I’ve been loving this winter with all its heavy snows and bird watching and of course, reading for hours on end. Here are just a handful of the finds I’ve indulged in over the last couple of months that are well worth a day curled up in a cozy chair.

THE PERFECT HORSE by Elizabeth Letts

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The author of the Eighty Dollar Horse does the equine world justice again while delving into the United States Calvary’s final mission to ensure the majestic horses of Austria and Poland were not lost to Europe and the world. This biographical account of the parties from both sides of WWII, who fought to protect and preserve these precious animals for all our generations to come, is a spellbinding read for not only the horse lover but the modern history buff as well. You will quickly find yourself immersed in the daily struggles of trainers, farm owners, soldiers and leaders who come together despite political differences in order to save herds of horses that remain well known entertainers and educators today. The perfect book for everyone.

THE ELEPHANT WHISPERER-MY LIFE IN THE HERD by Lawrence Anthony

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Years before Lawrence Anthony’s untimely death, he was able to put pen to paper to record the amazing account of his life in South Africa, developing a wildlife preserve to protect his native species for future generations, which came to include the African Elephant. But Anthony didn’t take on just any herd, he committed to adopting and acclimating a rogue herd that destined for slaughter. While the task was far from an easy one, and in fact, nearly cost a few human lives, Anthony was able to build a success that was profitable not only for himself and the surrounding community, but for the elephants throughout South Africa. These beautiful creatures have a new lease on life in their native land thanks to the hard work and dedication of Anthony and his team. This turbulent, sometimes sad, often frightening but always enlightening account will leave you wanting to book your trip to the range faster than you can get to your keyboard. Anyone who loves animals, the wild and safari life in particular will love this read.

UNDER A SILENT MOON by Elizabeth Hanes

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Deep in the heart of small town England, country life is rocked by the deaths of not one, but two women from the same town, who die under violent circumstances on the same night. And it’s up to newly promoted DCI Louisa Smith to crack the cases and find any relevant links that may link the two women and their deaths. Haynes, a former police intelligence analyst, does a superb job in leading the reader through the process of fact-finding, sorting, and pin-pointing the evidence to lead her force in the right direction. Mystery lovers will delight in this new series and be left wanting for the next installment.

VILLA AMERICA by Liza Klaussmann

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Period drama lovers will find themselves quickly taken back in time when the elite relished in the glamour and the arts, the latest technology, and traditional as well as ‘forbidden’ love in this WWII romance. Set primarily in the French seaside, the reader will travel from America to Europe and back in this racy story of life and loss during one of the most tumultuous periods in our history. The well-known characters in this story were real, although quite some liberty has been taken to give the reader insight into what life was like for the 1% of the day. This purely fictional account provided entertainment and insight into a different period in time, for an elite group who find themselves suffering from the same heartbreak and loss that nearly everyone from the era suffered to some extent. Those who survived to go on had decisions to make that would forever change their lives. Romance readers in particular will relish the vivid accounts of the years that once provided the rich and famous with a lifestyle that few enjoy. A box of chocolates and a cup of cocoa are just the thing to see you through the journey.

CAREER OF EVIL by Robert Galbraith

book.jpgGalbraith, a.k.a. J.K. Rowling, does not disappoint true mystery aficionados in the latest installment involving P.I. Cormoran Strike.  Yes, this series is as beloved as Harry Potter for those who immerse themselves in the world of hardcore detective fiction and you even watch the TV series based on the books with a monthly subscription to Netflix.  But diving into the details of Strike’s life, his past and his penchant for solving the most gruesome and puzzling crimes is pure satisfaction.  Even Scotland Yard has been put off by Strike’s ability to piece together the puzzles that have left HRH’s best at a loss.  And this installment is no exception.  Not for the faint of heart, Career of Evil will leave you breathless and exhilarated, while keeping you guessing through every plot twist and turn.  If you haven’t been introduced to Strike yet, now is the time.

Whatever you’re reading this winter, enjoy your immersion into another world.
Live a beautiful life.

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