As I'm writing this, summer is not quite here, but the calendar is winking at me and telling me that it won't be long before I'll have time again. Don't get me wrong, we at Sunshine Booksellers love our winter visitors and couldn't exist without them. But we look forward to the quieter times we know are ahead when we'll have time to catch up on our reading and truly savor the books that we will be recommending to fellow book-lovers, our customers, family and friends. Here are a few that I'm sure you won't want to miss! State of Wonder by Ann PatchettReading Ann Patchett, probably best known for Bel Canto, is always a treat. We travel this journey with Marina Singh, who years ago had traded the hard decisions and intensity of medical practice for the quieter world of research at a pharmaceutical company. Enveloped in her "safe" environment, she shares a quiet intimacy with her widowed older boss, Mr. Fox, and a warm friendship with her colleague Anders Eckman. Marina's security is shaken when she learns that Anders, sent to the Amazon to check on a fi eld team, is dead and Mr. Fox wants her to go into the jungle to discover what happened. She heads into the dense, insect-infested Amazonian delta to fi nd answers from the company's research team led by the formidable Dr. Annick Swenson. The scientists are looking into the development of a new drug that could have a profound impact on Western society. But the team has been silent for two years and the daunting Dr. Swenson does not like interlopers inserting themselves in her work, as Marina well knows. The eminent and fi ercely uncompromis-ing doctor was once her mentor, the woman she admired, emulated, and feared. To fulfi ll her mission, Marina must confront the ghosts of her past, as well as unful-filled dreams and expec-tations - a journey that will force her to make painful moral choices and take her deep into her own (who knew?) heart of darkness.In The Garden of Beasts - Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik LarsonHave you ever wondered if, had you been living in Nazi Germany during Hitler's rise to power, you would have underestimated the enor-mity of his plan, as so many did? Or would you have suspected the coming horror and tried to avert it in some way? How could an American family, living in Nazi Germany during Hitler's fi rst year in power, have been ignorant of the enormity of his evil and misguided intentions? The author of Devil in the White City relates this true-life account of the Nazis' rise to power in 1933 from the viewpoint of the Dodd family . William Dodd, a history professor from the University of Chicago, was selected by FDR for the ambassadorship in Germany. Unassuming, kindly and frugal, Dodd believed he could reason with the Nazis. Mean-while, Martha, the Dodds' 24-year-old daughter, had become enamored of the privileges and glam-our of high society afforded her as the ambassador's daughter. This work of nonfi ction, while often in-fi ltrated with the darkness of this period in history, is a fresh new perspective on these ominous days of the 20th century.Portrait of a Spy by Daniel SilvaIf you haven't read Daniel Silva, you've been missing out on some great writing! Over the course of his career, Daniel Silva has made a name for himself in spy fi ction and has produced one of the best thriller series on the market in the past decade. Gabriel Allon, his enigmatic hero, is a man with a deep appreciation for all that is beautiful. But he is also an angel of vengeance who will stop at nothing to see justice done. Sometimes Gabriel must journey far in search of evil and sometimes evil comes to him. Moving swiftly from the corridors of power in Washington, to the glamorous auction houses of New York and London, to the glittering streets of Paris and the unforgiving landscape of the Saudi desert, Portrait of a Spy is Daniel Silva's most extraordinary novel to date. All of Silva's books are stand-alone novels, but, if you enjoy this one, you may want to devour his earlier works as well.For more suggestions or just to "talk books", please stop in to see us at Sunshine Booksellers, 677 South Collier Blvd.
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