Here are some more titles that members of the Readers Advisory team have recently enjoyed:
The Eye of Jade Diane Wei Liang
The hero of Liang’s debut novel is Mei Wang, Beijing’s first female detective. When her uncle hires her to find a piece of Jade pottery from the Han dynasty, Wang uncovers political turmoil in both old and new China. Set in the 1990s, Eye of Jade treats the reader to wonderful descriptions of Beijing and fascinating cultural information. Read-alikes include Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Series and Elizabeth Lowell’s series on jewels.
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Lisa See
Story chronicles the lives of nineteenth Chinese women with compelling historical detail of their friendships and total submission to their mothers-in-law and men ~ Carefully defined class distinctions ~ A poignant tale with a touch of suspense .
The Chameleon’s Shadow Minette Walters
Psychological thriller about a British lieutenant’s return home from Iraq and the devastating effects of war on his personality ~ Not this Edgar-Award winning author’s best, but the reader becomes deeply involved in the characters’ lives and cares about them.
Consumption Kevin Patterson
Patterson’s beautifully written novel takes place in a remote Alaskan village that is gradually becoming exploited for its natural resources ~ Victoria is a beautiful Inuit woman torn between her family and the modern/progressive “North.” As the novel’s heroine it is her life that mirrors the costs of cultural assimilations and its emotional toll on all involved.
Water for Elephants Sara Gruen
Story told in flashback by ninety-something Jacob Jankowski as he recalls his thrilling and often harrowing experiences with a traveling circus during the Great Depression. Though the ending is somewhat contrived, Gruen’s book illustrates the dependency between animals and humans and the hardships endured by young American men during the thirties and forties.
The Road Cormac McCarthy
Haunting, barely hopeful story of a father and son’s journey of survival in a post apocalyptic nightmare ~ McCarthy’s lean prose heightens the aura of devastation that permeates the novel and he forces the reader to ponder the slight thread existing between civilization and savagery.
A Thousand Splendid Suns Khalid Hosseini
An incredible chronicle of three decades of Afghan history played out in the lives of two women married to the same husband, and the eventual friendship that blossoms between Mariam and Laila ~ Another haunting classic from bestselling author Hosseini.
The Infidel Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Internationally renowned Ali recalls her early life in a traditional Muslin household in Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Kenya to her intellectual awakening and political activism in the Netherlands.
Burned Ellen Hopkins
Gripping story related in verse-form about a young girl reared in a fundamentally religious family, yet she, her mother and siblings suffer greatly at the hands of their abusive father/husband ~ No solutions are offered, but when Pattyn’s is sent away for the summer, she does experience love, acceptance and respect as a person.
Nickel and Dimed: On (not) Getting By in America Barbara Ehrenreich 305.569 EHR
Dated yet eye-opening account of how Americans have been become financially trapped ~ Rendered with humor and empathy, Ehrenreich’s book explores the lives of the “working poor” who continue to struggle to make ends meet despite working long hours.
Orphans Preferred: The Twisted Truth and Lasting Legend of the Pony Express
Christopher Corbett 383.143 COR
It’s 1860 and the year of the Pony Express ~ A well researched and yet still tongue-in-cheek look at the myths and legends that abound with the service ~ Interesting facts about the America West, gold miners, Buffalo Bill Cody and much more are presented in this slice of Americana.
Siddhartha Herman Hesse
Hesse’s classic novel blending Eastern mysticism and Jungian psychoanalysis attempts to depict life as a journey of self-discovery, reconciliation, harmony and eventual peace with one’s self and the universe.
- Shawshank Redemption November 19, 2013
- Music, seen November 29, 2013
- Melody Makers November 29, 2013