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Bookseller Jo has some great suggestions!

A jaw-dropping literary tour-de force, set in the maelstrom of New York finance in the beginning of the 20th century. Four narrators twist and turn their stories of the central character, a financial magnate, who would be at home in a current hedge fund. Who do we trust? One? All? None? The stunning prose and shifting realities create “a song played in reverse and on its head.” Brilliant and compelling, one of the best books of 2022.

A book set in a 12th century nunnery doesn’t sound as if one would stay up late devouring it, but this tale of Marie de France is a page turner. Cast out of the court of Eleanor of Aquitane, Marie is banished to England, to be the prioress of an impoverished abbey on the verge of collapse, as are the sickly nuns inside. Gradually, Marie warms to her new life and companions, channeling her lineage of women warriors to build her vision. The sacred and the profane collide and combine into a transcendent saga.

A perfect book to dive into when on a plane or endlessly delayed at an airport! The author, a former flight attendant, wrote much of this book on redeyes, while passengers slept, with authentic details and characters. The terror comes from humans, not mechanical problems, as a pilot is caught in a blackmail plot with no good alternatives. Flying has been described as “hours and hours of sheer boredom sprinkled with a few seconds of sheer terror.” “Falling” is totally lacking in boredom but makes up for it with plentiful moments of jump-out-of-your-seatbelt terror.

The subtitle says it all: “The Rise and Fall of an American myth.” Texas Governor Abbott recently signed the “1836 Project” into law, designed to ensure that only “Texas values” will be taught in schools. However, the so-called Texas revolt was primarily to ensure that slavery was protected from Mexico’s abolitionist government. The popular narrative memorialized Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett and William Travis as martyrs, whose deaths were manipulated to demonize Mexicans. This book is not revisionist history, but an opening for truth and critical examination.

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