Ingrid Betancourt tells the story of her captivity in the Colombian jungle, sharing powerful teachings of resilience, resistance, and faith. Born in Bogotá, raised in France, Ingrid Betancourt at the age of thirty-two gave up a life of comfort and safety to return to Colombia to become a political leader in a country that was being slowly destroyed by terrorism, violence, fear, and a pervasive sense of hopelessness. In 2002, while campaigning as a candidate in the Colombian presidential elections, she was abducted by the FARC. Nothing could have prepared her for what came next. She would spend the next 6.5 years in the depths of the jungle as a prisoner of the FARC. Even Silence Has an End is her deeply personal and moving account of that time. Chained day and night for much of her captivity, she never stopped dreaming of escape and, in fact, succeeded in getting away several times, always to be recaptured. In her most successful effort she and a fellow captive survived a week away, but were caught when her companion became desperately ill; she learned later that they had been mere miles from freedom. Read more about Russell Readers: Even Silence Has an End
Not only accepting but also celebrating getting old, this inspirational and illuminating book looks at the many facets of the aging process, from purposes and challenges to struggles and surprises. Central throughout is a call to cherish the blessing of aging as a natural part of life that is active, productive, and deeply rewarding. Perhaps the most important dimension revealed lies in the awareness that there is a purpose to aging and intention built into every stage of life. Chittister reflects on many key issues, including the temptation towards isolation, the need to stay involved, the importance of health and well-being, what happens when old relationships end or shift, the fear of tomorrow, and the mystery of forever. Readers are encouraged to surmount their fears of getting older and find beauty in aging well. Read more about Russell Readers: Gift of Years
Griffin has been tooling around for nearly a year with his father’s ashes in the trunk, but his mother is very much alive and not shy about calling on his cell phone. She does so as he drives down to Cape Cod, where he and his wife, Joy, will celebrate the marriage of their daughter Laura’s best friend. For Griffin this is akin to driving into the past, since he took his childhood summer vacations here, his parents’ respite from the hated Midwest. And the Cape is where he and Joy honeymooned, in the course of which they drafted the Great Truro Accord, a plan for their lives together that’s now thirty years old and has largely come true. He’d left screenwriting and Los Angeles behind for the sort of New England college his snobby academic parents had always aspired to in vain; they’d moved into an old house full of character; and they’d started a family. Check, check and check.
But be careful what you pray for, especially if you manage to achieve it. By the end of this perfectly lovely weekend, the past has so thoroughly swamped the present that the future suddenly hangs in the balance. And when, a year later, a far more important wedding takes place, their beloved Laura’s, on the coast of Maine, Griffin’s chauffeuring two urns of ashes as he contends once more with Joy and her large, unruly family, and both he and she have brought dates along. How in the world could this have happened?
That Old Cape Magic is a novel of deep introspection and every family feeling imaginable, with a middle-aged man confronting his parents and their failed marriage, his own troubled one, his daughter’s new life and, finally, what it was he thought he wanted and what in fact he has. The storytelling is flawless throughout, moments of great comedy and even hilarity alternating with others of rueful understanding and heart-stopping sadness, and its ending is at once surprising, uplifting and unlike anything this Pulitzer Prize winner has ever written. Read more about Russell Readers: That Old Cape Magic
In 1955, Look magazine called Phenix City, Alabama, “The Wickedest City in America,” but even that may have been an understatement. It was a stew of organized crime and corruption, run by a machine that dealt with complaints forcefully and with dispatch. No one dared cross them - no one even tried. And then the machine killed the wrong man.
When crime-fighting attorney Albert Patterson is gunned down in a Phenix City alley in the spring of 1954, the entire town seems to pause for just a moment - and when it starts up again, there is something different about it. A small group of men meet and decide they have had enough, but what that means and where it will take them is something they could not have foreseen. Over the course of the next several months, lives will change, people die, and unexpected heroes emerge - like “a Randolph Scott western,” one of them remarks, “played out not with horses and Winchesters, but with Chevys and .38s and switchblades.”
Peopled by an extraordinary cast of characters, both real and fictional, Wicked City is a novel of uncommon intensity, rich with atmosphere, filled with sensuality and surprise. Read more about Russell Readers: Wicked City
Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family . . . Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages. Read more about Russell Readers: The Graveyard Book
Daddy is going to camp. That's what I told my children. A child psychologist suggested it. Words like prison and jail conjure up dangerous images for children, she explained. But it wasn't camp . . .
Neil White, a journalist and magazine publisher, wanted the best for those he loved-nice cars, beautiful homes, luxurious clothes. He loaned money to family and friends, gave generously to his church, and invested in his community-but his bank account couldn't keep up. Soon White began moving money from one account to another to avoid bouncing checks. His world fell apart when the FBI discovered his scheme and a judge sentenced him to serve eighteen months in a federal prison .But it was no ordinary prison. The beautiful, isolated colony in Carville, Louisiana, was also home to the last people in the continental United States disfigured by leprosy. Hidden away for decades, this small circle of outcasts had forged a tenacious, clandestine community, a fortress to repel the cruelty of the outside world.
It is here, in a place rich with history, where the Mississippi River briefly runs north, amid an unlikely mix of leprosy patients, nuns, and criminals, that White's strange and compelling journey begins. He finds a new best friend in Ella Bounds, an eighty-year-old African American double amputee who had contracted leprosy as a child. She and the other secret people, along with a wacky troop of inmates, help White rediscover the value of simplicity, friendship, and gratitude.
Every Saturday, Catherine sits at the Dairy Queen, plotting her getaway to Atlanta. When the dream becomes a reality, she immediately leaves everything to claim the life she's always imagined. But before things have even begun to get off the ground in Atlanta, tragedy brings Catherine Grace back home. As a series of extraordinary events alter her perspective and sweeping changes come to Ringgold itself, she begins to wonder if her place in the world may actually be, against all odds, right where she began. Read more about Russell Readers: Looking For Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore
From the author of the international bestseller "Incendiary" comes a haunting novel about the tenuous friendship that blooms between two disparate strangers—one an illegal Nigerian refugee, the other a recent widow from suburban London. Read more about Russell Readers: Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone. Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken. Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can look like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own. Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another. A deeply moving book filled with poignancy, humour, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't. Read more about Russell Readers: The Help
Anne Marie Roche wants to find happiness again. At thirty-eight, her life's not what she'd expected—she's childless, a recent widow, alone. She owns a successful bookstore on Seattle's Blossom Street, but despite her accomplishments, there's a feeling of emptiness.On Valentine's Day, Anne Marie and several other widows get together to celebrate…what? Hope, possibility, the future. They each begin a list of twenty wishes, things they always wanted to do but never did.Anne Marie's list starts with: Find one good thing about life. It includes learning to knit, doing good for someone else, falling in love again. She begins to act on her wishes, and when she volunteers at a local school, an eight-year-old girl named Ellen enters her life. It's a relationship that becomes far more involving than Anne Marie intended.It also becomes far more important than she ever imagined. As Ellen helps Anne Marie complete her list of twenty wishes, they both learn that wishes can come true—but not necessarily in the way you expect. Read more about Russell Readers: Twenty Wishes