Suggested One Read: Girl in Translation

Book cover for Girl in TranslationEach year a number of books that explore social issues are nominated for One Read. Jean Kwok’s “Girl in Translation” is one such novel.  Main character Kimberly Chang emigrates with her mother from Hong Kong to Brooklyn and begins a secret double life as an exceptional schoolgirl during the day and sweatshop worker at night, an existence also marked by her first crush and the pressure to save her family from poverty.

Our nominator writes, “[This book] clearly demonstrates the misunderstandings possible (often inevitable) between cultures and classes. Wonderful!”

See some of the other titles that have been nominated for One Read 2016.

Suggested One Read: Cutting for Stone

Book cover for Cutting for StoneWe continue to highlight just some of the more than 100 books nominated for One Read 2016.

Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese has been a favorite of book clubs since its publication in 2009. In the novel, twin brothers born from a secret love affair between an Indian nun and a British surgeon in Ethiopia come of age in a country on the brink of revolution, where their love for the same woman drives them apart.

Our nominator writes that book is “an epic story. . . with politics, mystery, love, family, ethics and medicine – this Ethiopian-born doctor tells a story that is close to his heart, opening the reader’s eyes to third-world lives and medical practices and the heroes who work miracles.”

See some of the other titles that have been nominated for One Read 2016.

Suggested One Read: Flight Behavior

Book cover for Flight Behavior by Barbara KingsolverNovelist Barbara Kingsolver is known for using literary fiction to deliver social messages, and her book “Flight Behavior,” nominated for One Read 2014, is no exception with its focus on global warming. Dellarobia Turnbow is a discontent Tennessee farm wife engaging in a flirtatious relationship with a younger man when she discovers what looks like an unusual fire in a forested valley behind her house. This curiosity turns out to be a mass of butterflies, their migration disrupted, which causes a stir in the scientific and local communities, garners a great deal of media attention and leads to Dellarobia confronting and questioning everything she thought she believed in.

An area reader thinks this book would make a great community read: “This book is more than one woman’s migration into self-sufficiency. It deals with ecological, environmental, religious and educational issues in a wryly humorous way.”

Want more book recommendations? See what your friends and neighbors are recommending for One Read.

Suggested One Read: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Book cover for Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben FountainLike our last highlighted One Read recommendation, David Finkel’s “Thank You For Your Service,” “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” by Ben Fountain deals with soldiers returning from war. The books’ publisher describes this satirical novel as an exploration of “the gaping national disconnect between the war at home and the war abroad. The story follows the surviving members of the heroic Bravo Squad through one exhausting stop in their media-intensive ‘Victory Tour’ at Texas Stadium, football mecca of the Dallas Cowboys, their fans, promoters and cheerleaders.”

Our nominator calls this book, “comic, moving and very relevant right now.”

See what other titles area readers think our community would benefit from reading together and check out the nominated titles we’ve highlighted so far.


Suggested One Read: The Rent Collector

Book cover for The Rent Collector by Camron WrightWe collected nominations for next year’s One Read book throughout November, and this month we are highlighting some of the titles your friends and neighbors suggested. We received one of our most heartfelt nominations for Camron Wright’s “The Rent Collector,” a novel set in Cambodia’s biggest municipal dump.

“This is the best book I have read all year!” begins our nominator. “I have recommended this book to everyone I know. The setting: an enormous garbage dump in Cambodia. The people who actually live there and try to eke out a living from picking through the trash are real. The story itself is fictionalized. It is a gripping read that pulls you in to this unthinkable environment and makes you ponder many questions including hope, healing and redemption. As ‘the rent collector’ teaches Sang Ly to read, we are asked to give thought to what measures up enough to be called literature. I think that is an important topic to probe as well.”

Want to know what other books people in your community are discussing? View all of the nominated titles we have highlighted here at so far, and find your next good read!