BY SHARON STURGIS
"Too Many Murders" by Colleen McCullough. In the cold war year of 1967, 12 murders take place in one gruesome day. The tragedy takes place in the little city of Holloman, Connecticut, home to a prestigious university and an armaments giant. Chief detective Captain Carmine Delmonico finds that the stakes are high as he is drawn into a web of secrets and lies, with the world on the brink of nuclear holocaust.
"The Emperor of All Maladies" by Siddhartha Mukherjee. The author provides a magnificent, profoundly humane "biography" of cancer, from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago to the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure and conquer the disease.
"Lost Gate" by Orson Scott Card. Danny North always knew that his family was quite different, a family where everyone created such things as fairies, golems, trolls and other such miracles. Will Danny ever join in the magical heritage of his family, a clan of Mages living in exile in our human world?
"Night Road" by Kristin Hannah. Jude Farraday is a devoted mother who does everything she can to keep her kids on track and out of harm’s way. But when a new influence changes her children, she finds that in the blink of an eye, her family is torn apart and she may lose everything. Can she eventually find a way to forget, or the courage to forgive?
"River Marked" by Patricia Briggs. Shape shifter Mercy Thompson is a new type of supernatural heroine--one surrounded by witches, vampires, werewolves. And now there is a new evil stirring in the depths of the Columbia River and innocent people are dying. Mercy discovers she must reconnect with her heritage to exorcise the river devil.
"Many Bloody Returns" edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni Kelner. This is a superb collection of vampire fantasy stories by some of the best in the business. Suspenseful, surprising, sometimes dark, sometimes humorous, these thirteen frighteningly original stories will ensure you’ll never think of vampires of birthdays quite the same again.
"Finishing the Hat" by Stephen Sondheim. Penetrating and surprising, poignant, funny and sometimes provocative, Finishing the Hat is an informative look at the art and craft of lyric writing with an insightful history of the theater. Sondheim includes personal anecdotes, and appraises his own volume of work, offering an unparalleled understanding of songwriting.