My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead

April 18, 2014

Summary (from the publisher): Rebecca Mead was a young woman in an English coastal town when she first read George Eliot’s Middlemarch, regarded by many as the greatest English novel. After gaining admission to Oxford, and moving to the United States to become a journalist, through several love affairs, then marriage and family, Mead read […]

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Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville

April 3, 2014

Summary (from the publisher): In 1831 Alexis de Tocqueville, a young French aristocrat and ambitious civil servant, made a nine-month journey throughout America. The result was Democracy in America, a monumental study of the life and institutions of the evolving nation. Tocqueville looked to the flourishing democratic system in America as a possible model for […]

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The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams by Ben Bradlee, Jr.

March 24, 2014

Summary (from the publisher): Williams was the best hitter in baseball history. His batting average of .406 in 1941 has not been topped since, and no player who has hit more than 500 home runs has a higher career batting average. Those totals would have been even higher if Williams had not left baseball for […]

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Frozen in Time by Mitchell Zuckoff

February 10, 2014

Summary (from the publisher): On November 5, 1942, a US cargo plane slammed into the Greenland Ice Cap. Four days later, the B-17 assigned to the search-and-rescue mission became lost in a blinding storm and also crashed. Miraculously, all nine men on board survived, and the US military launched a daring rescue operation. But after […]

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The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

February 6, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives […]

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A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

January 21, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): Awarded the Pulitzer Prize, A Confederacy of Dunces was not published until a decade after the death of the author. This wildly inventive and amusing novel features one of the most unforgettable characters in modern fiction: Ignatius Reilly. He’s a mammoth misfit Medievalist hilariously at odds with the world of […]

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Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

December 27, 2013

Summary (from the publisher): Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg […]

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The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

December 23, 2013

Plot summary (from the publisher): Elizabeth von Arnim’s novel tells the story of four dissimilar women in 1920s England who leave their damp and rainy environs to go on a holiday to a secluded coastal castle in Italy. Mrs Arbuthnot and Mrs Wilkins, who belong to the same ladies’ club but have never spoken, become […]

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Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation by Aisha Tyler

December 16, 2013

Summary (from the publisher): In her book Self-Inflicted Wounds, comedian, actress, and cohost of CBS’s daytime hit show The Talk, Aisha Tyler recounts a series of epic mistakes and hilarious stories of crushing personal humiliation, and the personal insights and authentic wisdom she gathered along the way. The essays in Self-Inflicted Wounds are refreshingly and […]

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Obsessed: America’s Food Addiction — And My Own by Mika Brzezinski

December 11, 2013

Summary (from the publisher): Mika Brzezinski is at war against obesity. On Morning Joe, she is often so adamant about improving America’s eating habits that some people have dubbed her “the food Nazi.” What they don’t know is that Mika wages a personal fight against unhealthy eating habits every day, and in this book she […]

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