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American Dirt by
American Dirt is the story of a woman and her son escaping from a powerful Mexican drug cartel. They run from Alcapulco to the American border, hiding from the longreach of the cartel. Cummin carefully researched before writing this novel; it humanizes the incredible struggle migrants from Central America and Mexico face when trying to get to "freedom," and exposes the ignorance of dismissing these people as "illegals."
Dreams of Joy, written by Lisa See, is the sequel to Shanghai Girls, although there is no need to read them in any kind of order. Dreams of Joy takes place during the Great Famine which happened during Mao's rule between 1959-1962. The main character is the daughter of one of the "Shanghai Girls." Her mother and aunt emigrated to the US, and now Joy decides to return to China because she believes the propaganda she hears in her college Communist group. She goes to China to "rebuild" in a collectivist way, and when she arrives, her passport is taken away. The novel centers on the hardships Joy faces as China's ideals slip away. Over 36 million people died in China's Great Famine. An incredibly well researched and gripping story.
Emmanuel enjoyed Learning by Heart: An Unconventional Education by Tony Wagner
Tony shared some of his personal journey as an educator.
It resonated with him, that trial and error, resilience, and respect for the individual, is at the very heart of all teaching and learning.
Learning by Heart by
Tony Wagner is an eminent education specialist: he's taught at Harvard and MIT; done significant work for the Gates Foundation; and speaks across the USA and all over the world. But before he found his success, Tony was kicked out of middle school, expelled from high school, and dropped out of two colleges. Learning by Heart is his powerful account of his years as a student and teacher. His story is one that sheds light on several critical issues facing today's educators and parents, and reminds us that trial and error, resilience, and respect for the individual, is at the very heart of all teaching and learning.
Emmanuel also read:
- When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
- Indian No More by Charlene McManis
- No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert
- Under the Broken Sky by Mariko Nagai
- No Surrender: The Land Remains Indigenous by Sheldon Krasowski
A Gentleman in Moscow
If you are a fan of Dr. Zhivago, you will enjoy this 30-year Russian saga. Count Rostov is an unrepentant aristocrat who, in 1922, is sentenced to house arrest in an attic room of the Metropol, Moscow's most luxurious hotel. Intriguing characters, descriptive scenes, and loads of laughs.
A Gentleman in Moscow by
In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery. Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count's endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.
Rules of Civility
It is New Years Eve, 1937. Katey Kontent is a 20 something secretary sitting in a Greenwich bar, trying to make a couple of dollars last a long time. In comes Tinker Gray, a handsome banker, and the next year of her life is forever changed. New York City (and its upper echelons) in its glory and demise.
Rules of Civility by
From the New York Times-bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow, a "sharply stylish" (Boston Globe) book about a young woman in post-Depression era New York who suddenly finds herself thrust into high society--now with over one million readers worldwide On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker, happens to sit down at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a year-long journey into the upper echelons of New York society--where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve. With its sparkling depiction of New York's social strata, its intricate imagery and themes, and its immensely appealing characters, Rules of Civility won the hearts of readers and critics alike.
A Visit from the Goon Squad
I discovered this novel on a list of the best books of the last decade and it did not disappoint. It is one of the most creatively constructed books I've read, but unlike others that are hailed for their play with form, this on is actually very readable and highly engaging throughout. Each chapter tells a piece of the narrative from not only a different character's perspective, but thoughtfully adopts every different narrative point of view at some point to great effect. It is everything all at once in the best possible way.
Before the Fall
This is not your typical thriller. It has an engaging structure and some thoughtful philosophical moments scattered throughout but I'm left slightly dissatisfied by the outcome. Much like its focus on NYC lifestyles of the rich and famous, there's a lingering emptiness in the redeeming end. Maybe that's the point.
People of the Book
As a Humanities teacher, I very much appreciate this recommendation from my school librarian - a book which traverses the fictional history of book. It show how the story is not just in it's text but all that is unintentionally left on its pages in its journey through time.
Talking to Strangers
The Great Gatsby
The Rule of Four
A Visit from the Goon Squad by
Publication Date: 2011-03-22
NATIONAL BESTSELLER National Book Critics Circle Award Winner PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist A New York Times Book Review Best Book One of the Best Books of the Year:nbsp;Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, The Daily Beast, The Miami Herald, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Newsday, NPR's On Point, O, the Oprah Magazine, People, Publishers Weekly, Salon, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, Slate, Time, The Washington Post, and Village Voice Bennie is an aging former punk rocker and record executive.nbsp;Sasha isnbsp;the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Here Jennifer Egan brilliantly reveals their pasts, along with the inner lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs. With music pulsing on every page, A Visit from the Goon Squad is anbsp;startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption.
Mr. Chaddock enjoyed The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
One of the earliest detective novels in English literature, The Moonstone was still gripping, hard to put down, and fun over 150 years later. Collins is a master of the “known unknown”, presenting unexplained actions or events that demand to be uncovered or explained, and then building, building, building slowly to the reveal.
The Moonstone by
The Moonstone, a priceless Indian diamond which had been brought to England as spoils of war, is given to Rachel Verrinder on her eighteenth birthday. That very night, the stone is stolen. Suspicion then falls on a hunchbacked housemaid, on Rachel's cousin Franklin Blake, on a troupe of mysterious Indian jugglers, and on Rachel herself. The phlegmatic Sergeant Cuff is called in, and with the help of Betteredge, the Robinson Crusoe-reading loquacious steward, the mystery of the missing stone is ingeniously solved.
Mr. Chaddock also read:
Erasure by Percival Everett
Hate Inc.: Why Today's Media Makes Us Despise One Another by Matt Taibbi
Neuromancer is Mr. John's favourite because he enjoyed being taken to a fantasy world that let him escape our current fantasy-like world.
Call Number: F GIB
Winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards, Neuromancer is a science fiction masterpiece--a classic that ranks as one of the twentieth century's most potent visions of the future. Case was the sharpest data-thief in the matrix--until he crossed the wrong people and they crippled his nervous system, banishing him from cyberspace. Now a mysterious new employer has recruited him for a last-chance run at an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, a mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case is ready for the adventure that upped the ante on an entire genre of fiction. Neuromancer was the first fully-realized glimpse of humankind's digital future--a shocking vision that has challenged our assumptions about technology and ourselves, reinvented the way we speak and think, and forever altered the landscape of our imaginations.
Troublesome Young Men by
A riveting history of the daring politicians who challenged the disastrous policies of the British government on the eve of World War II On May 7, 1940, the House of Commons began perhaps the most crucial debate in British parliamentary history. On its outcome hung the future of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's government and also of Britain--indeed, perhaps, the world. Troublesome Young Men is Lynne Olson's fascinating account of how a small group of rebellious Tory MPs defied the Chamberlain government's defeatist policies that aimed to appease Europe's tyrants and eventually forced the prime minister's resignation. Some historians dismiss the "phony war" that preceded this turning point--from September 1939, when Britain and France declared war on Germany, to May 1940, when Winston Churchill became prime minister--as a time of waiting and inaction, but Olson makes no such mistake, and describes in dramatic detail the public unrest that spread through Britain then, as people realized how poorly prepared the nation was to confront Hitler, how their basic civil liberties were being jeopardized, and also that there were intrepid politicians willing to risk political suicide to spearhead the opposition to Chamberlain--Harold Macmillan, Robert Boothby, Leo Amery, Ronald Cartland, and Lord Robert Cranborne among them. The political and personal dramas that played out in Parliament and in the nation as Britain faced the threat of fascism virtually on its own are extraordinary--and, in Olson's hands, downright inspiring.
The Ambassador's Daughter by
For one woman in the aftermath of World War I, the City of Light harbors dark secrets and dangerous liaisons. Paris, 1919. Margot Rosenthal has arrived in France with her father, a German diplomat. She initially resents being trapped in the congested capital, where she is still considered the enemy. But as she contemplates returning to Berlin and a life she hardly knows anymore, she decides that being in Paris is not so bad after all. Bored and torn between duty and the desire to be free, Margot strikes up unlikely alliances: with Krysia, an accomplished musician with radical acquaintances and a secret to protect; and with Georg, a naval officer who gives Margot a job--and a reason to question everything she thought she knew about where her true loyalties should lie. Against the backdrop of one of the most significant events of the century, a delicate web of lies obscures the line between the casualties of war and of the heart, making trust a luxury that no one can afford.
Year of Wonders by
"When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated mountain village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna's eyes, we follow the story of the plague year, 1666, as her fellow villagers make an extraordinary choice. Convinced by a visionary young minister, they elect to quarantine themselves within the village boundaries to arrest the spread of the disease. But as death reaches into every household, faith frays. When villagers turn from prayers and herbal cures to sorcery and murderous witch-hunting, Anna must confront the deaths of family, the disintegration of her community, and the lure of a dangerous and illicit love. As she struggles to survive, a year of plague becomes, instead, annus mirabilis, a "year of wonders.' Inspired by the true story of Eyam, a village in the rugged mountain spine of England.
So good. So eye opening in a lot of ways. So good as an educator, I think. I cried the whole time.
This Is How It Always Is by
This is how a family keeps a secret...and how that secret ends up keeping them. This ishow a family lives happily ever after...until happily ever after becomes complicated. This ishow children change...and then change the world. This is Claude. He's five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl. Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They're just not sure they're ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude's secret. Until one day it explodes. Laurie Frankel's This Is How It Always Isis a novel about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it's about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again, parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts, children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don't get to keep them forever.