Books with Buzz

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Bone Season by Samantha Shannon:  A first entry in a planned seven-part series is set in the mid-21st century where major world cities are controlled by a formidable security force and where clairvoyant underworld cell member Paige commits acts of psychic treason before being captured by an otherworldly race that would make her a part of their supernatural army.

Lookaway, Lookaway by Wilton Barnhardt:  Presiding over her family and its legacy of masterpiece Civil War art, North Carolina society maven Jerene Jarvis Johnston takes increasingly haphazard steps to protect her grown children from their own heedlessness.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl:  When the daughter of a cult horror film director is found dead in an abandoned Manhattan warehouse, investigative journalist Scott McGrath, disbelieving the official suicide ruling, probes into the strange circumstances of the young woman’s death.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion:  A socially awkward genetics professor who has never been on a second date sets out to find the perfect wife, but instead finds Rosie Jarman, a fiercely independent barmaid who is on a quest to find her biological father.

Nonfiction

Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink:  Fink provides a landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina– and a suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Fink unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing.

Manson by Jeff Guinn:  An account of one of the most notorious criminals in American history puts Manson in the context of his times, the turbulent end of the 1960s, revealing a rock star wannabe whose killings were directly related to his musical ambitions.

Simple Dreams by Linda Ronstadt:  The popular singer traces the story of her life and career from her Arizona upbringing in a musical family and her rise to stardom in Southern California to her role in shaping 1970s sounds and her collaborations with fellow artists.

The Smartest Kids in the World by Amanda Ripley:  Following three teenagers who chose to spend one school year living in Finland, South Korea, and Poland, a literary journalist recounts how attitudes, parenting, and rigorous teaching have revolutionized these countries’ education results.

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