Category Archives: Books

A full-dressed teen found at the bottom of her family’s pool. Dive into Mary Higgins Clark’s latest mystery, “I’ve Got My Eyes on You”

Some whine that Mary Higgins Clark is the Queen of “cut and paste”. Nonsense. Jackie Collins held that title.  Clark maintains the honor of being known as the “Queen of Suspense”.  Mary Higgins Clark remains in top form after more than 40 years of delivering hit suspense novels

Clark’s latest: I’ve Got My Eyes on You (Simon & Schuster, $26.99). What can we tell you about the page-turner? Just a bit to lure you into the mystery as we were . . .

After a party when her parents are away, 18-year-old Kerry Dowling is found fully dressed at the bottom of the family pool. The immediate suspect is her boyfriend who had a bitter argument with her at the party. Then there is a 22-year-old intellectually impaired neighbor who was angry because she didn’t invite him to the party.  Or is there someone else who is not yet on the radar screen?

Kerry’s older sister Aline, a 28-year-old guidance counselor, is determined to help the detective assigned to the case find the truth. She does not realize that now she is putting her own life in danger . . .

The main reason we love Ruth Bader Ginsburg: She hates Adolph Frump as much as we do. Smart lady. And what quotes!

The main reason we love Ruth Bader Ginsburg:  She hates Adolph Frump as much as we do. Smart lady.

While she’s been a Supreme Court Justice for the past 25 years, Ginsburg is in the forefront of American politics and culture now more than ever before.

She is continually in the news for her opposition to the Frump administration. She is an icon to the modern feminist movement. On May 4 the documentary RBG, focusing on Justice Ginsburg’s life and career, will be released in selected theaters, and it has already been selected for the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

Need more Justice Ginsburg? Have her handy . . . and in your pocket. With nearly 150 quotes from RBG herself, You Can’t Spell Truth Without Ruth (St. Martin’s Press, $16.99) is the perfect handy-sized dose of motivation and inspiration for change-makers in the world today. Let RBG’s words on law and life from her past 25 years on the bench of the Supreme Court  give you courage to stand up and say, “I dissent.”

You Can't Spell Truth Without Ruth: An Unauthorized Collection of Witty & Wise Quotes from the Queen of Supreme, Ruth Bader GinsburgHer quotes are witty and wise. Think:

  • “If you’re going to change things, you have to be with the people who hold the levers.”

  • “As long as I can do the job full steam, I will do it.”

  • “Yes, there are miles in front, but what a distance we have travelled.”

Noted photographer shares stunning images of a 21-year-old Cassius Clay in “Ali”

Yep. He was always the greatest. In June, 1963, on assignment from Sports Illustrated, peerless portrait photographer Steve Schapiro traveled to Louisville, Kentucky to spend some time with the young Olympic champion boxer Cassius Clay, and accompany him on a road trip to New York City. At 21, Clay was yet to adopt the mantle of Muhammad Ali, but his boastful persona, intelligence, black pride and sharp tongue were already fully formed.

Over the course of their five days together,  Sports Illustrated–a master at developing trust and capturing unguarded intimacy on film—revealed both sides of the young Ali: The one side posing and preening for the camera, ever conscious of his image; the other, unguarded and unselfconscious, in candid images of the young fighter at home with his family and immersed in his community and neighborhood.

And so we have Ali (powerHouse Books, $50)a luscious book that collects the best of Schapiro’s images of the late fighter; many in print for the very first time. They offer a glimpse of a star on the rise. It is an indelible portrait of the early life of one of the most talented, graceful, controversial, athletic, and influential American figures of the 20th century.

His four-year-old daughter calls him Daddy. The law calls him inmate #174594. We call him a murderer

Football coaches, players and fans called him unstoppable.

His four-year-old daughter calls him Daddy.

The law calls him inmate #174594.

Aaron Hernandez  was a college All-American who became the youngest player in the NFL and later a Super Bowl veteran.

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He was a star tight end on the league-dominant New England Patriots, who extended his contract for a record $40 million.

Hernandez’s every move as a professional athlete played out
in the headlines, yet he led a secret life-one that ended in a maximum security prison.

What drove him to go so wrong, so fast? Son of a University of Connecticut football hero known as “the King” and brother to a Huskies quarterback, Hernandez was the best athlete Connecticut’s Bristol Central High had ever produced. He chose to play football at the University of Florida, but by the time he arrived in Gainesville, he was already courting trouble.

Between the summers of 2012 and 2013, not long after Hernandez made his first Pro Bowl, he was linked to a series of violent incidents culminating in the death of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player who dated the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins.

All-American Murder: The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez (Little, Brown and Company, $28)  is the first book to investigate–from the unique vantage point of the world’s most popular thriller writer, James Patterson–Aaron Hernandez’s first-degree murder conviction and the mystery of his own untimely and shocking death.

Drawing on original and in-depth reporting, this is an explosive true story of a life cut short in the dark shadow of fame.

Take a few lessons from Addie Gundry and life will be slow . . . and awfully tasty!

Nothing says comfort food more than the aroma of a warm, slow cooked meal wafting through your home. In her newest cookbook Essential Slow Cooker Recipes: 103 Fuss-Free Slow Cooker Meals Everyone Will Love (St. Martin’s Griffin, $19.99), Food Network Star finalist Addie Gundry revolutionizes recipes for the perfect hearty slow cooked meal.From classics like pierogi casserole with sausage to Asian specialties like soba noodles with vegetables and orange chicken, Gundry has it covered. Simply put everything in a slow cooker, then sit back, relax and sniff.

A slow cooker is the ideal partner in crime when it comes to tackling dishes that can be too time and work-intensive for every day, like French onion soup or chicken cordon bleu. In her cookbook, Gundry goes way beyond the expected soups and stews offering up recipes for appetizers like BBQ meatballs, breads and make-ahead breakfasts like banana pecan French toast . . . not to mention slow cooker twists on beloved recipes like lasagna, meatloaf and stuffed peppers.

Recipes include:
Appetizers: Bacon Cheeseburger Dip, Honey Buffalo Chicken Sliders
Breakfast: Potato Puff Breakfast Casserole, Easy Artisan Bread
Classic Recipes: Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pot Roast, Pork Chops in Mushroom Sauce
Dinner Recipes: Chicken Broccoli Alfredo, Lemon Pepper Salmon
Side Dishes: Au Gratin Potatoes, Pizza Pull-Apart Bread
Soup and Stew Recipes: Hungarian Goulash, French Onion Soup
Dessert: Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread, Peach Cobbler

So delicious is the book that noted chef Rick Tramonto gushes: ““Perfect, easy-to-make recipes when you’re looking for something a little different to share with friends and family. Watching Addie’s star shine has been truly inspiring. She is definitely going to be an impactful leader in the next generation of chefs.”

Bread? Pasta? Potatoes? Bob Harper proves the “c” word is something easy to swallow

As a diabetic, I have to watch the “c” word. No, not that word (though I use it all the time), but “carbs”. Think pasta. Potatoes. Bread. Now, Bob Harper, host of The Biggest Loser and No. 1 bestselling author, has good news for us: We can all eat carbs again.  Sort of. As he writes in The Super Carb Diet: Shed Pounds, Build Strength, Eat Real Food  (St. Martin’s Press, $25.99), “Carbs don’t make you fat!

After surviving a serious heart attack, Harper realized that he needed balance, both in his life and on his plate.  To balance his diet without gaining weight, he developed a program high in nutrients that would help maintain his weight and provide the energy he needed to recover.  That program grew into The Super Carb Diet.  

This is a balanced, scalable diet that will work for everyone, whether they’re trying to lose or maintain weight, and even for those super-athletes who want to build lean muscle. With effective workout routines that can be done at home, in the gym or while traveling, Harper has designed a program with enough variety to satisfy your hunger and motivate your body.

The Super Carb Diet: Shed Pounds, Build Strength, Eat Real Food by [Harper, Bob, Pellegrino, Danny]

With motivation and empathy balanced with tough love, he provides:

  • 2 weeks of sample menus featuring large and varied meals
  • Easy recipes for three full, everything-on-the-plate meals and a floater meal
  • A clear understanding of carbs (vegetables, whole grains, fruits) vs. “carbage” (potato chips, pretzels, white bread)
  • Tips for handling the urge to cheat—on vacations, during holidays, high stress times
  • Bob’s Signature Workouts
  • Sample food journals

In three months The Super Carb Diet will help anyone get lean, build strength, and enjoy foods that keep them happy and full.  Bob has combined his vast knowledge with hard-earned life experience to offer a road map to make us healthy and strong enough to handle anything that comes our way.

Professional chef Cameron Stauch explores the clever ways that Vietnamese cooks transform imitation meats into exquisite, uniquely delicious dishes

We are happy to serve up some exciting news about a cookbook that W.W. Norton releases on March 13. This is no ordinary cookbook:  The dishes in Vegetarian Việt Nam ($35) make use of the full arsenal of Vietnamese herbs and sauces to make tofu, mushrooms, and vegetables burst with flavor like never before.

In the years he spent living and cooking in Vietnam, professional chef Cameron Stauch learned about a tradition of vegetarian Vietnamese cuisine that is light and full of flavor. He dishes out an essential introduction to meatless Vietnamese cooking; the nearly 100 recipes  have been  devised over centuries by Mahayana Buddhist monks.

Featuring practical and sophisticated recipes, Staunch explores the clever ways that Vietnamese cooks transform imitation meats into exquisite, uniquely delicious dishes such as Lemongrass Chile “Chicken” Strips Stir-Fry, Turmeric Tofu Wrapped in Wild Pepper Leaves, Sweetened Sticky Rice with Shredded Coconut, Green Mango Rice Paper Ribbons, and Soy Ginger Glazed Eggplant. Seconds anyone?

In these versatile and wide-ranging recipes, Staunch teaches the home cook how to use annatto seed oil, toasted rice powder, tamarind liquid, and nutty mushroom pâté, among other Vietnamese pantry essentials, to produce the spicy, tangy, crunchy and sweet dishes that will have readers wondering how they ever lived without vegetarian Vietnamese meals

Cameron cooks banh xeo pancakes for lunch.

With a lavishly illustrated glossary that helps you recognize the mushrooms, noodles, fruits, and vegetables that make up the vegetarian Vietnamese pantry, Vegetarian Việt Nam will unlock an entire universe of flavor to people who want healthy, tasty, and sustainable food.

THE SOUNDTRACK TO “CHARLOTTE’S WEB” COMES TO LIFE ON Varèse Sarabande

“You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.” 
― E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web
Every time we read the book or watch the animated film (yes, the book is much better;  no wonder it won the Newbery Medal from the American Library Association), we think of White’s genius and the web of life lessons he has woven.
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Varèse Sarabande has just released the first-ever CD of the film’s soundtrack. The album features original songs and lyrics by the legendary duo of Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, with performances by the film’s stars Debbie Reynolds, Agnes Moorehead and Paul Lynde. GayS relish this trio: Paul was a major queen, and rumors still exist that Debbie and Agnes were long-time lovers.
The film was released in 1973. Young farm pig Wilbur (voiced by Henry Gibson) attempts to avoid a dire fate. Of all the barnyard creatures, Wilbur’s staunchest ally is Charlotte (voiced by Reynolds), a thoughtful spider who devises an intriguing plan to keep the gentle little swine out of the slaughterhouse. Although Charlotte’s efforts, which involve words written in her delicate web, seem far-fetched, they may just work.

What do Howard Stern and Oprah Winfrey have in common? Bob Roth’s “Strength in Illness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation”. Ohmmm . . .

Ohmmmm.

I have been practicing TM, Transcendental Meditation to some, for many years.  Stress melts. Tightness dissolves. The mind opens, relaxed and rested.

I have been telling people about TM for decades. Let’s face it: Everyone we know is stressed. No matter where we come from, or what we do, stress is an epidemic that threatens our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. While there is no cure, there is a simple practice that dramatically changes how we respond to life’s challenges: the Transcendental Meditation technique. This 5,000 year‑old technique has a clear impact on our 21st century problems.

book cover

Ohmmmm.

I have been telling people about TM for decades. But instead an introduction to Bob Roth. The co‑founder and vice president of the David Lynch Foundation has studied and taught Transcendental Meditation for more than 40 years. Once a skeptic, he is now one of the most experienced and sought‑after experts in the world. He has brought TM to millions of people, working not only with celebrities and business leaders, but also with inner‑city schools, veterans’ hospitals, women’s shelters, HIV/AIDS clinics, and prisons.  Medical experts agree that the epidemic of stress is damaging our physical and emotional health at younger and younger ages. While there is no one single cure, the Transcendental Meditation technique is a simple practice that dramatically changes how we respond to stress and life’s challenges.

In Strength in Illness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation ($24), Roth breaks down the science behind meditation in a new, accessible way. He highlights the three distinct types of meditation—focused attention, open monitoring, and self-transcending—and showcases the evidence that Transcendental Meditation is the most effective way to reduce stress, access inner power, and build resilience. The book is so free of gimmicks, mystical verbiage and over‑inflated research studies.

Roth’s  clients include Oprah Winfrey, Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Dalio, Ellen DeGeneres,  Howard Stern, Tom Hanks and Gisele Bündchen.  Another client:  Gwyneth Paltrow, who calls the book “the simplest, most engaging, and easiest-to-understand guide to Transcendental Meditation.”

All together now: Ohmmmm . . . 

Two essential Simon & Schuster books: “Norwich” and “Robicheaux”

Norwich, a charming Vermont town of roughly 3,000 residents, has sent an athlete to almost every Winter Olympics for the past 30 years—and three times that athlete has returned with a medal.

How does Norwich do it?

To answer this question, New York Times reporter Karen Crouse moved to Vermont, immersing herself in the lives of Norwich Olympians past and present. There, amidst the organic farms and clapboard colonial buildings, she discovered a culture that’s the opposite of the hyper-competitive schoolyard of today’s tiger moms and eagle dads. In Norwich, kids aren’t cut from teams. They don’t specialize in a single sport, and they even root for their rivals.

book coverWhat’s more, their hands-off parents encourage them to simply enjoy themselves. Making it to the Olympics is seen not as the pinnacle of an athlete’s career but as a fun stop on the way to achieving other, longer-lasting dreams. Norwich, Crouse realized, wasn’t just raising better athletes than the rest of America; it was raising happier, healthier kids.

Full of inspiring stories of Olympians who excelled on and off the sports field—and had a blast doing so—Norwich: One Tiny Vermont Town’s Secret to Happiness and Excellence ($26) is the book for every parent who wants to raise kids to be levelheaded, fulfilled, and successful.


Dave Robicheaux is a haunted man. Between his recurrent nightmares about Vietnam, his battle with alcoholism, and the sudden loss of his beloved wife, Molly, his thoughts drift from one irreconcilable memory to the next. Images of ghosts at Spanish Lake live on the edge of his vision.

book coverDuring a murder investigation, Robicheaux discovers he may have committed the homicide he’s investigating, one which involved the death of the man who took the life of Dave’s beloved wife. As he works to clear his name and make sense of the murder, Robicheaux encounters a cast of characters and a resurgence of dark social forces that threaten to destroy all of those whom he loves. What emerges is Robicheaux ($27.99), not only a propulsive and thrilling novel, but a harrowing study of America . . . the nation’s abiding conflict between a sense of past grandeur and a legacy of shame, its easy seduction by demagogues and wealth, and its predilection for violence and revenge. James Lee Burke has returned with one of America’s favorite characters, in his most searing, most prescient novel to date.