The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W. Darrow – Drawn from Darrow’s upbringing, the story of Rachel, daughter of an African American father & a Danish mother, who survives a family tragedy, but has to learn to navigate the complexities of racism.
How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway – The story of a Japanese war bride, her American daughter, and their challenging relationship.
Still Alice by Lisa Genova – A compelling novel of a celebrated Harvard professor who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, and struggles to tell her own story.
Saying CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman – Set in the Deep South during the ‘60s as the racial tensions are unfolding, the story of a young girl with a tragic past, taken to Savannah to start a life surrounded by strong women.
The Calligrapher’s Daughter by Eugenia Kim – In early twentieth century Korea, Najin Han, the privileged daughter of a calligrapher, is sent to serve as a companion to the princess, only to see the monarchy crumble after the king’s assassination.
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok – Emigrating with her mother from Hong Kong to Brooklyn, Kimberly Chang begins a secret double life as an exceptional schoolgirl during the day, and sweatshop worker at night.
Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez – Four slave women, their masters’ mistresses, meet when the masters vacation at the same summer resort in Ohio, where they see free slaves for the first time, and hear rumors of abolition. In their final summer in Ohio, they all have a decision to make. Will they run?
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson – A set-in-his-ways retired British officer tentatively courts a charming widow of Pakistani descent, leading to tension between the generations and cultures.
Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai by Ruiyan Xu – Injured by a gas explosion that renders him incapable of speaking Chinese, a Shanghai businessman struggles to communicate using faltering English learned during childhood, and finds his marriage strained.
The Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas – A historical novel set in 1877 in an Ottoman outpost recently overrun by the tsar’s troops. A girl who stows away with her father, who sells carpets, enters the rich, overflowing world of the imperial capital, observing a grand empire heading toward its end.
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon. Nonfiction. As the Taliban took over Kabul, and women could no longer work or attend school, the economy shuddered to a halt. To support her family, Kamila Sidiqi began making clothes at home – and soon built up a business that now sustains 100 neighborhood women.
And, one for arm-chair travelling – Book Lust to Go by Nancy Pearl – Recommended reading for more than 120 destinations around the world, fiction and nonfiction.
Now, if you read my blog regularly, you also know I seldom read literary fiction. Since they have read a few mysteries, I added a short list of mysteries I had read. (And, I told them this is my preferred reading.)
Australia – Blood Moon by Garry Disher – The police department in Waterloo, on the Peninsula, southeast of Melbourne, have to deal with Schoolies Week, when students who finished their twelfth year exams party in the coastal communities, along with cases of a missing woman, and a beaten chaplain. Disher has won the Ned Kelly Award for Best Australian Crime Novel.
Canada – Still Life by Louise Penny – The award-winning traditional mystery that introduced Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Súreté du Quebec, and the charming town of Three Pines, a town that harbors secrets.
England – Death of a Cozy Writer by G.M. Malliet – The award-winning traditional mystery, featuring Det. Chief Inspector Arthur St. Just, and his assistant Sergeant Fear, is set in an isolated manor, in a snowstorm, with a murder.
South Africa – Random Violence by Jassy Mackenzie – After ten years, a private investigator returns home to Johannesburg, South Africa, finding a dangerous city, “the crime capital of the world,” where carjackings are common, and it’s only safe to live behind barriers.
United States – The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson – The first mystery by the award-winning author who excels in character development, beginning with Sheriff Walt Longmire of Absaroka County, Wyoming. This case involves the murders of young men who received suspended sentences for raping a Cheyenne girl with fetal alcohol syndrome.
Definitely my favorite work day for December!