Twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy.
In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in bestselling novelist Colum McCann’s stunningly intricate portrait of a city and its people.
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.
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
Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, the Major leads a quiet life valuing the proper things that Englishmen have lived by for generations: honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. But then his brother’s death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village.
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.
My Name is Mary Sutter is a book about a well-respected midwife who dreams of being a surgeon in the Civil War era. She gets her chance at an overcrowded Union hospital where she is given the opportunity to assist with amputations when no one else with medical training was available. Her determination and skill win the respect and love of the doctors who were reluctant to believe in her.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro is about the bond between three friends, Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth, students at an isolated English boarding school, as they try to make sense and come to terms with their shared destiny. The novel is told through the reminisces of the now 31-year old Kathy.
This book by Elizabeth Strout is a series of short stories primarily set in Maine with a common character, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher. As the townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her life–sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty. Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition–its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.
The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon — when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach — an “outlander” — in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord … 1743.
Our heroine, Elizabeth, has been trained in the deadly arts by Chinese Master Liu. Our hero, Mr. Darcy, also trained in the deadly arts, has “studied solely in Japan. The setting is Hertfordshire England and, the countryside is overrun by the zombie menace!
“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.
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.
Meet Mazie Phillips: big-hearted and bawdy, she’s the truth-telling proprietress of The Venice, the famed New York City movie theater. It’s the Jazz Age, with romance and booze aplenty–even when Prohibition kicks in–and Mazie never turns down a night on the town. But her high spirits mask a childhood rooted in poverty, and her diary, always close at hand, holds her dearest secrets.
On July 16-17, 1942, thousands of French police, in collaboration with the Nazis, gathered up 12,884 Parisian Jews, including children, in one of the most brutal and overt deportation operations orchestrated by the Nazi regime.
The police come for ten year old Sarah Starzynsksi and her parents in the middle of the night during what has come to be known as the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup. Sarah, in her panic to protect her younger brother, makes a fateful decision.
“Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.” ~ George Santayana
Celebrate southern women with Beth Hoffman’s debut novel Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. CeeCee is a young girl who had an unhappy childhood in an unstable home until she moved to Savannah to live with her Aunt Tootie. She notes “I had been plunked into a strange, perfumed world that, as far as I could tell, seemed to be run entirely by women.” It was these women who taught her the gifts she possessed and what it meant to be loved.
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.
“It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured.”
So begins this epic, mesmerizing first novel set in the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear.
As promised, 14-year-old Daniel “Skippy” Juster dies in the opening scene of Paul Murray’s tragicomic masterwork. But much remains to be seen in the ensuing chapters. Who is responsible for his demise? And why does he die such a weird death, gasping for air on the floor of a doughnut shop without having eaten any doughnuts? And what are we to make of his final message, written on the floor in syrupy raspberry filling: “TELL LORI”?
Research scientist Dr. Marina Singh is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have disappeared in the Amazon while working on an extremely valuable new drug. The last person who was sent to find her died before he could complete his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding answers to the questions about her friend’s death, her company’s future, and her own past.
Beginning in Paris on the eve of the Nazi occupation in 1940. Suite Française tells the remarkable story of men and women thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. As Parisians flee the city, human folly surfaces in every imaginable way: a wealthy mother searches for sweets in a town without food; a couple is terrified at the thought of losing their jobs, even as their world begins to fall apart. Moving on to a provincial village now occupied by German soldiers, the locals must learn to coexist with the enemy—in their town, their homes, even in their hearts.
That Old Cape Magic is a story about a man’s journey to lay his father, and then his mother, to rest while reflecting on his upbringing. His fondest memories include that one month of happiness his family would have when they crossed the Sagamore Bridge into Cape Cod. To commemorate the event, they would sing That Old Black Magic, substituting Cape for Black.
Joy, Griffin’s separated wife, sums up the story well when she says “out of sight isn’t out of mind. You think you don’t let your mother into your life-into our lives-but you blame her when a bird craps on you.”
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.
“The whole of Barcelona stretched out at my feet and I wanted to believe that, when I opened those windows, its streets would whisper stories to me, secrets I could capture on paper and narrate to whomever cared to listen…”
The setting is a grim and spooky 1920’s Barcelona. The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is a mystery filled with secrets, betrayal, obsessions and possession. David Martin is commissioned to write a great book for which “people will live and die.” He moves into a decrepit house in the Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter) and finds his book eerily connected to the old house.
A poignant and inspirational love story set in Burma, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats spans the decades between the 1950s and the present. When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be . . . until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago, to a Burmese woman they have never heard of.
The Art of Racing in the Rain is about a philosophical, television-watching dog named Enzo, who dreams of the day he becomes a man. He gives us his wise (and comedic) observations of the world as he helps his owner, a race car driver who faces a series of heart-wrenching experiences, along the right path. Whether you have a dog or not, this book will make you laugh and touch your heart.