Raised in Oklahoma by conservative Egyptian parents, Kotb earned her reporting chops on local TV stations, then she joined the NBC “Dateline” crew and began dodging bullets during overseas assignments in war-torn areas.

‘Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee’ by Hoda Kotb

The Hoda Kotb you see in the fourth hour of the ubiquitous “Today” show is pretty much the one you meet in her down-to-earth memoir. Raised in Oklahoma by conservative Egyptian parents, Kotb earned her reporting chops on local TV stations, then she joined the NBC “Dateline” crew and began dodging bullets during overseas assignments in war-torn areas. The title of her book says it all: “Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee.”

‘Lone Wolf’ by Jodi Picoult

Luke Warren’s obsessive devotion to and study of wolves has pretty much alienated his human family. His wife, Georgie, finally divorced him after years of loneliness. His son, Edward, moved to Thailand after Luke refused to accept his homosexuality. Only 17-year-old Cara continues to stand by her father. When Luke is left virtually brain dead after a terrible car accident, Edward is summoned home to decide his father’s fate. He knows Luke, like the wolves he loves, would not want to live on life support, but Cara believes he will re-awaken. Jodi Picoult once again takes us into an absorbing and thought-provoking family drama in “Lone Wolf.”

‘How to Build a Time Machine’ by Brian Clegg

When H.G. Wells conceived the idea of a machine that would take us backwards and forwards in time, he opened up a whole new world of possibilities. While the idea of time travel has been the basis for many popular novels and movies, physicist Brian Clegg is here to tell you the concept is not so far-fetched. He takes us into “the real science of time travel” in his entertaining new book, “How to Build a Time Machine.”

‘The Orphan Master’s Son’ by Adam Johnson

Pak Jun Do lives in Long Tomorrows, an orphanage in North Korea. He is not an orphan since his father works there, but the taint of the place permeates his life. And what a life he has –– he becomes a professional kidnapper, then an intelligence officer and is finally sent to prison camp and tortured. But a weird twist of fate takes him to the United States, where he pursues the beautiful actress Sun Moon. Adam Johnson spent a number of years researching what life is like in the late Kim Jong Il’s bizarre world for his riveting new novel, “The Orphan Master’s Son.”

‘Sautee Shadows’ by Denise Weiner

With “Sautee Shadows,” Georgia writer Denise Weiner begins a promising trilogy set in the South before the Civil War. Jack Randall, the disaffected son of a Savannah shipping magnate, settles in the foothills of Habersham County with the dream of opening a hotel for the wealthy people who summer there. But Clarksville already has a hotel, which is run by the enigmatic Mahala. Their lives become intertwined along with the wealthy Rouseau and Calhoun families who stay for the summer as the South moves irrevocably toward war.