Tricia's Picks

testament of mary

The Testament of Mary

Colm Tóibín
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A retelling of the story of Jesus through the eyes of his elderly mother, a lonely tortured woman living alone with her grief



Simon Mawer
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Based on the true stories of 39 young French-speaking women who parachuted into France from England during WWII to help the French Resistance, this is the story of Marian Sutro a young woman who gets recruited to undergo rigorous spy training and then goes undercover in France.



Joyce Carol Oates
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A masterwork of prose, this is a magical story of a wealthy and eccentric clan that live in an enormous mansion on the shores of mythic "Lake Noir" (a fictional place like the Adirondaks).



Alice Hoffman
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In 70 CE, four unforgettable woman are among the hundreds of Jews holding out for months against thousands of Romans from a fortress in the Masada desert.

yiddish policemans

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union

Michael Chabon
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Sitka, Alaska is now a federal district of the U.S., populated by Jewish refugees and their descendants after the disintegration of Israel. Homicide Detective Meyer Landsman is a decent guy, living in a frontier city, struggling to find his way. This is a love story, a whodunit, an homage to 1940s noir and an examination of what it means to be an exile.

pleasure of reading

The Pleasure of Reading: 43 Writers on the Discovery of Reading and the Books that Inspired Them

Antonia Fraser, editor
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A collection of revealing essays, written by mostly British authors, about how they discovered their love of reading and the role that reading plays in their professional lives.


Smilia’s Sense of Snow

Peter Hoeg
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Smilla Jasperson is an outsider with poor social skills. When her six-year-old neighbor, and possibly her only friend) dies suddenly, she knows it isn’t an accident. She copes with her loneliness and grief by doggedly trying to find out what really happened.

devil in blue

Devil in a Blue Dress

Walter Mosley
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The first book in a mystery series about Ezekial (“Easy”) Rawlins, an African-American World War II veteran living in 1940’s Los Angeles, this book is a throw-back to earlier detective stories and is every bit as good. Easy Rawlins and the supporting characters are unforgettable and so is 1940s Los Angeles.