Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What Books Are on Your Wish List?

I keep a running wish list on Amazon when I find books I am interested in. This time of year, I encourage my family to check it out. Here are a few books I would love to see under the tree:

Daniel Stashower, the two-time Edgar award–winning author of The Beautiful Cigar Girl, uncovers the riveting true story of the “Baltimore Plot,” an audacious conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln on the eve of the Civil War.

In February of 1861, just days before he assumed the presidency, Abraham Lincoln faced a “clear and fully-matured” threat of assassination as he traveled by train from Springfield to Washington for his inauguration. Over a period of thirteen days the legendary detective Allan Pinkerton worked feverishly to detect and thwart the plot, assisted by a captivating young widow named Kate Warne, America’s first female private eye.

As Lincoln’s train rolled inexorably toward “the seat of danger,” Pinkerton struggled to unravel the ever-changing details of the murder plot, even as he contended with the intractability of Lincoln and his advisors, who refused to believe that the danger was real. With time running out Pinkerton took a desperate gamble, staking Lincoln’s life—and the future of the nation—on a “perilous feint” that seemed to offer the only chance that Lincoln would survive to become president. Shrouded in secrecy—and, later, mired in controversy—the story of the “Baltimore Plot” is one of the great untold tales of the Civil War era, and Stashower has crafted this spellbinding historical narrative with the pace and urgency of a race-against-the-clock thriller.

Originally published from 1932 to 1943, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books are classics of children’s literature, beloved by millions. But readers who last enjoyed them as children may be astonished at the quiet poetry of Wilder’s prose and the force and poignancy of her portrait of the lives of American pioneers. Now The Library of America and editor Caroline Fraser present a definitive boxed set that affirms Wilder’s place in the American canon, reintroducing these enduring works to readers young and old. Here, for the first time in two collectible hardcover volumes, are all eight Little House novels—brilliant narratives of the early life of Laura Ingalls and her family as they grow up with the country in the woods, on the plains, and finally in the small towns of the advancing American frontier—plus the posthumous novella The First Four Years, which recounts the early years of the author’s marriage to Almanzo Wilder. As a special feature, four rare autobiographical pieces address the need for historical accuracy in children’s literature, reveal real life events not included in the novels, and answer the inevitable question: what happened next?

Christmas Eve 1894

All Margaret Campbell wants for Christmas is a safe journey home. When her plans for a festive holiday with her family in Stirling crumble beneath the weight of her brother’s bitterness, the young schoolteacher wants nothing more than to return to the students she loves and the town house she calls home.

Then an unexpected detour places her in the path of Gordon Shaw, a handsome newspaperman from Glasgow, who struggles under a burden of remorse and shame.

When the secret of their shared history is revealed, will it leave them tangled in a knot of regret? Or might their past hold the threads that will bind their future together?

As warm as a woolen scarf on a cold winter’s eve, A Wreath of Snow is a tender story of love and forgiveness, wrapped in a celebration of all things Scottish, all things Victorian, and, especially, all things Christmas.

What books are on your wish list?

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