Staff Picks – July 2021

The Devil’s Hand by Jack Carr, recommended by Dennis
A new, young president with a secret, a former Navy SEAL with a special assignment, and the Supreme Leader with an unfulfilled desire to destroy the “Great Satan” and her European Allies collide in this thrilling story. Since September 11th, the Supreme Leader has waited patiently to implement his plan to defeat the most powerful nation on earth. He uses a second generation agent with access to high level bioweapons, but the president’s secret, the former Navy SEAL’s assignment and the plot to destroy the nation clash as it all converges in an explosive finale. Fact and fiction are expertly woven together in this thoroughly enjoyable tale of revenge.  

Ocean Prey by John Sandford, recommended by Tracie 
After chasing yet another dead end, the Feds call in Lucas to help solve the killings of three Coast Guardsmen off the Florida shoreline. Lucas enlists Virgil, who goes undercover to infiltrate the crime organization responsible for fouling up the waterways, but soon discovers he might end up fish bait. Boats, drugs, south Florida parties, undercover schemes, rattling cages and poking where the FBI can’t solves the puzzle for these Minnesota cops. Sandford is at his best with his signature snappy dialog and nonstop action. 

The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica, recommended by Diana
Sadie and Will Foust and their two children move from Chicago to a small town in Maine after Will’s sister leaves him her house — along with custody of his 16-year-old niece. Shortly after they move, their neighbor is found dead in her home. The murder rocks the tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie.

This addictive thriller kept me reading way into the night hoping I would finish before my conclusions about the ending changed again. With every twist and turn I believed I had it figured out. I did not! I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery and have added Mary Kubica to my list of favorite authors. A definite must read!

Big Time by Jen Spyra, recommended by Megan
I’d never heard of Jen Spyra before picking up this book, but now I know I’ve been missing out. She’s written for The Onion and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, but this is a collection of fictional short stories. They’re all biting and funny, with a sense of humor that takes some time to adjust to but remains fresh and absurd – in a good way – throughout the anthology. I found it’s best to go in without being spoiled for the twist in each story, so avoid the jacket copy!

Legacy by Nora Roberts, recommended by Sandy
A good story of relationships between generations, and coming to understand people and family — and loving them “where they’re at.” Some intense drama and loss. The detailed description of exercise classes and the benefits of them made me want to jump up and “get moving!” Well, almost… Great summer read!

A Very Punchable Face: A Memoir by Colin Jost, recommended by Vicki
You know what’s ahead when you pick up a book by a Saturday Night Live cast member or alum, and this memoir is funny, but also full of heart and humility — including a wrenching chapter about Jost’s mother, the chief medical officer for the New York Fire Department, and her race to save fire fighters during 9/11. In chapters such as, “You’re gonna need stitches,” and “The time Jimmy Buffett saved my life,” Jost delivers with his signature humor and wry observations seen through the lens of his grandfather’s immortal words, “People are crazy!” A remarkable memoir from a Staten Island kid who didn’t talk until aged four.

A Very Punchable Face is available in audio from Greater Phoenix Digital Library and in print and e-book. Listening lends an additional nuance —Jost’s imitation of Charles Barkley is so spot-on, I laughed for two blocks — but the book has pictures! Your choice. Either way you can’t miss.