Lakeland Book Club

Reading good books with good friends in North Idaho

I Am Malala | March, 2014 March 1, 2014

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I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

Selected by Monique Stevens

I Am Malala

From Amazon.com:

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.

This book was selected because:

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Honolulu | July, 2011 July 1, 2011

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Honolulu by Alan Brennert

Selected by Monique Stevens

From Amazon.com:

From the bestselling author of the “dazzling historical saga” (The Washington Post), Moloka’i, comes the irresistible story of a young immigrant bride in a ramshackle town that becomes a great modern city

“In Korea in those days, newborn girls were not deemed important enough to be graced with formal names, but were instead given nicknames, which often reflected the parents’ feelings on the birth of a daughter:  I knew a girl named Anger, and another called Pity.  As for me, my parents named me Regret.”

Honolulu is the rich, unforgettable story of a young “picture bride” who journeys to Hawai’i in 1914 in search of a better life.

Instead of the affluent young husband and chance at an education that she has been promised, she is quickly married off to a poor, embittered laborer who takes his frustrations out on his new wife. Renaming herself Jin, she makes her own way in this strange land, finding both opportunity and prejudice. With the help of three of her fellow picture brides, Jin prospers along with her adopted city, now growing from a small territorial capital into the great multicultural city it is today.  But paradise has its dark side, whether it’s the daily struggle for survival in Honolulu’s tenements, or a crime that will become the most infamous in the islands’ history…

With its passionate knowledge of people and places in Hawai’i far off the tourist track, Honolulu is most of all the spellbinding tale of four women in a new world, united by dreams, disappointment, sacrifices, and friendship.

This book was selected because:

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The Historian | July, 2010 July 1, 2010

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The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Selected by Monique Stevens

From Amazon.com:

To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath my history….Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to “My dear and unfortunate successor,” and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of-a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known-and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of that darkness and wipe it out. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the legend of Dracula. Generations of historians have risked their reputations, their sanity, and even their lives to learn the truth about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. Now one young woman must decide whether to take up this quest herself-to follow her father in a hunt that nearly brought him to ruin years ago, when he was a vibrant young scholar and her mother was still alive. What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern world? Is it possible that the Dracula of myth truly existed-and that he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his own unknowable ends? The answers to these questions cross time and borders, as first the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty Ivy League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of Eastern Europe. In city after city, in monasteries and archives, in letters and in secret conversations, the horrible truth emerges about Vlad the Impaler’s dark reign-and about a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive down through the ages.Parsing obscure signs and hidden texts, reading codes worked into the fabric of medieval monastic traditions-and evading the unknown adversaries who will go to any lengths to conceal and protect Vlad’s ancient powers-one woman comes ever closer to the secret of her own past and a confrontation with the very definition of evil. Elizabeth Kostova’s debut novel is an adventure of monumental proportions, a relentless tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present, with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful-and utterly unforgettable.

This book was selected because:

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Agent Bishop | January, 2010 January 1, 2010

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Agent Bishop: Trues Stories from an FBI Agent Moonlighting as a Mormon Bishop by Mike McPheters

Selected by Monique Stevens

From Amazon.com:

When Mike got his dream job as an FBI agent, he never thought he would also be called as an LDS bishop four times! Follow Mike as he recalls his adventures as an FBI agent and inspiration as a bishop. As Mike fought crime and Satan with a pistol in one hand and scriptures in the other, he learned the importance of obedience in both jobs. Filled with surprises and unexpected thrills, and told with humor and ease, Agent Bishop: True Stories from an FBI Agent Moonlighting as a Mormon Bishop is the perfect memoir for the FBI agent in all of us!

This book was selected because:

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Mama’s Bank Account / Fifth Chinese Daughter | March, 2008 March 1, 2008

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Mama’s Bank Account by Kathryn Forbes and Fifth Chinese Daughter by Jade Snow Wong

Selected by Monique Stevens

       

From Amazon.com (Mama’s Bank Account):

The charming adventures of the Mama of an immigrant Norwegian family living in San Francisco. This bestselling book inspired the play, motion picture, and television series I Remember Mama.

From Amazon.com (Fifth Chinese Daughter):

Originally published in 1945 and now reissued with a new introduction by the author, Jade Snow Wong’s story is one of struggle and achievements. These memoirs of the author’s first 24 years are thoughtful, informative, and highly entertaining. They not only portray a young woman and her unique family in San Francisco’s Chinatown, but they are rich in the details that light up a world within the world of America. The third-person singular style is rooted in Chinese literary form, reflecting cultural disregard for the individual, yet Jad Snow Wong’s story also is typically American. We first meet Jade Snow Wong the child, narrowly confined by the family and factory life, bound to respect and obey her elders while shouldering responsibility for younger brothers and sisters – a solemn child well versed in the proper order of things, who knew that punishment was sure for any infraction of etiquette. Then the schoolgirl caught in confusion between the rigid teaching of her ancestors and the strange ways of her foreign classmates. After that the college student feeling her was toward personal identity in the face of parental indifference or outright opposition. And finally the artist whose early triumphs were doubled by the knowledge that she had at long last won recognition from her family.

These books were selected because:

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Mama’s Bank Account       Fifth Chinese Daughter

 

Magic Kingdom For Sale SOLD! | May, 2007 May 1, 2007

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The Magic Kingdom of Landover Volume 1: Magic Kingdom For Sale SOLD! – The Black Unicorn – Wizard at Large by Terry Brooks

Selected by Monique Stevens

From Amazon.com:

Capture the fantasy, thrills, and far-flung adventure of the first three novels in Terry Brooks’s enchanting Magic Kingdom of Landover series–now for the first time in one gripping volume.

Chicago lawyer Ben Holiday can’t fathom what lies ahead when he purchases Landover–a magical kingdom of chivalry and sorcery–from Meeks, the mysterious seller who placed the ad. Weary and jaded, Ben clings to the ad’s promise: “Escape into your dreams.” But Landover is not the enchanted idyll he expected.

The kingdom is in ruin. The barons refuse to recognize Ben as King, a dragon is decimating the countryside, and a demon lord has challenged any prospective ruler to a fatal duel. To make matters worse, the Paladin, renowned champion of the Kings of Landover, seems to be merely a legend.

Ben’s only allies are a bumbling court magician, a talking dog turned court scribe, and the beautiful Willow, who is part girl, part tree. With his friends in tow, Ben sets out to claim the throne. But when Meeks decides he wants Landover back, Ben will face supernatural foes of every stripe to prove himself worthy of the kingship. The question is: Can he survive?

This book was selected because:

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North and South | July, 2006 July 1, 2006

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North and South by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Selected by Monique Stevens

From Amazon.com:

“How am I to dress up in my finery, and go off and away to smart parties, after the sorrow I have seen today?”

When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the north of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of the local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice. This is intensified by her tempestuous relationship with the mill-owner and self-made man, John Thornton, as their fierce opposition over his treatment of his employees masks a deeper attraction. In North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell skillfully fused individual feeling with social concern, and in Margaret Hale created one of the most original heroines of Victorian literature.

In her introduction Patricia Ingham examines geographical, economic and class differences, and male and female roles in North and South.

This book was selected because:

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