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Books - Reading Lists and Reviews by Janice Boling


Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler


By Stephanie Danler

What a nice surprise. Bittersweet is the story of a young woman's entrance to a tight knit group of service workers and the tales of their ups and downs. I loved becoming a part of New York City's late-night scene, the tasteful wine appreciation lessons, and getting a good look into the restaurant business. The whole trip was fascinating.This insightful book gets a top rating from me so read it as soon as possible. You won't be disappointed. Visit Stephanie Danler's website.


Shanghai Girls and Dreams of Joy


Shanghai Girls / Dreams of Joy
By Lisa See

Shanghai Girls is a trip to another time and another culture. I enjoyed Shanghai Girls so much that I couldn't wait to read Dreams of Joy. Now I have a much greater understanding of the Chinese people, their tastes, their mannerisms, their foods, and their history. The strong female characters, Pearl, May, and Joy, bring everything to life in ways that a good book should -- great characterization, interesting plot. Thanks Lisa See for two great reads. Visit Lisa See's website.


In Other Words


In Other Words
By Jhumpa Lahiri

Choosing a book by it's cover

I picked this book from Union County Library's "new" book section because it says "Winner of the Pulitzer Prize" on the cover.

When given the choice, I choose prize winners, figuring they have at least been edited by a professional. Plus the cover photo hinted at a look into another culture besides my own. The dark haired girl on the cover was definitely not a southern belle. Maybe Indian? Spanish? Or possibly Arabian?

Author Jhumpa Lahiri

Author Jhumpa Lahiri won The 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her collection of short stories titled "Interpreter of Maladies".

Ms. Lahiri's newest book "In Other Words" is the story of a young woman determined to speak and write in a foreign language -- Italian -- for no reason and for many reasons. What makes the book remarkable? Through simple language, the writing is astonishingly honest. On every page, I feel joy and pain. I lose myself in the reading.

In Other Words

Absorbing the chapters, glimpsing the way our brains twist around a new language is fascinating. It is especially interesting to me because of my failed attempts. I study Latin, French, and Spanish but never even come close to writing or speaking anything but English. Jhumpa Lahiri accomplishes an admirable feat and so I salute her.

I would like to thank Jhumpa Lahiri for letting me peak into her journey. Please, Jhumpa! Do not erase one word.

Dual language format

The book is printed in a dual language format. Although autobiographical, "In Other Words" does not fit into any genre. It stands out from the crowd.

Read more about Jhumpa Lahiri.



A stack of books - reviews by Janice Boling




Be sure to read these books (old and new, mostly fiction):

The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman

Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb

Surrendered by Chang Rae Lee

Eve by Wm. Paul Young

My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout


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