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A Matter of Course (affiliate link)

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Author: Wenner, Jody
City Life Fiction
Bobby Davis discovers a bag of money on a job site, and what he does after becomes the undoing of everyone seated around him on the Orange Line: Marigold Winter is a thirtysomething assessing strangers on the train with perfect accuracy while lacking clarity about her own self; Lark Brooks is heading to a job interview for a position he thinks will fix all of his problems; an octogenarian is searching for someone to continue her life’s work; a young mother is contemplating a divorce; and an oblivious teenager is attempting to write a new song for his punk band.
Then Bad Bobby stands up and forces them all to face their fears, whether they’re ready to do so or not.
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Author: Baird, Ginny
Romance Short Reads
Includes Book 1 in the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Holiday Brides Series, The Christmas Catch, and bestselling romantic comedies Must-Have Husband, The Sometime Bride and How to Marry a Matador.

Sometimes the best gifts are unexpected…

Since the death of her military husband two years ago, single mom Christine White has struggled to get by. By throwing herself into her work as a Chicago copywriter, she’s managed to keep food on the table but has gradually lost sight of what really matters, like building a bond with her four-year-old son. When Christine’s best friend insists she spend Christmas in Vermont so she can get her life in order, Christine initially resists. Little does she know she’s in for a memorable holiday that will reignite her faith and reawaken her heart.

Sylvia Plath: A Biography (affiliate link)

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Author: Wagner-Martin, Linda
Biographies & Memoirs of Authors

Sylvia Plath is widely recognized as one of the outstanding poets of the 20th century.

Her Collected Poems won the Pulitzer Prize posthumously in 1982, nearly twenty years after her death. Her only published novel, The Bell Jar, has become a modern classic.

Because Plath drew so heavily on her own experiences in both her poetry and her fiction, the outlines of her life are familiar to readers. In her determination to be both wife and mother on the one hand, and teacher and writer on the other, Plath tried simultaneously to fulfil and to fight the conventions that bound women in the 1950s.

In this biography, the first to draw on unpublished journals and letters recently made available, Linda Wagner-Martin examines the ironies and contradictions of Sylvia Plath’s life, as well as her remarkable achievements.

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Author: St. James, Jenna
Paranormal & Urban Fantasy
When witch, Serena Spellburn, finds a dead body in her garden, the new non-supernatural detective to Enchanted Island, Grant Wolfe, is sure Serena or her best friend, Tamara, are involved. Hoping to clear their name, Serena does some sleuthing of her own at the Samhain Celebration and slowly narrows down suspects. When the killer is finally pinned down, will Grant open his eyes and heart to the supernatural island around him and take Serena up on her offer to help? Or will his close-mindedness leave him powerless against the supernatural forces seeking to kill him and Serena?

Burn District 1 (affiliate link)

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Author: Jenkins, Suzanne
Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction

What do you do when the world as you know it ends? Run!
A perfect life slides into horror after a trusting neighbor whispers a warning, and Mike and Laura Davis’s world crumbles. Dreams and goals come to an abrupt end, but a new existence awaits in the future. First, they must find a safe place.

While the government shuts down around them, Mike and Laura hide out in the Arizona desert with family and friends. Looting becomes a way of life. Soon, strangers arrive at their encampment with news from the outside and it doesn’t sound good. How long do they have before they must run again?

Plague Ship: Sci-Fi Novel (affiliate link)

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Author: Norton, Andre
Action & Adventure Fantasy
Follow the adventures of Dane Thorson, a Cargo-master-apprentice on the Free Trader rocket ship the Solar Queen. Free Traders take on trading contracts on remote and recently discovered planets, which can be dangerous and unpredictable. The Solar Queen has recently obtained a valuable trading contract on the planet Sargol and are building a relationship with one of the races on the planet, the cat-like Salariki. The process goes slowly till the Salariki discover that the Solar Queen is carrying catnip and other plants from Terra that are unknown on Sargol. The traders exchange what little of the plants they have for the rare and valuable Koros stones and collect a native red-colored wood to exchange at home.

Mammoth (affiliate link)

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Author: Varley, John
Regularly $11.99, Today $1.99

The discovery of a perfectly preserved frozen mammoth in the Canadian wilderness gives wealthy visionary Howard Christian the opportunity of a lifetime: to clone it. But what really piques Christian’s curiosity is what he finds next to the mammoth: a metal box—and the mummified body of a man wearing a watch.

Working to discover the box’s purpose and clone the mammoth, a top physicist and an elephant veterinarian will be flung thousands of years into the past and back again—bringing a baby mammoth along for the ride—in this “imaginative and engaging” adventure that shows “Varley . . . in top form” (San Francisco Chronicle).

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Author: Michaels, Fern
Regularly $5.69, Today $0.99
Mystery & Suspense
Life isn’t fair. Most women know it. But what can you do about it? Plenty . . . if you’re part of the Sisterhood. On the surface, these seven women are as different as can be—but each has had her share of bad luck, from cheating husbands to sexist colleagues to a legal system that often doesn’t do its job. Now, drawn together by tragedy, they’re forging a bond that will help them right the wrongs committed against them and discover an inner strength they didn’t know they had. Growing bolder with each act of justice, the Sisterhood is learning that when bad things happen, you can roll over and play dead . . . or you can get up fighting . . .
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Author: Simpson, Dorothy
Regularly $23.99, Today $2.99
Traditional Detective Mysteries

Det.Inspector Luke Thanet may be a family man with a soft heart and bad back, but he also has a bloodhound’s nose for murder. With Sgt. Mike Lineham at his side, no case is too tough, in these mysteries from the “dependably pleasing” Dorothy Simpson (Boston Globe).

Close Her Eyes: When a teenage girl from a strict fundamentalist religious order goes missing, her parents insist that the investigation of her disappearance be left in the hands of God. But when Charity Pritchard is found murdered, Inspector Thanet and Sergeant Lineham vow to tear off the church’s veil of secrecy to reveal her killer.

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Author: Keyes, Martha
Regularly $3.99, Today $0.99
British Historical Literature

She needs to be protected. He’ll take on the job…for a price.
Christina MacKinnon is secretly relieved to be a widow. She is equally desperate to distance herself from the clan of her dead husband, but as the heir to his estate—one she needs in order to support her siblings—she must first stave off both the advances and threats of the man next in line to inherit. It seems the only person she can turn to is a nearby stranger who seems inclined to help her. But he has a request….

Freshly returned from the war, Lachlan Kincaid has one aim: to see justice served to the MacKinnons for betraying his family years ago and depriving him of his inheritance. While biding his time at a nearby inn, he discovers the death of the MacKinnon laird—whose widow has inherited everything. The way to accomplish his goal is becoming more evident, but the path is murkier than he could have foreseen.

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Author: Moore, Harold G., Galloway, Joseph L.
Regularly $17.99, Today $1.99
Vietnam War History
In November 1965, some 450 men of the First Battalion, Seventh Cavalry, under the command of Lt. Col. Harold Moore, were dropped into a small clearing in the Ia Drang Valley. They were immediately surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers. Three days later, only two and a half miles away, a sister battalion was brutally slaughtered. Together, these actions at the landing zones X-Ray and Albany constituted one of the most savage and significant battles of the Vietnam War. They were the first major engagements between the US Army and the People’s Army of Vietnam.
How these Americans persevered—sacrificing themselves for their comrades and never giving up—creates a vivid portrait of war at its most devastating and inspiring.

The Picts: A History (affiliate link)

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Author: Clarkson, Tim
Regularly $14.99, Today $1.99

A British historian explores the mysterious Scottish culture of the Iron Age and Early Middle Ages whose enigmatic symbols adorn standing stones.

The Picts were an ancient nation who ruled most of northern and eastern Scotland during the Dark Ages. Despite their historical importance, they remain shrouded in myth and misconception. Absorbed by the kingdom of the Scots in the ninth century, they lost their unique identity, their language and their vibrant artistic culture. Among their few surviving traces are standing stones decorated with incredible skill and covered with enigmatic symbols.

The Pictish Stones offer some of the few remaining clues to the powerful and gifted people who bequeathed no chronicles to tell the sagas of their kings and heroes. In this book, Medieval historian Tim Clarkson pieces together the evidence to tell the story of this mysterious people from their emergence in Roman times to their eventual disappearance.

… See the rest of today ‘s Book Picks here on page 2Page 2