5 Must Read New Books
With spring in full swing and summer approaching, people everywhere will be sitting on porches, decks, and patios with their favorite ice-cold beverage in hand. In the other hand? A good book. Take a break from the yard work and check out five new releases that have either hit the market in the past month or soon will.
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
Even though we are over a decade into the 21st century, men continue to hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. Women are still not represented equally in many of the decisions that affect our lives on a daily basis. Sheryl Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and ranked on Fortune magazine’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In Lean In, she examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has come to a standstill. In a quest to empower the women of this generation to achieve their full potential, she explains the root causes of this standstill with hard data and compelling research, and she offers powerful solutions. She also investigates her own decisions, mistakes, and struggles in the choices she’s made for her career, herself, and her family. Her solutions include advice on mentorship and building a satisfying career as well as achieving balance with personal fulfillment. Combining humor and wisdom, Sandberg elicits a call to arms for this generation’s women.
Inferno by Dan Brown
The author of numerous bestselling novels, including the recent record-breaking The Lost Symbol, has released another hit Robert Langdon novel. For those who love the history, art, symbolism, and codes of the last three Langdon stories, Inferno takes it to a new level with Brown’s highest-stake novel thus far. This time around, Langdon, in the heart of Italy, is drawn into Dante’s Inferno, one of history’s literary masterpieces. Engaging in battles with a bone-chilling adversary and grappling with a complex riddle, Langdon is thrown into a world of classic art, futuristic science, and secret passageways. Dante’s poem contributes to the plot as Langdon races to find answers before the world is changed forever.
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
In 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife on a cold snowy night and dies before she can take her first breath. On the same night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a wail, and embarks upon a very unusual life. Each time she dies, she is born again, with each life being an iteration of the last. You see how her choices affect her, those around her, and even the fate of the world. This happens repeatedly, in numerous ways, while the century marches on toward its second world war. Do Ursula’s infinite lives give her the ability and power to save the world from its destiny? Will she choose to if she can? You’ll have to read this one, another page-turner by Atkinson, to find out!
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach
The acclaimed author of Stiff, the interesting investigation into death, is back with a trip down the hatch and through the alimentary canal with Gulp. This humorous and engaging science writer investigates the questions most of us have wondered about our whole lives. Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Can constipation kill you? An intriguing writer, master of sly asides and puns, Roach spins a true tale that goes down easily while covering sensitive subjects, all the while making the reader laugh. Entertaining as well as educational, Gulp is a must-read for anyone who has ever been curious about the human digestive system.
Manuscript Found in Accra by Paulo Coelho
One of the most influential writers of our time, Paulo Coelho is the author of many international best-sellers, including The Alchemist. In his newest release, Manuscript Found in Accra, the year is 1099. Jerusalem awaits the invasion of the crusaders who have surrounded the city’s gates. Inside the city’s ancient walls, men and women of all ages and faiths have gathered to hear the wise words of a mysterious man known only as the Copt. He has summoned the townspeople to address their fears with truth. He tells them that war and grief will become part of their lives, that no one can know what tomorrow will hold, and that to work through it, they will speak about their daily lives and the difficulties they have faced. As they begin to contemplate the nature of their enemies, they consider various virtues and ultimately question beauty, love, wisdom, sex, elegance, and what the future holds. "What is success?" poses the Copt. "It is being able to go to bed each night with your soul at peace." Centuries later, the Copt’s answers have endured as a manuscript that reveals who we are, what we fear, and our hopes for the future can be found within us rather than in the adversity that surrounds us.