List: Summer Reads: Adventures Around the World
Anappara, Deepa, author.
Based on a true story--Nine-year-old Jai watches too many reality police shows, thinks he's sma... More
Based on a true story--Nine-year-old Jai watches too many reality police shows, thinks he's smarter than his friend Pari (even though she gets the best grades), and considers himself to be a better boss than Faiz (even though Faiz is the one with a job). When a classmate goes missing, Jai decides to use the crime-solving skills he has picked up from TV to find him. He asks Pari and Faiz to be his assistants and together they draw up lists of people to interview and places to visit. But what begins as a game turns sinister as other children start disappearing from their neighborhood. Jai, Pari, and Faiz have to confront terrified parents, an indifferent police force, and their fears of soul-snatching djinns. As the disappearances edge ever closer to home, the lives of Jai and his friends will never be the same again. At times exuberant, at times heartbreaking, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line traces the unfolding of a tragedy while capturing the fierce warmth and resilience of a community forged in times of trouble. Less
Lee, Min Jin, author.
PACHINKO follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunj... More
PACHINKO follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan. So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity. Less
Oxenreider, Tsh, 1977- author.
As Tsh Oxenreider, author of Notes From a Blue Bike, chronicles her family's adventure around t... More
As Tsh Oxenreider, author of Notes From a Blue Bike, chronicles her family's adventure around the world--seeing, smelling, and tasting the widely varying cultures along the way--she discovers what it truly means to be at home. In her late thirties and as a mom to three kids under age ten, Tsh Oxenreider and her husband decided to spend a rather ordinary nine months in an extraordinary way: traveling the corners of the earth to see, together, the places they've always wanted to explore. This book chronicles their global journey from China to Thailand to Australia, Sri Lanka, Uganda, France, Croatia, and beyond, as they fill their days with train schedules, world-schooling the kids, and working from anywhere. Told with wit and candor, Oxenreider invites us on a worldwide adventure without the cost of a ticket; to discover people, places, and stories worth knowing about; to find peace in the places we call home; and to learn that, as the Thai say, in the end, we are all 'same same but different. Less
Hosseini, Khaled, author.
Sea Prayer is composed in the form of a letter, from a father to his son, on the eve of their journe... More
Sea Prayer is composed in the form of a letter, from a father to his son, on the eve of their journey. Watching over his sleeping son, the father reflects on the dangerous sea-crossing that lies before them. It is also a vivid portrait of their life in Homs, Syria, before the war, and of that city's swift transformation from a home into a deadly war zone. Less
Jaswal, Balli Kaur, author.
The British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters--Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirnia--were never close and barely ... More
The British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters--Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirnia--were never close and barely got along growing up, and now as adults, have grown even further apart. Rajni, a school principal is a stickler for order. Jezmeen, a thirty-year-old struggling actress, fears her big break may never come. Shirina, the peacemaking "good" sister married into wealth and enjoys a picture-perfect life. On her deathbed, their mother voices one last wish: that her daughters will make a pilgrimage together to the Golden Temple in Amritsar to carry out her final rites. After a trip to India with her mother long ago, Rajni vowed never to return. But she's always been a dutiful daughter, and cannot, even now, refuse her mother's request. Jezmeen has just been publicly fired from her television job, so the trip to India is a welcome break to help her pick up the pieces of her broken career. Shirina's in-laws are pushing her to make a pivotal decision about her married life; time away will help her decide whether to meekly obey, or to bravely stand up for herself for the first time. Arriving in India, these sisters will make unexpected discoveries about themselves, their mother, and their lives--and learn the real story behind the trip Rajni took with their Mother long ago--a momentous journey that resulted in Mum never being able to return to India again. Less
Greer, Andrew Sean, author.
Receiving an invitation to his ex-boyfriend's wedding, Arthur, a failed novelist on the eve of ... More
Receiving an invitation to his ex-boyfriend's wedding, Arthur, a failed novelist on the eve of his fiftieth birthday, embarks on an international journey that finds him falling in love, risking his life, reinventing himself, and making connections with the past. Less
Adebayo, Ayobami, 1988- author.
A novel about a married Nigerian couple who must grapple with staggering levels of loss and betraya... More
A novel about a married Nigerian couple who must grapple with staggering levels of loss and betrayal in their quest to create a family for themselves. Less
Auður A. Ólafsdóttir, 1958- author.
Iceland in the 1960s. Hekla always knew she wanted to be a writer. In a nation of poets, where each ... More
Iceland in the 1960s. Hekla always knew she wanted to be a writer. In a nation of poets, where each household proudly displays leatherbound volumes of the Sagas, and there are more writers per capita than anywhere else in the world, there is only one problem: she is a woman. After packing her few belongings, including James Joyces's Ulysses and a Remington typewriter, Hekla heads for Reykjavik with a manuscript buried in her bags. She moves in with her friend Jon, a gay man who longs to work in the theatre, but can only find dangerous, backbreaking work on fishing trawlers. Hekla's opportunities are equally limited: marriage and babies, or her job as a waitress, in which harassment from customers is part of the daily grind. The two friends feel completely out of place in a small and conservative world. And yet that world is changing: JFK is shot and hemlines are rising. In Iceland another volcano erupts and Hekla meets a poet who brings to light harsh realities about her art. Hekla realizes she must escape to find freedom abroad, whatever the cost. Less
Murata, Sayaka, 1979- author.
Keiko Furukura had always been considered a strange child, and her parents always worried how she wo... More
Keiko Furukura had always been considered a strange child, and her parents always worried how she would get on in the real world, so when she takes on a job in a convenience store while at university, they are delighted for her. For her part, in the convenience store she finds a predictable world mandated by the store manual, which dictates how the workers should act and what they should say, and she copies her coworkers' style of dress and speech patterns so that she can play the part of a normal person. However, eighteen years later, at age 36, she is still in the same job, has never had a boyfriend, and has only few friends. She feels comfortable in her life, but is aware that she is not living up to society's expectations and causing her family to worry about her. When a similarly alienated but cynical and bitter young man comes to work in the store, he will upset Keiko's contented stasis--but will it be for the better? Sayaka Murata brilliantly captures the atmosphere of the familiar convenience store that is so much part of life in Japan. With some laugh-out-loud moments prompted by the disconnect between Keiko's thoughts and those of the people around her, she provides a sharp look at Japanese society and the pressure to conform, as well as penetrating insights into the female mind. Less
Vida, Vendela, author.
After being robbed of her wallet and passport while on a mysterious trip to Morocco, a woman feels a... More
After being robbed of her wallet and passport while on a mysterious trip to Morocco, a woman feels a strange freedom of being stripped of her identity and soon begins pretending to be a well-known film star. Less
Mbue, Imbolo, author.
Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, it tells the story of a people living in fear amidst... More
Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, it tells the story of a people living in fear amidst environmental degradation wrought by a large and powerful American oil company. Pipeline spills have rendered farmlands infertile. Children are dying from drinking toxic water. Promises of clean up and financial reparations to the villagers are made--and ignored. The country's government, led by a corrupt, brazen dictator, exists to serve its own interest. Left with few choices, the people of Kosawa decide to fight the American corporation. Doing so will come at a steep price. Told through multiple perspectives and centered around a fierce young girl named Thula who grows up to become a revolutionary, Joy of the Oppressed is a masterful exploration of what happens when the reckless drive for profit, coupled with the ghosts of colonialism, comes up against one village's quest for justice--and a young woman's willingness to sacrifice everything for the sake of her people's freedom. Less
Coleman, Laura (Wildlife conservationist), author.
Presents the story of the author's journey in the Amazon jungle, where she fell in love with a ... More
Presents the story of the author's journey in the Amazon jungle, where she fell in love with a magnificent cat who changed her life. Less
Knisley, Lucy, author, artist.
An Age of License is Knisley's comics travel memoir recounting her adventures. It's punctu... More
An Age of License is Knisley's comics travel memoir recounting her adventures. It's punctuated by whimsical visual devices; peppered with the cats she meets along the way; and, of course, features her hallmark -- drawings and descriptions of food that will make your mouth water. But it's not all kittens and raclette crêpes: Knisley's experiences are colored by anxieties, introspective self-inquiries, and quotidian revelations -- about traveling alone in unfamiliar countries, and about her life and career. Less
Han, Kang, 1970- author.
Follows the aftermath of a young boy's shocking death during a violent student uprising as told... More
Follows the aftermath of a young boy's shocking death during a violent student uprising as told from the perspectives of the event's victims and their loved ones. Less
Locke, Tembi, 1970- author.
A poignant and transporting cross-cultural love story set against the lush backdrop of the Sicilian ... More
A poignant and transporting cross-cultural love story set against the lush backdrop of the Sicilian countryside, where one woman discovers the healing powers of food and family in her darkest hour. Less
Walking the Americas: 1,800 miles, Eight Countries, and One Incredible Journey from Mexico to Colombia
Wood, Levison, 1982- author.
Starting in the Yucatán, Wood sets out on an epic walking voyage, moving through Belize, Guatemala,... More
Starting in the Yucatán, Wood sets out on an epic walking voyage, moving through Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama, travelling in the opposite direction along vital migrant routes. Journeying from sleepy barrios to glamourous cities to Mayan ruins lying unexcavated in the wilderness, Wood forges new relationships along the way that stand at the heart of this book--and the personal histories, cultures, and popular legends he discovers paint a riveting history of Mexico and Central America. While contending with the region's natural obstacles, he partakes in family meals with local hosts, learns to build an emergency shelter, and witnesses the surreal beauty of the landscapes. Finally, Wood attempts to cross one of the world's most impenetrable borders: The Darién Gap from Panama into south America, a notorious smuggling passage and the wildest jungle he has ever navigated. Less
Backman, Fredrik, 1981- author.
Taken hostage by a failed bank robber while attending an open house, eight anxiety-prone strangers--... More
Taken hostage by a failed bank robber while attending an open house, eight anxiety-prone strangers--including a redemption-seeking bank director, two couples who would fix their marriages, and a plucky octogenarian--discover their unexpected common traits. Less
Sudbanthad, Pitchaya, author.
A house in the center of Bangkok becomes the point of confluence where lives are shaped by upheaval,... More
A house in the center of Bangkok becomes the point of confluence where lives are shaped by upheaval, memory, and the lure of home. Witness to two centuries' flux in one of the world's most restless cities, a house plays host to longings and losses past, present, and future. A nineteenth-century missionary doctor pines for the comforts of New England even as he finds the vibrant foreign chaos of Siam increasingly difficult to resist. A post-war society woman marries, mothers, and holds court, little suspecting the course of her future. A jazz pianist is summoned in the 1970s to conjure music that will pacify resident spirits, even as he's haunted by ghosts of his former life. Not long after, a young woman gives swimming lessons in the luxury condos that have eclipsed the old house, trying to outpace the long shadow of her political past. And in the post-submergence Bangkok of the future, a band of savvy teenagers guides tourists and former residents past waterlogged, ruined landmarks, selling them tissues to wipe their tears for places they themselves do not remember. Time collapses as these stories collide and converge, linked by blood, memory, yearning, chance, and the forces voraciously making and remaking the amphibian, ever-morphing city itself. Less
Wilkinson, Lauren, 1984- author.
1986, the heart of the Cold War. A young black woman working in an old boys' club, Marie Mitch... More
1986, the heart of the Cold War. A young black woman working in an old boys' club, Marie Mitchell's FBI career has stalled out and her days are filled with monotonous paperwork. Given the opportunity to join a task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic revolutionary president of Burkina Faso whose Communist ideology has made him a target for American intervention, she says yes. In the year that follows Marie observes Sankara, seduces him-- and has a hand in the coup that will bring him down. But doing so will change everything she believes about what it means to be a spy, a lover, a sister, and a good American. Less
Slimani, Leïla, 1981- author.
Adèle appears to have the perfect life: She is a successful journalist in Paris who lives in a beau... More
Adèle appears to have the perfect life: She is a successful journalist in Paris who lives in a beautiful apartment with her surgeon husband and their young son. But underneath the surface, she is bored--and consumed by an insatiable need for sex. Driven less by pleasure than compulsion, Adèle organizes her day around her extramarital affairs, arriving late to work and lying to her husband about where she's been, until she becomes ensnared in a trap of her own making. Suspenseful, erotic, and electrically charged, Adèle is a captivating exploration of addiction, sexuality, and one woman's quest to feel alive. Less
Hibbert, Talia, author.
Emerging from a life-threatening illness, a fiercely organized but unfulfilled computer geek recruit... More
Emerging from a life-threatening illness, a fiercely organized but unfulfilled computer geek recruits a mysterious artist to help her establish meaning in her life, before finding herself engaged in reckless but thrilling activities. Less
Ruiz Zafón, Carlos, 1964-2020, author, translator.
Presents a complete collection of the author's short stories, some of which were not previously... More
Presents a complete collection of the author's short stories, some of which were not previously published, featuring such characters as a boy who decides to become a writer to impress the rich girl he has fallen in love with and an architect with plans for an impregnable library. Less
Towles, Amor, author.
A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander ... More
A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery. Less