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Breaking the Code by Karen Fisher-Alaniz

(Sourcebooks, $15)

As close as Karen Fisher-Alaniz thought she was to her father, he kept one part of his life hidden from her: the details of his service during World War II. Then one day, out of the blue, he gave her more than 400 pages of letters he wrote to his parents during the war, setting Fisher-Alaniz off on a mission to uncover her father’s secret past, which he never spoke of for fear of court-martial. Blending transcripts of his letters with the story of her own fact-finding journey, Breaking the Code simultaneously tells the tales of a young man’s experience at war and of a father and daughter growing closer by working together through decades of pain.

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Opening Lines
“Richard kept his head down. Not all those cow pies were frozen, and the ones that were could turn an ankle.”

by Neal Stephenson
(William Morrow, $35)