The Songs of Trees by David George Haskell. Published by Viking

Haskell embarks on a world-wide journey to visit a dozen trees and examine how they fit into their own unique ecosystems and the danger they face, from global climate change to the increasing demand for land for homes and agriculture. Just when the future seems bleak, the author examines the life of individual trees planted in cities and other unlikely locations that seem to be thriving despite their hostile habitats. Readers will come away with a renewed appreciation of trees, the magnificent beings we share our planet with and sadly, have come to take for granted


Icefall by John All. Published by Perseus

All became in internet legend when he recorded his climb out of a crevasse near Mt. Everest, a climb he made after a fall that left him with broken bone, a dislocated shoulder and internal bleeding. But this wasn’t All’s first rodeo. Traveling the world to document the rapid changes that are occurring as a result f climate change, All has been to glaciers and to jungles, been chased by a pissed off hyena, climbed Mt. Everest and stepped on a poisonous snake in Africa.  All’s journeys are fascinating in and of themselves, but the changes in our planet are the truly frightening aspects of this book. Faced with a president elect who disavows climate change, All’s book is a timely and sobering read

Abby’s Journey by Steena Holmes. Published by Lake Union

Abigail Turner knows little of her mother, she dies when Abigail was just a baby. The little she knows, she’s gleaned from old letters and journals, not from her father. Overprotective to a fault, he keeps a tight rein on his daughter, afraid her rare medical condition could lead to a serious heath crisis. But when Abby’s doctor declares she’s healthy enough for a trip, her grandmother,  Millie takes her off the European Christmas markets her mother once loved so dearly. Finally, Abby begins to get a sense of the mother she lost and is finally able to forge a bond with

Berlin Calling by Kelly Durham. Published by Lake Union

Maggie O’Shea is an American studying in Berlin in 1938. She finds herself falling in love with a soldier and getting swept up in the growing surge of nationalism. all her dreams seem to be coming true when she lands a job with the Propaganda Ministry and becomes a broadcasting sensation. But her happiness is soured when she hears of the atrocities being committed in the name of the Fatherland and she becomes caught in a crisis of conscience. Making the brave, but dangerous decision to spy for the United States, Maggie puts everything, including her life, on the line. Nationalism is a slippery slope and this novel couldn’t be more timely (sadly)

Daughter of a Thousand Years by Amalia Carosella. Published by Lake Union

Two women, one thousand years apart, both torn between their beliefs and their loyalty to their families. In the year 1000, in Greenland, Freydis is the daughter of Eric the Red and the sister of Lief Eriksson, and like her formidable family, she has goals and aspirations of her own. Goals that include her worship of the god Thor and a desire to set off on an epic sailing adventure. In present day New Hampshire, college professor Emma Moretti also worships the old Norse gods, something, as you can imagine does not sit well with her conservative neighbors. her beliefs threaten her career and her father’s bid for reelection to Congress. Both women will have to choose between personal beliefs and the desires of their families

A Crushing Blow by Penny Kline. Published by Endeavour

Anna McColl is supposed to be on vacation. The psychologist and sometime police consultant is just finishing up  a lecture when one of the participants begs her to visit his wife, Geraldine. A murder nearby has frightened Geraldine so badly, she cannot leave her home. The woman appears to have no connection to the victim, so her reaction seems severe. Anna agrees to to give the woman two weeks of her time (and also her vacation) to see if she can help.

An Intimate Obsession by Elizabeth McGregor. Published by Endeavour

When Eve Ridges’s father David, an Alzheimer’s patient goes missing, Eve is beside herself with worry. Her neighbor, Hugh steps in to help with the search and to hold Eve’s hand during her darkest hours. When Eve finds comfort in another, younger man, Hugh goes ballistic. He has secretly been in love with Eve for years, going so far as to plan their wedding and future lives together. Now, he’s angry and wants revenge, he’s not letting Eve go without a fight. Readers will probably guess what happened to David, but Hugh is creepy enough to give most women nightmares