Thursday, July 25, 2013

Eric B.'s Recommending:

In "one of the most deliciously high-concept thrillers imaginable" (The New Yorker) a young JFK travels to Europe on a secret mission for President Roosevelt

It’s the spring of 1939, and the prospect of war in Europe looms large. The United States has no intelligence service. In Washington, D.C., President Franklin Roosevelt may run for an unprecedented third term and needs someone he can trust to find out what the Nazis are up to. His choice: John F. Kennedy.

It’s a surprising selection. At twenty-two, Jack Kennedy is the attractive but unpromising second son of Joseph P. Kennedy, Roosevelt’s ambassador to Britain (and occasional political adversary). But when Jack decides to travel through Europe to gather research for his Harvard senior thesis, Roosevelt takes the opportunity to use him as his personal spy. The president’s goal: to stop the flow of German money that has been flooding the United States to buy the 1940 election—an election that Adolf Hitler intends Roosevelt lose.

In a deft mosaic of fact and fiction, Francine Mathews has written a gripping espionage tale that explores what might have happened when a young Jack Kennedy is let loose in Europe as the world careens toward war. A potent combination of history and storytelling, Jack 1939 is a sexy, entertaining read.

Recently returned from fin de si├Ęcle Vienna, where she tragically lost the first great love of her life, Eleanor Burden settles into her expected place in Boston society, marries a suitable husband, and waits for life to come to her. Eleanor’s story is not unlike that of the other young women she grew up with in 1890’s Boston, except for one difference: Eleanor believes herself to have advance knowledge of every major historical event to come in her lifetime. But soon Eleanor’s script of events begins to unravel, and she must find the courage of her deepest convictions, discover the difference between predetermination and free will, find faith in her own sanity, and decide whether she will allow history to unfold come what may — or use her extraordinary gifts to bend history and deliver the life she is meant to have.

Winner of the 2013 Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction - a poignant, darkly comic debut novel about a father and son finding their way together as their livelihood inexorably disappears

When Stacey “Shakespeare” Williams returns to the family farm in eastern Colorado to bury his dead cat, he finds his widowed father, Emmett, living in squalor. There’s no money, the land is fallow, and a local banker has cheated the senile Emmett out of the majority of the farm equipment and his beloved Cessna.

Unemployed and without prospects, Shakespeare settles in as caretaker to both his dad and the farm while simultaneously getting drawn into an unlikely clique of former classmates. Threatened with the farm’s foreclosure, Shakespeare, Emmett, and his misfit friends hatch a half-serious plot to rob the very bank that stole their future.

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