Like many other bookworms out there, I have a huge To Be Read list, and even though I pick away at it now and then, it multiplies like rabbits and quickly gets out of control. Well, I decided to make a list of twelve of the best-looking books released during the duration of this year, and make it my prerogative to read at least five of them. As you will no doubt see, the genres and themes are all over the charts, from nonfiction books of medicine to science fiction books of other life forms… in the Amazon jungle? Crazy, man. These books all look wonderful to me, and if I ever get the chance to read/review them, I think that they will prove quite enjoyable. The Ruins is the only one on the list that I currently have a copy of.
The Ruins (Nick Randall #1)
By Robert Rapoza
Nick Randall is an archeologist who believes mankind isn’t alone on Earth. When a mysterious benefactor funds his research, he departs to find the lost city of Vilcabamba. Hidden deep in the Amazon, Randall believes the city holds proof that his contentious theory is true. Upon arriving at the ruins, he mysteriously disappears. Randall’s beautiful daughter Samantha learns of her father’s disappearance from his mentor Francisco Andrade who pleads for her help. An accomplished archeologist herself, Sam must decide if she will set aside her career and search for the man she blames for her mother’s death. But someone else is looking for her father as well. Francis Dumond, a shadowy man with unlimited resources, will stop at nothing to find Vilcabamba and use its technology to control the world. It’s a race against time to see if Sam can find her father, prove his theories and stop Dumond.
Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything
By Lydia Kang and Nate Pederson
Discover 67 shocking-but-true medical misfires that run the gamut from bizarre to deadly. Like when doctors prescribed morphine for crying infants. When snorting skull moss was a cure for a bloody nose. When consuming mail-order tapeworms was a latter-day fad diet. Or when snake oil salesmen peddled strychnine (used in rat poison) as an aphrodisiac in the ’60s. Seamlessly combining macabre humor with hard science and compelling storytelling, Quackery is a visually rich and information-packed exploration of history’s most outlandish cures, experiments, and scams.
A humorous book that delves into some of the wacky but true ways that humans have looked to cure their ills. Leeches, mercury, strychnine, and lobotomies are a few of the topics that explore what lengths society has gone in the search for health.
By Yossi Ghinsberg
Four travelers meet in Bolivia and set off into the heart of the Amazon rainforest, but what begins as a dream adventure quickly deteriorates into a dangerous nightmare, and after weeks of wandering in the dense undergrowth, the four backpackers split up into two groups. But when a terrible rafting accident separates him from his partner, Yossi is forced to survive for weeks alone against one of the wildest backdrops on the planet. Stranded without a knife, map, or survival training, he must improvise shelter and forage for wild fruit to survive. As his feet begin to rot during raging storms, as he loses all sense of direction, and as he begins to lose all hope, he wonders whether he will make it out of the jungle alive. The basis of an upcoming motion picture starring Daniel Radcliffe, Jungle is the story of friendship and the teachings of nature, and a terrifying true account that you won’t be able to put down.
Running with Wolves
By Summer Lane
Alaska, 1898 “They always come back,” she whispers. “Always.” He spilled their blood. Now, she’s out for revenge. Jenna Renee is a woman wronged. When her adoptive parents are brutally murdered by an outlaw named Conroy Parker and his gang of thugs, they take everything from her: her family, her happiness, and her money. Determined to bring Conroy and his boys to justice, she acquires the help of a gruff but dangerous United States Marshal, Jeremiah Black, to help her hunt Conroy down. But there is more to Alaska than meets the eye. The cold touch of the arctic winter is dangerous, and the corruption of Conroy Parker and his comrades runs deep. The tundra is unforgiving, and so are the wolves. Nothing is as at seems. If the wilderness doesn’t kill Jenna, the pack will. Revenge comes with a price, and so does love. There will be no mercy….only the hunt.
A romantic adventure from #1 bestselling author Summer Lane, set amidst the gritty and awe-inspiring setting of Alaska during the last great Gold Rush.
Murder at Hartigan House (Ginger Gold Mysteries #2)
By Lee Strauss
There’s a skeleton in the attic! Quite literally. After a weeklong passage over the Atlantic from Boston to Liverpool, Ginger Gold arrives at her childhood London home—Hartigan House—to find decade-old remains from some poor woman hanging from a noose. Ginger’s Boston terrier, Boss, noses out a missing phalange from under the cot. It’s a mystery that once again puts Ginger alongside the handsome Chief Inspector Basil Reed. Who is the victim? And how did she end up in Ginger’s home? Clues lead Ginger and her good friend Haley Higgins to a soirée hosted in 1913 by Ginger’s late father, George Hartigan. A shadow of suspicion is cast on her father’s legacy, and Ginger isn’t so sure she wants to know the truth about the man she dearly loved. Ginger decides to host another soirée, inviting the guest list from ten years previous. Before the night is over, another person is dead.
The Romanov Ransom (Fargo Adventures #9)
By Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell
Treasure-hunting team Sam and Remi Fargo’s search for a Romanov fortune brings them into perilous contact with an ambitious neo-Nazi clan, in the thrilling adventure from the #1 New York Times-bestselling author. In 1918, a ransom of enormous size was paid to free the Romanovs from the Bolsheviks, but, as history knows, the Romanovs died anyway. And the ransom? During World War II, the Nazis stole it from the Russians, and after that—it vanished. Until now. When a modern-day kidnapping captures the attention of husband-and-wife team Sam and Remi Fargo, the couple soon learn that these long-lost riches may be back in play, held in trust by the descendants of a Nazi guerrilla faction called the Werewolves. It is their mission to establish the Fourth Reich, and their time is coming soon. As the Fargos follow the trail across Europe, Northern Africa, and South America, they know only one thing. This quest is greater than anything they have ever done—it is their chance to make someone answer for unspeakable crimes, and to prevent them from happening again.
The Midnight Line (Jack Reacher #22)
By Lee Child
Reacher takes a stroll through a small Wisconsin town and sees a class ring in a pawn shop window: West Point 2005. A tough year to graduate: Iraq, then Afghanistan. The ring is tiny, for a woman, and it has her initials engraved on the inside. Reacher wonders what unlucky circumstance made her give up something she earned over four hard years. He decides to find out. And find the woman. And return her ring. Why not? So begins a harrowing journey that takes Reacher through the upper Midwest, from a lowlife bar on the sad side of small town to a dirt-blown crossroads in the middle of nowhere, encountering bikers, cops, crooks, muscle, and a missing persons PI who wears a suit and a tie in the Wyoming wilderness. The deeper Reacher digs, and the more he learns, the more dangerous the terrain becomes. Turns out the ring was just a small link in a far darker chain. Powerful forces are guarding a vast criminal enterprise. Some lines should never be crossed. But then, neither should Reacher.
The Criminal Mastermind of Baker Street
By Rob Nunn
What if Sherlock Holmes had turned to crime instead of detection? The Criminal Mastermind of Baker Street by Rob Nunn investigates this very concept. Holmes famously said that “when a clever man turns his brains to crime it is the worst of all.” A sinister influence is at work in Victorian London with Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson running a hidden criminal empire. The Criminal Mastermind of Baker Street explores all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories through the lens of Holmes as a criminal while adding many new exciting tales of Holmes’ daring to delight its readers.
The Who on the Who: Interviews and Encounters
By Sean Egan
The Who were a mass of contradictions. They brought intellect to rock but were the darlings of punks. They were the quintessential studio act yet were also the greatest live attraction in the world. They perfectly meshed on stage and displayed a complete lack of personal chemistry offstage. Along with great live shows and supreme audio experiences, the Who provided great copy. During the 1960s and ’70s, Pete Townshend, messianic about contemporary popular music and its central importance in the lives of young people, gave sprawling interviews in which he alternately celebrated and deplored what he saw in the “scene.” Several of these interviews have come to be considered classic documents of the age. Roger Daltrey, Keith Moon, and John Entwistle joined in. Even when the Who were non-operational or past their peak, their interviews continued to be compelling: changes in allegiances and social mores left the band members freer to talk about sex, drug-taking, business, and in-fighting. By collecting interviews with Who members from across five decades, conducted by the greatest rock writers of their generation—Barry Miles, Jonathan Cott, Charles Shaar Murray, John Swenson, and Greil Marcus among them—The Who on The Who provides the full, fractious story of a fascinating band.
Hellfire Boys: The Untold History of Soldiers, Scientists, and America’s First Race for Weapons of Mass Destruction
By Theo Emery
An explosive look into the dawn of chemical warfare during World War I.
Powerful and gripping, Hellfire Boys tells the story of the young men who started a Manhattan Project-type program at American University in 1917. These soldiers and chemists worked on offensive and defensive gas measures: testing hastily-made gas masks; observing the effects of mustard gas on goats, dogs, and even humans; and perfecting the ultimate weapon of mass destruction–lewisite, which, as World War I raged, the U.S. planned to unleash on Germans using another new technology, planes.
The book traces the actions of the “Hellfire Battalion,” a group of American engineers who were trained in gas warfare and sent to the front lines in France to launch multiple assaults against the Germans.
The impact of this scientific work resonates to this day. Journalist Theo Emery reveals how this massive science and engineering effort spawned numerous Nobel laureates as well as a world in which thousands of people can be terrorized or killed at once.
The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit
By Michael Finkel
Many people dream of escaping modern life, but most will never act on it. This is the remarkable true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years, making this dream a reality–not out of anger at the world, but simply because he preferred to live on his own.
In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life–why did he leave? what did he learn?–as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.
Off the Deep End: A History of Madness at Sea
By Nic Compton
In the eighteenth century, the Royal Navy’s own physician found that sailors were seven times more likely to suffer from severe mental illness than the general population.
On the high seas, beyond the rule of law, away from any sight of land for weeks at a time–often living in overcrowded and confined spaces, where anything that goes wrong could be fatal–the incredible pressures on sailors were immense. The ever-present fear drove some men to faith in God and superstition–and drove others mad.
Off the Deep End is the first detailed study of the effect on sanity that the vast, lonely, and powerful sea has always had on sailors. Eminently readable, Off the Deep End explores accounts that span the centuries, from desperate shipwreck stories and cannibalism in the Age of Sail to inexplicable multiple murders, to Donald Crowhurst’s suicide in the middle of the 1968 solo Golden Globe Race, leaving behind two rambling notebooks of mounting neurosis and paranoia.
Of interest to readers of maritime history, psychology, sociology, and behavioral science, as well as sailors of all constitutions, this unique and fascinating book offers insight and analysis–a thoroughly absorbing read about the effects of the cruel sea on the human mind.