Elisabeth likes language(s), poems silly and serious, art of all kinds, and politics. Frequently deep in a book and missing her bus stops, she mostly just wants to know what YOU’VE been reading and what you think of it.
Sarah Ruhl is a mom and a screenwriter. While we, during the pandemic, have tried to figure out how to communicate wearing masks, Ruhl writes about her experience with lingering Bell’s Palsy, a disease that paralyzed half of her face. What happens when we don’t look like ourselves, when our facial expressions don’t accurately portray our emotions, and when we don’t have control over what is revealed? Ruhl writes with disarming self-deprecation, honesty, and humor. She is authentically herself. Whether describing joy and love or questioning and frustration, Ruhl’s writing touches both head and heart. To read this is to discover someone who is very human.
I love this book! (And full disclosure: I have volunteered and do some part-time work for Elderwise.) Recognizing the WHOLE person in ourselves and others, The Elderwise Way promotes a path of aging that is meaningful and loving. Where many see loss, The Elderwise Way sees opportunities for engagement, encourages us to savor the moments we have with frail elders and each other, and helps prepare us for what is next. The book speaks to us all - family members, friends, and care professionals.
How we influence each other every day! Maya Duran, an Istanbul University administrator, meets Max Wagner, an elderly German Catholic who returns to Istanbul to bring closure to his past. An unexpected story of deep love unfolds amid glimpses of Turkish political, cultural, and religious life. It’s easy to see why Livanelli is one of Turkey’s most popular writers and cultural figures.
Bump writes from his own childhood experience on the South Side of Chicago. It’s a heartfelt story with familiar themes of family, love, and growing up, but from a completely unique voice – one that will endear you to main character Claude McKay and one that needs to be heard.
Pair it with Margo Jefferson’s Negroland a memoir, also about growing up, decades earlier and in another part of Chicago, as an affluent African-American. Two illuminating and unforgettable portrayals of race in the U.S.
As Fuller says, the stories in this book remind us that "clear minds and generous hearts are scouring the world for the fragments that might connect and heal us."
THE book to anchor holiday discussions with family and friends. REALLY. What resonates? What doesn't? What do you currently do? What could you do? Snyder lays out 20 tangible ways to move forward in the 21st century. Read. Discuss. Act.
Given news from Syria in recent years I was hesitant to read this book, not believing that a story about a beekeeper could capture war, loss, and devastation. Once I started reading, the chapters flowed into one another with a pace matched only by the intensity of Nuri and Afrah’s journey as they fled Syria. This book, informed by Lefteri’s refugee volunteer work with UNICEF in Athens, Greece and her own experience as a daughter of Cypriot refugees, makes you stay up late or miss your bus stop (or both!). If we are lucky, our hearts will ache and grow, love and mourn, grieve and be more open than before.
For anyone who follows current events, Samantha Power tells a riveting, personal and poignant story. She details her Irish upbringing, emigration at age 9 to the U.S., and her journey as a student, activist, journalist, and academic prior to becoming Special Assistant to the President and then US Ambassador to the UN under the Obama administration. With humor, self-deprecation, and sobering descriptions of how policies, decisions, and relationships are forged at the highest levels of government and diplomacy, she recounts difficult personal, public health, and political issues she and often times many others tried to address. At the foundation is her idealism and the growing realization that while we may not be able to fix everything, we must do our best.
Be prepared to glide across time, distance, and families in Regina Porter’s debut novel. Her writing has rightly been described as “effortless” and is a joy to read. You come to know well two families, one black and one white, and how related they (and we all) are. As I marveled at her ability to portray each family member so deftly, I wondered– what would happen if she spent a week with my extended family?!
At the heart of this historical fiction is the lifelong friendship of two girls growing up in a matriarchal sea-diving community on the South Korean Island of Jeju.
While Korean (and world) history envelops the island we get a glimpse of a remarkable community of women that really exists and is not long for this world. Choices we make and how and IF we forgive are explored.