Identity by Nora Roberts
ormer Army brat Morgan Albright has finally planted roots in a friendly neighborhood near Baltimore. Her friend and roommate Nina helps her make the mortgage payments, as does Morgan’s job as a bartender. But after she and Nina host their first dinner party—attended by Luke, the flirtatious IT guy who’d been chatting her up at the bar—her carefully built world is shattered. The back door glass is broken, cash and jewelry are missing, her car is gone, and Nina lies dead on the floor.
Soon, a horrific truth emerges: It was Morgan who let the monster in. “Luke” is actually a cold-hearted con artist named Gavin who targets a particular type of woman, steals her assets and identity, and then commits his ultimate goal: murder.
What the FBI tells Morgan is beyond chilling. Nina wasn’t his type. Morgan is. Nina was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. And Morgan’s nightmare is just beginning.
Tom Clancy Flash Point by Don Bentley
Jack Ryan, Jr., is a man of action, and when he uncovers a terrorist plot to kill innocents he jumps in to thwart the evil plan. However, it turns out this attack was just a piece of a larger, more insidious plot designed to deceive the United States and paint President Jack Ryan into a political corner.
Jack Jr. isn’t about to let that happen, but his options are almost as narrow as his chances of getting out of this alive.
Rogue Justice by Stacey Abrams
Avery Keene is back, trying to get her feet on solid ground after unraveling a conspiracy that took down the President of the United States in While Justice Sleeps. But as the sparks of impeachment hearings and political skirmishes swirl around her, Avery is approached at a legal conference by Preston Davies, an unassuming young man and fellow law clerk to a federal judge in Idaho. Davies believes his boss, Judge Francesca Whitner, was being blackmailed in the days before she recently took her own life, and he gives Avery a file, a burner phone, and a fearful warning that there are highly dangerous people involved. Moments later, Avery is shocked when she witnesses Davies being murdered.
After breaking the encrypted file Davies gave to her, Avery reveals a list of names–all federal judges–and, alarmingly, all judges on the FISA Court (the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court), also known as America’s secret court. It is this body that grants permission to the government to wiretap American individuals or corporations suspected of terrorism. Avery knows Judge Whitner had been extorted, but as she investigates the names and cases associated with other judges on the list she begins to see a frightening pattern–and she worries that something far more sinister may be unfolding.
The Book of Charlie by David Von Drehle
When a veteran Washington journalist moved to Kansas, he met a new neighbor who was more than a century old. Little did he know that he was beginning a long friendship—and a profound lesson in the meaning of life. Charlie White was no ordinary neighbor. Born before radio, Charlie lived long enough to use a smartphone. When a shocking tragedy interrupted his idyllic boyhood, Charlie mastered survival strategies that reflect thousands of years of human wisdom. Thus armored, Charlie’s sense of adventure carried him on an epic journey across the continent, and later found him swinging across bandstands of the Jazz Age, racing aboard ambulances through Depression-era gangster wars, improvising techniques for early open-heart surgery, and cruising the Amazon as a guest of Peru’s president.
David Von Drehle came to understand that Charlie’s resilience and willingness to grow made this remarkable neighbor a master in the art of thriving through times of dramatic change. As a gift to his children, he set out to tell Charlie’s secrets. The Book of Charlie is a gospel of grit—the inspiring story of one man’s journey through a century of upheaval. The history that unfolds through Charlie’s story reminds you that the United States has always been a divided nation, a questing nation, an inventive nation—a nation of Charlies in the rollercoaster pursuit of a good and meaningful life.
On Our Best Behavior by Elise Loehnen
Women congratulate themselves when they resist the doughnut in the office break-room. They celebrate their restraint when they hold back from sending an e-mail in anger. They feel virtuous when they wake up at dawn to get a jump on the day. They put others’ needs ahead of their own and believe this makes them exemplary. In On Our Best Behavior, journalist Elise Loehnen explains that these impulses–often lauded as unselfish, distinctly feminine instincts–are actually ingrained in women by a culture that reaps the benefits, via an extraordinarily effective collection of mores known as the Seven Deadly Sins.
Since being codified by the Christian church in the fourth century, the Seven Deadly Sins–pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth–have exerted insidious power. Even today, in our largely secular, patriarchal society, they continue to circumscribe women’s behavior. For example, seeing sloth as sinful leads women to deny themselves rest; a fear of gluttony drives them to ignore their appetites; and an aversion to greed prevents them from negotiating for themselves and contributes to the 55 percent gender wealth gap. Loehnen reveals how women have been programmed to obey the rules represented by these sins and how doing so qualifies them as “good.”
This probing analysis of contemporary culture and thoroughly researched history explains how women have internalized the patriarchy, and how they unwittingly reinforce it. By sharing her own story and the spiritual wisdom of other traditions, Loehnen shows how women can break free and discover the integrity and wholeness they seek.
Raw Dog by Jamie Loftus
Hot dogs. Poor people created them. Rich people found a way to charge fifteen dollars for them. They’re high culture, they’re low culture, they’re sports food, they’re kids’ food, they’re hangover food, and they’re deeply American, despite having no basis whatsoever in America’s Indigenous traditions. You can love them, you can hate them, but you can’t avoid the great American hot dog.
Raw Dog: The Naked Truth About Hot Dogs is part investigation into the cultural and culinary significance of hot dogs and part travelog documenting a cross-country road trip researching them as they’re served today. From avocado and spice in the West to ass-shattering chili in the East to an entire salad on a slice of meat in Chicago, Loftus, her pets, and her ex eat their way across the country during the strange summer of 2021. It’s a brief window into the year between waves of a plague that the American government has the resources to temper, but not the interest.
So grab a dog, lay out your picnic blanket, and dig into the delicious and inevitable product of centuries of violence, poverty, and ambition, now rolling around at your local 7-Eleven.
Holding the Note by David Remnick
The greatest popular songs, whether it’s Aretha Franklin singing “Respect” or Bob Dylan performing “Blind Willie McTell,” have a way of embedding themselves in our memories. You remember a time and a place and a feeling when you hear that song again. In Holding the Note , David Remnick writes about the lives and work of some of the greatest musicians, songwriters, and performers of the past fifty years.
He portrays a series of musical lives and their unique encounters with the passing of that essential element of time. From Cohen’s performing debut, when his stage fright was so debilitating he couldn’t get through “Suzanne,” to Franklin’s iconic mink-drop at the Kennedy Center, Holding the Note delivers a view of some of the greatest creative minds of our time written with a lifetime’s passionate attachment to music that has shaped us all.