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Family

  • 10-Year Nap

    The 10-Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer.  "A light read about stay at home mom but written with very erudite voice – I seem to remember it had favorable NYTimes review couple wks ago. Highly recommend!"

  • Ahab's Wife: Or, the Star-Gazer

    Ahab's Wife: or, the Star-Gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund. “I didn’t see this on your list and it’s one of my favorite books!!”  Amazon: From the opening line—"Captain Ahab was neither my first husband nor my last"—you will know that you are in the hands of a master storyteller and in the company of a fascinating woman hero. Inspired by a brief passage in Moby-Dick, Sena Jeter Naslund has created an enthralling and compellingly readable saga, spanning a rich, eventful, and dramatic life. At once a family drama, a romantic adventure, and a portrait of a real and loving marriage, Ahab's Wife gives new perspective on the American experience.

  • Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to his White Mother

    The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to his White Mother By James McBride.

  • Cost

    Cost by Roxana Robinson "This carried my book club through two meetings. No one could put it down, and we couldn't stop talking about it. Problem is, if I tell you too much of what it's about, you won't want to read it. But here's the basic premise: a mother of two grown sons finds herself sandwiched between their tremendous problems and her aging parents' aches and dementia. The tension runs so high in this novel that after every page you want just one more... a little like what drug addiction must be. Very well done, and deeply interesting as it explores the bonds between parents and children, and how they're broken."

  • Crow Lake

    Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. "Four children living in northern Ontario struggle to stay together after their parents die in an auto accident in Lawson's fascinating debut, a compelling and lovely study of sibling rivalry and family dynamics in which the land literally becomes a character. Kate Morrison narrates the tale in flashback mode, starting with the fatal car accident that leaves seven-year-old Kate; her toddler sister, Bo; 19-year-old Luke; and 17-year-old Matt to fend for themselves. At first they are divided up among relatives, but the plan changes when Luke gives up his teaching college scholarship to get a job and try to keep them together."

  • Cutting for Stone

    Cutting for Stone (Vintage) by Abraham Verghese. I am not sure I know anyone who didn’t love this book. It’s about identical twins born to a beautiful Indian nun in Ethiopia. (Yes, really.) She dies in childbirth, leaving them to be raised by one of the most wonderful couples I’ve ever encountered in literature. I'm not going to say how long it is … read it on the Kindle, as I did, and find out AFTER you’ve finished it. Comments: "Gorgeous writing style and story." "The book opened so many windows -- allowing a rare glimpse into Ethiopia, into surgery (NEVER thought I'd want to read all of that!), then crossing the pond with our protagonist to his life at a hospital in the Bronx."  "My goodness, I loved this book. Sweeping, yet intimate family saga of twin brothers born to a doctor and a nun-nurse and how their lives unfold. Stranger in a strange land, what is home, what is family -- all themes in this beautifully written book."

  • Distant Land of my Father

    The Distant Land of My Father by Bo Caldwell. “…Really great history of Shanghai and redemptive father-daughter story.”

  • Family Matters

    Family Matters by Rohiton Mistry. Tells the story of a multi-generational Parsi (small Indian minority) family in Bombay dealing with love lost, fortunes unrealized and death and changes. Really good, especially if you are interested in ethnic stories, India, etc.

  • Inheritance

    Inheritance by Natalie Danford. “Italy (Urbino, no doubt, was the draw for me, as it's an incredibly beautiful Tuscan village with masses of interesting history). World War II. It's a gem and a quick read.” One half of the story begins after the death of Luigi Bonocchio, an Italian immigrant whose daughter Olivia discovers a mysterious deed among his possessions. The deed is to a house in Urbino, Italy---the hometown he barely spoke of. Intrigued, Olivia travels there. At first she is charmed by the historic city, the relatives she’s not met before, and the young lawyer she’s hired to help her investigate the claim. But when Olivia tries to sort out the deed, she is met with a puzzling silence. Everyone in the town remembers her father, but they are not eager to tell his story. However, Luigi tells his part of the tale directly to the reader as the chapters alternate between Olivia’s search for the truth and Luigi’s account of his history. By the end of this skillfully constructed book, the reader understands both sides of a heartbreaking, yet ultimately satisfying love story.

  • Last Chinese Chef

    The Last Chinese Chefby Nicole Mones. “Reading it right now and really like it!” It’s about an American widow who goes to China to find out whether a child there was fathered by her late husband. When Maggie McElroy, a widowed American food writer, learns of a Chinese paternity claim against her late husband’s estate, she has to go immediately to Beijing. She asks her magazine for time off, but her editor counters with an assignment: to profile the rising culinary star Sam Liang.

  • Little Way of Ruthie Leming

    The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good LifeBy Rod Dreher. “It's a wonderful book--just released and debuted on the NYT bestseller list. A story of family, community, small town America, illness, and a meaningful life. Ruthie Leming – the author's sister and a non-smoker – is diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer in her early 40s. Little Way tells the tale of what happens in the wake of her diagnosis. The ways in which a community rallies around the Leming family and the ways in which it profoundly changes her brother Rod, the author. It's a beautiful book and I highly recommend it to you readers. I couldn't put it down and--despite crying several times during the book. I felt happy and uplifted after reading it. Little Way is a rare book and I hope you and the beach books list will give it a whirl.”

  • Lords of Discipline

    The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy. "I LOVED this book and read it so fast at the beach that I had to force myself to put it down to make it last longer. It's about the Citadel military life and insight into that world is fascinating. But there is also a lot of story and character about fathers and friendships and families."

  • Love Medicine

    Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich. "Beautifully written, enchanting stories that all intertwine into a messy, gripping, epic tale about one crazy and lovable family... An older book that my book club just read this year and really loved."

  • Making Toast: A Family Story

    Making Toast: A Family Story by Roger Rosenblatt. (From Amazon) "Family tragedy is healed by domestic routine in this quiet, tender memoir. When his daughter Amy died suddenly at the age of 38 from an asymptomatic heart condition, journalist and novelist Rosen-blatt (Lapham Rising) and his wife moved into her house to help her husband care for their three young children... Rosenblatt draws sharply etched portraits of his grandchildren; his stoic, gentle son-in-law; his wife, who feels slightly guilty that she is living her daughter's life; and Amy emerges as a smart, prickly, selfless figure whose significance the author never registered until her death."

  • Mango Season

    Mango Seasonby Amulya Malladi "India. Arranged marriages. Culture clash. Coming of Age. An Indian woman I met at a party recommended this book to me after we had a long discussion about arranged marriages in different cultures (fyi, she claims India has the highest success rate....)."

  • Now You See Him

    Now You See Him by Eli Gottleib. From Publisher’s Weekly: "A mesmerizing blend of suspense and long-buried family secrets, Gottlieb's second novel (after 1997's The Boy Who Went Away) culminates in shocking revelations that rock a quiet upstate New York town. Nick Framingham is still reeling from the recent death of his childhood best friend, the writer Rob Castor, who committed suicide after killing his ex-girlfriend in Manhattan. Nick's own marriage to his college sweetheart, Lucy, begins to unravel as he struggles to understand what drove Rob to murder. Rekindling an old relationship with his first love, Belinda, Rob's volatile and beautiful sister, Nick begins to retrace not only Rob's last days but also their shared childhood, looking for clues to explain his friend's actions."

  • Orchard House

    The Orchard House by Tara Austen Weaver. “A woman and her mother, estranged along with other family struggles, by a decrepit old cottage and garden property together in an effort to heal decades-old wounds, and try to build a stable family foundation for nieces, nephews, and grandchildren.  A sweet memoir that will sometimes punch you in the gut and make you wanna call your own siblings.”

  • Range of Motion

    Range of Motion by Elizabeth Berg. "If you haven’t read any Elizabeth Berg, I’d suggest checking one of her books out of the library to see what you think. This is one of my favorites, about a woman, Laieny, whose husband is in a coma after he was hit on the head by ice falling from a building. Lainey has great faith that he will recover, and tries everything to coax him back to consciousness.  It could be treacly, but somehow it's not.  Very beach booky, I think, though her writing has a certain elegance."

  • Run

    Run by Ann Patchett. “It's a story about family -- who's in a family? Why? What are the boundaries and edges of what makes up a family? Stunning.”

  • Saints for all Occasions

    Saints for All Occasions by Courtney J. Sullivan.  “At its simplest, it is an engrossing story about family, secrets, faith, the immigrant experience (Irish) and living with the choices we make.  But it is also wise, funny, perceptive and at times deeply moving.  The characters are multi-dimensional and feel real -- and I find myself thinking about them when I am not reading.  A great summer read!”  Sullivan also wrote Maine, which came out a couple of years ago.