Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love and Betrayal by Ben Macintyre: In 1941, after training as a German spy in occupied France, Chapman parachuted into Britain with a revolver, a wireless and a cyanide pill, with orders from the Abwehr to blow up an airplane factory. Instead, he contacted MI5, the British Secret Service. For the next four years, Chapman worked as a double agent, a lone British spy at the heart of the German Secret Service.
A Charmed Life: Growing Up in MacBeth's Castle by Liza Campbell: The daughter of a titled Scottish father recounts the horrors of her childhood in spite of popular beliefs about her fairy-tale lifestyle, describing her father's struggles with alcoholism that resulted in numerous brushes with death and the loss of his family's legacy.
The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritson: This story is gory, macabre and not for the faint of heart, but she does a great job with the period detail (1830s-70s history/medical details) and merges this with the present day relationship of a modern woman to people in this time period. It was quite suspenseful as the main character tries to research the history of the bones found in her garden. (Also available in Large Print.)
The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates: Follows the interconnected and secretive lives of parents and their children when they are challenged by circumstances outside their family, in a tale set against a backdrop of Niagara Falls in the mid-20th century.
Good Grief by Lolly Winston: Grieving over the death of her husband from cancer, 36-year-old Sophie Stanton finds her personal and professional world in a shambles and, in an attempt to reinvent her life, moves to Ashland, Oregon, where she encounters a troubled 13-year-old girl, a job as the Salad Girl at the local restaurant, and a cute actor. (Also available in Large Print format.)
A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena de Blasi: It's a love story between two middle-aged people from different cultures. She moves to Venice to marry a man she's only known for a few months. It's well written, insightful and has some great recipes in it. She is a former food writer and chef and they now do gastronomic tours in Tuscany.
Paranoid Parenting: Why Ignoring The Experts May Be Best For Your Child by Frank Furedi: Hardly a day goes by without parents being warned of a new threat to their children's well being. Everything is dangerous: the crib, the babysitter, the school, the supermarket, and the park. Paranoid Parenting suggests that parental anxieties themselves are the worst influence on children.
Miracle at St. Anna by James McBride: In a historical novel based on a real-life massacre at St. Anna di Stazzema, a small village in Tuscany, during World War II, four African-American soldiers from the 92nd Division, a band of partisans, and a young Italian boy come together to experience a miracle.
Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg: Captures the humorous and complex realities of ordinary people living in Elmwood Springs, Missouri, including Neighbor Dorothy, a radio hostess, her son Bobby, the Oatman Family Gospel Singers, and hotshot salesman Hamm Sparks.