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Lawrence Reads: Week of August 12, 2013

Every Sunday, we ask our Facebook fans what they are reading. Each week we’ll be sharing ten featured books mentioned in the comments that are available from our collection. If you’re interested in checking one out, clicking on the title will direct you to the catalog listing for the book. This week is a mix of new fiction, YA, with a classic thrown in for good measure. 

The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud

the woman upstairsRelegated to the status of schoolteacher and friendly neighbor after abandoning her dreams of becoming an artist, Nora advocates on behalf of a charismatic Lebanese student and is drawn into the child’s family until his artist mother’s careless ambition leads to a shattering betrayal.



Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Twenty Boy SummerWhile on vacation in California, sixteen-year-old best friends Anna and Frankie conspire to find a boy for Anna’s first kiss, but Anna harbors a painful secret that threatens their lighthearted plan and their friendship.




Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg with Nell Scovell

lean inIn “Lean In”, Sheryl Sandberg — Facebook COO and one of “Fortune” magazine’s most powerful women in business — looks at what women can do to help themselves, and make the small changes in their life that can effect change on a more universal scale. She draws on her own experiences working in some of the world’s most successful businesses, as well as academic research, to find practical answers to the problems facing women in the workplace.


Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller

Live from New YorkWith unprecedented access, Tom Shales and James Miller, with authorization from Lorne Michaels, have interviewed the stars, writers, crews, and guests who have made Saturday Night Live the greatest long-running comedy of all time. Out of these backstage stories they have woven an oral history that will be the definitive account of the shows 25-year history. The story is bursting with creative frenzies, clashing egos, actors who went on to mega stardom in film and those who disappeared; the origins of famous routines, censorship battles, and humour so toxic it never got on the air; the love affairs, feudsall the unique insanity involved in producing the show that changed North America forever. Includes great backstage stories from Bill Murray decking Chevy Chase to Norm MacDonalds campaign to infuriate NBC brass. Everyone from Cameron Diaz to Ralph Nader to Robert Downey Jr. to George Bush has appeared on the show, and they all share their fondest, wildest memories with us.

Steadfast by Mercedes Lackey (Elemental Masters #8)

SteadfastOn the run from an abusive husband, magician’s assistant Katie discovers that her employer is an Elemental Magician capable of commanding the Elementals of Air to help with his illusions.




The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker 

The Golem and the JinniChava, a golem brought to life by a disgraced rabbi, and Ahmad, a jinni made of fire, form an unlikely friendship on the streets of New York until a fateful choice changes everything.




The Accursed by Joyce Carole Oates

The AccursedIn 20th century Princeton, New Jersey, a powerful curse, which besets the wealthiest of families, causes the disappearance of a young bride, and when her brother sets out to find her, he crosses paths with the town’s most formidable people, including Grover Cleveland and Upton Sinclair.



Moth Smoke by Moshin Hamid

Moth SmokeWhen Daru Shezad is fired from his banking job in Lahore, he begins a decline that plummets the length of this sharply drawn, subversive tale. Before long, he can’t pay his bills, and he loses his toehold among Pakistan’s cell-phone-toting elite. Daru descends into drugs and dissolution, and, for good measure, he falls in love with the wife of his childhood friend and rival, Ozi – the beautiful, restless Mumtaz.

Desperate to reverse his fortunes, Daru embarks on a career in crime, taking as his partner Murad Badshah, the notorious rickshaw driver, populist, and pirate. When a long-planned heist goes awry, Daru finds himself on trial for a murder he may or may not have committed. The uncertainty of his fate mirrors that of Pakistan itself, hyped on the prospect of becoming a nuclear player even as corruption drains its political will.

Fast-paced and unexpected, Moth Smokeportrays a contemporary Pakistan as far more vivid and disturbing than the exoticized images of South Asia familiar to most of the West. This debut novel establishes Mohsin Hamid as a writer of substance and imagination.

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

Monstrous BeautyIn alternating chapters, tells of the mermaid Syrenka’s love for Ezra in 1872 that leads to a series of horrific murders, and present-day Hester’s encounter with a ghost that reveals her connection to the murders and to Syrenka.




The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

The Catcher in the RyeHolden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he’s been expelled from prep school.




Lawrencians are reading an eclectic mix of fiction and nonfiction, and there’s even a children’s and young adult title in the mix! Feel free to share what you’re reading in the comments if you missed Sunday’s post. 

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