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.
In Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie two young boys, the narrator age 17, and his best friend, Luo, age 18, are sent to a remote village in the mountainous Szechuan region of China in the 1970’s as part of Chairman Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution. The Cultural Revolution of China vilified intellectuals. Schools were closed and many of the educated-class were imprisioned or sent to live in the country for hard manual labor and re-education by the peasant-class. The two exiled friends meet the Little Seamstress, a young illiterate peasant girl, and, ironically, discover a secret cache of Western literature, which has a profound affect on both boys and the Little Seamstress.
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.
Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières takes place on the Greek isle of Cephalonia under German and Italian occupation during Word War II.
The jovial Italian Captain Antonio Corelli is quartered with Dr. Iannis and his daughter Pelagia. Despite the fact that Captain Corelli is Italian and considered the enemy, his love of life, his kind joyful spirit, and his gifted ability on the mandolin, all work to win Pelagia’s heart.
Jane Eyre is the story of a young woman’s struggles to uphold her convictions despite her painful upbringing and the strictures of society and religion. Jane does not compromise, even at risk to her own happiness and health, that which she holds as truths. She is an ageless heroine for all young girls today.
Penned by Charlotte Brontë under a pseudonym in 1847, Jane Eyre, at the time, was criticized as having an anti-Christian slant. Today this semi-autobiographical novel is considered one of the top literary classics of all-time.
Piscine Patel, the second son of a zookeeper, has grown up in Pondicherry in South India. Tired of being called “Pissing Patel” he changes his name to “Pi”, a move approved by his older brother. The sensitive and inquisitive teenage Pi, searching for religious truths, embraces the teachings and guidance he receives from Hindu, Christian, and Muslim holy men.
“Last Night I Dreamt I Went To Manderley Again.”
With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is about listening to your heart and believing in your dreams. This fable tells the story of an Andalucian shepherd named Santiago who travels to Morocco and then to the pyramids of Egypt to find his treasure. Along the way he learns many life lessons that you will find brings inspiration to your own life.
A 4 year old arrives alone on a dock in Australia with only a few belongings in a small white suitcase. When the man who found and cared for her dies, an older Nell is given the suitcase. Within it is a book of fairy tales written by the woman who put her on the boat. Join Nell, and then her granddaughter Cassandra, on a journey to England and a cottage on a cliff to unravel the mystery of her past.
Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who’s always taken orders quietly, but lately she’s unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She’s full of ambition, but without a husband, she’s considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town
Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.
The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption, and it is also about the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.
A mesmerizing, moving, and elegantly written debut novel, The Language of Flowers beautifully weaves past and present, creating a vivid portrait of an unforgettable woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past.
On a fateful morning, Daniel’s devoted father, proprietor of Sempere & Son booksellers, feels the time has come for Daniel to know of the secret wondrous library maintained by the second-hand booksellers’ guild. Books are hidden away and protected in this mysterious place until their rediscovery. Young Daniel is drawn to a particular book. ” The gold letter of its title gleamed in the light bleeding from the dome above. I drew near and caressed them with the tips of my fingers reading to myself The Shadow of the Wind Julian Carax.”
Daniel chooses this book, or does this book choose Daniel?