Butchers Hill by Laura Lippman

October 12, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): Tess Monaghan has finally made the move and hung out her shingle as a p.i.-for-hire, complete with an office in Butchers Hill. Maybe it’s not the best address in Baltimore, but you gotta start somewhere, and Tess’s greyhound Esskay has no trouble taking marathon naps anywhere there’s a roof. Then […]

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The Wings of the Dove by Henry James

October 4, 2014

Henry James drew on the memory of a beloved cousin who died young to create one of the three central characters, Milly Theale, an heiress with a short time to live and a passion for experiencing life to its fullest. To the creation of the other two, Merton Densher and the magnificent, predatory Kate Croy, […]

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

July 4, 2014

Summary (from the publisher): In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity — principles that give us the security […]

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Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey

June 13, 2014

Plot summary with spoilers (from Wikipedia): Riders of the Purple Sage tells the story of Jane Withersteen and her battle to overcome her persecution by members of her polygamous Mormon Church, a leader of which, Elder Tull, wants to marry her. Withersteen is supported by a number of Gentile friends, including Bern Venters and Lassiter, […]

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The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather

June 5, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): The Song of the Lark is the self-portrait of an artist in the making. The story revolves around an ambitious young girl, Thea, who leaves home to go to the big city to fulfill her dream of becoming a famous opera star. Along the way, her realization of the mediocrity […]

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A Prayer for Owen Meany

May 25, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): In the summer of 1953, two eleven-year-old boys—best friends—are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy’s mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn’t believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God’s […]

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The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

May 10, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the […]

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The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA by James Watson

May 4, 2014

Summary (from the publisher): By identifying the structure of DNA, the molecule of life, Francis Crick and James Watson revolutionized biochemistry and won themselves a Nobel Prize. At the time, Watson was only twenty-four, a young scientist hungry to make his mark. His uncompromisingly honest account of the heady days of their thrilling sprint against […]

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Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis

May 2, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): Today universally recognized as a landmark in American literature, Elmer Gantry scandalized readers when it was first published, causing Sinclair Lewis to be “invited” to a jail cell in New Hampshire and to his own lynching in Virginia. His portrait of a golden-tongued evangelist who rises to power within his […]

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A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

April 28, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): Bennie is an aging former punk rocker and record executive. Sasha is the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Here Jennifer Egan brilliantly reveals their pasts, along with the inner lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs. With music pulsing on every page, A Visit […]

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