Another great read from Kimberly

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

hawkKimberly says: “I borrowed the audio version of this from hoopla while I was doing some gardening and it kept me riveted for days. Macdonald is an effective reader of her own memoir–her British accent lending itself perfectly to the setting. She recounts the sudden loss of her father, her desire to raise a goshawk named Mabel, and her childhood fascination with birds, falconry, and T.H. White’s book The Goshawk. It is a good deal of material for one slim book, but she weaves all these threads beautifully. Her descriptions of grief are insightful and just about everything she describes relating to hawks was completely new information to me. It was fascinating.”

to read a sample of the ebook, click here


Reading a place and a people – Kimberley’s August suggestion

The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books by Azar Nafisi

republic imagination coverKimberly says: “Azar Nafisi makes a compelling case for the importance of reading fiction in order to enjoy and maintain a free and open society. As a new American citizen, Nafisi illustrates her interest and her engagement with key American novels. The section on Huckleberry Finn is particularly interesting as she weaves her own personal story with Huck’s journey down the Mississippi. Just like Reading Lolita in Tehran, the book is interesting and readable, even if you have not read all the texts that she references.”

To read a sample of the ebook, click here.

Kimberly’s June Suggestions

Jerusalem:  A Cookbook
by Yotam Ottolenghi‎ and Sami Tamimi

jerusalem cookbook coverPlenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking
from London’s Ottolenghi
by Yotam Ottolenghi

plenty more coverKimberly says: “In addition to extra-special recipes and beautiful photography, these two cookbooks offer highly readable story and content. Yotam Ottolenghi is a London super-chef who works magic with vegetables. His recipes include exotic ingredients and some very interesting combinations. In Jerusalem, he offers personal insights and along with his co-author Tamimi touches on the connections and variations between the Jewish and Arab cultures of the region. Who knew that hummus could elicit such varied responses!”

Kim’s March Recommendation

Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto

galvestonKim says:  “Last winter I was riveted to the screen watching True Detective on HBO.  I am still waiting for the re-tooling of the series with a whole new cast of characters.  In the meantime, I found creator and writer Nic Pizzolatto’s first novel, Galveston.  Set in New Orleans and East Texas, the novel is populated with criminals and other broken characters.  Like he did in True Detective, the author pulls you into a dark world where goodness and compassion struggle to find a footing.  I read it in one long night.”

3 Similar Reads

Breaking the Rules by Barbara Taylor Bradford – “When a psychopath with deadly intent vows to shatter M’s world forever, the muse and star model to France’s iconic designer Jean-Louis Tremont will break the rules to protect her family and her life.” – Summary from catalog

Echo Burning by Lee Child – “Carmen Greer wants out of a bad marriage, but it’s going to be tricky. Her abusive husband, Sloop, is in prison on an IRS beef; he’s due out soon, and he knows it was Carmen who turned him in to the feds. Faced with losing her daughter to Sloop and his full-pockets Texas family, Carmen takes to auditioning hitchhikers for the job of killing her husband. She winds up with ex-military cop Jack Reacher.” – Booklist

The Confession by John Grisham – “When Travis Boyette is paroled because of inoperable brain tumor, for the first time in his life, he decides to do the right thing and tell police about a crime he committed and another man is about to be executed for.” – Summary from catalog

Kimberly’s January Recommendation

life animatedKimberly says:  “The author is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who beautifully turns his hand to his own family.  Suskind and his wife (a new heroic model for me) enter the world of Autistic Spectrum Disorder, the special needs community, and the wide world of Disney following the diagnosis of their younger son, Owen.  It’s a story of intimate family moments and larger ideas.  Owen who retreats into a confusing non-verbal world watches and rewatches Disney animated movies.  Through the power of these movies and the dedicated, sacrificial love of his family Owen learns and grows.  The book is inspiring and highly readable.  Suskind strikes an optimistic chord, but does not sugar-coat the struggles.”

3 Similar Reads

A Real Boy:  A True Story of Autism, Early Intervention, and Recovery by Christina Adams – “When Adams’ son, Jonah, at just over two-and-a-half, was diagnosed with autism, she was told that time was of the essence. Early, aggressive intervention would provide his only chance at realizing any semblance of a normal life. Luckily, she and husband Jack had the energy, time, and resources to spring into action.” – Booklist

Following Ezra: What One Father Learned About Gumby, Otters, Autism, and Love for His Extraordinary Son by Thomas Fields-Meyer – “A heartwarming and hopeful memoir of a father’s experience raising his autistic son. When his son Ezra was diagnosed with autism, Tom Fields-Meyer knew little about parenting and even less about neurological disorders. This intimate memoir chronicles his remarkable experiences of learning and growth from the time Ezra was diagnosed at age three to his bar mitzvah at thirteen.” – Publisher’s description

Beautiful Child by Torey Hayden – “A crisply analytical depiction of one year in a special education classroom. Hayden’s approach is straightforward and heartwarmingly compassionate not only in its portrayal of the relationships she developed with her students, but also in its appraisal of a philosophical conflict with her teacher’s aide and the effect this had on the functioning of the students.” – School Library Journal

Kim’s December Recommendation

Kim says: “If you care about animals you will find this memoir interesting and touching.  Jon Katz has written books and blogs about his experiences on a farm in upstate New York, mostly chronicling the life of his many dogs.  This will take you inside the life and heart of a very special donkey.  Along the way he offers observations and insights into other relationships–both animal and human.”

3 Similar Reads

Dogtripping by David Rosenfelt – A moving and funny account of a cross-country move from California to Maine, and the beginnings of a dog rescue foundation.

Animal Magnetism: My Life With Creatures Great and Small by Rita Mae Brown – The bestselling author shares the lessons she’s learned from a parrot, a courageous Doberman, a horse, a tough tiger cat, and other marvelous creatures as well as her deep appreciation for them.

Sergeant Rex: The Unbreakable Bond Between a Marine and his Military Working Dog by Mike C Dowling – Filled with harrowing tales of knife-edge bomb-detection work, including an extraordinary baptism by fire, Sergeant Rex is a heart-pounding account of how an unbreakable human-canine bond helped Mike and Rex to stay focused on their mission and save countless lives.

Kimberly’s November Recommendation

Lila by Marilynne Robinson

Kimberly says :

“There are very few literary works of fiction that cover such theological territory as the nature of existence, prayer, eternity, and Christian faith.  It is a wonderful testament to the Pulitzer prize-winning Robinson that after reading this novel, I decided to re-read the Book of Ezekiel.  This is her third book set in the small town of Gilead, Iowa concerning the Reverend John Ames, his family and neighbors. His wife Lila is the focus and heart of the book.  Her astonishingly difficult early life and her attempts to reconcile her experiences to her new world once married to Reverend Ames are told in beautiful Midwestern images and extended theological conversations alongside of Lila’s simple uneducated voice. I found it both thought-provoking and moving.”

Similar Reads

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Little Wolves by Thomas James Maltman

Abide With Me by Elizabeth Strout