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"The Shoemaker's Wife" by Adrianna Trigianni

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​A novel about Italian immigrants and their lives in northern Italy as well as in America in the early 1900s. Enza and Ciro meet on a moonlit night in the cemetery of Sant'Antonio da Padova in Schilpario, Italy when they are just teenagers. They go their separate ways to new lives in America but they never quite leave behind their beautiful homeland. The descriptions are magically vivid and although it is a love story of sorts, it's also a powerful testimony on the strength of the human spirit and the importance of family.

Picture Book Selection: A House in the Woods

When two pigs have their house destroyed on accident by their much larger friends, a moose and a bear, they decide to make a house that will fit all four of them comfortably.  They hire the best builders in the woods, the beavers, to build their new home.  This is a sweet story of friends and finding happiness in the woods.  This is for picture book lovers of all ages, but especially those in Preschool to Second grade.

"My Mother was Nuts" by Penny Marshall

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Comedian/director Marshall writes very openly on her life experiences growing up in the Bronx, getting pregnant and married young in New Mexico, her marriage to Rob Reiner, friendship with Carrie Fisher, and relationship with Art Garfunkel.      Marshall revisits tough subjects like abortion, drugs, lack of mothering skills, and her now fading health.   Great stories abound of her time spent on TV shows, movies, and her career as a movie director.    Marshall's humor is how she gets through the difficult stuff and lives with a simple motto: “try hard, help your friends, don't get too crazy, and have fun.”

Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening

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MISTER OWITA'S GUIDE TO GARDENING is a beautifully written memoir by a first time author Carol Wall. The story is a very personal account of friendship between two people.  Less about gardening, the book is more about those accidental judgments that we make based on prejudices of race, money, education, and plain old general appearances.

I enjoyed this book.  It is about the power of friendship which can change our hearts and transform our lives; it is a reminder we all have more in common with each other than we think.

  

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