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Rebecca's head has been buried in a book since her first day of first grade, when she finally learned how to connect letters in the alphabet. It wasn't long after that when she started writing her own stories, and now she helps others write and edit their own. At the store, search her out if you need help picking out a memoir. Aside from books, her passions are lindy hop and blues dancing, hiking and camping, and whale watching. And oh, she’s sometimes been found pawing through the trash to separate recyclables.
This poignant memoir may have been birthed from grief, but the heartbreaking bits are intricately balanced by the beautiful telling of a Sicilian love story. Tembi Locke, an African American actress, meets Saro, a Sicilian chef, while studying abroad in Italy. His family does not approve of the marriage. Regardless, they forge a new life together in the U.S., but their union ends prematurely when Saro is diagnosed with cancer. It is not until his death that Tembi manages to ease her way into being accepted by his Sicilian town and family. This book is an honest exploration of finding one's way again after a painful loss-through food made "from scratch.
Bourdeaut's first novel packs a punch.It will make you burst into laughter, and then tears, but will leave you grateful for the ride. The story follows an eccentric family living in a Parisian apartment and is told from the perspective of a young boy whose mother is grappling with a degenerative mental illness, and a husband whose love for her only compounds over time. It's hard to believe the novel was translated from French, as its wit and rhyme cleverly shine through. Already a bestseller in France, this gem of a story and family will have English-speaking readers falling in love with it as well.
Revealing the "secret" lives of three generations of Palestinian women living in America, this brave new novel exposes the female experience in a culture where a woman not having the same privileges as a man is taken to what feels like an extreme. Sadly, it is the reality for many. This is not a book about desperation, however, but rather about hope. Each new generation dares to dream a little bit further.
This engaging biographical novel brings the larger-than-life character of Josephine Baker to the forefront of the reader's imagination. Although the singer/dancer/activist wrote memoirs of her own, restrictions of the era and a Hollywood agenda prevented them from being honest. This book reveals what the others did not, including her early years of poverty and abuse in St Louis, Missouri and her years as a French Resistance spy during World War II. Baker helped paved the path for the women's and social justice movements of today, and this book beautifully illustrates that journey.
Upstream opens with the author standing on the Seattle waterfront, observing a ferry embark for Bainbridge Island, while on his way to Pike Place Market to witness the season's first Copper River salmon and the pandemonium it creates. Throughout the book, Cook traces the history of this iconic fish from the extinct runs of Europe and the Atlantic to the remaining few wild runs from Alaska to Puget Sound, and down the coast of Oregon. He explores the significance of salmon to Native Americans, the reliance of more than one hundred species of animals that rely on salmon as a food source, and the imperiled future that awaits not just those species, but the entire ecosystem should we lose this critical source of nutrients for our forests and streams. Cook presents a thorough, timely reminder of how much we have to lose and what we have to gain by restoring habitat that both salmon and humans need to thrive.
Leigh Calvez introduces readers to eleven different species of owls - animals she considers to be "in the world, but not of the world." Deeper than standard science writing, the book reflects upon the intersection between humans and threatened animals. Humans may be responsible for their loss of habitat, for example, but through citizen science we can also play a part in their survival. Anyone not already enthralled with these majestic birds will be after this thoughtful read. We may also do well to take some of Calvez's new-found owl wisdom to heart: "Take time to sit and observe," and "Be patient. Eventually something will move."
Little Bee is a timely, heartwarming (and at times, heartbreaking) story told from two perspectives, the most profound voice being that of a young, female Nigerian refugee living in London, UK. The prose sometimes reads like poetry, contributing to the emotional impact of this brutal, but beautiful, novel.