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Goodreads: Best Books of the Month (December 2016)

1. Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?: Stories by Kathleen Collins In these never-before-published short stories, filmmaker and fiction writer Kathleen Collins explores issues of race, gender, and sexuality. Though they were written before her untimely death in 1988, Collins stories are as relevant today as ever. Andy Lillich says, “These stories definitely resonated with me. I would love to discuss each one of them with my book club: so deft and insightful, witty and complex. Brought back memories of the Civil Rights Sixties in the first stories, then moved on to other times and other questions. Questions about art and family and all the tensions surrounding imperfect intimacies. Definitely worth reading.”

2. The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis The best-selling author (The Big Short, Moneyball) turns his attention to the true story behind the Nobel Prize-winning theory of how we make decisions, depicting the work of two psychologists who uncovered new patterns of human irrationality. Shana Yates says, “Absolutely wonderful. Michael Lewis successfully blends two biographies, an intellectual love story (there really is no other way to describe the Kahneman/Tversky partnership), astute sketches of the work they did (in heuristics and biases), and how the partnership had ripple effects in a myriad of areas (from economics to psychology, from medicine to the military, and beyond). The book moves at a brisk pace, never dull, and fleshes out the men behind the scientific work.”

3. The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe This Swedish thriller—the first solo novel from Grebe—has been compared to Paula Hawkins and Jo Nesbo’s work. The plot follows the investigation into a grisly murder: A woman is found beheaded in the house of a famous business tycoon. Abby (Crime by the Book) says, “This. Book. Is. Amazing!!!! Scandinavian crime fiction at its best. Vivid atmosphere, rich character development, and whip-smart plotting. I absolutely loved this book and simply could NOT put it down.”

4. George Lucas: A Life by Brian Jay Jones This unauthorized biography will increase your appreciation for the legendary filmmaker who brought us Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Pixar. George Lucas: A Life features insights from the director’s colleagues and competitors, offering intriguing glimpses into his life. Yolanda Sfetsos says, “George Lucas is a well-written and interesting biography that delves into his extraordinary life and really captures the essence of the man we all think we know, but really don’t. Sure, he’s the creator of one of the biggest cinematic franchises ever, but even more than that, he’s a man with a vision that captivated millions and will go down in history that way. This is a great addition for any Star Wars fan’s collection, or if you’re just curious about this iconic man.”

5. The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars by Dava Sobel In this little-known true story, Sobel looks at the landmark accomplishments of a group of women in the burgeoning field of astronomy. The mid-19th-century account of these exceptional Harvard graduates includes excerpts from their letters and diaries. Cindy Burnett says, “Sobel’s story is uplifting, and I loved reading about the recognition these women received at a time when women working was highly uncommon. Not only did their fellow workers at Harvard Observatory acknowledge the success and importance of these individuals, but astronomers worldwide respected and recognized the contributions made by them. I highly recommend The Glass Universe.”

6. The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland by Rebekah Crane When 16-year-old Zander is sent off to a summer camp for at-risk teens, unlikely friendships form during group “share-apy” sessions and forbidden outings. Ultimately this YA novel is about hope amid extreme difficulties. Cheri says, “Holy cow! I love this book! I am so glad I decided to pick this one up and will certainly be recommending it to others. The author puts together quite an eclectic cast of characters that somehow work. The banter and bickering is so true to me.”

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Categories:   Fiction


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