April 30, 2017

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue is a masterfully written mystery of a young English nurse, Lib, hired as an outside observer to determine the validity of the claim that an eleven-year-old girl, Anna, has not eaten for months, yet miraculously thrives. The priest, doctor, innkeeper, and the parents all want the phenomena to be found real, but Lib is skeptical. When Anna’s simple purity of heart wins her over, the challenge becomes how to keep this child alive.

Little Deaths by Emma Flint takes place in a tight-knit working-class neighborhood in Queen, NY, as Ruth Malone, a single mother who works long hours as a cocktail waitress wakes to discover her two small children have gone missing. When their bodies are later found, all fingers point to Ruth, and the detritus of her life is exposed. But did Ruth violently kill her own children, is she a victim of circumstance–or is there something more sinister at play?

The Guests on South Battery by Karen White invites you to explore the brick-walked streets of Charleston, where historic mansions house the memories of years gone by and restless spirits refuse to fade away. Melanie Trenholm is reluctant to return to work, especially when she has the uneasy feeling that the ghostly apparitions, both malevolent and benign, and silent for more than a year, are about to invade her life once more.

Sunshine and Shadows in New Mexico’s Past by Richard Melzer presents two volumes, one covering 1912 – present, the other 1848 – 1912, with one main goal: to reveal the sharp contrasts in New Mexico history. In its admirable as well as deplorable moments, neither of which should be ignored or exaggerated at the other’s expense, New Mexico’s true character can only be understood and appreciated by acknowledging its varied history, blemishes and all.

The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis blends two biographies, an intellectual collaboration of two Israeli psychologists whose work in the field of Behavioral Economics, a kind of wild west of the sciences filled with speculation, outlaws, and shenanigans, examined the workings of the human mind and reason, radically changing mankind’s perception of reality.

Planting Design for Dry Gardens by Olivier Filippi acknowledges that green lawns are restful to the eye, provide an excellent backdrop to plants and trees and keep the weeds down, but in low-rainfall regions often end up looking scrappy and brown. Filippi offers low-level planting designs that are eco-friendly and beautiful, teaching how to build and maintain lawns that feature plants suitable for growing in dry climates, offering for each plant information about its origin, height and spread, hardiness, and propagation techniques.

Lessons From the Pack by Cesar Millan looks at the positive effects that having and training dogs have on their owners, and shares personal stories of how the dogs in his life have given him important lessons in respect, confidence, resilience, and authenticity.