Outlander ( I am finally reading this!)
by Diana Gabaldon
One of the top ten best-loved novels in America, as seen on PBS’s The Great American Read!
Unrivaled storytelling. Unforgettable characters. Rich historical detail. These are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured the hearts of millions of fans. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and history that combines exhilarating adventure with a love story for the ages.
Scottish Highlands, 1945. Claire Randall, a former British combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.
The New American
by Micheline Aharonian Marcom
This “harrowing, heartbreaking story” (Kirkus Reviews) depicts the epic journey of a young Guatemalan American college student, a “dreamer,” who gets deported and decides to make his way back home to California.
One day, Emilio learns the shocking secret: he is undocumented. His parents, who emigrated from Guatemala to California, had never told him.
Emilio slowly adjusts to his new normal. All is going well, he’s in his second year at UC Berkeley...then he gets into a car accident, and—without a driver’s license or any ID—the policeman on the scene reports him to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Once deported to Guatemala, Emilio is determined to get back to California, the only home he has ever known. It is an epic journey that takes him across thousands of miles and eventually the Sonoran Desert of the United States-Mexico border, meeting thieves and corrupt law enforcement but also kind strangers and new friends.
Inspired in part by interviews with Central American refugees, and told in lyrical prose, Micheline Aharonian Marcom weaves a “powerful, heartbreaking” (Publishers Weekly) tale of adventure. In The New American, Marcom “depicts inhumanity with visceral force, but her bracing empathy (and hope) shines above all” (Entertainment Weekly). This is a compassionate story of one young man who risks so much to return home.
Mary Jane's Pick
Universe of Two
by Stephen Kieran
From the critically acclaimed author of The Baker’s Secret and The Curiosity comes a novel of conscience, love, and redemption—a fascinating fictionalized account of the life of Charlie Fisk, a gifted mathematician who was drafted into Manhattan Project and ordered against his morals to build the detonator for the atomic bomb. With his musician wife, he spends his postwar life seeking redemption—and they find it together.
Graduating from Harvard at the height of World War II, brilliant mathematician Charlie Fish is assigned to the Manhattan Project. Working with some of the age’s greatest scientific minds, including J. Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, and Leo Szilard, Charlie is assigned the task of designing and building the detonator of the atomic bomb.
As he performs that work Charlie suffers a crisis of conscience, which his wife, Brenda—unaware of the true nature of Charlie’s top-secret task—mistakes as self-doubt. She urges him to set aside his qualms and continue. Once the bombs strike Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the feelings of culpability devastate him and Brenda.
At the war’s end, Charlie receives a scholarship to pursue a PhD in physics at Stanford—an opportunity he and Brenda hope will allow them a fresh start. But the past proves inescapable. All any of his new colleagues can talk about is the bomb, and what greater atomic weapons might be on the horizon. Haunted by guilt, Charlie and Brenda leave Stanford and decide to dedicate the rest of their lives to making amends for the evil he helped to birth into the world.
Based on the life of the actual mathematician Charles B. Fisk, Universe of Two combines riveting historical drama with a poignant love story. Stephen Kiernan has conjured a remarkable account of two people struggling to heal their consciences and find peace in a world forever changed.
House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed
by Sara Gay Forden
SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE from director Ridley Scott, starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver.
Who killed Maurizio Gucci? Discover the sensational true story of murder, madness, glamour, and greed that shook the Gucci dynasty–and inspired the blockbuster film.
On the morning of March 27, 1995, four quick shots cracked through Milan’s elegant streets. Maurizio Gucci, heir to the fabulous fashion dynasty, had been ambushed, slain on the steps to his office by an unknown gunman. Two years later, Milan’s chief of police entered the sumptuous palazzo of Maurizio’s ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani—nicknamed “the Black Widow” by the press—and arrested her for murder.
Did Patrizia kill her ex-husband because his spending was wildly out of control? Did she do it out of jealousy, because he was preparing to marry his mistress? Or is it possible Patrizia didn’t do it at all?
The Gucci story is one of glitz, glamour, and intrigue—a chronicle of the rise, near fall, and subsequent resurgence of a fashion dynasty. Beautifully written, impeccably researched, and widely acclaimed, Sara Gay Forden's The House of Gucci is a page-turning account of high fashion, high finance, and heartrending personal tragedy.
by Susie Yang
Ivy Lin is a thief and a liar—but you’d never know it by looking at her.
Raised outside of Boston, Ivy’s immigrant grandmother relies on Ivy’s mild appearance for cover as she teaches her granddaughter how to pilfer items from yard sales and second-hand shops. Thieving allows Ivy to accumulate the trappings of a suburban teen—and, most importantly, to attract the attention of Gideon Speyer, the golden boy of a wealthy political family. But when Ivy’s mother discovers her trespasses, punishment is swift and Ivy is sent to China, and her dream instantly evaporates.
Years later, Ivy has grown into a poised yet restless young woman, haunted by her conflicting feelings about her upbringing and her family. Back in Boston, when Ivy bumps into Sylvia Speyer, Gideon’s sister, a reconnection with Gideon seems not only inevitable—it feels like fate.
by Jojo Moyes
Now published in the United States for the first time—an early novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Giver of Stars.
Isabel Delancey, a classical violinist, has always taken her comfortable life for granted. But when her husband dies suddenly, leaving her with a mountain of debt, she and her two children are forced to abandon their home and move to the Spanish House, a now-dilapidated manor Isabel inherited in the English countryside.
With the house falling down around them, and the last of her savings disappearing fast, Isabel turns to her neighbors for help, not knowing that her mere presence there has stirred up long-standing obsessions.
As she fights to make her house a home, passions and lives collide. Isabel will discover an instinct for survival she never knew she had— and that a heart can play a new song. . .