“Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction” by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson

Women have pioneered the genres of gothic ghost stories, psychological horror and science fiction, but many of their names have been forgotten. This book tells the stories of women writers whose personal lives were often as fantastic as their writing.

“The Queens of Animation” by Nathalia Holt

This book details the stories of the women animators of Disney who championed new technologies, created stunning artwork and shaped the way female characters were portrayed to young audiences, all while enduring sexism, domestic abuse and workplace intimidation.

“The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick” by Mallory O’Meara

One of Disney’s first female animators, Milicent Patrick created one of Hollywood’s classic monsters: “The Creature from the Black Lagoon.” Like many women working in Hollywood, Patrick’s work went largely unrecognized until author Mallory O’Meara started digging.


“Triple Jeopardy” by Anne Perry

The second book in the Daniel Pitt series, this excellent mystery is set in early 20th century London. Pitt, a young lawyer, must defend a British diplomat accused of a theft that may cover up a deadly crime. Perry does an excellent job creating an authentic Edwardian atmosphere, and the courtroom finale is one of the best.

“Chestnut Man” by Sven Sveistrup

Sveistrup created the popular crime drama “The Killing,” so he knows how to weave a twisting, complex tale. A serial killer is on the loose in Copenhagen, and two detectives will have to work together to solve the case. Not for the faint of heart, but fans of Stieg Larsson and Nordic crime fiction will love this one.

“The Gifted School” by Bruce Holsinger

A sharp, witty novel that takes on the ambitious and competitive nature of schools (and parents) today. A previously happy group of kids and parents is nearly destroyed when an exclusive school for gifted children opens in the community, and everyone wants to get in.


“Inside Out: A Memoir” by Demi Moore

Even as Moore was becoming the highest paid actress in Hollywood she was struggling to escape her traumatic past. Here, she lays bare some of the most pivotal moments of her life from her childhood, her struggles with addiction and body image issues, her marriages, motherhood and fame.

“Whiskey in a Teacup” by Reece Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon’s grandmother Dorothea always said that a combination of beauty and strength made southern women “whiskey in a teacup.” We may be delicate and ornamental on the outside, she said, but inside we’re strong and fiery.

“Forever and Ever Amen” by Randy Travis

This autobiography of Randy Travis displays his rags-to-riches story of going from a working-class man in North Carolina to a musical success with his smash hit album, “Storms of Life,” in 1986. The book follows Travis’s life with all its ups and downs, including a dissolved marriage, unraveled finances, alcohol abuse and recovering from a massive stroke. It is filled with never-before-told stories of success, joy, pain and redemption.

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