|5/5||The Unexpected Waltz||Kim Wright|
Kelly Wilder becomes recently widowed from a much older wealthy man with whom she spent her married life doing charity work, building a lovely home, and, as she says, "pretending to be a whole lot more conservative and stupid and nicer than I really am."
Now, with too much time and money on her hands, Kelly has absolutely no idea what happens next. So on a whim she signs up for a ballroom dancing class, and slowly, step by high-heeled step, begins to rebuild her life with the help of friends old and new: Nik, a young Russian dance teacher who sees the artistic potential she left behind; Carolina, a woman in hospice, anxious to experience a whole lifetime in a few months; and Elyse, Kelly's girlhood best friend who knows all of her past secrets-including the truth about the man who long ago broke Kelly's heart.
|6/2||The Dovekeepers||Alice Hoffman|
Hoffman departs from offbeat fantasy to retell the story of the Romans' siege of Masada in 70 CE, during which all but a handful of the 900 Jewish defenders were slaughtered. The story unfolds through the voices of four women: Yael, daughter of an assassin; Revka, determined to protect her grandsons; the warrior Aziza; and her mother, a woman of mysterious powers. Hoffman spent five years researching the book, and the publisher is pushing it as her Beloved.
|7/7||Read My Pins||Madeline Albright|
Part illustrated memoir, part social history, Read My Pins provides an intimate look at Albright's life through the brooches she wore. Her collection is both international and democratic-dime-store pins share pride of place with designer creations and family heirlooms. Included are the antique eagle purchased to celebrate Albright's appointment as secretary of state, the zebra pin she wore when meeting Nelson Mandela, and the Valentine's Day heart forged by Albright's five-year-old daughter. Read My Pins features more than 200 photographs, along with compelling and often humorous stories about jewelry, global politics, and the life of one of America's most accomplished and fascinating diplomats.
|8/4||The Sandcastle Girls||Chris Bohjalian|
When Elizabeth Endicott arrives in Syria, she has a diploma from Mount Holyoke College, a crash course in nursing, and only the most basic grasp of the Armenian language. The First World War is spreading across Europe, and she has volunteered on behalf of the Boston-based Friends of Armenia to deliver food and medical aid to refugees of the Armenian genocide. There, Elizabeth becomes friendly with Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter. When Armen leaves Aleppo to join the British Army in Egypt, he begins to write Elizabeth letters, and comes to realize that he has fallen in love with the wealthy, young American woman who is so different from the wife he lost.Flash forward to the present, where we meet Laura Petrosian, a novelist living in suburban New York. Although her grandparents’ ornate Pelham home was affectionately nicknamed the “Ottoman Annex,” Laura has never really given her Armenian heritage much thought. But when an old friend calls, claiming to have seen a newspaper photo of Laura’s grandmother promoting an exhibit at a Boston museum, Laura embarks on a journey back through her family’s history that reveals love, loss—and a wrenching secret that has been buried for generations.
|9/1||Heart of Darkness/The Secret Sharer||Joseph Conrad|
In this pair of literary voyages into the inner self, Joseph Conrad has written two of the most chilling, disturbing, and noteworthy pieces of fiction of the twentieth century.
|10/6||The Goldfinch||Donna Tartt|
In Tartts much-anticipated latest, following 1992s The Secret History and 2002s The Little Friend, young Theo survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, he lives with a friends family in New York, where his obsession with a small painting that reminds him of his mother leads him to the art underworld. With a 250,000-copy first printing and whats billed as a social media extravaganza.
|11/3||Bluebeard's Egg: Stories||Margaret Atwood|
By turns humorous and warm, stark and frightening, Bluebeard'S Egg glows with childhood memories, the reality of parents growing old, and the casual cruelty men and women inflict on each other. Here is the familiar outer world of family summers at remote lakes, winters of political activism, and seasons of exotic friends, mundane lives, and unexpected loves. But here too is the inner world of hidden places and all that emerges from them-the intimately personal, the fantastic, the shockingly real...whether it's what lives in a mysterious locked room or the secret feelings we all conceal. In this dramatic and far-ranging collection, Margaret Atwood proves why she is a true master of the genre.
|12/1||A Train in Winter||Caroline Moorehead|
Students, teachers, housewives, an opera singer; these were the women who belonged to the French Resistance during World War II. In 1943, 230 of them were sent to Auschwitz, where only 49 survived. Moorehead, who's been nominated for some big awards, should effectively relate the story of all these women; she even spoke to four survivors. I hope this gets lots of attention; it's a topic heretofore ignored.