Francesca’s Kitchen by Peter Pezzelli
Francesca Campanile is a widow with adult children preoccupied with their own lives. Not being able to shake this my-kids-don’t-need-me-anymore feeling, Francesca decides to apply for a nanny position to get herself out of the house and start living her life instead of just passing the time.
The Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins
Ireland, 1959: Young Christy Hurley is a Pavee gypsy, traveling with his father and extended family from town to town, carrying all their worldly possessions in their wagons. Christy carries with him a burden of guilt as well, haunted by the story of his mother’s death in childbirth. The peripatetic life is the only one Christy has ever known, but when his grandfather dies, everything changes.
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself.
Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay
When she decides to auction her remarkable jewelry collection, Nina Revskaya, once a great star of the Bolshoi Ballet, believes she has finally drawn a curtain on her past. Instead, the former ballerina finds herself overwhelmed by memories of her homeland and of the events, both glorious and heartbreaking, that changed the course of her life half a century ago.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith’s “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years.
Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook
40 something WF seeks special group to share fun filled evening. Must love books, food and Irish music. Ah, the age of personal ad dating. Sarah Hurlihy is a barely 40 DWF, whose meddling sister, Carol, writes up an ad for Sarah and puts it in the personals. Sarah finally answers one of the ads and decides to meet John Anderson at a dog park. She borrows her brother’s dog, Mother Teresa, and looks for someone who resembles Harrison Ford. And with that the crazy new love life of Sarah Hurlihy begins.
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See is set in 1937 Shanghai—the Paris of Asia—where twenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Both are beautiful, modern, and carefree—until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away their wealth.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Ladies and Gentlemen! Step right up for the amazing, the unbelievable, the marvelous wonders we have gathered for this book club party inspired by Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The main character, Jacob Jankowski, jumps on the circus train after suffering a tragedy in his life. He encounters “the most dazzling collection” of people and animals “gathered from all four corners of the earth”.
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
This is a story of an elaborate birthday party gone wrong. The host is an unappreciated Vice President of a poor South American country. The birthday boy is a powerful businessman from Japan. The entertainment is a mesmerizing soprano that wins the heart of all who hear her sing.
When terrorists crash this party, the evening and the lives of everyone present will forever change.
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
This is the story of Wang Lung’s life through feast and famine in his small Chinese village of Anhwei. He reaped the riches the land brought him during times of feast and he suffered devastating poverty during times of famine but he would never sell his land.
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Little Bee comes from a village in Nigeria sheltered from the world’s advancements, but not sheltered from the world’s evils. Little Bee’s journey to freedom begins when she flees her village with her sister and friend. She touches the lives of Andrew (a writer), Sarah (editor of a fashion magazine), Charlie (a batman freak), and Lawrence (Sarah’s confidant). Little Bee touched my life as well. “Sad words are just another beauty. A sad story means this story teller is alive” – Little Bee
The Widower’s Tale by Julia Glass
The Widower’s Tale is the story of Percival Darling. He still lives in the house where his daughters grew up – “the house of her mother’s heart” according to Clover, Percy’s eldest daughter. Percy is a 70 year old who runs everyday to get in shape to die and who fantasizes of a quasi-Luddite retirement – “Cursed be the cursors; farewell to iEverything and its pertly nicknamed apps.”
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
“The result was Panem, a shining Capitol ringed by thirteen districts, which brought peace and prosperity to its citizens. Then came the Dark Days, the uprising of the districts against the Captiol. Twelve were defeated, the thirteenth obliterated. The Treaty of Treason gave us the new laws to guarantee peace and, as our yearly reminder that the Dark Days must never be repeated, it gave us the Hunger Games”.