Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mother Daughter Me

Insightful, sensitive memoir following the
journalist Katie Hafner as she progresses through her experimental living arrangements with her 77 year old mother and 16 year old daughter. Katie, widowed at a young age, and her mother, recently separated from Norm find themselves cohabiting for the first time in many, many years. While she has always maintained contact with her mother, Katie has desperately craved more closeness, approval and love than seemed available. After a challenging childhood, in which she struggled through her parents divorce, mother's alcoholism, many moves, many schools and much loneliness, Katie has desperately held on to the the desire for her mothers friendship. Needless to say this living arrangement is not easy. The authors reflection on her childhood, stepfamilies, adult relationships, work and parenting are honest, well written and far from whining. Instead of the 'woe is me' world many live in, Katie forges forward, searching for happiness, understanding and truth. I loved this memoir and was amazed how relatable these very basic needs are for everyone. Our upbringing, the memories we hold dear  and deep need for acceptance are across the board, across the globe more similar than we can readily imagine no matter what type of family one was raised in. Wonderful writer, wonderful memoir. Highly recommend this fabulous read! BUY TODAY! Mother Daughter Me: A Memoir

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats

By Jan-Philipp Sendker      This fable like story tells the
magical love story between Tin Win and Mi Mi set in Burma before WWII. The tale begins with Julia as she searches for her father, Tin Win, who has disappeared from New York leaving their small family mystified, sad and angry. When Julia discovers a long forgotten letter to a woman named Mi Mi she begins her journey to find her father or least the truth. She is befriended by a man in a small village who shares with Julia the tale of her fathers life and so begins the story within the story. The writing, translated from German, is beautiful and poetic. The morals and hidden meanings found through sounds, words and ones heart are what makes us who we are. The underlying truths allow people to share love and life with each other, a deep desire we all share yet hide, bury and refuse to face in light of the everyday rules we have created for our society. I love this story and all it stands for. It is a quiet, slow read. A simple story you will think about long after the book ends. And I believe thats the point. BUY TODAY!! The Art of Hearing Heartbeats

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mrs. Poe

By Lynn Cullen   Take a trip back in time, to New York City,
circa 1845. The literati consists of every famous name, the very core of American literature. Poets, writers, artists and those that surrounded them. Their reputations could be made or broken on a whim of gossip or assumed impropriety. Francis Osgood, a beautiful poet married to artist/portraitist Samuel Osgood, a scoundrel by every definition of the word, befriends the new poet on the scene whose fame is growing at a rapid pace, none other than Edgar Allen Poe. Their friendship is one filled with longing and desire, their instant connection exposed in letters and poetry is both frowned upon and envied. This group of eclectic intellectuals are of a class that must adhere to social niceties at all costs. Mrs. Poe, Virginia, is very ill, frail and sad. She is the first cousin of Poe that he married when she was only 13 yrs old. Her strange and lonely mother Mrs. Clemm is her caretaker and obsessed with both Poe and Virginia's happiness. It is hard to know who is a friend and who is an enemy. Reminding me of the fabulous novel American Bloomsbury (By Susan Cheever) author Lynn Cullen brings these details back to life, these amazing figures back to the very center of American Literature. The imagination and sensuality all the more mesmerizing because these historical characters have touched our lives whether we are aware of it or not. Highly recommend this excellent read. Could not put this one down!! BUY TODAY!!!  Mrs. Poe

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Lowland

By Jhumpa Lahiri    Sudhash and Udayan Mitra. Two brothers
growing up in Calcutta. As children Sudhash and Udayan are inseparable but when adulthood approaches, the brothers closeness begins to unravel. It is the early 1970's and the country is in the midst of a revolution. Udayan becomes swept up in communist activities and secrets between the brothers build an unsurmountable wall. Both incredibly bright scientists, Sudhash is offered an opportunity to study for a graduate degree in America, in Rhode Island. The physical distance resembles the emotional one already tearing the brothers apart. A wife, a child and a lifetime of regret follow these characters through decades of love, loss, loneliness and familial responsibility. Once again, this authors' prose reads like poetry. Ms. Lahiri draws the reader into the epicenter of life deep inside a family. She details the responsibilities and traditions that hold them together and later tear them apart. Though its a rather sad quiet story, the words are mesmerizing and details are vivid. Highly recommend this new novel by this beloved author, as I will once again patiently wait for her next to arrive. BUY TODAY!!  The Lowland

Monday, October 7, 2013


By Curtis Sittenfeld   Daisy (Kate) and Vi (Violet) are identical
twins living in St. Louis, Missouri. Since a young age Daisy and Violet have both known that they had "senses", senses that other kids didn't possess. As youngsters this seemed exciting but by middle school and highschool when kids try hardest to fit in, being labeled witches became a status Daisy longed to escape yet Violet embraced. Years later at 34, Kate has renamed and recreated herself, married to Jeremy with two beautiful children she tries to live the most normal life possible. Violet has become a full time psychic making this ability her lifes work. Having endured a difficult past with their depressed mother the girls share a love/hate relationship and care for their elderly and lonely father. This novel focuses around Vi's latest earthquake prediction while reflecting and exploring the complicated sisterland they still share. Sisterland was unexpectedly quirky and filled with lovable characters. The author quickly draws you into the arms of this family and frankly I could not put this book down. I was unsure of the subject matter and it unexpectedly captured my imagination immediately, do not miss this read.  Highly recommend BUY TODAY!!!   Sisterland: A Novel

Thursday, October 3, 2013


By Sandi Krawchenko Altner     Ravenscraig begins in a poor
village in Russia. It is the late 1800's and the czar has ordered the destruction of a Jewish village once again. The Zigman family, struggling to survive has made the brave decision to escape their brutal existence in Russia and travel to Zevs father who awaits them in Canada. Even though the journey is risky and they will be separated for a long period of time, the family believes they will be together again and find the peace and happiness they desperately seek. The Willows family is on their way up. Rupert Willows has reinvented himself and is enjoying one success after another as Winnipeg grows by leaps and bounds. His unending desire for wealth and celebrity nourishes his scheming, shallow ways and he will not stop until he's reached the top. Over many years and many miles, these two families live and love, win and lose and their paths cross in the most unexpected ways. From the pogroms of Russia, the exciting growth of Winnipeg all the way to the maiden voyage of the Titanic, this novel spans across generations of families, friendship, and survival. Highly recommend this captivating novel which is rather long but completely enjoyable the entire way through. Do not miss this page turner filled with inspirational characters and the simplest of themes, hope. BUT TODAY!! Ravenscraig