Local books to curl up with this fall – Albany Times Union

“Now Say You’re Sorry” by Barbara Fournier.
“North” by Brad Kessler.
“Fallout” by Steve Sheinkin.
“Your Conscience” by Leonard Perlmutter and Jenness Cortez Perlmutter.
“Maison Cristina” by Eugene K. Garber.
Pumpkins are popping up everywhere, Halloween candy is stacked on grocery shelves, and the nights and mornings are cold. What a great time to sit in your favorite chair with a warm drink and lose yourself in a riveting book. Here are a few suggestions of books by some local authors. Many can be found in area independent bookstores. 

 “Now Say You’re Sorry” by Barbara Fournier (self-published)
There’s nothing more fun than scaring yourself with an exciting mystery, and that’s what you’ll do from the first sentence on in Fournier’s first book of fiction. The author, who lives in North Greenbush, has set the story in South Dakota where detectives Emerson Lake and Reese Clayton, who are not exactly on the best of terms, must work together to solve a series of murders in their community. This book will have you in suspense right up to the last page. Proceeds from the sale of her book for the months of October and November will go to the Wellspring counseling center in Malta. 
“Your Conscience: The Key to Unlock Limitless Wisdom and Creativity and Solve All of Life’s Challenges” by Leonard Perlmutter (Ram Lev) with Jenness Cortez Perlmutter (AMI Publishers)
Perlmutter is the founder and director of The American Meditation Institute in Averill Park, and he has written a concise book on the importance of looking inward to discover your conscience. That introspection, he says, will give you the confidence to know what’s to be done and what’s not to be done, no matter what the challenge is. Perlmutter and his wife, Jenness, have studied and applied yoga science and philosophy for 55 years, and this book explains in simple terms how you can improve your life by tapping into the extraordinary power within each of us. This book is especially important today with the clutter of noise and information from our mobile devices, cable news shows, emails and social media feeds.
 “Maison Cristina” by Eugene K. Garber (Transformations Press)
Garber is a retired professor of English at the University at Albany so he knows the power of a good story and how it can transform a person’s life. He has written a memorable work of fiction whose main character, octogenarian Peter Naughton, now lives in the care of Catholic nuns in a New Orleans facility for the mentally ill. I liked the character of Naughton and how he was using the art of storytelling to help a haunted young woman named Charlene regain consciousness. This is a richly, rewarding work about these characters striving to redeem themselves.
“Fallout: Spies, Superbombs and the Ultimate Cold War Showdown” by Steve Sheinkin (Roaring Brook Press)
Saratoga Springs author Steve Sheinkin has once again written an exciting thriller that feels like a sequel to his 2012 award-winning “Bomb.” This book picks up after World War II when the United States and the Soviet Union emerged as the world’s two superpowers  and competed to build the most destructive bombs and to conquer the space race. It’s all in here: Gary Powers and the U-2 spy plane he flew, the Cuban Missile Crisis and Harry Seidel, a bicycle racer who risked his life to assist hundreds of East Berliners to escape across the Berlin Wall to freedom. A fast-paced read for young adults and adults.
 
 “Beneath the Middle Sun” by Jim & Carol McCord (Shanti Arts Publishing)
Jim McCord, a retired emeritus professor of English, and his wife, Carol, a lifelong hiker and former yoga instructor, have published a beautiful collection of poems and photographic images of a summer spent in southern France. Carol McCord’s photographs include many ancient structures by the Romans along with lush landscapes, colorful markets and delectable food. I could feel the warmth of the sun as I gazed at much of her work, and Jim McCord’s poetry brought to life beautiful images and captured the people and places of the land. I especially loved his poem “Country Dining” where he writes, “I want to talk common fare and country manners at Café de Pays where they serve local wines to wash down local meat, bread fresh from Le Pain Levain around the corner, fruit plucked from nearby orchards, greens from roadsides. Flavors natural like aliment from paradise.”
 
“That Day” by Anne O’Brien Carelli (Independently Published)
 
Anne O’Brien Carelli has written another inspirational middle-grade fiction book. This one is her attempt to help children understand what happened on 9/11. The main character is Kate, and her dad was a firefighter 20 years ago in New York City. He survived but is now suffering some health problems from that day. The story is also a mystery that may unite the family as Kate tries to figure out more about that mysterious dragon postage stamp her dad found years ago at Ground Zero.
“North” by Brad Kessler (The Overlook Press)
During a spring blizzard Father Christopher, a cloistered monk at the Blue Mountain Monastery in Vermont, discovers a young Somali refugee named Sahro Abdi Muse. This suspenseful novel takes the reader on Sahro’s epic journey from her home through Central America, Mexico, New York City and now into Vermont where she hopes to escape into Canada and find freedom. This is a powerful novel that confronts us with how we treat refugees and if we are doing enough to support them. For Father Christopher it also brings into question his life as a monk and how relevant that is in today’s world. This is a novel you will think about long after you have finished reading it.
Jack Rightmyer is an adjunct English teacher at Siena College and a freelance writer.

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