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"The Last Chinese Chef" by Nicole Mones

Vita's picture

​Charming book about a food writer who travels to China seeking the truth of a paternity claim against her deceased husband.  In addition she receives an assignment to interview the owner of a new restaurant opening in Beijing.  She soon discovers the restaurant owner is one of ten finalists for the Chinese Cultural Olympics too. These two story lines, the paternity claim and the preparation for the culinary contest, are woven throughout the book.  This will be appealing to lovers of Chinese food, romance, and anyone who enjoys historically accurate cooking.

The Possibilty Dogs: what a handful of "unadoptables" taught me about service, hope, and healing by Susannah Charleson

Vita's picture

The Possibility Dogs, is a fine book about raising, training, and working with search and rescue dogs. In this book, the author explores the realm of psychiatric service dogs; the characteristics and qualities required, and the incredible types of aids/interventions these dogs provide to their human partners. This book is an intriguing look at a little-understood and oft underrated branch of canine service.

The Sweetheart, by Angelina Mirabella

Caitlin's picture

The Sweetheart is a riotous coming-of-age novel set in the outrageous world of professional wrestling in the 1950s.

Plain, shy, lonely Leonie Putzkammer is headed for a lifetime of waiting tables and cooking dinner for her widower father when she meets a wrestling promoter in her diner. With the promise of fame dangling before her, she sets out for Otherside, Florida and Joe Pospisil’s School for Lady Grapplers, where she learns to wrestle and, more importantly, to perform. Renamed Gwen Davies and teamed with Screaming Mimi Hollander, Leonie tours the country and finds fame, friendship, and first love. But in the brutal world of professional wrestling, fame is fleeting and identity is tenuous: torn between her family, her boyfriend, her friend Mimi, and her ambition, Leonie can’t have it all—so she’ll have to decide what she really wants.

Clover's Luck by Kallie George

Clover's Luck is the first book in The Magical Animal Adoption Agency series.  Clover has always considered herself unlucky and especially with pets.  Her most recent one, a pet bird, flies off into the forest and when she goes chasing after her Clover stumbles upon a flyer advertising a job at an animal adoption agency.  When Clover goes to ask about the job she is hired on the spot and soon learns the secret of M.A.A.A.; it's full of magical animals.  Fairy horses, magic toads, witch kittens, unicorns, and even a baby dragon are among the animals available to adopt. Just as Clover is feeling her luck might be changing she gets left in charge of the agency and a sneaky witch shows up causing all sorts of trouble.  Can Clover overcome her bad luck and help the animals find good homes?   (Grades 2-4 School Library Journal)

"The Dinner" by Herman Koch

Vita's picture

It begins with dinner at a high-end restaurant in Amsterdam. Two brothers, Paul and Serge, and their wives meet to discuss their teenage sons. It is quickly apparent this is no ordinary discussion.  What have the cousins done? What is to be done about it? Slowly the tension builds and the reader becomes anxious as the story unfolds. The ending is a stunner!

Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening

Vita's picture

MISTER OWITA'S GUIDE TO GARDENING is a beautifully written memoir by a first time author Carol Wall. The story is a very personal account of friendship between two people.  Less about gardening, the book is more about those accidental judgments that we make based on prejudices of race, money, education, and plain old general appearances.

I enjoyed this book.  It is about the power of friendship which can change our hearts and transform our lives; it is a reminder we all have more in common with each other than we think.

  

Romantic Outlaws: the Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon

Vita's picture

Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley never knew each other.  Mary W. died giving birth to her daughter Mary Shelley.  Yet both women similarly defied convention, both became famous writers; both fell in love with brilliant but impossible authors; both were single mothers and had children out of wedlock; both broke out of the rigid conventions of their era and lived in exile; and both played important roles in the Romantic era during which they lived.

Gordon’s book examines each in alternating chapters of the two women's lives.  This might sound confusing to the reader but it is not.  She presents the facts of each woman's life in a fascinating way that feels as if this biography is a novelization.  Highly readable, highly recommended.

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