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Best books at my local public library
Reviews by Janice Boling added weekly

Some books do not fit into my categories so I put them here.


Anansi Boys
By Neil Gaiman

A introverted, timid man, who is really the son of African spider god Anansi, becomes involved in a tale of intrigue unlike any other since the days of the ancient Greeks. Charlie, reunited with brother Spider, is about to be picked up and set outside his comfort zone. With an array of out-of-this-world characters, The Anansi Brothers is suspenseful and romantic. Visit Neil Gaiman's website for more information.

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Shanghai Girls
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 a great read. Visit Lisa See's website.

Shanghai Girls is available in print or online in audio format at GADD (Georgia Download Destination).

Dreams of Joy by Lisa See

Dreams of Joy
By Lisa See

After you read Shanghai Girls, you will want to read Dreams of Joy which continues the saga of immigrants Pearl, May, and Joy. The descriptions of the Chinese people, their hardships, suffering, and hopes for happiness are so moving, you feel like crying and laughing along with them. Parts of this book deals with the horrors of living under Mao Tse-tung in Communist China. One scene is set in a remote village where insane agricultural policies are causing mass starvation and wiping out whole families by the millions. Hardly a word leaks to the rest of the world. Just like Shanghai Girls, Dreams of Joy let us become part of another culture -- at least in our minds. Both books make a lasting impression that is not easily forgotten. Dreams of Joy is available in print or online in audio format at GADD (Georgia Download Destination).



Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey

Parrot and Olivier in America
By Peter Carey

During the French Revolution, Nobleman and young lawyer Olivier de Garmont is sent to America by his mother to escape possible imprisonment or even a beheading. Parrot goes along posing as Olivier's servant. Together they learn that life in America is not quite what they imagined. Throw in some romance, treachery, and other plot twists and the book becomes a story that transports the reader to another time, another society, and another way of looking at life. For more information, visit Peter Carey's website.


In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri

In Other Words
By Jhumpa Lahiri

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 professionals. I am so glad I found this book! Author Jhumpa Lahiri won The 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her collection of short stories titled "Interpreter of Maladies" and her newest book "In Other Words" is also prize worthy. It 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. Absorbing the chapters, glimpsing the way our brains twist around a new language is fascinating. I have always had trouble learning a foreign language, but Jhumpa Lahiri accomplishes this admirable feat. I salute Jhumpa Lahiri for letting me peak into her journey. Please, Jhumpa! Do not erase one word. 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. Learn more about Jhumpa Lahiri.



The Barkskins by Annie Proulx

By Annie Proulx

Barkskins? A barkskin is a tree. Yes, this book is about trees and so much more. The epic tale spanning hundreds of years is more than a romance novel, more than historical fiction, more than an adventure story. After finishing the book, main characters, immigrants René Sel and Charles Duquet are as vivid in my mind as Davy Crocket and Jeremiah Johnson. This book is a tale of American beginnings in the Northeast and beyond – all the way to the shores of Europe and Australia . Author Annie Proulx is also the author of Postcards, Shipping News, and Brokeback Mountain, two of which have been made into award winning movies. Learn more about Annie Proulx.


Stack of books tied with a string

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