July 2018 Book List

book-club-recomendations

July 2018 Book List

Every month new books arrive in our lives and in our bookstores and libraries and so it is difficult to keep up with what is out there. I made these book lists for myself but then I decided to share them. All of this information is available elsewhere online, but not in one place. I added a * symbol next to books that piqued my interest the most. Happy reading!

Amazon

Literature and Fiction

What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan

Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams

Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce *

A Terrible Country: A Novel by Keith Gessen

The Mere Wife: A Novel by Maria Dahvana Headley

Clock Dance: A Novel by Anne Tyler *

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottesa Moshfegh *

America for Beginners by Leah Franqui

All We Ever Wanted: A Novel by Jordy Rosenberg

Mysteries and Thrillers

Baby’s  First Felony by John Straley

Safe Houses: A Novel by Dan Fesperman

The Ruin: A Novel by Dervla McTiernan

Hangman: A Novel by Daniel Cole

Baby Teeth: A Novel by Zoje Stage

Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott

The Other Woman by Daniel Silva

Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery  by Andrew Shaffer

The Last Time I Lied: A Novel by Riley Sager

Watch the Girls by Jennifer Wolfe

Believe Me: A Novel by J P Delaney

Biographies and Memoirs

A Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety by Donald Hall

Northland: A 4,000-Mile Journey Along America’s Forgotten Border by Porter Fox

Rad Girls Can: Stories of Bold, Brave, and Brilliant Young Women (Rad Women) by Kate Schatz, Miriam Klein Stahl

Risk: True Stories People Never Thought They’d Dare to Share by Kevin Allison

My Twenty-Five Years in Provence: Reflections on Then and Now by Peter Mayle *

Cancerland: A Medical Memoir by David Scadden, Michael D’Antonio

Happily Ever Esther: Two Men, A Wonder Pig, and Their Life-changing Mission to Give Animals a Home by Steve Jenkins

You’re On An Airplane: A Self Mythologizing Memoir by Parker Posey

City of Devils: The Two Men Who Ruled the Underworld of Old Shanghai by Paul French *

From the Corner of the Oval: A Memoir by Becky Dorey-Stein

Nonfiction

Don’t Make Me Pull Over: An Informal History of the Family Road Trip by Richard Ratay

Tropic of Football: The Long and Perilous Journey of Samoans to the NFL by Rob Reich

Spying on Whales: The Past, Present, and Future of Earth’s Most Awesome Creatures by Nick Pyenson

Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, The Quest for Justice, and The World’s Most Famous Detective Writer by Margalit Fox

Northland: A 4,000-Mile Journey Along America’s Forgotten Border by Porter Fox *

The Promise of the Grand Canyon: John Wesley Powell’s Perilous Journey and His Vision for the American West by John F. Ross

The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy by Anna Clark *

Risk: True Stories People Never Thought They’d Dare to Share by Kevin Allison (Ed.)

The Billionaire Raj: A Journey through India’s New Gilded Age by James Crabtree *

Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U S Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man by Lynn Vincent

Just a Shot Away: Peace, Love, and Tragedy with the Rolling Stones at Altamont by Saul Austerlitz

New York Times Book Review

June 3rd

Fiction

The Outsider by Stephen King

First Person by Richard Flanagan

The Judge Hunter by Christopher Buckley

A Place for Us by Fatima Mirza

Do This For Me by Raney Moore

The Dead House by Billy O’Callaghan

The Glitch by Elisabeth Cohen

Sophia of Silicon Valley by Anna Yen

Circe by Madeline Miller

Love and Ruin by Paula McLain *

How Hard Can It Be by Allison Pearson

What You Don’t Know About Charlie Outlaw by Leah Stewart

He by John Connolly

Madness is Better Than Defeat by Ned Beauman

The Life List of Adrian Mandrich by Chris White

Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison

Nonfiction

Pops by Michael Chabon (essays) *

Inseparable by Yunte Huang

Robin by Dave Itzkoff

Asking for a Friend: Three Centuries of Advice on Life, Love, Money and Other Burning Questions From a Nation Obsessed by Jessica Weisberg *

Sabrina by Nick Drnaso

All the Answers by Michael Kupperman

Flash by Christopher Bonanos

To Throw Away Unopened by Viv Albertine

Chefs, Drugs and Rock and Roll by Andrew Friedman

Renaissance Woman by Ramie Targoff

Daughters of the Winter Queen by Nancy Goldstone

Patriot Number One by Lauren Hilgers

Sex Money Murder: A Story of Crack, Blood, and Betrayal by Jonathan Green

Adventures of a Young Naturalist by David Allen Attenborough

Bernice Abbott: A Life in Photography by Julia Van Haaften

The Wondrous Life of the Library by Stuart Kells

The Rise and Fall of the Dinaosaurs by Steve Brusatte

The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson

The Mirage Factory by Gary Krist

A Short History of Drunkenness by Mark Forsyth

June 10th

Crime Fiction

The Woman in the Woods by John Connolly

Exit Strategy by Charlton Pettus

Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea

The Fens (An Abby Endicott Mystery) by Pamela Wechsler

Fiction

Companions by Christina Hesselholdt (Danish)

Woman of the Ashes by Mia Couto (Mozambique)

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje *

Disoriental by Nigar Djavadi (“I’m not an immigrant, I’m an exile.”

Nonfiction

How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan

The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels by John Meacham

The Efficiency Paradox by Edward Tenner

Jimmy Carter: The White House Years by Stuart Eizenstat

Edge of Chaos by Dambisa Moyo

There Are No Grown-Ups by Pamela Druckerman

The Darkening Age by Catherine Nixey

Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Thomas Ramge

The China Mission by Daniel Kurtz-Phelan

Struggles of Motherhood

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

Mother of Invention by Caeli Wolfson Widger

Amateur Hour : Motherhood in Essays and Swear Words by Kimberly Harrington

June 17th

Fiction

The Pisces by Melissa Broder

Kudos by Rachel Cusk

Nonfiction

And Then We Danced by Henry Alford

Celestial Bodies by Laura Jacobs

Frenemies by Ken Auletta

Reporter by Samuel M Hersh

The Girl from Kathmandu by Cam Simpson

Natural Causes by Barbara Ehrenreich

The Prodigal Tongue: The Love Hate by Lynne Murphy

She Has Her Mother’s Laugh by Carl Zimmer

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

Our Towns by James and Deborah Fallows *

The Perfectionists by Simon Winchester

The Death of Democracy by Benjamin Carter Hett

The Great Revolt by Salena Zito and Brad Todd (Allows Trump backers to speak in their own voices)

Brave New Arctic: The Untold Story of the Melting North by Mark C Serreze

To the Edges of the Earth: 1909, the Race for the Three Poles, and the Climax of the Age of Exploration by Edward J Larson

The Ends of the Earth: The Truth Behind the Glory of Polar Exploration by John V H Dippel

June 24th

Fiction

Crime

Bearskin by James A McLaughlin

The Dante Chamber by Matthew Pearl

A Taste for Vengeance by Martin Walker

There There by Tommy Orange

84K by Claire North (Sci Fi)

So Lucky by Nicola Griffith

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Bandwidth by Eliot Peper

The Comedown by Rebekah Frumkin

The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

A View of the Empire at Sunset by Caryl Phillips

Nonfiction

Why “To Kill a Mockingbird” Matters by Tom Santopietro

Energy: A Human History by Richard Rhodes

The Moralist by Patricia O’Toole

Atticus Finch: The Biography by Joseph Crespino

Asperger’s Children by Edith Sheffer

Queer City by Peter Ackroyd

The Fair Chase by Philip Dray

July 1st

Fiction

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

Slave Old Man by Patrick Chamoiseau

Upstate by James Wood

The Honey Farm by Harriet Alida Lye

Nonfiction

The Perfect Weapon by David E Sanger

Bull…. Jobs by David Graeber

The League of Kindness by Christie Walson

Damnation Island by Stacy Horn

Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine by Alan Lightman

Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier

This Little Art by Kate Briggs

The Biological Mind: How Brain, Body, and Environment Collaborate to Make Us Who We Are by Alan Jasanoff

Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change by Leonard Mlodinow

Publisher’s Weekly Tip Sheet

June 4th

Lagos Noir by Chris Abani (anthology)

Rough Beauty: Forty Seasons of Mountain by Karen Auvinen (memoir)

Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton (F)

The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson (F)

Of Marriage by Nicole Cooley (anthology)

Kudos by Rachel Cusk (F)

Rough Animals: A Novel by Rae Del Bianco (F)

Reporter: A Memoir by Seymour M Hersh (Memoir)

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz (Memoir)

The Good Son by You-Jeong trans. from the Korean by Chi-Young Kim (F)

There There by Tommy Orange (F)

How Hard Can It Be by Allison Pearson (F)

Bruce Lee: A Life by Matthew Polly (Biography)

Sweet and Low by Nick White (Short Stories)

June 15th

Rendezvous With Oblivion: Essays by Thomas Frank (Reports from a Sinking Society) (NF)*

The Grey Bastards: A Novel by Jonathan French (Fantasy)

Call Me American: A Memoir by Abdi Nor Iftír (Memoir)

A Stitch in Time by Daphne Kalmar (YA)

Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Pi (F)

The Great Believers: A Novel by Rebecca Makkai (F)

The Robots of Gotham by Todd McAulty (F)

Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over by Neil Painter (Memoir)

Confessions of the Fox: A Novel by Jordy Rosenberg (F)

The Anomaly by Michael Rutger (F)

Not the Girls You’re Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi (YA)

Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis (F)

The Shepherd’s Hut: A Novel by Time Winton (F)

June 22nd

For Profit Democracy: Why the Government is Losing the Trust of Rural America by Loka Ashwood (NF)

Old Gods, New Enigmas: Marx’s Lost Theory by Mike Davis (NF-Essays)

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin Diangelo with a Forward by Michael Eric Dyson (NF) *

The Inward Empire: Mapping the Wilds of Mortality and Fatherhood by Christian Donlan (Memoir)

The Darkest Time of Night: A Novel by Jeremy Finley (F)

Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, The Quest for Justice, and the World’s Greatest Writer by Margalit Fox (NF)

All We Ever Wanted: A Novel by Emily Giffen (F)

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand (YA)

Liar, Liar by Lisa Jackson (F)

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse (Fantasy)

The Cabin at the End of the World: A Novel by Paul Tremblay

July 2nd

The Moment Before Drowning by James Brydon (F)

The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness: A Memoir by Graham Caveney (Memoir)

The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age by James Crabtree (NF)

Zen and Gone by Emily France (YA)

City of Devils: The Two Men Who Ruled the Underworld of Old Shanghai by Paul French (NF)

Idiophone: An Essay by Amy Fusselman (Essay)

Retribution by Steffen Jacobsen (Thriller)

Rip the Angels from Heaven by David Krugler (Thriller)

Dear Mrs. Bird by A J Pearce (F)

Queen’s Progress: A Tudor Mystery (A Kit Marlowe Mystery) by M J Trow (F)

 

 

 

 

 

A Death in Vienna by Daniel Silva – Book

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Three of the books I have read in the Gabriel Allon series, Daniel Silva tells us in the end notes of A Death in Vienna, are thematically related. They each are “dealing with the unfinished business of the Holocaust.” In The English AssassinSilva looks at “art looting” and the “collaboration of Swiss banks”. In The Confessorhe looks at the “role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and the silence of Pope Pius XII. In A Death in Viennahe looks into Aktion 1005 which was “the real code name of the Nazi program to conceal and destroy the remains of millions of Jewish dead” and the activities of Bishop Aloïs Hudal “rector of the Pontificio Santa Maria dell’Anima, who helped hundreds of Nazi war criminals flee Europe.” He tells us that the Vatican still maintains the Bishop acted without the knowledge of the pope. It is unusual for a thriller to have an Israeli subtext, and it takes skill on the part of the author to expose real wrongs while his novel still unfolds as an exciting puzzle for a spy, or spy organization, to solve.

This tale begins with a bomb at the Wartime Claims and Inquiry Office. Eli Lavon, who runs this office is critically injured. His employees, Reveka and Sarah are killed. Eli Lavon is an Israeli but he has a closer connection to the Israeli Secret Service known as the Office. In the early 70’s he worked for them and the skills he possesses are legendary. Gabriel, art restorer and Israeli spy, leaves another Bellini in another Venetian Cathedral to find out why the Wartime Claims and Inquiry Office was bombed and why his friend Eli Lavon is lying unconscious in a hospital in Vienna.

Clues lead Allon to a Nazi hiding under a new name in Vienna. At least he seems to be this certain Nazi, but research is necessary to confirm it, even involving travel to South America. This hidden Nazi basically worked for the Germans as an eraser. Mass graves full of dead bodies were beginning to show signs of what had been hidden under too little earth. It was this man’s job to uncover these putrefying mass graves full of Jewish people who had been gassed or executed and to sanitize them by burning the remains and scattering the ashes. Of course this would also erase any evidence of what the German’s had been doing. This particular Nazi had value because he had devised a way to make a fire that was hot enough to do the sad job. He used Jewish prisoners to do the macabre work and the ashes and bones were moved to local rivers and streams. He never got to erase all of the evidence because the German’s ran out of time and lost the war.

This eraser man, like many Nazi’s saw himself as culturally sensitive because he loved great art and music. Since he did not actually get his hands dirty he apparently did not feel that the inhumanity of what he did compromised his elitism. He accompanied Gabriel’s mother on the Death March out of the “camps”. He killed survivors on the way out if they gave the wrong answer to the question “What will you tell the world and your children?” He once spent on day on a railroad platform forcing a Jewish man to play a classical piece of music over and over again. This Nazi on the rise asked arriving prisoners if they knew the name of the music. If they didn’t know he shot them.

Does such a man deserve to be stalked and taken off to prison in Israel? Almost any human being would say yes. But for Gabriel this one is very personal.

The Confessor by Daniel Silva – Book

The Confessor by Silva audiobookstorelcom

Not my favorite book of the Gabriel Allon series, The Confessor  by Daniel Silva should not be skipped if you want to do justice to the chronology. In Munich a Jewish professor and scholar, Benjamin Stern, is murdered and the manuscript he is working on is stolen. In Rome a Pope is elected who is not well loved by some of the Cardinals. He chooses the name, Paul VII. What is the connection between a Jewish professor/doctor and the Vatican in Rome? That is the business of this Silva thriller.

The Catholic Church is full of power politics and holds both traditionalists and reformers. We learned this in real life when Pope Francis was chosen, and the tug of war keeps emerging from time to time in the news. Wherever power is possible people will conspire to attain it. Investigation exposes a secret conservative cabal within the Catholic Church called Crux Veraand we get whiff of possible scandal, that the Roman Catholic Church (some of it) has things to hide, things left over from WWII that link the church to the Nazi’s and also to the Jews. Whatever happened could be so harmful to the image of the church that there are those who will kill to keep it a secret. Gabriel has a friend in the Vatican though, the Pope’s right hand man and bodyguard, Father Donati.

Gabriel, an Israeli man, not religious but definitely Jewish in his soul, is often to be found restoring religious art painted by now famous artists whose work adorns cathedrals all over Europe. Currently he is restoring a Bellini painting in Venice. He has many aliases but is known in the art world as Mario Delvecchio. With the death of Dr. Stern he will put down his paint brush and pick up his gun because his mentor, Shamron, the tough old Israeli is almost impossible to say no to. Here is one reason to read this book – you learn more of Shamron’s past.

We also learn more of Gabriel’s back story. We learn that an aleph in the Israeli Secret Service is an assassin. Gabriel is an aleph. Gabriel also meets the Rabbi’s lovely daughter Chiara, who becomes important to Gabriel and in this series of books.

Once Gabriel begins to follow the trail backwards from Dr. Stern’s murder it becomes clear that wherever Gabriel goes he is clearly being watched. That is how he knows that his investigations are poking the hornet’s nest hidden in the Catholic Church. Crux Verahas their own assassin, The Leopard. Guess what his assignment is? As I said, The Confessor is not my favorite, and it may not please Roman Catholic readers, but it gives you key information to put future sagas in context. And it is still a thriller of that cerebral variety that keeps readers returning to Silva’s novels.

The English Assassin by Daniel Silva – Book

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I have just finished reading the second book in the Gabriel Allon series, The English Assassin by Daniel Silva. One of the things that separates the Gabriel Allon series from other spy thrillers is that Gabriel works for Israeli intelligence. He is often considered such a good spy because he can kill without getting too emotional about it. In fact, critics say he may not have blood in his veins, which, I guess, is a way to say he is too robotic, or workmanlike. In the spy thrillers I have read, the best agents are not necessarily warm, cuddly individuals. Gabriel actually seems, to me, a bit more human than some agents who use a more military model. But he is a loner, and does not ever put together a permanent team. He actually has an adversarial relationship with many of the other members of the Office. Gabriel doesn’t create an ersatz family, unless a bunch of old curmudgeons qualify.

Another thing that separates the Allon series from other thrillers is Allon’s talent as an art restorer. Gabriel always says that he would like to restore art and not be a killer of bad guys. He blames the man who turned him into his protégé in the spy trade – Ari Shamron who runs the Office on King Saul Boulevard in Tel Aviv. Gabriel has some affection and plenty of hostility for Shamron. Shamron changed the path of Gabriel’s life, made him a spy instead of a painter. Gabriel always fools himself into believing that each case is his last. However, his conscience convinces him to take on project after project. But even more often Shamron convinces (bribes) him to take a case. In the case of Augustus Rolfe, Anna Rolfe, and the missing Impressionist paintings, Shamron gets Gabriel to investigate the matter using false pretenses.

We are made aware of the role bankers in Switzerland played in a war where they allegedly remained neutral. Because they were the world’s bankers, with accounts guaranteed as secret, they accepted money, art, jewels, gold, and anything valuable from German leaders who were members of the Nazi government – Jewish valuables stolen from citizens they knew they intended to gas. When the Nazi’s lost the war, the Swiss did not give the valuables back because the transactions were still supposedly protected by privacy laws. But the banks, Silva contends, often came to believe that these spoils of genocide and war were theirs. When one such Swiss banker, Augustus Rolfe, the very one Shamron sent Gabriel to meet, is found dead, Gabriel is arrested and thrown into a cell in Zurich even though logistically he could not be the murderer. Shamron hears of this and gets him out. He sends Gabriel off to meet Anna Rolfe, a famous violinist, whose father is the dead banker. Through Anna, Allon finds out about the large and illegal collection of Impressionist paintings owned by her father. Anna needs to be protected. After all, her father was murdered in his own salon. The paintings must be found. A secret group in Switzerland (the Council of Rütli) exists solely to make sure these paintings are not found.

A second assassin, one who trained under Gabriel for a while, is killing anyone connected with this painting chase. Christopher Keller, who most people think died in the SAS, is very much alive, living on Corsica and killing whoever the Orsati family wants him too. (The Orsatis do believe in justice but this time they are on the wrong side. Keller switches side, and stops killing the good guys.) He decides he wants to kill the same awful men that Gabriel kills. This may explain how Gabriel gets out of the clutches of Otto Gessler alive so he can retire to Cornwall to recover from his injuries and restore works of art until Shamron intervenes once again.

The English Assassin has a fairly convoluted plot with lots of traveling involved. But there is satisfaction in the possibility that the recovered works of art will be returned to the original owners or their offspring, if anyone in the owner’s family is still alive. While this thriller is fictional, art stolen by Germans in WWII really has been found and returned when possible. This amazing story has been told again and again since some of the caches of paintings have been found, and it always feels like justice.

Whether there is really a shadowy group of Swiss bankers whose key goal is to keep the cruelly appropriated wealth stored in the vaults and cellars in their banks, or even in their houses, I do not know. It certainly fits with what we know of human greed.

 

Be sure to look for me on goodreads.com as Nancy Brisson.

The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva – Book

The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva- big OverDrive

I finally managed to find the first book in the Gabriel Allon series, only to find out that this book refers back to three prequels, including one about an operation to avenge the deaths at the Munich Olympics. These books are not in the Allon series but they offer explanations for the events in The Kill Artist which is considered the first book in the series. In 1996, Silva wrote The Unlikely Spy, in 1998 he wrote the Mark of the Assassin, and in 1999, The Marching Season.

The events that caused the death of Gabriel’s son and the maiming of his wife – events that haunt Gabriel’s dreams and inform his current activities, happened because Allon had killed two members of a family of Palestinian terrorists who killed Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. Tariq al-Hourani, Gabriel’s target in The Kill Artist, is the man who placed the bomb that blew up Gabriel’s family, as he watched helplessly. Tariq is also a Palestinian, related to the two terrorists killed for their murders in Munich, his car bombing an act of revenge.

(Many readers, sympathetic to the needs of Palestinians, find this plot line unpalatable. It is true that readers of thrillers don’t want to dwell on the Israeli-Palestinian divide. But after these early books, Silva is not always focused on righting wrongs (imagined or real) of Palestinian “terrorists” against Jews. If this was the axe that was ground by the author through every book, his work would not be so popular. Silva chooses to address diverse forms of the terror humans perpetrate against each other.)

Another interesting element to note in Silva’s books is his female characters. They are usually strong, beautiful, and driven by some injustice or injury in their past. Silva creates his spy, Gabriel, who trusts women to be as talented and ruthless as men, given the proper training, and using their existing motivations to exact justice. Although he sometimes sleeps with these talented beauties, they know he doesn’t love them and they know he will not let them be victimized if he can prevent it. These women bear no grudges against the handsome spy who has lost his family, although considering how almost every operation ends, they would, if they knew, probably be less inclined to cooperate.

Tariq al-Hourani is a brutal guy but he is dying. Gabriel uses a woman, born Jewish but raised by a French family; a woman whose parents were murdered by the Nazis at Sobibor. She is Sarah Halévy, but her French name is Jacqueline Delacroix. She has her own reasons to help Gabriel assassinate al-Hourani. Things, as usual, go terribly awry but Gabriel is the one who ends up with a bullet in his chest. This is not really a spoiler because we never wonder if Allon will be hurt, only how it will happen. Roaming around the best bits of Europe with Gabriel Allon is always a nerve-wracking adventure. But this book begins and ends in one of my favorite Gabriel locations, an isolated cottage in Cornwall, England.

June 2018 Book List

Books with Glasses big

There is something for everyone on this month’s booklist. You’ll find plenty of interesting new literature and fiction, including thrillers and crime titles. You can read a biography of Bruce Lee. Perhaps you might enjoy a book by some of the Simpson’s writers. There is a book about two Norwegian teen-aged girls who went to join ISIS. You can also find at least three different ways to spell Fredrick if you so desire. Happy reading!

 Amazon

Literature and Fiction

Kudos: A Novel(Outline Trilogy) by Rachel Cusk

Invitation to a Bonfireby Adrienne Colt

Us Against You: A Novelby Fredrik Backman

When Life Gives You Lululemonsby Lauren Weisberger

A Place for Us: A Novelby Fatima Farheen Mirza

Treebone: A Novelby Caleb Johnson

Harry’s Trees: A Novelby Jon Cohen

There There: An NovelbyTommy Orange

Convenience Store Womanby Sayuka Murata, Ginny Tapley Takemori

Mystery and Thrillers

Bearskin: A Novelby James A. McLaughlin

The Anomalyby Michael Rutger

London Rules (Slough House) by Mike Herron

Lying in Wait: A Novelby Liz Nugent

Invitation to a Bonfireby Adrienne Colt

The Perfect Coupleby Elin Hilderbrand

The Book of M: A Novelby Peng Shepherd

The Word is Murder: A Novelby Anthony Horowitz

Still Lives: A Novelby Maria Hummel

Social Creature: A Novelby Tara Isabella Burton

The President is Missing: A Novelby Bill Clinton with John Patterson

Who is Vera Kelly?By Rosalie Knecht

Science Fiction and Fantasy

Storm Glass (The Harbinger Series)by Jeff Wheeler

Witchmarkby C. L. Polk

Bring Me Their Heartsby Sara Wolf

The Robots of Gothamby Todd McAulty

The Book of M: A Novel by Peng Shepherd

Biographies and Memoirs

Calypso by David Sedaris (Essays)

The World as it Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House Ben Rhodes

Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein

by Jamie Bernstein

Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famousby Christopher Bonanos

Somebody I Used to Know: A Memoirby Wendy Mitchell

Mother American Night: My Life in Crazy Timesby John Perry Barlow, Robert Greenfield

To Throw Away Unopened: A Memoirby Viv Albertine

Reporterby Seymour M. Hersch

Room to Dreamby David Lynch, Kristine McKenna

Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for the Simpsonsby Mike Reiss, Matthew Klickstein

Nonfiction

She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions and Potentials of Heredityby Carl Zimmer

Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Businessby Ken Auletta

Fail Until You Don’t: Fight, Grind, Repeatby Bobbie Bones

Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Awryby Sabine Hossenfelder

How Democracy Endsby David Runciman

Red Card: How the U. S. Blew the Whistle on the World’s Biggest Sports Scandalby Ken Bensinger

Unthinkable: An Extraordinary Journey through the World’s Strangest Brainsby Helen Thomson

My Twenty-Five Years in Provence: Reflections on Then and Nowby Peter Mayle

Orca: How We Came to Know and Love the Oceans Greatest Predatorby Jason Colby

The Traveling Feast: On the Road and at the Table with My Heroes by Rick Bass

The New York Time Book Review

May 6

Crime

Twisted Preyby John Sanford

The Way I Dieby Derek Haas

A Death of No Importanceby Mariah Fredericks

The Fleur De Sel Murdersby Jean Luc Bannalec

Parking Lot Attendantby Nafkote Tamirat

Varinaby Charles Frazier

The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollingshurst

3 Sparkling Debuts

Laura and Emmaby Kate Greathead

The House of Impossible Beautiesby Joseph Cassara

Self-Portrait with Boyby Rachel Lyon

Nonfiction

Dancing Bearsby Withold Szblowski

Chasing Hillaryby Amy Chozick

Beneath a Ruthless Sunby Gilbert King

Broadwayby Fran Leadon

Automating Inequalityby Virginia Eubanks

Left Bank: Art, Passion, and the Rebirth of Paris, 1940-50by Agnes Poirier

Two Sistersby Asne Seierstad (why 2 teens left Norway for ISIS)

The Women’s Hourby Elaine Weiss

May 13

Fiction

The Mars Roomby Rachel Kushner

You Think It, I’ll Say Itby Curtis Sittenfeld (Short stories)

Feast Daysby Ian MacKenzie

Trenton Makesby Tadzio Koelb (Short Stories)

The Gunnersby Rebecca Kauffman

Momento Parkby Mark Sarvas

Every Other Weekendby Zulema Renee Summerfield

Nonfiction

Road to Unfreedomby Timothy Snyder

Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahuby Anshel Pfeffer

The Wife’s Taleby Aida Edemariam

Battleship Yamatoby Jan Morris

The Island that Disappearedby Tom Feiling

St. Petersburg: Madness, Murder, and Art on the Banks of the Nevaby Jonathan Miles

What is Real?by Adam Becker

White Extremism

Everything You Love Will Burn: Inside the Rebirth of White Nationalism in Americaby Vegas Tenold

White Youth: My Descent Into America’s Most Violent Hate Movement-and How I Got Outby Christian Picciolini

Healing from Hate: How Young Men Get Into-and Out of- Violent Extremismby Michael Kimmel

May 20

Fiction

Motherhoodby Sheila Heti

White Housesby Amy Bloom

Undiscovered Countryby Kelly O’Conner McNees

The Poems of TS Eliot– Audiobook – read by Jeremy Irons

Nonfiction

Things that Make White People Uncomfortableby Michael Bennett, Dave Zirin

Fascism: A Warningby Madeleine Albright

Misèreby Linda Nochlin (Art)

Into the Raging Seaby Rachel Slade

Assault on Intelligenceby Michael Hayden

See What Can Be Done: Essaysby Lorrie Moore

Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism?by Robert Kuttner

Faithby Jimmy Carter

The Burning Shoresby Frederic Webrey

The Girl Who Smiled Beadsby Clemantine Wamariya

It’s Time to Fight Dirtyby David Faris

Not Enoughby Samuel Moyn

And Now We Have Everythingby Meaghan O’Connell

Like Brothersby Jay and Mark Duplass (filmmakers)

The Order of Timeby Carlo Rovelli as read by Benedict Cumberbatch

May 27

Fiction

All For Nothingby Walter Kempowski

Country Darkby Chris Offutts

The Optimistic Decade by Heather Abel

Nonfiction

Calypsoby David Sedaris (essays)

Insaneby Alisa Roth (mentally ill in prison)

The Electric Woman by Tessa Fontaine

War on Peaceby Ronan Farrow

Live Work Work Work Dieby Corey Pein

Memoirs From Beyond the Grave, 1768-1800by François-René Chateaubriand

Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backboneby Juli Berwald

Wild Horse Country: The History, Myth, and Future of the Mustangby David Philipps

My Patients and Other Animals: A Veterinarians Stories of Love, Loss, and Hopeby Suzy Fincham-Gray

Fighting Wars

Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War by Paul Scharre

Quicksilver War: Syria, Iraq and the Spiral of Conflictby William Harris

The Caliphate at War: Operational Realities and Innovations of the Islamic Stateby Ahmed S Hashim

The Boer War(Seven Stories) by Martin Bossenbrock

The Killing Seasons: A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66by Geoffrey Robinson

The Strategy of Victory: How General George Washington Won the American Revolutionby Thomas Fleming

Fight Like a Girl: The Truth Behind How Female Marines Are Trainedby Kate Germano

June 3

Fiction

The Outsiderby Stephen King

Circeby Madeline Miller

First Person by Robert Flanagan

Love and Ruinby Paula McLain

The Judge Hunterby Christopher Buckley

How Hard Can It Be?By Allison Pearson

A Place for Usby Fatima Farheen Mirza

Do This For Meby Raney Moore

What You Don’t Know About Charlie Outlawby Leah Stewart

My Ex Lifeby Stephen McCauley

The Dead Houseby Billy O’Callaghan

Heby John Connolly

The Glitchby Elisabeth Cohen

Sophia of Silicon Valleyby Anna Yen

Madness is Better than Defeatby Ned Beauman

The Life List of Adrian Mandrickby Chris White

Lawn Boyby Jonathan Evison

Nonfiction

Popsby Michael Chabon (essays)

Robinby Dave Itzhoff

Inseparableby Yunte Huang

Asking for a Friend: Three Centuries of Advice on Life, Love, Money and Other Burning Questions From a Nation Obsessedby Jessica Weisberg (Ann Landers)

Publisher’s Weekly

May 7

Lost Empress: A Novelby Sergio De La Pava (F)

Squareby Mac Barnett, illus. by Jon Klassen (F)

Flowers and Foul Play: A Magic Garden Mysteryby Amanda Flower (F)

Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”by Zora Neale Hurston (NF)

The Mars Roomby Rachel Kushner (nothing to do with space) (F)

Warlightby Michael Ondaatje (F)

Junkby Tommy Pico (Book Length Poem) (Poetry) (F)

Our Story: A Memoir of Love and Life in Chinaby Rao Pingru, trans. From the Chinese by Nancy Harman (NF)

Indecencyby Justin Phillip Reed (NF)

A Brotherhood of Spies: The U-2 and the CIA’s Secret Warby Monte Reel (NF)

Against Memoir: Complaints, Confessions and Criticismby Michelle Tea (NF)

The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern Worldby Simon Winchester (NF)

May 11

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whitenessby Austin Channing Brown (NF)

Pops: Fatherhood Pieces by Michael Chabon (essays)

The Ensembleby Aja Gabel (F)

When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thoughtby Jim Holt (essays)

The Favorite Sisterby Jessica Knoll (F)

How It Happenedby Michael Koryta (F)

All the Answers: A Graphic Memoirby Michael Kupperman (Memoir)

The Lives of the Surrealistsby Desmond Morris (NF)

How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendenceby Michael Pollan

May 18

Tip of the Iceberg: My 3,000-Mile Journey Around Wild Alaska, the Last Great American Frontierby Mark Adams (NF)

How Far She’s Comeby Holly Brown (Thriller) (F)

The Summer I Met Jackby Michelle Gable (F)

Last Instructionsby Nir Hezroni, trans. from the Hebrew by Steven Cohen (Thriller) (F)

The Devil’s Half Mileby Paddy Hirsch (F)

Eating My Way Through Italy: Heading Off the Main Roads to Discover the Hidden Treasures of the Italian Tableby Elizabeth Minchilli (NF)

The Ashtray (Or the Man Who Denied Realityby Errol Morris (NF)

The Seventh Crossby Anna Seghers, trans. from the German by Margot Bettauer Dembo

May 25

Turncoat: Benedict Arnold and the Crisis of American Libertyby Stephen Brumwell (NF)

Broken Places: A Chicago Mysteryby Tracy Clark (F)

Some Trickby Helen DeWitt (F)

Planet Funny: How Comedy Took Over Our Cultureby Ken Jennings (NF)

Star of the Northby D. B. John (Thriller) (NF)

No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in Americaby Darnell C. Moore (Memoir)

The Council of Twelve: A Hangman’s Daughter Taleby Oliver Pötzsch, trans. from the German by Lee Chadeayne (F)

Somnambulanceby Fiona Smyth (F)

The Freeze-Frame Revolutionby Peter Watts (F)

She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredityby Carl Zimmer (NF)

June 1

Lagos Noiredited by Chris Abani (Short stories)

Rough Beauty: Forty Seasons of Mountain Livingby Karen Auvinen (NF)

Social Creatureby Tara Isabella Burton (F)

The President is Missingby Bill Clinton and James Patterson (F)

Kudosby Rachel Cusk (F)

Rough Animalsby Rae Del Bianco (F)

Reporter: A Memoirby Seymour M Hersh (Memoir)

The Word is Murderby Anthony Horowitz (F)

The Good Sonby You-Jeong Jeong, trans. from the Korean by Chi-Young Kim (F)

There Thereby Tommy Orange (F)

How Hard Can It Beby Allison Pearson (F)

Bruce Lee: A Lifeby Matthew Polly (NF)

 

 

 

 

Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva – Book

Moscow-Rules-by-Daniel-Silva-big-PIcClick

In Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva, when a Russian journalist dies in the arms of Gabriel Allon, an Israeli operative, at the Basilica in Rome, Gabriel’s highest level friends in the Vatican are not thrilled. Gabriel had a meeting with this, now dead, reporter who had something to tell him. Gabriel is not thrilled either. He was on his honeymoon in Umbria and he does not want any part of this. But it’s a mystery that involves injustice, assassination, and perhaps more; clarion calls that Allon can never fail to answer. Gabriel immediately knows his honeymoon is over.

Ops inside Russia, especially in Moscow, are rarely undertaken by any nation’s spy agency, let alone the Israelis. Moscow plays by its own rules. What is supposed to be a quick in and out excursion, under a false identity, to talk with Olga Sukhova, another journalist, goes badly awry when Gabriel decides to outstay his team. Moscow rules say, “Assume every room is bugged and every telephone monitored. Assume every person you encounter is under opposition control. And don’t look back. You are never completely alone.” And yet he defies his boss and friend Ari Shamron and stays. Guess how that turns out.

In these days when we talk about Russia every day, the information the author gives us about Russia is very familiar to us. Olga tells Gabriel, “To understand Russia today, you must understand the trauma of the nineties. Everything we had, everything we had been told, was swept away. We went from superpower to basket case overnight. Our people lost their life savings, not just once but over and over again. Russians are paternalistic people. They believe in the Orthodox Church, the State, the Tsar. They associate democracy with chaos. Our president… uses words like ‘managed democracy’ and ‘State capitalism’ but they’re just euphemisms for something more sinister, fascism.”

Gabriel’s Russian op does not stay in Russia. He learns that the man our reporters were so worried about is a very wealthy Russian oligarch who is very well guarded. Olga tells Gabriel exactly why this particular oligarch is so dangerous and exactly how he has stepped over a “red line” to pursue a business deal that must be stopped.

In Moscow Rules you can read about the plan Gabriel comes up with to flush him out. Since we know that Gabriel’s plans do not go smoothly, find out how he messes up this time. Find out if his new wife is still speaking to him after he never gets back to the honeymoon. It’s a very satisfying Gabriel Allon book. It has all the characteristic parts of the pattern readers expect when they throw in their lot with the Israeli Secret Service and their painterly operative, who manages, despite the powerful people he chases down, to get some of the worst players off the world  stage. I think you will find that it also resonates with the situation we find ourselves in today, vis a vis Russia. Serendipity.