In this week’s Newsmax Rising Bestsellers, a noted pastor observes the rising crime, Israel at war, borders open wide, and attempts to answer the question, “Are we living in the end times?” In another, we’ll examine the life of a celebrated jazz singer who broke sex and racial barriers in her rise to the top. There is also a contemplation of what we can learn from a lion cub’s struggle to survive, and a tale of Las Vegas, and that despite the hype, not everything that goes on there, stays there. Fictionally, there are the adventures of one of America’s most beloved private investigators.
“Robert B. Parker's Broken Trust,” by Mike Lupica (G.P. Putnam's Sons)
Noted sports writer/columnist Mike Lupica is the latest author to try his hand at the late Robert B. Parker “Spenser” series of detective novels, made into a popular 1980s TV series. In this one, the wife of an acclaimed scientist-businessman-philanthropist hires Spenser to look into her husband’s past after he’s suddenly become uncharacteristically secretive and even approaching paranoia. She wonders what skeletons he may be hiding in his closet that he fears may be revealed. As Spenser digs into the man’s past, he may be placing his own life in peril. “Mike Lupica has crafted a book that Robert B Parker would be glad to have authored himself,” said Robert Brennan, reviewing for Amazon. “Spenser is wisecracking and wonderfully no sarcastic. Susan, Hawk, Vinnie, Tony Marcus, and even Ty Bop are depicted as Parker imagined them. I truly hope that Mike Lupica has many more Spenser novels planned for publication in the near future.” [Fiction]
“Are We Living in the End Times?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress (Baker Pub Group)
Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas and Fox News contributor, attempts to provide the answers to seven questions:
- What does the Bible mean by the end times?
- What role does Israel Play in the end times?
- What news events signal the end times?
- What are the major events of the end times?
- What's the difference between the rapture and the second coming in the end times?
- Why has God delayed the end times?
- How do I prepare for the end times?
“Robert Jeffress gives clear answers to questions concerning the end times, especially in light of the perilous conditions in our world today,” Wrote Ruthe Turner for GoodReads. “While guiding the reader through what may seem to be confusing prophecies of the Bible, Dr. Jeffress gives clarity as well as encouragement and direction in facing the future with hope.” [Nonfiction]
“Becoming Ella Fitzgerald: The Jazz Singer Who Transformed American Song,” by Judith Tick (W. W. Norton & Company)
“Becoming Ella” is the first biography of the famous jazz singer since her death in 1996, and it became a Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2023. It takes the reader to Fitzgerald’s formative years: from her difficult Yonkers, New York childhood, her mother’s devastating death and her time in a girl’s reform school, where she dreamed of becoming a dancer but developed her love of singing. It also describes each of her recordings, concerts and TV appearances in her rise to the top as a black female jazz singer. “This is a thoroughly researched and well-written biography of Ella Fitzgerald,” wrote Bruce Raterink in his GoodReads review. “Although the amount of detail made it…somewhat dry at times, the information was so interesting and fascinating that it didn't detract from my enjoyment. Highly recommended.” [Nonfiction]
“The Pride of a Lion: What the Animal Kingdom Can Teach Us About Survival, Fear and Family,” by Ron Magill & Greg Cote (Mango)
This is the inspirational story of wildlife photographer Ron Magill’s life as Zoo Miami’s “goodwill ambassador” and how it intertwined with that of K’wasi, a lion born at the zoo who endured and overcame numerous and unimaginable health struggles as a cub. The book includes:
- Gripping accounts of K'wasi's triumphs against extreme adversity;
- Ron Magill's stunning wildlife photography capturing K'wasi's remarkable life;
- Profound insights into the emotional intelligence and complex social dynamics of the lion kingdom.
“This book is a must read for any animal lover, but especially for people who want to look beyond the confines of a zoo and learn about what it means to care for and protect these animals in the wild,” wrote Rebecca Enslein for GoodReads. “I especially enjoyed the parallels between animal and human behavior that were presented throughout the book.” [Nonfiction]
“What Really Happens in Vegas: True Stories of the People Who Make Vegas, Vegas,” by James Patterson & Mark Seal (Little, Brown and Company)
James Patterson takes a break from writing blockbuster action-suspense novels to give us a true life (and often funny) tale revealing that not everything that happens in “Sin City” stays there. Some of the things we learn:
- Las Vegas is on Luxury Standard Time: every clock in the airport is a Rolex;
- No dream is too big, no wish is too small — the VIP hosts in Vegas fulfill guests’ every (legal) desire;
- Jackpots hit when least expected;
- The inventor of the Elvis impersonator wedding and the drive-thru wedding has performed hundreds of marriages — and believes in them all;
- Glamorous yogis take a helicopter across the desert to the Valley of Fire, where they perform sun salutations to the glory of Las Vegas;
- A gambling VIP “whale” loses $1 million at the casinos, yet still leaves saying, "Had a great time. I'll be back."
“Fascinating, I learned a lot that I hadn’t discovered on a (four-)day stay on The Strip and (two) flights into Vegas,” wrote Tina Milledge in her GoodReads review. “I very much enjoyed hearing about its history and the interesting people connected in some way to Las Vegas. Now I want to visit again.” [Nonfiction]
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