Heather's Picks

Heather found her way to Phoenix Books after retiring from full-time teaching. Her primary interest is in fiction, but she also ventures into poetry, nature, gardening, biography, history, and mystery. Lately, she has been reading some middle grade fiction to help young people.

Reviewed by: 
Heather
Another Brooklyn Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062359995
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Amistad Press - May 30th, 2017

A powerful storyteller, Woodson shows how teenage girls August, Angela, Sylvia, and Gigi bond with each other as they journey through their adolescence, each missing something within their own families that she needs.  Woodson navigates life on the edge of poverty where the characters witness much suffering and loss—the mother who does not come home, the addicted veteran, the prostitutes. The narrator August finds hope and strength.


Reviewed by: 
Heather
In the Midst of Winter Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781501178139
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - October 31st, 2017

The lives of three characters become intertwined when Richard Bowmaster hits the rear end of a Lexus driven by Evelyn Orteja, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala.  Lucia Maraz, Richard's tenant from Chile, helps him solve the problem.  As a result, each character awakens to live more fully, moving past political turmoil, trauma and failed marriage.  As immigration and human trafficking are key issues today, Allende shows us the human cost.


Reviewed by: 
Heather
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Hum If You Don't Know the Words Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780399575068
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - July 11th, 2017

Two characters who normally would never meet because of apartheid in South Africa come together. Robin is grieving the loss of her parents who were murdered during the Soweto uprisings. Beauty, whose own daughter Nomas is missing during the uprisings, becomes Robin's caregiver. Beauty's love for Robin helps ease the pain. Robin helps Beauty with her loss. Robin knows that if Beauty finds Nomsa, she will lose her caregiver. Her decision could have evastating consequences.

 


Reviewed by: 
Heather
The Red-Haired Woman Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780451494429
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - August 22nd, 2017

A master storyteller, Pamuk's new book captivates readers with the story of a young man apprenticed to Mahmut, a well digger in the outskirts of Istanbul.  Pamuk weaves Western myth (Oedipus) and Easter myth (Sohrab and Rustum) into the story as the young man searches for a father figure.  Turkey is a crossorads of cultures.  The red haired woman is mysterious and has a profound influence on the boy's life.


Reviewed by: 
Heather
L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780804188388
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - November 7th, 2017

With self-deprecating humor, world renowned chef and writer David Lebovitz writes about his experience of moving to Paris where he decides to buy an apartment to renovate for his home as an expat.  Lebovitz weaves together the process of establishing his identity in a culture different process of establishing his identity in a culture difference from what he knows.  He struggles to master the technical French vocabulary for hardware, tubs, and sinks.  He connects the transformation of his residence with the process of baking and cooking.  Witty delightful read.


Reviewed by: 
Heather
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Magpie Murders Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062645227
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - June 6th, 2017

If you love "who-dunn-its," Horowitz will please you.  The murder mystery by Alan Conway is surrounded by another plot—that of his publisher, Charles, and astute editor, Susan. Horowitz laughs at the genre and entertains us along the way.
 


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Heather
Little Fires Everywhere Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780735224292
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Press - September 12th, 2017

Set in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a planned community of privilege, this novel makes us ponder many questions. What role does race play in parenting? Is motherhood a bond forged by blood or by love? Do the faults of our past determine what we deserve in the future? Ng will cause us to challenge our assumptions.

 


Reviewed by: 
Heather
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Hum If You Don't Know the Words Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780399575068
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - July 11th, 2017

Two characters who normally would never meet because of apartheid in South Africa come together. Robin is grieving the loss of her parents who were murdered during the Soweto uprisings. Beauty, whose own daughter, Nomsa, is missing during the uprisings, becomes Robin’s caregiver. Beauty’s love for Robin helps to ease the pain. Robin helps Beauty with her loss.  Robin knows that if Beauty finds Nomsa, she will lose her caregiver. Robin’s decision could have devastating consequences. This book is a story of self-discovery and making amends for one’s decisions.


Reviewed by: 
Heather
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Carry Me Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781101910894
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor Books - January 24th, 2017

Set between WWI and the onset of WW II, Behrens weaves together the love story of Billy Lange and Karin Von Weinbrenner, the daughter of a wealthy German-Jewish industrialist.  Using archival letters of the characters, Behrens shows how the darkening history of Europe compels two young people to want to escape to El Llano Estacado, the mythical lands of Texas and New Mexico.  Epic in scale, unusual love story, lucid meditation.


Reviewed by: 
Heather
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Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist) Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781455563937
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - February 7th, 2017

Pachinko is a popular gambling game in Japan. So to is life a gamble for three generations of a peasant Korean family that survives the Japanese occupation of Korea.  As the widow (Sunju) of a persecuted Christian missionary (Isak), Sunji travels to Osaka to live with her brother-in-law's family.  The Korean, while industrious and hardworking, are never fully accepted by the Japanese.  Some prevail despite bigotry and tragedy.
--Heather


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