THE AGE OF ORPHANS by Laleh Khadivi

A young Kurdish boy, living in the Zagros Mountains in 1921, has always felt loved and protected, despite his family’s “poverty.” He enjoys “flying” from the roof of the family’s hut, experiencing the soaring feelings of earth and heaven at the same time, and identifying with the falcons. “With his chest opened upward, he pushes his face deeper into the beam of sun and wishes for his thin bones and narrow shoulders to aspire among the chaotic open-aired thrash of wings, to fly high and above the hemmed land and sweep aloft the delineations marked out of him, on him, into him” as a Kurd. In gorgeous and poetic language, author Laleh Khadivi, recreates the “gloried ground” to which the boy is connected by birth and culture.

September 20, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Iran, Middle East, Whiting, World Lit


Duncan and Lily’s marriage is on the brink of disaster. They hope that by spending part of the summer in Osterhagen, in upstate New York, they will have a change of environment and a more peaceful setting than they had in their home in Manhattan, in which to work out their problems. They are heading up to Osterhagen when, suddenly, as if in a suicidal gesture, a wild boar runs into their car and gets caught, nearly dead, on their bumper….

September 17, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Debut Novel, Humorous, Literary, NE & New York, Reading Guide


An unremarkable boy named Billy sets out to find the spaceship that landed near the boarding house where he lives with his family in rural Philadelphia. He’s invited on this adventure by Eileen who also lives in the boarding house and is beginning to show signs of womanhood. Young Billy is driven to distraction by her smell, her silhouette, her touch. This part of the novel reads like an epic poem.

August 2, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Speculative (Beyond Reality)

THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak

THE BOOK THIEF is one of the best novels that I have read. Author Markus Zusak’s storyline is both sad and wonderful, as it deals with Germany during WWII and the Holocaust. His memorable characters have tremendous depth, and the plot is extremely original. However, what makes this book so extraordinary is the author’s writing, which, at times, is more poetry than prose. I frequently found myself reading passages of the elegantly written narrative aloud.

May 19, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Facing History, Germany, Reading Guide, Unique Narrative, World Lit, y Award Winning Author


Having lost their mother in early childhood, the Gabaldón sisters consider Fermina, their elderly Pueblo housekeeper, their surrogate Grandmother. The mysterious Fermina love the girls as if they are her own, and promises to endow each with a “special gift” to be received upon her death. Mindful of the old woman’s mystical ways, the sisters believe Fermina’s gifts, bestowed based on their natural talents, magically enhance their lives.

May 9, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Allegory/Fable, Family Matters, Latin American/Caribbean, World Lit, y Award Winning Author