Read It Forward

Priscilla Warner has had a great life: a supportive husband, a flourishing marriage, two loving sons, and a bestselling book, The Faith Club. Despite all her good fortune and success, she suffers from anxiety and panic attacks so debilitating that they leave her unable to breathe. After forty years of hyperventilating, and an overwhelming panic attack that’s the ultimate wake-up call, Warner’s mantra becomes “Neurotic, Heal Thyself.” A spirited New Yorker, she sets out to find her inner Tibetan monk by meditating every day, aiming to rewire her brain and her body and mend her frayed nerves. On this winding path from panic to peace, she also delves into a wide range of spiritual and alternative health practices, some serious and some . . . not so much.

“Often complaining that her ‘life’s so bore,’ my heroine speaks in a uniquely Subcontinental English, peppered with misspellings (bagground, Tom Fort) and malapropisms (‘she’s a suppository of local gossip’),” explains Moni Mohsin, author of Duty Free. “Though this is the spoken lingo of millions, readers in India and Pakistan are not accustomed to encountering it on the printed page. An entire book written in this chutneyfied English therefore is cause for much hilarity and surprised delight. Readers write to me in the voice of the heroine, letters and emails about their picaresque lives, which in turn surprise and delight me.”

“Starting a new school year can bring up tons of funky stuff. It can be tough to settle in to a fresh curriculum, situate yourself in a new living space and reignite friendships after several months apart. When all this change occurs at once, life can feel a bit overwhelming. Rather than succumb to the stresses of the school year, I’m offering up a new approach. My name is Gabrielle Bernstein, and I’m a self-help book author and inspirational speaker – and I’m here to help you – and your kids – bring happy back to school! When you apply my three simple suggestions to your life, you’ll set yourself up to have a rockin’ time in and out of the classroom. So brush your shoulders off and get ready to get happy!”

Death in the City of Light begins at 21 rue La Sueur in the heart of Paris’s fashionable 16th arrondissement. It is a March evening in 1944 when two police offers arrive at a townhouse after receiving complaints of a thick, black smoke emanating from the building. Upon entering, they discover a horrific scene – hands, feet, skulls, and bodies in various states of decomposition. Down in the basement they discover the source of the smoke: two coal stoves stuffed with charred remains. Within minutes the search is on for Marcel Petiot, the owner of the home . . . Here, author David King shares with Read It Forward how he stumbled upon this incredibly gripping true-crime thriller, which has already been compared to the likes of Eric Larson’s incredible narrative nonfiction.

Not too long ago, I was in my basement, which just might be the scariest place on earth. We’re talking Silence of the Lambs scary, Night of the Living Dead scary, “lions ands tigers and bears, oh my” scary . . . . On some level I understood that the basement door was going to lead to a novel. Novelists are asked all the time where our ideas come from, and I have done this long enough that I suspected someday that door would, quite literally, open a novel: “The door was presumed to have been the entry to a coal chute, a perfectly reasonable assumption since a small hillock of damp coal sat moldering before it.” So begins The Night Strangers.

Dr. Steve Perry, author of Push Has Come to Shove, is the founder and principal of headline-making Capital Prep Magnet School, which sends all of its mostly low-income, minority students to four-year colleges. He is also the chief contributor to CNN on education issues. Capital Prep has been visited by experts from around the world to study the magic taking place there! Today we’ve asked Dr. Perry to share with us what he thinks can make a difference in the education system and what he’s doing at his school. Let us know what you think and what’s going on at your kids’ schools!