The Alchemist

Paul Coehlo,1993, 2006

An Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. The obstacles Santiago encounter along the way become the teachings for his discovery of the treasures found within.  This is a simply written book about lessons that we all know in our hearts, and we forget as we get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of our material lives. Lessons about living in the moment, the transient nature of possessions and the illusion that we can even "possess" something to begin with. 

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DL

By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

Paulo Coelho, 1996, 1998, 2006

Pilar, an independent young woman, renews her relationship with a childhood friend who is now a maverick seminarian, and together they follow a spiritual path to true love.

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DL

Stoner

John Williams, 1965

Williams’ casts a window on 20th century university life.  He explores a young man’s development from farm boy to university student and follows him through his adult life – his destructive marriage, a love affair , university politics  and his overall love for learning.   The book has been called called  "the greatest American novel you've never heard of".  It was reissued in 2003

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MC

All the Light We Cannot See

Anthony Doerr, 2014

This historical novel takes place during the occupation of France during the late stages of World War II. The two main characters, a blind French girl and a young German orphan, are on opposite sides in the conflagration that is destroying Europe. Doerr masterfully re-creates the deprived civilian conditions of war-torn France and the strictly controlled lives of the military occupiers.

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MC

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

Joel Dicker, 2014

Swiss author, Joel Dicker makes his U.S. debut with an ambitious, multi-layered novel of suspense that's already an international bestseller.  Thirty-three years after 15 year old Nola Kerrigan disappears, author Harry Quebert is accused of her murder.  This novel is hard to put down.  It works as a crime story, a love story and as a critique of the art of the modern author.  Not to be missed!

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MC

Life Drawing

Robin Black, 2014

This beautifully written novel unfolds as a an honest portrait of a woman, and a couple's life — Gus a painter and Owen a writer, have moved from the city to the country living a solitary life. Beneath the surface of their quiet lives lies the heavy truth of Gus's past betrayal, an affair that ended, yet quietly haunts them and their marriage. When Alison moves in next door, the lives of the three neighbors become tightly intertwined. The descriptions of the various emotions in this story are amazing and allow the reader to easily empathize with the characters as well as understand the dynamics of their relationships.

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DL

Still Life with Bread Crumbs

Anna Quindlen, 2014

Rebecca Winter, a famous New York photographer, gives up city life for a cabin in rural New York State.  The book is a meditation on art, age and commercialism wrapped up in a delightful story which gives the reader a poignant glimpse into the inner life of a sixty year old woman delving into a journey of self-discovery.

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MC
 

Lotus Eaters

Tatjana Soli, 2009

 This work of fiction illustrates the violence of the Vietnam War as witnessed by three interconnected photographers - two Americans and one Vietnamese.  It is a vivid depiction of war torn Vietnam, from the dangers of the field, where death can be a single step sway, to the emptiness of the Saigon streets in the final days of the American evacuation. Soli looks at the complex motivations and ambitions of the waves of American photographers who descended on Vietnam seeking glory and fame through their gut-wrenching photos.

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MC