Walking the Amazon by Ed Stafford

9780452298262Walking the Amazon
by Ed Stafford
(pub. 7/12)

If you are looking for an adventure, look no further. Readers can walk every step of the Amazon River with Ed Stafford in his skillful account of his two and a half year, Guinness World Record winning hike down the entire length of the Amazon River. Stafford brings neglected issues to attention, such as the deforestation of the Amazon and the resulting pressures of survival for indigenous peoples. Through Stafford’s excellent travel narrative, readers too can experience these tribulations as well as the grueling demands of raw, untouched nature. Stafford leaves readers with an undeniable sense of how much of the world there really is left to see.

Recommended by:
Lauren – Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville
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I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

MalalaI Am Malala
by Malala Yousafzai
(pub. 9/13)

Upon finishing this humbling autobiography, I felt honored that Malala shared her story with me. Malala wisely relates every chilling detail of growing up during Talibanization in Pakistan. It is remarkable how such a sweet, young girl can have such a brave, powerful voice and maintain this voice despite oppression by the Taliban. Her passion for girls’ and women’s education is infectious; this book has only fueled my growing support for female literacy. I hope that men and women alike will dive into this eye-opening story. Malala sends a message that we all can, and should, receive.

Sue B. – Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville
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Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson

9780062286444The finest novel I’ve read so far this year! Pete Snow is an alcoholic social worker doing the best he can in the almost-Canadian NW corner of Montana. Try as he might to alter the plummeting trajectories in the lives of unwilling, mistrustful and addicted clients, his success/failure ratio is low . . . and his own family struggles are likewise depleting him. Pete faces a most difficult situation in his effort to rescue the young son of a survivalist who is also being pursued by the FBI.

This is a glimpse into a world I never want to see any closer than on a page, but one that’s compelling nonetheless. I’ll be looking for more from Smith Henderson.

Sue B. – Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville
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The Son by Jo Nesbo

9780385351379The Son
by Jo Nesbo
(pub. 4/14)

I enjoyed doing a ride-along as The Son breaks out of prison and seeks revenge on those whose crimes he has confessed to, in exchange for heroin.  He relinquished his soul, you see, when his policeman father committed suicide, rather than be exposed as a mole.  This is an engaging thrill-ride of a mystery in which you may find yourself rooting for the “bad guy”.

Sue B. – Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville
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Family Life by Akhil Sharma

9780393060058Family Life
by Akhil Sharma
(pub. 3/14)

This is the immigrant experience as told by 8 yr old Ajay Mishra whose family has moved from Delhi to America, the Promised Land.  It’s a concise and poignant chronology dominated by a tragic injury to Ajay’s older brother Birju.  Seasoned with humor . . . for example Ajay praying to a God he conceives of as similar to Superman . . . this novel packed a lot of powerful images of love and sacrifice into it’s few pages.  What a struggle this family has in it’s effort to touch the rainbow.

Sue B. – Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville
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Living With a Wild God by Barbara Ehrenreich

9781455501762Living With a Wild God
by Barbara Ehrenreich
(pub. 3/14)

This memoir is the author’s distillation of her almost lifelong quest to answer the BIG QUESTION, what is the point of our brief existence?  When I say lifelong, I mean she has notes from as far back as her teens when she began to tackle/be obsessed by the subject.  What I’ll mention is that this book may have a record number of dog-earred pages and highlighted passages which means I consider her comments profound and they resonated highly with me.  I’d say we’ve asked a lot of the same questions, and that’s exactly why you might want to open these pages . . . most people have wrestled with the unanswerables and it’s always nice to have someone you respect (as I do Ehrenreich, because her writing tells me she’s brilliant) so skillfully put into words the thoughts that may have flitted through your mind.

Sue B.
– Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville
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You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz

You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff KorelitzYou Should Have Known
by Jean Hanff Korelitz
(pub. 3/14)

So who IS this man I fell in love with and married 20 years ago?  These are the thoughts of psychotherapist Grace Sachs who can’t imagine her pediatric oncologist husband, Jonathan, could possibly have done what is being said!  And the timing of the crisis is ironic, on the eve of the publication of her first book titled, You Should Have Known!  Nothing is more fascinating/frightening than discovering secrets about those we think we really know well . . . I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

Sue B.
– Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville
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