Reading Recommendations: The Good Father, a novel, Noah HawleyAs the Chief of Rheumatology at Columbia Presbyterian, Dr. Paul Allen's specialty is diagnosing patients with conflicting symptoms, patients other doctors have given up on. He lives a contented life in Westport, Connecticut, with his second wife and their twin sons; a life hard won after a failed marriage earlier that produced a son named Daniel.In the gripping opening scene of this propulsive novel, Dr. Allen is home with his family when a televised news report announces that the Democratic candidate for President has been shot at a rally. Daniel is accused of pulling the trigger. Overwhelmed by a vortex of feelings - guilt, anger, incredulity, love - Allen immediately sets out to find the truth, applying his diagnostic skills to the mystery of his own son. Daniel has always been a good kid, a decent student, popular - but, as a child of divorce used to shuttling back and forth between parents; he is also something of a drifter. At the age of nineteen, this may be why he quietly drops out of Vassar and begins an aimless journey across the United States, during which he sheds his former skin, eventually even changing his name to Carter Allen Cash.Alternating seamlessly between father and son on their parallel journeys, and interspersed with engrossing profiles of actual American assassins; the narrative tunnels deeper and deeper into the minds of a desperate parent and a profoundly lost young man as it ungently draws the reader ever closer to its gut-wrenching conclusion.I haven't read anything like this in a long, long time, and I may never again!And, The Chaperone, a novel, Laura MoriartyIn 1922, only a few years before she will become a famous film actress and an icon for her generation, a fifteen year old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita for a summer in New York City and the avant-garde Denishawn School of Dance. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty year old chaperone. Cora Carlisle is neither foe nor friend, just a respectable neighbor whom Louise's parents have hired for propriety's sake. But upstanding, traditional Cora has her own private reason for making the trip.Of course, Cora has no idea what she's in for: young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous black bob, is known for her arrogance, her disregard for convention, and her keen intelligence. By the time their train pulls into Grand Central, Cora fears that supervising Louise will be at best exhausting and, at worst, impossible. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will be the most important of her life.For Cora, New York holds the promise of discovery that might answer the question at the center of her being, and even as she does her best to watch over Louise in a strange and bustling city, she embarks on her own mission. And while what she discovers isn't what she anticipated, it liberates her in a way she could not have imagined. Over the course of the summer, Cora's eyes are opened to the promise of the twentieth century and a new understanding of the possibilities of being fully alive.A page turning story of two very different women who share a desire for freedom and fulfillment.And, A Dog's Journey, Another Novel for Humans, W. Bruce CameronBuddy is a good dog. After searching for his purpose through several eventful lives, Buddy is sure that he has now found and fulfilled it. Yet as he watches curious baby Clarity get into dangerous mischief on Buddy's family farm, he is certain that this little girl is very much in need of a dog of her own.When Buddy is reborn, he realizes that he has a new destiny. He's overjoyed when he is adopted by Clarity, now a vibrant but troubled teenager. As Clarity navigates through ups and downs of adolescence, Buddy is there to protect, cheer, rescue, and love her unconditionally. When they are suddenly separated, Buddy despairs; who will take care of his girl?Buddy and Clarity's lives will soon intertwine again, and Buddy will stop at nothing to get to her side, supporting her when she needs it most and sharing in her darkest moments and greatest joys.Do we really take care of our pets, or do they take care of us? More than just another endearing dog tale.See you at Rylander.