Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

Fans of the show `Sex in the City' as well as other books by Mrs. Bushnell will be in awe after reading this prequel to the life of Carrie Bradshaw we see in the show or read about in the books. It gives us a good explanation of how Carrie dealt with drama in her High School Years (and there is plenty of it!) Fans will finish reading this novel and have a satisfied feeling.

Grade 9 Up—In the 1980s, Carrie Bradshaw is the oldest of three girls who live with their widowed father. She is on the swim team, wants to attend a summer writing program in New York, has applied to Brown, and is the last of her girlfriends to still have her virginity. When the rakish Sebastian Kydd returns to town, all the girls in the school become distracted, but he seems to have his eye on Carrie, at least until her best friend begins to take notice of him. The action is lightweight: senior pranks are played, dates are prevalent, friendships are tested, and Carrie keeps letting boys run rampant over her. It takes most of the book for her to stand up for herself. This protagonist is clearly written to resemble her older self as portrayed in the TV series Sex and the City. She spends the novel questioning relationships; worrying about friendships; developing a funky, independent sense of fashion; flirting with boys while dating two at once; and having a gay male friend. The author is known for writing frivolous, adult chick-lit books and she does not stray from that style here. While toning down the antics that take place in her adult books, she still writes about partying, drinking, smoking (cigarettes and dope), sex, and shoplifting, making this book best suited to older teens looking for a diversion.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Mistress of Nothing

Natalie has been neglecting historical fiction so far...has anyone read this one yet?

The Mistress of Nothing by Kate Pullinger

When Lady Duff Gordon, paragon of London society, departs for the hot, dry climate of Egypt to seek relief from her debilitating tuberculosis, her lady’s maid, Sally, doesn’t hesitate to leave the only world she has known in order to remain at her mistress’s side. As Sally gets farther and farther from home, she experiences freedoms she has never known—forgoing corsets and wearing native dress, learning Arabic, and having her first taste of romance.

But freedom is a luxury that a lady’s maid can ill afford, and when Sally’s newfound passion for life causes her to forget what she is entitled to, she is brutally reminded she is mistress of nothing. Ultimately she must choose her master and a way back home—or a way to an unknown future.

Based on the real lives of Lady Duff Gordon and her maid, The Mistress of Nothing is a lush, erotic, and compelling story about the power of race, class, and love.

Pullinger won the 2009 Governer General's Literary Award for Fiction for The Mistress of Nothing.
Listen to the author discuss her book:

Sound interesting? It's currently one of the most wished for books at Indie Bound.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

2007 National Book Award finalist

If you have teenage girls this might be a book you would want to read with them.

Imagine you made a mistake as a teenager. A big mistake. Now imagine you made this mistake in a small town when you were thirteen years old.
Sara Zarr's moving "Story of a Girl" tells just this tale from the point of view of sixteen-year-old Deanna Lambert. At age 13, Deanna was caught "in the act" with her older brother's best friend. By her father. Oh, and Deanna and the boy were in a parked car.
Small towns being what they are, it takes only a day for Deanna's story to spread throughout Pacifica. From that moment on Deanna is the "school sl*t" (despite the fact she's avoided boys since the incident) and at home life isn't much better. Dad--nearly three years later--has yet to recover from finding his daughter in a car with a seventeen-year-old boy and he barely talks to Deanna.
Story of a Girl opens on the final day of Deanna's sophomore year. She's feeling stuck--in her small town, in her reputation, and in her family. Zarr does a great job in showing the depression--economic and emotional--of a place down on its luck. Deanna's only job option is a rundown pizza joint. Her parents professional lives have been downsized--Mom working in a Mervyns and Dad in an auto parts supply store. Deanna's much-loved older brother lives in the basement with his new wife and baby. Deanna's brother and his wife work in the grocery store. With everyone working retail hours, no one is home at the same time and the house is sliding into disrepair.
Deanna dreams of escape--of saving her money and moving out with her brother and his family. But escape is hard to come by when you are sixteen and live in a small town. Instead, Deanna must come to terms with what happened and forgive herself and others. Over the course of just this one summer, Deanna, with a few mistakes along the way, finds peace with herself, her reputation, her town, and her family.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Heart Shaped Box

Aging, self-absorbed rock star Judas Coyne has a thing for the macabre -- his collection includes sketches from infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy, a trepanned skull from the 16th century, a used hangman's noose, Aleister Crowley's childhood chessboard, etc. -- so when his assistant tells him about a ghost for sale on an online auction site, he immediately puts in a bid and purchases it. The black, heart-shaped box that Coyne receives in the mail not only contains the suit of a dead man but also his vengeance-obsessed spirit. The ghost, it turns out, is the stepfather of a young groupie who committed suicide after the 54-year-old Coyne callously used her up and threw her away. Now, determined to kill Coyne and anyone who aids him, the merciless ghost of Craddock McDermott begins his assault on the rocker's sanity.
Joe Hill is a past recipient of the Ray Bradbury Fellowship. He has also received the William L. Crawford award for best new fantasy writer in 2006,[2] the A. E. Coppard Long Fiction Prize in 1999 for "Better Than Home"[3] and the 2006 World Fantasy Award for Best Novella for "Voluntary Committal". His stories have appeared in a variety of magazines, such as Subterranean Magazine, Postscripts and The High Plains Literary Review, and in many anthologies, including The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror (ed. Stephen Jones) and The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (ed. Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link & Gavin Grant).
I wanted to post a picture of Joe Hill but have been unable to figure out how to post more than one photo in a post. Joe Hill's full name is Joseph Hillstrom King, 2nd son of Stephen King. He looks eerily like his father, and looks like he is on his way to being a chip off the old King block.

Monday, April 25, 2011

New Movie

Eyes of a Dreamer is a new movie that is in the production phase with Brad Wyman serving as the director. It is set in 1969 and based on the cult leader, Charles Manson. The 24-year old actress Lindsay Lohan is considering the role as Sharon Tate in the film.

If you want to read a good book on this subject, read Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi. It was written in 1974 and is the #1 best selling true crime book ever because of three things: It is the story of one of the highest profile murder cases in the world's history, even 30+ years after the fact, it is still an amazing and unique story, and finally, Vincent Bugliosi is a fabulous writer. Most books written by non-writers might tell a good story but not in a dramatic way that a true author otherwise might. Bugliosi has no problem doing that with his books.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Group Picture-Sickened

We've been reading too many disturbing books lately...a very interesting discussion of Julie Gregory's Sickened, though. Read more about Munchausen by proxy on Medline.

We missed Mary and Heather this month...that's why Linda isn't smiling!

Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster

This is hands-down the funniest book I've ever read! It's actually pretty amazing that a book about such a serious topic (layoffs in Corporate America) can be so funny, but this author manages to pull it off with sass, spunk, and tons of
smart-ass comments that made me laugh so hard, I almost cried. This is a must read for all!!!!

Jen Lancaster was living the sweet life-until real life kicked her to the curb.

She had the perfect man, the perfect job-hell, she had the perfect life-and there was no reason to think it wouldn't last. Or maybe there was, but Jen Lancaster was too busy being manicured, pedicured, highlighted, and generally adored to notice.

This is the smart-mouthed, soul-searching story of a woman trying to figure out what happens next when she's gone from six figures to unemployment checks and she stops to reconsider some of the less-than-rosy attitudes and values she thought she'd never have to answer for when times were good.

Filled with caustic wit and unusual insight, it's a rollicking read as speedy and unpredictable as the trajectory of a burst balloon.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Grade 8 Up—At the end of their junior year, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend pulls a gun in the Commons, leaving six students and a teacher dead and many others wounded. Valerie is hit by a bullet in the leg trying to stop him, just before he ends his own life. Until that point, Valerie had no idea that the "hate list" that she and Nick created would be used to target victims in a vengeful shooting spree. For her, the list of tormentors was a way to ease the pain of being bullied and an outlet against the constant fighting between her parents. Although the police investigation reveals that Valerie had nothing to do with the actual shootings, many people in her community, including her parents, have a hard time believing that she is not at fault, too. With the help of a patient and insightful therapist, Valerie bravely returns to school after the summer to face the challenges before her. Told by Valerie in then-and-now chapters, with a few "excerpts" from local newspaper articles added for perspective, this is a startling, powerful, and poignant account of the incidents leading up to, immediately following, and continuing through the teen's senior year of realization and recovery. Valerie is stronger than she knows—a beautifully drawn character who has suffered pain, guilt, and incredible stress as she heals from the shooting, the loss of a troubled boyfriend she deeply loved, and difficult family circumstances.
I chose this book because I see what bullying does to children on a daily basis. Perhaps it can give us a perspective that we haven't seen before, and help those children.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Hobbitt

The Hobbit" is considered to be one of the best books written by J.R.R. Tolkien. Created in the tradition of a fairy tale, with author's effort to integrate two interests, stories for his three sons and a mythology of England, the book has had a corner in hearts of many readers since it was first published in September, 1937. Being Tolkien's first published work, "The Hobbit" is often marketed as a prelude to his masterpiece "The Lord of the Rings", published 17 years later.
Bilbo Baggins lives his calm and peaceful life in a comfortable hole near the bustling hobbit village of Hobbiton, smoking a pipe, drinking good bear and looking for a meal. His life style and interests are typical for hobbits - small and chubby people about half the size of humans who usually dress in bright colors and wear no shoes, because their large feet grow thick brown hair, and feel great love to good food and drink. In the beginning of the story Bilbo has a very weak character; his main features are shyness and fear susceptibility. Like most of his kind, he is fond of gardening and doesn't wish any excitement or adventure.
The Hobbitt Movie - Part 1 is scheduled for release on December 28, 2011 and this is the cast so far:

  • Bilbo Baggins - Martin Freeman
  • Gandalf - Sir Ian McKellen
  • Gollum - Andy Serkis
  • Galadriel - Cate Blanchett
  • Saruman - Sir Cristopher Lee
  • Frodo Baggins - Elijah Wood
  • Legolas - Orlando Bloom
  • Thorin - Richard Armitage
  • Kili - Aidan Turner
  • Fili - Rob Kazinsky
  • Dwalin - Graham McTavish
Are you a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien? Are you looking forward to the release of the movie?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

For Dog Lovers

A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog
by Dean Koontz

DEAN KOONTZ thought he had everything he needed. A successful novelist with more than twenty #1 New York Times bestsellers to his credit, Dean had forged a career out of industry and imagination. He had been married to his high school sweetheart, Gerda, since the age of twenty, and together they had made a happy life for themselves in their Southern California home. It was the picture of peace and contentment. Then along came Trixie.

Dean had always wanted a dog--had even written several books in which dogs were featured. But not until Trixie was he truly open to the change that such a beautiful creature could bring about in him. Trixie had intelligence, a lack of vanity, and an uncanny knack for living in the present. And because she was joyful and direct as all dogs are, she put her heart into everything--from chasing tennis balls, to playing practical jokes, to protecting those she loved.

A retired service dog with Canine Companions for Independence, Trixie became an assistance dog of another kind. She taught Dean to trust his instincts, persuaded him to cut down to a fifty-hour work week, and, perhaps most important, renewed in him a sense of wonder that will remain with him for the rest of his life. She mended him in many ways.

Some dog books are tear jerkers, but this one sounds happy!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Just announced!

The 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction has been awarded to Jennifer Egan for A Visit from the Goon Squad! It just moved up on my TBR list!

The other nominated Fiction finalists were The Privileges by Jonathan Dee and The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Promises to Keep by Jane Green

This is a must read if you just love Jane Green.

Callie Perry seems to have it all: a handsome husband she adores, two adorable children, and a thriving business as a portrait photographer. A battle with breast cancer four years ago only made her marriage to Reece stronger, but the couple faces a major setback when agonizing headaches and a frightening blackout send Callie back to the hospital soon after celebrating her forty-third birthday. While Callie's oncologist tries to determine if her cancer has returned, her family rallies around her. Her younger sister, Steffi, a successful chef, has recently traded a fast-paced life in New York City for a quieter one in Sleepy Hollow in order to reassess her priorities. Callie and Steffi's father, Warren, has barely been able to be in the same room with their mother, Honor, since she left him; but news of Callie's plight brings him rushing to her bedside. Inspired by a friend's battle with cancer, Green's story definitely has the emotional heart and resonance to hook readers of women's fiction.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Visit From...

the Goon Squad. Have you read it? Jennifer Egan's latest novel won the National Book Critic Circle Award for Fiction.

Jennifer Egan’s spellbinding interlocking narratives circle the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Although Bennie and Sasha never discover each other’s pasts, the reader does, in intimate detail, along with the secret lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs, over many years, in locales as varied as New York, San Francisco, Naples, and Africa.

We first meet Sasha in her mid-thirties, on her therapist’s couch in New York City, confronting her long-standing compulsion to steal. Later, we learn the genesis of her turmoil when we see her as the child of a violent marriage, then as a runaway living in Naples, then as a college student trying to avert the suicidal impulses of her best friend. We plunge into the hidden yearnings and disappointments of her uncle, an art historian stuck in a dead marriage, who travels to Naples to extract Sasha from the city’s demimonde and experiences an epiphany of his own while staring at a sculpture of Orpheus and Eurydice in the Museo Nazionale. We meet Bennie Salazar at the melancholy nadir of his adult life—divorced, struggling to connect with his nine-year-old son, listening to a washed-up band in the basement of a suburban house—and then revisit him in 1979, at the height of his youth, shy and tender, reveling in San Francisco’s punk scene as he discovers his ardor for rock and roll and his gift for spotting talent. We learn what became of his high school gang—who thrived and who faltered—and we encounter Lou Kline, Bennie’s catastrophically careless mentor, along with the lovers and children left behind in the wake of Lou’s far-flung sexual conquests and meteoric rise and fall.

A Visit from the Goon Squad is a book about the interplay of time and music, about survival, about the stirrings and transformations set inexorably in motion by even the most passing conjunction of our fates. In a breathtaking array of styles and tones ranging from tragedy to satire to PowerPoint, Egan captures the undertow of self-destruction that we all must either master or succumb to; the basic human hunger for redemption; and the universal tendency to reach for both—and escape the merciless progress of time—in the transporting realms of art and music. Sly, startling, exhilarating work from one of our boldest writers.

It beat out Jonathan Franzen's Freedom.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Stolen Voices by Ellen Dee Davidson

In the vein of The Giver and Brave New World, and told through lyrical language that creates electrifying sounds and visuals, this book uncovers the problems in a puppet-mastered utopia. As a 15-year-old in Noveskina, Miri is about to go through the Masking ritual that will bond her to her age-mates. According to the rules of her society, everyone must have a talent to be Masked, and, when hers is not revealed, she is relegated to being a servant for the rest of her life. Instead, Miri decides to run from the Masker and her fate, and discovers the Secret Valley, where people are not restrained by the politeness and creepy accord of Noveskina. She also discovers the sinister secret behind her world. However, it is Miris choice to fight everything she has known that has the most powerful impact. While the story ends a little too neatly, it is definitely a page-turner that will keep readers captivated from the start. Recommend it to teen girls struggling with their identity and teachers looking for a fresh glimpse of a society in which free will has been removed.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Twilight Series

Stephenie Meyer's life changed dramatically on June 2, 2003. The stay-at-home mom of three young sons woke up from a dream featuring seemingly real characters that she could not get out of her head. Meyer invented the plot during the day through swim lessons and potty training, and wrote it out late at night when the house was quiet. Three months later she finished her first novel, Twilight. With encouragement from her older sister (the only other person who knew she had written a book), Meyer submitted her manuscript to various literary agencies. Twilight was picked out of a slush pile at Writer's House and eventually made its way to Little, and Brown Publishing Company, where everyone fell immediately in love with the gripping, star-crossed lovers. Twilight was one of 2005's most talked about novels and within weeks of its release the book debuted at #5 on The New York Times bestseller list. The highly anticipated sequel, New Moon, was released in September 2006, and spent more than 25 weeks at the #1 position on The New York Times bestseller list. In 2007, Eclipse literally landed around the world and fans made the Twilight Saga a worldwide phenomenon! In 2008, The Host, Meyer's highly anticipated novel for adults which debuted at #1 on The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. In August 2008, the final book in the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn, was released and sold 1.3 million copies in its first 24 hours.

Doesn't Stephenie Meyer's journey sound somewhat familiar to J.K. Rowling's? Meyer and Rowling both wrote their books for children/young adults, but ended up being popular with children and adults alike. Both series of books are criticized for their content and their effect on the young, but the phenomenon continues!

I have The Twilight Series on my to-read list!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hurricane Katrina

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers is a New York Times Notable Book, The Oprah Magazine Terrific Read of the Year, A Huffington Post Best Book of the Year, A New Yorker Favorite Book of the Year, A Chicago Tribune Favorite Nonfiction Book of the Year, A Kansas City Star Best Book of the Year, A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year and An Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Decade.

The true story of one family, caught between America’s two biggest policy disasters: the war on terror and the response to Hurricane Katrina.
Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun run a house-painting business in New Orleans. In August of 2005, as Hurricane Katrina approaches, Kathy evacuates with their four young children, leaving Zeitoun to watch over the business. In the days following the storm he travels the city by canoe, feeding abandoned animals and helping elderly neighbors. Then, on September 6th, police officers armed with M-16s arrest Zeitoun in his home. Told with eloquence and compassion, Zeitoun is a riveting account of one family’s unthinkable struggle with forces beyond wind and water.

Eggers, compiling his account from interviews, sensibly resists rhetorical grandstanding, letting injustices speak for themselves. His skill is most evident in how closely he involves the reader in Zeitoun’s thoughts. He allows the story to tell itself while imbuing Zeitoun's tragedy with deep sympathy and emotion. Although Eggers didn't witness Hurricane Katrina's devastation firsthand, he captures the experience through Zeitoun's eyes and approaches his subject very intimately.

This book sounds like a must-read!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bestseller Hoag (Kill the Messenger) ventures into serial killer territory with results sure to please her many fans, though unresolved plot threads, both intentional and inadvertent, may put off veteran readers of the genre. One fall day in 1985 in Oak Knoll, Calif., fifth-grader Tommy Crane and his sidekick, Wendy Morgan, are fleeing the class bully, Dennis Farman, through a local park when Tommy stumbles over the head of a dead woman buried up to her neck. Two hours from Los Angeles, Oak Knoll is not the sort of town where major crime is a problem, but a serial killer is on the loose who's already murdered and tortured several women and has another on deck in his secret lair. Fifth-grade teacher Anne Navarre, who counsels Tommy and Wendy, is soon at the center of the investigation being led by a hunky FBI agent, Vince Leone. This is serial killer lite with Hoag's romance roots dictating both the prose style and the unveiling of the killer.

This book is very good and filled with great suspense

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Peeta and Gale??

Have you heard that the roles of Peeta and Gale in the upcoming Hunger Games movie have been cast?

Josh Hutcherson will play Peeta.

Liam Hemsworth will play Gale.

I'm not sure I can picture these two as Peeta and Gale. They'll both need makeovers to look the part, I think. What are your thoughts?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

If you enjoyed the Shopaholic books you will love this one!

Samantha Sweeting, the 29-year-old heroine of Kinsella's latest confection (after Shopaholic Sister), is on the verge of partnership at the prestigious London law firm Carter Spink—the Holy Grail of her entire workaholic life. But when she finds she has made a terrible, costly mistake just before the partnership decision, she's terrified of being fired. In a fog, she stumbles out of the building and onto the nearest train, which drops her in the countryside, where she wanders to a stately home. The nouveau riche lady of the house mistakes her for the new housekeeper—and Samantha is too astonished to correct her. Numb and unable to face returning to London, Samantha tries to master the finer points of laundry, cooking and cleaning. She discovers that the slow life, her pompous but good-hearted employers and the attentions of the handsome gardener, Nathaniel, suit her just fine. But her past is hard to escape, and when she discovers a terrible secret about her firm—and when the media learns that the former legal star is scrubbing toilets for a living—her life becomes more complicated than ever. If readers can swallow the implausible scenario, then Kinsella's genuine charm and sweet wit may continue to win her fans.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

And Both Were Young by Madeline L'Engle

If you loved the Wrinkle in Time series by Madeline L'Engle you probably will want to read And Both Were Young. This is L'Engle's first book and was well received by the critics and general public. The forward is written by her granddaughter, who has followed in her grandmother's shoes and become a writer.

Flip doesn't think shell ever fit in at the Swiss boarding school. Besides being homesick for her father and Connecticut, she isn't sophisticated like the other girls, and discussions about boys leave her tongue-tied. Her happiest times are spent apart from the others, sketching or wandering in the mountains.

But the day she's out walking alone and meets a French boy, Paul, things change for Flip. As their relationship grows, so does her self-confidence. Despite her newfound happiness, there are times when Paul seems a stranger to her. And since dating is forbidden except to seniors, their romance must remain a secret. With so many new feelings and obstacles to overcome in her present, can Flip help Paul to confront his troubled past and find a future?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Eyes of the Dragon

When you read the title of this post, did you think of Stephen King? I bet you didn't. It isn't quite the kind of book you expect from Mr. King. I'm somewhat biased, as SK is one of my favorite authors, but I loved "The Eyes of the Dragon". If SK isn't your favorite, this may be the book to try.

The Eyes of the Dragon takes place entirely within the realm of Delain (which itself is located within In-World from The Dark Tower series). It is told from the perspective of an unnamed story-teller, who speaks casually and frankly to the reader, frequently adding his own commentary on characters' motivations and the like. At the beginning, Flagg secretly attempts to assassinate Queen Sasha. He finally succeeds in forcing the Queen's maid to cut the queen while she was giving birth to Thomas, her second child, making her bleed to death. As time passes, and Peter, the older brother, grows older, it becomes more obvious to Flagg that the Crown Prince is a far greater threat to his position as royal wizard than was Sasha. Therefore Flagg has King Roland poisoned and Peter framed for the murder. Thomas witnesses this through the glass eyes of the mounted head of Roland's greatest trophy, the dragon. After a brief trial, during which the judge decides Peter is guilty, he is locked up in the enormous tower called the Needle in the center of the city. Thomas is then crowned King, although he is only twelve years old; due to his youth and his fearful inexperience, he allows Flagg enormous amounts of power. Toward the end of his long stay in the Needle, Peter manages to send a note to the judge who convicted him, Anders Peyna, with instructions by which to help rescue him. Peter escapes, and he and his allies rush to get Roland’s bow and arrow. Flagg, now revealed as a demonic being, is about to kill them when Thomas reveals himself and tells Flagg that he (Thomas) watched Flagg poison Roland. Thomas shoots Flagg in the eye, but Flagg uses magic to disappear and escape. At the end of the novel, Peter is declared to be the rightful king. Thomas, who has become deeply hated in Delain, sets off to find Flagg.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Tina Fey has a new book called Bossypants.

It is short, messy, and impossibly funny (an apt description of the comedian herself). From her humble roots growing up in Pennsylvania to her days doing amateur improv in Chicago to her early sketches on Saturday Night Live, Fey gives us a fascinating glimpse behind the curtain of modern comedy with equal doses of wit, candor and self-deprecation. Bossypants gets to the heart of why Tina Fey remains universally adored: she embodies the hectic, too-many-things-to-juggle lifestyle we all have, but instead of complaining about it, she can just laugh it off.

I think this is a great time for her to release a new book. She was hugely popular with her impersonation of Sarah Palin.

Friday, April 1, 2011

May Book Choices!

It's time to vote for the May book!

Room by Emma Donoghue | Harcover, 321 pages

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski | Paperback, 562 pages

Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose remarkable gift for companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong friend and ally. Edgar seems poised to carry on his family's traditions, but when catastrophe strikes, he finds his once-peaceful home engulfed in turmoil.

Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the Sawtelle farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who accompany him, until the day he is forced to choose between leaving forever or returning home to confront the mysteries he has left unsolved.

Filled with breathtaking scenes—the elemental north woods, the sweep of seasons, an iconic American barn, a fateful vision rendered in the falling rain—The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a meditation on the limits of language and what lies beyond, a brilliantly inventive retelling of an ancient story, and an epic tale of devotion, betrayal, and courage in the American heartland.

Little Bee by Chris Cleave | Paperback, 271 pages

We don't want to tell you what happens in this book.
It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it.
nevertheless, you need to know enough to buy it, so we will just say this:

This is the story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind of choice we hope you never have to face. Two years later, they meet again - the story starts there ...

Once you have read it, you'll want to tell your friends about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens. The magic is in how the story unfolds.

This might be one of our easier choices...I know everyone has been dying to read Room! I'll be hosting the May meeting.

April is National Poetry Month!

Have you signed up for your free poem-a-day?

You could also sign up for free poems from Daily Lit. I'm getting free email installments of Emily Dickinson.
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