Books to read
Books to read
By Julie Carlson
By Ryan Graudin
Known for creating fantastical worlds, Ryan Graudin offers an alternative version of World War II in Wolf by Wolf, the first in a new series of books. Wolf by Wolf takes place in Europe in 1956 when the Axis powers of Germany and Japan have won the war, not the Allies. At the heart of this story is Yael, a child of the Holocaust who lost her mother and her friends. The reason for her survival is due to a sadistic SS doctor who selected Yael for experimentation. His experiments gave Yael the ability to skinshift into different Aryan girl personas, which has allowed her to escape a death camp, hide in the shadows, and become part of a resistance movement to kill Hitler. She was tasked with impersonating Adele Wolfe, the only female victor of the annual Axis Tour motorcycle race. Yael has to win the race to get close to Hitler, but she has stiff competition, including Adele’s twin brother. Wolf by Wolf has a more modern than historical feel and Graudin’s outstanding characterization and descriptions of the Third Reich, including the motorcycle race, will keep readers looking forward to the second installment.
By Judy Blume
Judy Blume is back with her highly anticipated new novel, In the Unlikely Event. The bestselling author of books like Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Blume tells the story of people changed forever by a succession of plane crashes in 1950s New Jersey. From the dialogue to the clothes to the trends to the events that shaped that period of time, Blume authentically recreates the 1950s. While she does a great job of creating a feeling of nostalgia and life in Elizabeth, New Jersey, in the Unlikely Event moves at a slow pace and readers might quickly become frustrated. There are many characters with varying viewpoints in the novel, which bogs down the pace of the storyline. There’s also heavy scenes of dialogue with very little description in between. While there are many interesting elements to the book, most of the story feels like Blume isn’t really getting beneath the surface of the characters. And, while every page seems to be leading closer to the climax, in the end, when it does occur, the incidents are somewhat of a letdown.
By Jami Attenberg
Saint Mazie is a gem of a novel about a woman named Mazie Gordon-Phillips. A real-life figure who helped the homeless in New York during the ‘20s and ‘30s, Mazie was known as the Queen of the Bowery. Writer Jami Attenberg effectively recreates the Prohibition and Depression eras of the time. Readers will feel as if they’ve been transported to the Big Apple reading about Mazie’s life in the city. By day she runs a theater and has a fun-filled social calendar, countless suitors, and friends. She drinks, smokes, and has a raunchy sense of humor. At night, Mazie walks the streets of New York to give back to her community by helping those in need. Saint Mazie is told from various points of view and weaves in the accounts of neighbors, friends, and family members who knew her along with Mazie’s own fictional diary entries. Because Attenberg tells Mazie’s story in short bursts, the novel never feels heavy and moves by quickly. Mazie never feels like a heroine, but she is in fact a charismatic and influential person who helped people down on their luck. Readers will not be disappointed in Saint Mazie.
3 MORE BOOKS TO TRY
Driving Hungry: A Memoir
By Layne Mosler
This snappy memoir takes readers from Buenos Aires to New York to Berlin, as author Layne Mosler hits the road to savor the pleasures of an unexpected journey.
Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety
By Joseph LeDoux
In Anxious, Joseph LeDoux examines the factors leading to fear and anxiety to further explain the range of these disorders and how they affect individuals and society as a whole.
The Art of the Con: The Most Notorious Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries in the Art World
By Anthony M. Amore
In The Art of the Con, Anthony M. Amore details some of history’s most notorious yet lesser known cons from the art world.
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