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Sandy’s Selections: Book Recommendations for Spring Reading

The Shape of WaterSandy Dominy is what we’d call a “professional reader,” and she will be sharing her book recommendations with us each month. Enjoy!

The Shape of Water by Guillermo Del Toro and Daniel Kraus

Sci-Fi/Fantasy

The Best Picture Academy Award winner of 2017 was released in book version two days after the awards ceremony.

Shape of Water is a romantic drama filled with fantasy elements. It’s a story of a Sea God (modeled after the “Creature from the Black Lagoon”) who is captured in the Amazon River and then studied to discover its secrets powers. Whether or not one has already seen the movie, it is a lovely surprise and a very fast read. Read reviews here.

Readers Recommend:
Alien: Covenant by Alan Dean FosterAlan Dean Foster
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Hiddensee by Gregory Maguire

 

The Leader's BookshelfThe Leader’s Bookshelf by James Stavridis and R. Manning Ancell

2018, Nonfiction

The “top fifty” books recommended in The Leader’s Bookshelf were chosen by 200 Four-Star military leaders. They are the titles that strongly influenced their leadership skills and provided special insights. The 50-chapter summaries help the reader determine which books are personally the most relevant and/or appealing. It is a tremendous resource for any leader, whether in family life, organizations, or professionally. Read reviews here.

Readers Recommend:
Culture Code: Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle
Total Focus: Make Better Decisions Under Pressure by Brandon Webb

 

 

ArtemisArtemis by Andy Weir

2018, Science Fiction
Author of Sci-Fi, The Martian novel and film

Artemis is an exciting action-adventure sci-fi story set on a lunar colony several decades in the future. The heroine is a 26-year-old desperate to become rich, so she gets involved in a complicated heist. This fast moving, fun book will give you a look at the economy and sociology of a functional moon colony might be like, including how to cope with crime, new currency and the colony’s politics. Very imaginable! Read reviews here.

Readers Recommend:
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil De Grass Tyso
The Martian by Andy Weir

 

The Female PersuasionFemale Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

2018, Fiction

The Female Persuasion is a timely novel about feminism, female power, and mentorship. Much has changed in the feminist movement for all women. The book observes (and comments on) these changes. The author has an easy, engrossing style and pays attention to details that seamlessly connect all the dots in the book’s four major story lines. A great story of the influence a female mentor can be on a mentee. Read reviews here.

Readers Recommend:
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Alternate Side by Anna Quillen
Immoralists by Chole Benjamin

 

 

The Wife Between UsThe Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

2018, Psychological Thriller

The Wife Between Us is about truth in a marriage. There is the husband’s truth, the wife’s truth and also the real truth. What we think we see and what is happening can be very different. This is a fiendishly clever romantic thriller that keeps the reader guessing. Unforgettable twists lead to shocking revelations throughout, including the epilogue. Best of all, Steven Spielberg has optioned the book, so we can look forward to the movie! Read reviews here.

Readers Recommend:
Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn
The Breakdown by B. A. Paris
Silent Wife by A. S. A. Harrison

 

Paris by the BookParis By the Book by Liam Callanan

Mystery

In Paris by the Book, a mother from Wisconsin travels to Paris with her two daughters in search of her eccentric husband, a novelist. He has vanished but leaves enough clues to suggest he is in Paris. Is he hiding from his family or searching for them? Is he alive in Paris? Did he die in a tragic boating accident? The mystery about the husband’s fate makes this a page turner, but the real story lies in the mother’s rediscovery of herself. Read reviews here.

Readers Recommend:
Tangerine by Christine Mangan
The Italian Party by Christina Lynch
Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes

 

 

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with DeathI am, I am, I am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell

Memoir

In I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death, British author Maggie O’Farrell weaves a stunning collection of stories about her near-death experiences. There are 17 encounters at different ages and different locations: a near-drowning, close calls during surgeries, confronting a murderer on a deserted hiking trail, dysentery, meningitis, a plummeting plane. We meet O’Farrell as a daughter, a student, an office worker, a wife and a traveler. The snapshots reveal a thoughtful, determined woman who remains resilient despite frequent traumas. It is not the conventional memoir, but it is one the reader won’t soon forget. Read reviews here.

Readers Recommend:
Vanity Fair Diaries by Tina Brown
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi & Abraham Verghese
Where the Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir by Amy Tan

See Sandy’s recommendations from March here.

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