Symphony of Secrets

With his background as a music educator and performer, Brendan Slocumb brings a unique authenticity to his storytelling that shines through in this novel. Bern Hendricks, a musicology professor, is asked to authenticate a newly discovered piece by Frederick Delaney, a renowned 20th-century composer. Little does he know; this assignment will lead him down a rabbit hole of secrets and lies. With the help of a computer whiz, he uncovers evidence suggesting Delaney may have stolen his most famous work from a young Black composer named Josephine Reed. Determined to right this wrong, Bern finds himself in the crosshairs of a powerful organization that will stop at nothing to protect […]

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Remarkably Bright Creatures

“Humans. For the most part, you are dull and blundering. But occasionally, you can be remarkably bright creatures.”― Shelby Van Pelt, Remarkably Bright Creatures. So, picture this: a novel about a talking octopus who’s also an escape artist. Sounds pretty out there, right? Well, that’s what I thought too until I read Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt. This book has been making waves (pun intended) as a 2022 Goodreads Choice Award nominee for Best Fiction and Best Debut Novel, and let me tell you, it’s now firmly planted among my all-time favorites. Here’s why: The story follows Tova Sullivan, who’s been working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium […]

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A History of Burning

The story begins at the turn of the twentieth century, when 13-year-old Pirbhai, the eldest son of a poor family, is conscripted British to work on the East African Railway in Kenya. The hardship the workers experienced was unimaginable. Then one day, Pirbhai commits an act so heinous it will haunt him forever and reverberate across his family’s future for generations to come. Pirbhai’s children are born and raised under the searing sun of Kampala during the waning days of British colonial rule. As Uganda moves towards independence and military dictatorship, Pirbhai’s granddaughters, Latika, Mayuri, and Kiya, are coming of age in a divided nation. Then, in 1972, under Idi […]

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We Hope for Better Things

“How do you put into words the feeling that you’re an adult and yet you are utterly lost and confused? How do you say that you don’t know what to do with your life? That it feels like everything you’ve worked for is worthless and yet you don’t know what else to do but more of the same? How do you explain the feeling that your life is over when there’s nothing wrong beyond the fact that you lost a job? How do you say that out loud when innocent people are shot and killers go free and it feels like the very fabric of society is unraveling?” — Erin […]

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The Reading List

“It was strange, the idea that this book wasn’t just for him, it was for everyone. All these people who had taken it out before him, people who would take it out after him. They might have read it on a beach, on the train, on the bus, in the park, in their living room. On the toilet? He hoped not! Every reader, unknowingly connected in some small way. He was about to be a part of this too.”—Sara Nisha Adams, The Reading List.   Aleisha, a teenager working as a library clerk in Wembley, North London, stumbles upon a life-changing discovery—a list of eight classic novels titled “Just in […]

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The River We Remember

“Our lives and the lives of those we love merge to create a river whose current carries us forward from our beginning to our end. Because we are only one part of the whole, the river each of us remembers is different, and there are many versions of the stories we tell about our past.”–William Kent Krueger, The River We Remember. William Kent Krueger has done it again with The River We Remember, a captivating mystery set in the heart of small-town Minnesota. Set on Memorial Day 1958, the story opens with the discovery of the half-clothed body of wealthy landowner Jimmy Quinn in the Alabaster River, dead from a […]

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The Echo of Old Books

Bookbinder and rare-book dealer Ashlyn Greer’s affinity for books extends beyond the intoxicating scent of old paper, ink, and leather. She has a unique gift for sensing the emotions of a book’s previous owners. She is intrigued when a man named Ethan Hillard donates a pair of books to the store. Both are bound in a similar fashion, but there is no author information or publisher data. Her gift becomes an obsession. As Ashlyn researches the mystery of these books, she uncovers a decades-old romance between two authors. Hemi and Belle’s conflicting accounts reveal a tragic love story shaped by political agendas and social dynamics. (I couldn’t help thinking how […]

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The Golden Doves

American Josie Anderson and Parisian Arlette LaRue join forces in the French Resistance during World War II, earning the moniker the Golden Doves for their daring espionage. However, their bravery comes at a heavy price as they are captured and sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, where they endure unimaginable horrors. The narrative unfolds into a post-war era, with Josie working for U.S. Army intelligence in Fort Bliss, Texas, as part of Operation Paperclip, while Arlette searches for her missing son and tries to rebuild her life in Paris. Their paths converge once more when they embark on a perilous mission to hunt down a notorious Nazi doctor in French […]

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Sold on a Monday

Sold on a Monday takes readers on a poignant journey back to 1931 Philadelphia, a time marked by widespread unemployment, bank runs, hunger, and despair. During this hardship, struggling reporter Ellis Reed stumbles upon a heart-wrenching scene—two young siblings on a farmhouse porch next to a sign that reads: 2 CHILDREN FOR SALE. Ellis captures a photo, meant for his eyes only, but his editor unexpectedly publishes it. The repercussions are devastating, pulling in the editor’s secretary, Lillian Palmer, who sees more than just a story in the image. As Ellis and Lillian become romantically involved, they embark on a journey to right the wrongs caused by the photo and […]

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State of the Union

State of the Union kicks off with a ticking time bomb situation. Picture this: Russian agents playing hide-and-seek with 19 suitcase nukes across the United States. Fast forward twenty years to President Jack Rutledge being handed an ultimatum: inform the American people that the U.S. will withdraw from world affairs, remove its troops from all foreign countries, and surrender its seat in the United Nations (among other organizations). If he does not do as he is commanded, sleeper agents will set off the hidden nuclear weapons. The president calls upon Navy SEAL turned Secret Service agent Scot Harvath who’s got just seven days to save the day. Harvath teams up […]

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