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This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathon Tropper

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No one is more surprised than Judd Foxman when his father passes away.  Not so much by the death, but by the nonreligious patriarch’s last wish to have the family sit Shiva, a Jewish tradition that requires his mother and siblings to spend an entire week together under one roof.  This wouldn’t be so bad if Judd’s family wasn’t so dysfunctional.  As this group of unique characters are forced to spend time together old wounds are brought to surface and they are made to deal with issues they would have rather continued to ignore.  The only family member not present is Judd’s wife who has been openly having an affair.  As Judd unwillingly reconnects with his family and struggles to deal with the reality of his deteriorating marriage what results is a novel full of biting, albeit slightly dark humor with realizations about family life and love.  

Dreaming Spies, by Laurie King

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Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, return for their thirteenth adventure (which, chronologically speaking, takes place between seventh and eighth books in the series, The Game and Locked Rooms, respectively). On their way from India to San Francisco in 1924, Russell and Holmes encounter a missing woman on a cruise ship and a nobly-born British blackmailer who had previously escaped Holmes. Soon, they’re working with a family of Japanese ninjas to avoid a major embarrassment—and a serious diplomatic incident—for Prince Hirohito, the heir to the empire of Japan.

Witty and well-paced, fans of Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes will find much to enjoy in this novel, which fills in a once-missing gap in the adventures of this detective duo. While Dreaming Spies references other incidents in the series, it can easily be read alone.

Juvenile Fiction Selection: The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher is a sweet, year-in-the life tale of the four fletcher boys and their two dads, Dad and Papa.  Sam, Jax, Eli, and Frog are looking forward to a new school year with sports, plays, a new school, and friends but not everything goes as planned.  Then they meet their new neighbor who turns out to be cranky and not thrilled to live next door to a bunch of boys, but can the Fletchers win him over?  This family is smart, funny, and loving and you will love getting to know them.  

Battle Ready: Memoir of a SEAL Warrior Medic

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Mark L. Donald joined the U S Marines straight out of high school as a way to escape his abusive father and avoid trouble with neighborhood gangs.  Given the work ethic installed by his mother and an innate competitive sense, he quickly earned a position on a Reconnaissance Team, the equivalent of a Navy Seal or Army Green Beret.  During the extensive training required for this team, he observed the Navy Hospital Corpsmen HM1 at work, and realized that this was what he was truly meant to do.  The story of his transition to a Navy HM1, during the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan War makes for a gripping read.  This book gives a great inside look at life on the battlefield and the devotion required of a true soldier.

Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

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Annie Hewitt is out of options. She returns to her mother’s cottage on Maine’s Peregrine Island with a mountain of debt, no real job prospects, and only her amazing puppet skills to sustain her. Going into a harsh winter, both her future and the landscape look bleak.

The forbidding house at the top of the hill houses a man who traumatized her as a teen, a friend in need, and a little girl who has lost her voice among the waves. In this modern Gothic, Annie’s time on the island will be marked with mystery, romance, thrills, love, and the sense of belonging she has always wanted – from the people she thought least likely to provide it.

Contributor: Stephanie

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