Hot reads for March
By Julie Carlson
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
By Colson Whitehead
Throughout history there have been countless stories about the Underground Railroad, from the real-life legacy of Harriet Tubman to WGN’s TV series, Underground. Author Colson Whitehead, whose previous work includes the bestselling novel Zone One, which focused on a post-apocalyptic world of zombies, brings us the story of two slaves, Cora and Caesar. The novel chronicles the plight of Cora and Caesar as they make their escape from the plantations of the south and through their treacherous journey north, toward freedom. Each step of the way, they are hunted by the cruel and sadistic slave catcher, Arnold Ridgeway. Part history, part fantasy, The Underground Railroad is highly imaginative and heart wrenching. This review is of the audiobook version read by actress Bahni Turpin, who brings a gentleness and humanity to the voice of Cora. Her soothing voice paints a vivid picture for listeners. The novel is also available in traditional form.
ARE WE SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW HOW SMART ANIMALS ARE?
By Frans de Waal
World-renowned biologist and primatologist Frans de Waal gives readers a fascinating look inside the science of animal behavior. Humans have the ability to design tools, have an understanding of a sense of self, and a grasp of the past and future. But can other species as well? De Waal examines the above topics and more. This book offers readers a fresh perspective and shows us how we can open our own minds to the fact that animals are much more complex than we think. Animals can feel emotions, use tools, recognize faces, and truly have an identity all of their own. It’s a highly technical book but doesn’t read like one. You may never look at your pet or an animal in the wild the same way again. The more you learn on each page, the more you want to keep reading. Pass this one on to family and friends.
REBEL OF THE SANDS
By Alwyn Hamilton
Fans of adventure stories such as One Thousand and One Arabian Nights will delight in Alwyn Hamilton’s debut novel, Rebel of the Sands. Filled with fascinating characters and a magnificent landscape, the novel tells the story of a teen, Amani, who yearns to escape her fractured household for a better life. Set in a fictional desert nation, Amani lives in the town of Dustwalk. Not wanting to be saddled down in a loveless marriage and afraid of her leering uncle, Amani decides to put her sharpshooting skills to good use. While at a local shooting contest she meets a mysterious stranger, Jin, who provides an opportunity to leave Dustwalk behind. But Amani soon discovers that there’s more to Jin than meets the eye. He’s wanted for treason and the duo find themselves on the run from the Sultan’s Army. Rebel of the Sands is a sweeping tale of romance, danger, and thrilling world-building.
3 MORE BOOKS TO TRY
Call All Women, From Glass Slipper to Glass Ceiling
By Cristina Carballo-Perelman, M.D.
In this fascinating book, Scottsdale author Cristina Carballo-Perelman, M.D., explores the challenges facing all women today in coming to relize their inherent empowerment at work and at home.
Books for Living
By Will Schwalbe
An inspiring and magical exploration of the power of books to shape our lives in an era of constant connectivity.
The Princess Diarist
By Carrie Fisher
An intimate, hilarious, and revealing 2016 memoir of what happened behind the scenes of the first Star Wars movie based on the journals of the late Carrie Fisher.
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