Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Finds 4-24-2009

The good books just go on and on - here are some I'd like to share this week.

Annie's Ghosts by Steve Luxenberg I "found" at Savvy Verse and Wit.

Beth Luxenberg was an only child. Everyone knew it: her grown children, her friends, even people she'd only recently met. So when her secret emerged, her son Steve Luxenberg was bewildered. He was certain that his mother had no siblings, just as he knew that her name was Beth, and that she had raised her children, above all, to tell the truth.

By then, Beth was nearly eighty, and in fragile health. While seeing a new doctor, she had casually mentioned a disabled sister, sent away at age two. For what reason? Was she physically disabled? Mentally ill? The questions were dizzying, the answers out of reach. Beth had said she knew nothing of her sister's fate.
Six months after Beth's death in 1999, the secret surfaced once more. This time, it had a name: Annie.

Steve Luxenberg began digging. As he dug, he uncovered more and more. His mother's name wasn't Beth. His aunt hadn't been two when she'd been hospitalized. She'd been twenty-one; his mother had been twenty-three. The sisters had grown up together. Annie had spent the rest of her life in a mental institution, while Beth had set out to hide her sister's existence. Why?

Employing his skills as a journalist while struggling to maintain his empathy as a son, Luxenberg pieces together the story of his mother's motivations, his aunt's unknown life, and the times in which they lived. His search takes him to imperial Russia and Depression-era Detroit, through the Holocaust in Ukraine and the Philippine war zone, and back to the hospitals where Annie and many others were lost to memory.

Combining the power of reportage with the intrigue of mystery, Annie's Ghosts explores the nature of self-deception and self-preservation. The result is equal parts memoir, social history, and riveting detective story. (Description from Amazon)

I can't remember where I found Public Enemies by Bryan Burrough.

In Public Enemies, bestselling author Bryan Burrough strips away the thick layer of myths put out by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI to tell the full story—for the first time—of the most spectacular crime wave in American history, the two-year battle between the young Hoover and the assortment of criminals who became national icons: John Dillinger, Machine Gun Kelly, Bonnie and Clyde, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, and the Barkers. In an epic feat of storytelling and drawing on a remarkable amount of newly available material on all the major figures involved, Burrough reveals a web of interconnections within the vast American underworld and demonstrates how Hoover’s G-men overcame their early fumbles to secure the FBI’s rise to power.
(Descripton from Penguin website)


A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff was "found" at Books and So Many More Books.

In her eighth novel, 'A Vintage Affair', the heroine, Phoebe Swift, has just opened a vintage dress shop in Blackheath. At the same time she is coping with the recent loss of her best friend, Emma. So Phoebe takes refuge in her work - restoring these wonderful old clothes to their former glory so that they can go on to have new lives. But what of the past lives these clothes have lived she often wonders? What stories would they tell if they could speak? One day Phoebe meets an elderly French woman, Therese, who wishes to sell her some elegant dresses and suits. In Therese's wardrobe Phoebe also finds a child's sky-blue winter coat, from the 1940s. At first Therese wishes not to reveal the coat's history but, as the two women become friends, she opens up. Phoebe listens to the story of the little blue coat not knowing that it is to have a profound and uplifting connection with her own life...
(Description from HarperCollins/UK - I could not find this book available in U.S.)

The Great Expectations School by Dan Brown was "found" at BermudaOnion.

At 22, Dan Brown was an idealistic first-year elementary teacher at P.S. 85 in the Bronx. He was even assigned a class of his own: 4-217. What he wasnÕt told was that 4-217 was the dumping ground for all fourth-grade problem cases, and his students would be more challenging than he ever anticipated. Dedicated and passionate but up against volatile children, absent parents, and a failing administration, Dan was pushed to the limit time and again. Yet in this seeming chaos, he discovered an unexpected well of inspiration to discipline, teach, and make a difference. THE GREAT EXPECTATIONS SCHOOL is the touching journey of Class 4-217 and their teacher, Mr. Brown. But more than that, it is the revealing story of a broken educational system and all those struggling within and fighting against it. (Description from Amazon)

What great books did you find this week?? Stop over at Should Be Reading and share yours!


Jess said...

Public Enemies sounds fantastic and I love the cover of A Vintage Affair.


avisannschild said...

Wow, how did I miss Annie's Ghost on Serena's blog? Ah, I see, she hasn't reviewed it yet. It sounds super interesting! (Thank you for drawing it to my attention.)

Cheryl Pitt said...

You're the second person to recommend Annie's Ghost to me this week. It looks good.

bermudaonion said...

Thanks for the link love. I really enjoyed The Great Expectations School and hope you do too if you get a chance to read it.

jlshall said...

I've seen several mentions of "Annie's Ghosts" lately. Looks like a great read! But "A Vintage Affair" was new to me, and that one looks good, too.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

All have such good covers!


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