Maeve Binchy’s storytelling techniques are wonderful and well known by her peers. This book is her last one as she died last July and after reading it, I think it is one of her best stories. “A Week in Winter” is about Chicky Starr who comes home from America with her secrets. She decides to renovate an old stone house by the Atlantic Sea into a welcoming and comforting small hotel with the help of some of her friends and relatives. I found myself immersed into the main story and liking all of her characters to the point where I could not put down the book. For those of you who enjoyed “Circle of Friends” , this is a must read as the characters are enchanting. “A Week in Winter “ is truly a nice read.
The story is told in the voice of an 11yr old boy as he boards a ship in Colombo bound for England. At mealtimes he is seated at the “cat’s table” – as far from the Captain’s Table as he can be. Here he meets 2 other boys and a group of “insignificant” adults. As the narrative moves between the decks and holds of the ship and the boy’s adult years it tells a story that is entertaining, mysterious, magical, and heartfelt. Ondaatje’s style is innovative and emotional and leaves you with a feeling of experiencing something amazing.
(I listened to some of the book on audio which is read by the author who really makes you feel like you are witnessing the story.)
This book takes a look at how we’ve become estranged from nature and the cultural shifts that led to a dramatic rise in extinctions. The author travels to several different areas of the world that have been touched by extinction and traces the mindset that caused the destructiveness. She also proposes a path of redemption.
This is the story of Anne Morrow Lindbergh. She was the shy daughter of a diplomat, a graduate of Smith College and the wife of Charles Lindbergh. From Charles' famous exploits to the kidnapping of their infant son through the reclusive life they were forced to live because of being hounded by the press, this is a fictionalized but fascinating account of Anne's life and how she dealt with all of it. Anne was an accomplished pilot herself and the first female licensed glider pilot, but first a wife and mother and this eventually brought her into conflict with her husband. A very readable book which brings to life a very interesting historical couple.
Gin was raised in backwoods Oklahoma by her fundamentalist Christian grandfather. She escapes by marrying hometown hero, Mason McPhee. He takes a job with an oil company in Saudi Arabia and Gin's life changes in ways that she could not have foreseen. This is an interesting picture of an expat's life in Saudi Arabia in the late 60's. Ultimately, can you go home again and do you want to?
Will had the perfect life - young and attractive with a great job, beautiful women and fantastic, extreme vacations. One rainy day, he has a tragic accident that leaves him a quadriplegic. Louisa has lived her whole life in a small town and seems content with her limited horizons. When Louisa comes to work for Will as a caretaker, both of their lives will change forever. He has given himself 6 months before he will commit suicide. Louisa is determined to make him change his mind. But... can she and should she?
Broome is the Professor of Moral History at Oxford University and a member of Working Group III, the UN's leading international group for assessing climate change and effects of global warming. He cuts through the political stalement to offer a balanced new model for action. He reasons clearly through what morality requires (and doesn't require) of us, both as private citizens and governments. Exploring concepts of goodness and justice, he demonstrates how we can apply both to climate change. Not an easy read but very timely and thought provoking.
A young Appalachian woman who has settled for a life of disappointment, witnesses an event on her farm that has a profound impact on herself and her family's future. Written with first-hand knowledge of the science involved and the emotions that drive its belief and denial, Kingsolver has written a timely book that deals with one of the most important subjects of our lifetime.
“For August “Auggie” Pullman, being treated as an ordinary kid would be his greatest wish, but his facial deformity makes ordinary seem like an extraordinary feat. A beautiful humanistic portrayal of courage in the face of adversity and how friendship and acts of kindness really are powerful and wondrous. I couldn’t stop reading this book!
Luciano, a street urchin living in Renaissance Italy, is taken in by the doge’s chef, Maestro Ferrero, and trained to be an apprentice. While serving under the chef, Luciano learns that the doge and other powerful men in Italy are searching for a book rumored to contain alchemy formulas and potions for love and immortality. He begins to wonder if there is more to the chef’s recipes than just culinary delight. The engaging tale is like a blend between Like Water for Chocolate and the DaVinci Code.