TRISH’S TOP PICKS


FICTION

A Fine Balance & Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry

This internationally acclaimed bestseller, set in mid-1970s India, tells the story of four unlikely people whose lives come together during a time of political turmoil soon after the government declares a “State of Internal Emergency.” Through days of bleakness and hope, their circumstances – and their fates – become inextricably linked in ways no one could have foreseen.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

The astounding story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world – and did. Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, “Atlas Shrugged” is unlike any other book you have ever read. It is a mystery story, not about the murder of a man”s body, but about the murder – and rebirth – of man”s spirit.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

This breathtaking story is set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years-from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding-that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. Chronicling three decades of Afghan history, it is a striking, heart-wrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love-a stunning accomplishment.

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

In this universal drama of family love and misunderstandings, Lawson ratchets up the tension with heartbreaking humor and consummate control as she tells the story of the Morrison family set in Northern Canada.

Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards

In 1964, when a blizzard forces Dr. David Henry to deliver his own twins, he immediately recognizes that one of them has Down Syndrome and makes a split-second decision that will haunt all their lives forever. He asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution and to keep her birth a secret. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child as her own. Compulsively readable and deeply moving, “The Memory Keeper”s Daughter” is an astonishing tale of redemptive love.

The Secret Book of Grazia Dei Rossi by Jacqueline Park

This is a sweeping tale of intrigue and romance set in a time rife with court politics, papal chicanery, religious intolerance, and inviolable social rules. In a “secret book,” written as a legacy for her son, Grazia records her struggles to choose between the seductions of the Christian world and a return to the family, traditions, and duties of her Jewish roots.

The Birth Of Venus by Sarah Dunant

A tour de force, It brings alive the history of Florence at its most dramatic period, telling a compulsively absorbing story of love, art, religion, and power through the passionate voice of Alessandra, a heroine with the same vibrancy of spirit as her beloved city.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Told through the eyes of the winning young heroine, this story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful, touching, even funny novel about family, memory, love, heaven, and living.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

This heart-touching story will make you count your blessings as the author describes her years growing up with parents that are eccentric and sometimes questionable, the constant chaos and upheaval in their everyday lives and the extreme poverty they faced  and finally how they turn out as adults and the relationships they manage to maintain surprisingly with their parents.

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel is sixteen when his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

If you only read one book this year, this should be it! The Time Traveler’s Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare’s marriage and their passionate love for each other, as the story unfolds from both points of view. Clare and Henry ( a time traveling librarian) attempt to live normal lives, pursuing familiar goals — steady jobs, good friends, children of their own. All of this is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control, making their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

Told in Dinah’s voice, Anita Diamant imagines the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood–the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of the mothers–Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah–the four wives of her father Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through childhood, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah’s story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past.

White Oleander by Janet Fitch

The is an unforgettable story of Ingrid, a brilliant poet imprisoned for murder, and her daughter, Astrid, whose odyssey through a series of Los Angeles foster homes-each its own universe, with its own laws, its own dangers, its own hard lessons to be learned-becomes a redeeming and surprising journey of self-discovery.

Non-Fiction:

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff with Your Family by Richard Carlson

From the author of the number one “New York Times” breakout bestsellers “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff . . . And It’s All Small Stuff” and “Don’t Worry, Make Money” this book is filled with appealing strategies for achieving a worry-free home life. From defusing kids who are whining or fighting, to working out issues with a spouse, to reducing the hassles over household chores, Richard Carlson tells us ways to make our relationships at home-the place where it counts most more peaceful and loving.

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert

A smart and funny book by a prominent Harvard psychologist, which uses groundbreaking research and (often hilarious) anecdotes to show us why we’re so lousy at predicting what will make us happy – and what we can do about it.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families by Steven Covey

This practical guide to making your family work offers lessons to help create and maintain a strong family culture in an ever-changing world. A strong family embodies a problem-solving culture in which parents and children act interdependently, appropriately and positively.

Blink, The Outliers & The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell

Blink reveals that great decision makers aren’t those who process the most information or spend the most time deliberating, but those who have perfected the art of “thin-slicing”-filtering the very few factors that matter from an overwhelming number of variables. The Tipping Point is one of the most effective books on science for a general audience in ages and the best way to understand the dramatic transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life.  In The Outliers, the author takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of “outliers”–the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?