1. The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio (How my Mother Raised 10 kids on 25 Words or Less): This is a memoir, nonfiction, written by the daughter of Evelyn Ryan and it is truly inspirational. I am old enough to remember when magazines actually had the type of contests that Mrs. Ryan entered, where contestants had to fill in the last line of a jingle. If you like true accounts of people overcoming adversity or you enjoy games involving wordplay, this one might be for you. It has a Foreword by Suze Orman and got raves from such publications as The New Yorker, NY Times, Washington Post, People Magazine and even author Patricia Cornwell.
Evelyn Ryan was married to an alcoholic husband and ahd to fight to turn every financial challenge into an opportunity during a time when women weren't encouraged to work or earn much money. This was later turned into a major motion picture which was good but the book is even better, in my opinion.
2 . Wicked - The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Macguire -This book was the basis for the Broadway play with the same title and is a fantasy tale about the "behind the scenes" story of the Wicked Witch. Where did she come from? What were the circumstances of her birth and life? One focus is on how she became so wicked and a general look at good and evil. I found this a very fun book to read and it made me think about ethics, good, evil and was also a very good escapist read. Lke fantasy? This might be for you!
3. A Simple Plan by Scott Smith - I consider this a book that deserves to be a classic, one that also became a movie but which lost some of the complexity of the ethical dilemnas at the heart of this novel. The situation is seemingly simple. Three men find a bag full of over 4 million dollars after coming upon a crashed plane. One wants to turn the money in, reasoning there is no safe way to keep it. The others come up with a scheme to try and keep the money, especially since it may be "drug money" and under the radar screen. What seems like a fairly straightforward tale takes unexpected twists and turns. A favorite of mine!
4. Town House - by Tish Cohen -(soon to be a major motion picture). This novel is for those who like something a bit different and would be one that those prone to anxiety or social phobial could relate to. It is the tale of an agoraphobic (someone afraid to leave his home) and the challenges he faces as his home is about to be sold. I was riveted by thie writing style of the author, soneone who was able to keep me reading a book which I didn't think I'd like. Humorous, very realistic and suprising developments fill this book.
5. Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies -by Richard Heinberg -copyright 2003 - 3rd edition - A look a the imminent decline of oil and how that affects everything from travel to unexpected aspects of everyday life. Recommendations are included for resource conservation and a more sustainable society.
6. Bitter Sweets by Roopa Farooki - a novel -This is brand new fiction and a first novel about a woman from Calcutta whose father convinces her to deceive a man into marrying her and how this act reverberates through the marriage and life of the couple's daughter. The author has been compared to Zadie Smith, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Arundhari Roy. I found this one to be about average in quality. It held my interest and the writer shows great promise but I hope the next novel will be a bit more fleshed out, with more details about setting and characters.