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Jody reads an eclectic mix of non-fiction, cozy mysteries and southern fiction...and, well, just about anything else.  Come pick her brain...

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The Second Life of Nick Mason Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399574320
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - May 17th, 2016

Nick Mason was five years into his twenty-five year sentence in a maximum security prison when he was offered immediate release, a new townhouse, a cool vintage car, and plenty of money every month. The caveat? He must answer his cell phone, day or night, and immediately follow any order given. To pay for his freedom - and the chance to see his daughter again - Nick is at the command of Darius Cole, a fellow prisoner and criminal mastermind who continues to run his empire while serving two life terms. As Cole's orders escalate in danger, Mason will have to risk everything to stay alive, go straight, and break free. This is unlikely to happen soon, and I'm happy for that, because I can't wait for more in this fun new Chicago-based series by award-winning, bestselling, Michigan-favorite author Steve Hamilton.


The Assistants Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399172540
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Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - May 3rd, 2016

Tina Fontana is thirty years old, excellent at her job, appreciated by her media mogul boss - and still wracked by student loan debt. Robert spends more on a single bottle of wine than Tina spends on the monthly rent for her squalid apartment, so when an error on his expense account leaves her with almost the exact amount of her loan balance, she hesitates.  Although she's always played by the rules, what is pocket change to him is a life change to her. She pays off the loan. And then Emily in accounting sees what she did and wants help writing off her student debt...This well-crafted novel is wry and funny, and triumphant in its satisfaction for over-educated, hard-working assistants everywhere.


Dinner with Edward: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616204228
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Published: Algonquin Books - May 24th, 2016

Isabel and Edward are both at a crossroads when they meet - her marriage is a shambles and he was so happy in his that his grief over his wife's death is still overwhelming. Isabel thinks that she's doing her good friend Valerie a favor by looking in on her ninety-plus year old father, but their weekly dinners prove cathartic to them both as they bond over wisdom and experience shared, and glorious food lovingly prepared. This gentle book is a tribute to an unlikely friendship, simple pleasures, and the joy of slowing down enough to embrace both.


My Sunshine Away Cover Image
ISBN: 9780425278109
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Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - April 5th, 2016

As all y'all probably know by now, I love a good southern author or book. In this, I get both. I first read My Sunshine Away quite a long time ago as an advance for the hardcover, and I fell in love with Walsh's lovely descriptions of a quiet neighborhood in Baton Rouge, Louisiana as seen through the eyes of the teenage narrator during the summer of 1989. His neighbor, the perfect golden girl Lindy, was attacked and raped near her home, and while the neighborhood was horrified, it also recognized that it was home to several suspects. My Sunshine Away just released in paperback, and it is a treat.


Real Leadership: 9 Simple Practices for Leading and Living with Purpose Cover Image
ISBN: 9781259584442
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Published: McGraw-Hill Education - March 8th, 2016

We have been excited about this new business book by John Addison. The nine practices that lead him to both professional and personal success are simple and attainable for anyone interested in leading and living with purpose, and he shares them with enthusiasm. And the leaders of Gaylord seem to agree.

Miss Julia Inherits a Mess Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525427124
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Published: Viking - April 5th, 2016

I realized as I picked up this eighteenth adventure of Miss Julia - now Mrs. Murdoch - I’ve been reading this series since my own Miss Julia was a baby. And her dry humor, energy, willingness to do what's right, and worries as she does it are just as fresh as ever as she finds herself the reluctant testatrix of Miss Matty Freeman's over-optimistically disbursed will. As the eager beneficiaries - including the church deacons and pastor who feel entitled to a new air-conditioning system - clamor for their share, Miss Julia must wade through piles of papers, questionably valuable furniture, a piece of unique needlework, and maybe a long-lost relative in order to do her duty - which she executes with diligence, aplomb, and a little help from Etta Mae Wiggins. I kind of want to be Miss Julia when I grow up...


The Summer Before the War Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812993103
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Published: Random House - March 22nd, 2016

It's late summer in the beautiful East Sussex coastal town of Rye when fiercely independent Beatrice Nash arrives to teach in the local grammar school. Rye is resistant to the idea of a female teacher, and Beatrice is lucky to find support in the outspoken town matriarch Agatha Kent and her charming nephews. But it's 1914, and while the village braces for the outbreak of war, Beatrice and her new friends will be tested in unimaginable ways. This is a wonderful historical fiction novel by the author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, a long-time staff pick.


The Charm Bracelet Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250071323
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Published: Thomas Dunne Books - March 22nd, 2016

The author's beloved grandmother's own charm bracelet inspired this story of grandmother, mother, and daughter - three generations of women and the hopes and dreams symbolized in the charms collected on their bracelets. Each has personal struggles - Lolly is suffering from memory loss, Arden wishes she had time to write something more fulfilling than puff-pieces for Paparazzi magazines, and Lauren is a reluctant business school student who longs to pursue art instead. Their challenges unfold as chapter by chapter charms - and wishes - are added to their bracelets, beginning with the Half-Heart Charm for a life of never being separated, through the Book Charm for a story that will never end. This tight-knit family of women is as delightful as their story is heartwarming.


At the Edge of the Orchard Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525953005
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Published: Viking - March 15th, 2016

Robert Goodenough was born in Ohio's Black Swamp. The youngest of ten children, he was the only one with any interest in his father's obsession of buying seedlings from John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed and trying to cultivate and perfect his apple orchard in the inhospitable black muck. Family tragedy sends Robert running west towards California and the Gold Rush where he finds solace in the redwoods and sequoias and meets a naturalist who recognizes his love of botany - until he is reluctantly reunited with his past and must decide to either claim it or set out on his own path. Chevalier's tale is thoughtfully crafted and a vivid slice of pioneer life.


The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062305206
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Published: Harper Paperbacks - March 8th, 2016

This work of nonfiction is subtitled Inside the Private World of the White House, and was inspired by the author's luncheon with Michelle Obama and her observation that the service was simultaneously flawless and almost invisible. She interviewed over a hundred domestic staffers, from the Kennedy White House through the Obama's. All were honored to serve quietly behind the scenes and most were reluctant to even be interviewed, but their stories from the private residence floors are fascinating - and sometimes dishy. Plumber Reds Arrington had a nervous breakdown from LBJ's demands for more water pressure in his shower. Head housekeeper Christine Limerick took a leave of absence during Nancy Reagan's years. And the first Bushes were beloved as funny, kind, and easygoing. This was a fascinating look behind the scenes - kind of an American Downton Abbey.