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HAPPINESS

One of our recommended books is Happiness by Aminatta Forna

London. A fox makes its way across Waterloo Bridge. The distraction causes two pedestrians to collide—Jean, an American studying the habits of urban foxes, and Attila, a Ghanaian psychiatrist there to deliver a keynote speech. From this chance encounter, Aminatta Forna’s unerring powers of observation show how in the midst of the rush of a great city lie numerous moments of connection.

Attila has arrived in London with two tasks: to deliver a keynote speech on trauma, as he has done many times before; and to contact the daughter of friends, his “niece,” Ama, who hasn’t called home in a while.

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YOU’RE NOT LISTENING

One of our recommended books is You're Not Listening by Kate Murphy

Who listens to you?

New York Times contributor Kate Murphy asked people on five continents this question, and the response was typically a long, awkward pause. People struggled to come up with someone, anyone, who truly listened to them without glazing over, glancing down at a phone, or jumping in to offer an opinion. Many admitted that they, themselves, weren’t very good listeners, and most couldn’t even describe what it meant to be a good listener.

Despite living in a world where technology allows constant digital communication and opportunities to connect, it seems no one is really listening or even knows how.

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THE MAGICAL LANGUAGE OF OTHERS

One of our recommended books is The Magical Language of Others by E.J. Koh

After living in America for over a decade, Eun Ji’s parents return to Korea for work, leaving fifteen-year-old Eun Ji and her brother behind in the family’s new California home. Overnight, Eun Ji finds herself in a world made strange in her mother’s absence. Her mother writes letters over the years seeking forgiveness and love—letters Eun Ji cannot understand until she finds them years later hidden in a box.

The letters lay bare the impact of her mother’s departure, as Eun Ji gets to know the woman who raised her and left her behind. Eun Ji is a student,

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AMERICAN DIRT

One of our recommended books for 2020 is American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

También de este lado hay sueños. On this side too, there are dreams.

Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites.

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THE CONTRACT

One of our recommended books for 2019 is The Contract by Sheila Grinell

Joanna and Ev have been partners for ten years―in business and in love―when one of the only women in government in the Middle East invites their firm to design a children’s museum in Riyadh. Jo sees a chance to solidify her name in the design world, and help Saudi girls along the way, in the venture. Her husband, however, has no desire to work in a vigorously policed society; he prefers to remain in his workshop, fashioning gadgets for museum displays. Jo’s sister and young protégé share his doubts, but Ev accedes to Jo’s wishes. The process of bidding on the job soon throws their home office into chaos and challenges their long-held assumptions about the value of their work―and marriage.

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RUNNING ON THE ROOF OF THE WORLD

One of our recommended books for 2019 is Running on the Roof of the World by Jess Butterworth

A story of adventure, survival, courage, and hope, set in the vivid Himalayan landscape of Tibet and India.

Tash lives in Tibet, where as a practicing Buddhist she must follow many rules to avoid the wrath of the occupying Chinese soldiers. Life remains peaceful as long as Tash, her family, and their community hide their religion and don’t mention its leader, the Dalai Lama.

The quiet is ruptured when a man publicly sets himself on fire to protest the occupation. In the crackdown that follows, soldiers break into Tash’s house and seize her parents. Tash barely escapes,

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