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A Natural Woman: A Memoir

In straightforward prose, King tells the story of Carol Klein, the daughter of Eastern European Jewish immigrants in Brooklyn. Her educated and artistically inclined mother and firefighting father gave her confidence in her early years. Things started to go wrong when her younger brother Richard was diagnosed as profoundly deaf and “severely retarded” in 1951 and placed in “a facility suitable for his needs”.

Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom inthe West

Now comes Escape From Camp 14, a still more harrowing account of the gulag within the gulag, the huge prison camps that litter the more remote provinces of this benighted country. Written by Blaine Harden, an experienced American journalist, it tells the extraordinary story of Shin Dong-hyuk, the only person born in the gulag to have escaped.

Arcadia Awakens

Troubled girl meets mysterious boy. A boy and girl who are, in fact, members of opposing mafia clans, who are, in reality, the lost shape-shifters of old Arcadia. If there isn't such a term as "high-concept-cluster" there should be. Romeo and Juliet meets Twilight by way of The Godfather. It seems like a lot to take in, but it makes sense, and, besides, Sicily is a location to die for.

Earwig and the Witch

Let's be honest, any book with a heroine called Earwig has got to be good! Earwig is a feisty girl living in St Morwald's Home for Children with her friend Custard, where she resides happily thanks to her unfailing ability to get her own way. Diane Wynne Jones describes a skinny girl whose two bunches stick out just like her elbows: 'She has pointy-out teeth and looks a bit funny but she's pretty cool because she always has a plan' (Maisy).


14-year-old Alex Rider never wanted to be a spy. He was forcibly recruited into MI6. He was then taken to an SAS camp in the mountains to be trained as a super-spy.

Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century

Researched over four years, Thompson's authoritative survey mimics anthropology's methods and borrows its governing concept of "the field" from Bourdieu.

Sounds from The Great Animal Orchestra (Enhanced): Earth

Having recorded over 15,000 species in his 40-year career, Krause is also able to testify that, far from being a monstrous cacophony, the noises of the natural world are as carefully orchestrated as the most intricate classical score.


Some of the things I liked were the little stories in between the actual story of Emma and Lisette. Kendra has one story about the Little Mermaid and one about a prince. The conflict between Emma and Lisette is quite captivating. I was flipping through the pages so fast.

Lawe's Justice

This story is about Lawe Justice, the other part on the law enforcer’s duo and twin brother of Rule Breaker (yes, those are their real names). The heroine is Diane, Jonas’ sister in law and a strong character who also happens to be a soldier.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Toward the end of Cheryl Strayed's memoir, "Wild," the author, who is in the middle of hiking 1,100 miles alone across the West Coast's formidable Pacific Crest Trail, loses one of her hiking boots. She stands at the edge of a precipice and gasps. But the moment has passed and the shoe is gone.

The Pale King

In this way, the argument tracks with one made by the fictional narrator of “The Pale King”—who is named, in a po-mo fillip, David Wallace—and who observes in Chapter 9 how potentially controversial issues of tax reform can be hidden in plain sight via the government’s ability to make the data-dump insurmountable.

The Devil's Star: A Novel

"The Devil's Star" is the third of Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo's novels about the alcoholic Oslo detective Harry Hole to be published in this country. Reviewing "The Redbreast" a few years ago, I said that it ranked with today's best American crime writing.

In the First Circle: The First Uncensored Edition

"In the First Circle," containing 96 chapters, is about a fifth longer than the original English translation, and it is a vastly better novel, though the earlier one was hailed as a masterpiece and contributed significantly to the Nobel Prize for Literature that Solzhenitsyn won in 1970.

The Motel Life: A Novel

The book is an unapologetic ode to self-defeat, a loose collection of deadpan cataclysms in which the most heartening episode revolves around the rescue of an undernourished dog. Its charm is unassuming, and a little clumsy at the outset, but Vlautin’s novel rewards the patient. At times its appeal is irresistible.

Northline: A Novel
The Guardian : Desert storms (March 08, 2008)

Northline tells the story of Allison Johnson, a frequently drunk and easily led young woman dominated by her boyfriend Jimmy, a violent racist. Johnson is so passive and self-pitying that it seems she'll never do anything to improve her lot, but after being dragged out to a particularly depressing skinhead party in the desert she escapes to Reno, finds a job as a waitress, and starts a new life.

A Loss for Words: The Story of Deafness in a Family

Walker’s memoir, written from a hearing person’s perspective, explores the dynamics between deaf and hearing culture and the unique role occupied by children of deaf parents, who move between deaf or hearing worlds, often feeling as though they don‘t fully fit into either.

Lean on Pete: A Novel

Lean on Pete is the story of a boy and his horse, but it is never heart-warming – it ranges in tone from desperate to merely painful – and, while fascinating, it is never entertaining or redemptive. But if you want an unadorned portrait of American life (at least in some places) at the beginning of the 21st century, this is the book for you.

House Justice: A Joe DeMarco Thriller

In four thrillers starring Joe DeMarco, Mike Lawson has made a name for himself as one of the most insightful and entertaining writers focusing on the dirty dealing in our nation’s capital. In his latest, House Justice, his everyman hero Joe DeMarco gets roped into what might be his most dangerous and difficult case yet.


Rainfield’s writing is edgy and uncomfortable, but necessary. Her descriptive passages show the story. I found myself wondering if it would be too much to add to my classroom shelf to realizing that it needed to be there. Unfortunately, there are people out there who are living the same nightmare as Kendra and need to be heard. While Scars certainly isn’t for the faint of heart, it is a story that needs to be told.