Linda's Favorites

FICTION

FIC-FER- “The Lying Life of Adults” by Elena Ferante T

he latest and highly anticipated novel from Eleanor Ferrante, the author of “My Brilliant Friend”.  Ferrante follows the life of Giovanna from age 12 to 16, charting her development from the sweet girl who adores her parents to a sulking, aggressive teenager who finds pleasure in self-abasement and making those around her uncomfortable. The book takes place in Naples again like her other books. She discovers the adults in her life have been lying to her. She overhears her father comparing her to his estranged sister – always referred to as ugly, nasty and vulgar.  This sets off a series of event that changes Giovanna’s life. As always with this author you will be engaged til the end – hoping she will continue the saga with a follow up book.

NON-FICTION

305.48 DEC – “The Husband Hunters” by Anne Decourcy

This is a fascinating look at the Gilded Age when young American daughters from prestigious and fabulously wealthy families, such as the Astors, Vanderbilts and Goulds married into the elite English aristocratic class.  These were not love matches but rather marriages of convenience.  The American girls gained esteemed places and titles in society while the British men – most titled (Counts, Dukes, Earls) gained bottomless bank accounts.  The most famous of these women was Jennie Jerome who married Lord Randolph Churchill and became the mother of Winston Churchill.  If you are a fan of Downton Abbey you will love this book.

 

338.7 – CAR – “Bad Blood” by John Carreyrou. 

This is an almost unbelievable story of scandalous fraud at the highest levels of American corporate power.  The book tells of how a lot of powerful and very rich men were fooled by a remarkably cunning and charismatic liar, Elizabeth Holmes, the CEO of a biotech start -up.  She was a brilliant Stanford dropout, promising to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing faster and easier.  The huge amount of money that changed hands was staggering. Her technology, however, was flawed, test results were problematic and seriously jeopardized the health of patients.  This is a gripping story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, set amid the gold rush frenzy of Silicon Valley.

 

613.2 EAG – “How to Be a Conscious Eater” by Sophie Egan

Is organic really worth it?  Are eggs ok to eat? If so, which are best for you, and for the chicken – Cage Free, Free -Range, Pasture Raised?  What about farmed salmon, soy milk, sugar, gluten, fermented foods, coconut oil, almonds?  Using three criteria – Is it good for me? Is it good for others? Is it good for the Planet? Egan helps us navigate the world of food so that we can become conscious eaters. Its not about diets, fads, or hard-and-fast rules.  It is about having straightforward, accurate information to make smart choices amid the conflicting news and marketing hype. An expert on food’s impact on human and environmental health, Egan organizes the book into four categories- stuff that comes from the ground, stuff that comes from animals, stuff that comes from factories and stuff that’s made in restaurants.  The book offers answers to your questions about what to eat.

 

973.4 MEL – “The First Conspiracy, The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington” by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch. 

  This is the true and untold story about the men who plotted to kill Washington.  The authors capture in riveting detail how close we were to losing the Revolutionary War.  An elite group of soldiers were handpicked to serve as Washington’s bodyguards.  Unbeknownst to him, some of them were in on the treasonous plan, including William Tryon, the Governor of NY and Mayor Matthews of NYC, and an assortment of liars, counterfeiters, and jail house confessors.  The story not only reveals Washington’s character and leadership in defeating the most powerful military force of the day but also in uncovering the secret plot against him.  This incident was a moving force in the creation of America’s counterintelligence agencies.  This is a true historical page turner.

 

92 GOO – “The Way Around Finding my Mother and Myself Among the Yanomami” – by David Good

This is the truly amazing story of Good, the son of an American anthropologist (from NJ) and a tribeswoman from a distant part of the Amazon rainforest.  His young life was upended when his Mother, unable to adapt to the Western lifestyle after 6 years in America, leaves to return to her tribe. His Mother’s abandonment took its toll on his childhood and teen years, marked by depression, drinking and a near fatal car accident that gave him a purpose – to find his mother and reconnect with her and her tribe in the deepest jungle.  He travels to Venezuela to meet the other side of his family.  The best parts of the book are about his experiences in Yanomami territory and how a guy from Jersey – deathly afraid of bugs - can make it in the jungle!

 

92 RUS – “Hollywood Godfather: My Life in the Movies and the Mob” by Gianni Russo. 

“Hollywood Godfather” is Gianni Russo’s over the top memoir of a real-life mobster turned actor who had a role in “The Godfather”.  Russo was a handsome 25 year old mobster with no acting experience when he walked onto the set of “The Godfather” and was cast as Carlo Rizzi, the husband of Connie Corleone, who set her brother Sonny up for a hit.  Russo didn’t have to act – he knew the mob inside and out:  from his childhood in Little Italy, where Mafia legend Frank Costello took him under his wing, to acting as a messenger for New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello during the Kennedy assassination.  Along the way, Russo befriended Frank Sinatra, who became his son’s godfather, and Marlon Brando who mentored his career as an actor.  Russo had affairs with Marilyn Monroe, Liza Minelli and scores of other celebrities.  He went on to produce and star in The Godfather:  Parts 1 and 2, Seabiscuit, Any Given Sunday among other films.