A shy young man flies across the Atlantic, becomes a hero and develops a dangerous interest in eugenics and Nazi Germany. Babe Ruth, an extraordinary athlete, makes major league baseball respectable. Horrible floods in the Midwest and the South bring Herbert Hoover into national prominence and create the need for government assistance. A domestic murder creates tabloid frenzy. Four powerful world bankers meet in secret on Long Island and set the stage for the Great Depression. Bill Bryson brings these and other events into focus in this very readable history.
An engaging mystery/thriller set in Michigan as Hamilton's books usually are. It's part of the Alex McKnight series, but it seems to me it can stand on its own. Alex is a wounded former Detroit cop who lives in the Upper Peninsula, and, the story aside, it's fun reading about Michigan's nooks and crannies. When a plane lands at a remote airport (Newberry, MI) and botched drug deals go down, five bodies are left behind. At the same time, Alex's good friend Vinnie, an Ojibway Indian, goes missing. As usual, Alex bends the rules trying to find out what happened to his friend hoping it is not related to the dead bodies.
This biography of the American novelist, travel writer, and journalist is not a quick read, but it is certainly fascinating. As someone who recognizes the people, places, and events Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998) lived, I enjoyed learning more about them and her attitude towards these people, places, and events. Martha Gellhorn was a woman before her time, a supporter of independence for herself and other women as well as a lover of men, both literally and emotionally.
First of a wonderful series about Flavia De Luce, accomplished chemist, amateur detective, and extremely intelligent 11 year old girl, one of three accomplished daughters being raised by English widower in 1950. The estate is in serious financial trouble because Flavia's mother Harriet disappeared while rock climbing 10 years before without a will, and her father, once a prisoner of war, immerses himself in stamps rather than finances. In each novel, Flavia tells the story and helps solve murders while trying to figure out why her older sisters, all busy upholding the standards of British society, dislike her so much. Think Edith Crawley (Downton Abbey) if she were a young girl and very interested in poisons.
An incredibly lyrical, beautifully written novel about people in a small town in Haiti and how their lives intertwine. When Claire goes missing on her 7th birthday, all those who know her and look for her reveal their own stories, sad and hopeful. As each story is told, we understand more about each person and how they are part of the community.
This book is a collection of very different short-stories with quirky main characters and sometimes dystopic themes. The author really lets you inside of the character's minds, which is what I enjoyed the most. Easy reading since it is chopped into small sections, but some of the stories were so interesting that I wish they were made into full novels.
The book's narrator is a young law professor who meets a mysterious older man who was an airborne cocaine mule for Pablo Escobar's drug smuggling operation in Colombia. We learn progressively more about the drug smuggler, as the attorney and the former drug smuggler's daughter exchange information about the smuggler after his assassination. The attorney finds himself torn between his love for his beautiful wife, and the daughter of the mysterious stranger.
A fun, dark yet thought-provoking tale of a group of art-loving American tourists who head for China and Burma and the trouble they find themselves when forced out of their comfort zone and preconceived assumptions about how the world operates. I was hooked from the beginning with this gem of a novel with its skillfully twisted, original plot of the tourists’ nightmarish misadventures, touch of the surreal, lush descriptions of the countryside to learning about the cultural and oppressive military regime of present-day Burma. For loyal readers of Amy Tan, be warned that this in not her typical novel of mother-daughter relationships!