Lisa Wingate - The Prayer BoxAuthor Website:
Synopsis:When Iola Anne Poole, an old-timer on Hatteras Island, passes away in her bed at ninety-one, the struggling young mother in her rental cottage, Tandi Jo Reese, finds herself charged with the task of cleaning out Iola's rambling Victorian house.Running from a messy, dangerous past, Tandi never expects to find more than a temporary hiding place within Iola's walls, but everything changes with the discovery of eighty-one carefully decorated prayer boxes, one for each year, spanning from Iola's youth to her last days. Hidden in the boxes is the story of a lifetime, written on random bits of paper--the hopes and wishes, fears and thoughts of an unassuming but complex woman passing through the seasons of an extraordinary, unsung life filled with journeys of faith, observations on love, and one final lesson that could change everything for Tandi.
Maureen Dudley - The Plateau: Voices of the Earth
Synopsis:What if you have a half a second to stop the extinction of the human race? What if that pivotal day to save humanity depends on you saving your own life? Catherine's life and humanity's continued existence depend on her ability and willingness to believe in an altered, future timeline with a cololny of Earth inhabitants. It couldn't come at a worse time. Catherine's father dies unexpectedly. The pressure of her research and advocacy work adds dead weight to her life's precarious tipping points. Catherine's losing battles includes sleep deprivation. Sleep eludes her, because when it does come, she finds herself repeatedly dreaming about standing on the same high plateau with her greyhound dog, Addy, surrounded by plants and animals and insects, and then poof! The living landscape transforms into ash.
Danny Ellis - The Boy at the GateAuthor Website
Synopsis:Danny Ellis was a survivor, strong and resilient. A successful singer/songwriter, he was proud of the way he'd ‘handled' his painful past: the grinding poverty of the 1950s Dublin slums, and the brutality of the orphanage, the notorious Artane Industrial School where he was left. He'd safely buried it. Or so he thought.
Then one night, while writing a powerful song that would launch his acclaimed album, 800 Voices, his past came flooding back to haunt him. Long-forgotten memories of betrayal and abandonment burst forth in a shocking revelation: his eight-year-old self was still lost in the orphanage.
Although badly shaken, Danny began a courageous journey that would lead him back to the streets of Dublin, to the tenement slums and, eventually, to the brutality and scallywag shenanigans of the Artane playground. What he found with each twist and turn of his odyssey would change his life for ever.
The Boy at the Gate is a poignant, profoundly moving memoir of forgiveness and redemption, and an inspiring testament to the healing power of music and love.
Virginia Morell - Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow CreaturesAuthor Website
Synopsis:Did you know that ants teach, earthworms make decisions, rats love to be tickled, and chimps grieve? Did you know that some dogs have thousand-word vocabularies and that birds practice songs in their sleep? That crows improvise tools, blue jays plan ahead, and moths remember living as caterpillars?
Noted science writer Virginia Morell explores the frontiers of research on animal cognition and emotion, offering a surprising and moving exploration into the hearts and minds of wild and domesticated animals.
Animal Wise takes us on a dazzling odyssey into the inner world of animals, from ants to elephants to wolves, and from sharp-shooting archerfish to pods of dolphins that rumble like rival street gangs. Morell probes the moral and ethical dilemmas of recognizing that even “lesser animals” have cognitive abilities such as memory, feelings, personality, and self-awareness--traits that many in the twentieth century felt were unique to human beings.
By standing behaviorism on its head, Morell brings the world of nature brilliantly alive in a nuanced, deeply felt appreciation of the human-animal bond, and she shares her admiration for the men and women who have simultaneously chipped away at what we think makes us distinctive while offering a glimpse of where our own abilities come from
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