Summer Reading List for 2009

Summer Reading for 2009

Fiction suggestions:

Little Bee by Cleave ( a British couple meet two orphans running from Soldiers on a Nigerian beach – ablife changing encounter and very thought provoking. I cannot stop thinking about it, would we do the right thing under the gun? Told by one of the girls now living in a detention camp in England)

A Reliable Wife by Goolrick- (a man advertises for a “reliable wife” – the story begins at the their first meeting at the train station when he realizes she has lied, like a Daphne Du Maurier (?sp) story- it was a perfume I wanted to inhale)

Cutting for Stone by Verghese (*Cutting for Stone by Verghese- fantastic story set in Ethiopia, learned a lot about medicine & Ethiopia- nun & doctor have a conjoined twins & the drama unfolds)

The Commoner by Schwartz – ( a commoner marries into the Japanese royal family, historical fiction)

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Stein ( a lab who tells the story of his owners, set in Seattle)

The Likeness by French ( I so like this author, set in Ireland and clever, an undercover cop pretending to be  someone, finds the person she invented murdered and looks just like her…what does it mean)

Still Alice by Genova ( Brillantly told story about  a professor at 50 who develops Alzhiemers, you feel her dementia)

Honolulu by Brennert (Chronicles the lives of Asian immigrants some mail order brides who arrive in Paradise/ Hawaii to find it is not what it is portrayed to be. Tale of 4 women and their friendship, disappointments, dreams. Most of the Asian women carry the names their parents gave them to reflect their feelings about having a girl, names  like Anger, Regret, Pity….)

Beat the Reaper by Bazell fiction, fast read, man who was with the mafia goes into the witness protection project and becomes a doctor, but his cover is blown, fast paced-great beach book!

Hunger Games by Collins Hunger Games is one of the best books of 2009 written for 12 years old & up, but very definitely a GREAT Adult book to read. Hunger Games by Collins is set in a New America…
This is a gripping story set in a post apocalyptic world where a replacement for the United States demands a tribute from each of its territories: two children to be used as gladiators in a televised fight to the death. Katniss, from what was once Appalachia, offers to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, but after this ultimate sacrifice, she is focused on survival. With her partner Peeta, they demonstrate compassion in an inhumane situation. It is riveting!

Tsar’s Dwarf by Fogldort ( Fascinating book set in Sweden and Russia. Told by a Dwarf in Sweden, she narrates her story including how she was given as a gift to Peter the Great. She finds out that Peter collects dwarves and other “oddities”- he has a museum. Lots of Vodka used by all. Historical fiction)

Sarah’s Key by  De Rosnay   (two stories ( WWII & present), based on true facts about the rounding up of Parisian Jews in 1942 by French police not the Nazis- riveting and present day woman uncovering the facts)
The Help by Stockett ( Great historical piece about the early 1960s in the South and “the help” – black women who worked in white households. A young southern writer comes home and decides to tell their story of this southern town.)

Loving Frank by Horan- Historical fiction about a love affair between Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney- truly fascinating and I was shocked by the ending and the truth of the story! Great book club discussion book.

Olive Kittredge by Strout ( small town in New England, great character development and you love to hate Olive, quite a character- great book club book)

The Chosen One by  Williams   ( Story about a young girl living in a polygamist community and her flight from an arranged marriage written for young adults)

Shiver  by Stieflvater  (wow! I stumbled on this book and really could not put it down. It is about a girl named Grace who lives in Minnesota. As a child she is attacked by wolves, & one wolf saves her. Over the years she sees the wolf near her property and loves him from afar. Turns out he is a werewolf, and turns human during warm weather and back to a wolf when the temperature gets cold.)

A Wife’s Tale by Lansen- (interesting story about a woman waiting for her husband to come home from
work to celebrate their 25th anniversary, he never shows up and she goes on a journey to find him.
Forgot to mention she is morbidly obese, and you wonder is that why he left, but it so much more complicated- a great story about hunger, etc.)

The Unnamed by Ferris, about a man who has a condition where he
can’t stop walking until he drops from exhaustion –  fascinating.

Non Fiction suggestions

The Blue Sweater by  Novogratz (story of a woman who leaves banking to understand global poverty and how to tackle it. It begins with a sweater she had as a child which she gives away and finds it 10 years later being worn by a child in Africa…her name in the sweater.)

Columbine by Cullen  (the story about the Columbine massacre & the facts)

Crazy Love by  Steiner ( Woman with a secret, her husband beats her. A compelling read as you try to understand why she did not leave the abuse)

In the Land of Invisible Women by Ahmed (a female western educated doctor {British muslim} accepts a job in Saudi Arabia and enters the world of invisible women, a world apart.)

Infidel by Ali ( Excellent true story of a Somalian woman who eventually becomes a Dutch politician, gives an interesting overview of Islam in Africa and how it has changed from tolerance to intolerance)

Moduc by Helfer ( an elephant and a boy  their friendship over time and world travels endearing, informative, sad but uplifting)

Born in the Big Rains by Korn (true story about a woman who organized against female genital mutilation! Begins in Somalia…..)

Escape from the Deep by Kershaw  ( one of my all time favorite true stories…the only known escape from a sunken Submarine during WWII. These young sailors are amazing)

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