Author Michael Tougias releases two new books

Mendon author Michael Tougias, a prolific writer of war-based stories and exceptional courage, has stepped away from his chosen genre with one of two new books, “No Will Set You Free.”

This non-fiction guide helps readers learn to take back their time. In short, Tougias is about setting boundaries and learning to say no. As a writer, he no doubt experienced the problem of a life interfering with a life’s work.

A second new version, titled “In Harm’s Way”, is a throwback with the story of the USS Indianapolis, infamously torpedoed by a Japanese submarine during World War II. Written for young adults, the book details the impact of the explosion, killing some 300 sailors. Nearly 900 sailors remained floating in the sea, battling sharks, hypothermia and hallucinations. When they were located, after four days, 317 of them were dead. Doug Stanton wrote the adult version of this book. The YA version is the fifth in the True Rescue series published by MacMillan and Holt.

Tougias will give a slide presentation on July 13 at 7 p.m. at the Grafton Public Library on his book “The Finest Hours: The True Story of the US Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue.”

Some scary books for readers this summer

•Sulari Gentile “The Library Woman” is a mystery within a mystery (a trend, isn’t it?).

Gentile sets her mystery in the Boston Public Library, where four men witnessed a woman’s scream…and possibly her murder.

•Two other suitably creepy people on my “completed” playlist lately include Chris Bojhalian’s “Somnambulist,” kind of a chilling family story that will have readers wondering which family member did it? The other is by Catherine Steadman “Something in the Water” a psychological thriller that illustrates something everyone has wondered: if you found a LOT of money in a sunken boat, would you keep it? This couple does, and they demonstrate yet another way that money doesn’t bring happiness. It’s wonderful to see them squirm.


• The O’Connor’s Books, Brews & Banter Reading Group will meet at 6.30pm at O’Connor’s Restaurant, Worcester, to discuss “If you lived here, I would know your name” by Heather Lende. Hende writes for the newspaper in Haines, Alaska, a remote section of the state 90 miles north of Juneau.

The book presents life in an ultra-remote city, examining its celebrations, sorrows and people, in colorful and familiar writing. John Muir, writing in 1879, advised young adventurers not to come to Haines. “He warned that they should either stay or know that any other place they saw for the rest of their lives would be a disappointment,” Lende writes.

• NOW Women’s Issues Book Group will hold its meeting on July 16 at 5pm at the TidePoolBookShop, Chandler Street, Worcester. The book is “His hidden genius: a novel” by Marie Benedicte.

Braccia, Holy Cross and Tony Soprano

TidePool BookShop in Worcester will host a virtual discussion and reading with author Nick Braccia. The session begins at 7 p.m. via Zoom on June 30.

Braccia is a Holy Cross graduate whose career has been in writing and producing. His book is a companion guide to the television series “The Sopranos”. “Off the Back of a Truck” is a witty and insightful guide to all things Soprano. It offers fans an in-depth look at the true crimes behind the families’ schemes, a look at the influences and music, food and fashion on the show. He’s also not shy about discussing what the ending could/should be, Bada Bing and all that.

It’s even more fun that Braccia has invited friends from Holy Cross to contribute essays and entire chapters to the book, discussing many other elements of the show. To register, email

Read It and Reap is published twice a month. Send club meetings and book reviews to: [email protected]

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