Monday September 25, 2017
Paula McLain, author of the phenomenal New York Times bestseller The Paris Wife, takes readers to Kenya in the 1920s, where the beautiful young horse trainer, adventurer and aviator Beryl Markham tells the story of her life among the glamorous and decadent circle of British expats living in colonial East Africa. Her unconventional upbringing transforms her into a daring young woman, with a love of all things wild.
It is also the story of the complicated love triangle Beryl shared with the white hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, author of Out of Africa. It is this complex triangle that changes the course of Beryl's life, setting tragedy in motion while awakening her to her truest self and her fate: to fly.
Monday October 30, 2017
Hailed by The New York Times for its “wildly ambitious...dazzling use of language” and “mesmerizing storytelling,” The Incarnations is a “brilliant, mind-expanding, and wildly original novel” (Chris Cleave) about a Beijing taxi driver whose past incarnations over one thousand years haunt him through searing letters sent by his mysterious soulmate.
Seamlessly weaving Chinese folklore, history, literary classics, and the notion of reincarnation, this is a taut and gripping novel that reveals the cyclical nature of history as it hints that the past is never truly settled.
Monday November 27, 2017
Arriving in Istanbul as a boy, Mevlut Karataş is enthralled by both the old city that is disappearing and the new one that is fast being built. He becomes a street vendor, like his father, hoping to strike it rich, but luck never seems to be on Mevlut’s side. He spends three years writing love letters to a girl he has seen just once, only to elope by mistake with her sister. Although he grows to cherish his wife and the family they have together, Mevlut stumbles toward middle age as everyone around him seems to be reaping the benefits of a rapidly modernizing Turkey.
Told through the eyes of a diverse cast of characters, Nobel-prize winning author Orhan Pamuk paints a brilliant tableau of life among the newcomers who have changed the face of Istanbul over the past fifty years.
Monday January 29, 2018
A Measure of Light brings to life an extraordinary historical figure.
Mary Dyer is a seventeenth-century Puritan who flees persecution in England, only to find the colony of Massachusetts Bay as dangerous as the country she left behind. Though she is the wife of a successful merchant and mother to their children, she becomes stigmatized following a birth gone terribly wrong and is reviled as a friend to the infamous heretic Anne Hutchinson. Mary tries to accept New England’s harsh realities, but is outraged by the cold-hearted Puritan magistrates, with their doctrinaire stranglehold on church and state, their subjugation of women, their wars against the natives in the surrounding territories and their vicious treatment of any who challenge their rule.
Caught between the callings of faith and the ambitions of her husband, Mary comes to the realization that she must follow her convictions.
Monday February 26, 2018
Touched by a very public tragedy, musician Rob Quillen comes to Cloud County, Tennessee, in search of a song that might ease his aching heart. All he knows of the mysterious and reclusive Tufa is what he has read on the internet: they are an enigmatic clan of swarthy, black-haired mountain people whose historical roots are lost in myth and controversy. Some people say that when the first white settlers came to the Appalachians centuries ago, they found the Tufa already there. Others hint that Tufa blood brings special gifts.
Rob finds both music and mystery in the mountains. Close-lipped locals guard their secrets, even as Rob gets caught up in a subtle power struggle he can't begin to comprehend. A vacationing wife goes missing, raising suspicions of foul play, and a strange feral girl runs wild in the woods, howling in the night like a lost spirit.
Monday March 26, 2018
Award-winning Australian author London (The Good Parents, 2008, etc.) illuminates lives touched by polio and World War II in her third novel, set in a convalescent home in Perth.
A children's polio clinic called The Golden Age serves as the book's focus. The horror and unfairness of the disease exist alongside the tenderness of human connections. At its heart, the book is about people living in places they never chose: the polio clinic, for the children in wheelchairs and calipers; Australia, for Frank's cultured parents. In short, vivid chapters, London draws the reader into her characters' lives.
London's work has garnered many Australian prizes—the Prime Minister's Award for Fiction, the Patrick White Literary Award, and others—for good reason. Her writing is clear-eyed, generous-hearted, never sentimental.
Monday April 30, 2018
By National Book Award finalist Jim Shepard, a deeply affecting novel that will join the shortlist of classics about the Holocaust and the children whose lives were caught up in it.
The Book of Aron is a breathtaking novel of extraordinary craft, humanity, and masterful storytelling. Fearless, and devoid of sentimentality, it looks squarely into the face of unspeakable suffering, evil and lawlessness, revealing the persistence and strength of the human spirit despite all odds and the redemptive power of love. It is nothing less than a masterpiece.
Monday May 28, 2018
Bound to encourage discussion, this is a novel with a decidedly pro-Palestinian point of view.
British reviewers praised it. In the Independent, this was written – "Susan Abulhawa's gripping and deeply moving novel tells the story of Palestine after “history arrived". In 1948, the formation of the State of Israel and the subsequent wars wrenched this ancient land apart, sending some Palestinians fleeing for the illusory safety of crowded refugee camps in Gaza and scattering many others into exile. The novel provides an intimate close-up of the women of Gaza and of the everyday heroism amid relentless loss.”
The American Kirkus review said, "While a folk tale–like spirituality infuses the storytelling, readers' enjoyment will mostly depend on how they react to Abulhawa’s violently anti-Israel and slightly milder anti-American perspectives."