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  • Shelter of Each Other

    The Shelter of Each Other by Mary Pipher (author of reviving Ophelia). From Amazon: "As she tells stories of families, her own and others, therapist Pipher focuses on small victories in what she calls 'the current family-hurting culture.' Distancing herself from therapies that pathologize families, Pipher claims to have experienced the power of hope that can be stimulated through carefully chosen family stories. In even the most dysfunctional families, she discerns threads of connectedness that have led to empowerment of her clients as they became more capable of handling their own lives."

  • Silver Bay

    Silver Bay by JoJo Moyes. From Amazon: “Liza McCullen will never fully escape her past. But the unspoiled beaches and tight-knit community of Silver Bay offer the freedom and safety she craves—if not for herself, then for her young daughter, Hannah. That is, until Mike Dormer arrives as a guest in her aunt’s hotel. The mild-mannered Englishman with his too-smart clothes and distracting eyes could destroy everything Liza has worked so hard to protect: not only the family business and the bay that harbors her beloved whales, but also her conviction that she will never love—never deserve to love—again.”

  • Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family

    The Sisters: the Saga of the Mitford Family: By Mary S. Lovell. This was a fantastic book about an absolutely astonishing family. The parents were middling British aristocracy. The daughters, however, include Nancy Mitford, a best-selling novelist; Diana Mitford, the great beauty who left her prominent husband for the head of the brownshirts (Fascists) and was a friend of Hitler’s; Unity, who also became a great friend of Hitler’s; and Jessica who eloped at 18, became a Communist, moved to America and also became a best-selling author. The youngest married a man who became Duke of Devonshire. Don’t bring it on a plane, as they would probably make you count it as a carry-on.

  • Standard Deviation

    Standard Deviationby Katherine Heiny.  This is a "stop the presses" addition to the 2017 top picks list.  This novel features my new favorite character in fiction, the pathologically uncensored Audra.  It's a wonderfully readable story, tailor-made for the crowd.  I read most of it on a long flight, and I laughed out loud more times than I can count.  Everyone must read it, then we can all get together and talk about who among our mutual acquaintances have strains of Audra running through them.  If you want to learn more, read this Washington Post review, which does a good job enumerating the book's virtues.

  • The Middle Place

    The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan "A wonderful, heart-warming memoir about Corrigan’s breast cancer treatment and her relationship with her incredible family." "It's a beautiful book, made me cry so hard."

  • Unaccustomed Earth

    Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri.“BEAUTIFULLY written, loved this book, although a bit tragic/dark like her other books.” "Almost as good as her first book of short stories.” “subtle prose masks rich, intricate family relations.”

  • Waiting for Snow in Havana

    Waiting for Snow in Havana By Carolos Eire. “This isn’t bad for the non-fiction types. It’s about a Cuban boy who is one of 14000 children who were flown out of Havana w/o their parents during the first years of the Castro regime.”