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Smart Reads: 5 Fascinating Books that Shed a Fresh Light on History

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For some reason, late winter is the most historical time of the year. President’s Day. Martin Luther King Day. Black History Month. Women’s History Month. Maybe it’s because we need some really smart reads to tide us over until the daffodils bloom. If history, or fiction-driven retellings based on history, is your jam, we’ve got just the thing. Here are five fascinating books that will make you wish for a snow storm to give you a day off so you can curl up and read. Max Baer & The Star of David by Jay Neugeboren (Mandel Vilar Press; February 11, 2016) “Neugeboren has never been better than in this lush, joyful novel—as erotic and mysterious as The Song of Songs…

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‘Charlie Mike’: The Story of Veterans Who Continue to Serve Through Team Rubicon

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The woman at the Red Cross said Port-au-Prince, Haiti was too dangerous for untrained volunteers after the earthquake when Marine veteran Jake Wood called to volunteer in January 2010. “It’s complete chaos there,” she said. “I’m a marine,” he replied. “We do chaos.” Wood hung up the phone and started calling fellow veterans. One who responded was fellow Marine vet William McNulty. They had only spoken on the phone and when they met 24 hours later in the airport in the Dominican Republic, they cobbled together a team consisting of the vets, a firefighter, an ER physician, an obstetrician and a medic. They had little more than their go-bags, some money and a passion to serve. They created medical triage…

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Mountaineer Andrew Lock: Climbing Everest Was Worth the Risk

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Ah, movies. Is there no end to your ability to show me things that I’ll never, ever do? This fall, we’re getting The Walk, in which a guy walks on a tightrope 110 stories above the ground. The Martian will feature a guy stranded on Mars, a destination to which you can now sign up to go. (I’ll pass on both of these, thanks.) And on Friday, we have Everest, the story of an expedition climbing to the peak of Earth’s highest mountain. Sure, they get up to the top OK, but when a killer snowstorm strikes before they can get down, that’s when they run into trouble. Big trouble. What kind of person would subject himself to that? Meet…

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Heat Index: 5 Hot New Book Covers We Can’t Stop Looking At

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One of the most alluring factors for me when picking my next read is the cover. I’m a sucker for a stop-you-in-your-tracks book cover. Gorgeous covers inspire an immediate top spot on your TBR list before you’ve even read the inside flap to find out what the story is about. So for this week’s Heat Index, I’m compiling five of my recent favorites and let me tell you, narrowing it down to five was a tough job. Not only were these five reads a delight to look at, but they earned mega bonus points for having a fantastic story living between the covers. The Girl at Midnight, Melissa Grey (Delacorte Press, April 2015) “A feisty heroine, fun supporting characters, a mission…

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