Something for Everyone…
From history and mystery to music and dance, there is a new book just for you! All these authors below are new to me, but the subject matter they wrote about intrigued me enough to include them here. Let me know which of these books you plan on checking out!
Solito: A Memoir by Javier Zamora
A young poet tells the unforgettable story of his harrowing migration from El Salvador to the United States at the age of nine in this moving, page-turning memoir hailed as the mythic journey of our era (Sandra Cisneros)
Trip. My parents started using that word about a year ago–“one day, you’ll take a trip to be with us. Like an adventure.”
Javier’s adventure is a three-thousand-mile journey from his small town in El Salvador, through Guatemala and Mexico, and across the U.S. border. He will leave behind his beloved aunt and grandparents to reunite with a mother who left four years ago and a father he barely remembers. Traveling alone except for a group of strangers and a coyote hired to lead them to safety, Javier’s trip is supposed to last two short weeks.
At nine years old, all Javier can imagine is rushing into his parents’ arms, snuggling in bed between them, living under the same roof again. He does not see the perilous boat trips, relentless desert treks, pointed guns, arrests and deceptions that await him; nor can he know that those two weeks will expand into two life-altering months alongside a group of strangers who will come to encircle him like an unexpected family.
A memoir by an acclaimed poet that reads like a novel, Solito not only provides an immediate and intimate account of a treacherous and near-impossible journey, but also the miraculous kindness and love delivered at the most unexpected moments. Solito is Javier’s story, but it’s also the story of millions of others who had no choice but to leave home.
The Invincible Miss Cust by Penny Haw
Must-read historical fiction for fans of Marie Benedict and Tracey Enerson Wood, based on the real life of Britain’s first woman veterinary surgeon.
Aleen Cust has big dreams. And no one―not her family, society, or the law―will stop her.
Born in Ireland in 1868 to an aristocratic English family, Aleen knows she is destined to work with animals, even if her family is appalled by the idea of a woman pursuing a veterinary career. Going against their wishes but with the encouragement of the guardian assigned to her upon her father’s death, Aleen attends the New Veterinary College in Edinburgh, enrolling as A. I. Custance to spare her family the humiliation they fear. At last, she is on her way to becoming a veterinary surgeon! Little does she know her biggest obstacles lie ahead.
The Invincible Miss Cust is based on the real life of Aleen Isabel Cust, who defied her family and society to become Britain and Ireland’s first woman veterinary surgeon. Through Penny Haw’s meticulous research, riveting storytelling, and elegant prose, Aleen’s story of ambition, determination, family, friendship, and passion comes to life. It is a story that, even today, women will recognize, of battling patriarchy and an unequal society to realize one’s dreams and pave the way for other women in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
Miss Del Rio by Barbara Mujica
“Dolores del Río bursts to life in this vivid, well-researched portrayal. Her iconic feline elegance and brash spirit dominates every page, but it’s her defiance to live life on her own terms that sets her apart—and what an extraordinary life she led.”—C.W. Gortner, bestselling author of Marlene
1910, Mexico. As the country’s revolution spreads, Dolores, the daughter of a wealthy banker, must flee her comfortable life in Durango or risk death. Her family settles in Mexico City, where, at sixteen, she marries the worldly Jaime del Río. But in a twist of fate, at a party she meets an influential American director who recognizes in her a natural performer. He invites her to Hollywood, and practically overnight, the famous Miss del Río is born.
Dolores’s star quickly rises, and her days become a whirlwind of moviemaking and glamorous events. Swept up in L.A.’s glitzy inner circle, she takes her place among film royalty such as Marlene Dietrich and Orson Welles. But as her career soars, her personal life becomes increasingly complicated, with family tragedy, divorce, and real heartache. And when she’s labeled box office poison amid growing prejudice before WWII, Dolores must decide what price she’s willing to pay to achieve her dreams and if her heart and future instead lie where it all began…in Mexico.
Spanning half a century and narrated by Dolores’s fictional hairdresser and longtime friend, Miss del Río traces the life of a trailblazing woman whose legacy in Hollywood and in Mexico still shines bright today.
“Bárbara Mujica dazzles us…. She takes us on a journey through an era of wars and movies, and unforgettable characters that made Hollywood what it is today.” —María Amparo Escandón, New York Times bestselling author of L.A. Weather
One Woman’s War by Christine Wells
From the author of Sisters of the Resistance comes the story of WWII British Naval Intelligence officer Victoire Bennett, the real-life inspiration for the James Bond character Miss Moneypenny, whose international covert operation is put in jeopardy when a volatile socialite and Austrian double agent threatens to expose the mission to German High Command.
World War II London: When Victoire “Paddy” Bennett first walks into the Admiralty’s Room 39, home to the Intelligence Division, all the bright and lively young woman expects is a secretarial position to the charismatic Commander Ian Fleming. But soon her job is so much more, and when Fleming proposes a daring plot to deceive the Germans about Allied invasion plans he requests the newlywed Paddy’s help. She jumps at the chance to work as an agent in the field, even after the operation begins to affect her marriage. But could doing her duty for King and country come at too great a cost?
Socialite Friedl Stöttinger is a beautiful Austrian double agent determined to survive in wartime England, which means working for MI-5, investigating fifth column activity among the British elite at parties and nightclubs. But Friedl has a secret–some years before, she agreed to work for German Intelligence and spy on the British.
When her handler at MI-5 proposes that she work with Serbian agent, Dusko Popov, Friedl falls hopelessly in love with the dashing spy. And when her intelligence work becomes fraught with danger, she must choose whether to remain loyal to the British and risk torture and execution by the Nazis, or betray thousands of men to their deaths.
Soon, the lives of these two extraordinarily brave women will collide, as each travels down a road of deception and danger leading to one of the greatest battles of World War II.
The Picture Bride by Lee Geum-Yi
“Your husband is a landowner,” they told her.
“Food and clothing is so plentiful, it grows on trees.”
“You will be able to go to school.”
Of the three lies the matchmaker told Willow before she left home as a picture bride in 1918, the third hurt the most. Never one to be deterred, Willow does all that she can to make the best of her unexpected circumstance. But it isn’t long before her dreams for this new life are shattered, first by a husband who never wanted to marry her in the first place, and then by the escalation of the Korean independence movements, unified in goal, but divergent in action, which threaten to split the Hawaiian Korean community and divide Willow’s family and friends.
Braving the rough waters of these tumultuous years, Willow forges ahead, creating new dreams through her own blood, sweat, and tears; working tirelessly toward a better life for her family and loved ones.
The Choreography of Everyday Life by Annie B. Parson
A renowned choreographer explores the dance of everyday life and reveals that art-making is as natural as walking down the street
In this sparkling, innovative, fully-illustrated work, world-renowned choreographer Annie-B Parson translates the components of dance—time, proximity, space, motion and tone—into text. As we follow Parson through her days—at home, reading, and on her walks down the street—and in and out of conversations on everything from Homer’s Odyssey to feminist art to social protest, she helps us see how everyday movement creates the wider world. Dance, it turns out, is everything and everywhere.
With the insight and verve of a soloist, Parson shows us how art-making is a part of our everyday lives and our political life as we move, together and apart, through space.
A major biography–the first in three decades–of one of the most important artistic forces of the twentieth century, the legendary American dancer and choreographer who upended dance, propelling the art form into the modern age, and whose profound and pioneering influence is still being felt today.
Time magazine called her “the Dancer of the Century.” Her technique, used by dance companies throughout the world, became the first long-lasting alternative to the idiom of classical ballet. Her pioneering movements–powerful, dynamic, jagged, edgy, forthright–combined with her distinctive system of training, were the epitome of American modernism, performance as art. Her work continued to astonish and inspire for more than sixty years as she choreographed more than 180 works.
At the heart of Graham’s work: movement that could express inner feeling.
Neil Baldwin, author of admired biographies of Man Ray (“Truly definitive . . . absolutely fascinating” –Patricia Bosworth) and Thomas Edison (“Absorbing, gripping, a major contribution to our understanding of a remarkable man and a remarkable era” –Robert Caro), gives us the artist and performer, the dance monument who led a cult of dance worshippers as well as the woman herself in all of her complexity.
Here is Graham, from her nineteenth-century (born in 1894) Allegheny, Pennsylvania, childhood, to becoming the star of the Denishawn exotic ballets, and in 1926, at age thirty-two, founding her own company (now the longest-running dance company in America).
Baldwin writes of how the company flourished during the artistic explosion of New York City’s midcentury cultural scene; of Erick Hawkins, in 1936, fresh from Balanchine’s School of American Ballet, a handsome Midwesterner fourteen years her junior, becoming Graham’s muse, lover, and eventual spouse. Graham, inspiring the next generation of dancers, choreographers, and teachers, among them: Merce Cunningham and Paul Taylor.
Baldwin tells the story of this large, fiercely lived life, a life beset by conflict, competition, and loneliness–filled with fire and inspiration, drive, passion, dedication, and sacrifice in work and in dance creation.
Declassified: A Low-key Guide to the High Strung World of Classical Music by Arianna Warsaw-Fan Rauch
“In Declassified, Warsaw-Fan Rauch blows through the cobwebs of elitism and exclusion and invites everyone to love and hate this music as much as she does. She offers a backstage tour of the industry and equips you for every listening scenario, covering: the 7 main compositional periods (even the soul-crushingly depressing Medieval period), a breakdown of the instruments and their associated personality types (apologies to violists and conductors), what it’s like to be a musician at the highest level (it’s hard), how to steal a Stradivarius (and make no money in the process), and when to clap during a live performance (also: when not to). Declassified cheekily demystifies the world of High Art while making the case that classical music matters, perhaps now more than ever”
The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn
A novel about an irrepressible young heroine who goes on to become an undercover agent during World War II.
One blustery night in 1928, a whale washes up on the shores of the English Channel. By law, all whales belong to the King, but twelve-year-old Cristabel Seagrave has other plans. She and the rest of the household and their guests–her sister, Flossie (known affectionately as The Veg); her brother Digby, the long-awaited heir to Chilcombe manor; Maudie Kitkat, maidservant; Taras, a hot-tempered visiting artist–build a theatre within the whale’s skeleton. Cristabel is an orphan, mostly ignored by her feckless step-parents and brisk governesses. But within the Whalebone Theatre, she is fully at home and in charge, and her imagination comes to life.
As Cristabel grows into a headstrong young woman, chafing against expectations, World War II rears its head. She and Digby become British secret agents working undercover in Nazi-Occupied France on separate missions–a more dangerous kind of play-acting, it turns out, and one that threatens to tear the family apart.
Murder at Balmoral by Chris McGeorge
The Crown meets Clue in this delightful locked-room mystery, sure to charm Agatha Christie fans and keep readers guessing to the end.
The king is dead. The killer is in the family. Solving this murder will be a royal pain.
The royal family has gathered at their Scottish retreat, Balmoral Castle, for a traditional Christmas. As a blizzard gathers outside and a delicious dinner is prepared, the family circles up for a holiday toast. King Eric has something momentous to say–in fact, he is about to name his successor. But as he raises a glass of his favorite whiskey, he drops dead.
The king has been poisoned, someone in the family must have done it, and each one of them had opportunity and motive. Eric’s beloved head chef, Jonathan, must now play detective. Why would one of the king’s own family members want to kill him, and how did they do it? What happens in the castle usually stays in the castle, but this secret might be too big for these battlements. Jon is determined to expose the truth, even if it puts him in a killer’s crosshairs–and shakes the entire monarchy to its core.