Reading Recommendations: Redemption, A Joe Burgess Mystery, Kate FloraIn the third book in this Portland, Maine based police procedural series, Detective Joe Burgess's hopes for a more normal life slam up against the ugly reality of his job. On his way to a Columbus Day picnic with the two foster children his girlfriend, Chris, hopes to adopt, Burgess is flagged down by two boys fishing off a pier who think they've spotted a body in the water.Picnic canceled, Burgess spends a gorgeous Fall day supervising the retrieval of the body, only to find, during the ME preliminary exam, that he is looking at someone he knows, a damaged alcoholic Vietnam Vet known from his habit of collecting cans and bottles he redeems for spending money, as Reggie the Can Man. But Burgess and Reggie have a long history going back to high school football and a year in Vietnam. Reggie has had decades of ups and downs. Burgess and Reggie's brother, Clay, have done a lot of patching him together, but as long as there have been ups, he's represented the possibility of redemption.When, at autopsy, the astute ME questions whether the death is truly the accidental drowning it appears, Burgess finds he must do one last thing for Reggie, find out the who and why, of his lost friends death, an investigation that will involve Reggie's cold ex-wife and shiftless son, industrial toxins, corrupt business men, real estate developers, and a mysterious woman who claims to be a witch. A Good American, a novel, Alex GeorgeIt is 1904 in Hanover, Germany, and Frederick and Jette have fallen in love. When Jette becomes pregnant, the two must flee her disapproving mother. Where better to go than America, the land of the new? Originally set to board a boat to New York, at the last minute they take one destined for New Orleans ("What's the difference? They're both New"), and later find themselves, more by chance than by design, in the small town of Beatrice, Missouri. Not speaking a word of English, they embark on their new life together as newlyweds.Beatrice is filled with unforgettable characters, a jazz trumpeter from the Big Easy who cooks a mean gumbo, a teenage boy trapped in the body of a giant, a pretty school teacher who teaches more than just music, a minister who believes he has witnessed the Second Coming of Christ, and a malevolent, bicycle riding dwarf.A Good American is narrated by Frederick and Jette's grandson, James, who is telling his ancestor's story comes to realize he doesn't know his own at all.From bare-knuckle prize fighting and Prohibition to sweet barbershop harmonies, the Kennedy assassination, and beyond, Jame's family is caught up in the sweep of history. Each new generation discovers afresh what it means to be an American. And in the proess Frederick and Jette's progeny sometimes discover more about themselves than they had bargained for.A novel about being an outsider in your country, in your hometown, and sometimes in your own family. It is a universal story about the families we create and the places we call home.And, Chasing The Sun, Land of the Lone Star, Book 1, Tracie PetersonThough reluctant to leave her Mississippi home, Hannah Dandridge follows her father west to care for her siblings. When her father is awarded a ranch on the Texas plains for his support and work for the Confederacy, she begins to blossom in this new way of life.But when she receives word that her father has been taken prisoner by the Yankees, her future becomes uncertain. An offer of marriage could solve her problems, but Hannah's heart falters at the thought. Instead she determines to remain on the ranch with her siblings and the hired help.Then wounded union soldier William Barnett arrives, and claims the ranch as his own.See you at Rylander!