Book

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

Vita's picture

This laugh-out-loud memoir takes readers through Kaling’s awkward childhood moments and her rocky start in New York to her success as a writer on the Office.   Her observations about men, body image, and life are both spot-on and humorous.  Those who enjoyed Tina Fey’s Bossypants will find this novel particularly enjoyable.

2. A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino

Jen's picture

Taking place over the span of 24 hours, this inventive novel follows a rotating cast of raucous characters through the snowy streets of Philadelphia. The book centers around Madeline Altamari, an aspiring jazz singer who is nine years old. Left to her own devices after the sudden death of her mother nearly a year ago incapacitates her father, Madeline is smart mouthed, grieving and about to have the adventure of her lifetime on Christmas Eve Eve. 

Add Madeline's principal who has it out for her because she is her mama's daughter; her favorite teacher Miss Sarina Green, recently returned to Philly after a divorce; and the owner of the Cat's Pajamas, Lorca, who is facing the club's imminent demise along with several other colorful characters and you have a highly entertaining whirlwind of a novel with a healthy dash of magical realism rounding out the entire affair. It's a small book, and though it can easily be devoured in one sitting it will remain with the reader long after the last, powerful line. A recommended read for music lovers, prose lovers, and really just about anyone with a sense of humor and wonder.

Picture Book Selection: And Then It's Spring

What a winter we have had in central Ohio!  Spring is finally here according to the calendar!  Celebrate by checking out “And Then It's Spring” by Julie Fogliano and award-winning artist Erin Stead.  A boy and his dog are tired of brown winter and they dig and plant seeds.  They wait and then wait and then finally it's spring and everything is green and colorful!  Great for ages 4 and up.  

"Gold" by Chris Cleave

Vita's picture

The themes of Gold are love, sacrifice and choices - on an Olympic scale. The author takes on track cycling, one of the toughest of the cycling venues. He wrote this a year before the London Olympics, so it has a very current vibe. The two main characters are Zoe and Kate, competitive cyclists preparing for the Olympics. The underlying story, involves Sophie who has leukemia, the daughter of Kate. Gold is a terrific read for sports enthusiasts who enjoy competitive events.

The Outsider: A Memoir by Jimmy Connors

Vita's picture

I was a huge tennis fan during the Connors and Borg era. It was the sport I should have played as a young athlete. The writing feels honest and fresh but not particularly good. Still it is very entertaining and Connors hands out some dirt on tennis folks but what would you expect the author is Jimmy Connors! I liked Connors family stories in East St. Louis. Family was important to what made Connors a tennis star and he gives due homage with no reservations.

 

A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator’s Rise to Power, by Paul Fischer

Caitlin's picture

In this fascinating book, film producer Paul Fischer combines interviews, research, and first-hand investigation to tell the strange story of Kim Jong-Il’s kidnapping of South Korea’s leading director and his star actress ex-wife. Obsessed with film since he was a child, Kim Jong-Il used North Korea’s Ministry for Propaganda to build his power within the regime, making the only movies that the isolated North Korean people were allowed to view. As Kim’s ambitions eclipsed his country’s limited filmmaking ability, he decided to recruit new talent—forcibly.

Choi Eun-Hee was South Korea’s biggest and most beloved star; Shin Sang-Ok, her director ex-husband, ran the largest film production company in South Korea. Kim kidnapped both in 1978, and after torturing Shin into compliance, the two began making films for North Korea’s captive audience. With success—their films played to packed theaters for months and won international awards—came the opportunity to escape via a chase straight out of a spy novel.

A must-read for anyone interested in the history and culture of North Korea. 

Pages

Subscribe to Book