Monday, April 30, 2012

Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nation by Clarence B. Jones, Stuart Connelly

I got this book through LibraryThing Early Reviewers and here is my review

Book Summary (from

“I have a dream.” When those words were spoken on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, the crowd stood, electrified, as Martin Luther King, Jr. brought the plight of African Americans to the public consciousness and firmly established himself as one of the greatest orators of all time. Behind the Dream is a thrilling, behind-the-scenes account of the weeks leading up to the great event, as told by Clarence Jones, co-writer of the speech and close confidant to King. Jones was there, on the road, collaborating with the great minds of the time, and hammering out the ideas and the speech that would shape the civil rights movement and inspire Americans for years to come

My Review

Reading this book I came to realize how little I knew about Martin Luther King and the March. I learn about the movement in my History of the World class, back in school, and then read a little bit more up to the level of general culture, but that was about it. Then, after I read The Help by Kathryn Stockett, I wanted to know more, and luckily for me, this book became available in the LTER giveaway and I got it!

Even though is a non-fiction book, the events are so beautifully told that I felt I was going deep in another world, and then the author just caught me:

                “Oh, but you have to read the book”

When comparing how you had to be there to understand the extent of the event. Anyone using such a phrase will have my attention.

I learn that the speech was actually copyrighted, I had no idea about this, but reading about it, it just made sense. I learn about how this speech was partially made in the moment, out of the inspiration of a great man, and how he let everyone around him to be part of this moment. Also that Bob Dylan was there along with Joan Baez

There were a couple of sentences that stayed with me:

                “Ideas are the change agents of our world, and words are the building blocks of those ideas”

And Jones certainly has his way with words. He built a really nice book, well researched (with all the references that make the scientist in me giggle knowing that a sentence is well supported) and he also has a way with ideas. The way he described the whole three days right before and the day of The March, really covers you, transporting you to the moment where MLK addresses the public and changes, with nothing else but words and himself, the course of the movement.  The descriptions, the familiar tone, it gave me the same feeling I had when sitting next to my grandfather while he told me stories of his own struggle. 

                “My wish for every reader of this book […] is for you to remember and believe that nothing is set in stone. Change can happen, and knowing that is empowering”

It certainly is, it gives you power to believe that this too shall pass, that this can AND will be better, that it might take a while, but, to quote Dylan, times are changing.

It is sad to read and acknowledge the fact that they hadn’t changed as fast as they could, for every step forward it seems that hidden groups take 2 steps back, and when they stop hiding make so much noise that it feels like the steps we made before where in circles. 

Only one thing I didn’t like about the book, but this is a personal thing. The fact that he compares the “Occupy Wall Street” movement to the “Arab Spring”. I understand why someone would see a resemblance, but for me, the reasons underlying both movements are utterly different, even though they are both pushing for a change in society. This in no way damages the quality of the book to my eyes, it is a very good book, is just a point where Mr. Jones and I do not agree.

I believe, if you are interested in the Movement, or just if you want to learn a little bit more about that day this is the book for you.

I'm adding the link of the speech, just in case you want to listen to it, which I'm doing as I write:

Sunday, April 29, 2012

TSS: April is gone!!!

Hello everybody! Another month went by! This week I’m happy to say that I managed to post a new discussion AND a new review, this time is The Mercury Fountain by Eliza Factor. Right now I’m reading Behind the Dream, and I realized how little I know about Martin Luther King, but I guess it’s normal when you don’t grow in USA. Don’t get me wrong, I know the basics (general culture) but not a lot of details, and this books is showing me them. Also this week I learned about 3 new websites related to books:

                Read the Nobels: I talk about this one in this week’s discussion, but I wanted to give them a little bit more of ink (or bits actually). I find it so lovely that is a communal blog dedicated to reading the Nobel Laureates. Is like a super long term book club J. I sent my application and got in!!! I shared my review on Saramago’s  “Death with Interruptions”. 

                World Book Night: I learned about this site through the latest post of Books are my Boyfriends. I think the idea is quite nice; World Book Night is a celebration of reading and books which will see tens of thousands of people share books with others in their communities across the world to spread the joy and love of reading on April 23. Such a busy day April 23, Earth day, Book Day in Canada, International Day of Spanish language and now WBN. I will try to join the movement next year, and read one of the selected books. For now, most of their public is on the United States, but on the day (or night) itself, you have access to the international network.

                BookCrossing: Now this is a great idea! You are supposed to share your books as much as possible, to “free” them. I try to do this as much as I can, recommending books, lending my books to others. That said, I don’t think I will be able to send the books “into the wild” as they put it, since I can’t just leave a poor book alone! But it is exciting to see if I find one around here. If I do find one, I promise I will release it back, after reading it off course. But for my books, I will keep the old way, lending them.

Also, yesterday the annual sale of my city’s libraries started! Books for 1 dollar a piece! I promised myself I wouldn’t buy more than 10 bucks this time, and my boyfriend will be there to make sure of it.  I guess that’s all for this week book wise. Weather here has been a little bit crazy (we had snow on Friday!) but what are you going to do? It gives me an excuse to get inside my bed with a good book :)

Have a great week!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

No Pulitzer for you! Or: On highly appraised books

I wanted to post this discussion last week, but I was just swamped with work. As you guys may know, this year there was no winner for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. I have to admit that I haven’t read any of the competitors (David Foster Wallace's "The Pale King", Karen Russell's "Swamplandia" and Denis Johnson's "Train Dreams.") but in a recent podcast, the Bookrageous team made me wonder if I should give Swamplandia a chance.  But this whole situation remained me of a long term challenge I auto-imposed on myself, to read at least one book of every Nobel Prize of Literature winner. Needless to say I haven’t quite achieved my goal yet (So far there is 108 laureate and I’m up to 15), but it’s still there. However, the books I’ve read for this challenge put a seed of an idea on my brain and the “debate” about this year’s Pulitzer made the seed finally crack open. Is wining an award such the Pulitzer or the Nobel enough to say is a good book? 

Don’t get me wrong, I think it means is worthy of reading, means it changed something in the “typical” writing. But just as with movies, or songs, the fact that it wins an award does not mean other people will like it or will consider it a good one. I know people that will only go and see a movie when they realized that it is nominated to the Oscars, or on the other hand will not give a film an opportunity because one critic didn’t like it.  A lot of wonderful things are being offered to us, but because they are not praised enough we let them pass by, or because they are over praised, we devour them without thinking. 

In my case, I don’t like reading poetry, is not that I don’t like poetry, I just don’t like reading it, that or plays, it’s just not for me. But some of the laureates of the Nobel Prize were poets, so that makes it harder to complete my challenge. Does the fact that they won a Nobel should make me read them even though I know it won’t be a pleasant reading? I think not, even when you consider the criteria for the Nobel award of literature:

  1. "To those who [...] shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind".
  2. "During the preceding year"
  3. "No consideration whatever shall be given to the nationality of the candidates".
  4. "To the person who shall have produced ... the most outstanding work"
  5. "in an ideal direction or 'in a direction towards an ideal

This will make you think, that this people did something outstanding, and that is the main reason why I wanted to read at least one book from a laureate, but I’m not sure I will make it through the poets…sorry.  I have to add, that those are not the ONLY criteria, since depending on the moment of history, other things have been considered, such as the style, the groundbreaking subject, amongst others.

Anyway, back to the Pulitzer point; the fact that this year the Pulitzer for fiction wasn’t delivered should not be a synonym of absence of amazing American fictional book, it just means that this year’s criteria weren’t met and that’s all right, you should not limit yourself to read award winner books nor should you ignore them assuming they are overrated.Go out there, go to you public library, to your favorite bookstore and wait for a book to "call" you. Did it won and award? Great!, It didn't? Great. Both cases are a chance in the waiting for you to share an experience!

Before I forget, I found this blog today, just in case any of you guys is interested in a similar challenge than mine. I haven't joined yet, but  I'm considering it :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Mercury Fountain by Eliza Factor

I got this book through LibraryThing Early Reviewers and here is my review

Book Summary (from the book’s side flip) 

The Mercury Fountain takes place at the turn of the twentieth century in a remote and beautiful stretch of the Chihuahuan desert near the border of West Texas and Mexico. Rich with mercury, the desert attracts a visionary northeastern, Owen Scraperton, who settles in the southern wilderness to establish a utopian community called Pristina. Owen quickly finds in mercury the economic foundation for his new world. The metal’s hypnotic beauty and fluidity are perfect emblems for his social theories, and his sincere heart and rich voice attract a heterogeneous mix of followers who join him in disregarding the metal’s more harmful qualities.

A dark cloud gathers over Pristina after Owen’s marriage to Dolores, a Mexican beauty from an impoverished aristocratic family. She had thought she was marrying an American millionaire who would help her escape the desert, but instead finds herself cut off from the advancing civilization she yearns to join. As the mercury market bottoms out, Dolores musters enough courage for an act of defiance against Owen that divides the community’s allegiances.

Emerging into this combustible mix is their only child, Victoria, a remarkably talented girl who inherits her father romanticism and her mother’s independence. Owen grooms Victoria to be the inheritor of Pristina, a role she embraces with zest and earnestness. However, as age, love, and experience cause Owen to modify his original vision, Victoria remains true to Pristina’s founding principles –setting them up for a major conflict that captures the imagination of the entire town.

My Review

The book basically follows Victoria’s life, since it begins with her birth. We have the three main characters, Victoria, Owen and Dolores, but there are important secondary characters such as Ysidro and Badinoe. 

The book, as I mentioned, starts with Victoria’s birth, Owen is utterly exited but Dolores goes through a slight post-partum depression. On the other hand, Ysidro, a young boy who dreams to start working in the mines has his first encounter with the shafts, when he is looking for Owen to deliver the news of Dolores starting labor. This encounter will mark the rest of his life and will dictate the road that he takes. Also, we are introduced to the town’s doctor, Badinoe, who seems gloomy and determined to demonstrate to Owen the dangers of mercury poison.

From the beginning the book is well written, with an easy to follow language (not over the top mine terminology), and a nice rhythm. However, I didn’t find myself yearning to continue reading, which is way it took me 2 weeks to finish the book.  I think the books is properly researched too, the references to Roman gods, different aspects of the town at the time described, etc, where beautifully described. I have to say though, (**SPOILER**) that the tongue cast that Victoria has at a certain moment, is just not plausible, for she would not be aspirate with an immobilized tongue, let alone swallow (**END OF SPOILER**).  

The big minus for me in this book, is the fact that a lot of situations where introduced and were either never resolved, or appear there to explain another happening, but I found them to be unnecessary. Example of the first is the mercury poisoning Badinoe was pushing in the first pages…then it gets lost, I thought we would get cases of serious mercury poisoning and Owen’s problem with it, but no. For the second, I come back to Victoria’s accident…I just didn’t get the need for this moment of the story, unless it was to introduce the serpents in the story, in which case, I still find the accident unnecessary. 

I liked the way the story fuses with the war, how it touches segregation and different cultural positions considered normal for the time, and the idea of a pristine community (hence the name Pristina) and the precepts established by Owen. But a little bit more of Owen’s past would’ve made it easier to understand why he dreamed of this society. 

On a personal note I did not enjoy the throwing of Spanish words here and there. I assume the reason is the fact that we the story takes place in the border with Mexico, but as a Hispanic person, I can tell you that I do not go around throwing Spanish words in my English or French conversations, unless I can’t find the word. But as I mentioned, that is more personal. It also bothers me when the Hispanic character in a movie speaks perfect English but can only say “Por favor”, because apparently he never learned how to say “Please”.

Anyway, back to the book. I think Ms. Factor should be very proud of her first novel, it was well presented, very well written, and the story had a lot of potential. I think she still has to find that extra that forces you to continue reading, even though is 3 am, but I believe she will find it with a little bit of time.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

TSS: Earth day

 Hello everybody, I almost didn't post today! This week was such a gray week, weather wise I mean, that I felt like hibernating...I couldn't off course, since I had to go to the lab during the week-end, but never mind that. Yesterday I learnt about the Read-a-Thon, 24 hours of reading, reading, reading. However, since I read about it at about 21h, well...didn't happen to me, maybe next year. Other than that, I'm afraid I don't have a lot of reading news, I'm almost done with The Mercury Fountain (review should be up this week) and I will be starting Behind the Dream soon too. Then again, since my experiment is picking up, I'm afraid I will get behind on my reading (books, articles do not count, unfortunately) My boyfriend started Drop Dead Healthy, and is reading it at the same time with The Greatest Show on Earth, 2 books I'm really looking forward to read. Fingers crossed I will this summer. This week I also added a new "discussion", a follow-up to The Book Lady Blog post. 
Anyway, that's it for now, have a nice week everybody!

Monday, April 16, 2012

What are your dirty little secrets?

This is a post in response to The Book Lady's last Post. I realized that the list might be too long to just go in the comment section. I will however limit myself to 5.

  1. I don’t like Gabriel García Marquez that much.  So sue me. You see, all through school we were forced to read his books, because, you know: He is the only Colombian Nobel Price, and blah, blah. Except for 100 years of Solitude, I didn’t like his books that much. Granted he has a unique style, I think there are several good books amongst his work, and I appreciate the “magic realism” in his books, but he is just not for me.
  2. I rarely finished the books forced on me at school. I passed every single test, which makes me wonder how come people actually failed them. But I have problems finishing something I was forced to read; somehow it kills all the joy I usually find on books. Maybe that explains point 1.
  3. I cannot, for the life of me, watch a movie based on a book, and avoid saying (at least once): That’s not how it was on the book. I’ve tried, I’ve really tried, but even under my breath, there will be THAT moment. There are really good adaptations out there and I realize you cannot put EVERYTHING that happens in the book in the movie…but even then, I can’t help but say it…sorry.
  4. I have a collection of what I call “sherbet” books. You know sherbet or sorbet, as in the light frozen dessert. See, in multiple course meals the point of having a scoop of sherbet between entrées and main dishes and even the dessert itself is to clean the palate. The flavor won’t be overwhelming, but you will probably enjoy it and it will allow you to enjoy the next big flavor. So yeah, after a big book, sometimes I like to “have a sherbet book” (Confessions of a Shopaholic, The Southern Vampire Mysteries or even Hunger Games, short and sweet). I would say is a guilty pleasure if it wasn’t because I do not feel guilty at all. Which reminds me, I’m a couple of books behind on the SVM series…I guess it will have to wait until the Early Reviewers books. 
  5. On that topic, I read the whole Twilight series. Ok, so maybe that is not a secret if you visit my GoodReads page. But even today if I try to explain the story of the books I feel funny. I will be the first to admit it wasn’t a life changing life, and girls should not take their ideas of “ideal” relationship from this book. But hey, it was fun to read, to discuss with my friends and Grandma (she read it to understand what the fuss was all about).

Sunday, April 15, 2012

TSS: Busy Week

Hello everybody! This was a busier week that I expected. Not only in the lab, but in my blog too! Fingers crossed corrections for my first article should be finished soon. First things first, I got my first follower! And right after her, 3 more came. I feel a bit silly that this makes me so happy, but it’s a great feeling when someone acknowledges your work. So thank you!

Now, you might have noticed, but I finally have some tabs in the blog. Is a work in progress, but I wanted to take out the gadget for Reviewed Books and make it a proper page, so I could have ratings on it, organize it, etc. Yeah, yeah, I’m a bit of an order freak. Believe me, if I had the time I would go back to all my old posts and unify fonts, etc. Maybe one day. 

I also have a “Discussions” tab now. Sometimes I find an article or something, reading related that makes me want to share it and…well, discuss it. Since I’m getting more and more of this type of posts, I decided it should be organized too. This week post is about Book Critics. Oh and a TSS tab, you know, just to keep everything in order ;)

    Books wise, I have several reasons to celebrate. 
  1.  My boyfriend’s book finally arrived…Drop Dead Healthy, by A.J. Jacobs. He was so happy! (I’m happy too, since I will be borrowing it).
  2. I got 2 books from the LybraryThing Early Reviewers program, and they are now on my to-read list officially.
  3. Last but not least, I finished book 1 of 1Q84. As you will see in the review there is a lot (more than I expected) to talk about. I have to finish the book before the 25th of April, since there is a long waiting list in the library, and I don’t want to keep people from reading it. But so far it has being easy to read, so I’m not worried.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Book critics...

Hello everybody! Today I write to share something that has been in my head for a couple of days now. As you know, I’m currently reading Murakami’s 1Q84, and I love it. However, when I was reading some of the reviews about it in Goodreads I was mind blown.

The language! OMG, when I first reviewed From Adam to Noah or Knife ofTruth, two books that I didn’t like, I felt I was being harsh. But reading some people’s comments I sadly quote, “a steaming pile of hot garbage”, “I’ve been assaulted enough” and “Get out, all of you: 925 pages was more than your fair share, and more than its fair share was squandered on wordy mediocrity”. 

I get it; you people didn’t like the book. Do you need to be so insulting? Have any of you attempted to write a book? Has it reached so many people? I do not mean to say that everyone should like the book. No, is not for everyone, I realize that. Just as I do not enjoy Self-Help books, people are entitled not to like a particular book. But is the level of aggressiveness that shocks me. I’ve read other bloggers that didn’t like it either, but most of people dedicated to books who didn’t like it didn’t seem to need to bash it, to use demeaning words. I’ve found “too-long for it’s own good”.

As I mentioned in my “about me” box, I am working in science, and yes, reviewers of articles can be particularly harsh, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of such terms in these types of reviews! And even then, when you read what might be considered professional reviews (New York Times’ Kathryn Schulz called it “psychologically unconvincing and morally unsavory”) they use blunt, direct words, yet not aggressive or vulgar, and they always acknowledge the good points.  

I just don’t feel I have the right to be offensive with any author that took the time to write a book and managed to be published. I think one think is to dislike someone’s work and other to bluntly brutalize it. Freedom of speech is one thing…but I think there is a limit, no? Also, nobody is forcing you to read the book, if you don't like it, don't finish it, if is not for you, there is no need to denigrate someone else's work. On this subject I would recommend Jacob Schriftman's post: Judging Books: The Golden Rule of Criticism.

So what do you think?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

TSS: Happy Easter and News

Happy Easter Everybody!  and in case you do not celebrate it, happy long week-end. This week was a good one in terms of books, I finished and reviewed Death with Interruptions and I finally got my copy of 1Q84. If I continue reading it at this rate, I might finish these 2 first books during this week, although life at the lab will be a bit more busy this week too...well see. As I mentioned before it's only books 1 and 2, but soon I will get the version with the third book, so you will see a change in the version of the book.  Also, I got the paperback version of Before She Dies, from the Member Giveaway in Lybrarything and...I found the paperback of The Ice Princess on sale!!! So Goody for me. I also bought a new book for my boyfriend, but since it’s a surprise and he reads my blog, I shall not mention the name (yet). I guess I could also say that I’m reading the Handbook of the Driver, since I will be taking my Driver’s exam in may to validate the permit I have from my country and hopefully be able to drive here...but I just don’t feel like I’m actually reading it! If I did, should I add all the text books I’ve read through school to my library? Because the fact is, I don’t read the whole thing when it comes to this book...I don’t know, but I’m rambling here.  Finally I hope I will be accepted at BookBlogs, which reminds me, I want to thank whoever posted my Hobbit review in Sherry’s semicolonblog, because it took me to this new blog :).

Oh before I forget, today I got a comment on my review of Death with Interruptions, from a friend of mine, saying after reading my review he wants to read the book too. That make me really happy, since that has been my main goal here, to share what I think about a book with people and to make them want to read!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Death with Interruptions by José Saramago

Book summary (by

On the first day of the New Year, no one dies. This of course causes consternation among politicians, religious leaders, morticians, and doctors. Among the general public, on the other hand, there is initially celebration—flags are hung out on balconies, people dance in the streets. They have achieved the great goal of humanity: eternal life. Then reality hits home—families are left to care for the permanently dying, life-insurance policies become meaningless, and funeral parlors are reduced to arranging burials for pet dogs, cats, hamsters, and parrots.
Death sits in her chilly apartment, where she lives alone with scythe and filing cabinets, and contemplates her experiment: What if no one ever died again? What if she, death with a small "d" became human and was to fall in love?

Book review

Have any of you read any of Saramago’s books before? I have only read Blindness, a book where everyone except for one person, becomes blind, and shows the changes of the society under this change. Well, this book, Death with Interruptions, explores the situation in which people just stopped dying.

If you haven’t read Saramago before, you should know something; his writing style is particular and is not for everyone. What do I mean by that? Well for example, he is a fan of long paragraphs, and, at least for the books I’ve read from him, he doesn’t separate the dialogs in lines, so if you open the book randomly you might be under the impression that there are no dialogs at all, even though it is not the case. So is a “demanding” reading in the sense that you have to really be paying  attention to realize that you enter a dialog. But I happen to like it. 

It was funny how I stumble upon this book, a dear friend of mine was telling me how she was trying to read a book, she didn’t remember the name, but it was “hard to read, because there are no paragraphs”. I remember thinking that it sounded familiar. Then, a couple of days after she came into my lab, handing me a book and saying: “Here! I can’t, you try it” And then…I saw it, the name in the front…and I understood perfectly what she meant. Even more funny, when I told the story to another friend of mine, he had the same “off course” moment when I mentioned it was Saramago. 

If you have the opportunity to read the book, have patience, I cannot extend more how at first is hard to get used to his style, his long sentences that become paragraphs, but for the 2 books I have read from him so far, I have to say, it is worth it.

But, back to the book. I don’t know if it was because the first time I read him was in Spanish, or because his mother tongue is Portuguese, but when I was reading the book, the words took a Latino accent invariably, and I think that subconsciously I was translating the words. The story begins just as the review says, people stop dying all of the sudden. Off course at first people are thrilled…healthy people that is. You see, people only stopped dying, not getting sick, nor aging. So off course, you have people in never ending agony, never dying. 

As always (here I am taking the liberty to say always, considering that I have only read 2 of his books, but every critic I’ve read about Saramago’s work seem to agree with me) he uses this fictional situation to critic different parts of society. In the first 20 pages I found a very enjoyable moment about the Minister of Health addressing the population:

                “He could have left the matter there, […], but the well-known impulse to urge people to keep calm about everything and nothing and to remain quietly […], which is a tropism of politicians […] led him to conclude the conversation in the worst possible way […]”

So simple words, yet a powerful critic of the mania of politicians to tell us whether to or not to panic, and then it goes on to show the other side, the journalist using the tiniest word to his advantage.  Further I found this other sentence that just made me put the book down and think:

                “Whether we like it or not, the one justification for the existence of all religions is death, they need death as much as we need bread to eat”

Did I mention before that Saramago was a declared atheist? Critic to established religion is a constant in his work, and this book is no exception.
Eventually, someone finds a loophole in this…people are not dying in A country, not all over the world, so people start crossing the border with their loved, almost dead ones, so they can finally rest…the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, ha?. This off course, creates a political issue, since the surrounding countries are not particularly happy about people crossing their borders just to die. But wait…only humans are not dying. And that’s when a particular question arises: Have you ever wonder if death is the same for all living things?

Then, one day, death is back…with a letter announcing the end of the situation. I will not mention her reasons here, for I found them delightful, but keep in mind that the reason I kept writing death with a lower case d is due to another letter that appears later in the book that, once again, will leave you thinking. 

But then someone, a man, “escapes” from his faith, that is, he doesn’t die. We never discover why, and don’t worry, this is not a spoiler, because from the description, you know who this man is, the one that will make death learn about love.

Since this part is at the very end of the whole book, I will not tell you more about the story itself. I loved the way Saramago portrays death, her character, her behavior.  Aside from the way he critics society and the way we react to a change in the status quo, I have to say my favorite part is the way the character is constructed, presented and described. Funny, there is a part where someone critics the way death writes…which incidentally is remarkably similar to that from Saramago. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

TSS April's fools

Hello Everybody! Happy April's Fools.
This was a long week, a lot of work at the lab. And then, as some of you know, I shared the debate from the New York Times. Thank you so much for the comments. I have been so exited this week with the amount of comments I got.   No followers yet, but no rush ;). In the reading part, I'm close to half my book, Death with Interruptions, and this week I will post the review. Is good, since my local library is finally getting 1Q84 for me. I've read mixed reviews about it, but I really want to give it a go. The good news is that the copy I'm getting is in Spanish, which might make it easier to get into. The bad news is that is only books 1 and 2, but I already reserved the 3 one, this time in English, but by then I will know if is really for me or not. On the other side, I sent to my aunt 2 books I read this year and I she just got them: The Night Circus and The Know-it-All. Hopefully she will like it as much as I did. She also recommended Alone in Berlin. Has anyone read it? Any reviews? She was really into it, so I'm almost sure I will give it a try.
Have a great week everybody!