(Staff Favorites) Karen’s Picks
A HOPE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE SEA
Author Melissa Fleming, an advocate for refugees, tells this true incredible story of 19-year-old Doaa al Zamel’s escape from war-torn Syria. Her story represents millions of refugees who risk everything in their desperate search for a safe haven. With the refugee crises so much in the news, Dooa’s story is timely
A HOUSE WITHOUT WINDOWS
“A spellbinding story of murder,survival, sisterhood, and a mother’s love that illuminates the plight of women in Afghanistan.” Engrossing!
BEFORE THE FALL
A private plane with eleven influential passengers on board goes down in the ocean between Martha’s Vineyard and the mainland. Only two survive the crash, a down-and-out artist and a four-year-old boy. The circumstances of the crash lead experts to believe it was the result of sabotage. Each passenger is a suspect. The backstory of each of them is revealed throughout the book. A good mystery.
I laughed, I cried, and I fell in love with the two main “unloveable” characters in this wonderfully engaging novel. Noel, an orphan good at hiding his intelligence, is evacuated from London during the WWII Blitz and lands in a suburb northwest of the city. Vee, his new caretaker, is an unscrupulous, bitter woman.
DEEP DOWN DARK
The incredible story of the 33 miners trapped for 69 days in a collapsed Chilean mine. This survival story has been complied and told in its entirety for the first time. Through interviews Tobar tells what these men did to survive and their lives before and after this event.
WITHOUT YOU THERE IS NO US
A South Korean native, Ms. Kim’s knowledge of the Korean language and English lands her a teaching position in a school of science and technology teaching english to the boys of North korea’s elite. She presents a moving glimpse of life in the world’s most closed country where her every move is closely watched along with the privileged young men she calls “soldiers and slaves.”
A mystery has always surrounded the 1961 disappearance of Michael C. Rockefeller, the twenty-three-year-old son of Nelson Rockefeller. Michael was on a collecting expedition in New Guinea for the Museum of Primitive Art when he disappeared. Sensational stories circulated, fueling speculation and intrigue for decades. Hoffman retraces Michael’s steps traveling to the jungles of New Guinea and immersing himself in a world of former headhunters and cannibals.
SHAME AND THE CAPTIVES
In 1944 the largest and most violent prison escape of WWII took place in Australia. Keneally, author of Schindler’s List, expands upon this event and weaves his story around the local population and their interaction with the prisoners, a prison holding both Japanese and german prisoners of war. He pts a human face on captives and captors and the cultural differences of the men being held captive.
THE INVENTION OF WINGS
Sue Monk Kidd
When reading of the 1,000 women who have made important contributions to history, Kidd noticed the names of two women from Charleston on the list. Living in Charleston, she was curious as to why she had never heard of these women. With the help of journals, letters, newspaper articles and speeches, she imagines the life of sisters Sarah and Angelina Grimke, who were born into the power and wealth of the nineteenth century Charleston aristocracy. She imagines what life was like for the slaves owned by the Grimke family and how the sisters broke from their family, community, and church, becoming the first women abolitionists.
A CONSTELLATION OF VITAL PHENOMENA
In war torn Chechnya families in a small village struggle to cope when a neighbor “disappears” and his eight-year-old daughter becomes the target of a hunt by the military. The lives of three families in the village and a talented overworked doctor in a nearby hospital are intertwined in unexpected ways as the story develops. This is a beautifully written and powerful first novel by this author. I found myself re reading passages.