12-18-2007 02:33 PM - edited 12-18-2007 02:34 PM
The Patron Saint of Liars
Sadness, passion, faith, and laughter fill a home for unwed mothers. Set at St. Elizabeth's in Habit, Kentucky, this is the story of Rose, an obstinate, complex young woman fleeing her first marriage who seeks temporary sanctuary but instead finds a permanent place among the nuns when she decides to keep her child and marry the groundskeeper.
John Nickel is a black ex-jazz musician who only wants to be a good father. But when his son is taken away from him, he's left with nothing but the Memphis bar he manages. Then he hires Fay, a young white waitress, who has a volatile brother named Carl in tow. Nickel finds himself consumed with the idea of Taft -- Fay and Carl's dead father -- and begins to reconstruct the life of a man he never met. But his sympathies for these lost souls soon take him down a twisting path into the lives of strangers.
The Magician's Assistant
A secretive magicians death becomes the catalyst for his partner's journey of self-discovery in this enchanting book (San Francisco Chronicle) that is something of a magic trick in itself -- a 1990s love story with the grace and charm of a nineteenth-century novel (Newsweek).
Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening -- until a band of gun-wielding terrorists breaks in through the air-conditioning vents and takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different countries and continents become compatriots.
Truth & Beauty
In her critically acclaimed memoir, Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy wrote about the first half of her life. Here, the story isn't Lucy's life or Ann's life but the parts of their lives they shared together. This is a portrait of unwavering commitment that spans 20 years. Through love, fame, drugs and despair, this is what it means to be part of two lives that are intertwined. It's a tender, brutal book about loving the person we cannot save. It is about loyalty and about being lifted up by the sheer effervescence of someone who knew how to live life to the fullest.
Additional Recommended Reading
Autobiography of a Face
At age nine, Lucy Grealy was diagnosed with a potentially terminal cancer. When she returned to school with a third of her jaw removed, she faced the cruel taunts of classmates. In this strikingly candid memoir, Grealy tells her story of great suffering and remarkable strength without sentimentality and with considerable wit. Vividly portraying the pain of peer rejection and the guilty pleasures of wanting to be special, Grealy captures with unique insight what it is like as a child and young adult to be torn between two warring impulses: to feel that more than anything else we want to be loved for who we are, while wishing desperately and secretly to be perfect.
To Kill a Mockingbird
At the age of eight, Scout Finch is an entrenched free-thinker. Her wise lawyer father, Atticus, is a man of unfaltering good will and humor, and partly because of this, the children become involved in some disturbing adult mysteries: fascinating Boo Radley, who never leaves his house; the terrible temper of Mrs. Dubose down the street; the fine distinctions that make the Finch family "quality"; the forces that cause the people of Maycomb to show compassion in one crisis and unreasoning cruelty in another.
The Secret Life of Bees
Sue Monk Kidd
Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her harsh, unyielding father, Lily Owens' only real companion is the fierce-hearted black woman, Rosaleen, who acts as her "stand-in mother." When Rosaleen insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily knows it's time to spring them both free. They take off to another town, where they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters named May, June, and August. Lily thinks of them as the calendar sisters and enters their mesmerizing secret world of bees and honey, and of the Black Madonna who presides over this household of strong, wise women. Maternal loss and betrayal, guilt and forgiveness entwine in a story that leads Lily to the single thing her heart longs for most.
The Human Stain
It is 1998, the year in which America is whipped into a frenzy of prurience by the impeachment of a president, and in a small New England town, an aging classics professor, Coleman Silk, is forced to retire when his colleagues decree that he is a racist. The charge is a lie, but the real truth about Silk would have astonished even his most virulent accuser.
Message Edited by Jessica on 12-18-2007 02:34 PM