Coralie and Eddie live in NYC in the early 1900’s however their lives couldn’t be more different. Coralie’s father owns a Coney Island museum where he amazes the public with his weird exhibits. Eddie has run away from his Jewish Orthodox upbringing and picks up a camera to photograph the streets of the city. As he accidentally captures the horrible Triangle Shirtwaist fire, Eddie becomes embroiled in the mystery of a missing young women. At the same time, Coralie is being transformed into a mermaid for exhibition. Coralie and Eddie’s lives run parallel until fate takes over. I loved these two characters and love Alice Hoffman for writing their stories.
Victoria has aged out of the foster care system and is out on her own. Life is precarious at best, but her love of flowers gives her a starting point to start anew. At first she finds herself homeless and sleeping in a park, but soon an interested florist takes her under her wing and Victoria feels she might have a future after all. However there are several secrets from her past that just might keep her from finding peace. Diffenbaugh has given us characters that break our hearts and make us smile. I think that is a rare thing.
For seventy-five years starting in 1854, orphans were placed on trains from the East Coast and sent to the Midwest. Along the way, people met the trains at various stations and chose the children they wanted to bring into their homes. Some were adopted by loving families and others were taken into homes to become unpaid labor. Orphan Train is the story of Vivian Daly whose life is remembered in modern times as Molly, a young woman doing community service, helps Vivian clean out her attic. This is an unforgettable work of historical fiction.
One book, and three haunting tales of seeking and finding, losing and forgetting. Shaun Tan addresses themes of depression, not belonging anywhere, as well the gradual violence of colonization in these three uncanny and beautifully illustrated yarns.
Most every family has experienced immigration. But for those who haven’t had that experience - what is it like? Shaun Tan’s The Arrival is a beautiful silent graphic novel that took over four years to complete, with intricate charcoal drawings depicting the everyday challenges a new immigrant might experience. Tan has invented his own world where readers of any cultural background can grasp the many feeling and struggles of beginning a life far from home.
What if the earth stopped spinning? Or you pitched a baseball at ninety percent the speed of light? And for those days when you're just too lazy to cook, what height do you have to drop a steak from in order for it to be cooked when it reaches the ground? Randall Munroe has answers. Featuring the best of his popular webcomic xkcd, plus 51%(!) totally new content, this mind-bending volume is a must-read for inquiring minds everywhere. And, FYI: make sure you drop that steak from a suborbital rocket. You're welcome.
These short stories by Margaret Atwood are like the bedtime stories you'd wish to read about the stranger you pass on the street. The warm but still distant characters are woven together in fantastical ways. The sharp and peculiar wit of Atwood touches on the theme of aging, and the trail left behind from a person's actions in their world. The stories are written like tales, and most of the characters have wicked tendencies that are reminiscent of a Grimm's fairytale. If you enjoy the thrill of danger and sweetness, this collection could be the perfect before bed escape.
Sixty five authors, celebrities, musicians and scholars answer questions like: what book is on your night stand now?; what were your favorite books as a child?; if you could require the president to read one book, what would it be? Very interesting and revealing—people who I didn’t think read at all have inspired me to read their favorites and I’ve discovered several new authors! Put David Sedaris and Dave Eggers in the same book with John Grisham, and you’ve got an education! Required reading for anyone who loves books and people. And that’s all of us, right?
It was autumn of 1965 when Leon was reunited with Oskar Schindler. This was the man who thought Leon's life mattered and gave him a chance. It would take a wooden box for little Leyson to stand on in order to reach the machine he was assigned to operate. But this box and Schindler's heart allowed Leon to stay safe from the gas chambers. Mr. Leyson died January 2013. By sharing the burden of his memories,Leon gives credit to his hero Oskar Schindler,and to those who do 'the best of things in the worst of times'.This is Leon's legacy of FREEDOM! It is a most beautiful read.
Soup recipes for every season doesn’t even begin to describe this beautiful new book. There are recipes and lots of them with hints and suggestions for making them easy to follow and appealing to try. Families will enjoy all the different soups; some hot and some cold, some meat-filled and some for vegetarians. NOW let’s talk about the illustrations! Gorgeous, whimsical, colorful, humorous, and framable. One of my favorite illustrators of all times, Jane Dyer, makes this cookbook a must have for chefs and for folks who never step into the kitchen. Why are you looking at me?
Legends, Icons, and Rebels is one of the best introductory books about the roots of Rock and Roll. Through quotations, facts, brief musical biographies of each of the twenty-seven featured artists, exploration of diverse musical genres, bright page layouts, beautiful and occasionally humorous illustrations, and readers gain a clear understanding and appreciation of each artist’s impact on contemporary music history. This book perfectly complements the two CDs that come with; a track dedicated to each artist blends a playlist of hits and deep cuts that are a wonderful starting point for any music lover.
A perfect gift for anyone who remembers the iconic Little Golden Books that have been popular since the 1940’s. Words of wisdom and encouragement are paired with pages from those beloved children’s books that were read to us and are that we now read to our children and grandchildren. Saggy Baggy Elephant, Poky Little Puppy, Little Red Hen, and Tawny Scrawny Lion; who didn’t love those guys? I think you’ll love turning the pages and reacquainting yourself with pictures from those little golden treasures.
An Orange County mom recounts the trials and triumphs of raising a gender nonconforming son, who moves fluidly on a gender spectrum between Superman underoos and princess-themed birthday parties. Her vignettes are witty and self-deprecating, told with all the warmth, hope, doubt, and unconditional love of a mother who is doing her best to raise a unique child in a society that is often anything but open and accepting. A powerful read.
With headings like: God went to beauty school; God made spaghetti; God got cable; each poem covers a seemingly mundane event viewed through the eyes of omniscience. Marla Frazee's illustrations portray God as male, female, old, young, tattooed and homeless, clearly recognizing the divine in everyone. Brilliant.
Listeners and non-listeners alike of NPR's The Moth Radio Hour will find something to love in this collection of 50 true stories. Selected from thousands of tales told over The Moth's 15 year history, these stories come from people both famous and unknown, from all walks of life, all told without notes in front of a live audience. At times hilarious, chilling, heart-warming, and always profoundly personal, this collection is sure to resonate with every reader.
Based very loosely on a serial killer that terrorized a California community in the late 1970’s,
Maynard brings us the story of two devoted sisters, their irresponsible father, and their damaged mother. The girls’ father is put in charge of the “Sunset Strangler” case and as he becomes more and more desperate to find the killer, his daughters’ hope for a normal family life seems to be slipping away. After Her is a tale of suspense and hope that spans over thirty years and with several plot twists will keep readers turning pages.
On the Micronesian island of Ivu’ivu live a people who seem to have found the key to immorality through eating a rare turtle. In the name of science, a young doctor, Norton Perina, exposes the turtles and the tribe to the rest of the world. But as the island and its people collapse in the world’s mad dash to uncover the secret to living forever, Norton stubbornly justifies his actionswhile battling his own guilt. A stunning debut novel, Yanagihara’s story questions the cost of knowledge and our ability to accept destructive good intentions.
From the moment George and Margaret set off from the North Dakota Badlands to Eastern Montana in search of their young grandson, their quest appears misguided at best, if not doomed. As they get closer to reuniting with their only remaining family member, Margaret’s certainty cannot shake off George’s ambivalence. Unflinching and pragmatic, yet full of longing and tenderness, the characters in this book ring true, and their story is unforgettable. Do your book club a favor and add this to your 2014 reading list!