To Have and to Kill

From Elaine Pasquali

Title:  To Have and to Kill

Author:  Mary Jane Clark

Piper Donovan, an out-of-work soap opera star and occasional pastry decorator in her mother’s baker, is cast in the role of wedding cake baker for her friend, Glenna’s, wedding.  Glenna begins to receive threatening letters about her impending wedding.  The letters are quickly followed by two murders and an attempted murder.  There is no absence of suspects, including Glenna’s fiancé, Casey.  This is a engaging, well written mystery

Flash Boys

From  Terry DelBalso

Title:  Flash Boys

Author:  Michael Lewis

Another Michael Lewis book I read this summer. This is a great read about the markets and the turning point for many people in the industry as they were truly embracing technology and the potential that comes with the speed of the internet. It’s really fascinating the power just a few microseconds can have and how it can affect not only companies, but investors as well.

No Place to Hide

From Terry DelBalso

Title:  No Place to Hide

Author:  Glenn Greenwald

This book dives into what hit the front pages of every newspaper in America and the back story behind every moment from the reporter’s point of view. We remember the stories about the NSA when they were coming out as breaking news but this reporter recalls the moments leading up to the stories being published, and even how he almost gave the story up!

The Big Short

From  Terry DelBalso

Title:  The Big Short

Author:  Michael Lewis

If you’re interested in the financial industry, Michael Lewis is definitely the author for you. He finds a way to explain to you exactly what is happening throughout the story and gives such detailed and compelling accounts as though he was in every room with every character, and not just them remembering their own personal moments and sharing it with him.

Great Expectations

From Terry DelBalso

Title:  Great Expectations

Author:  Charles Dickens

This was such a beautiful coming of age book about relationships and a young boy named Pip growing up and experiencing the beauties and challenges of life. Throughout the entire book I could almost feel his emotions and became close with those he loved and disliked those characters I thought were bad. It truly felt as though I was in the moment with him watching him grow.

Milk: The Deadly Poison

From Frank DelBalso

Title:  Milk: The Deadly Poison

Author:  Robert Cohen

The author questions Monsanto’s data and the approval of RBHG (bovine growth hormone. He presents presents evidence of FDA cooperating with Monsanto. The scientist who reviewed the data had recently left Monsanto to go to the FDA. Evidence is presented which shows that cows treated with RBGH pass higher levels of hormones through their milk.

Fontamara

From  Elaine Pasquali

Title:  Fontamara 

Author:  Ignazio Silone

This novel speaks to the transformation of poverty-stricken southern Italy under Mussolini’s fascist regime.  Amoral familism gives way to class consciousness and the patron- peasant relationship goes from mutually beneficial to exploitative without protection.  Silone uses the theft of water, the peasants’ vital resource, to tell his story.  A peasant, Bernardo, becomes their leader, and, in the end, their martyr.  Silone recounts the peasants’ story in a compassionate, reality-based manner.  A deeply moving and memorable novel that I appreciate more each time I read it.