Stars can mean everything from astronomy to the acclaimed. Our offerings detail how one political luminary rose to great heights. In another, learn how a family struggled to keep its star from burning out. And in a third a popular astrophysicist believes that the answers to most of life’s struggles are revealed in the heavens. In fiction, a thriller tells the tale in which the answer to a current crime may be found in the past. And also included is a memoir describing the lifetime of “knots,” and slings and arrows that helped shape a nationally-recognized biblical scholar.
“All My Knotted-Up Life: A Memoir,” by Beth Moore (Tyndale House Publishers)
This is a very personal story of Texas-based evangelist, public speaker, New York Times bestselling author and Living Proof Ministries founder Beth Moore, from her childhood as a sexual abuse victim through her decision to leave the Southern Baptist Convention. Moore “reveals enough raw detail of the difficult parts of her life to invite readers to examine the messes in their own lives through the lens of God’s amazing grace, while exploring with unflinching honesty questions of injustice and lack of repentance from those who abused or wounded her, all without seeking revenge,” wrote Michelle Van Loon for Inglewood Review of Books. “From the early chapters, which are thick with the effervescent voice of Moore’s small-town, deep-South childhood, to the final, sober chapters of the book, Moore tells her story with honesty about her own failings, liberal doses of self-depreciating humor, and a palpable sense of wonder that she’s carried all her knotted-up life.” (Nonfiction)
“The Angel Maker,” by Alex North (Celadon Books)
Katie Shaw has it made. She lives in a beautiful English country home and has a close relationship with her family, especially her younger brother, Chris. Kate also has a loving boyfriend and is preparing to graduate and fulfill her dreams. But then a violent stranger changes her family’s fate forever and infuses within Kate a sense of guilt that she could have done more to protect her brother. Years later, Kate is now married and has a child of her own to protect, when she receives a dreaded phone call: Chris has gone missing and needs his older sibling’s help again. Meanwhile a local police detective is confronted with the gruesome murder of a distinguished professor, which leads him back to the years-old attack on Chris Shaw. (Fiction)
“Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization,” by Neil deGrasse Tyson (Henry Holt and Co.)
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explains the divisions here on Earth — war, politics, religion, truth, beauty, gender, and race — through a cosmic lens. He called the book a “wake up call to civilization,” during a recent appearance on CBS Mornings. “There’s so much that we do on Earth that’s so embedded in our own personal belief systems, even when they don’t match with what is objectively true. But we fight over these things,” he said. “If you take a step back, add a little dose of science, and science thinking, and especially a cosmic perspective, often many of those problems just evaporate.” He also said that for many of these reasons, if an alien from another world were to land on Earth and say, “take me to your leader,” he should probably be escorted to the National Academy of Science rather than the White House, “because we strive to think about problems without bias, without preconceived notions.” (Nonfiction)
“The Courage to Be Free: Florida's Blueprint for America's Revival,” by Ron DeSantis (Broadside Books)
Is this book the start of Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign? Or maybe it’s the campaign before the campaign. Either way, it’s the story of how Florida’s 46th governor turned the Sunshine State into the place “where woke goes to die” by taking on liberal public health icon Dr. Anthony Fauci, and corporate giants like Disney. And Floridians showed their appreciation. In 2018, DeSantis just barely squeaked past his Democratic opponent. After converting his state into the “free state of Florida” his re-election was one of the few unabashed GOP success stories of 2022: he blew past former Gov. Charlie Crist by claiming 60% of the ballots and beating him by a landslide 1.5 million votes. “The Courage to be Free” provides a roadmap to any other state executive that wants to duplicate his success. (Nonfiction)
“Unscripted: The Epic Battle for a Media Empire and the Redstone Family Legacy,” by James B. Stewart and Rachel Abrams (Penguin Press)
“Unscripted” reveals the story of the fight for control of the massive entertainment empire Paramount Global, told by the two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists who initially broke the news. Paramount Global isn’t just motion pictures. In addition to Paramount Studios, it includes CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, Showtime, and Simon & Schuster. For years the multi-billion-dollar, multi-media empire was controlled by the Redstone family.
In 2016 when family patriarch Sumner M. Redstone, 93, was facing a lawsuit brought by a former paramour, he turned the reins over to his daughter Shari, which prompted backbiting, corporate intrigue, and machinations for control. (Nonfiction)
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