Changing the course of history is central to several of this week’s selections. In one, an ordinary woman, lacking any obvious power, turns the Ku Klux Klan movement on its head during its heyday. In another, “An Ordinary Man” restores honor to the White House. In a third, a former White House press secretary reveals how faith can see the country through today’s turbulent times, and if then there is the offering of something new and delicious to serve at a future gathering but a reality TV personality. In a fiction choice, the ladies of the Women’s Murder Club are once again called upon to solve a string of homicides.
“The 23rd Midnight” (A Women's Murder Club Thriller, 23), by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Little, Brown and Company)
As the title implies, this is the 23rd book of James Patterson’s "successful and suspenseful,” according to Entertainment Weekly, “Women's Murder Club” series. An obsessed maniac known only as “Blackout,” uses a bestselling book describing the crimes and eventual capture of a serial killer as a how-to manual for his own misdeeds. This places Lindsay Boxer, the detective responsible for nabbing the previous killer, hot on the trail of the copycat. The Women’s Murder Club consists of Boxer, prosecutor Yuki Castellano, plus journalist Cindy Thomas, who co-wrote the book sending Blackout on his murder spree. “As always there are plenty of twists and drama that will have you turning the pages well into the night,” wrote Mandy White, reviewing for GoodReads. “These women will do anything for each other, and this case will take everything they have got.” (Fiction)
“A Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan's Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them,” by Timothy Egan (Viking)
“Fever” is a historical thriller written by the Pulitzer and National Book Award-winner Timoth Egan that chronicles the rise of the Klan in Indiana, spearheaded by a charismatic charlatan and Texas native named D.C. Stephenson. Klan membership became mainstream and included public figures from politicians to church leaders in its ranks, and Stephenson’s rise to power seemed unstoppable, until Madge Oberholtzer disclosed his secret cruelties. It was her deathbed testimony that finally brought the Klan to its knees. "With narrative elan, Egan gives us a riveting saga of how a predatory con man became one of the most powerful people in 1920s America, Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, with a plan to rule the country — and how a grisly murder of a woman brought him down. Compelling and chillingly resonant with our own time." —Erik Larson, author of The Splendid and the Vile. (Nonfiction)
“Magnolia Table, Volume 3: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering,” by Joanna Gaines (William Morrow Cookbooks)
Joanna Gaines first came to the public’s attention as the home designer and saner half of the husband-wife team in HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.” Since then, she has branched out on her own as cook and host of the show “Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines,” and a New York Times bestselling author.
Her recipes, beautifully photographed, include:
- Honey Butter Layered Biscuit Bites
- Bananas Foster Pancakes
- Brussels Sprout Gruyére Gratin
- White Chicken Alfredo Lasagna
- Garlic Shrimp over Parmesan Risotto
- Peanut Butter Pie
- Brownie Cookies
A welcome addition to any kitchen, each recipe explains why she likes it, what inspired her to create it, and how she prefers to serve it. (Nonfiction)
“An Ordinary Man: The Surprising Life and Historic Presidency of Gerald R. Ford,” by Richard Norton Smith (Harper)
During his brief years in the White House, Gerald Ford was often reviled for pardoning his predecessor, Richard M. Nixon, and was made the butt of weekly jokes on “Saturday Night Live.” But Norton Smith takes a fresh look at the extraordinary accomplishments of this “Ordinary Man,” who came at the right time in history to heal a nation’s wounds after the Watergate scandal. “Richard Norton Smith had brought a lifetime of wisdom, insight, and storytelling verve to the life of a consequential president — Gerald R. Ford. Ford’s is a very American life, and Smith has charted its vicissitudes and import with great grace and illuminating perspective. A marvelous achievement!” — writer, reviewer, historian Jon Meacham (Nonfiction)
“Serenity in the Storm: Living Through Chaos by Leaning on Christ,” by Kayleigh McEnany (Liberatio Protocol)
As former President Donald Trump’s White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany knows something about maintaining “Serenity in the Storm,” and in her own case she was able to maintain it through her faith. But the storm didn’t end with the Trump White House — If anything it’s increased in intensity, beginning with the horribly mismanaged Afghanistan withdrawal, escalating crime, and unfettered illegal immigration to mention a few. “We are living through chaos, isn’t that true?” McEnany said
in a video posted to Twitter. “The whole theme of the book is it has been a chaotic two years. I mean, look at what Joe Biden has done, from Afghanistan — it’s not all about him because this is bigger than any president.” She added, “there is something so much bigger than politics, so much bigger than any president or political movement and that is Jesus Christ … He has already written the end of the story.” (Nonfiction)
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.