Books to Read After Running

French Exit

by Patrick deWitt

This darkly comic, satirical novel is about a wealthy widow and her adult son who flee their plush and rarified Manhattan home in the wake of financial calamity. This duo, Frances and Malcolm Price, are misanthropic, bizarrely devoted to only each other and absurdly detached from modern reality. Their escape leads to the wild caper of activity in Paris culminating in a quite poignant finale that felt as if it should have been obvious from the beginning. The surrealism and satire of this novel is almost philosophical, like a stage presentation of existentialism. It is a wild read, entertaining and, as the story advances, extremely thoughtful.

The Family Next Door

by Sally Hepworth

Liane Moriarty fans (Big Little Lies) will enjoy this novel about an idyllic suburban neighborhood of young families that is disrupted when a mysterious woman with a big secret moves in. The mystery revolves around a lifelong search for a missing baby that exposes a dramatic past. Along the way, the engaging and relatable characters deal with complicated marriages, parenting challenges and social pressure. This is fast novel is perfect to read if you are busy.

A Lucky Man: Stories

by James Brinkley

A collection of nine stories about young African-American men growing up in Brooklyn and the Bronx. These are beautifully written with heartbreaking tenderness, insight and emotion. Brinkley writes about the inner lives of young men in a way that breaks down barriers and connects with the reader on the most important level--emotionally. Race, class and gender are all important themes in these stories and extremely relevant to current social issues. Fiction is such an important medium when society is at a crossroads because it shows us how people different from us are reacting, changing and internalizing the change, creating empathy and connection. This collection has been long-listed for a National Book Award and I think it deserves to be on the short list which will be announced on October 10th.

Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America

by Alissa Quart

This very relevant book (non-fiction) examines the economic strains among the professional middle class. Professions like teaching, nursing, law and journalism at one time nearly guaranteed a sold middle class life, including home ownership, higher education, family vacations, and retirement savings. But with the now astronomical cost of child care, the continued devaluation of the caring professions, the high costs of housing, automation and wage deflation, these professionals now live paycheck to paycheck or worse, at poverty relying on food pantries and tenuous housing arrangements, and, particularly in areas around major cities like New York and San Francisco, supplementing income with gig-economy jobs like Uber driving. The shrinking middle class and the gap between the richest 1% and the rest of us is the major economic story of the 21st century. In this book Quart provides first hand stories of the struggle and delves into policy solutions when and if (a big if) there is the political will. 

I, Richard

by Elizabeth George

The only collection of short stories by the great British mystery writer, Elizabeth George. Five beauties including one with Inspector Thomas Lynley (of whom she has written 20 novels in her award-winning series). Each delves into the depth of human weakness: how far will one be willing to go to reach his or her ultimate goal? Does the Machiavellian end really justify the means? Unlike most of George's work, this is a quick read, and as always the case, well worth it!

Behind Closed Doors

by B.A. Paris

Now THERE'S a psychological thriller! Grace and Jack seem the perfect couple, but that's only to those on the outside, including their friends. On the inside, lawyer Jack, who defends battered women, batters his own! (Plus he killed his mom and blamed it on his dad who taught him all his tricks). He locks her up and only brings her out for show time! And he's got his eyes on Grace's little sister, Millie, who is just turning 18 and has Down's syndrome. Jack can't wait to terrorize her when she is to leave her facility and come home with the "happy" couple! He even has a red dungeon to keep her locked up in, full of pictures of tortured and battered women! Can Grace figure out an escape? 

Catching Heat

by Jim Leyritz

An autobiographical look at the inside story of THE KING, from his big World Series winning home run in the 1996 World Series off the Atlanta Braves' Mark Wohlers to his car accident in 2007 that led to the tragic loss of a woman's life and shattered his life as well. Leyritz gives you the inside look into these two huge events in his life as well as many others, and his devotion to family and religion. Leyritz, by the way, played for the Albany-Colonie Yankees in 1989. If you're a Yankees fan, this book is a must. 

Murder in Paradise

by James Patterson

A trilogy of previously released e-books compiled into one. Not JP at his best. Each short story is co-written by a different author. The Lawyer Lifeguard takes a look at what all of us would like to do: go back to simpler times, but there's a murderous twist of course; The Doctor's Plot is an unrealistic look at the Napa Valley run by a Hitler-esque gestapo who will go to all lengths to keep their town pure and at the expense of the newly minted Medical Examiner; The Shut-In is an almost comedic look at a "boy in the bubble" type millenial gal who views Philly from her drone and discovers a sinister serial killer and what she does about it from the sanctity of her ivory tower apartment.

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