The Memory Box by Eva Lesko Natiello

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Caroline cannot remember anything from her past life, but she doesn’t know that there is an incredible gap in her memory. A coincidental Google search lead her to discover that and it turns her life upside down. Her mission to uncover the truth about her past begins.

The Memory Box is a fascinating, well crafted psychological thriller that’s full of twists and turns. Her college Alumni, her doctor, the newspaper, all have info about her past but she is clueless.

It kept me wondering what really happened in her past life? Is she a victim or an instigator? Why was she so keen to uncover her past, and what was that destructive pull that led her to keep looking into her past at all costs? Find out by reading this gripping, ‘unputdownable’ novel. (Submitted by Jamila)

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Wrecked by Joe Ide

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This is the 3rd book in the IQ mystery series and it holds together really well. Like the first two books, I have to get over some of the violence and language used, but I keep coming back. I still find Isaiah Quintabe, IQ, a believable and relatable character, and the world he moves in, his ‘hood’, is filled with gangs and grandmothers, those that are homeless and those that are damaged, families and individuals, all trying to either get by or fight their way through life.

The author grew up in the same part of the Los Angeles as the book’s setting and his description of streets and houses and strip malls bring you right there. Now I just have to be patient for book number four to come out. (Submitted by Renee)

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Lost Connections by Johann Hari

Image result for lost connectionsThis non-fiction book discusses such a prominent topic of depression.  I love that the author is not actually a doctor or psychologist, but an investigative reporter who researches studies on depression and travels the world to interview all the “who’s who” in this realm.  It’s written in a “journalistic” style with many anecdotal stories and personal accounts which makes it short-story like, while keeping facts, research, and breakthroughs in science as a top priority and maintains validity on every point.  Personally, I feel that Hari (the author) is spot on about his reasons why today’s world has such a high rate of depression.  And while this is a fantastic read if you have depression, it’s just as an important read if you don’t!  I feel the main component – Connections – is useful for personal growth, medical science, but also in business.  A focus on re-connecting in every aspect of our lives could be the positive change in our humanity and businesses that can incorporate this philosophy into their plan and vision, will ultimately keep customers happy, coming back, and CONNECTED! (Submitted by Marnie)

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The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart

Image result for the sacrifice boxTeen fans of Stranger Things and campy 80’s horror will enjoy this novel about a group of misfit teens. After one glorious summer spent together, they seal their friendship with a sacrifice to a mysterious box they found in the woods. The rules are simple: Never come to the box alone. Never open it after dark. Never take back your sacrifice. Four years later and their small town is overrun by strange occurrences and terrifying events. Someone has broken the rules. Now all of them must pay… (Submitted by Erin M.)

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Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum

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In Etaf Rum’s debut novel, A Woman is No Man, we are introduced to three generations of Palestinian-American women who are all tied down to tradition and culture. Isra is the girl from Palestine who gets married off to an American and shuttled away to Brooklyn, New York. There, she battles her dreams of a better life in America, one where women are valued and not subservient to their husbands. But her new mother-in-law Fareeda is just as traditional as her own mother, pressuring her to have a son and disregarding the daughters that Isra eventually bears, including the first born, Deya. But perhaps it is Deya who will finally manage to find that balance between being Arab and American and breaks free from the tight constraints of a patriarchal mindset, through the use of books and the discovery of secrets long kept hidden…

This was an enthralling read that had me hooked from the very first chapter. Etaf Rum seamlessly invites us into a world we may or may not be familiar with. This world will horrify you and sadden you, but ultimately it will provide you with hope that a better world may be on its way. Jumping between timelines and characters, Woman is No Man depicts the voices of women who have been silenced for far too long. (Submitted by Alan)

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Sitting Kills, Moving Heals by Joan Vernikos

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Dr. Vernikos is a NASA scientist.  She describes her research on the negative physical effects experienced by astronauts after their return from living in zero gravity, and uses it to detail the ill effects that many earth dwellers continue to suffer, as the result of a sedentary lifestyle.   We use technology to make our daily lives easier, but it is not always healthy, and can contribute to many conditions.   I liked how Dr. Vernikos breaks down the data to stress the importance in awareness of our daily habits and explains how to find simple ways to include gravity-based movement to counter some of these issues.   This is a worthwhile read for anyone looking to improve and learn more about their general health and fitness.  Some of the scientific data may be a bit dry to read through, but the book is small at 130 pages.  Although the message to get up and move more is not a new one, Dr. Vernikos’ findings serve as a compelling reminder of the importance in maintaining an active lifestyle.  (Submitted by TS)

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Black Women Who Dared by Naomi M. Moyer

blackwomen This picture book is for young and old alike: it shines a light on forgotten, local heroes in our midst. Like Rosa Pryor, who in 1919, became the first black woman to own a business in Vancouver. This title features Rosa and other strong women who dared to demand better – better working conditions, access to education and health care. Women who dared to make learning a priority by creating an “hour-a-day” study club which allowed women to make themselves the priority for at least one hour each day. The author of this book, Naomi M. Moyer, has done a great job of compiling a collection of notable women and sharing their amazing feats of bravery, tenacity, and creativity. (Submitted by Andrea)

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