Book Previews


Previous
Next

The Wanted , by Robert Crais
         
Investigator Elvis Cole and his partner Joe Pike take on the deadliest case of their lives in the new masterpiece of suspense from #1 New York Times-bestselling author Robert Crais.

It seemed like a simple case—before the bodies started piling up...
     
When single-mother Devon Connor hires Elvis Cole, it’s because her troubled teenage son Tyson is flashing cash and she’s afraid he’s dealing drugs. But the truth is devastatingly different. With two others, he’s been responsible for a string of high-end burglaries, a crime spree that takes a deadly turn when one of them is murdered and Tyson and his girlfriend disappear.

They stole the wrong thing from the wrong man, and, determined to get it back, he has hired two men who are smart and brutal and the best at what they do.

To even the odds, Cole brings in his friend Joe Pike, but even the two of them together may be overmatched. The police don’t want them anywhere near the investigation, the teenagers refuse to be found, and the hired killers are leaving a trail of bodies in their wake. Pretty soon, they’ll find out everything they need to know to track the kids down—and then nothing that Elvis or Joe can do may make any difference. It might even get them killed.



The People vs. Alex Cross , by James Patterson
         
The charges: explosive

Alex Cross has never been on the wrong side of the law-until now. Charged with gunning down followers of his nemesis Gary Soneji in cold blood, Cross is being turned into the poster child for trigger-happy cops who think they're above the law. Cross knows it was self-defense. But will a jury see it that way? 

The evidence: shocking

As Cross fights for his professional life and his freedom, his former partner John Sampson brings him a gruesome, titillating video tied to the mysterious disappearances of several young girls. Despite his suspension from the department, Cross can't say no to Sampson. The illicit investigation leads them to the darkest corners of the Internet, where murder is just another form of entertainment. 

The People vs. Alex Cross: the trial of the century

As the prosecution presents its case, and the nation watches, even those closest to Cross begin to doubt his innocence. If he can't convince his own family that he didn't pull the trigger with intent to kill, how can he hope to persuade a jury? But even with everything on the line, Cross will do whatever it takes to stop a dangerous criminal...even if he can't save himself. 



Artemis , by Andy Weir
         
The bestselling author of The Martian returns with an irresistible new near-future thriller—a heist story set on the moon.

Jasmine Bashara never signed up to be a hero. She just wanted to get rich. 
 
Not crazy, eccentric-billionaire rich, like many of the visitors to her hometown of Artemis, humanity’s first and only lunar colony. Just rich enough to move out of her coffin-sized apartment and eat something better than flavored algae. Rich enough to pay off a debt she’s owed for a long time.
 
So when a chance at a huge score finally comes her way, Jazz can’t say no. Sure, it requires her to graduate from small-time smuggler to full-on criminal mastermind. And it calls for a particular combination of cunning, technical skills, and large explosions—not to mention sheer brazen swagger. But Jazz has never run into a challenge her intellect can’t handle, and she figures she’s got the ‘swagger’ part down. 
 
The trouble is, engineering the perfect crime is just the start of Jazz’s problems. Because her little heist is about to land her in the middle of a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself. 
 
Trapped between competing forces, pursued by a killer and the law alike, even Jazz has to admit she’s in way over her head. She’ll have to hatch a truly spectacular scheme to have a chance at staying alive and saving her city. 
 
Jazz is no hero, but she is a very good criminal. 
 
That’ll have to do. 
 
Propelled by its heroine’s wisecracking voice, set in a city that’s at once stunningly imagined and intimately familiar, and brimming over with clever problem-solving and heist-y fun, Artemis is another irresistible brew of science, suspense, and humor from #1 bestselling author Andy Weir.



Tom Clancy Power and Empire , by Marc Cameron
         
A newly belligerent Chinese government leaves US President Jack Ryan with only a few desperate options in this continuation of the #1New York Times bestselling Tom Clancy series.

Jack Ryan is dealing with an aggressive challenge from the Chinese government. Pawns are being moved around a global chessboard: an attack on an oil platform in Africa, a terrorist strike on an American destroyer and a storm tossed American spy ship that may fall into Chinese hands. It seems that President Zhao is determined to limit Ryan's choices in the upcoming G20 negotiations.

But there are hints that there's even more going on behind the scenes. A routine traffic stop in rural Texas leads to a shocking discovery—a link to a Chinese spy who may have intelligence that lays bare an unexpected revelation. John Clark and the members of the Campus are in close pursuit, but can they get the information in time?



Death at Nuremberg , by W.E.B. Griffin
         
Assigned to the Nuremberg war trials, special agent James Cronley, Jr., finds himself fighting several wars at once, in the dramatic new Clandestine Operations novel about the birth of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Cold War. 

When Jim Cronley hears he's just won the Legion of Merit, he figures there's another shoe to drop, and it's a big one: he's out as Chief, DCI-Europe. His new assignments, however, couldn't be bigger: to protect the U.S. chief prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials from a rumored Soviet NKGB kidnapping, and to hunt down and dismantle the infamous Odessa, an organization dedicated to helping Nazi war criminals escape to South America.

It doesn't take long for the first attempt on his life, and then the second. NKGB or Odessa? Who can tell? The deeper he pushes, the more secrets tumble out: a scheme to swap Nazi gold for currency, a religious cult organized around Himmler himself, an NKGB agent who is actually working for the Mossad, a German cousin who turns out to be more malevolent than he appears--and a distractingly attractive newspaperwoman who seems to be asking an awful lot of questions. Which one will turn out to be the most dangerous? Cronley wishes he knew.



The Woman in the Window , by A. J. Finn
         

For readers of Gillian Flynn and Tana French comes one of the decade’s most anticipated debuts, to be published in thirty-six languages around the world and already in development as a major film from Fox: a twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.

It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . .

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.




Robicheaux , by James Lee Burke
         
James Lee Burke’s most beloved character, Dave Robicheaux, returns in this gritty, atmospheric mystery set in the towns and backwoods of Louisiana.

DAVE ROBICHEAUX IS A HAUNTED MAN.

Between his recurrent nightmares about Vietnam, his battle with alcoholism, and the sudden loss of his beloved wife, Molly, his thoughts drift from one irreconcilable memory to the next. Images of ghosts at Spanish Lake live on the edge of his vision.

During a murder investigation, Dave Robicheaux discovers he may have committed the homicide he’s investigating, one which involved the death of the man who took the life of Dave’s beloved wife. As he works to clear his name and make sense of the murder, Robicheaux encounters a cast of characters and a resurgence of dark social forces that threaten to destroy all of those whom he loves. What emerges is not only a propulsive and thrilling novel, but a harrowing study of America: this nation’s abiding conflict between a sense of past grandeur and a legacy of shame, its easy seduction by demagogues and wealth, and its predilection for violence and revenge. James Lee Burke has returned with one of America’s favorite characters, in his most searing, most prescient novel to date.



The Immortalists , by Chloe Benjamin
         
If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?

It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.



Sing, Unburied, Sing , by Jesmyn Ward
         
“The heart of Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing is story—the yearning for a narrative to help us understand ourselves, the pain of the gaps we’ll never fill, the truths that are failed by words and must be translated through ritual and song...Ward’s writing throbs with life, grief, and love, and this book is the kind that makes you ache to return to it.” —Buzzfeed

In Jesmyn Ward’s first novel since her National Book Award–winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing journeys through Mississippi’s past and present, examining the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power—and limitations—of family bonds.

Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. He doesn’t lack in fathers to study, chief among them his Black grandfather, Pop. But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent White father, Michael, who is being released from prison; his absent White grandfather, Big Joseph, who won’t acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his dead uncle, Given, who died as a teenager.

His mother, Leonie, is an inconsistent presence in his and his toddler sister’s lives. She is an imperfect mother in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is Black and her children’s father is White. She wants to be a better mother but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use. Simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high, Leonie is embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances.

When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another thirteen-year-old boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.

Rich with Ward’s distinctive, lyrical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic new work and an unforgettable family story.



City of Endless Night , by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
         
When Grace Ozmian, the beautiful and reckless daughter of a wealthy tech billionaire, first goes missing, the NYPD assumes she has simply sped off on another wild adventure. Until the young woman's body is discovered in an abandoned warehouse in Queens, the head nowhere to be found.
 
Lieutenant CDS Vincent D'Agosta quickly takes the lead. He knows his investigation will attract fierce scrutiny, so D'Agosta is delighted when FBI Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast shows up at the crime scene assigned to the case. "I feel rather like Brer Rabbit being thrown into the briar patch," Pendergast tells D'Agosta, "because I have found you here, in charge. Just like when we first met, back at the Museum of Natural History."
 
But neither Pendergast nor D'Agosta are prepared for what lies ahead. A diabolical presence is haunting the greater metropolitan area, and Grace Ozmian was only the first of many victims to be murdered . . . and decapitated. Worse still, there's something unique to the city itself that has attracted the evil eye of the killer.
 
As mass hysteria sets in, Pendergast and D'Agosta find themselves in the crosshairs of an opponent who has threatened the very lifeblood of the city. It'll take all of Pendergast's skill to unmask this most dangerous foe-let alone survive to tell the tale.



The Wife Between Us , by Greer Hendricks
         

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love. 
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Assume nothing.

Twisted and deliciously chilling, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen's The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage - and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

Read between the lies.




The Sinner , by Tess Gerritsen
         
Not even the icy temperatures of a typical New England winter can match the bone-chilling scene of carnage discovered at the chapel of Our Lady of Divine Light. Within the cloistered convent lie two nuns–one dead, one critically injured–victims of an unspeakably savage attacker. The brutal crime appears to be without motive, but medical examiner Maura Isles’s autopsy of the dead woman yields a shocking surprise: Twenty-year-old Sister Camille gave birth before she was murdered. Then another body is found, mutilated beyond recognition. Together, Isles and homicide detective Jane Rizzoli uncover an ancient horror that connects these terrible slaughters. As long-buried secrets come to light, Maura Isles finds herself drawn inexorably toward the heart of an investigation that strikes close to home–and toward a dawning revelation about the killer’s identity too shattering to consider.


Fall From Grace , by Danielle Steel
         
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From Danielle Steel comes the gripping story of a woman who loses everything—her husband, her home, her sense of self and safety, and her freedom.

Sydney Wells’s perfect life with her wealthy, devoted husband vanishes when he dies suddenly in an accident. Widowed at forty-nine, she discovers he has failed to include her in his will. With Andrew’s vicious daughters in control of his estate, and no home or money, Sydney finds a job in fashion, despite her own designer daughters’ warnings. Naïve, out of her element, and alone in a world of shady international deals and dishonest people, she is set up by her boss and finds herself faced with criminal prosecution.

What happens when you lose everything? Husband, safety, protection, money, and reputation gone, faced with prison, Sydney must rebuild her life from the bottom to the top again, with honor, resourcefulness, and dignity. Sydney finds herself, as well as courage and resilience. Taking life by the horns, she revives her own career as a talented designer, from New York to Hong Kong, risking all in an exotic, unfamiliar world. She is determined to forge a new life she can be proud of.



Dark in Death , by J. D. Robb
         

It was a stab in the dark.

On a chilly February night, during a screening of Psycho in midtown, someone sunk an ice pick into the back of Chanel Rylan’s neck, then disappeared quietly into the crowds of drunks and tourists in Times Square. To Chanel’s best friend, who had just slipped out of the theater for a moment to take a call, it felt as unreal as the ancient black-and-white movie up on the screen. But Chanel’s blood ran red, and her death was anything but fictional.

Then, as Eve Dallas puzzles over a homicide that seems carefully planned and yet oddly personal, she receives a tip from an unexpected source: an author of police thrillers who recognizes the crime―from the pages of her own book. Dallas doesn’t think it’s coincidence, since a recent strangulation of a sex worker resembles a scene from her writing as well. Cops look for patterns of behavior: similar weapons, similar MOs. But this killer seems to find inspiration in someone else’s imagination, and if the theory holds, this may be only the second of a long-running series.

The good news is that Eve and her billionaire husband Roarke have an excuse to curl up in front of the fireplace with their cat, Galahad, reading mystery stories for research. The bad news is that time is running out before the next victim plays an unwitting role in a murderer’s deranged private drama―and only Eve can put a stop to a creative impulse gone horribly, destructively wrong.

From the author of Echoes in Death, this is the latest of the edgy, phenomenally popular police procedurals that Publishers Weekly calls “inventive, entertaining, and clever.”




Previous
Next

Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans , by Brian Kilmeade
         
The War of 1812 saw America threatened on every side. Encouraged by the British, Indian tribes attacked settlers in the West, while the Royal Navy terrorized the coasts. By mid-1814, President James Madison’s generals had lost control of the war in the North, losing battles in Canada. Then British troops set the White House ablaze, and a feeling of hopelessness spread across the country.

Into this dire situation stepped Major General Andrew Jackson. A native of Tennessee who had witnessed the horrors of the Revolutionary War and Indian attacks, he was glad America had finally decided to confront repeated British aggression. But he feared that President Madison’s men were overlooking the most important target of all: New Orleans.
 
As they did in their two previous bestsellers, Kilmeade and Yaeger make history come alive with a riveting true story that will keep you turning the pages. You’ll finish with a new understanding of one of our greatest generals and a renewed appreciation for the brave men who fought so that America could one day stretch “from sea to shining sea.”



Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics , by Dan Harris
         
ABC News anchor Dan Harris used to think that meditation was for people who collect crystals, play Ultimate Frisbee, and use the word “namaste” without irony. After he had a panic attack on live television, he went on a strange and circuitous journey that ultimately led him to become one of meditation’s most vocal public proponents.
            
Here’s what he’s fixated on now: Science suggests that meditation can lower blood pressure, mitigate depression and anxiety, and literally rewire key parts of the brain, among numerous other benefits. And yet there are millions of people who want to meditate but aren’t actually practicing. What’s holding them back?
 
In Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, Harris and his friend Jeff Warren, a masterful teacher and “Meditation MacGyver,” embark on a cross-country quest to tackle the myths, misconceptions, and self-deceptions that stop people from meditating. They rent a rock-star tour bus (whose previous occupants were Parliament Funkadelic) and travel across eighteen states, talking to scores of would-be meditators—including parents, military cadets, police officers, and even a few celebrities. They create a taxonomy of the most common issues (“I suck at this,” “I don’t have the time,” etc.) and offer up science-based life hacks to help people overcome them.
            
The book is filled with game-changing and deeply practical meditation instructions. You’ll also get access to the 10% Happier app, where you can listen for free to guided audio versions of all the meditations in the book. Amid it all unspools the strange and hilarious story of what happens when a congenitally sarcastic, type-A journalist and a groovy Canadian mystic embark on an epic road trip into America’s neurotic underbelly, as well as their own.



Let Trump Be Trump , by Corey Lewandowski
         
LET TRUMP BE TRUMP: THE INSIDE STORY OF HIS PRESIDENCY is the ultimate behind-the-scenes account of how he became President of the United States.
 
Donald Trump was a candidate, and now a president, like none that have come before. His startling rise to the White House is the greatest political tale in the history of our republic. Much has been written about this once-in-a-millennial event but all of those words come from authors outside the orbit of Donald Trump.
 
Now, for the first time, comes the inside story.
 
Written by the guys in the room-two of Trump's closest campaign advisors-Let Trump Be Trump is the eyewitness account of the stories behind the headlines. From the Access Hollywood recording and the Clinton accusers, to Paul Manafort, to the last-moment comeback and a victory that reads like something out of the best suspense novel, Let Trump Be Trump pulls back the curtain on a drama that has mesmerized the whole world-including the palace intrigues of the Mooch, Spicer, Preibus, Bannon, and more.
 
By turns hilarious and intimate, Let Trump Be Trump also offers a view of Donald Trump like you've never seen him, the man whose success in business was built not only on great skill but on loyal relationships and who developed the strongest of bonds with the band of outsiders and idealists who became his team because they believed in him and his message.
 
Written by Trump's campaign manager, the fiery Corey Lewandowski, and Dave Bossie, the consummate political pro and the plaintiff in the famous Citizens United Supreme Court case who helped steer the last critical months of the Trump campaign, Let Trump Be Trump is destined to be the seminal book about the Trump campaign and presidency.



Tribe of Mentors , by Tim Ferriss
         
In 2017, several of my close friends died in rapid succession. It was a very hard year, as it was for many people.

It was also a stark reminder that time is our scarcest, non-renewable resource.

With a renewed sense of urgency, I began asking myself many questions:

Were my goals my own, or simply what I thought I should want?
How much of life had I missed from underplanning or overplanning?
How could I be kinder to myself?
How could I better say “no” to the trivial many to better say “yes” to the critical few?
How could I best reassess my priorities and my purpose in this world?

To find answers, I reached out to the most impressive world-class performers in the world, ranging from wunderkinds in their 20s to icons in their 70s and 80s. No stone was left unturned.

This book contains their answers—practical and tactical advice from mentors who have found solutions. Whether you want to 10x your results, get unstuck, or reinvent yourself, someone else has traveled a similar path and taken notes.

This book, Tribe of Mentors, includes many of the people I grew up viewing as idols or demi-gods. Less than 10% have been on my podcast (The Tim Ferriss Show, more than 200 million downloads), making this a brand-new playbook of playbooks.

No matter your challenge or opportunity, something in these pages can help.



You Can't Spell America Without Me , by Alec Baldwin
         
Political satire as deeper truth: Donald Trump’s presidential memoir, as recorded by two world-renowned Trump scholars, and experts on greatness generally
 
"I have the best words, beautiful words, as everybody has been talking and talking about for a long time. Also? The best sentences and, what do you call them, paragraphs. My previous books were great and sold extremely, unbelievably well--even the ones by dishonest, disgusting so-called journalists. But those writers didn't understand Trump, because quite frankly they were major losers. People say if you want it done right you have to do it yourself, even when 'it' is a 'memoir.' So every word of this book was written by me, using a special advanced word processing system during the many, many nights I've been forced to stay alone in the White House--only me, just me, trust me, nobody helped. And it's all 100% true, so true--people are already saying it may be the truest book ever published. Enjoy."
 
President Trump explains each of the historic decisions that have already made America great again, and how he always triumphs over the fake news media. You'll learn what he really thinks of his cabinet members and top aides not related to him, of the First Lady and the First Daughter and the additional three or four Trump children. Included at no extra charge is a lavish and exclusive portfolio of spectacular, historic and intimate color photographs of President Trump in private – inside the White House, inside Mar-a-Lago, at Trump Tower, and more. 

You Can’t Spell America Without Me is presented by America’s foremost Trump scholar Kurt Andersen as well as America's foremost mediocre Trump impersonator, Alec Baldwin.



Fire and Fury , by Michael Wolff
         

The first nine months of Donald Trump’s term were stormy, outrageous―and absolutely mesmerizing. Now, thanks to his deep access to the West Wing, bestselling author Michael Wolff tells the riveting story of how Trump launched a tenure as volatile and fiery as the man himself.

In this explosive book, Wolff provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office. Among the revelations: 
-- What President Trump’s staff really thinks of him
-- What inspired Trump to claim he was wire-tapped by President Obama 
-- Why FBI director James Comey was really fired
-- Why chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner couldn’t be in the same room 
-- Who is really directing the Trump administration’s strategy in the wake of Bannon’s firing
-- What the secret to communicating with Trump is
-- What the Trump administration has in common with the movie The Producers

Never before has a presidency so divided the American people. Brilliantly reported and astoundingly fresh, Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury shows us how and why Donald Trump has become the king of discord and disunion.




How Democracies Die , by Steven Levitsky
         
Donald Trump’s presidency has raised a question that many of us never thought we’d be asking: Is our democracy in danger? Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent more than twenty years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe the answer is yes. Democracy no longer ends with a bang—in a revolution or military coup—but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. The good news is that there are several exit ramps on the road to authoritarianism. The bad news is that, by electing Trump, we have already passed the first one. 

Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, from 1930s Europe to contemporary Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela, to the American South during Jim Crow, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die—and how ours can be saved.



When , by Daniel H. Pink
         
Everyone knows that timing is everything. But we don't know much about timing itself. Our lives are a never-ending stream of "when" decisions: when to start a business, schedule a class, get serious about a person. Yet we make those decisions based on intuition and guesswork.

Timing, it's often assumed, is an art. In When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Pink shows that timing is really a science.

Drawing on a rich trove of research from psychology, biology, and economics, Pink reveals how best to live, work, and succeed. How can we use the hidden patterns of the day to build the ideal schedule? Why do certain breaks dramatically improve student test scores? How can we turn a stumbling beginning into a fresh start? Why should we avoid going to the hospital in the afternoon? Why is singing in time with other people as good for you as exercise? And what is the ideal time to quit a job, switch careers, or get married?

In When, Pink distills cutting-edge research and data on timing and synthesizes them into a fascinating, readable narrative packed with irresistible stories and practical takeaways that give readers compelling insights into how we can live richer, more engaged lives.



Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century , by Jessica Bruder
         

The end of retirement?

From the beet fields of North Dakota to the National Forest campgrounds of California to Amazon’s CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older Americans. Finding that social security comes up short, often underwater on mortgages, these invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, forming a growing community of nomads: migrant laborers who call themselves “workampers.”

On frequently traveled routes between seasonal jobs, Jessica Bruder meets people from all walks of life: a former professor, a McDonald’s vice president, a minister, a college administrator, and a motorcycle cop, among many others―including her irrepressible protagonist, a onetime cocktail waitress, Home Depot clerk, and general contractor named Linda May.

In a secondhand vehicle she christens “Van Halen,” Bruder hits the road to get to know her subjects more intimately. Accompanying Linda May and others from campground toilet cleaning to warehouse product scanning to desert reunions, then moving on to the dangerous work of beet harvesting, Bruder tells a compelling, eye-opening tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy―one that foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, she celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these quintessential Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive. Like Linda May, who dreams of finding land on which to build her own sustainable “Earthship” home, they have not given up hope.




The Trials of a Scold , by Jeff Biggers
         

Anne Royall was an American original, a stranger to fear who defied 19th century skeptics as a prolific literary force, satirist and social critic.

Drawing from Royall's largely overlooked literary works, Jeff Biggers's Trials of a Scold is a groundbreaking and passionate biography of Anne Royall, America's first female muckraker, who was convicted as a "common scold" in 1829 in one of the most bizarre trials in the nation's history.

Publishing her first book in 1826 at the age of 57, Royall reinvented herself as a “women politico” a generation before the Women's Suffrage Movement. She was a pioneering travel writer and satirist who broke ground on the wagon trails a generation before Mark Twain, and an investigative journalist who took on bankers and prison conditions a half century before muckrakers Ida Tarbell and Nellie Bly. She was the author of 10 original books, and publisher of a newspaper in Washington, DC for 25 years until the age of 85.

One of the most famous, sharp-witted and controversial women of her times, Royall was raised in the backwoods of the South but educated herself in one of the great libraries in the region. She openly cohabitated with her husband prior to their wedding, but was then left widowed and destitute after her husband’s family declared their marriage invalid. Turning to writing, Royall acquired fame and then enemies for her scathing and hilarious denouncements of corruption, incompetence and the blurry lines between church and state.