Pineapple Grenade (Serge Storms Series #15) by Tim Dorsey
Kirkus Reviews -
Serge Storms (When Elves Attack, 2011, etc.) bumps it up a notch, joining a CIA operation so covert even the agency doesn't know about it. Convinced that he may be wasting his considerable talent for mayhem by confining himself to killing bad guys one at a time, Serge decides to go global. A day after their flight from Tampa somehow never gets off the ground, he and perma-buzzed pal Coleman drive to Miami and check into the Royal Poinciana, whose crumbling aqua trim appeals to Serge's sense of nostalgia. He gets himself a quick gig exporting cheap souvenirs to third-world countries. But he has his eyes on a bigger prize. He and Coleman visit the consulate of Costa Gorda and offer to spy on—well, whoever needs spying on. Security kicks them to the curb, convincing Serge that they've been hired. After a hasty visit to Mahoney, who's retired from an FBI career dedicated mainly to stalking Serge, the newly minted secret agents set off on a surveillance tour of pretty much anyone involved in the upcoming Meeting of the Americas Conference. (Serge does take time out to dispatch several carjackers in bizarre and painful ways, since someone has to keep the predators in check.) It isn't long before he attracts the attention of Lugar and Oxnart, rival CIA field supervisors, each of whom suspects that Serge is the other's secret weapon. Don't they realize that Serge belongs to no man, having dedicated himself wholly to Truth, Justice and Florida Trivia? Dorsey's 15th pits Serge against what may be the only folks as dysfunctional as he is: members of the international intelligence community.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Kirkus Reviews -
An enlightened Wall Street survivor exhorts wallflowers everywhere to embrace their solitude-seeking souls and fully appreciate the power of the lone wolf. Could up to one-half of a nation obsessed with Jersey Shore narcissism and American Idol fame really be inhabited by reserved, sensitive types? According to Cain, yes--and we better start valuing their insight. Extroverts have their place, but things can quickly go haywire when we start confusing assertiveness with competence--the economic meltdown on Wall Street was the most stunning recent example. Had there been a few more conscientious, contemplative introverts in the boardroom (and had they made themselves heard), Cain writes, the country's fortunes would now be decidedly different. But today's prevailing susceptibility to "reward sensitivity," as embodied by alpha-dog Wall Street types, wasn't always the norm. Cain provides fascinating insight into how the United States shifted from an introvert-leaning "cult of character" to an extrovert-leaning "cult of personality" ruled by the larger-than-life Tony Robbinses of the world. Readers will learn that the tendency for some to be reserved is actually hardwired, and as every evolutionary biologist will tell you, innate characteristics are there for a reason--to help humans survive and thrive. The author also boldly tackles introverts themselves, as well as the ambivalence many often feel about being relegated to the corner. "Stick to your guns," writes fellow introvert Cain. The author's insights are so rich that she could pen two separate books: one about parenting an introverted child, and another about how to make an introvert/extrovert relationship work. An intriguing and potentially life-altering examination of the human psyche that is sure to benefit both introverts and extroverts alike.
Kill Shot (Mitch Rapp Series #12) by Vince Flynn
From Barnes & Noble -
Mitch Rapp is back, but don't fret; he hasn't retired to a cushy CIA desk job. In the twelfth installment of Vince Flynn's fast-throttling series, our workaholic counterterrorism agent is still scratching off his hit list of the killers behind the Pan Am Lockerbie bombing. Next on the agenda is a loathsome Libyan diplomat who Rapp tracks down in Paris. The single shot fires; the execution seems perfect; but then all hell breaks loose. Gunfire erupts, killing eight people, including, inexplicably, the Libyan Oil Minister. Rapp himself is wounded, but worse, he's now a hunted man, sought now as a terrorist himself. Without protectors, he is a man on the run in search of a solution. A perfect fit for fans of Vince Flynn and Jason Bourne.
— Sessalee Hensley