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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

Clover's Luck by Kallie George

Clover's Luck is the first book in The Magical Animal Adoption Agency series.  Clover has always considered herself unlucky and especially with pets.  Her most recent one, a pet bird, flies off into the forest and when she goes chasing after her Clover stumbles upon a flyer advertising a job at an animal adoption agency.  When Clover goes to ask about the job she is hired on the spot and soon learns the secret of M.A.A.A.; it's full of magical animals.  Fairy horses, magic toads, witch kittens, unicorns, and even a baby dragon are among the animals available to adopt. Just as Clover is feeling her luck might be changing she gets left in charge of the agency and a sneaky witch shows up causing all sorts of trouble.  Can Clover overcome her bad luck and help the animals find good homes?   (Grades 2-4 School Library Journal)

"The Last Chinese Chef" by Nicole Mones

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​Charming book about a food writer who travels to China seeking the truth of a paternity claim against her deceased husband.  In addition she receives an assignment to interview the owner of a new restaurant opening in Beijing.  She soon discovers the restaurant owner is one of ten finalists for the Chinese Cultural Olympics too. These two story lines, the paternity claim and the preparation for the culinary contest, are woven throughout the book.  This will be appealing to lovers of Chinese food, romance, and anyone who enjoys historically accurate cooking.

The Possibilty Dogs: what a handful of "unadoptables" taught me about service, hope, and healing by Susannah Charleson

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The Possibility Dogs, is a fine book about raising, training, and working with search and rescue dogs. In this book, the author explores the realm of psychiatric service dogs; the characteristics and qualities required, and the incredible types of aids/interventions these dogs provide to their human partners. This book is an intriguing look at a little-understood and oft underrated branch of canine service.

Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter by Cass R. Sunstein

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Great book for anyone in collaborative decision making or management situations. Understandable and actionable, this book is about groups comprised of like-minded thinkers who often amplify, rather than correct, errors in judgment. They become more polarized and adopt more extreme positions than the ones they began with. Great suggestions on how to correct “group think,” and identify vulnerabilities in existing practices.
 
 Anyone involved in making decisions would enjoy this book.

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