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Holy Cow!: Doggerel, Catnaps, Scapegoats, Foxtrots, and Horse Feathers—Splendid Animal Words and Phrases


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We love animals but insult humans by calling them everything from weasels or pigs to sheep, mice, chickens, sharks, snakes, and bird-brains. Animal epithets, words, and phrases are so widespread we often take them for granted or remain ignorant of the fascinating stories and facts behind them.

Spanning the entire animal kingdom, Holy Cow! explains:

Why hot dogs are named after canines. Why people talk turkey or go cold turkey.
Why curiosity killed the cat, although dogs are more curious about us.
Why letting the cat out of the bag originally referred to a duped shopper.
What a horse of another color is, what horsefeathers politely alludes to, why a mule is a lady’s slipper, and what horseradish has to do with horses.
Why the combination of humans and cows probably led to capitalism—its name from Latin for head, as in heads of cows.
Why holy cow and sacred cow have almost opposite meanings.
Whether people actually chewed the fat or ate crow (and why it’s a crowbar).
How a hog became a motorcycle and a chick a young woman.
What happens to freeze the balls off a brass monkey. What buck has to do with being naked. Why the birds and the bees.
Why a piggy bank and why one feeds the kitty.
What lame ducks have to do with U.S. presidents.
How red herring came about via activists opposed to fox hunting.
Where snake oil, popular in the 1800s and rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, came from.
That the proverbial fly in the ointment goes back to the Bible’s Ecclesiastes (10:1).
How Swiss watchmakers created teensy-weensy coaches for fleas to pull in flea circuses.
And much—much!—more.

Don't be a lame duck and get this book!
 

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The One You Want to Marry (And Other Identities I've Had): A Memoir


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A hilarious and heartfelt memoir about finding your true voice by Sophie Santos, the fearless comic and host of The Lesbian Agenda.

From the self-proclaimed Queen of the Stunted Late Bloomers and one of the most exciting emerging voices in comedy comes an honestly funny memoir about the awkward, cringeworthy, hilarious, and longest possible journey of coming of age and into her own.

The only child of a perpetually transferring Filipino-Spanish US Army officer and a spitfire nurse, Sophie Santos spent her early years starting over again and again—and accumulating her fair share of anxieties. Growing up in 99.6 percent white communities, where girls had to learn to flash Vaseline-capped smiles before they’d be considered real women, Sophie adapted. Determined to fit in, she transformed from a tomboy misfit into a hormone-crazed beauty pageant contestant and a southern sorority girl, among other personalities. She nailed each role she took on, not shockingly, but nothing seemed to fit her true self.

In her twenties, floundering and locked in her bedroom with lesbian YouTube clips playing on repeat, Sophie began to understand that her true self might be more tomboy misfit than southern belle. That realization set her off on a journey that led her through an unexpected lesbian puberty and eventually toward a New York comedy career.
 

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Discussion Starter · #223 ·
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Twisted Twenty-Six (Stephanie Plum Book 26)


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This isn't just another case. This is family.

How far will Stephanie Plum go to protect the one person who means the most to her? The stakes have never been higher in this #1 New York Times bestseller from Janet Evanovich.


Grandma Mazur has decided to get married again - this time to a local gangster named Jimmy Rosolli. If Stephanie has her doubts about this marriage, she doesn't have to worry for long, because the groom drops dead of a heart attack 45 minutes after saying, "I do."

A sad day for Grandma Mazur turns into something far more dangerous when Jimmy's former "business partners" are convinced that his new widow is keeping the keys to a financial windfall all to herself. But the one thing these wise guys didn't count on was the widow's bounty hunter granddaughter, who'll do anything to save her.
 

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Murder in the White House (Capital Crimes Book 1)


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New York Times Bestseller: The murder of the secretary of state in the executive mansion sparks a mystery with “a superb denouement” (Time).

In a city where the weapon of choice is usually gossip, the strangling of Secretary of State Lansard Blaine in the Lincoln Bedroom is a gruesome first. White House counsel Ron Fairbanks is ordered to investigate. There are persistent rumors that the secretary was an inveterate womanizer with ties to a glamorous call girl. There is also troubling evidence of unofficial connections with international agents.

For Fairbanks, who is in love with the president’s daughter, one point is all too clear: only a few highly placed insiders had access to the Lincoln Bedroom that fateful evening, one of whom was the president. Torn between his job, his loyalty, his love, and uncovering the truth, Fairbanks must make gut-wrenching choices that lead to a surprise no one could have foreseen.

Murder in the White House is the first book in Margaret Truman’s Capital Crimes series of political thrillers set in and around Washington, DC. Having spent a good part of her childhood in the White House as the daughter of US President Harry S. Truman, she now takes readers beyond the public halls and into the private corridors of power.
 

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Murder on Embassy Row (Capital Crimes Book 5)


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New York Times Bestseller: The death of a diplomat leads two DC cops into “an absorbing puzzle” (The Washington Weekly).

British Ambassador to the US Geoffrey James is a shady sort, prone to womanizing and taking financial advantage of his contacts. When he drops dead at his own gala party, everyone suspects the ambassador’s Iranian valet, Nuri Hafez—who has conveniently disappeared. But Washington Metro’s Cpt. Sal Morizio and his fellow officer, Connie Lake, are convinced there’s something far more sinister going on.

The Associated Press raved that Murder on Embassy Row moved Margaret Truman, daughter of President Harry Truman, into “the international spy genre . . . and she’s good.” This engrossing and exotic tale of mystery suspense will keep readers guessing as they enjoy a look inside the world of politics, diplomacy, and espionage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #226 ·
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The Body Counter (Detective Jude Fontaine Mysteries Book 2)


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From a New York Times bestselling author comes the chilling follow-up to the Thriller Award winner The Body Reader.

Months after discovering the mastermind behind her own kidnapping, Detective Jude Fontaine is dealing with the past the only way she knows how: by returning to every dark corner of it. But it’s a new, escalating series of mass slayings that has become her latest obsession at Homicide.

At first, Jude and her partner, Detective Uriah Ashby, can see no pattern to the seemingly random methods, the crime scenes, or the victims—until they’re approached by a brilliantly compulsive math professor. He believes that the madman’s next move is not incalculable; in fact, it’s all part of a sequential and ingenious numerical riddle. His theory is adding up. The body count is rising.

But when the latest victim is found in Jude’s apartment, the puzzle comes with a personal twist that’s going to test the breaking point of her already-fragile state of mind. For all she knows, her number may be up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #227 ·
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Those Who Disappeared


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It’s been thirty years since his father went missing. Now there’s a body, can he finally find out why?

When a man’s body is discovered in a Swiss glacier thirty years after he went missing, his son, Foster Treherne, hopes he’ll finally have closure on what happened to the father he never met. But then the autopsy reveals signs of a struggle, and what was assumed to be a tragic accident suddenly looks more sinister.

Foster tracks down his father’s old friends, but when he starts to ask questions it becomes clear that there’s something they don’t want to tell him. While some are evasive, others seem to wish the body had never been found. What exactly is their connection to each other, and why are they so reluctant to discuss the day his father disappeared? Who are they trying to protect?

If he wants to uncover what really happened, Foster must follow the trail of secrets and lies—no matter how devastating the consequences, and what they might reveal about his father. Because the truth can only stay buried for so long…
 

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The Perfect Wife: A Novel


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The perfect life. The perfect love. The perfect lie. From the bestselling author of The Girl Before comes a gripping psychological thriller. . . .

“Mind-bending . . . Delaney takes domestic suspense beyond its comfort zone.”—The New York Times Book Review

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY • A COSMOPOLITAN NEW MUST-READ


Abbie awakens in a daze with no memory of who she is or how she landed in this unsettling condition. The man by her side claims to be her husband. He’s a titan of the tech world, the founder of one of Silicon Valley’s most innovative start-ups. He tells Abbie that she is a gifted artist, an avid surfer, a loving mother to their young son, and the perfect wife. He says she had a terrible accident five years ago and that, through a huge technological breakthrough, she has been brought back from the abyss.

She is a miracle of science.

But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins to question her husband’s motives—and his version of events. Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together forever? And what really happened to her, half a decade ago?

Beware the man who calls you . . .

THE PERFECT WIFE
 

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The Science of Serial Killers: The Truth Behind Ted Bundy, Lizzie Borden, Jack the Ripper, and Other Notorious Murderers of Cinematic Legend


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Discover the real-life inspirations behind history’s most infamous serial killers: John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson, and so many more.

Gothic media moguls Kelly Florence and Meg Hafdahl, authors of The Science of Monsters, The Science of Women in Horror, and The Science of Stephen King, and co-hosts of the Horror Rewind podcast called “the best horror film podcast out there” by Film Daddy, present a guide to the serial killers who inspired the movies and media we all know and love. Delve into the brutal truth behind horror’s secret: many monsters portrayed on the silver screen are based on true murderers. Uncover the truth behind the real monsters of horror, answering such questions as:
  • What is the science behind serial killers’ motivations like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy?
  • How did detectives discover the identities of criminals like the Boston Strangler and the BTK Strangler?
  • Has science made it possible to unmask Jack the Ripper and the Zodiac Killer?
  • What is the science behind female versus male serial killers?
Through interviews, film analysis, and bone-chilling discoveries, join Kelly and Meg as they learn about the horrors of true crime through the decades.
 

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Discussion Starter · #230 ·
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The Mulberry Bush: A Novel


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A novel of international espionage and personal vengeance from the author Lee Child called “better than John Le Carré.”

Many years ago, a young American spy crossed the wrong people and found himself on the wrong side of Headquarters. He soon fell into a slow, shameful decline of poverty and self-destruction. But Headquarters didn’t count on him having a son.

Now, years later, the boy is an American spy himself, serving two masters: Headquarters and his own insatiable need for revenge. Sent to Argentina to infiltrate a revolutionary group with deep ties to Russia, the young man finds himself dangerously drawn to his target’s daughter. Yet, despite the passion between them, he refuses to lose sight of his ultimate goal: destroying the institution that ruined his father all those years ago.

“Set in a post–9/11 world, [but] satisfyingly steeped in undercover tales of a particular vintage” (The Washington Post), Mulberry Bush is an intricate and sexy espionage thriller from one of the most acclaimed writers in the game.
 

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A Different Way to Die (Jake Travis Book 8 )


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Some secrets are worth dying for. Some deaths are best kept a secret.

Twenty years ago, Christopher Callaghan perished when his boat went up in flames on the west coast of Florida.

Now Christopher’s uncle, Yankee Conrad, has received a medallion belonging to Christopher. A ransom note demands payment in exchange for the truth of what really happened that night. Conrad, a discreet man, asks Jake Travis to investigate.

Jake tracks down two women who knew Christopher. But they are guarding secrets, pledges born in the past and honored in the present. He suspects that one of these women is connected to a ring of Russian sleeper agents known as the Network. Jake also believes that Yankee Conrad harbors motives beyond discovering who sent the medallion.

As the shocking truth about Christopher Callaghan’s death is exposed, Jake is caught in a master spy’s deadly web. He battles to save the lives of those who trust him—as well as his own.

A Different Way to Die, the eighth stand-alone novel in the Jake Travis series, is an addicting rush of Lane’s trademark humor, adventure, and textured characters.
 

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Category Five: A Novel (A Donovan Nash Thriller Book 1)


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Best-Selling and Award-Winning Author

When the only option is to maneuver a crippled plane into the calm eye of a category five hurricane


In the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Helena is gathering strength, becoming the most powerful storm in recorded history. As Helena bears down on Bermuda, Donovan Nash, along with other members of the scientific research organization Eco-Watch, are called to fly in and extract key government people who have been studying Helena.

For Donovan, the routine mission turns deadly when an attempt is made on the life of the lead scientist. A woman from the past, Dr. Lauren McKenna, is suddenly thrust back into his life. With 300 mph winds and waves over 90 feet, Helena marches relentlessly for the vulnerable east coast of the United States.

In a bold attempt to diffuse the power of the hurricane, Eco-Watch is called upon to conduct a final flight above the massive fury, where the jet suffers a catastrophic engine failure. Now the only option is to maneuver the crippled airplane into the calm of Helena's eye.

Perfect for fans of Vince Flynn and Daniel Silva
 

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Code Black: A Donovan Nash Thriller


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As a blizzard bears down on Chicago's O'Hare airport, a critical air traffic control facility is shut down by a grisly accident. When the radar comes back up, two planes have collided. Wayfarer flight 880—half the roof ripped away—flies on. Seated amid dead and dying passengers is Donovan Nash, a pilot who fights decompression and oxygen deprivation to make it to the shattered cockpit. With the help of Audrey Parrish—a woman from his concealed past—and a handful of survivors, Donovan struggles to keep the 737 airborne. Dr. Lauren McKenna waits for Donovan, her fiancé, to arrive only to hear that something has gone awry with the flight. Lauren must convince Henry Parrish, an unlikely ally, to help her save the man she loves. Together, Lauren and Henry have to stay one step ahead of the airline, as well as heightened security, to execute a daring rescue to save Donovan and the others on flight 880.
 

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Deadly Echoes: A Novel (A Donovan Nash Thriller Book 4)


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Best-Selling and Award-Winning Author

Has Donovan Nash gone mad?


Donovan Nash is a man under siege, and this time it's personal. Eco-Watch, the premier scientific research organization he founded, is being blamed for a series of violent eco-atrocities that ignite protests around the world. Behind the attacks is Garrick Pearce, a man from Donovan's past, who is bent on a ruthless vendetta. Garrick has promised that after he annihilates Eco-Watch, he'll murder everyone close to Nash.

Recoiling from the damage, Donovan enlists the help of Erica, a woman who claims she has information Donovan needs, but her knowledge makes her a marked woman. Running from trained killers, the FBI and even his own organization, Donovan races from Southern California to British Columbia, then finally to Alaska where he joins Eco-Watch personnel and desperately tries to stop what promises to be the worst eco-atrocity in history.

With his world in tatters and everything he built seemingly destroyed, Donovan is forced to make one last desperate gamble to stop Garrick and silence the man forever—a roll of the dice that may very well cost Nash his life.

Perfect for fans of Grant Blackwood and Mark Greaney
 

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Cold Fire


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As a DEA agent, Jeremiah “Hawk” Tate was one of the best at taking down drug traffickers. Then the cartels struck back—and destroyed everything he held dear.

Five years later, Hawk has retreated from society and is living a quiet life as a Montana wilderness guide. He’s done with the DEA, done with the criminals, and done with the pain left over from his past. But his past isn’t done with him.

When a mysterious woman offers him an enormous amount of money to find her lost brother, Hawk knows he should walk away, but, with a flash of gunfire, he gets pulled back in. Surrounded by old enemies and allies, he must face off with a new player planning to flood the market with a lethal drug. This may be the chance for revenge Hawk never thought he’d get.

Revised edition: Previously published as Krokodil, this edition of Cold Fire includes editorial revisions.
 

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Time of Attack: A Jericho Quinn Novel (Jericho Quinn Thriller Book 4)


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New York Times-bestselling author: Fear Is contagious in this thriller with “a compelling, never-give-an-inch hero who will appeal to Jack Reacher fans.”—Booklist

In a small town in Utah, people are contracting a horrific disease with alarming plague-like symptoms. The CDC quarantines the area, but outbreaks are already being reported in China, Japan, and England. Evidence suggests this is not a new strain of superbug—but an act of war, an orchestrated deployment of unstoppable terror...

Special agent Jericho Quinn, hell-bent on finding the sniper who attacked his family, steps into an even bigger, and deadlier, conspiracy: a secret cabal of elite assassins embedded throughout the globe. Infecting the very fabric of the free world. Exterminating targets with cold, silent precision. For Quinn, it’s as insidious as the virus that claims new victims each day—and he plans to wipe it off the face of the earth—in a riveting novel from the author of Stone Cross and Tom Clancy Code of Honor.
 

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The Perfect Assassin: A David Slaton Novel


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USA Today Best-Selling Author & Winner of Florida Book Award Silver Medal

One Perfect Shot Will Change the Course of History


Christine Palmer, a young American doctor sailing solo across the Atlantic, makes an incredible discovery—a man narrowly clinging to his life in the frigid waters. But there is much more to this desperate survivor than meets the eye.

David Slaton is a Kidon—a highly-trained, highly-precise, and highly-dangerous assassin. The Kidon is both the hunter and the hunted, and he and Christine are in grave danger. Will they win in this race against time?

With the precision of a sharpshooter, author Ward Larsen weaves an intricate tale of espionage and intrigue.

The Bourne Identity meets The Day of the Jackal
 

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Redemption Games (Previously published as Killing Rain and One Last Kill) (A John Rain Novel)


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Previously published as Killing Rain and One Last Kill

After nearly dying while taking out a target in Hong Kong, Rain has a new employer, The Mossad, which wants him to fix a “problem” in Manila. He also has a new partner, Dox, whose good-ol’-boy persona masks a sniper as deadly as Rain himself. And he has a new hope: that by using his talents in the service of something good, he might atone for all the lives he has taken. But when Rain’s conscience causes him to botch the Manila hit, he finds out the next problem The Mossad wants fixed is him. Is Delilah, his Mossad lover, coming to help him? Or was she sent to finish him off?

Redemption Games was previously published as Killing Rain in the US and One Last Kill in the UK, the fourth in the bestselling John Rain assassin series.
 

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Captiva (A Doc Ford Novel Book 4)


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“A Doc Ford novel has more slick moves than a snake in the mangroves. In Captiva, Randy Wayne White takes us places that no other Florida mystery writer could hope to find.”—Carl Hiaasen

Randy Wayne White is acclaimed as "wildly inventive" (The San Diego Union-Tribune), "a wonderful writer" (Paul Theroux), "a fine storyteller" (Peter Matthiessen), and "the rightful heir to John D. MacDonald" (The Tampa Tribune-Times). Now he delivers a wicked thriller that sends government agent-turned-marine biologist Doc Ford into dangerous new waters, as a Florida fishing dispute escalates into a deadly war that reaches across the ocean...
 

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On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not


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You recognize when you know something for certain, right? You "know" the sky is blue, or that the traffic light had turned green, or where you were on the morning of September 11, 2001--you know these things, well, because you just do.

In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" something comes from sources beyond our control and knowledge. In fact, certainty is a mental sensation, rather than evidence of fact. Because this "feeling of knowing" seems like confirmation of knowledge, we tend to think of it as a product of reason. But an increasing body of evidence suggests that feelings such as certainty stem from primitive areas of the brain, and are independent of active, conscious reflection and reasoning. The feeling of knowing happens to us; we cannot make it happen.

Bringing together cutting edge neuroscience, experimental data, and fascinating anecdotes, Robert Burton explores the inconsistent and sometimes paradoxical relationship between our thoughts and what we actually know. Provocative and groundbreaking, On Being Certain, will challenge what you know (or think you know) about the mind, knowledge, and reason.
 
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