bigger list than usual. When the going gets tough…. Get reading.
Photographers and journalists risk their lives to bring us the stories and images of war and conflict. Photographer Mark Neville has been covering Ukraine for years and created Stop Tanks With Books as an urgent photographic call to support the Ukrainian people. He is sending complimentary copies of his book to a targeted audience of politicians, ambassadors, negotiators and media.
You can order your own copy of Stop Tanks With Books from Nazraeli Press to support this movement:
Sisters of Night and Fog by Erika Robuck
Robuck has an eye for finding unheralded historical heroines and this real-life story of an American socialite and a British secret agent doesn’t disappoint. It’s 1940 and American Virginia d’Albert-Lake is choosing to stay in occupied France with her French husband. Violet Bushell, just 19 years old, is determined to enter the Special Operations branch in England to fight the Nazis. The meeting of these two women, at a concentration camp, forges a pivotal moment in the war where their individual acts of courage collide to change the course of their lives, but more importantly, that of world history.
The Match by Harlan Coben
After rejecting the comforts of home, Wile returns to the freedom of the mountains, untethered from the constraints of the modern world. When a DNA match allows him to meet his father, serious questions arise about his past and who he is. When his second cousin disappears, the event calls into question everything he thinks he knows is true. Looming in the background of the story and Wile’s consciousness is the possible connection to The Stranger, a dangerous fugitive who is becoming more lethal with the passage of time? The dude can’t miss — Coben once again serves up a gripping tale that erases time and sucks you in. You’ll gobble it up.
To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara
At more than 700 pages, with a span of 200 years, “To Paradise” begins in New York in 1893 with every elements of an epic tale, from a wealthy family, children, arranged marriages, true love, class divides and more than a few significant twists. The novel takes a clever turn by re-imagining a sub-divided America in the wake of the the Civil War. Rather than one nation, the country is a patchwork quilt of territories, including “the Free States” where gay marriage is legal and common. Moving forward in history from New York to Hawaii and back again, the characters reappear in other eras with different personas, races and reincarnations. This sweeping tale takes the reader from landmark mansions to futuristic pandemics and so much more.
The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd
If you love maps and mysteries, this is your next book. After her father’s unexpected death, Nell Young discovers an old, cheap, gas station map in her father’s office at the New York Public Library’s map division. Father and daughter, both cartographers, haven’t spoken in years, since he fired her and destroyed her reputation over a map. But now Nell appears to hold a secret that people are willing to kill for. This story mixes the ancient craft of map-making with a little bit of magic, as Nell embarks on an extraordinary and sometimes dark adventure to get to the bottom of the mystery and her family’s history.
The Club: Everyone is Dying to Join by Ellery Lloyd
The rich and famous are flocking to the Home Group, a global collection of member-only clubs where the partying is private and the five-star accommodations are built to relax and indulge. Just off the English coast, Island Home is the most spectacular and exclusive of them all, and the three-day launch party is the most coveted invite of the year from CEO Ned Groom. But behind the scenes, tensions are at a breaking point, everyone is exhausted, the project is over budget and short cuts (including moral ones) are being made. Everyone has something to hide and when the beautiful people arrive and the body count begins to pile up, the Island Home members will wish they had never arrived.
The Perfect Other by Kyleigh Leddy
The ability to effectively treat and destigmatize mental illness will hopefully be one of the defining advances of our present age. And nothing brings the cruelty and reality of this disease home like a personal story. As a student at Boston College, Leddy wrote a New York Times “Modern Love” essay called “Years Ago, My sister Vanished. I See Her Whenever I Want,” that struck a nerve with so many. It was a deeply personal and perceptive piece about her sister Kait, who disappeared off the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in a red North Face jacket. Drawn from the incredible response of that piece, this book is a deeper dive into her sister’s battle with schizophrenia, an insight into the enduring love of sisters and the ripple effect mental illness has on all who love the people it effects.
*These are books I genuinely love and am thrilled to recommend to my friends. These are Bookshop.org affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Alternately, if you prefer to rent books at your local library or buy from your local bookstore, I very much support that!