Jamie Ford creates a poignant recollection of history with his debut novel, "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet". Henry Lee is a recent widower living in Seattle's Chinatown. The year is 1986, and yesterday's memories have assumed a place in the present with the re-opening of the majestic Panama Hotel. Artifacts found in the basement of the old hotel transport Henry back to 1942 when he was a student at Rainier Elementary serving lunch to his classmates alongside his Japanese friend Keiko Okabe. The twelve year olds attend the school on scholarship, and the
Billie Breslin decides to leave college and move to New York City, where she has an interview for a job as an assistant to the editor of the prestigious food magazine Delicious. Billie’s amazing ability to name all the ingredients in a dish by only tasting it, amazes the staff and secures her the position. It doesn’t take long for Billie to realize that she not only loves her job, but is also beginning to love the large, eccentric magazine family. Sadly, not long after she is hired, the magazine is abruptly shut down by the current owner.
There aren’t that many authors that I love. Jonathan Carroll is one of them.
Carroll writes what inevitably ends up being labeled fantasy, but is really simply our lives and emotions expressed more clearly and intriguingly than our workaday world allows for. The mutable nature of reality and the down-to-earth approach to cosmic revelations recall the works of Philip K Dick.
“Every time a human walks out of a room, something with more feet walks in.” While this might not be comforting to most people, it is a fact of life in this fantastical Victorian world, created by the award-winning author Richard Peck, where human events are often mirrored in, or perhaps mirror, what happens in the mouse kingdom.
This simple board book stars a sad looking fish and a pink sea creature who tells him not to be worried, not to be sad, not to be scared and not to be mad. It turns out all the fish needed was a little smooch, and he becomes a smiley fish again. This basic book is perfect for babies and toddlers, and teaches that smiles can be found with just a little encouragement.
This charming picture book originally published in France in 2013 is about a little girl who believes she has "superpowers". She can make things disappear (like cupcakes), make plants stop moving, and become invisible when something breaks in the house. One day she falls while "flying" and her superpowers disappear. Just like that. And her knee starts to hurt and she starts to cry. Then she learns that her mom has superpowers too! Magic kisses can make things all better again. A very pleasant book about a child and love for a parent.
This story is about four “food bloggers”, each with their own personal struggles. The four women met through their blogs and have become good friends, each helping the other get through traumatic events in their lives. Soon they will all be meeting for the first time face to face at Lavender’s birthday party.
Lavender is the 85 yr old owner of the thriving Lavender Honey Farm, in Washington State. With failing health, Lavender is struggling to find someone to take over her beloved farm. Someone who will love it as much as she has and keep it going after she is gone.
Sweeping tale of an African woman, Aminata Diallo, who is kidnapped near her village, at the age of 11, and sold into slavery in the United States. The story spans 60 years of Aminata's life from Africa to the US, then Canada, back to Africa and ending in England, where Aminata writes down her story for the Abolitionist movement in 1803, hoping to bring an end to the slave trade.
This picture book first published in the Netherlands is a gem. I loved it from the very first spread--a drawing of a bird opposite of the word yearning. Followed by hoping, expecting, marveling--each showing a beautiful bird in a stage of parenting. Each spread consists of a word opposite a bird--and the pages with words become increasingly more complex in design. When I got to the final page, letting go, I was so impressed with the beauty of the book. Mies Van Hout is becoming one of my favorite author/illustrators.
“Storywoods” blog creator Rebecca Dudley uses her expert photography and multi-media diorama art in this beautiful wordless picture book story featuring Hank, a sweet little animal of the woods. While on a walk, Hank finds an egg on the ground beneath a bird’s nest. When he fails in his valiant attempts to return the egg to the nest before nightfall, Hank cares for the egg and keeps it warm until he can try again the next day. This time, he has some help, and makes new friends as a result.
"The Rosie Project" by Graeme Simsion is best described as delightful, funny, and quirky. The central character, Don Tillman, has a reputation for being a rigid, highly scheduled, socially inept, and brilliant genetics professor at an Austrailian university. Tillman is single, 39 years old, and due to his social limitations, sees himself with no prospects for love. He moves to solve this dilemma through the development of an idea he dubs The Wife Project. The Wife Project involves a 16 page, double sided question
In 1950s New Orleans, Josie Moraine dreams of escaping the Big Easy and attending Smith College in Massachusetts. Unfortunately for her, this is an especially difficult task. Josie is the daughter of a French Quarter prostitute with a penchant for trouble. Josie's mother, Louise, fancies herself to be a gangster's moll and frequently gets Josie entangled in her mistakes.
A.J. Fikry is a miserable man. His wife died tragically, his bookstore is struggling and now his prized possession, a rare edition of Poe’s Tamerlane has been stolen from his apartment. The sale of that book was what was going to get A.J. off this island some day. Now A.J. is stuck on Alice Island, where he has alienated most of the population with his superior attitude and bad disposition. Everything changes for A.J. when a mysterious bundle is left in his bookstore one night. This small bundle gives A.J.
August (Auggie) Pullman is different from other ten year old kids. Born with a rare congenital condition resulting in startling facial deformities, he has a not so ordinary face that invites curiosity and criticism, as well as compassion. He leaves the bubble of his loving and safe home-schooled environment to attend fifth grade at Beecher Prep in New York City. For one year, readers follow Auggie as he stumbles through the minefields of adolescence: vulnerable in a school culture where being different is an oddity not
Phryne Fisher didn’t intend to solve crimes; as a flapper she was enjoying wealth and free time after a childhood of hunger and deprivation. After many parties and dancing, shopping and theater trips, her boredom and restlessness made her wonder what to do with her life. A daring jewelry theft during a high-society ball causes her to spring into action and brilliantly solve the crime, and a detective is born. One of the guests, impressed by her intelligence, asks Phryne to help find out what is going on with her daughter Lydia, who fears she is being poisoned.&
Pippi Longstocking is available as a comic! Over several four page spreads, Pippi's stories are told. You learn about her strength, her bad manners, her oddities, and all of her friends. You meet Pippi's father, the king of the Kurrakurradootas on Kurrakurradoot Island. The illustrations and stories are charming and this is a good introduction to Pippi for children who are not quite ready for the novel yet. Don't miss the other comic, Pippi Moves In.
Definitely a compulsive read. The book opens in a London courtroom where we learn the narrator, Yvonne, is on trial for an as-yet unknown crime. The story is presented as though Yvonne is writing a letter to her partner in an adulterous relationship. Although she doesn’t intend to mail it, she is using this method to process the events that transpired between them. This psychological thriller is quite different from what I usually read, but I absolutely loved it and never wanted to put it down.
I am a huge fan of Jodi Picoult, but haven't been thrilled with her last few books. This one was a game changer for me. Jodi is back in full form! This book completely enthralled me. I particularly enjoyed reading Minka's perspective of the holocaust and life as a Jew inside of occupied Poland and the concentration camps. I did not want to put it down and had a few late nights while reading this book! If you love historical fiction or Jodi Picoult, I do not think you would be disappointed. Great read!
Words With Wings, by the author of the Dyamonde Daniel series for young readers, is about a girl named after a creature with wings, the angel Gabriel. Gabriella loves to daydream, and daydreaming helps her cope with her parent's recent divorce. However Gabby still craves her mother's and her teacher Mr. Spicer's approval. Gabby tries to stop daydreaming, but Mr.
“Yawns are sneaky. They can creep up on you when you least expect them.” And--yawns can lead to pajamas, bedtime stories, lullabies and tucking in—whether you’re ready or not! The book serves as a witty warning for all those readers who are definitely not ready for bed, with challenges to resist anything cozy, cuddly, sleepy or snuggly. But, also heed my warning: this book will make you yawn, not because it’s boring, but because--as author Hélène Boudreau knows all too well--yawns are contagious! This charming funny book with the lively, distinctive ca
LilyAnn’s hopes and dreams died when her boyfriend was killed in Afghanistan. Eleven years have passed since his death and the former Homecoming Queen is now withdrawn, slightly pudgy and working as a drug store clerk. LillyAnn is convinced that she already had her one true love in her life and lost him so she is done with men. That is bad news for her next door neighbor Mike, who has loved her for his whole life. He has spent the last 11 years trying to make LillyAnn notice him as something more than her best friend.
Two young girls, growing up in Charleston, South Carolina during the early 1800s, struggle to find their wings along the divergent paths they have been allotted in life. Sarah Grimke is the daughter of a wealthy Southern judge while Hetty "Handful" Grimke is the spunky slave presented to Sarah as a "gift" on her eleventh birthday by a domineering mother. Sarah reluctantly welcomes Handful into her life. Finding the practice of slavery distasteful, she uses the opportunity to teach the young black girl how to read and write. Sarah also de