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THE WONDROUS AND TRAGIC LIFE OF IVAN AND IVANA

One of our recommended books is The Wondrous and Tragic Life of Ivan and Ivana by Maryse Conde

Born in Guadeloupe, Ivan and Ivana are twins with a bond so strong they become afraid of their feelings for one another. When their mother sends them off to live with their father in Mali they begin to grow apart, until, as young adults in Paris, Ivana’s youthful altruism compels her to join the police academy, while Ivan, stunted by early experiences of rejection and exploitation, walks the path of radicalization. The twins, unable to live either with or without each other, become perpetrator and victim in a wave of violent attacks. In The Wondrous and Tragic Life of Ivan and Ivana,

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WHEN THE APRICOTS BLOOM

One of our recommended books is When the Apricots Bloom by Gina Wilkinson

Inspired by her own experiences stationed in Baghdad during Saddam Hussein’s rule, former foreign correspondent Gina Wilkinson’s evocative debut is told through the eyes of three very different women in Iraq at the turn of the millennium. A secretary, an artist and a diplomat’s wife, each must confront the complexities of trust, friendship, and motherhood under the rule of a dictator and his ruthless secret police…

At night, in Huda’s fragrant garden, a breeze sweeps in from the desert encircling Baghdad, rustling the leaves of her apricot trees and carrying warning of visitors at her gate.

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HIS ONLY WIFE

One of our recommended books is His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie

“Elikem married me in absentia; he did not come to our wedding.”

Afi Tekple is a young seamstress in Ghana. She is smart; she is pretty; and she has been convinced by her mother to marry a man she does not know. Afi knows who he is, of course—Elikem is a wealthy businessman whose mother has chosen Afi in the hopes that she will distract him from his relationship with a woman his family claims is inappropriate. But Afi is not prepared for the shift her life takes when she is moved from her small hometown of Ho to live in Accra,

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A GIRL IS A BODY OF WATER

One of our recommended books is A GIrl Is a Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

International-award-winning author Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s novel is a sweeping and powerful portrait of a young girl and her family: who they are, what history has taken from them, and―most importantly―how they find their way back to each other.

In her twelfth year, Kirabo, a young Ugandan girl, confronts a question that has haunted her childhood: who is my mother? Kirabo has been raised by women in the small village of Nattetta―but the absence of her mother follows her like a shadow. Kirabo also feels the emergence of a mysterious second self, a headstrong and confusing force inside her.

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SPLASH!

Splash by Howard Means

Choose a stroke and get paddling through the human history of swimming!

From man’s first recorded dip into what’s now the driest spot on earth to the splashing, sparkling pool party in your backyard, humans have been getting wet for 10,000 years. And for most of modern history, swimming has caused a ripple that touches us all–the heroes and the ordinary folk; the real and the mythic.

Splash! dives into Egypt, winds through ancient Greece and Rome, flows mostly underground through the Dark and Middle Ages (at least in Europe), and then reemerges in the wake of the Renaissance before taking its final lap at today’s Olympic games.

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WHITE TEETH

One of our recommended books is White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith’s dazzling debut caught critics grasping for comparisons and deciding on everyone from Charles Dickens to Salman Rushdie to John Irving and Martin Amis. But the truth is that Zadie Smith’s voice is remarkably, fluently, and altogether wonderfully her own.At the center of this invigorating novel are two unlikely friends, Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal. Hapless veterans of World War II, Archie and Samad and their families become agents of England’s irrevocable transformation. A second marriage to Clara Bowden, a beautiful, albeit tooth-challenged, Jamaican half his age, quite literally gives Archie a second lease on life, and produces Irie, a knowing child whose personality doesn’t quite match her name (Jamaican for “no problem”).

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