Creepy and atmospheric: Sue’s October suggestion

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

thirteenthReclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent six decades writing a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author’s tale of gothic strangeness — featuring beautiful and willful Isabelle, feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.

Modern romance: Emily’s October suggestion

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

azizFor years, stand-up comedian and actor Aziz Ansari (Parks and Recreation) has been aiming his comic insight at modern romance, but for Modern Romance, he decided to take things to another level. He teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg and the two designed a massive research project, including hundreds of interviews and focus groups conducted everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita. They analyzed behavioral data and surveys, and enlisted the world’s leading social scientists; the result is unlike any social science or humor book we’ve seen before. In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world.

to read a sample of the ebook, click here

Beyond human: Dana’s September suggestion

Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins by Susan Casey

voiceHumans have long felt a kinship with the dolphin, an animal whose playfulness, sociability, and intelligence seem to mirror our own. We’ve learned that dolphins recognize themselves, count, grieve, rescue one another (and humans), adorn themselves, deduce, seduce, and call themselves by name. We still have much to learn about their sophisticated navigation and communication, and complicated brains.

While swimming off the coast of Maui, New York Times bestselling author Susan Casey found herself surrounded by a pod of spinner dolphins. The profoundly transporting experience inspired a two-year global adventure to explore dolphin’s natures, and their complex relationship to humanity.

to read a sample of the ebook, click here

On tidying up & sparking joy: Joanna’s September suggestion

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

life changingFrom USA Today: “Kondo challenges you to ask yourself whether each object you have is achieving a purpose. Is it propelling you forward or holding you in the past?”

Joanna says: “I listened to this book on Hoopla and enjoyed every minute! This is not your typical home organization or housekeeping book. In this short guide, Kondo strongly urges to readers to keep only items/objects in our homes that ‘spark joy’ and to discard the rest. Kondo offers tips, based on the Japanese tenets of home organization, on how to purge items from the home and establish a lifestyle that will ultimately allow us to derive joy and happiness from what we keep in our homes.”

to read a sample of the ebook, click here

The Golden Age’s lost generation: Lisa’s September suggestion

Villa America by Liza Klaussmann

villaA tale based on the real-life inspirations for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night finds expats Sara and Gerald Murphy sharing freewheeling days, hosting glamorous parties, and hiding heartbreaking secrets in the 1920s French Riviera.

It was, for a while, a charmed life, but beneath the sparkling veneer, the Murphys are heartbreakingly human. When a tragic accident brings Owen, a young American aviator who fought in the Great War, to the south of France, he finds himself drawn into this flamboyant circle, and the Murphys find their world irrevocably, unexpectedly transformed.

to read a sample of the ebook, click here

What would Erica Jong read?

Erica Jong, perhaps best known for her debut novel Fear of Flying, has just written a new book: Fear of DyingHer latest both follows up on and expands the world of Isadora Wing, focusing instead on Isadora’s best friend, Vanessa Wonderman. The New York Times recently asked Jong (who has also published several collections of poetry, meditations on the writing process, and novels that take place outside of Isadora’s world) for her top ten favorite books; the list ranges from classics of women’s literature, to political memoir. Here’s a glimpse of what Erica Jong would read (for the rest, click through to the New York Times.)

  1. A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz: “A marvelous autobiography of a writer.”
  2. To the End of the Land by David Grossman: “A novel that explores the Israeli-Arab problem better than any I have read.”
  3. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath: “A young woman suffers a breakdown while pursuing her dream of being a magazine editor. Plath made it possible for women to confront our anger and make literature out of it. She made it acceptable to declare our rage.”
  4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë: “A younger woman comes to serve as governess in an English country manor — and falls for the mysterious owner of the house. There is so much about this book that was revolutionary. You have a heroine who is plain, but she’s clever. Also, Jane is a woman who speaks her mind — she doesn’t lie to please the establishment, or to please men.”
  5. Home Before Dark by Susan Cheever: “A wonderful biography of a father by a daughter who is just discovering who her father was.”

Across oceans, disasters, and time – Christine’s September suggestions

My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki

meatsA cross-cultural tale of two women brought together by the intersections of television and industrial agriculture, fertility and motherhood, life and love—when documentarian Jane Takagi-Little finally lands a job producing a Japanese television show sponsored by an American meat-exporting business, she uncovers some unsavory truths about love, fertility, and a dangerous hormone. Soon she’ll also cross paths with Akiko Ueno, a beleaguered Japanese housewife struggling to escape her overbearing husband. My Year of Meats is a modern-day take on Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle for fans of Michael Pollan, Margaret Atwood, and Barbara Kingsolver.

to read a sample from the ebook, click here

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

zeitounThe true story of one family, caught between America’s two biggest policy disasters: the war on terror, and the response to Hurricane Katrina. Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun run a house-painting business in New Orleans. As Hurricane Katrina approaches, Kathy evacuates with their four young children, leaving Zeitoun to watch over the business. In the days following the storm he travels the city by canoe, feeding abandoned animals and helping elderly neighbors. Then, police officers armed with M-16s come to his home and arrest him. Zeitoun is a riveting account of one family’s unthinkable struggle with forces beyond wind and water.

to read a sample from the ebook, click here

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

daughterVoted greatest mystery novel of all time by the Crime Writers’ Association in 1990, Josephine Tey recreates one of history’s most famous—and vicious—crimes: Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard becomes fascinated with a contemporary portrait of Richard III that bears no resemblance to the Wicked Uncle of history. Could such a sensitive, noble face actually belong to one of the world’s most heinous villains—who may have killed his brother’s children to secure his crown? Or could Richard have been the victim, turned into a monster by the usurpers of England’s throne? The Daughter of Time is an ingeniously plotted, beautifully written, and suspenseful tale, a supreme achievement from one of mystery writing’s most gifted masters.

to read a sample from the ebook, click here