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"The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien

Vita's picture

This is the story of a reluctant adventurer who battles enormous forces. Bilbo Baggins, the protagonist, likes his creature comforts and is unsure as he sets out on an incredible journey to complete an important task. In order to succeed he needs to learn how to get along with others and stand up for what he believes in. It is an inspiring tale of adventure, fellowship, uncertainty, and strength.

I am Malala: the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

Vita's picture

This beautiful and absorbing book follows the life of a bravely determined young woman, Malala, living in the Swat Valley along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Malala publicly supported female education which was a strong defiant act toward the local Taliban.  With poise, strength, and courage Malala gives us a first person account of what it is like to live in current Pakistani society.  Her detailed narrative of being shot by the Taliban along with her miraculous recovery is truly moving.

Hellstrip Gardening by Evelyn Hadden

Vita's picture

The hellstrip—the space between a street and a public sidewalk which finally gains attention as a space to add curb appeal to your home.  This oft-ignored gardening space can be reclaimed as a small paradise with environmentally friendly plants that thrive in tough situations and with limited water needs. 

Gorgeous color photographs of hellstrip gardens offer inspiration and visual guidance to tackle this new gardening frontier.

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

Hari's picture

Was the British luxury ocean liner Lusitania, sunk in British waters during World War I, an inevitable casualty of war? Was there anything that could have been done to save her or her civilian passengers, which included a record number of infants and children? Had wartime rules of engagement changed?

Erik Larson’s considerable research illuminates the remarkable series of coincidences and decisions that converged to consign the Lusitania and most of her passengers and crew to a watery grave. Larson skillfully brings individual passengers, captain, crew, and military leaders to life while detailing the behind-the-scenes machinations that played such a significant role in the Lusitania’s sinking.

Whether you enjoy historical nonfiction or have shied away from reading it because of concern about dry text or an avalanche of dates, names, and places, this riveting read is for you.

Echoes from the Dead

Scott's picture

What happened, Jens?” is a question Julia continues to ask her son. The problem is her son is missing and Julia has been living with that unanswerable question for years. Julia has not recovered from receiving that devastating phone call from her father that Jens had vanished. On a foggy October night, Jens' grandfather, Gerlof, fell asleep in his chair while babysitting Jens, who must have left their beach house and disappeared into the ocean. Or did he?  Twenty years after that fateful day, Gerlof receives one sandal in the mail. He calls his daughter, Julia, to inform her of this mysterious package. Could this be Jens' sandal?  Father and daughter patch their strained relationship to pursue clues in search of an answer. This award-winning mystery is an excellent read. 

Sci-fi Pick for Teens: 172 Hours on the Moon

It's been more than forty years since NASA sent the first men to the moon. To grab some much needed funding and attention, they decide to launch a historic international lottery in which three lucky teenagers can win a week-long trip to the once top secret moon base DARLAH 2. Mia, Antoine, and Midori are going on the trip of a lifetime, and only one is coming back.

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