book recommendations

Cloud Cuckoo Land

Cloud Cuckoo Land

Anthony Doerr is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of All The Light We Cannot See. In his latest novel, Cloud Cuckoo Land, Doerr has intertwined the stories of Konstance, Seymour, Zeno, Anna and Omeir. They span the siege of Constantinople in 1452, the 20th and early 21st centuries and a world many decades into the future. The characters are connected over time and place by the fragments of an ancient Greek story called Cloud Cuckoo Land by Antonius Diogenes. Doerr invented this text, but not Diogenes. Read more about Cloud Cuckoo Land

Reflections on Identity and Illness, Persistence and Hope

Smile: The Story of a Face

Playwright Sarah Ruhl and her husband, Tony Charuvastra, are taken by surprise when they learn that they are expecting twins—and when serious complications develop, Ruhl must rest in bed for months. After the babies are safely delivered, it seems that the hard part is over. But for Ruhl, it has only just begun. She develops Bell’s palsy, a facial paralysis on one side of her face. Only in rare cases does Bell’s palsy not disappear within a few weeks to a few months. Ruhl’s case was rare. Read more about Reflections on Identity and Illness, Persistence and Hope

Dream Big

Payal Doshi

Transforming the literature landscape for young readers, Edina resident and debut author Payal Doshi released her first middle grade novel Rea and the Blood of the Nectar this past June. Though reading has always been a part of Doshi’s life, it wasn’t until college when it occurred to her that her love for reading could be translated into a career. Breaking into the writing world, Doshi started her journey working as a features editor for a lifestyle magazine. Read more about Dream Big

Good Eggs

Good Eggs by Rebecca Hardiman

Kevin Gogarty, 50, has had it. His widowed mother, Amelia “Millie” Gogarty, has been picked up by the Dublin police. Shoplifting excites lonely Millie, as does the thought of the trip she’s supposed to take to America. After Kevin springs Millie, he tells her that she cannot leave Ireland due to police order. Read more about Good Eggs

Immerse Yourself in Historical Fiction

 Hamnet: A Novel of the Plague by Maggie O’Farrell

Readers live in the golden age of historical fiction, something to be thankful for. Novelists have access to more libraries, archives and institutions via digital collections and the power of the Internet. Voices, certain plot points and dialogues are imagined, but the facts never are. They are well-researched and vetted and lead to great author’s notes. One extraordinary and bestselling example of this is Hamnet: A Novel of the Plague by Maggie O’Farrell. Read more about Immerse Yourself in Historical Fiction

It’s a Mystery

The Postscript Murders

Readers of Elly Griffiths’ The Stranger Diaries will be thrilled to learn that she has written another standalone mystery, The Postscript Murders. When 90-year-old Peggy Smith is found dead in her Shoreham-by-Sea apartment, no one suspects foul play. However, when her caregiver Natalka Kolisnyk cleans out the apartment and finds a business card that reads, “Mrs. M. Smith – Murder Consultant,” and shelves of murder mysteries with acknowledgments to Peggy Smith, she begins to wonder how this elderly woman actually died. Read more about It’s a Mystery

Back to School

The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin

Raina and Gerda Olsen were born in Norway in the 1870s. As small children, they immigrated to Nebraska with their parents when their father was given 160 acres of land by the United States Government. In their mid-teens, both girls become schoolteachers in one-room schoolhouses. Raina is a gifted teacher while Gerda struggles to emulate her older sister. She feels like she lives in Raina’s shadow. Each sister boards with a farm family, which for Gerda is also a struggle. On January 12, 1888, after weeks of horribly cold weather, the morning breaks to an uptick in temperature. Read more about Back to School

Packed with Laughs

Southern Lady Code, Helen Ellis

In her fabulous new book, Southern Lady Code, Helen Ellis writes with a staccato humor about thank you notes, her mother’s quirky and completely pragmatic etiquette lessons, the secrets behind her long and happy marriage and how she went home one evening in a Burberry trench coat that wasn’t hers. These are just a few of the subjects of her 23 sparkling essays. She has lived in Manhattan for decades, but her Alabama accent is unmistakable. Read more about Packed with Laughs


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