Recommended Reads: A sweet book about the intriguing octopus

Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness, by Sy Montgomery Here’s a sweet read written by a mesmerizing storyteller who spins a true novel all about a sea creature that I discovered I knew very little about. This book entertains with so much interesting information that surprises. The octopus lives…

Recommended Reads: Enjoy this delicious mystery, with dash of humor

Beat Until Stiff, by Claire M. Johnson Are you hungry for a fun, summer read? Here it is — a taste of intrigue, with spicy characters, a dash of humor, and a steamy setting all blended into a delicious mystery. In this mystery, the protagonist, Mary Ryan, is a pastry chef at a fancy San…

Recommended Reads: Spy novel provides thrilling look at life of KGB agent

Deep Undercover, by Jack Barsky The tension and intrigue of a thriller, spy novel is irresistible for so many of us. What about reading a spy memoir? Can real life spying stand up to artistic license to kill? In this case, yes. I enjoyed reading all about the life of a real German, Russian spy…

Recommended Reads: ‘Ghostman’ a refreshingly intelligent crime novel

Ghostman by Roger Hobbs A casino robbery in Atlantic City goes horribly sideways, despite all appearances of its intricate planning. The brain behind the operation needs to repair the damage and make it go away. He calls in an old favor from a Ghostman. Occasionally called Jack, Ghostman lives completely off the grid and cannot…

Recommended Reads: Two Simon Wood mysteries that will get under your skin

The One That Got Away by Simon Wood Friends Zoe and Holli take a break from graduate studies for a joyful Las Vegas trip, but end up tragically abducted by a sadistic killer. Zoe escapes with her life, forever changed. She never sees her friend again and this villain wasn’t caught. A year later our…

Recommended Reads: Gripping mysteries from a delightful author

Close Call and The Reckoning Stones, by Laura DiSilverio I’ve discovered a delightful mystery author who has authored a wide range of books in this broad genre. Many of you may know this author from her enticing cozy mystery series: The Readaholics series, Mall Cop series, Ballroom Dance mysteries, or Southern Beauty Shop mysteries. Talented…

Recommended Reads: Kendall and Cooper talk mysteries with Mike Lawson

Recommended Reads columnist Wendy Kendall joins mystery writer Julie Cooper for a podcast interview with Mike Lawson, and also provides a short write-up below about one of Lawson’s books, “House Odds.” ~ ~ ~ ~ With so much attention directed at Washington, D.C. these days, here’s an author who has some fun with the mysteries…

Recommended Reads: A swashbuckling tale with a Shakespearean twist

Shakespeare’s Rebel, by C. C. Humphreys Has it been awhile since your last swashbuckling adventure? Then avast ye readers and you’ll be forewarned. I’m telling you about a fun, fast-paced, sword-wielding tale of a daredevil rogue on a thrilling, romantic adventure. The story is set in 16th century England, during Shakespearean times, without the Shakespearean…

Recommended Reads: Kendall and Cooper talk mysteries with Hugh Ashton

Recommended Reads columnist Wendy Kendall joins mystery writer Julie Cooper for a podcast interview with Hugh Ashton. Ashton is a renowned Holmesian author, writing more Sherlock Holmes stories that were found in Dr. Watson’s deed trust box, as the story goes. He’s also written a series of delightful children’s books – Sherlock Ferret. Sherlock Ferret…

Recommended Reads: Gene Wilder’s novel of love set in World War I

My French Whore: A Love Story, by Gene Wilder The treasured legacy of Gene Wilder includes his books. He wrote a touching autobiography, and also an intriguing group of novels about love. This is one of those novels. It’s set partly in France and then later in Germany in 1918, during World War I. The…

Recommended Reads: ‘We the People’ explores evolution of American ideals

We the People, by Juan Williams This comprehensive American history tells how Americans, known and unknown, contributed to this nation’s story. The author poses interesting questions. What would the Founding Fathers think about America today? Where are we today, and how did we get here? We’re taught who the original Founding Fathers are; who are…

Recommended Reads: Books describe return of wolves to Yellowstone

Decade of the Wolf: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone, by Douglas W. Smith and Gary Ferguson And When the Wolves Returned: Restoring Nature’s Balance in Yellowstone, by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent and photos by Dan Hartman and Cassie Hartman “Amazingly, a study conducted in 2005 estimated that some two hundred thousand people were seeing wolves in…

Recommended Reads: Clever D.C. murder mystery written by a President’s daughter

Murder in the Smithsonian, by Margaret Truman The Smithsonian museums are filled with fascinating artifacts, so many displayed and so many hidden in private storage. On a visit you might encounter moon rocks, the Hope Diamond, a fossilized skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, ancient mummies, or in this mystery novel you might see a featured…

Recommended Reads: Restaurant critic dishes on her life in disguise

Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise, by Ruth Reichl I met Ruth Reichl when she generously donated her time at the Seattle Public Library System’s Literary Lions fundraiser Gala as Keynote speaker, and she also met guests and signed her books for them. I can tell you, her books were…

Recommend Reads: ‘Dark Nantucket Noon’ an intriguing, cozy mystery

Dark Nantucket Noon, by Jane Langton Katherine, or Kitty as everyone calls her, returns to the island of Nantucket especially to view a spectacular, noon eclipse of the sun. She flies from her Boston home, time away from teaching, to experience nature’s show in the only place where the entire total eclipse will be visible….

Recommended Reads: Enjoy a Roman holiday with ‘Coins in the Fountain’

Coins in the Fountain: A Memoir of Rome, by Judith Works You’re invited on a Roman holiday. You’ll linger over each page of this book, savoring the full-flavored descriptions of all that is seen, heard, tasted, and felt. Just like all holidays, you won’t want this book to end. Judith is an adventuresome American who…

Recommended Reads: Bicycle memoir an exciting ride across America

Going Somewhere: A Bicycle Journey Across America, by Brian Benson This memoir will take you on an exciting ride from small town Wisconsin to Portland, Ore. Brian is a young man with lots of energy and little direction. In a small Mexican town, adventuring Brian met Rachel. They shared a love of music, and a…

Recommended Reads: ‘Alone on the Wall’ chronicles climber’s passion

Alone on the Wall, by Alex Honnold with David Roberts Alex Honnold is probably the most famous adventure athlete in the world. He’s a world-class, free solo climber, known for climbing without the help of ropes, equipment, or a partner. He’s been known to scale 2,000 feet with only shoes and a chalk bag for…