In 1939, sixteen-year-old Philip Hutton-the half-Chinese, half-English youngest child of the head of one of Penang's great trading families-feels alienated from both the Chinese and British communities. He at last discovers a sense of belonging in his unexpected friendship with Hayato Endo, a Japanese diplomat. Philip proudly shows his new friend around his adored island, and in return Endo teaches him about Japanese language and culture and trains him in the art and discipline of aikido. But such knowledge comes at a terrible price. When the Japanese savagely invade Malaya, Philip realizes that his mentor and sensei-to whom he owes absolute loyalty-is a Japanese spy.
Paperback 5/09 (Mark)
Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I., is the sole survivor of a tragic family incident. With her strict African American grandmother as her new guardian, Rachel moves to a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring a constant stream of mixed attention her way. As she attempts to come to terms with an unfathomable past, she confronts her own identity as a biracial young woman in a world that wants to see her as either black or white.
Hardcover 2/10 (Jody)
It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it.
Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this:
It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific.
The story starts there, but the book doesn't.
And it's what happens afterward that is most important.
Once you have read it, you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.
Hardcover 3/10 (Stewart)
Moonlight Over Pearl: Ten Stories From Aspen is a collection of fictional short stories representing divergent expressions of Aspen, from the rich culture of an urbane mountain town to dramatic aspects of mountain living. Within these stories, nature exerts a powerful force, both vital and lethal, setting a unique stage for personal transformation. These describe real people and real places, offering a portrayal of lives well lived, minds enriched by ideas, bodies attuned to the mountains, and of spirits elated by it all. This volume is the first collection of fictional short stories ever published about Aspen, and it fills an important niche in Aspen's bibliography.
Hardcover 3/10 (Carol)
The Rest Is Noise is a work of immense scope and ambition. The idea is not simply to conduct a survey of 20th-century classical composition but to come up with a history of that century as refracted through its music…With its key figures reappearing like motifs in a symphony, The Rest Is Noise is a considerable feat of orchestration and arrangement…a great achievement. Rilke once wrote of how he learned to stand "more seeingly" in front of certain paintings. Ross enables us to listen more hearingly.
Hardcover 3/10 (Margaret)
Back in Chicago after a disastrous European love affair, socialite Pauline Cook finds her finances nearly depleted, her co-op a shambles, and her best friend mysteriously missing—vanished along with Pauline's cat. Though Whitney Armstrong's husband offers a substantial reward for the return of his lost wife, Pauline can't help suspecting that his grief is merely an act. But it's a shocking suggestion by a member of Whitney's book club that really gets Pauline moving—halfway around the world, in fact, to Thailand . . . in spite of a psychic's warning of terrible danger.
Paperback 3/08 (Carol)
One rainy evening, Mari, a downtrodden 17-year-old who helps her demanding mother run a seedy seaside hotel, overhears a middle-aged male guest ordering an offended prostitute to be silent. In the days that follow, every word—both spoken and conveyed in surreptitious letters—from this man, a hack translator who may have killed his wife, gradually and inexorably leads Mari to submit to his every sadistic desire. Ogawa’s relentlessly spare prose captures both Mari’s yearning for her lost father and the translator’s bipolar oscillation between insecure tenderness and meticulously modulated rage.
Paperback 3/10 (Carol)
Only now, with the publication of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, the third novel in the late Stieg Larsson's immensely popular Millennium trilogy, can we fully appreciate the Swedish writer's achievement. The trilogy ranks among those novels that expand the horizons of popular fiction…the novel fully lives up to the excellence of the previous two and…brings the saga to a satisfactory conclusion.
Hardcover 5/10 (Margaret)
NY Times Review
The Major leads a quiet life valuing the proper things that Englishmen have lived by for generations: honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. But then his brother's death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their...
Hardcover 2/10 (Jody)
When Heshel Rosenheim, apparently suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, hands his son, Michael, a box of moldy old journals, an amazing adventure begins–one that takes the reader from the concentration camps of Poland to an improbable love story during the battle for Palestine, from a cancer ward in New Jersey to a hopeless marriage in San Francisco. The journals, which seem to tell the story of Heshel’s life, are so harrowing, so riveting, so passionate, and so perplexing that Michael becomes obsessed with discovering the truth about his father.
A prime number is a lonely thing. It can be divided only by itself or by one; it never truly fits with another. Alice and Mattia are both “primes” — misfits who seem destined to be alone. They are haunted by the childhood tragedies that mark their lives and find themselves unable to reach out to anyone else. When the two meet as teenagers, they recognize in each other a kindred, damaged spirit.
Hardcover 3/10 (Jane)
June Han was only a girl when the Korean War left her orphaned; Hector Brennan was a young GI who fled the petty tragedies of his small town to serve his country. When the war ended, their lives collided at a Korean orphanage where they vied for the attentions of Sylvie Tanner, the beautiful yet deeply damaged missionary wife whose elusive love seemed to transform everything. Thirty years later and on the other side of the world, June and Hector are reunited in a plot that will force them to come to terms with the mysterious secrets of their past, and the shocking acts of love and violence that bind them together.
Hardcover 3/10 (Carol)