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DOMINICANA

One of our recommended books for 2019 is Dominicana by Angie Cruz

Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn’t matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. So on New Year’s Day, 1965, Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable,

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GOODBYE, MY HAVANA

One of our recommended books for 2019 is Goodbye, My Havana by Anna Veltfort

Set against a backdrop of world-changing events during the headiest years of the Cuban Revolution, Goodbye, My Havana follows Anna Veltfort’s young alter ego Connie as her once relatively privileged life among a community of anti-imperialist expatriates turns to progressive disillusionment and heartbreak. The consolidation of Castro’s position brings violence, cruelty, and betrayal to Connie’s doorstep. And the crackdown that ultimately forces her family and others to flee for their lives includes homosexuals among its targets—Connie’s coming-of-age story is one also about the dangers of coming out. Looking back with a mixture of hardheaded clarity and tenderness at her alter ego and a forgotten era,

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THE FATE OF FOOD

One of our recommended books for 2019 is The Fate of Food by Amanda Little

In this fascinating look at the race to secure the global food supply, environmental journalist and professor Amanda Little tells the defining story of the sustainable food revolution as she weaves together stories from the world’s most creative and controversial innovators on the front lines of food science, agriculture, and climate change.

Climate models show that global crop production will decline every decade for the rest of this century due to drought, heat, and flooding. Water supplies are in jeopardy. Meanwhile, the world’s population is expected to grow another 30 percent by midcentury. So how, really, will we feed nine billion people sustainably in the coming decades?

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THERE THERE

One of our recommended books for 2019 is There There by Tommy Orange

Tommy Orange’s shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to each other in ways they may not yet realize. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American—grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism.

Hailed as an instant classic, There There is at once poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, utterly contemporary and always unforgettable.

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SWEDE HOLLOW

One of our recommended books for 2019 is Swede Hollow by Ola Larsmo

When the Klar family leaves Sweden for New York in 1897, they take with them a terrible secret and a longing for a new life. Their dream of starting over is nearly crushed at the outset, until an unexpected gift allows them to make one more desperate move, this time to the Midwest and a place called Swede Hollow.

Their new home is a cluster of shacks on the edge of St. Paul, Minnesota inhabited by other immigrants. The men hire on as day laborers or work at the nearby brewery, and the women clean houses or work in factories.

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THE STORYTELLER

One of our recommended books for 2019 is The Storyteller by Pierre Jarawan

Samir leaves the safety and comfort of his family’s adopted home in Germany for volatile Beirut in an attempt to find his missing father. His only clues are an old photo and the bedtime stories his father used to tell him. The Storyteller follows Samir’s search for Brahim, the father whose heart was always yearning for his homeland, Lebanon.

In this moving and gripping novel about family secrets, love, and friendship, Pierre Jarawan does for Lebanon what Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner did for Afghanistan. He pulls away the curtain of grim facts and figures to reveal the intimate story of an exiled family torn apart by civil war and guilt.

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