The Christmas Box

From Charlene Muhr
author: Evans, Richard Paul
The Christmas Box
A few months ago, I went to a library conference and attended a lecture by Richard Paul Evans.  I was so moved by his talk that I purchased his book and had it autographed.  He wrote and self-published the Christmas Box in 1993, a Christmas story that he had written for his children.  The Christmas Box is a touching story of the real meaning of Christmas.  A couple, Richard and Keri, and their daughter, Jenna, are hired as caretakers for an elderly and ailing widow, Mary, who resides in a Victorian mansion.  It’s not long before Richard and his family become very fond of Mary.  As the holiday approaches, Mary is concerned about Richard’s obsession for success and his failure to recognize the emotional needs of his family.  One day, Richard discovers an ornate, heirloom box that contains love letters and is the key to a secret that Mary is holding close to her heart. This is guaranteed to be a tear jerker.

Man With the Golden Flute: Sir James, a Celtic Minstrel

From Edna Susman
author: Galway, James
Man With the Golden Flute: Sir James, a Celtic Minstrel
Considered to be the most televised and recorded classical artist performing today, James Galway, to commemorate his 70th birthday, has shared with us his experiences as a very young child in a poor working-class neighborhood to his current world-renowned reputation. Not just a must read for all flute players, but also for music fans of all genres, Sir James details his difficult beginnings and his rise to super star, crossing all musical boundaries. Classical music lovers will find his tales of collaboration with the pillars in the field such as the London Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic and more, very charming and
entertaining. Popular music fans will be amazed at his diversity, as he tells of working with the Chieftains and Pink Floyd.

The Other Wes Moore: One Name Two Fates

From Rita Gross
author: Moore, Wes
The Other Wes Moore: One Name Two Fates
The author was born in Baltimore, just blocks away from another young man with the same name.  They share many of the same experiences and life situations, growing up without fathers in a time of rampant drug violence.  The author became a Rhodes Scholar, served in the United States Armed Forces, was White House Fellow and today is a prominent businessman. The other Wes Moore is serving a life sentence for armed robbery and murder.
These men’s stories are told in parallel narratives, showing us step by step the paths their lives followed.  What were the defining moments that led to the divergence?  What were the choices that led to their ultimate fates?  Who in their lives influenced their behavior?  What role does one’s environment play?  This book describes the lives of a generation of young, urban Black teenagers and raises many questions about the choices we make early in life and their ultimate outcomes.

Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum Series #16)

From Margie Hartough
author: Evanowich, Janet
Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum Series #16)
Summer is a great time to visit cool friends,   Stephanie, Lula, Connie, Grandma Mazur, Ranger, Morelli and they’re back with another adventure.  Cousin Vinny has gone missing and owes a lot of money for gambling debt. If Vinny goes down so does the bond agency and Stephanie has to do whatever it takes to save it, even listening to Lula’s crazy plans. Also Stephanie has  inherited a lucky bottle from Uncle Pip, which is supposed to bring luck.  Good luck or back luck no one knows! And the off again on again romance with Morelli is off, but Ranger is on this summer.  It’s just all fun!

Never Tell Our Business to Strangers

From Linda Lennon
author: Mascia, Jennifer
Never Tell Our Business to Strangers
Author Jennifer Mascia is 5 years old when she witnesses the FBI arrest her father. At that moment she realizes her family isn’t exactly like everyone else’s. This memoir, along the lines of Jeanette Walls The Glass Castle, chronicles a dysfunctional family and the amazing survival of a strong child. Filled with drug dealing, murder, bankruptcy and cocaine addictions, Mascia tells the story of a loving family and her struggle to overcome her notorious parent’s deaths a few years apart from cancer leaving her alone.

Her Fearful Symmetry

From Elinor Sbrocchi
author: Niffenegger, Audrey
Her Fearful Symmetry
An aunt dies in London, leaving her apartment to her twin nieces with the stipulation that they live in it for a year. The twins come from Chicago and soon find they are not living alone. Elspeth, their aunt, is still inhabiting the place in the form of a spirit. There are two other apartments in the building; Martin lives on the top floor, paralyzed by his fears, and Elspeth’s lover is grieving below. Well-written and appealing. Recommended, from the author of “The Time Traveler’s Wife.”