This extraordinary essay collection is a memoir that is about so many things - growing up in a cult, leaving the military, being homeless and working in a gay bar. It is about being poor and being undesirable in America. Lauren Hough is an extraordinary writer and she brilliantly threads her stories together. She makes you laugh and cry at the same time. These stories are incredibly well written and touches the heart with the deepest of daggers.
This novel reads like journalism. It is a story of rock and roll, women and racial reckoning. Opal is an afro-punk rock and roll singer in a duo with a British song writer guitar player. Their careers rise and fall in the 1970s. The narrator Sunny is the daughter of the deceased drummer. Sunny is trying to understand her father's tragic death. Through her research and interviews these characters breathe deeply through these pages and create a story that one remembers long after finishing the last page.
This is a book about therapy written by a therapist, and yet it reads like a novel. There are fascinating characters, insightful narrative self-reflection. I just couldn't put it down. I had great insights into difficult people and insights into the therapeutic process.
This incredible story is about five, brave young people who have escaped the Nazi's and join the resistance to conquer evil. This is historical fiction with a small twist of magical realism in the embodiment of a Golem as a main character. These characters must make hard decisions for those that they love and for the future, often having to sacrifice themselves. This is a story of love and loss and what it means to be breakable when the whole world seems damned.
This remarkable memoir twists on a secret between a narcissist mother and her tween/teenage daughter. Their tender and complicated relationship is heart-warming and painful. This is a page-turner and makes the reader feel like an accomplice in this extraordinary family story.
The Light Years is a wild and magical memoir of a boy growing up in an unforgiving America. There are moments where the reader must hold their breath because the author steps too close to a cliff's edge - both literally and figuratively. This story is terrifying and hopeful in one single breath. The prose is dreamy and poignant and often feels like a fictional read because really how could someone have lived this life? Every reader will be grateful that the author survived his teenage years, so that we could have this story to share between us. The Light Years reminds us how to be free, how to trust the universe and why we are lucky to survive at all.
This is by far one of my favorite books that I've read in the past few years. The prose is beautiful. The story is about a faithful American Muslim family. It is about faith and sorrow and the longing to believe in our world. The novel has stories that are told from different points of view which cause the reader to remember their own history and reflect on a true pointof view. This novel is simply breathtaking.
It is the late 1960's in New York City and four young siblings go to a fortune teller. Each sibling is told the day of their death. Over the next few decades we watch the lives of sibling unfold. We watch history - the sixties, seventies and eighties unfold. The reader gets to examine how each child lives their life and the choices they make. This book sweeps the reader into a curious world and makes us question how one would live their own life, if given a termination date.
In this novel, the reader explores a world where food meets tech and the inevitable collision. With some suspended disbelief you delve into the underground world of a futuristic farmer’s market in the Bay area. The characters are charming and in the end you’ll learn a few things about baking and technology. Furthermore, the cover glows in the dark. There is so much to love.
This ambitious novel covers the time period between the Tompkins Square Riots in New York City in 1998 through the AIDS epidemic to a future New York of the 2020s. The complicated characters are well developed and through them we understand the impact of activism, the definition of family and how social change moves us forward. This novel stays with you long after the final page. An amazing read!
This is the story of a college woman in the 1940s who makes the difficult decision to postpone graduate school and be with her husband, an older scientist in Los Alamos. This incredible debut spans five decades and speaks about the impacts of war, from atomic bombs to Vietnam. This is a story about marriage -- about love in various forms and the difficult choices and tolerances that smart women have to make. And, it is about the fascinating lives and coupling of crows. This book is about taking flight from challenge to wingspan.
This is a beautiful ghost story written in stunning prose that embraces a psychological realm. The novel is told through parallel storylines. The prose is dreamy and imaginative and tells the tale of an epic journey through upstate New York between a silent aunt and her pregnant niece. There are family memories, criminals, utopian communities and the mundane world all colliding into our characters' tales. Mr. Splitfoot is a fantastic read and takes the reader on a magical-musical ghost-like journey.
As a pie baker, I'm always curious and skeptical about new pie cookbooks. This book has some incredibly delicious and unique recipes such as the Earl Grey Custard Pie which turned out be a massive crowd pleaser at Thanksgiving dinner. The author gives great explanations and techniques for creative pie making.
The Petrified Forest National Park has archived the many letters that they have received when visitors return their stolen rocks. For years, visitors have taken rocks from the park. Eventually, many of these rocks are returned and they are usually accompanied by a letter detailing the taker's story, bad luck and often an apology. This book is fascinating and reveals an intimate portrayal of humans seeking forgiveness accompanied by a beautiful image of the stolen rock.
This novel covers the lives of the Blair family over five decades. The prose is beautiful and the story is told in parts with shifting points of view. The narrative comes together and creates an universal yet personal experience. This story makes you think about nature vs. nurture, accident vs intent and how a decision shapes the lives of others. Upon completion, you'll be thinking about the intricacies of this family and story long after you've read the final page.
This engrossing story is about two half sisters, Eva and Iris. It begins when Eva is 12 and Iris is a teenager and they are living in Chicago. They run away from their father so Iris can become a star in Hollywood, and Eva is there to support her. When their luck runs out in Hollywood, they move to Long Island where, over a period of years, they make new friends and eventually reconnect with their father. But, just like in real life, things do not always go as smoothly as one would hope. They do their best to cope with all the good and the bad, and the successes and the failures that are a part of being in a family and are a part of life. I highly recommend it.
Reggie grew up in an English orphanage, where we meet him in 1953, a young man, working behind the scenes for a magician. His life changes when the magician hires a new assistant, Pamela Rose, and they are hired to perform at a theater in Brighton. We see Reggie grow into adulthood, developing a relationship with Pamela Rose and searching for a special person who disappeared from his life when he was young. Not only were the characters interesting, but I enjoyed getting a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of a magician's act.
As a regular pie baker, I'm always looking for inspiration and unique recipes. When I discovered this cookbook, I was thrilled to find such great creativity in pie baking. The photographs and stories are beautiful as well. In this cookbook, you'll find a great selection of recipes that include pies such as: Salty Honey Pie, Blueberry Lavender Pie & Green Chili Chocolate Pie.
The Night Guest is both a fable and a mystery/thriller. Ruth is a widower and lives alone on a remote beach home in Australia until a mysterious caretaker appears. There is also, possibly, a tiger that roams Ruth’s home at night. As Ruth's memory begins to fade, her narration becomes unreliable and the reader is uncertain whose story to believe–the caretaker Frida, or the aging Ruth. This is a tender debut novel about old age with elements of a psychological thriller about isolation that is just beautifully written.
Lauren Grodstein writes beautifully and manages to tell a story of heartbreak, conviction and spiritual love and loss while towing the fragile line between Darwinism and Evangelism. Humans are flawed and this novel beautifully explores the path that a teacher and father, his daughters and friends and neighbors must take to move forward.
Don Tillman is an emotionally challenged geneticist who creates a questionnaire to find the ideal wife. Along the way, he meets Rosie who answers each question incorrectly. As a geneticist, Don agrees to help Rosie find the identity of her birth father and there the story begins. The book is often hilarious as Don tries to understand social cues and navigate his world turning upside down. It's a perfect read for those that like Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.
Reading A Constellation of Vital Phenomena was like reading One Hundred Years of Solitude for the first time. It is simply a remarkable reading experience. It's a novel about the human condition over a ten year period in Chechnya. The prose is extraordinary and eloquent, and leaves you breathless as you re-read phrases wondering how a first-time novelist can write so beautifully. This is a story about coincidence, betrayal, and forgiveness in a war-torn country, and about how together those conditions can decide a child's fate and future. This is one of the best novels I've read in many years. The story and prose stayed with me long after I'd finished the last extraordinary page.
Flat Water Tuesday is a coming of age novel that brings to life the rituals of team sports, most specifically rowing. Our main character is from a lower-class family and has won a rowing scholarship at an elite boarding school. The novel weaves together stories of rivalry, class differences, tragedy, and romance. This is a great read for anyone who liked The Art of Fielding and Dead Poets Society.
This book gives a phenomenal overview of the shipping container movement across the world. When the economy crashed, architects and communities rose to the challenge by looking at the standard and discarded shipping containers as a low-cost temporary solution to activating vacant parcels. Container Atlas provides the history and document plans of this trend, and introduces these innovative, new ideas to a global audience.
Marcus was only three years old when he, his mother, and his sister who were all battling tuberculosis walked seventy-five miles to a hospital in Ethiopia. His mother died, but Marcus and his sister recovered, and one year later they were adopted by a white family in Sweden. It was there that Marcus’s new grandmother sparked in him a lifelong passion for cooking. Markus went on to study in Europe and eventually ended up in New York City where his talent and ambition earned him rave reviews, awards and a place on Top Chef Masters. This story gives the readers a view into the European culinary schooling and the issues of race not only in the kitchen but in the community at large.