Parents And Children: The Immigrant Experience

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Nadia Hashimi, author of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, has a new novel set in Afghanistan: When the Moon Is Low. Fereiba endures an unhappy childhood to be wedded to Mahmood, an engineer. The happy pair have two children and another on the way when the Taliban come to power and disappear Mahmood. Realizing her untenable […]

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Holy Women, Batman! Women Religious in Historical Fiction

Nuns At The Beach

Robyn Cadwallader is a new novelist, and The Anchoress is a delight. Sarah, a cloth merchant's daughter in 1255, is looking to escape the anguish of her sister's death and the predations of the local lord's son. This leads her to vows as anchoress, a holy woman contained in a nine-paces-by-five-paces cell, never to emerge. As […]

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Travel to Novel Places: Colonial Kenya

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Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife, has a new novel: Circling the Sun.  It focuses on the early life of Beryl Markham, a horse trainer and one of the first female commercial pilots. Coming to what would become Kenya at a young age and abandoned by her mother, Beryl grows up wild on her father's […]

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DIY: Etsy!

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For those of you who don't know, Etsy is an online community and shopping site. It's a great way to sell hand made and vintage items. Also, it can be a good way to start a small business with relatively few investment costs and overhead.  As an aspiring Etsy entrepreneur myself, I did the sensible thing and […]

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Civility Will Prevail: Matthew Quick’s Novels for Adults

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Matthew Quick is best known for The Silver Linings Playbook, his first novel and one that has been turned into a movie, Silver Linings Playbook.  In these works, Pat Peoples is recently released from a mental institution where he was committed after an explosive argument with his estranged wife. He still loves her, she's moved on.  Peoples starts compulsively working out and […]

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Say Goodbye to Hollywood: Stars, Real and Imagined

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You know what Lisa Jakub looks like. You saw her in Mrs. Doubtfire and Matinee. But you don't see her anymore. Her book, You Look Like That Girl, explains why she walked away from a successful Hollywood career. First, however, she describes how she got into acting as a preschooler and her adventures as a child performer. […]

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Irish Noir

New Square Lamp Dublin

If these hot summer days have you wishing for a cooler, if not less humid environment and your imagination runs to the dark side of the street, I may have a few books for you. The darkness of the Irish soul is a much-remarked-upon aspect of the national psyche, so get your black Celt on for […]

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Traveling to Novel Places: India

Varanasi Woman

Teatime for the Firefly by Shona Patel is a book at once sweeping and intimate, covering the end of the British raj. Layla Roy has an unlucky horoscope and a grandfather who believes in educating women, and so she is sure she will never marry. However, Manik Deb, a British-educated neighbor, takes a romantic interest in […]

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L.A.’s Killing Streets

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In the eyes of John Skaggs, a homicide detective for the Los Angeles Police Department, once a person becomes a murder victim, they are no longer a gang member or a prostitute or whatever else bad they may have had in their past, they are somebody's child, and they deserve justice. I would say that […]

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Chicago Grit

Noir Bean

If you like noir and novels about Chicago, there's a new favorite out for you. The Governor's Wife by Michael Harvey is the latest in the Michael Kelly series, which starts with The Chicago Way. Harvey's books are atmospheric, and pretty much all the places he mentions actually exist, or have existed. Harvey's specialty is conspiracies, but they all seem […]

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