Tote Bag Tuesday: 05.22.2012

Tote Bag Tuesday: 05.22.2012

By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez

It’s Tuesday and it’s been a while since my Tote Bag has been filled. I’m not the book-buying type who can only purchase one or two books at a time. I visit bookstores instead and peruse, peruse, peruse.

I like to get better acquainted before I decide to take just any book home. I’m just like that. It takes a few trips to the library, the local bookstore, 10-minute intervals of turning the pages, a good deal—and voila! My tote bag gets voracious and happy.

Here’s my fill:

 ***

The Kindness of Strangers

Category: Fiction

Author: Katrina Kittle

Format: Trade Paperback, 400 pages

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

ISBN: 978-006-0564-780

Pub Date: December 21, 2006

From Chapters-Indigo Website:

A young widow raising two boys, Sarah Laden is struggling to keep her family together. But when a shocking revelation rips apart the family of her closest friend, Sarah finds herself welcoming yet another troubled young boy into her already tumultuous life.

Jordan, a quiet, reclusive elementary school classmate of Sarah’s son Danny, has survived a terrible ordeal. By agreeing to become Jordan’s foster-mother, Sarah will be forced to question the things she has long believed. And as the delicate threads that bind their family begin to unravel, all the Ladens will have to face difficult truths about themselves and one another—and discover the power of love necessary to forgive and to heal.

***

The Flight of Gemma Hardy

Category: Fiction

Author: Margot Livesey

Format: Trade Paperback, 432 pages

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

ISBN: 978-144-3406-130

Pub Date: January 23, 2012

From the Chapters-Indigo Website:

Fate has not been kind to Gemma Hardy. Orphaned by the age of ten, neglected by a bitter and cruel aunt, sent to a boarding school where she is both servant and student, young Gemma seems destined for a life of hardship and loneliness. Yet her bright spirit burns strong. Fiercely intelligent, singularly determined, Gemma overcomes each challenge and setback, growing stronger and more certain of her path. Now an independent young woman with dreams of the future, she accepts a position as an au pair on the remote and beautiful Orkney Islands.

But Gemma’s biggest trial is about to begin . . . A journey of passion and betrayal, secrets and lies, redemption and discovery that will lead her to a life she’s never dreamed of.

***

Her Fearful Symmetry

 Category: Fiction

Author: Audrey Niffenegger

Format: Trade Paperback, 416 pages

Publisher: Vintage Canada

ISBN: 978-030-7397-461

Pub Date: July 6, 2010

From the Chapters-Indigo Website:

Julia and Valentina Poole are normal American teenagers – normal, at least, for identical “mirror” twins who have no interest in college or jobs or possibly anything outside their cozy suburban home. But everything changes when they receive notice that an aunt whom they didn’t know existed has died and left them her amazing flat in a building by Highgate Cemetery in London. They feel that at last their own lives can begin … but they have no idea that they’ve been summoned into a tangle of fraying lives, from the OCD-suffering crossword setter who lives above them to their aunt’s mysterious and elusive lover who lives below them, and even to their aunt herself, who never got over her estrangement from the mother of the girls – her own twin – and who can’t even seem to quite leave her flat….

***

***

Wizard of the Crow

 Category: Fiction

Author: Ngugi Wa’thiong’o

Format: Trade Paperback, 784 pages

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

ISBN: 978-140-0033-843

Pub Date: August 28, 2007

From the Chapters-Indigo Website:

In exile now for more than twenty years, Kenyan novelist, playwright, poet and critic Ngugi wa Thiong’o has become one of the most widely read African writers. Commencing in “our times” and set in the fictional “Free Republic of Aburiria,” Wizard of the Crow dramatizes with corrosive humor and keenness of observation a battle for control of the souls of the Aburirian people. Fashioning the stories of the powerful and the ordinary into a dazzling mosaic, this magnificent novel reveals humanity in all its endlessly surprising complexity.

***

Truth and Beauty: A Friendship

Category: Fiction

Author: Ann Patchett

Format: Trade Paperback, 272 pages

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

ISBN: 978-006-0572-150

Pub Date: April 14, 2005

From the Chapters-Indigo Website:

Ann Patchett and the late Lucy Grealy met in college in 1981, and, after enrolling in the Iowa Writers? Workshop, began a friendship that would be as defining to both of their lives as their work. In Grealy?s critically acclaimed memoir, Autobiography of a Face, she wrote about losing part of her jaw to childhood cancer, years of chemotherapy and radiation, and endless reconstructive surgeries. In Truth & Beauty, the story isn?t Lucy?s life or Ann?s life, but the parts of their lives they shared. This is a portrait of unwavering commitment that spans twenty years, from the long winters of the Midwest, to surgical wards, to book parties in New York. Through love, fame, drugs, and despair, this is what it means to be part of two lives that are intertwined . . . and what happens when one is left behind.

This is a tender, brutal book about loving the person we cannot save. It is about loyalty, and being lifted up by the sheer effervescence of someone who knew how to live life to the fullest.

***

Runaway

Category: Fiction

Author: Alice Munro

Format: Trade Paperback, 352 pages

Publisher: Penguin Canada

ISBN: 978-014-3050-711

Pub Date: October 1, 2005

From the Chapters-Indigo Website:

The incomparable Alice Munro’s bestselling and rapturously acclaimed Runaway is a book of extraordinary stories about love and its infinite betrayals and surprises. In Munro’s hands, the people she writes about-women of all ages and circumstances, and their friends, lovers, parents, and children-become as vivid as our own neighbours. It is her miraculous gift to make these stories as real and unforgettable as our own.

***

 

***

The Enchantress of Florence

 Category: Fiction

Author: Salman Rushdie

Format: Trade Paperback, 368 pages

Publisher: Vintage Canada

ISBN: 978-067-6977-592

Pub Date: January 6, 2009

From the Chapters-Indigo Website:

A tall, yellow-haired young European traveller calling himself “Mogor dell’Amore,” the Mughal of Love, arrives at the court of the real Grand Mughal, the Emperor Akbar, with a tale to tell that begins to obsess the whole imperial capital. The stranger claims to be the child of a lost Mughal princess, the youngest sister of Akbar’s grandfather Babar: Qara Köz, ‘Lady Black Eyes’, a great beauty believed to possess powers of enchantment and sorcery, who is taken captive first by an Uzbeg warlord, then by the Shah of Persia, and finally becomes the lover of a certain Argalia, a Florentine soldier of fortune, commander of the armies of the Ottoman Sultan. When Argalia returns home with his Mughal mistress the city is mesmerised by her presence, and much trouble ensues.

The Enchantress of Florence is a love story and a mystery – the story of a woman attempting to command her own destiny in a man’s world. It brings together two cities that barely know each other – the hedonistic Mughal capital, in which the brilliant emperor wrestles daily with questions of belief, desire and the treachery of sons, and the equally sensual Florentine world of powerful courtesans, humanist philosophy and inhuman torture, where Argalia’s boyhood friend ‘il Machia’ – Niccolò Machiavelli – is learning, the hard way, about the true brutality of power. These two worlds, so far apart, turn out to be uncannily alike, and the enchantments of women hold sway over them both.

But is Mogor’s story true? And if so, then what happened to the lost princess? And if he’s a liar, must he die?

***

A Map of Glass

Category: Fiction

Author: Jane Urquhart

Format: Trade Paperback, 392 pages

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

ISBN: 978-077-1087-288

Pub Date: June 13, 2006

From the Chapters-Indigo Website:

Jane Urquhart’s stunning new novel weaves two parallel stories, one set in contemporary Toronto and Prince Edward County, Ontario, the other in the nineteenth century on the northern shores of Lake Ontario.

Sylvia Bradley was rescued from her parents’ house by a doctor attracted to and challenged by her withdrawn ways. Their subsequent marriage has nourished her, but ultimately her husband’s care has formed a kind of prison. When she meets Andrew Woodman, a historical geographer, her world changes.

A year after Andrew’s death, Sylvia makes an unlikely connection with Jerome McNaughton, a young Toronto artist whose discovery of Andrew’s body on a small island at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River unlocks a secret in his own past. After Sylvia finds Jerome in Toronto, she shares with him the story of her unusual childhood and of her devastating and ecstatic affair with Andrew, a man whose life was irrevocably affected by the decisions of the past. At the breathtaking centre of the novel is the compelling tale of Andrew’s forebears. We meet his great-great-grandfather, Joseph Woodman, whose ambitions brought him from England to the northeastern shores of Lake Ontario, during the days of the flourishing timber and shipbuilding industries; Joseph’s practical, independent and isolated daughter, Annabel; and his son, Branwell, an innkeeper and a painter. It is Branwell’s eventual liaison with an orphaned French-Canadian woman that begins the family’s new generation and sets the stage for future events.

A novel about loss and the transitory nature of place, A Map of Glassis vivid with evocative prose and haunting imagery – a lake of light on a wooden table; a hotel gradually buried by sand; a fully clothed man frozen in an iceberg; a blind woman tracing her fingers over a tactile map. Containing all of the elements for which Jane Urquhart’s writing is celebrated, it stands as her richest, most accomplished novel to date.

 ***

The Witch of Portobello

Category: Fiction

Author: Paulo Coelho

Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

ISBN: 978-006-1338-816

Pub Date: January 17, 2008

From the Chapters-Indigo Website:

How do we find the courage to always be true to ourselves-even if we are unsure of who we are?

That is the central question of international bestselling author Paulo Coelho”s profound new work, The Witch of Portobello. It is the story of a mysterious woman named Athena, told by the many who knew her well-or hardly at all. Like The AlchemistThe Witch of Portobello is the kind of story that will transform the way readers think about love, passion, joy, and sacrifice.

***

To read more posts on Tote Bag Tuesdays, you can visit here.

***

 What did you fill in your tote bag this week?

How do you decide what to buy?

***

My Japanese name: 清水 Shimizu (clear water) 子 Aiko (child of the morning sun).
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s