Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini

Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini

This is a painfully moving picture books for adults and older teens, a poem written by Hosseini and illustrated by the very talented Dan Williams. The poem is a prayer spoken at night by the father of a young boy with whom he plans to cross the Mediterranean in an overcrowded raft to get to […]


Marriage of a Thousand Lies by S J Sindu

Marriage of a Thousand Lies by S J Sindu

According to Lucky, a young Tamil-American, “There’s a saying in Tamil that a thousand lies can make a marriage.” Lucky/Lakshmi is the wife of Kris/Krishna. They are both gay in a marriage that makes her acceptable to her family. His family has already rejected him. The lie is slowly killing Lucky who wants her family […]


Why We Sleep by Matthew P. Walker

Why We Sleep by Matthew P. Walker

Much of the stuff I thought I knew about sleep has had a major and often surprising up-date within the last decade or so due to the ever-increasing sophistication of brain imaging techniques (MRIs and the like). In his very readable book, Walker, a neuroscientist, reveals how some of the huge questions we have had […]



A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

Hadia is the good girl, first-born and wanting to please her father, aiming for medical school to make him happy. Plain-spoken Huda, the middle child, adores her older sister and does not make waves. Amar, the son, questions everything. These first generation Pakistani-American children struggle to find peace and their place within the traditions of […]


What Should Be Wild by Julia Fine

What Should Be Wild by Julia Fine

Both specific and vague, this chilling modern fairy tale revolves around a cursed family living in an old mansion next to a mysterious wood. Over the centuries, several women in the family have entered the forest and disappeared.  Maisie is the last in the line, having unintentionally killed her mother before her birth, gestating in […]


Dragon Springs Road by Janie Chang

Dragon Springs Road by Janie Chang

1908 Shanghai As the last Chinese dynasty collapses, a young mixed race girl awaits the return of her mother, hiding in the Western Residence of the house on Dragon Springs Road. Using Chinese magical realism and gritty historical detail, author Janie Chang tells the coming of age story of young Jialing, from that time awaiting […]


The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

“Ester, do not rue your lack of freedom.” Ester, however, burns to be free, to reason freely, to write. Helen, approaching forced retirement from her English university History Department, discovers a cache of 350 year old letters hidden under the stair of a 17th century house. In deciphering them, she is thrilled to realize that […]


The Afterlife of Stars by Joseph Kertes

The Afterlife of Stars by Joseph Kertes

Robert is 9.8 years old. He’s just learned decimals in school but along with his family must flee Hungary from the pressing Russians. He and his adored older brother Attila, 13.5 and much more sophisticated than his younger brother, head by train to Paris with their parents, grandmother and one sack each. During the journey, […]


The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

Death, joy, outrage, and courage abound in this riveting tale. Faced with the beginning of the Chicago AIDS epidemic, how does one continue to live? The sufferers confront the government’s indifference, Cook County Hospital’s limited number of available beds, lack of effective drugs, ACT UP and its protests, the devastation in the gay community, the […]