In “Gateway to Freedom,” Pulitzer-Prize winning scholar, Eric Foner delves into American slavery and freedom, focusing on New York City, where slavery continued even after it was abolished. New York also had the largest free black communi...read more
If you’re in the mood for a cozy, holiday-themed mystery, try “A catered Valentine's Day : a mystery with recipes” by Isis Crawford. Fourth in the series, sisters Bernie and Libby Simmons own a catering business, “A Taste of H...read more
Do you remember the first year Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday was celebrated as a national holiday? January 15, 1986: 17 years after his assassination and 22 years after the signing of the Civil Rights Act.
A timeline of events and resources acco...read more
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What has the beak of a parrot, venom of a snake and can ...read more
I’m generally a patient person, but not when it comes to standing in line. Hour-long wait at a restaurant? I’ll come back another time. Velvet ropes and standing outside a club? No thanks. Reading a great new book and then having to wait ...read more
Neva Bradley has a secret. She's seven months pregnant and doing a good job of hiding it from her colleagues, despite her job as a midwife at the birthing center. Her mother, Grace and her grandmother, Floss haven't yet noticed, even though they are ...read more
Anytime the word "magic" appears in a title, it catches my eye - especially when it's comes to cleaning house! This winter my family endured the chaos of a burst pipe and resulting house flood, so I was particularly susceptible to this book's promise...read more
Having lived through hurricanes as a kid in Florida and years later walking out of Manhattan on September 11th - I've experienced chaos and confusion following a disaster. As horrific as past events were, I think I was not alone in my astonishment as...read more
Have you ever read a book that suits itself perfectly to a movie or television miniseries? Daisy Goodwin's "The Fortune Hunter" is just such a story. Set in the late 1800s, Queen Victoria is on the throne and Emperor Franz Joseph's wife, Empress Eliz...read more
When I first heard this title, I thought it was about Halloween or New York's Fashion Week. It quickly became apparent with the hype of the television series that it was about a very different topic - prison.
Since I don't have Netflix but I do have...read more
"The Angel's Game" is set in 1920s Barcelona, Spain, many years before the modern technologies and conveniences we now take for granted. As I listened to this novel, the tempo and voice flowed gracefully, reminding me of summer days and siestas, with...read more
My go-to Irish author is Tana French (In the Woods) but her newest book, "The Secret Place," doesn't come out until this Fall. Lucky for me, I found "Black Irish" by Stephan Talty, his fiction debut. I didn't realize that Irish immigrants didn't just...read more
Hating the summer heat? Try this chilly read. Every time I sat down to read "The Ice Princess" by Camilla Läckberg, I found myself snuggled under blankets. The frigid Swedish winter setting of this mystery crept into me from page one...read more
This is one of those books you can imagine as a movie when you're reading it - down to the creepy music and close up shots. "Hanging Hill" leads you down the path to solving a shocking murder of a local teen, however, the story is just as much ...read more
The Edgar Award, bestowed by the Mystery writers of America, is considered by many to be the premier award in the mystery genre. When I saw author Mo Hayder was an "Edgar Award" finalist, I jumped headfirst into the audio-recording of "The Treatment....read more
What do Dry Tortugas National Park, an exploding boat and post-civil war criminals have in common? Answer: Park Ranger Anna Pigeon.
In the eleventh book of the Anna Pigeon series, she has run away from a marriage proposal to become the temporary par...read more
What is your worst nightmare? Imagine upon waking, you find yourself bound and freezing cold, with no memory how you came to this place. Slowly, you remember your name. Abigail Deveraux.
Your attacker treats you roughly, with the bare minimum of wat...read more
Protagonist Frieda Klien is a psychotherapist who deals with the messy, modern world of London by taking late-night solitary walks through the streets, sorting through details of the day and re-establishing order to her life. She believes all problem...read more
This love story is not for the faint of heart - or the squeamish. And you may decide it's not a love story at all - rather just the intersection of two people's lives, who happen to have very heavy baggage.
The story begins with the narrator driving...read more
Could an artist be so obsessed by a painting that he'd be compelled to destroy it? If so, why? This is the question psychiatrist Andrew Marlow wrestles with as he works to treat his newest patient, a painter of emerging fame and obvious genius, Rober...read more
Reading a review for Michael Robotham's newest thriller, "Say You're Sorry," (2012) I was intrigued and wanted to read it, but it wasn't available. I wasn't familiar with this author so I checked out his first book, "Suspect" (2005).
Joe O'Loughlin ...read more
Sometimes, I like to take risks. Like popping a chocolate from a sampler in my mouth without first checking if it's one I like. Recently, I grabbed a book and started reading, without a glance at the dust jacket!
This fast-paced debut novel grabbed ...read more
I've been drawn to reading World War I era fiction, no doubt thanks to the Edwardian Age setting of "Downton Abbey" and the wonderful maze of English society that is so different from American culture. As we near the 100th anniversary of America's in...read more
Clicking through cable channels offers an amazing amount of "reality" television shows. Why are we obsessed with shows about other's misfortunes, deformities, addictions or meltdowns? Is there a shift in modern society? Some point to MTV's "The Real ...read more
Does everyone have a double--a person who looks so similar they could be mistaken for the same person? This is the premise of Tana French's "The Likeness," the second in her Cassie Maddox series.
Six months after a grueling murder case, (French's fi...read more
What moves an artist to choose a subject, composition of a still life or position of figures? What would you ask Auguste Pierre Renoir about his Luncheon of the Boating Party?
Susan Vreeland's novel of the same name takes the reader on a journey int...read more
What if Shakespeare didn't actually author "Romeo and Juliet" but lifted the story from Sienna, changed a few names and made it his own in Verona? Ann Fortier's novel, "Juliet" explores this question and delves into the "true" story of Romeo and Juli...read more
Sometimes, I like to slip into something more comfortable.... And return to a favorite author and remind myself of the depth of his work. Pat Conroy is one favorite whom I have returned in recent months, and I have not been disappointed.
Conroy's in...read more
Always a sucker for the one-two punch of historical drama and a BBC production, I recently watched "Small Island" based on the award-winning book by Andrea Levy.
I was swept into the worlds of two strong, independent-minded women from opposite ends ...read more
Talking animals usually bring to mind old episodes of "Mr. Ed" or the kids' movie, "Babe." While cute, I don't tend to read books with talking animals, unless it's to my children. Recently, a friend's dog passed away and I felt so inadequate in offer...read more
As I shelved a DVD of the PBS miniseries, "Downton Abbey," I wished for the second season to finally air!
And then I saw her: a gorgeous young woman in a white ball gown, standing under a magnificent chandelier, silhouetted by a huge window. I imme...