BookTrib’s Bites: Jump into Spring with These Four Reads


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Leaning on AirLeaning on Air by Cheryl Grey Bostrom

They last spoke as teens . . .

But a surprise encounter 12 years later reunites ornithologist Celia Burke with veterinary surgeon Burnaby Hayes, and they enter the most unusual romance of her life.

After a decade of marriage, tragedy strikes while Celia hunts for the nest of a research hawk. She’s certain Burnaby won’t understand her anguish or forgive the choice that initiated it.

She flees to kindness at a remote farm, where a wild prairie and an alluring neighbor convince her to begin anew. But when unexplained accidents, cryptic sketches, and a mute little boy make her doubt her decision, only a red-tailed hawk and the endangered lives of those she loves can compel her to examine her past―and reconsider her future.

A soaring tale of wonder, loss, redemption, and restoration from the award-winning author of Sugar Birds. Purchase at

Curing DeathCuring Death by Mark Rosenberg M.D.

Dr. Mike Royce has a problem. His patients keep dying. His skills as an ER doctor are unmatched, but he can’t save them all. With every death, his sense of failure grows.

With the help of a brilliant nurse—his sometime lover—Royce embarks on a controversial research project to challenge the inevitability of death. When he discovers a never-before observed energy in the body, he feels he has stumbled upon the soul itself. And he makes a tantalizing connection between the egress of this soul energy and imminent, certain death.

To forestall death, Royce must find a way to stop that soul-energy from leaving the body, before his own mysteriously erratic, increasingly unstable mind betrays him. "All in the backdrop of the continual traumas of a hospital emergency room headed by the unstoppable Dr. Mike Royce – you can’t put it down." Purchase at

Queen of SteeplechaseThe Queen of Steeplechase Park by David Ciminello

The absolutely, positively, practically, almost-true story of infamous burlesque queen and magic meatball maker Belladonna Marie Donato. Pregnant at 15 after gleefully losing her virginity to pansexual neighborhood strongman Francis Anthony Mozzarelli, she is robbed of her baby by a pack of nefarious nuns, and her embittered papa has her sterilized without her consent (legal in 1935).

With the help of Francis and her top-secret meatball recipe, a Bella embarks on a riotous quest through Depression-era Coney Island sideshows, the world of peek-a-boo striptease routines, a queer mob marriage, and tasty collection of wisdom-filled recipes to find her lost child, herself, and maybe true love. It all leads Bella back to the scene of her Original Sin, where she faces matters of life and death, questions of forgiveness, and a mess only the healing properties of great Italian cooking can fix. Purchase at

New TestamentThe New Testament, Second Edition: A 21st Century Translation by Michael Straus

A translation that brings some fresh turns of phrase to the New Testament's varied texts. Not designed to supplant prior translations but to shed light on obscure passages; capture the humanity of Jesus' personality as presented in the Gospels; intelligibly convey doctrine and experience as related in Acts and the Epistles; and reflect the atemporal nature of the Book of Revelation.

The translation seeks to be at once enjoyable, novelistic and at times poetic, avoiding the overly literal, freely adopting the colloquial, and taking grammatical license where the writer employed imagery not subject to standard linguistic limitations.

 As a whole it approaches Scripture as the viva vox evangelii, with ongoing linguistic presence through credal, liturgical, sermonic and other forms of expression. Purchase at