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Great New Books

Pride of Eden by Taylor Brown. Vietnam veteran Anse Caulfield, who rescues animals abused in captivity for the wildlife sanctuary Little Eden, will use any means necessary to replace a lion killed after escaping. So he corrals another veteran, Malaya, who once stalked elephant poachers in Africa; falconer-turned-drone expert Lope; and Little Eden veterinarian Tyler. Together they challenge the underworld of breeders, smugglers, and trophy hunters who exploit wildlife.

Smoke Bitten by Patricia Briggs. “I am Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman. My only ‘superpowers’ are that I turn into a 35-pound coyote and I can fix Volkswagens. But I have friends in odd places and a pack of werewolves at my back. It looks like I’m going to need them. Centuries ago, the fae dwelt in Underhill — until she locked her doors against them. They left behind their great castles and troves of magical artifacts. They abandoned their prisoners and their pets. Without the fae to mind them, those creatures who remained behind roamed freely through Underhill, wreaking havoc. Only the deadliest survived. Now one of those prisoners has escaped.”

The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James. Winterbourne Hall is a large, imposing manor in Cornwall, England. In 1947, Alice Miller is the family’s newest governess, charged with taking care of two children, Constance and Edmund de Gray, who are still grieving the loss of their mother, Laura. When Alice discovers a painting in which the subjects do not remain static and an old mirror that beckons her, she turns to Jonathan, the children’s enigmatic father, for answers. His counsel is misleading, and Alice finds herself on an unexpected path. Meanwhile, Rachel Wright, a gallery curator in modern-day New York, learns that she is a descendant of the de Grays. She heads to the estate and discovers the same painting and that wonderfully seductive mirror that has been ignored for ages. Determined to solve the mystery of her heritage, Rachel learns that more than one entity has a claim to her inheritance.

Hit List by Stuart Woods. It’s no joke when Stone Barrington finds his name on a hit list of 10 people. Only after two of those listed have been killed, and Barrington has been shot at outside his Manhattan home, is the suspect identified. He’s Sig Larkin, a former employee of the world’s second-largest security company, where all on the list, except Barrington, once worked. But he has ties to the company: the wife of a friend is the company’s head, and Barrington employs the firm’s services. Feeling threatened, Barrington and friends start a cat-and-mouse game with the determined Larkin, who continues to rack up victims. Even the usually unscathed Barrington takes some minor hits before the chase finally ends. The book concludes with a presidential election in which former Secretary of State Holly Barker is a candidate, leaving the series poised for a shift in direction.

The Boy From the Woods by Harlen Coben. Found as a child living untrammeled in the woods with no memory of his past, the appropriately named Wilde has returned there to live as an adult after being raised in foster care. He’s happiest by himself, but his outdoorsy skills are being taped by celebrity TV lawyer Hester Crimstein as one teenager and then another goes missing. Journalists and creepy security experts soon come calling, and Wilde must uncover — and survive --— a terrible secret.

Libraries=Information

If you’ve walked, jogged and hiked this far without any major knee trouble, there’s more you can do than thank your lucky stars. Besides being the largest joint in the human body, the knees are unique in that the motion involved is very complex. With the passage of time, a certain amount of wear and tear on your joints is inevitable. If you experience a clicking or popping sensation when you bend or lunge, but there’s no pain or swelling, you don’t need to worry about it. But if you have pain or swelling, it’s best to visit your doctor. Steps to protect these essential joints will be covered next week.

Stingy Schobel Says

Maximize Social Security disability checks. Apply for benefits as soon as possible after becoming disabled. If your health makes you retire early after decades of work, look into disability benefits before starting to take Social Security retirement checks — this may help avoid a reduction in retirement benefits. If your condition changes so you can do some work, be sure to report earnings. Be prepared for a review. Finally, look into assistance beyond disability benefits —y ou may be entitled to food stamps, a free landline or cellphone.

Library Laugh

I burned 2000 calories today, I left my food in the oven too long.