Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge

Immigration Stories We Need to Hear: America Deconstructed by Chaithanya Sohan and Shaima Adin

America Deconstructed by
Chaithanya Sohan and Shaima Adin

Here’s a collection of immigration stories. Stories so timely and eye opening to their struggles.

Naseer was nine years old when he escaped Taliban and fled Afghanistan with his mom and siblings… “There are some people who are coming to take me away”, chronicles the resilience of a nine year old boy as he traveled from Afghanistan to America in his quest for the American dream. “I saw a ripe mango I’d like to pluck” showcases the love story of Chidiebere and Ifeyinwa, which begins in rustic Nigeria and culminates into a life in America.

Their journey chronicles their struggles with language, culture and being African in America. In the story “ Kosovo, really…cool”, Lisian takes us through his journey to America and often being asked his identity in spite of being white. In the story “I am exotic, mocha, P-diddy”, Parag describes his journey from a young sixth grader who hid his attraction to boys in conservative India to embracing his sexuality in America.

America Deconstructed follows the journeys of sixteen immigrants who have left their home countries in search of the American dream. The stories combine humor and emotions as the protagonists maneuver cultural differences, accents and uncomfortable situations while feeling a sense of belonging in America.

This moving collection counts as part of the Diversity Reading Challenge.

Categories
2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Banned Books

Banned Books Week-Day 2

 

BBW13_Profile

8.  The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

 Click the link for My review . Why this book is on the banned book list every year is beyond mystifying.

 

7.  The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner is one of those books you need to read more than once to appreciate
the many facets of this beautiful story of two young friends.

This book is always on the list, it seems, for these reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence
I dunno.  This book is real world. Again, what age group are you giving this to?

Have you read either of these books? What are your thoughts?  If you’re just now getting around to either, they qualify for the Diversity Challenge also.

 

 

Categories
Adult Fiction Books

Lisa Scottoline Book Club – Don’t Go UPDATE!!

I know I know, how many book clubs can one woman person belong to??

As many as I can!

So that is why I started the Lisa Scottoline book club at Towne Book Center and Cafe. There are many reasons to read Lisa Scottoline:

  1. She writes good stories
  2. She’s a local and includes local landmarks
  3. There’s a chance to get invited to her house!!!

Unconventional Librarian Lisa Scottoline Don't Go

That’s me mugging with her latest book, late at night, at work.  Booksellers are notorious night owls!

Even though this is only my second Lisa Scottoline book (the first was Look Again), I got caught up in the plot very quickly.  I also thought I had the story figured out.

Boy was I wrong.

No spoilers here, but man was this a good story of a soldier serving in Afghanistan who has to deal with some inexplicable crises.  And while this is a quick moving tale, I would love a little bit less conversation and a teeny bit more descriptive text.  But man did I go through the coffee finishing this one; I didn’t want to put it down!

Thanks for a good read Lisa, I hope to see you at your house this fall for your Book Club Open House soiree!!

Can’t wait to go clubbing tonight!

UPDATE

Book club was SO SO fun! We had an excellent discussion and even agreed to keep the book club going through the summer which is no small feat, for sure.  I’m looking forward to reading one of Lisa Lisa’s older titles:  Come Again, for  our June meeting!

GUESS WHAT???

The uber cool people over at Macmillan hipped me to this thing called SoundCloud where you can listen to snippets of books.  I may have found my new addiction after cake, coffee, and Pinterest.  Lisa’s book Don’t Go is available to listen to on audio over at SoundCloud.  Check it out below.

How cool is that, huh?

 

way. oh boy, i’m gonna need another ipad just to listen to books. good thing my birthday is coming up in (sigh) 6 months…

Go enjoy the book!

 

Categories
Blogging from A to Z Challenge Books Young Adult

T #atozchallenge

a-to-z-letters-t

Happy T day!  Finding a book with the letter T was difficult. Why? Because in the book industry, you don’t count the beginning words like: the, a, an, etc, and I wanted to keep the same approach to this challenge.  So here’s what I came up with:

thing a brother knows Three Rivers

The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt, sounds like a good read for the guys:

Finally, Levi Katznelson’s older brother, Boaz, has returned. Boaz was a high school star who had it all and gave it up to serve in a war Levi can’t understand. Things have been on hold since Boaz left. With the help of his two best friends Levi has fumbled his way through high school, weary of his role as little brother to the hero.

But when Boaz walks through the front door after his tour of duty is over, Levi knows there’s something wrong. Boaz is home, safe. But Levi knows that his brother is not the same.

Maybe things will never return to normal. Then Boaz leaves again, and this time Levi follows him, determined to understand who his brother was, who he has become, and how to bring him home again.

Award-winning author Dana Reinhardt introduces readers to Levi, who has never known what he believes, and whose journey reveals truths only a brother knows (Goodreads.com)

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on between brothers or family members’ minds when someone is involved in war; this might help.  This could be another sleeper…

Next is Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards.  I like the idea of this book for a few reasons: #1 it’s written in prose, #2 it’s historical fiction, and #3 the setting is Johnstown, PA which is very near my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA (go Steelers!).  Everyone has learned about the Johnstown flood in history books, right? Well, everyone who grew up in Southwestern PA did, anyway! But I’ve yet to read a nonfiction book about it.  Three Rivers Rising might be just the book I’m looking for.  Here’s what Goodreads has to say about it:

Sixteen-Year-Old Celstia spends every summer with her family at the elite resort at Lake Conemaugh, a shimmering Allegheny Mountain reservoir held in place by an earthen dam. Tired of the society crowd, Celestia prefers to swim and fish with Peter, the hotel’s hired boy. It’s a friendship she must keep secret, and when companionship turns to romance, it’s a love that could get Celestia disowned. These affairs of the heart become all the more wrenching on a single, tragic day in May, 1889. After days of heavy rain, the dam fails, unleashing 20 million tons of water onto Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in the valley below. The town where Peter lives with his father. The town where Celestia has just arrived to join him. This searing novel in poems explores a cross-class romance—and a tragic event in U. S. history.

I’m going to check out Jame’s website and see if she has any photos of the Johnstown flood or why she chose this topic.  I’ll keep you posted.

Do you have a T book for me?

Categories
Books Non Fiction

Until Tuesday by Luis Carlos Montalvan

I’ve had the recent honor of being promoted to book club doyenne at the book store where I work (Towne Book Center & Cafe) and our pick for December is Until Tuesday by Luis Carlos Montalvan.

Unconventional Librarian.com
courtesy http://until-tuesday.com/

Montalvan is a career Army Captain stationed in the recent war in the Middle East.  He’s suffered some debilitating PTSD for which he receives the most darling and helpful golden retriever named Tuesday. Since I’m a dog lover, I thought the book would be the perfect blend of oohing and ahhing over how adorable the pooch is and how helpful he’s made Montalvan’s life.  To be sure, Tuesday is helpful and probably kept Montalvan from hurting himself and others.

What’s surprising about the book is how much the author talks about the war effort. War is gruesome stuff and Montalvan describes the atrocities that he and others faced more than I cared to read.  it gave me nightmares, this stuff.  I cannot even begin to imagine how these heroes live now that they’ve been to war.  What else I cannot believe is how it’s only been very recently that vets have been getting accurate treatment.  We’ve been fighting war for millenia and vets are only just now getting treatment for PTSD.

It’s sad.

Amazingly, Montalvan (and I suspect his ghost writer) added relevant, thought provoking quotes at the beginning of each chapter such as:

I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over.  Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can’t see from the center.

That quote was from the famous writer Kurt Vonnegut, a WWII veteran.  You’d be surprised how many famous writers were war veterans.

As a civilian, I have no idea what goes on behind the scenes during war time.  Montalvan gives us some insight into the mismanagement and I’ll admit it makes me a bit angry.  But you try to stow that anger when you read Tuesday’s goofy personality or his contagious smile or the way he calms Montalvan’s tension, potentially staving off an anxiety attack.

Where would we be without our pets?  You know I love my Bailey, and while he’s no service dog, mostly cuz he’s a little neurotic,  his daily greetings make me feel like I’m the best person he’s seen all day (at least until someone else comes home).

Bailey, not a service dog

My hope is that service animals will become more available to those who need them.

World peace wouldn’t be too much to ask for, would it?

Our book club meets at 7pm and I’m sure there will be a great discussion surrounding this book (and prolly a war discussion).

I give Until Tuesday 4 paws!