Pachinko begins simply with this beautiful line "History has failed us, but no matter." This sweeping historical saga tells the story of a poor Korean family, their immigration to Japan, and their attempts to prosper despite the difficulties and prejudices each generation must confront there. Min Jin Lee writes with grace, and the history that comes alive in the pages of this book will take root in your mind and in your heart.
A fallen theater director takes the opportunity to stage Shakespeare in a local prison, using inventive ways to entice the inmates to participate. I was enthralled from start to finish. Atwood has made a wonderful contribution to the Hogarth-Shakespeare series with her take on The Tempest.
This romantic-comedy debut novel has family, friendship, baking, and a dog named Salty. After I finished it I found myself wanting to drive to Vermont to find The Sugar Maple Inn. This is a sweet read for all New England romantics.
With each book she writes Jacqueline Woodson continues to exceed my expectations. Another Brooklyn moved me with it's beautiful language and it's stirring simplicity. Like Toni Morrison, Woodson captures the very essence of the time, place, and lives of her characters. Strong, simple, and pure, her writing is easy enough to devour in a sitting and satisfying enough to make me reflect, reread, and dwell upon it for days after. I am thrilled that Jacqueline Woodson has written another adult novel so that more readers have a chance to see what they have been missing.
Jonathan has an incredibly boring advertising job, a fiance who is a little out of his league, and a NYC apartment on a tenuous perhaps illegal month to month lease. His life changes dramatically when he takes over the care of his Dubai-bound brother's dogs Dante and Sissy. He laughs, he cries, he makes no sense. My affection for Meg Rosoff's new novel knows no bounds, it is pure fun, and a perfect summer read. "Ali Baba trout!"
You can take the boy out of the neighborhood but you can't take the neighborhood out of the boy. Kevin Pearce is riding high when he finds out that his story about a local murder has landed him a Pulitzer Prize, but his past is about to be dragged into the open, and it will change everything. This Boston-based crime novel has it all and is perfect for fans of Dennis Lehane.
The high tech security system in an upscale resort is being misused by a ruthless murderer to target the employees who are struggling to prepare the hotel for its grand opening. This creepy good horror/thriller had me reading and wondering until the very end.
How far should a wife go to protect her husband when he has been accused of a crime? What happens when she becomes his widow and the press and the police are still at her door? Already a bestseller in England, I enjoyed this debut thriller from journalist Fiona Barton and I will be waiting to read her next.
Abigail Thomas' memoir will take you by surprise. In short, simply titled passages she invites you into her life and reveals the ups and downs of her journey, somehow managing to convey the depths of her thoughts on motherhood, friendship and love in the briefest manner.
The world begins again after a flu pandemic wipes out life as we know it. A group of actors and musicians travel in a rusted out truck caravan pulled by horses and perform where they can. It is a strange life, and Emily St. John Mandel makes it beautiful and interesting. I can't believe I just read another dystopian novel and liked it!
Andy Weir's debut novel will remind you of Michael Crichton in his prime. Weir gives you great science, clever likeable characters and a believably taut story of a botanist/engineer, disco hating astronaut left for dead on Mars. Needless to say his character Mark Watney is now My Favorite Martian.
One of my favorite authors opens up again to share more of her life, and I am truly grateful! Kate Braestrup is wise, witty, and wonderful.
There is a lot going on in the life of Andy Waite, a widowed professor of evolutionary biology. He is still grieving for the wife he lost to a drunk driver, struggling to do right by his two young daughters and worrying about how his experimental work could possibly earn a grant that could guarantee his tenure. Grodstein weaves the story of his present with his past, his mentor and his students in this interesting novel. A good choice for fans of both Anne Tyler and Richard Russo.
One of the books in our Young Adult section that we think more people should read. Time Magazine named it "The Best Novel of 2012" (ahead of Hilary Mantel and J.K. Rowling) calling it "damn near genius". I agree.
A thoroughly enjoyable debut novel from the actress Lauren Graham of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood fame. The story of a young actress coming up on her personal deadline of making it in NY acting world is both funny and entertaining.
In this, her 10th Maisie Dobbs novel, Winspear gives us all that we have come to expect and more. More time with our favorite characters, more insight into British society post-World War I, and more of Maisie as shestruggles to make her way in the world and do what is right by those whom she loves.
A perfect read for February especially if you like a well done, thoughtful mystery. The town of Saranac Lake in upstate New York is getting ready for their annual Ice Festival when a body is found frozen in the lake. Troy Chance knows who it is and is caught up trying to find out how he got there. The novel is filled with interesting small town characters and has a wonderful sense of place. I am definitely going to read more from Sara J. Henry.
Pick up this book! It is clever, unexpected and entertaining. This "memoir" follows the lives of an imaginary friend named Budo and his boy Max. Rich in details, it is a loving portrait of a boy, his friend, his family and what it is like to be different. I never had an imaginary friend but if I did I would like him to be like Budo.
A quirky western set in Australia where a lone platypus escapes from a zoo, looking for a mythic land where he can live a better life. Instead he finds some friends and quite a few enemies. Like Redwall, but for grown ups.
Kristin Hannah tackles the tough issues that surround a family when the Mom, a National Guard member, is sent to Iraq. It begins with a marriage in trouble, then got very interesting when the wife was called up for a tour of duty in Iraq. The details of the deployment and what each family member goes through were fascinating. This is when the book finally captured me. I felt it was very realistic and found it quite moving.
I loved the family dynamics and the voice of the narrator who tastes the feelings in the food she eats. Very quirky.
There are so many gems to be found in this lovely little volume of animal essays. Translated from the French (some had to be left out because the puns were just not translatable) and collected beginning in 1896, Renard's Histories Naturelles were illustrated at one time by Toulouse-Latrec. They are full of humor, understanding , joy and compassion. Some are so short but also so true, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Start with one of my favorites, The Finch, and you will see what I mean.
I am a big fan of British society dramas and have really enjoyed watching Downton Abbey (which sadly, is an original screenplay by Julian Fellowes and NOT based on a book) so I finally picked up Helen Simonson's Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. A modern British comedy of manners where the widowed Major Pettigrew loves his little village, but isn't sure he approves of the changes that are in the works. He has developed a friendship with the local shopkeeper, and they share their appreciation for Kipling and good tea. This warm, funny book will keep you reading and is even better with a good cup of tea by your side.
I love this book, set in Montana in 1919, it's full of wonderful characters and beautiful writingEvery book lover should read it for the library scenes alone!
Charming and entertaining story of a British woman who's boyfriend is obsessed with a reclusive, eighties American rocker. Nick Hornby has a lot to say about relationships, music and men who just won't grow up.
This amazing book is Maira's love letter to NYC and America and Democracy. A wonderful companion to her book The Principles of Uncertainty, its hard to describe but easy to appreciate. It's a visual tour through American history and government and politics and issues facing our country today seen through her artists eye and heart.
I can't say enough about this exciting read, Susan Casey weaves the research she did into the science of waves with the companionship and thrills she found following around big wave surfer Laird Hamilton and his gang who live in Hawaii but surf wherever the waves are. Like fellow non-fiction writer Bill Bryson, Casey knows how to keep the narrative going and will have you on the edge of you seat till the end of the ride.
More than just a cozy quilt mystery, Earlene Fowler covers relationships, racial relations and ranch life in California.
WGBH has just finished airing "Return to Cranford" the two part sequel to 2008's "Cranford" and I just loved it. So much so that after I watched the first Cranford I took the book on vacation and read it virtually in one sitting. It was lovely and I have to say even though it is set in the 1840's it seemed quite timeless. I just found out that Cranford was first published as a serial, in a magazine edited by Charles Dickens and is based on the village where Elizabeth Gaskell grew up. We have two editions, one with the lovely Judy Dench on the cover in paperback and the other a beautiful green cloth binding part of a set of classics from Penguin.
The first in a series of literary detective novels that are laugh-out-loud funny. Thursday Next has to outwit a villain who has kidnapped Jane Eyre out of her novel. Great fun with lots of literary references.
This quirky book grew on me. Martin, an OCD coffee barista (he works for the health insurance) spends the rest of his time breaking into people's homes and taking things they will never miss. His system is outrageous and totally believable. I found him fascinating and ultimately likeable.
Eleven Americans embark upon an art history tour of Burma planned by their recently murdered friend, San Francisco socialite Bibi Chen. Bibi's ghost follows the group as they make changes to her trip and encounter dangers along the way. This isn't your typical Amy Tan but I really enjoyed this trip to Burma.