FACTORY GIRLS by Leslie T. Chang

In FACTORY GIRLS, American journalist Chang, who kept her Chinese heritage at arm’s length for many years, explores her family’s past and the country’s history as she follows the lives of migrant workers in the industrial city of Dongguan, where 70 percent of the population is female.

March 4, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: China, Non-fiction

THE CORAL THIEF by Rebecca Stott

Well before Charles Darwin presented the theory of evolution in 1859, there were scientists who thought along similar lines—who believed that species “were mutable and that Nature was on the move.” Much like scientists who came even earlier and set forth what were considered equally radical ideas, these people too—many of whom were in France—were labeled godless heretics.

When Daniel Connor, a freshly minted medical student, travels to Paris in July 1815, his professor in Edinburgh had already warned him about these “heretics”—also known as transformists. “Paris is riddled with infidels, Professor Jameson had warned me back in Edingburgh. ‘They are poets, those French transformists, not men of science,’” Connor recalls.

November 1, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, France

THE BLUE NOTEBOOK by James A. Levine

THE BLUE NOTEBOOK is a beautify written novel about the grimmest of subjects – child prostitution. Were it not for author James A. Levine’s exquisite prose and his remarkable protagonist, nine year-old Batuk Ramasdeen, a poem of a girl, this story might be too sad to read. However, Batuk, a precocious, ever optimistic little girl, wins the reader’s heart from page one and makes The Blue Notebook very hard to put down. At 210 pages, I read it in two sittings.

July 7, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Class - Race - Gender, Debut Novel, India-Pakistan, Literary, Reading Guide, Unique Narrative, World Lit

STONE’S FALL by Iain Pears (1)

A panoramic novel with a riveting mystery at its heart, STONE’S FALL is a quest to discover how and why John Stone dies. Chronologically, it moves backwards–from London in 1909 to Paris in 1890, and finally to Venice in 1867– and in the process the quest to uncover the truth plays out against the backdrop of the evolution of high-stakes international finance, Europe’s first great age of espionage, and the start of the twentieth century’s arms race.

May 18, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, France, Mystery/Suspense, Thriller/Spy/Caper, United Kingdom