The Killing Hills by Chris Offutt
Mick Hardin, an Army CID agent, is home on a leave that is almost done. His sister, newly risen to sheriff, has just landed her first murder case, and local politicians are pushing for city police or the FBI to take the case. She calls on Mick who, with his homicide investigation experience and familiarity with the terrain, is well-suited to staying under the radar.
No Hiding in Boise by Kim Hooper
When Angie is awakened by a midnight call from an officer with the Boise Police Department, she thinks there must be a misunderstanding. The officer tells her that her husband was involved in a shooting at a local bar, but how can that be possible when her husband is sleeping right next to her? Except when she turns to wake him, he isn’t there.
The Windsor Knot by SJ Bennett
It is the early spring of 2016 and Queen Elizabeth is at Windsor Castle in advance of her 90th birthday celebrations. But the preparations are interrupted by the shocking and untimely death of a guest in one of the Castle bedrooms. The scene leads some to think the young Russian pianist strangled himself, yet a badly tied knot leads MI5 to suspect foul play. When they begin to question the Household’s most loyal servants, Her Majesty knows they’re looking in the wrong place.
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
This first novel by Kazuo Ishiguro since he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, tells the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her.
X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II by Leah Garrett
June 1942. The shadow of the Third Reich has fallen across the European continent. In desperation, Winston Churchill and his chief of staff form an unusual plan: a new commando unit made up of Jewish refugees who have escaped to Britain. The resulting volunteers are a motley group of intellectuals, artists, and athletes, most from Germany and Austria.
Numbers Don’t Lie: 71 Stories to Help Us Understand the Modern World by Vaclav Smil
Vaclav Smil’s mission is to make facts matter. An environmental scientist, policy analyst, and a hugely prolific author, he is Bill Gates’ go-to guy for making sense of our world. In Numbers Don’t Lie, Smil answers questions such as: What’s worse for the environment—your car or your phone? How much do the world’s cows weigh (and what does it matter)? And what makes people happy?
First Steps: How Upright Walking Made Us Human by Jeremy DeSilva
Humans are the only mammals to walk on two, rather than four legs. We strive to be upstanding citizens, honor those who stand tall and proud, and take a stand against injustices. We follow in each other’s footsteps and celebrate a child’s beginning to walk. But why, and how, exactly, did we take our first steps? And at what cost? Bipedalism has its drawbacks: giving birth is more difficult and dangerous; and we suffer a variety of ailments, from hernias to sinus problems.
Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America by Alec MacGillis
In 1937, the famed writer and activist Upton Sinclair published the novel “A Story of Ford-America”. He blasted the callousness of a company worth “a billion dollars” that underpaid its workers while forcing them to engage in repetitive and dangerous labor. Eighty-three years later, the market capitalization of Amazon.com has exceeded one trillion dollars. We have, it seems, entered the age of one-click America.
The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read by Rita Lorraine Hubbard
This picture book biography of an extraordinary woman illustrates that it is never too late to change your life and make it better. Mary Walker was born a slave in 1848. She never went to school to learn to read or write. She was set free at 15 along with her parents and siblings. One day, she was given a Bible and vowed to someday learn to read it. ‘Someday’ would come nearly a century later when, having worked hard all her life and buried two husbands and her three sons, she decided that it was time to learn to read. She joined the literacy program in her home city of Chattanooga, Tennessee and a year later, at 116 years old, she finally was able to read her Bible. Until her death at 121 years old in 1969, Mary was honored by her home city with yearly birthday parties, where she would read aloud to people and say, “You’re never too old to learn!”