Book Club Sets
Following is a list of book club sets. Each title has about ten copies. Please contact Adult Services
at 740-965-3901 to check the availability and to request a set for your group.
The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and DisappearedJonasson, Jonas
Confined to a nursing home and about to turn one hundred, Allan Karlsson, who has a larger-than-life back story as an explosives expert, climbs out of the window in his slippers and embarks on an unforgettable adventure involving thugs, a murderous elephant, and a very friendly hot dog stand operator.
All the Light We Cannot SeeDoerr, Anthony
"From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Doerr's gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work."--Provided by publisher.
AmericanahAdichie, Chimamanda Ngozi
"Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London."--p. of cover.
The Architects ApprenticeShafak, Elif
In 1540, twelve-year-old Jahan arrives in Istanbul. As an animal tamer in the sultan's menagerie, he looks after the exceptionally smart elephant Chota and befriends (and falls for) the sultan's beautiful daughter, Princess Mihrimah. A palace education leads Jahan to Mimar Sinan, the empire's chief architect, who takes Jahan under his wing as they construct (with Chota's help) some of the most magnificent buildings in history. Yet even as they build Sinan's triumphant masterpieces-the incredible Suleymaniye and Selimiye mosques-dangerous undercurrents begin to emerge, with jealousy erupting among Sinan's four apprentices. A memorable story of artistic freedom, creativity, and the clash between science and fundamentalism, Shafak's intricate novel brims with vibrant characters, intriguing adventure, and the lavish backdrop of the Ottoman court, where love and loyalty are no match for raw power.
Are You There God Its Me, MargaretBlume, Judy
Faced with the difficulties of growing up and choosing a religion, a twelve-year-old girl talks over her problems with her own private God.
At Home In MitfordKaron, Jan
A portrait of the mysteries and miracles of everyday life introduces the small North Carolina town of Mitford and its colorful inhabitants, including Tim, a bachelor rector, who is falling in love with his neighbor.
The Bad-ass Librarians of TimbuktuHammer, Joshua
The incredible story of a mild mannered librarian who organized a dangerous smuggling operation in order to save 350,000 volumes from Al Qaeda.
Blood Will OutKirn, Walter
The true story of a young novelist who meets and befriends an eccentric, privileged New Yorker when he delivers a crippled hunting dog to him from an animal shelter, and later discovers that his friend was a serial imposter and brutal double-murderer.
BlushShowalter, Shirley Hershey
Sorry, a summary doesn't exist for this title.
The Book of LiesHorlock, Mary
1984. Life on the tiny island of Guernsey has become a whole lot harder for Cat Rozier. She's gone from model pupil to murderer, but she swears it's not her fault. Apparently it's all the fault of history. There are secrets deeply woven into the fabric of the island-- and into the Rozier family story.
Celebrated writer, actor, and comedian Tina Fey recounts her childhood and successful career. Filled with hilarious anecdotes from an otherwise normal childhood, Fey's memoir chronicles her meteoric rise to success, from her breakout roles on Saturday Night Live to the creation of the critically acclaimed television series 30 Rock.
The Boys in the BoatBrown, Daniel
"Out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times - the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant. ... Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man's personal quest"--Back cover.
Cat Sitter on a Hot Tin RoofClement, Blaize
Florida pet sitter Dixie Hemingway's new friend, the beautiful Laura Halston, claims to be in hiding from an abusive husband, but when Laura receives threats, Dixie realizes that there may be unexpected--and deadly--implications to Laura's story.
The Color of Our SkyTrasi, Amita
"India, 1986: Mukta, a ten-year-old girl from the lower caste Yellamma cult of temple prostitutes has come of age to fulfill her destiny of becoming a temple prostitute. In an attempt to escape this legacy that binds her, Mukta is transported to a foster family in Bombay. There she discovers a friend in the high spirited eight-year-old Tara, the tomboyish daughter of the family, who helps her recover from the wounds of her past. Tara introduces Mukta to a different world -- ice cream and sweets, poems and stories, and a friendship the likes of which she has never experienced before. In 1993, Mukta is kidnapped from Tara's room. Eleven years later, Tara who blames herself for what happened, embarks on an emotional journey to search for the kidnapped Mukta only to uncover long buried secrets in her own family" --Amazon.
"One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny's mother, Beverly--thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them. When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another."--
David and GoliathGladwell, Malcolm
"Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what is means to be discriminated against, cope with a disability, lose a parent or suffer from any other apparent setback."--Provided by publisher.
A thirteen-year-old girl seemingly destined for a modeling career finds she has a deformation of the spine called scoliosis.
"With a great reporter's narrative skill and the storytelling ability of a novelist, acclaimed journalist Sam Quinones weaves together two tales of capitalism catastrophically run amok. The unfettered prescribing of pain medications during the 1990s reached its peak in Purdue Pharma's campaign to market OxyContin, its new, expensive--extremely addictive--miracle painkiller. Meanwhile, a massive influx of black tar heroin--cheap, potent, and originating from one small county on Mexico's west coast, independent of any drug cartel--assaulted small towns and midsize cities across the country, driven by a brilliant, almost unbeatable marketing and distribution system. Together these phenomena continue to lay waste to communities from Tennessee to Oregon, Indiana to New Mexico"--Back cover.
Everything I Never Told YouNg, Celeste
"Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet. So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother's bright blue eyes and her father's jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue--in Marilyn's case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James's case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party. When Lydia's body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart. James, consumed by guilt, sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to find a responsible party, no matter what the cost. Lydia's older brother, Nathan, is certain that the neighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it's the youngest of the family--Hannah--who observes far more than anyone realizes and who may be the only one who knows the truth about what happened. Aprofoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family, and uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another."--
A Fall of MarigoldsMeissner, Susan
"September 1911. On Ellis Island in New York Harbor, nurse Clara Wood cannot face returning to Manhattan, where the man she loved fell to his death in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. Then, while caring for a fevered immigrant whose own loss mirrors hers, she becomes intrigued by a name embroidered onto the scarf he carries...and finds herself caught in a dilemma that compels her to confront the truth about the assumptions she's made. Will what she learns devastate her or free her? September 2011. On Manhattan's Upper West Side, widow Taryn Michaels has convinced herself that she is living fully, working in a charming specialty fabric store and raising her daughter alone. Then a long-lost photograph appears in a national magazine, and she is forced to relive the terrible day her husband died in the collapse of the World Trade Towers...the same day a stranger reached out and saved her. Will a chance reconnection and a century-old scarf open Taryn's eyes to the larger forces at work in her life?"--Provided by publisher.
The Final Recollections of Charles DickensHauser, Thomas
"England, 1870: His health failing, his most important work all but done, Charles Dickens is readying himself for the final bed. But there is still one more story that he must tell. As a young journalist just getting his start, Dickens encountered a story that would affect him for the rest of his life. As his "Sketches by Boz" column is just beginning to find acclaim, young Dickens encounters the wealthy and powerful Charles Wingate. While researching the mysterious businessman, Dickens uncovers a horrific story of corruption and violence, centered on a mutilated prostitute and the murder of her lover. Dickens's investigation could wreak havoc on Wingate and, more importantly, his beautiful wife Amanda. Dickens, already betrothed to his publisher's daughter, realizes just how loveless his future marriage will be as he falls in love with Amanda - even as his story threatens to ruin the Wingates. The Final Recollections of Charles Dickens blends a historically-accurate telling of Dickens's life with a gripping portrait of betrayal, murder, obsession, and love. It's the story of Dickens's deflowering and coming of age, caught between the worlds of England's ruling elite and the seamy underside of London society. In this experience we witness the seeds being sown for what will become Dickens's most popular and revered novels, and the social philosophies -rich versus poor -behind them. Meticulously researched and masterfully told, The Final Recollections of Charles Dickens captures the voice of the beloved author, the divided city of London, and the uncertain tenor of the times"--
The Fourth AgeReese, Byron
Discover the next stage of humanity's evolution - the age of artificial intelligence - in this fascinating, essential, and accessible exploration of the coming advances in robotics, computing, and associated technologies from the publisher of one of the most popular technology news websites, Gigaom.com.
The Girl You Left BehindMoyes, Jojo
Unwillingly rendered an object of obsession by the Kommandant occupying her small French town in World War I, Sophie risks everything to reunite with her husband a century before a widowed Liv tests her resolve to claim ownership of Sophie's portrait.
The Girl On the TrainHawkins, Paula
After witnessing something shocking, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
Go Set a WatchmanLee, Harper
This book is an historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird. Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014. Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch -- Scout -- struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her. Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee's enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.
Hillbilly ElegyVance, J D
Shares the story of the author's family and upbringing, describing how they moved from poverty to an upwardly mobile clan that included the author, a Yale Law School graduate, while navigating the demands of middle class life and the collective demons of the past.
In a Rocket Made of IceGutradt, Gail
"The story of a woman who volunteers at an orphanage in Cambodia, set up by a Vietnam War vet for children with and/or orphaned by HIV/AIDS"--
In the Midst of WinterAllende, Isabel
"New York Times and worldwide bestselling "dazzling storyteller" (Associated Press) Isabel Allende returns with a sweeping novel about three very different people who are brought together in a mesmerizing story that journeys from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil. In the Midst of Winter begins with a minor traffic accident--which becomes the catalyst for an unexpected and moving love story between two people who thought they were deep into the winter of theirlives. Richard Bowmaster--a 60-year-old human rights scholar--hits the car of Evelyn Ortega--a young, undocumented immigrant from Guatemala--in the middle of a snowstorm in Brooklyn. What at first seems just a small inconvenience takes an unforeseen and far more serious turn when Evelyn turns up at the professor's house seeking help. At a loss, the professor asks his tenant Lucia Maraz--a 62-year-old lecturer from Chile--for her advice. These three very different people are brought together in a mesmerizing story that moves from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil, sparking the beginning of a long overdue love story between Richard and Lucia. Exploring the timely issues of human rights and the plight of immigrants and refugees, the book recalls Allende's landmark novel The House of the Spirits in the way it embraces the cause of "humanity, and it does so with passion, humor, and wisdom that transcend politics" (Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post). In the Midst of Winter will stay with you long after you turn the final page."--
Into the Gray ZoneOwen, Adrian M
A neuroscientist reveals his work with patients believed to be brain dead to explain how up to twenty percent of them were still consciously alive, sharing insights into what life may be like for such patients and its moral implications.
The Invention of WingsKidd, Sue Monk
On Sarah's eleventh birthday, she is given ownership of ten-year-old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next 35 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.
An Invisible ThreadSchroff, Laura
He asked for spare change; she kept walking. But something made her turn around and go back. They met nearly every week for years, and built an unexpected, life-changing friendship that has today spanned almost three decades.
IsraelCohen, Richard M
Part reportage, part memoir, a nationally syndicated columnist for The Washington Post since 1976 takes readers on a intimate journey through the history of Europe's Jews, while delving into his own Jewish history and sharing stories of his own relatives and his American boyhood.
Paroled after doing time in prison, Blake Bookchester attempts to reconnect with single mother Danielle Workhouse, who works for Buck and Amy Roebuck at their mansion while her son, Ivan, explores the woods with a precocious friend.
"Juniper French was born four months early, at 23 weeks gestation. She weighed 1 pound, 4 ounces, and her twiggy body was the length of a Barbie doll. Her head was smaller than a tennis ball, her skin was nearly translucent, and through her chest you could see her flickering heart. Babies like Juniper, born at the edge of viability, trigger the question: Which is the greater act of love -- to save her, or to let her go? Kelley and Thomas French chose to fight for Juniper's life, and this is their incredible tale. In one exquisite memoir, the authors explore the border between what is possible and what is right. They marvel at the science that conceived and sustained their daughter and the love that made the difference. They probe the bond between a mother and a baby, between a husband and a wife. They trace the journey of their family from its fragile beginning to the miraculous survival of their now thriving daughter." -- Publisher.
The Last CastleKiernan, Denise
Documents the story of the Gilded Age mansion Biltmore, tracing George Vanderbilt's construction of his European-style estate and the efforts of his bride, Edith Stuyvesant Dresser, to become its protector in the face of changing fortunes and times.
Lilac GirlsKelly, Martha Hall
"On a September day in Manhattan in 1939, twenty-something Caroline Ferriday is consumed by her efforts to secure the perfect boutonniere for an important French diplomat and resisting the romantic advances of a married actor. Meanwhile across the Atlantic, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish Catholic teenager, is nervously anticipating the changes that are sure to come since Germany has declared war on Poland. As tensions rise abroad - and in her personal life - Caroline's interest in aiding the war effort in France grows and she eventually comes to hear about the dire situation at the Ravensbruck all-female concentration camp. At the same time, Kasia's carefree youth is quickly slipping away, only to be replaced by a fervor for the Polish resistance movement. Through Ravensbruck - and the horrific atrocities taking place there told in part by an infamous German surgeon, Herta Oberheuser - the two women's lives will converge in unprecedented ways and a novel of redemption and hope emerges that is breathtaking in scope and depth"--
Little Fires EverywhereNg, Celeste
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, the intertwined stories of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the mother and daughter who upend their lives. In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned - from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren - an enigmatic artist and single mother - who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town--and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs. Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood - and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.
The Marriage of OppositesHoffman, Alice
Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel’s mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel’s salvation is their maid Adelle’s belief in her strengths, and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle’s daughter. But Rachel’s life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father’s business. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Frédérick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France.--
Mauds LineVerble, Margaret
Enduring a hardscrabble existence on a Cherokee government allotment in 1928 Eastern Oklahoma, young Maud catches the attention of a handsome, book-carrying stranger and embarks on a life marked by high-stakes decisions.
The May BrideDunn, Suzannah
Jane Seymour is a shy, dutiful fifteen-year-old when her eldest brother, Edward, brings his bride home to Wolf Hall. Katherine Filliol is the perfect match for Edward, as well as being a breath of fresh air for the Seymour family, and Jane is captivated by the older girl. Only two years later, however, the family is torn apart by a dreadful allegation—that Katherine has had an affair with the Seymour patriarch. The repercussions for all the Seymours are incalculable, not least for Katherine herself. When Jane is sent away to serve Katharine of Aragon, she is forced to witness another wife being put aside, with terrible consequences.
The Mockingbird Next DoorMills, Marja
One journalist's memoir of her personal friendship with Harper Lee and her sister, drawing on the extraordinary access they gave her to share the story of their lives. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is one of the best loved novels of the twentieth century. But for the last fifty years, the novel's celebrated author, Harper Lee, has said almost nothing on the record. Journalists have trekked to her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, where Harper Lee, known by her friends as Nelle, has lived with her sister, Alice, for decades, trying and failing to get an interview with the author. But in 2001, the Lee sisters opened their door for Chicago Tribune reporter Marja Mills. It was the beginning of a long conversation-and a friendship that has continued ever since. In 2004, with the Lees' encouragement, Mills moved into the house next door to the sisters. She spent the next eighteen months there, talking and sharing stories over meals and daily drives in the countryside. Along with members of the Lees' tight inner circle, the sisters and Mills would go fishing, feed the ducks, go to the Laundromat, watch the Crimson Tide, drink coffee at McDonald's, and explore all over lower Alabama. Nelle shared her love of history, literature, and the quirky Southern way of life with Mills, as well as her keen sense of how journalism should be practiced. As the sisters decided to let Mills tell their story, Nelle helped make sure she was getting the story-and the South-right. Alice, the keeper of the Lee family history, shared the stories of their family. The Mockingbird Next Door is the story of Mills's friendship with the Lee sisters. It is a testament to the great intelligence, sharp wit, and tremendous storytelling power of these two women, especially that of Nelle. Mills was given a rare opportunity to know Nelle Harper Lee, to be part of the Lees' life in Alabama, and to hear them reflect on their upbringing, their corner of the Deep South, how To Kill a Mockingbird affected their lives, and why Nelle Harper Lee chose to never write another novel.
Most Likely to SucceedWagner, Tony
"From two leading experts in education and entrepreneurship, an urgent call for the radical re-imagining of American education so that we better equip students for the realities of the twenty-first century economy. Today more than ever, we prize academic achievement, pressuring our children to get into the "right" colleges, have the highest GPAs, and pursue advanced degrees. But while students may graduate with credentials, by and large they lack the competencies needed to be thoughtful, engaged citizens and to get good jobs in our rapidly evolving economy. Our school system was engineered a century ago to produce a work force for a world that no longer exists. Alarmingly, our methods of schooling crush the creativity and initiative young people need to thrive in the twenty-first century. In Most Likely to Succeed, bestselling author and education expert Tony Wagner and venture capitalist Ted Dintersmith call for a complete overhaul of the function and focus of American schools, sharing insights and stories from the front lines, including profiles of successful students, teachers, parents, and business leaders. Most Likely to Succeed presents a new vision of American education, one that puts wonder, creativity, and initiative at the very heart of the learning process and prepares students for today's economy. This book offers parents and educators a crucial guide to getting the best for their children and a roadmap for policymakers and opinion leaders"--
My Grandmother asked Me to Tell You Shes SorryBackman, Fredrik
"From the author of the internationally bestselling A Man Called Ove, a charming, warmhearted novel about a young girl whose grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters, sending her on a journey that brings to life the world of her grandmother's fairy tales"--
"A groundbreaking book that upends conventional thinking about autism and suggests a broader model for acceptance, understanding, and full participation in society for people who think differently. What is autism: a devastating developmental disorder, a lifelong disability, or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius? In truth, it is all of these things and more--and the future of our society depends on our understanding it. WIRED reporter Steve Silberman unearths the secret history of autism, long suppressed by the same clinicians who became famous for discovering it, and finds surprising answers to the crucial question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years. Going back to the earliest days of autism research and chronicling the brave and lonely journey of autistic people and their families through the decades, Silberman provides long-sought solutions to the autism puzzle, while mapping out a path for our society toward a more humane world in which people with learning differences and those who love them have access to the resources they need to live happier, healthier, more secure, and more meaningful lives. Along the way, he reveals the untold story of Hans Asperger, the father of Asperger's syndrome, whose "little professors" were targeted by the darkest social-engineering experiment in human history; exposes the covert campaign by child psychiatrist Leo Kanner to suppress knowledge of the autism spectrum for fifty years; and casts light on the growing movement of "neurodiversity" activists seeking respect, support, technological innovation, accommodations in the workplace and in education, and the right to self-determination for those with cognitive differences"--
Nickel and DimedEhrenreich, Barbara
Millions of Americans work full-time, year-round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, the author decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job, any job, can be the ticket to a better life. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 an hour? To find out, she left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find, and accepted whatever jobs she was offered. Moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, she worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. She lived in trailer parks and crumbling residential motels. Very quickly, she discovered that no job is truly "unskilled," and that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort. She also learned that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors. This work reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity, a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate strategems for survival. Read it for the author's perspective and for a rare view of how "prosperity" looks from the bottom. You will never see anything, from a motel bathroom to a restaurant meal, quite the same way again. In her new afterword she explains why, ten years on in America this book is more relevant than ever.
Ordinary GraceKrueger, William Kent
Looking back at a tragic event that occurred during his thirteenth year, Frank Drum explores how a complicated web of secrets, adultery, and betrayal shattered his Methodist family and their small 1961 Minnesota community.
"At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts - Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak-- that we owe many of the great contributions to society. In this book the author argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts-from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions."-- P.  of cover.
Sea CreaturesDaniel, Susanna
Starting over in Miami along with her toddler son and husband, Georgia is forced to choose between her son, her marriage, and the possibility of new love when she takes a job as an errand runner for a reclusive artist.
Shepherds AbidingKaron, Jan
Having pursued intellectual matters all of his life, Father Tim discovers the joys of working with his hands when he discovers a worn-out nativity scene and begins to restore it.
Small Feet On the RunMartin, Sieglinde
Sorry, a summary doesn't exist for this title.
The Space Between UsUmrigar, Thrity N
Captures the delicate balance of class and gender in contemporary India as witnessed through the lives of two women--Sera Dubash, an upper middle-class housewife, and Bhima, an illiterate domestic hardened by a life of loss and despair.
Stay with MeAdebayo, Ayobami
"A novel about a married Nigerian couple who must grapple with staggering levels of loss and betrayal in their quest to create a family for themselves" --
The SympathizerNguyen, Viet Thanh
Follows a Viet Cong agent as he spies on a South Vietnamese army general and his compatriots as they start a new life in 1975 Los Angeles.
The Turner HouseFlournoy, Angela
"A powerful, timely debut, The Turner House marks a major new contribution to the story of the American family. The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house has seen thirteen children grown and gone--and some returned; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit's East Side, and the loss of a father. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called home to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts--and shapes--their family's future. Already praised by Ayana Mathis as "utterly moving" and "un-putdownable," The Turner House brings us a colorful, complicated brood full of love and pride, sacrifice and unlikely inheritances. It's a striking examination of the price we pay for our dreams and futures, and the ways in which our families bring us home"--
The NBC journalist who covered--and took fire from--Donald Trump on the campaign trail offers an inside look at the most shocking presidential election in American history.
The Underground RailroadWhitehead, Colson
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming in to womandhood--where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. Their first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels.--
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold FryJoyce, Rachel
Harold Fry is convinced that he must deliver a letter to an old love in order to save her, meeting various characters along the way and reminiscing about the events of his past and people he has known, as he tries to find peace and acceptance.
Valley of the DollsSusann, Jacqueline
Dolls: red or black; capsules or tablets; washed down with vodka or swallowed straight for Anne, Neely, and Jennifer, it doesn't matter, as long as the pill bottle is within easy reach. These three women become best friends when they are young and struggling in New York City and then climb to the top of the entertainment industry only to find that there's no place left to go but down into the Valley of the Dolls.
We Were the Lucky OnesHunter, Georgia
""Reading Georgia Hunter's We Were the Lucky Ones is like being swung heart first into history. A brave and mesmerizing debut, and a truly tremendous accomplishment."--Paula McLain, New York Timesbestselling author of The Paris Wife. An extraordinary, propulsive novel based on the true story of a family of Polish Jews who scatter at the start of the Second World War, determined to survive, and to reunite. It is the spring of 1939, and three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows ever closer. The talk around the family Seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing hardships facing Jews in their hometown of Radom, Poland. But soon the horrors overtaking Europe willbecome inescapable and the Kurc family will be flung to the far corners of the earth, each desperately trying to chart his or her own path toward safety. As one sibling is forced into exile, another attempts to flee the continent, while others struggleto escape certain death by working endless hours on empty stomachs in the factories of the ghetto or by hiding as gentiles in plain sight. Driven by an extraordinary will to survive and by the fear that they may never see each other again, the Kurcs mustrely on hope, ingenuity, and inner strength to persevere. In a novel of breathtaking sweep and scope that spans five continents and six years and transports readers from the jazz clubs of Paris to the beaches of Rio de Janeiro to Krakow's most brutal prison and the farthest reaches of the Siberian gulag, We Were the Lucky Ones is a tribute to the capacity of the human spirit to endure in the face of the twentieth century's darkest moment"--
When Breath Becomes AirKalanithi, Paul
"For readers of Atul Gawande, Andrew Solomon, and Anne Lamott, a profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis who attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living? At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade's worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi's transformation from a naïve medical student "possessed," as he wrote, "by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life" into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality. What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir."--
The WonderDonoghue, Emma
Lib Wright, a young English nurse trained by the legendary Florence Nightingale, arrives in an impoverished Irish village with a strange mission. Eleven-year-old Anna O'Donnell is said to have eaten nothing for four months. With tourists thronging to see the child, and the press sowing doubt, the baffled community looks to an outsider to bring the truth to light. Lib's job is simple: to stay in the girl's room at all hours, watching her. Is Anna a fraud or a "living wonder"? Or is something more sinister unfolding right before Lib's eyes?
The Wright BrothersMccullough, David G
Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing. The house they lived in had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but there were books aplenty, supplied mainly by their preacher father, and they never stopped reading. When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education, little money and no contacts in high places, never stopped them in their "mission" to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off in one of their contrivances, they risked being killed. In this thrilling book, master historian David McCullough draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence to tell the human side of the Wright Brothers’ story.