April Showers Brings Time to Read!
Wondering what books to gift the guys (or gals) in your life? From international thrillers and serial killers to biographies, travel and leadership, there is a lot to choose from in 2022. Here are 16 new book recommendations for men (and women) to read this spring! With rain in the forecast, it just may be the time to step away from the clicker for a few minutes and do some reading!
Robert Ludlum’s The Treadstone Transgression (Book 3) by Joshua Hood
A blown mission and a dead team leave Adam Hayes the last loose thread in a tapestry of betrayal in this latest high stakes international thriller from the world of Robert Ludlum.
The most pressing issue on Adam Hayes’ mind is planning his son’s upcoming 5th birthday party. After years of operating in the world’s most dangerous spots for Treadstone, he’s ready to call it quits, but the feeling isn’t mutual.
Levi Shaw, Treadstone’s director, calls Hayes back for one more mission. “It’s a walk in the park. You don’t even have to go in with the strike team. I just need you to set up the safe house. You’ll be home in time to pick up the birthday cake.”
But nothing is ever easy where Treadstone is concerned. When the mission is blown only Hayes is left alive, and everyone, it seems, is determined to correct that oversight.
If you enjoy a series, here are the first two…
The Treadstone Resurrection (Book 1) by Joshua Hood
Operation Treadstone has nearly ruined Adam Hayes. The top-secret CIA Black Ops program trained him to be a nearly invincible assassin, but it also cost him his family and any chance at a normal life. Which is why he was determined to get out. Working as a cabinet-maker in rural Oregon, Adam thinks he has left Treadstone in the past, until he receives a mysterious email from a former colleague, and soon after is attacked by an unknown hit team at his job site.
Adam must regain the skills that Treadstone taught him – lightning reflexes and a cold conscience – in order to discover who the would-be killers are, and why they have come after him now. Are his pursuers enemies from a long-ago mission? Rival intelligence agents? Or, perhaps, someone inside Treadstone? His search will unearth secrets in the highest levels of government and pull him back into the shadowy world he worked so hard to forget.
The Treadstone Exile (Book 2) by Joshua Hood
Former Treadstone Operative Adam Hayes finds himself at the center of a web of warring factions and high-level secrets in the second novel in the Treadstone series, the newest addition to the Robert Ludlum universe.
After the revival of Operation Treadstone, former agent Adam Hayes has retreated to Africa, determined to leave the black-ops CIA program behind for good. As a former Treadstone operative, Hayes knows just how destructive the program can be, as it turns government agents into nearly superhuman assassins. But his quiet life in Africa changes irrevocably when, while attempting to complete a charitable mission in Burkina Faso, Hayes is attacked by extremists. Forced to make an unexpected landing, his plane is damaged and he is left in a hornet’s nest of trouble.
In order to get back in the air, Hayes agrees to transport a passenger—Zoe Cabot, the daughter of a tech baron—to a small coastal city. But just after Hayes completes his flight, Zoe is kidnapped. During his search for Zoe, Hayes runs afoul of multiple enemies, including a rogue Treadstone operative, all of whom are searching for him—and for the information about a wire transfer of millions of dollars bound for the relief effort in Burkina Faso.
In an action-packed, twisty showdown, Hayes must outrun the factions that are hunting him, and prevent the theft of the much-needed millions from one of Africa’s poorest nations.
The Echo Man by Sam Holland
Sam Holland’s chilling debut draws inspiration from infamous serial killer cases, culminating in the ultimate, heart-pounding copycat tale.
Detectives Cara Elliott and Noah Deakin are on the case of a series of seemingly unconnected murders, each different in method, but each shocking and brutal. As the body count increases, they can’t ignore the details that echo famous cases of the past—Manson, Kemper, Dahmer, and more. As Elliott and Deakin get closer to unmasking the killer, the murders are moving closer to home.
Meanwhile, Jessica Ambrose is on the run. She’s been implicated as the arsonist who killed her neglectful husband and injured her young daughter. With the help of disgraced and suspended detective Nate Griffin, Jess discovers a shocking link between her case and that of the ultimate copycat killer working on his horrifying masterpiece.
Adriatic: A Concert of Civilizations at the End of the Modern Age by Robert D. Kaplan
“A lovely, personal journey around the Adriatic, in which Robert Kaplan revisits places and peoples he first encountered decades ago–explaining a region that, while often overlooked, offers clues about Europe’s past, present, and future.”–Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads
In this insightful travelogue, Robert D. Kaplan, geopolitical expert and bestselling author of Balkan Ghosts and The Revenge of Geography, turns his perceptive eye to a region that for centuries has been a meeting point of cultures, trade, and ideas. He undertakes a journey around the Adriatic Sea, through Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, and Greece, to reveal that far more is happening in the region than most news stories let on. Often overlooked, the Adriatic is in fact at the center of the most significant challenges of our time, including the rise of populist politics, the refugee crisis, and battles over the control of energy resources. And it is once again becoming a global trading hub that will determine Europe’s relationship with the rest of the world as China and Russia compete for dominance in its ports.
Kaplan explores how the region has changed over his three decades of observing it as a journalist. He finds that to understand both the historical and contemporary Adriatic is to gain a window on the future of Europe as a whole, and he unearths a stark truth: The era of populism is an epiphenomenon–a symptom of the age of nationalism coming to an end. Instead, the continent is returning to alignments of the early modern era as distinctions between East and West meet and break down within the Adriatic countries and ultimately throughout Europe.
With a brilliant cross-pollination of history, literature, art, architecture, and current events, in Adriatic, Kaplan demonstrates that this unique region that exists at the intersection of civilizations holds revelatory truths for the future of global affairs.
The Investigator by John Sandford
Letty Davenport, the brilliant and tenacious adopted daughter of Lucas Davenport, takes the investigative reins in the newest thriller from #1 bestselling author John Sandford.
By age twenty-four, Letty Davenport has seen more action and uncovered more secrets than many law enforcement professionals. Now a recent Stanford grad with a master’s in economics, she’s restless and bored in a desk job for U.S. Senator Colles. Letty’s ready to quit, but her skills have impressed Colles, and he offers her a carrot: feet-on-the-ground investigative work, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security.
Several oil companies in Texas have reported thefts of crude, Colles tells her. He isn’t so much concerned with the oil as he is with the money: who is selling the oil, and what are they doing with the profits? Rumor has it that a fairly ugly militia group—led by a woman known only as Lorelai—might be involved. Colles wants to know if the money is going to them, and if so, what they’re planning.
Letty is partnered with a DHS investigator, John Kaiser, and they head to Texas. When the case quicky turns deadly, they know they’re on the track of something bigger. Lorelai and her group have set in motion an explosive plan . . . and the clock is ticking down.
True: The Four Seasons of Jackie Robinson by Kostya Kennedy
True is a probing, richly-detailed, unique biography of Jackie Robinson, one of baseball’s—and America’s—most significant figures.
For players, fans, managers, and executives, Jackie Robinson remains baseball’s singular figure, the person who most profoundly extended, and continues to extend, the reach of the game. Beyond Ruth. Beyond Clemente. Beyond Aaron. Beyond the heroes of today. Now, a half-century since Robinson’s death, letters come to his widow, Rachel, by the score. But Robinson’s impact extended far beyond baseball: he opened the door for Black Americans to participate in other sports, and was a national figure who spoke and wrote eloquently about inequality.
True: The Four Seasons of Jackie Robinson by Kostya Kennedy is an unconventional biography, focusing on four transformative years in Robinson’s athletic and public life: 1946, his first year playing in the essentially all-white minor leagues for the Montreal Royals; 1949, when he won the Most Valuable Player Award in his third season as a Brooklyn Dodger; 1956, his final season in major league baseball, when he played valiantly despite his increasing health struggles; and 1972, the year of his untimely death. Through it all, Robinson remained true to the effort and the mission, true to his convictions and contradictions.
Kennedy examines each of these years through details not reported in previous biographies, bringing them to life in vivid prose and through interviews with fans and players who witnessed his impact, as well as with Robinson’s surviving family. These four crucial years offer a unique vision of Robinson as a player, a father and husband, and a civil rights hero—a new window on a complex man, tied to the 50th anniversary of his passing and the 75th anniversary of his professional baseball debut.
The 1619 Project illuminated the ways in which every aspect of life in the United States was and is shaped by the existence of slavery. Black Ghost of Empire focuses on emancipation and how this opportunity to make right further codified the racial caste system—instead of obliterating it.
To understand why the shadow of slavery still haunts society today, we must not only look at what slavery was, but also the unfinished way it ended. One may think of “emancipation” as a finale, leading to a new age of human rights and universal freedoms. But in reality, emancipations everywhere were incomplete. In Black Ghost of Empire, acclaimed historian and professor Kris Manjapra identifies five types of emancipation—explaining them in chronological order—along with the lasting impact these transitions had on formerly enslaved groups around the Atlantic.
Beginning in 1770s and concluding in 1880s, different kinds of emancipation processes took place across the Atlantic world. These included the Gradual Emancipations of North America, the Revolutionary Emancipation of Haiti, the Compensated Emancipations of European overseas empires, the War Emancipation of the American South, and the Conquest Emancipations that swept across Sub-Saharan Africa. Tragically, despite a century of abolitions and emancipations, systems of social bondage persisted and reconfigured. We still live with these unfinished endings today. In practice, all the slavery emancipations that have ever taken place reenacted racial violence against Black communities, and reaffirmed commitment to white supremacy. The devil lurked in the details of the five emancipation processes, none of which required atonement for wrongs committed, or restorative justice for the people harmed.
Manjapra shows how, amidst this unfinished history, grassroots Black organizers and activists have become custodians of collective recovery and remedy; not only for our present, but also for our relationship with the past.
Timely, lucid, and crucial to our understanding of the ongoing “anti-mattering” of Black people, Black Ghost of Empire shines a light into the deep gap between the idea of slavery’s end and its actual perpetuation in various forms—exposing the shadows that linger to this day.
Dream Town by David Baldacci
Private investigator and World War II veteran Aloysius Archer heads to Los Angeles, the city where dreams are made and shattered, and is ensnared in a lethal case in this latest thriller in #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci’s Nero Award-winning series.
It’s the eve of 1953, and Aloysius Archer is in Los Angeles to ring in the New Year with an old friend, aspiring actress Liberty Callahan, when their evening is interrupted by an acquaintance of Callahan’s: Eleanor Lamb, a screenwriter in dire straits.
After a series of increasingly chilling events—mysterious phone calls, the same blue car loitering outside her house, and a bloody knife left in her sink—Eleanor fears that her life is in danger, and she wants to hire Archer to look into the matter. Archer suspects that Eleanor knows more than she’s saying, but before he can officially take on her case, a dead body turns up inside of Eleanor’s home . . . and Eleanor herself disappears.
Missing client or not, Archer is dead set on finding both the murderer and Eleanor. With the help of Callahan and his partner Willie Dash, he launches an investigation that will take him from mob-ridden Las Vegas to the glamorous world of Hollywood to the darkest corners of Los Angeles—a city in which beautiful faces are attached to cutthroat schemers, where the cops can be more corrupt than the criminals . . . and where the powerful people responsible for his client’s disappearance will kill without a moment’s hesitation if they catch Archer on their trail.
Kingdom of Bones by James Rollins
From #1 New York Times bestselling author James Rollins, the latest riveting, deeply imaginative thriller in the Sigma Force series, told with his trademark blend of cutting-edge science, historical mystery, and pulse-pounding action.
It begins in Africa . . .
A United Nations relief team in a small village in the Congo makes an alarming discovery. An unknown force is leveling the evolutionary playing field. Men, women, and children have been reduced to a dull, cattle-like state. The natural world surrounding them—plants and animals—have grown more cunning and predatory, evolving at an exponential pace. The insidious phenomenon is spreading across the African continent, threatening the rest of the world. But is it a natural event? Or more terrifyingly, did someone engineer it?
What has made the biosphere run amok? Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma Force are prepared for the extraordinary and have kept the world safe—vigilance for which they have paid a tragic personal price. Yet even these brilliant and seasoned scientific warriors do not understand what is behind this frightening development—or know how to stop it. As they race across the nation and around the globe—from Washington D.C. to the densest jungles of Africa—to find answers, the members of Sigma realize they have become prey.
To head off global catastrophe, Sigma Force risks their lives to uncover the shattering secret at the heart of a biosphere run amok—a truth that will illuminate who we are as a species and where we may be headed . . . sooner than we know.
Mother Nature—red in tooth and claw—is turning against humankind, plummeting the entire world into The Savage Zone.
City on Fire by Don Winslow
From the #1 internationally bestselling author of the Cartel Trilogy (The Power of the Dog, The Cartel, and The Border), The Force, and Broken comes the first novel in an epic new triad.
“One of America’s greatest storytellers.” – Stephen King
Two criminal empires together control all of New England.
Until a beautiful modern-day Helen of Troy comes between the Irish and the Italians, launching a war that will see them kill each other, destroy an alliance, and set a city on fire.
Danny Ryan yearns for a more “legit” life and a place in the sun. But as the bloody conflict stacks body on body and brother turns against brother, Danny has to rise above himself. To save the friends he loves like family and the family he has sworn to protect, he becomes a leader, a ruthless strategist, and a master of a treacherous game in which the winners live and the losers die.
From the gritty streets of Providence to the glittering screens of Hollywood to the golden casinos of Las Vegas, Danny Ryan will forge a dynasty.
Exploring the classic themes of loyalty, betrayal, and honor, City on Fire is a contemporary Iliad, a saga that spans generations—a towering achievement of storytelling genius from Don Winslow, “America’s greatest living crime writer” (Jon Land, Providence Journal).
Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases by Paul Hole
From the detective who found The Golden State Killer, a memoir of investigating America’s toughest cold cases and the rewards–and toll–of a life solving crime.
I order another bourbon, neat. This is the drink that will flip the switch. I don’t even know how I got here, to this place, to this point. Something is happening to me lately. I’m drinking too much. My sheets are soaking wet when I wake up from nightmares of decaying corpses. I order another drink and swig it, trying to forget about the latest case I can’t shake.
Crime-solving for me is more complex than the challenge of the hunt, or the process of piecing together a scientific puzzle. The thought of good people suffering drives me, for better or worse, to the point of obsession.
People always ask how I am able to detach from the horrors of my work. Part of it is an innate capacity to compartmentalize; the rest is experience and exposure, and I’ve had plenty of both. But I had always taken pride in the fact that I can keep my feelings locked up to get the job done. It’s only been recently that it feels like all that suppressed darkness is beginning to seep out.
When I look back at my long career, there is a lot I am proud of. I have caught some of the most notorious killers of the twenty-first century and brought justice and closure for their victims and families. I want to tell you about a lifetime solving these cold cases, from Laci Peterson to Jaycee Dugard to the Pittsburg homicides to, yes, my twenty-year-long hunt for the Golden State Killer.
But a deeper question eats at me as I ask myself, at what cost? I have sacrificed relationships, joy—even fatherhood—because the pursuit of evil always came first. Did I make the right choice? It’s something I grapple with every day. Yet as I stand in the spot where a young girl took her last breath, as I look into the eyes of her family, I know that, for me, there has never been a choice. “I don’t know if I can solve your case,” I whisper. “But I promise I will do my best.”
It is a promise I know I can keep.
“Paul Holes takes you on a fascinating and sometimes disturbing journey inside the mind of someone who hunts monsters for a living—and in order to live. And his insights on Michelle McNamara—whose loss I still feel every day—are incredible.”
“Paul Holes is a natural criminal profiler with a talent for describing how the process works. In his book, Unmasked, he marches the reader into the real world of criminal behavior and blends his forensic expertise with his unfiltered personal life experiences as he tackles both cold cases and modern crimes. This is a book you will not be able to put down.”
—Dr. Ann Wolbert Burgess, author of A Killer by Design and co-author of Sexual Homicide
The Silent Sisters by Robert Dugoni
In this pulse-racing thriller by the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Agent, an American sleeper cell in Russia goes silent—and it’s one man’s duty to find them.
After a harrowing escape from Russian agents on his last mission, Charles Jenkins thinks he’s finally done with the spy game. But then the final two of the seven sisters—American assets who have been deep undercover in Russia for decades—cut off all communication with their handlers. Are they in hiding after detecting surveillance? Or have they turned and become double agents? It’s Jenkins’s duty to find out, but he’s been added to a Russian kill list. It will require all of Jenkins’s knowledge of spycraft—and an array of disguises—to return to the country undetected.
But plans go awry his first night in Moscow when Jenkins gets involved in an altercation that ends in the death of the son of one of Russia’s most powerful organized crime leaders. Pursued by mafia henchmen, Russian agents, and a particularly dogged Moscow police detective, Jenkins is determined to track down the final two sisters and get them to America—or die trying. As various forces close in, Jenkins fears this time he might’ve pushed his luck too far.
From Kevin Maurer—the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning coauthor of No Easy Day—comes the true story of a World War II bomber pilot who survived twenty-five missions in Damn Lucky, “an epic, thrillingly written, utterly immersive account of a very lucky, incredible survivor of the war in the skies to defeat Hitler” (New York Times bestselling author Alex Kershaw).
“We were young citizen-soldiers, terribly naive and gullible about what we would be confronted with in the air war over Europe and the profound effect it would have upon every fiber of our being for the rest of our lives. We were all afraid, but it was beyond our power to quit. We volunteered for the service and, once trained and overseas, felt we had no choice but to fulfill the mission assigned. My hope is that this book honors the men with whom I served by telling the truth about what it took to climb into the cold blue and fight for our lives over and over again.”
—John “Lucky” Luckadoo, Major, USAF (Ret.) 100th Bomb Group (H)
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was a world away from John Luckadoo’s hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee. But when the Japanese attacked the American naval base on December 7, 1941, he didn’t hesitate to join the military. Trained as a pilot with the United States Air Force, Second Lieutenant Luckadoo was assigned to the 100th Bomb Group stationed in Thorpe Abbotts, England. Between June and October 1943, he flew B-17 Flying Fortresses over France and Germany on bombing runs devised to destroy the Nazi war machine.
With a shrapnel torn Bible in his flight jacket pocket and his girlfriend’s silk stocking around his neck like a scarf as talismans, Luckadoo piloted through Luftwaffe machine-gun fire and antiaircraft flak while enduring subzero temperatures to complete twenty-five missions and his combat service. The average bomber crew rarely survived after eight to twelve missions. Knowing far too many airmen who wouldn’t be returning home, Luckadoo closed off his emotions and focused on his tasks to finish his tour of duty one moment at a time, realizing his success was more about being lucky than being skilled.
Drawn from Luckadoo’s firsthand accounts, acclaimed war correspondent Kevin Maurer shares his extraordinary tale from war to peacetime, uncovering astonishing feats of bravery during the bloodiest military campaign in aviation history, and presenting an incredible portrait of a young man’s coming-of-age during the world’s most devastating war.
Trust and Inspire: How Truly Great Leaders Unleash Greatness in Others by Stephen M. R. Covey
From the bestselling author of The Speed of Trust and Smart Trust, a revolutionary new way to lead.
Stephen M.R. Covey has made it his life’s work to understand trust in leadership and organizations. In his newest and most transformative book, Trust and Inspire, he makes the compelling argument that even though our world has changed drastically, our leadership style has not. Most businesses today still operate from a model of “command and control,” focusing on hierarchies and compliance from employees. But because of the changing nature of the world, the workforce, work itself, and the choices we have for where and how to work, these old rules of leadership no longer apply.
Covey’s solution is simple, yet bold: a shift from this “command and control” model to a leadership style of “trust and inspire.” Covey challenges our beliefs about people and leadership that have been deeply engrained in management approaches for decades. Trust and Inspire is a new way of leading that starts with the belief that people are creative, collaborative, and full of potential. People with this kind of leader are inspired to become the best version of themselves and to produce their best work. People don’t want to be managed; they want to be led. Trust and Inspire is the solution to the future of work: where a dispersed workforce will be the norm, necessitating trust and collaboration across time zones, cultures, personalities, and technology.
Trust and Inspire calls for a radical shift in the way we lead in the 21st century, and Covey shows us how.
The Forever Prisoner: The Full and Searing Account of the CXIA’s Most Controversial Covert Program by Cathy Scott-Clark, Adrian Levy
A monumental feat of investigative reporting on a subject of vital national interest and importance today: the first full and comprehensive account of the most divisive clandestine operation in living memory—America’s torture program known as “enhanced interrogation,” instituted by the CIA following 9/11
Six months after 9/11, CIA and FBI agents captured Abu Zubaydah, mistakenly believed to be number three in the al Qaeda hierarchy. Frantic to thwart a much-feared second attack, the U.S. rendered him to a hastily constructed black site in Thailand. There he collided with Air Force psychologist James Mitchell. Believing Abu Zubaydah had been trained to resist interrogation, Mitchell and others were authorized to use enhanced techniques, including water boarding, that would have violated the Geneva Conventions, international rules and treaties, and U.S. law had government lawyers not rewritten the human rights rulebook. The program metastasized over seven years, encompassing dozens of prisoners and multiple black sites. Ultimately, the U.S. Senate judged it was torture. As a result, numerous prisoners remain in Guantanamo, never charged with a crime because their trial would reveal the brutality they experienced.
Based on four years of intensive reporting around the world, on multiple interviews with key protagonists who speak candidly for the first time, and on thousands of previously classified documents recently released by FOIA requests, The Forever Prisoner is a powerful chronicle of a shocking government initiative that continues to influence policy to this day, and remains an existential threat to the CIA. Scott-Clark and Levy recount dramatic scenes inside black sites and lawyers’ offices through the eyes of those who were there and trace the twisted legal arguments to justify the program, extending to the highest echelons of government, which in the end produced zero high-value intelligence. Instead, it encouraged retaliation by terrorists abroad.
A primary source for the feature-length documentary of the same title by Alex Gibney to appear on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, The Forever Prisoner is as dramatic in the telling as it is consequential in its impact.