In the mood for a rhythmic, romantic soundtrack to your day? Check out Italian Café, one of Putumayo’s most enchanting compilations of classic and contemporary Italian music. But don’t be surprised if you find yourself drifting off to a sidewalk café near a Roman piazza on a warm summer notte.
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When Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney commenced their affair in 1909, the scandal they caused was surpassed only by what happened afterward. Loving Frank is Nancy Horan’s fictionalized account of the true story that shocked Oak Park and the prairie beyond. I’d recommend it as a late-night page turner.
With the cold days upon us, I’d like to recommend two warm classic movies from the 1940’s, Going My Way and Holiday Inn. Packaged together on one DVD, both films star Bing Crosby, singing unforgettable songs as only he can. They are the perfect complement to a snowy winter’s day.
Edwin Wintle’s Breakfast With Tiffany is the funny and touching story of how his life as a single, gay New Yorker turned upside down when he became guardian of his challenging 14-year-old niece. An engrossing story exploring the complexities of being a parent while remaining an individual.
This is the story of two women living through Afghanistan’s tumultuous political upheaval of the late 20th century. Miriam is the daughter of an unwed mother. Too ashamed to publicly acknowledge her, her father marries her to an older man who lives in Kabul. She attempts to be a good wife, but her husband’s abuse and the Taliban’s horrific rules trap her into an existence of brutality and seclusion. Laila lives across the street. Her life holds great promise until the violence of the Taliban destroys all she knows. Laila then makes a desperate decision linking her life with Miriam’s forever.
Maeve Binchy’s latest novel follows the lives of several people who are all connected in different ways to the fictional Irish village of Rossmore. The quite country town has for years drawn visitors to St. Ann’s well, located on its outskirts in Whitethorn Woods. Many flock to the well in the belief that St. Ann will intercede for them and answer their prayers, and the parish curate, Father Flynn, is torn between encouraging people in their faith and discouraging them from idolatry. Fanning the flames is the latest gossip that a new highway is being planned that will cut straight through the woods and through the well itself. There is a tension between the desires of some townspeople to defend Rossmore’s provincial ways and the desires of others to embrace the cosmopolitan allure of encroaching urbanization. Whitethorn Woods is a charming and engaging tale of two worlds colliding in the inevitable march toward modernity.