Once upon a time, your heart was broken. It was ripped out of your chest, stomped flat, shattered into a thousand pieces. Romance, you decided then, was something you didn’t want anyway. Love is for dreamers and optimists. Love, you were sure, is for suckers. Or, as in the new book “The Rule…

Sometimes, you just need a little fresh air. A gasp of ice on a sub-zero night. A whiff of sunshine and hot concrete. The smell of fallen leaves and crisp bonfires. Each inhalation reminds you of the season, so with the new book “Strange Weather” by Joe Hill, breathe deep.

You really have to play it safe. You can’t afford to lose, can’t handle anything but a safe bet, can’t see anything without a guarantee. No big chances for you; risky behavior just isn’t something you like. You’re no gambler, no rebel or wild child. And in the new book “This Blessed Earth” b…

One hour. Then it’s all tied up. It happens every week: a mystery is solved, nice and neat, just as soon as your favorite TV detective has his a-ha moment and before the last commercial has run. As the credits flash, you feel satisfied: you’ve just armchair-sleuthed an easy whodunit that pra…

Pay attention! Bet you heard that plenty when you were younger. Look up here, listen to me, watch this, eyes forward. Eventually, it sunk in: you kept your eyes open, your mouth closed, and you are the better person for it… aren’t you? Peep this, pay attention – or, as in the new book “Bored…

Packing stinks. Wrapping up all your things, cushioning breakables, putting things where you won’t find them for months. Ugh. Is it worth it to have a new home? A new life? As in “Caroline: Little House, Revisited” by Sarah Miller, is the sacrifice worth a new beginning you’re not sure you want?

The end. The vast majority of us don’t know when it will come and, though it’s life’s last big surprise, we don’t like to think about it. Yes, you will die, but what if you knew it was coming — today? Would you reach for your family or, as in the new novel “They Both Die at the End” by Adam …