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Books For The “Serious Reader” On Your Holiday List

For the more serious readers on your holiday list, I thought I would toss out some ideas today from my own “Must Read” list. Of course, that list gets set aside when I am busy, but I am working my way down!

 

6493208The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.


 

Cutting for Stone

3591262Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon. Orphaned by their mother’s death and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution.

Moving from Addis Ababa to New York City and back again, Cutting for Stone is an unforgettable story of love and betrayal, medicine and ordinary miracles—and two brothers whose fates are forever intertwined.

 


16213#1 New York Times Bestseller

The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus

The bestselling landmark account of the first emergence of the Ebola virus. A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic “hot” virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their “crashes” into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.


 

 

Virus Hunter: Thirty Years of Battling Hot Viruses Around the World

by C.J. Peters, Mark Olshaker

A New York Times Notable Book249716

The man who led the battle against Ebola in The Hot Zone teams up with the bestselling co-author of Mind Hunter to chronicle his extraordinary thirty-year career fighting deadly viruses.

For three decades, Dr. C. J. Peters was on the front lines of our biological battle against “hot” viruses around the world. In the course of that career, he learned countless lessons about our interspecies turf wars with infectious agents. Called in to contain an outbreak of deadly hemorrhagic fever in Bolivia, he confronted the despair of trying to save a colleague who accidentally infected himself with an errant scalpel. Working in Level 4 labs on the Machupo and Ebola viruses, he saw time and again why expensive high-tech biohazard containment equipment is only as safe as the people who use it.

Because of new, emerging viruses, and the return of old, “vanquished” ones for which vaccines do not exist, there remains a very real danger of a new epidemic that could, without proper surveillance and early intervention, spread worldwide virtually overnight. And the possibility of foreign countries or terrorist groups using deadly airborne viruses—the poor man’s nuclear arsenal—looms larger than ever.

High-octane science writing at its best and most revealing, Virus Hunter is a thrilling first-person account of what it is like to be a warrior in the Hot Zone.


9244361

Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream

by Arianna Huffington (Goodreads Author), Coleen Marlo (Goodreads Author)

It’s not an exaggeration to say that middle-class Americans are an endangered species and that the American Dream of a secure, comfortable standard of living has become as outdated as an Edsel with an eight-track player—that the United States of America is in danger of becoming a third world nation.

The evidence is all around us: Our industrial base is vanishing, taking with it the kind of jobs that have formed the backbone of our economy for more than a century; our education system is in shambles, making it harder for tomorrow’s workforce to acquire the information and training it needs to land good twenty-first-century jobs; our infrastructure—our roads, our bridges, our sewage and water, our transportation and electrical systems—is crumbling; our economic system has been reduced to recurring episodes of Corporations Gone Wild; our political system is broken, in thrall to a small financial elite using the power of the checkbook to control both parties.

And America’s middle class, the driver of so much of our economic success and political stability, is rapidly disappearing, forcing us to confront the fear that we are slipping as a nation—that our children and grandchildren will enjoy fewer opportunities and face a lower standard of living than we did. It’s the dark flipside of the American Dream—an American Nightmare of our own making.

Arianna Huffington, who, with the must-read Huffington Post, has her finger on the pulse of America, unflinchingly tracks the gradual demise of America as an industrial, political, and economic leader. In the vein of her fiery bestseller Pigs at the Trough, Third World America points fingers, names names, and details who is killing the American Dream. Finally, calling on the can-do attitude that is part of America’s DNA, Huffington shows precisely what we need to do to stop our freefall and keep America from turning into a third world nation.

Third World America is a must-listen for anyone disturbed by our country’s steady descent from twentieth-century superpower to backwater banana republic.

 

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Finger Knitting For Altzheimer’s Reserch With David Babcock

Learn to Finger Knit with the Knitting Runner, David Babcock Send to a Friend Share on Facebook Tweet this
Featured in the New York Times and around the world, David Babcock is the Guinness World Record holder for knitting the longest scarf (12 feet!) while running a marathon, which he did in Kansas City last October.

This Sunday, I’ll be running the New York City Marathon while knitting a scarf. I’m doing it to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s. While training for the New York City Marathon, I was faced with a problem. Due to security concerns I was told that I would not be allowed to bring knitting needles or a crochet hook with me on the run. I respect the great service that the New York Police Department provides and want to support their efforts. So I had to come up with a way to knit on the run without needles.

:: Learn David’s amazing finger knitting technique! ::

*Article courtesy of LION BRAND YARNS.

Review: Demons Not Included: A Night Tracker Novel

demonsWhoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you. – Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

 Over the centuries, mankind has tried many ways of combating the forces of evil… prayer, fasting, good works and so on. Up until Doom, no one seemed to have thought about the double-barrel shotgun. Eat leaden death, demon. – Terry Pratchett

Monsters are real. You just can’t see them. And if you do? Well, a Soothsayer will make sure you forget all about it. So, it’s all good, right? Olivia’s T-Shirt says it all: People like you are the reason People like me need medication. And there is heavy need for medication going around. Because the Ruhin Demon Gate has been breached, the Gatekeeper murdered, and demons are at, and past, the gate.

Nyx is a Tracker, protector of the people of Earth from the things that go bump in the night. Of course, Nyx is one of those things that go bump in the night – a Drow Princess, half Dark Elf, half human, crazily strong, crazily brave, and more fragile than most would understand. She lives between worlds, not only as a Tracker but also in her very makeup. By day, she works as a PI beside her friend Olivia, a human. But by night, Nyx is Drow, or as close as she can get. Her half-blood heritage means she her skin is amethyst rather than blue, her hair cobalt rather than sapphire, but she is still Drow in her heart, and her Drow powers of manipulation of the elements, strength and speed mean that she is very, very good at her job. But the sudden presence of demons in Manhattan changes everything. As Trackers die, and their human liaisons disappear, Nyx’s strength will be tested beyond anything she ever imagined – and the whole world will be at risk.

This first in the series had the potential to be “just another UF.” There is the expected cast of characters – vampires, werewolves and elves (Oh, my) as well as characters that aren’t often seen, such as shadow stalkers and metamorphs. But Cheyenne McCray has done a wonderful job of taking this book to a new level, writing a much more character-driven novel than one normally sees. There are twists and turns, some seriously messed-up stuff, and the truth of never knowing if those who you believe to be your friends truly are.

This is a great start to the series, and I look forward to reading more.

I was given this book as a gift from a friend. All thoughts are my own.

To Murder A Saint – Win An Audible.com Copy!!!!

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Click to Win!!!! LINK NOW UPDATED AND WORKS CORRECTLY!

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Now is your chance to WIN a copy of To Murder A Saint by Nicole Loughan!

 

Nicole just published her Audio version of her book at Audible.com. Read by Suzy Lexington the story leads from the swamps of Louisiana to New York City, and back to Louisiana again as Fanchon, one of two lovely girls from the swamps, searches for her best friend Josephine’s murderer. A tightly written story imbued with ambiance, it is a wonderful beginning to the Saints Series!

Blurb:

The ground is too wet…If you bury the dead here, they can come back.” Her father always warned her that the bayou was a mysterious and dangerous place. She never suspected that the greatest danger of her life was lurking in New York City. Before their bags are unpacked one of two Cajun girls in fresh from Louisiana is found savagely murdered in New York. All the clues point to a wild animal, a perplexing development for a third floor apartment. Lacking a suspect the police accompany the murdered girl’s French speaking roommate back to her reclusive Southern Louisiana town in search of a lead. They are met with a warning that the killer is not finished yet and learn that this is not the first mysterious death in the family.

Excerpt:

It’s probably a bad sign on a first date that my mind wandered to how best to bury somebody. Namely it wandered to burying Jason Stepwald: lumpy, chubby, balding insurance salesman, Jason Stepwald. Not handsome, full head of hair, marine ‘Semper Fi Jason’ as advertised on his My Date profile page.

I think I started picturing Jason dead when he would not stop talking about insurance rates while his mouth was stuffed with oysters. The shining grey and white matter swirling around on his tongue as he talked about tort reform set a picture in my mind of him buried in the wet soil of my parents’ front yard. I remember my father telling me when I was young, “The ground here is too wet, cher. If you bury the dead here, they can come back.”

With those words in my mind I saw Jason lowered into the ground, a respectable burial, and then his decayed corpse bubbled back to the surface, his tongue sticking out. It was the very color of the gelatinous goo currently occupying his mouth.

My attention came back to living Jason when I inhaled a pungent fish smell. Jason decided that I might try one of his half shell delicacies if it was swirled within an inch of my face.

“You want one?” he asked. “Clams are an aphrodisiac, you know.”

“Where I come from we call ‘em oysters,” I told him, pushing his hand away. I noticed that his hands were soft. My dad always said nobody dates a man with soft hands.

Jason recovered from my slight and said, “So, Fanchon. That’s an interesting name.”

“Well,” I said. “A name like Fanchon in Louisiana helps people separate poor bayou trash from just plain regular white trash.”

His eyes grew wide and some of his red wine dribbled down his chin. The red wine glistening on his neck was just too much for the dead Jason image in my head. I had to turn away from him or I was going to lose it.

“I didn’t mean to upset you or anything like that,” he said.

While looking away I suppressed a smile and turned back to face him. “It’s fine. If you really care to know it’s a Cajun name. I am from a French parish town near New Orleans. It comes from…”

He interrupted me. “You know what’s interesting about New Orleans?”

“I have no idea,” I said resting my head on my hands, giving up on getting a chance to speak.

“Well it’s interesting because the whole city sits below sea level, you know. What happened with Katrina, it was just a matter of time,” he said chewing with his mouth opened yet again. “That’s the risk of being below sea level; they don’t even offer flood insurance there. I have been to a place in even worse shape called Kiribati. It is so low they will be underwater in the next two years. Talk about an insurer’s nightmare. They are mostly savages in little huts though, so it’s not like they would even have anything to insure.”

After he steered the conversation to insurance yet again I couldn’t take it.

“I have to use the restroom,” I said, walking away before he could reply.

Once safely locked away in the bathroom I sat on a yellow chaise, facing a full-length mirror by the door. I took a deep breath and examined my reflection. I thought I looked pretty good that night, not like my usual self at all. I thought back to how excited I was getting ready with my roommate, Josephine. She sweetly brushed my unruly dark hair, taming it with all her gels and curlers. She pulled out her best red dress and stuffed me into it. It was so tight on me we had to buy stockings that sucked me in from my knees to my chest. I remember I told her, “I hate tight clothes.”

She replied with her usual pseudo French cadence. “Men here drawn to tight clothes and red like flies to honey, cher. Deese men won’t be impressed dat you know how to gut a fish,” she said as she pushed a stray hair out of my face. “You my beautiful friend, cher. It time you act like it.”

And don’t miss Nicole’s second volume in the Saints Series! All Saint’s Secrets is out NOW!!

Blurb:

allsaints“After her death the kids used to say her ghost haunted the plantation.”

The bayou holds many secrets. One of them is what really happened to Lisette, a beautiful Creole teenager who died on the last day of school. Everybody in Fanchon’s reclusive bayou parish knows Lisette died in a boating accident, but when the police take a closer look, they unearth the dead girl and find a surprise in her grave.

All Saints’ Secrets is the sequel to To Murder a Saint. It is highly recommended that the Saint books be listened to in order.

 

About The Author:

new-orleans-maskYou may know her as the syndicated humor columnist “The Starter Mom.” Nicole is a graduate of Michigan State University and an award winning Journalist, recognized by the Michigan Press Association as a top feature writer. She writes for two daily newspapers in the greater Philadelphia area. To Murder a Saint is the first book in the Saint Series. All Saints’ Secrets released in August. It is recommended that the books are read in order.

Nicole loves a mystery. Her favorite female sleuths were dreamed up by Charlaine Harris and Janet Evanovich. She draws inspiration from the classics too such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allen Poe. She said she has to mention her first experiences with New Orleans came from the venerable Anne Rice.

About the Narrator:

Nicole and LizThe daughter of an American diplomat father and a model mother, Suzy Lexington has been traveling the globe since she was born.

Currently, Suzy is working as a journalist and living in NYC.

Click the Audible logo to see Suzy’s other works. audible

 

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