West Bloomfield Township Public Library
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Armchair Travels

Take a trip from your living room with these great fiction and nonfiction books set all around the world.

Notes from a small island by Bill Bryson

Before New York Times bestselling author Bill Bryson wrote The Road to Little Dribbling, he took this delightfully irreverent jaunt around the unparalleled floating nation of Great Britain, which has produced zebra crossings, Shakespeare, Twiggie Winkie’s Farm, and places with names like Farleigh Wallop and Titsey.

Falling leaves : the true story of an unwanted Chinese daughter by Adeline Yen Mah

The daughter of a wealthy Hong Kong businessman describes her very difficult childhood and the psychological abuse she suffered at the hands of her stepmother

The white tiger : a novel by Aravind Adiga

Relocating to New Delhi when he is offered a new job, Balram Halwai is disillusioned by the city's twenty-first-century materialism and technology-spawned violence, a circumstance that forces him to question his loyalties, ambitions, and past

The god of small things by Arundhati Roy

In 1969 India, Rahel and her twin brother Estha struggle to forge a childhood for themselves amid the destruction of their family and the discovery that the entire world can be transformed in a single moment

And the mountains echoed : a novel by Khaled Hosseini

A multi-generational family story revolving around siblings and how they love, betray, hurt, honor and would do anything for one another

Crazy rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Envisioning a summer vacation in the humble Singapore home of a boy she hopes to marry, Chinese American Rachel Chu is unexpectedly introduced to a rich and scheming clan that strongly opposes their son's relationship with an American girl

The dry : a novel by Jane (Jane Elizabeth) Harper

After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke's steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn't tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead. Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there's more to Luke's death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them

Assassination vacation by Sarah Vowell

A tour of key historic sites in America where incidents of political violence have occurred reveals lesser-known points of interest pertaining to each and shares information about how history has been shaped by popular culture and tourism

The telling room : a story of love, betrayal, revenge, and the world's greatest piece of cheese by Michael Paterniti

Recounts the author's visit to the Castilian village of Guzmán as part of a decade-long effort to taste the world's finest cheese, an encounter that involved him in long-held regional secrets and the story of a heartbroken genius cheesemaker

Life from scratch : a memoir of food, family, and forgiveness by Sasha Martin

Sasha Martin set herself a rather ambitious goal: to cook-and eat-her way around the world with 196 recipes from 196 countries in 196 weeks. Enter Global Table Adventure, a project that proves to be more than just a culinary challenge as Sasha attempts to navigate the vicissitudes of marriage, motherhood, and life's failures and successes, all inextricably linked to her troubled past. For Sasha, food and cooking unlock the memories of a difficult childhood and the loss and heartbreak that came with it. She and her brother lived with their mother in Boston before being placed in foster care with a family in Europe. Among the hard moments of her young life, the most difficult occurred when Sasha was just twelve years old-she witnessed her brother's suicide. As she mines her past to make sense of her childhood, food allows Sasha to find her own place in the world-and create the home she has been craving her whole life. This is a story about food from around the globe but also about how food can transform us, about being a mother and a wife, about loving the world, and about learning to love ourselves

Glitter and glue : a memoir by Kelly Corrigan

"One of the things you should know about Kelly Corrigan is that she is the daughter of Mary Corrigan, a woman of conviction and grit who taught her kids that No Means No and Actions Speak Louder than Words and if they wanted a bunch of Rah Rah Lovey Dovey, go talk to your father--so Kelly did, over and over again, exiting her childhood with the sense that she'd always have more shared ground with him. But when she arrived in Australia in the summer of 1992, the only job she could find was as a nanny. She thought she was signing up for carpools and babysitting and some light cooking, but what she walked into instead was a household still reeling with grief from the recent loss of the mother. Completely unprepared, Kelly spent five months trying to help the Tanner family pick up the pieces. And to her surprise, she found herself quietly deferring to the wisdom of Mary Corrigan, who once told the young Kelly that her charming father "may be the glitter, but I'm the glue," a pattern that would become more pronounced years later, when Kelly's own daughters were born, and it turned out that each and every day demanded her mother's signature conviction and grit. This is a story about growing up and stepping up, but most of all, it's about the great adventure of motherhood"--

Kafka on the shore by Haruki Murakami

Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down. Their parallel odysseys are enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerising dramas. Cats converse with people; fish tumble from the sky; a ghostlike pimp deploys a Hegel-spouting girl of the night; a forest harbours soldiers apparently un-aged since WWII. There is a savage killing, but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle. Murakami's novel is at once a classic quest, but it is also a bold exploration of mythic and contemporary taboos, of patricide, of mother-love, of sister-love. Above all it is an entertainment of a very high order.

Snow by Orhan Pamuk

Dread, yearning, identity, intrigue, the lethal chemistry between secular doubt and Islamic fanaticism-these are the elements that Orhan Pamuk anneals in this masterful, disquieting novel. An exiled poet named Ka returns to Turkey and travels to the forlorn city of Kars. His ostensible purpose is to report on a wave of suicides among religious girls forbidden to wear their head-scarves. But Ka is also drawn by his memories of the radiant Ipek, now recently divorced. Amid blanketing snowfall and universal suspicion, Ka finds himself pursued by figures ranging from Ipek's ex-husband to a charismatic terrorist. A lost gift returns with ecstatic suddenness. A theatrical evening climaxes in a massacre. And finding god may be the prelude to losing everything else. Touching, slyly comic, and humming with cerebral suspense, Snow From the Trade Paperback edition

Four seasons in Rome : on twins, insomnia, and the biggest funeral in the history of the world by Anthony Doerr

The author describes the year he spent in Rome after winning the Rome Prize, including his adventures around the city, life in a foreign but welcoming country, and parenthood as it applies to his newborn twins

Claire of the sea light by Edwidge Danticat

"The interconnected secrets of a coastal Haitian town are revealed when one little girl, the daughter of a fisherman, goes missing"--

Interpreter of maladies : stories by Jhumpa Lahiri

With a new Introduction Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, this stunning debut collection unerring charts the emotional journeys of characters seeking love beyond the barriers of nations and generations. In stories that travel from India to America and back again, Lahiri speaks with universal eloquence to everyone who has ever felt like a foreigner

Under the Tuscan sun : at home in Italy by Frances Mayes

More than twenty years ago, Frances Mayes—widely published poet, gourmet cook, and travel writer—introduced readers to a wondrous new world when she bought and restored an abandoned Tuscan villa called Bramasole. Under the Tuscan Sun inspired generations to embark on their own journeys—whether that be flying to a foreign country in search of themselves, savoring one of the book’s dozens of delicious seasonal recipes, or simply being transported by Mayes’s signature evocative, sensory language. Now with a new afterword from Frances Mayes, the twentieth-anniversary edition of Under the Tuscan Sun revisits the book’s most popular characters.

A moveable feast : the restored edition by Ernest Hemingway

Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway's most beloved works. It is his classic memoir of Paris in the 1920s, filled with irreverent portraits of other expatriate luminaries such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein; tender memories of his first wife, Hadley; and insightful recollections of his own early experiments with his craft. It is a literary feast, brilliantly evoking the exuberant mood of Paris after World War I and the youthful spirit, unbridled creativity, and unquenchable enthusiasm that Hemingway himself epitomized

Ghost train to the Eastern star : on the tracks of the great railway bazaar by Paul Theroux

With this vibrant and illuminating travelogue that shows just how much the world has changed in the 30 years since he wrote "The great railway bazaar," Theroux returns to the rails of Eastern Europe, Central Asia, India, China, Japan, and Siberia for an exceptionally detailed and entertaining update that will entice fans and newcomers alike
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