Marilyn

I will read a wide range of books from just about all genres. I am particularly drawn to light mysteries, books with subjects of art, New York, France, Japan, and spiritual development. I love books where the characters go to a foreign country and part of the story is their discovery of the culture and language.

Books: 
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The Authenticity Project: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781984878618
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Pamela Dorman Books - February 4th, 2020

The story centers around a notebook, left at Monica's Cafe in London, which encourages the recipient to write a secret and thereby free themselves. A fabulous book club pick--the idea is therapeutic, like a book chat or where a story can take you to or from a place in your mind. I think of our Wellesley Books as a Monica's Cafe: a unique place in the area to meet, browse and think about ideas presented by stories, author events and fellow shoppers and booksellers.
Perfect for the new year/new decade!
 


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Machines Like Me: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525567035
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Anchor - March 3rd, 2020

I was attracted to this book by my interest in the robot Isaac in the series "The Orville," and I was not disappointed. If you had a human-like robot in your home, how would you treat it? Ian McEwan's latest novel is an absolutely fascinating and smart exploration of the human condition, and how it would or would not transfer to Artificial Intelligence.


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Rules for Visiting: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525559221
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Penguin Press - May 14th, 2019

Two very interesting subjects meet in this story: friendship and gardening. We meet May, a botanist working at a university, who explores her friendships by visiting her four friends. We're also treated to her thoughts about landscaping and which tree should be planted in her father's honor. This novel gave me a lot to think about and was an enjoyable and absorbing read.


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Lifelines Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781328483720
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - June 18th, 2019

I enjoyed this story about an American environmental artist who had attended art school in Germany in the early '70s. We follow her life in chapters that alternate between these memories and her current life, culminating in a return trip thirty years later. The explorations of cultural differences, art, music and family relationships make for good reading.


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The Ditch: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525572381
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Hogarth - June 11th, 2019

This story is told to us by a very charismatic mayor of Amsterdam. I felt like I was taking a trip to Amsterdam from the comfort of my home. The author cleverly leaves you wondering, "what really happened?"  Thought provoking discussions of climate change, life and death, marriage and cultural differences are intertwined with a unique viewpoint. 


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The Only Woman in the Room Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781492666899
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark - August 6th, 2019

We meet Hedwig Kiesler, an actress in Vienna, Austria in 1933 and follow her to Hollywood, where she becomes Hedy Lamarr. In the ten years this book covers, we see through her eyes moviemaking, the rise of Hitler and World War II, her abilities with scientific inventions, and, throughout it all, a woman's place in the world. I've never seen a movie starring Hedy Lamarr, so that's next on my list.


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Life in the Garden Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525558392
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Penguin Books - June 11th, 2019

This is the perfect time of year to read this beautifully written, informative, and thoughtful book about all aspects of gardening. Lively writes about garden history, fictional gardens, and her own gardens as well as others of family and tour visits she has taken. I knew it was going to be delightful from page 2 when she wrote, "The daffodils her mother tried to grow in Egypt were rightly aghast at what was required of them..." 


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Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef's Journey to Discover America's New Melting-Pot Cuisine Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781579659004
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Artisan - March 5th, 2019

I eagerly traveled with this world-renowned chef as he explored various regional cuisines.  Bringing the diverse dishes of immigrants into focus instead of modern trends, Lee writes beautifully about his experiences, tastes, emotions, and the philosophies behind food.  He even provides recipes based on regional traditions and makes them his own.  Delicious!.  


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Paris by the Book: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101986295
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Dutton - January 15th, 2019

This novel is all about books, writers, marriage, parenting, and, especially, about "finding a life that completes us."  A mother and her two daughters create a new life for themselves in Paris when their husband/father disappears.  There are fabulous details about the French, Paris, The Red Balloon, Madeleine, and so much more.  Magnifique!


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A House Among the Trees: A Novel Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781101873595
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Anchor - May 1st, 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which is a perfect blend of the thoughtful and the delightful.  It's the story of an unusual bond between a world-famous children's book writer and his assistant, as well as his legacy of work.  I met the author at our event and asked her if there were plans to publish the fictional teen trilogy featured in the book, and she said that it was not in the works.  I believe it should be.  A passage about a petition to save a tree enchanted me.


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There Your Heart Lies: A Novel Cover Image
$19.66
ISBN: 9780345802941
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Anchor - April 3rd, 2018

I learned so much about the Spanish Civil War from this historical novel in the context of a grandmother who explains her involvement to her granddaughter sixty years later.  This book is very thoughtful about subjects involving religion, family, politics, and aging, and it is very timely.


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4 3 2 1: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250160010
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Picador - February 6th, 2018

I have been happily immersed in the lives of the four different Archibald Fergusons. We follow each version through his childhood, teen years, and early 20's with the families, friends, sports, films, and the history of the 50's & 60's intricately intertwined. The author shares his inner thoughts on the writing process through each Archie's love of reading and writing. My copy is underlined and dog eared because I want to refer back to it in the future as so much is beautifully phrased, thoughtful, and wise. Dear Mr. Auster, continue your journey and give me another 866 pages, please!


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Lab Girl Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101873724
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Vintage - February 28th, 2017

The author's beautiful style of writing makes the insights and workings of this passionate scientist understandable as well as enjoyable.  The essays about plant life are intertwined with her personal history, and both of them are equally fascinating.  I'm excited to share this book with my garden club and with you!


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Sisi: Empress on Her Own: A Novel Cover Image
$19.72
ISBN: 9780812989335
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - February 7th, 2017

Fans of historical fiction will enjoy this well-written story of the Empress of Austria-Hungary, the Princess Diana of her day, much admired for her fashion and ankle-length hair. I was fascinated by the strict rules of royal life, her relationship with King Ludwig of Bavaria, and the description of the Vienna World Exposition of 1873.


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Small Blessings: A Novel Cover Image
$18.56
ISBN: 9781250040534
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Picador - May 5th, 2015

How could I not love this book when it involves a bookstore at the center of a small Southern college?  Newly-hired Rose meets a group of professors and their lives are never the same again.  The author has wonderful insights into people's personalities and motivations.  The way she presented them delighted me!


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The Signature of All Things: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143125846
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Riverhead Books - June 24th, 2014

I was very happy to be immersed in the life of Alma Whittacker in the 1800's born to a wealthy family. "What Alma wanted to know most of all was how the world was regulated. What was the master clockwork behind everything?" I spent a delightful time reading about her discoveries, most notably in Botany. Alma ultimately becomes an expert in moss and I for one will be grabbing a magnifying glass to take a closer look at moss in my garden!


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The Girl You Left Behind: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143125778
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Penguin Books - June 24th, 2014

I enjoy the historical story running back and forth with the contemporary story of loss and love surrounding a painting. It is very different from Me Before You, but still a very enjoyable read.


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A Tale for the Time Being: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143124870
Availability: Currently Out of Stock - NOT AVAILABLE TO ORDER
Published: Penguin Books - December 31st, 2013

A woman finds a plastic bag containing a diary, composition book, watch and letters washed up on the shore of British Columbia. Every other chapter is an entry from the diary of a Japanese girl raised in California but back in Japan and the woman's reaction to it. How did it arrive - did she toss it like a bottle or was it the tsunami? Just one of the questions in this exquisitely crafted novel. I "enjoyed" it in spite of the sensitive nature of the events depicted.


Goodbye Stranger Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780307980861
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Yearling - May 2nd, 2017

I recommend this book for 7th to 10th graders but really enjoyed it as an adult.  The author interweaves storylines very well, and the writing is very pleasing - seemingly simple metaphors with profound meaning.  The story explores the maturing of three best friends in the 7th grade, a 10th grader dealing with friendship issues, and another 7th grader grappling with his beloved grandparents' separation. 

 


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The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780312569372
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Picador - August 2nd, 2011

A man's search for his family's history from Russia to Japan, from wealth to loss, from the mid-1800's to the 1940's. Wis writing is absorbing and fascinating, particularly because of his artistic eye for detail.