Favorite Genres: Primarily literary and realistic fiction, and to a lesser extent travelogues disguised as mysteries, memoirs, intelletual history (for laymen), western history, current affairs, and whatever catches my eye.
Favorite Authors: Contemporary: Elena Ferrrante, Rohinton Mistry, Donna Leon, Jeffrey Eugenideies, Kent Haruf, Alice Hoffman, Ann Patchett, Michael Chabon, Stephen Greenblatt, Lily Tuck, Javier Marias, Sébastien Japrisot. Classic: Dickens, Garcia Márquez, Austen, Nabokov, Mann, too many Russians to list, Maugham, Cather, and of course Shakespeare. Guilty Pleasures: J.K. Rowling, C.S. Forester, gruesome Scandinavian mystery writers, Christopher Moore, and Carlos Ruiz Zafón.
Dhananjaya, Danny, is working illegally in Sydney, cleaning apartments, living the half-life of an unwanted immigrant. When a client is killed he’s certain he knows the murderer. Should he report it and risk deportation, or go against his conscience? Parallels abound with the dilemmas faced by undocumented workers in America. What of your morality would you sacrifice to remain in a country that doesn’t want you?
Unbeknownst to most Boulderites, until recently, we have been living among royalty. Inge came to Colorado as an exchange student where she met another student from Burma. They married and only when they returned to his country did she discover he was a ruling prince of the Shan people. This is the story of their ruling together. Later in life, she returned to Colorado, teaching at Fairview. Inge passed away earlier this year. This the story of her amazing earlier life.
It’s impossible for Alice Hoffman to write a bad book. This latest effort is a compelling tale set in World War II Germany and France. Three young women struggle to survive the conflict and genocide, one guarded by a mysterious being created to protect her. It is a story told with grace and deep feeling. The humanity of Hoffman’s characters shines forth, even while their world is falling apart before them.
I've a weak spot for novels set in France during the Occupation — think All the Light We Cannot See and The Nightingale. This one is quite good and based on historical figures. Blanche is the American wife of Claude Auzello, manager of the fabled Ritz Hotel. Both are drawn into the resistance, while trying to protect their beloved hotel and its employees. Compelling reading and another chance to hate Nazis all over again.