The bookshelf |

The bookshelf

“In An Instant” by Bob Woodruff. In one of the most anticipated books of the year, Lee Woodruff, along with her husband, Bob Woodruff, share their never-before-told story of romance, resilience and survival following the tragedy that transformed their lives and gripped a nation. In January 2006, the Woodruffs seemed to have it all – a happy marriage and four beautiful children. Lee was a public relations executive and Bob had just been named co-anchor of ABC’s “World News Tonight.” Then, while Bob was embedded with the military in Iraq, an improvised explosive device went off near the tank he was riding in. He and his cameraman, Doug Vogt, were hit, and Bob suffered a traumatic brain injury that nearly killed him. This is much more than the dual memoir of love and courage. It is an important, wise and inspiring guide for coping with tragedy and an extraordinary drama of marriage, family, war, and nation.

“Women & Money” by Suze Orman. Money maven Suze Orman’s latest book addresses the complicated (and often dysfunctional) relationship women have with personal finances. Orman’s direct, noncondescending style is perfect for this subject matter – she begins with the premise that “Women can invest, save, and handle debt as well and skillfully as any man” and then tackles the important question, “So why don’t they?” Designed to educate and inspire, this book also offers a “Save Yourself Plan,” a five-month program that “delivers genuine long-term financial security.” Want to know more? Read Women & Money – you’ll be “controlling your destiny” in no time.

“Infidel” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Readers with an eye on European politics will recognize Ali as the Somali-born member of the Dutch parliament who faced death threats after collaborating on a film about domestic violence against Muslim women with controversial director Theo van Gogh (who was himself assassinated). In this suspenseful account of her life and her internal struggle with her Muslim faith, she discusses how these views were shaped by her experiences amid the political chaos of Somalia and other African nations, where she was subjected to genital mutilation and later forced into an unwanted marriage. Apart from feelings of guilt over van Gogh’s death, her voice is forceful and unbowed, and she delivers a powerful feminist critique of Islam informed by a genuine understanding of the religion.

“Nineteen Minutes” by Jodi Picoult. Popular and prolific Picoult (“My Sister’s Keeper” and “The Tenth Circle,” 2006) now tackles the troubling topic of a school shooting. Picoult considers the tragedy – in 19 quick minutes, 10 are dead and 19 are wounded – from several different perspectives, including that of the shooter, a troubled boy named Peter who was mercilessly picked on at school. The small town of Sterling is rocked by the carnage. Two characters from previous Picoult novels are also involved. Every bit as gripping and moving as Picoult’s previous novels, “Nineteen Minutes” will no doubt garner considerable attention for its controversial subject and twist ending.

“Dragon of the Red Dawn” by Mary Pope Osborne. Merlin the Magician will not eat or sleep or speak to anyone in Camelot. What can be done? The enchantress Morgan knows who to ask for help: young Jack and Annie of Frog Creek, Pa.! The brother-and-sister team quickly head off in the magic tree house on another magical and historical adventure. In “Dragon of the Red Dawn,” Mary Pope Osborne transports readers back to the splendor, rich culture and magic of traditional Japan.

Compiled by owner Stacey Colin at Harmony Books, 231 Broad St. Nevada City, 265-9564. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m-5 p.m.

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