Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash
Anton Winter returns to his home in the famed Dakota apartment building in Manhattan in the fall of 1979 after his time in the Peace Corps left him with a near fatal bout of malaria. His father, famed late night television host Buddy Winter is recovering from a breakdown he has on live television and son Anton is drawn into trying to revive Buddy’s career, networking with anyone who might be able to put Buddy back on TV, even that newfangled cable TV, taking John Lennon sailing to Bermuda, and hobnobbing at the Lake Placid Olympics, and hanging out with the Kennedy’s as Ted makes a run for the White House, all the while questioning his future with the gritty city streets a perfect nostalgic backdrop.
Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Live, and Food by Ann Hood
Writer Ann Hood grew up in an Italian American home where food played a central role in her life. As a young bride and mother, and later as a single mother, food, cooking for her family, and the memories the food evokes becomes central in her life. Each essay focuses on one of Hood’s favorite recipes, and or the memories of the recipe (including Gigo’s tomato gravy and meatballs), and become a frame for events, both happy sad, demonstrates that cooking is a lot like living: taking nothing, often disparate parts, and turning them into something full of love, warmth, and memories.
Not of this Fold by Mette Ivie Harrison
In this fourth mystery, Linda Wallheim, wife of a Utah Mormon bishop, faces not only the daily responsibilities being a bishop’s wife entails, and the struggles of members of their ward, but social issues such as immigration and gay rights. Linda’s friend Gwen has become very active in a nearby Spanish ward, and has become particular friends with a young mother of three, Gabriela, whose husband has just been deported to Mexico. After Gwen receives a phone message from Gabriela, Gabriela’s strangled body is found at a local gas station. In spite of her husband’s preference that Linda doesn’t get involved, Linda has a very strong sense of justice and plunges in to find Gabriela’s killer and to keep her friend Gwen safe. At the same time, Linda worries about her youngest son, Samuel who is openly gay and on his mission in Boston where Linda knows he is being met with prejudice and homophobia. Harrison, though Linda, tackles the tough social issues, and asks the hard questions of not on Linda’s faith, but the police, and society as a whole. Even with her devotion to the church and family, Linda is unwilling to follow blindly, making her a strong, and admirable protagonist.