Books to Read After Running

by Sally Drake and Mark Mindel

The Beauty in Breaking by Michele Harper

An inspiring memoir by a Black ER physician reflecting on her career and lessons learned from personal and professional challenges, many of which were significant and traumatic.  I was particularly interested in Dr. Harper’s thoughts on ambition, professional risk (and how to cope with failure) and balancing emotional well-being with the rigors of being a doctor. I finished the book in awe of her strength and integrity battling sexism and racism while constantly striving for excellence in her own life. 

Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore

A gripping and dark novel about the aftermath of a brutal assault on a young girl in a Texas oil town in the early 1970s.  The story is told from the perspective of several women impacted by the crime in this remote town grappling with violence, class strife and poverty. It’s a hard read, but the strength and resilience of these women to protect each other and rise up when they can, makes it ultimately a story about hope.

Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland

Set in Atlantic City over the course of a summer in 1934 this novel is about a family coming to terms with a terrible tragedy, uncovering long-held secrets in the process. The historic setting of this novel is richly told--Atlantic City was rising to its height of bustling tourism and showy displays of wealth, posing challenge and opportunity to the working-class immigrants who had settled there in the preceding decade.

Want by Lynn Steger Strong

A very modern novel about social mobility and the American economy. An educated millennial woman struggles to survive as a young mother in Brooklyn, patchworking part-time teaching jobs only to not make ends meet, spiraling into debt and depression as the life she was told to expect gets further and further out of reach. This crisis is both personal and political, representative of an entire generation caught between educational success and job insecurity in a gig economy, trying to live in big cities affordable only to the one percent.

Accused (Rosato & DiNunzio, #1)   by Lisa Scottoline 

Rosato makes DiNunzio partner in the starting of a new series by Law writer Lisa Scottoline, a spinoff of the old Rosato & Associates series. My 18th book since the Pandemic started in March! I've been all over this series chronologically, as this book was written in 2013. But it's a great series, especially for women and women's right advocates as the entire law firm is made up of women! Here, in her first case since making partner, Mary DiNunzio goes against her old boss and takes a pro bono case by representing a 13-year-old girl who feels the wrong person has been convicted of her sister's murder. It's a great tale of fortitude as Mary fights against everyone: her own firm, her client's parents and lawyers, the Prosecutor who put away the person Mary feels is framed, and even her fiancé (who surprises her with an engagement ring) and her mother and mother-in-law to be who fight over whose dress she will wear to the wedding! Read it to see if Mary comes out on top in any of it!

Cajun Justice by James Patterson

A quick read in my Pandemic library! Cajun Justice mirrors the story of Secret Service Agent Mike Banning in the "Fallen" movie trilogy (2013 "Olympus Has Fallen"; 2016 "London Has Fallen"; and 2019 "Angel Has Fallen") where a disgraced Federal Agent comes to the rescue time and time again to save his President! Here, former Secret Service Agent Cain Lemaire, a New Orleans native, is fired because he won't blow the whistle on his crew of other agents who were drunk and with prostitutes in an unnamed South American town (sounds like a true-life story!). His twin sister Bonnie invites him to become head of security for a powerful CEO in Tokyo. Never a dull moment here as trouble follows him right from the start in the land of the Rising Sun. Read this "can't-put-down" Patterson thriller to see if Cajun Justice is served!

Masked Prey (Lucas Davenport, #30) by John Sandford

Wow! We've come a long way with Lucas Davenport from his days as a Minneapolis cop to head of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and now as an "as needed consultant" U.S. Marshal at the call and beckon of U.S. Senators and higher up politicians who need someone who can work without the scrutiny of an F.B.I. investigation. 30 years! Lucas gets a call from U.S. Senator Elmer Henderson, former Governor of Minnesota who needs his help on a tricky case. A sinister alt-right group has posted pictures of children of Democratic U.S. Senators alongside far right rhetoric, with their names and addresses, on a dark web site. Implicit is the task at hand is to take one of these kids out to get the Senator in your back pocket, vote-wise. The F.B.I. has its hands tied as no crime has been committed. Enter Lucas who brings in his "heavy-hitters" team of Bob and Rae to find the mastermind before any Senator’s child gets shot. Of course, there are many twists to this intriguing tale. You literally cannot put this book done. Find out if Lucas can get the job done, before, well...the job gets done!

Hush Hush (Detective Harriet Blue, #4) by James Patterson and Candace Fox 

Nobody writes better with James Patterson than my favorite Aussie, Candice Fox. This is the fourth in the series of Harriet (Harry) Blue novels the duo has written. Of course, set in Australia. With the pandemic back in full force, I've been forced to isolate and READ. Knocked this one out in two days, mainly because it's so good and you can't put it down. Harry is pulled from prison by Police Commissioner Joe Woods (who put her there in the first place) because his daughter and granddaughter are missing and he knows that Blue and her fellow suspended partners, Tox Barnes and Edward (Whitt) Whittaker are his best bet on finding them. There are problems, of course. Bike gangs, corrupt lawyers and prison guards, hitmen. But our trio of maverick cops will have to fight through the problems and against the ticking clock to find Tonya little Rebel Woods. A great read.

Macanudo Liniers is a comic strip from Argentina drawn by Liniers. It is distributed worldwide and was introduced into the Times Union comic section by Rex Smith.

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