The CCC Book Club is friendly, informal and open to all. At club meetings, the group explores a wide variety of books and interests — fiction and non-fiction, male and female authors, selections old and new. The reading list is determined by a democratic process in which members of the club promote a book of their choosing for addition to the list.
This classic Cold War-era history looks at the way President Dwight Eisenhower managed America’s secret operations as general and as commander in chief and is based on privileged access to the president and his private papers—from bestselling historian Stephen E. Ambrose.
During his time in office, Eisenhower projected the image of a genial bureaucrat, but behind that public face, he ran the most efficient espionage establishment in the world, overseeing assassination plots, the growth of the CIA, and the overthrow of governments. This book gives a behind-the-scenes look at some of the most ambitious secret operations in American history, including the 1954 overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán’s government of Guatemala; Operation AJAX, which toppled Iran’s Mossadegh; and the U-2 flights over Russia. Some of Ike’s most conspicuous intelligence missteps are also discussed, including the failure to predict the German attack during the Battle of the Bulge and the tragic encouragement of freedom fighters in Hungary, Indonesia, and Cuba. Ike’s Spies is indispensible to anyone interested in the development of America’s Cold War spy operations.
A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a secure vault deep below Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, but Princeton has insured it for twenty-five million dollars.
Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts.
Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer’s block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable’s circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets.
But eventually Mercer learns far too much, and there’s trouble in paradise as only John Grisham can deliver it.
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman
A charming, warmhearted novel from the author of the New York Times bestseller A Man Called Ove.
Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy—as in standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-strangers crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land-of-Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas, where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.
When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s instructions lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and old crones but also to the truth about fairy tales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.
Like most of Richard Russo’s earlier novels, Empire Falls is a tale of blue-collar life, which itself increasingly resembles a kind of high-wire act performed without the benefit of any middle-class safety nets. This time, though, the author has widened his scope, producing a comic and compelling ensemble piece. There is, to be sure, a protagonist: fortysomething Miles Roby, proprietor of the local greasy spoon and the recently divorced father of a teenage daughter. But Russo sets in motion a large cast of secondary characters, drawn from every social stratum of his depressed New England mill town.