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This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathon Tropper

Catie's picture

No one is more surprised than Judd Foxman when his father passes away.  Not so much by the death, but by the nonreligious patriarch’s last wish to have the family sit Shiva, a Jewish tradition that requires his mother and siblings to spend an entire week together under one roof.  This wouldn’t be so bad if Judd’s family wasn’t so dysfunctional.  As this group of unique characters are forced to spend time together old wounds are brought to surface and they are made to deal with issues they would have rather continued to ignore.  The only family member not present is Judd’s wife who has been openly having an affair.  As Judd unwillingly reconnects with his family and struggles to deal with the reality of his deteriorating marriage what results is a novel full of biting, albeit slightly dark humor with realizations about family life and love.  

The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles

Jen's picture

If you're looking for something to brighten your dreary winter day, pick up Pancol's first English-translated novel. The plot revolves around two sisters - Iris, a glamorous, rich attorney's wife and her plain Jane, bookish sister Jo. The story begins when Jo's husband empties their joint savings account and leaves her for his manicurist, who he runs off to farm crocodiles with in Kenya. Jo is left to pick up the pieces of her life and raise her two daughters, Zoe and Hortense, on the meager salary she makes as a 12th century scholar. Iris and Jo hatch the perfect scheme - Jo will write a medieval historical novel that Iris will take the credit for, thus giving Jo the money she needs and Iris the fame she craves. As in life, things don't go quite as planned and hilarity ensues. It's chick lit done up en Francais; humorous, quite charming and perfect to curl up on the couch with and escape to bright, sunny Paris, if only for a few hundred pages.  

Coming Clean: A Memoir by Kimberly Rae Miller

Jen's picture

Ever wonder what it would be like to grow up with hoarders as parents? Kimberly Rae Miller dishes it all in this powerful coming-of-age tale about just that. We’ve all got that spot in our house that’s the place we put things that we’re saving for later because we know we’re actually going to use them. Right? Yes? Then months later we stumble across those same prized objects and pitch or donate them because, well, who has the time to do all the things?

Imagine, if you will, that messy place being your entire house and add in never throwing away anything on top of that and you’ll sort of get the idea what it’s like to walk a day in Kim’s shoes. She wasn’t able to ever have friends over and often had to conceal her parents messes and behaviors for fear of children’s services coming and separating her from them. Even worse, one house she and her parents occupied was so messy that it caught fire and they lost absolutely everything they owned. You’d think this would mean a fresh, clean start in a new, uncluttered home but that’s not case as things quickly start to pile up again.  But don’t just take my word for it, read this engrossing title for yourself to learn all about what it’s like to be the child of hoarders. For tackling such serious stuff, it’s quite an enjoyable read but be warned as there are a few graphic moments (think bugs, messes, and even a suicide attempt) that aren’t for the faint of heart.

If you like this title, you should also check out the nonfiction book Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Randy Frost and the YA novel Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu.

Doctor Sleep : a novel by Stephen King

Vita's picture

Doctor Sleep is not a re-telling of Jack Torrence and the creepy Overlook Motel.  The book works as a stand-alone novel, a bit of a sequel, but truly a new story with recurring characters from The Shining.

Starting with a summary of Danny and his mother's life over the past thirty five years, Doctor Sleep moves into the present where we find Danny coming to terms with his past; recovering from an abusive alcoholic father and fighting his own battle with sobriety.  Doctor Sleep is a humane story with a twist, characters can read minds, see the future, and communicate telepathically. However humane, King's ability to scare the heck out of you is still powerfully strong! 

Picture Book Selection for Travelers

Adele and her brother Simon are coming to America from France to visit their Aunt Cecile, who takes them on a train trip to see the United States!  Simon is more interested in seeing all of the sights than in keeping track of his belongings, which become lost from New York City to San Francisco.  See if you can find what Simon lost in each picture.  The detailed drawings and sweet story will delight readers of all ages, but particularly those ages 4-8. 

The Knitted Slipper book: Slippers and House Shoes for the Entire Family by Katie Startzman

Vita's picture

I am always looking for a last minute knitted project I can use as a gift.  The beauty of this book is half the patterns are felted making the knitting part fast and the felting part a cover up for any mistakes, perfect!

Fun, functional, and an offering of slipper & shoe options with patterns ranging from whimsical to practical.  Get out that leftover skein of wool, grab your needles, and whip up a quick gift.

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