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.Tags: 2010-2012, general fiction, top pick,
Books Published in ‘ top pick ’
The Glass Castle is a moving and often shocking memoir about former MSNBC.com writer, Jeannette Walls, who grew up in poverty (an understatement) in an unstable home (a major understatement). This book draws you in right from the beginning when, after she sees her mom digging in the dumpster, she asks the taxi driver to take her back to her Park Avenue apartment. She then tells the story of her upbringing.Tags: 2000-2009, biographies and memoirs, top pick,
“The trouble with eating Italian food is that 5 or 6 days later you’re hungry again.” ~ George Miller, British writer
The Wedding Officer by Anthony Capella is an affirmation of life, love, and good food. The setting is WWII occupied Italy. The British Army is in Naples and James Gould, a young naive British officer, is assigned to prevent weddings between the lonely British soldiers and the young Italian women desperately trying to survive the war. James’ very proper and restrained existence is set upside down by the fiery young woman, Livia Pertini, he hires as the British personnel’s cook.Tags: 2000-2009, romance, top pick,
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.Tags: 2000-2009, general fiction, top pick,
The Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown, is the hotel at the corner of bitter and sweet. In 1986, Henry Lee hears that the belongings of 37 Japanese families interned during WWII are found in the basement of the Panama Hotel. This event sends Henry, a Chinese-American, on a journey back to the 1940s when his best friends were a Japanese-American named Keiko Okabe and a local Jazz musician named Sheldon. Henry was 12 years old and was struggling with his relationship with his father, his feelings for Keiko and the events taking place in wartime Seattle.
Enjoy some dim sum appetizers, sticky rice and mango pudding as you discuss the friendships and loves of Henry Lee in Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.Tags: 2000-2009, general fiction, top pick,
“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 young widow who buys a bookstore in Folly Beach is taken back in time as she discovers the love and loss of a South Carolina family during WWII through notes written in the margins of books.Tags: 2010-2012, historical fiction, top pick,
Narrator Nick Caraway tells the story of Jay Gatsby’s pursuit of wealth, and of his long lost love Daisy during the Jazz Age. Everybody who is anybody is seen at Jay Gatsby’s glittering parties. Day and night his mansion on West Egg buzzes with bright young things drinking, dancing and debating his mysterious character. For Gatsby – young, handsome, fabulously rich – always seems alone in the crowd, watching and waiting, although no one knows what for. Beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. And soon this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.Tags: 1920-1939, classics, top pick,
The Time Traveler’s Wife is a classic love story. Clare and Henry are separated by time but bound by love. In an instant Henry, a librarian, is transported through time leaving Clare anxiously waiting and wondering when and where she will see him again.Tags: 2000-2009, romance, science fiction and fantasy, top pick,
The Story of Edgar Sawtelleby David Wroblewski is set in Northern Wisconsin in The Chequamegon National Forest and surrounding area. Remote and heavily wooded, teeming with wildlife and lakes, The Chequamegon National Forest is the ideal wilderness hideaway for a boy not wanting to be found.Tags: 2000-2009, mystery and suspense, top pick,