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The Light and the Dark
This book forced me to reflect on the question of why I read books. The opportunity to be transported, explore ideas or experiences in different ways, ...more
Mar 28, 2014
Mar 22, 2014
Structured on the Mexican game of Loteria, each chapter was tied to one of the 54 cards. It was through each card/chapter that the 11-year old narrato ...more
Jan 06, 2014
Jan 05, 2014
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
The author compiled stories from North Korean defectors and used their experiences to create a picture of life in the most closed country in the world ...more
May 31, 2012
May 27, 2012
State of Wonder
Dr. Singh, a researcher for a pharmaceutical company, is tapped by the CEO to travel to the Amazon to track the progress of a new fertility drug in de ...more
Aug 28, 2011
Jun 02, 2011
Year of Wonders
This novel chronicled one woman's experience living in an English village during the plague and provided a context for the reactions of the community ...more
Oct 13, 2014
Aug 12, 2012
Reading this book felt like a perfect northern Minnesota vacation - a few adventures, quirky people, stunning beauty and lots of time for thoughtful r ...more
Nov 08, 2014
Aug 25, 2014
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
The life that Louie Zamperini lived was simply amazing. He was an Olympic athlete who joined the Air Force during WWII and his plane crashed in the Pa ...more
Oct 13, 2012
Oct 03, 2012
After rereading "Waiting for the Barbarians", I was reminded how much I appreciate J.M. Coetze's ability to write about the implications of oppression ...more
Mar 26, 2011
Mar 25, 2011
With a humorous edge, this book told the story of an uninspired tech geek whose work involved trolling his company's email system for inappropriate co ...more
Jul 2014
Mar 08, 2014
The Sound of Things Falling
This novel explored the way in which the past lives with us in the present. Set in Colombia in the mid-90s during the height of drug-related violence ...more
May 21, 2014
May 13, 2014
I cannot overstate how much I was drawn into the experience of reading this book, which is not as easy or apparent as it may seem. The authors created ...more
Mar 2014
Nov 24, 2013
Orphan Train
Following the story inside a story motif, the book told the story of Molly, a present day teenager in the foster care system who completed community s ...more
Nov 2013
Sep 17, 2013
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
The author applied her journalism skills to her own life by examining an abrupt decline in health that started with paranoia and erratic behavior and ...more
Feb 12, 2014
Dec 29, 2013
What Alice Forgot
After sustaining a head injury, a 39-year old wife and mother of three children lost the last 10 years of her memory. Her life at 29 involved a happy ...more
Jun 07, 2014
Apr 21, 2014
Gone Girl
I am not sure this would always receive a 4-star rating, but it perfectly matched the kind of book I was seeking in the moment. I was engrossed in the ...more
Nov 23, 2012
Oct 24, 2012
Tell the Wolves I'm Home
June, an awkward 14-year old, lost her beloved uncle, the one person who seemed to understand her. His death connected her in an unlikely way to his p ...more
May 06, 2014
Jan 15, 2014
A Thousand Splendid Suns
"A Thousand Splendid Suns" is the second book by Hosseini that centers on modern Afghanistan. Readers of "The Kite Runner" will hold memories of the p ...more
Jan 2009
Jan 08, 2009
Life After Life
I loved the experience of reading this book. The author removed the conventional constraint of linearity and delved into an authentic exploration of f ...more
Apr 18, 2014
Jul 08, 2013
The Barbarian Nurseries
Books in which the setting becomes as vibrant as the characters is a pure literary treat, and Hector Tobar achieved this in his story of LA projected ...more
Nov 2013
Feb 26, 2013
This is Where I Leave You
Over the course of one week of sitting shiva for Judd Foxman's father, the full dysfunction of his family was spilled out in the pages of the novel wi ...more
Mar 14, 2014
Jan 15, 2014
Road Fever
This is pure travel literature candy. I have an affection for adventure travel stories in which travelers pursue risky goals and endure challenging co ...more
Feb 28, 2011
Feb 19, 2011
American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House
Biographies of American presidents are not usually on my reading list, but an observation that I bear a familial resemblance to his image on an old $2 ...more
Feb 2009
Mar 28, 2009
Beautiful Ruins
Reading this novel was pure joy, in a way I had not anticipated. The novel toggled between a small Italian city on the Cinque Terre in the 1960s at th ...more
Jan 02, 2014
Oct 22, 2013
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)
The book has all of the trappings of a classic crime thriller mystery, a genre that rarely piques my interest, but the plot, setting and characters pu ...more
Sep 18, 2009
Sep 18, 2009
The novel centers on James, a new priest who is struggling to understand his relationship between the sacred and profane aspects of his life. Set in S ...more
May 23, 2012
May 20, 2012
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
In the hands of an exceptional writer, this work of nonfiction about a slum in Mumbai on the edge of the airport is compelling and heartbreaking. The ...more
May 25, 2012
May 20, 2012
Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)
I should know that when a book is nearly unanimously declared an awful attempt at erotica I should stay away. Lesson relearned.

The dialogue was prett
Jun 24, 2012
Jul 12, 2012
The Hundred-Foot Journey
Summer requires some enjoyable reading, and this book met that requirement. The story chronicles a restaurant-owning Indian family who moved to France ...more
Jul 2014
May 27, 2014
Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home
This memoir infuses Creole and French cuisine into a search for happiness. The author, who was orphaned as a child in Korea, struggles to find home an ...more
Sep 07, 2009
Sep 07, 2009
This memoir explores one woman's painful experiences growing up in Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Kenya. She recounted a myriad of excruciating experiences ...more
Jan 2009
Jan 28, 2009
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