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Modern Iran

Illuminating Fiction and Non-Fiction

How well is post-Revolution Iran understood in the West? Today this ancient society is known primarily for the activities of its theocratic government. The following collection of ebooks and audiobooks includes two novels, two memoirs and two analyses. Many of the authors selected were either born in Iran or spent several years in the country. My hope is to offer the reader an insider's perspective on this enigmatic land.    

Notes from Undergound

Alone!

Alone!  Alone!  Alone, whether you like it or not, alone is something you’ll be quite a lot. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Seuss

Parable of the Sower

Dystopian Pasts, Presents and Futures

The word is scary right now. But honestly, reading about other pandemics and disasters has made me feel a little bit better right now because it could be so even worse! I read The Hot Zone, a book about Ebola, in elementary school and was terrified but re-reading it recently I felt almost comforted that the world isn't completely aflame.

Image of Like Water for Chocolate book cover

DC Reads: Adult Title Read-a-likes

More to savor after "With the Fire on High"

This year’s DC Reads book, With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo, follows high schooler and teen mom Emoni Santiago through senior year, as she balances school, work, Babygirl -- and figuring out her future.

Girl Woman Other

Tournament of Books 2020

It's back!

I can't believe it's already March and the Tournament of Books is back! I like to read as many books in the tournament every year as I can, so that I've read at least some well-regarded adult fiction.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Bite-Size Classics

Classics with 200 pages or fewer

There are many classics that we are often told we must read in order to be considered “well-read” but it can be difficult to fit them all into our reading life. However, there are many that are much shorter than we may realize and can be read relatively quickly. Here are a few of those classics that come in at around 200 pages or fewer that can be crossed off our to-be-read lists much sooner than others.

One day book cover

Second Chance Romances

Another chance to consider love comes at almost the beginning of every year, after New Year's resolutions are set and as the days are stretching into something brighter as they pass. Valentine's Day is as good a reason as any to watch something romantic and full of possibility and questions. Some romances feel like an answer but some embrace uncertainty and give us the secondhand experience of happenstance and second chances.

The Fox was Ever the Hunter cover

Fantastic Fiction from Around the World

Novels in Translation

While English is one of the most widely learned languages in the world, there is terrific fiction being written in many languages that English speakers might miss out on if not for translated works. Below are some wonderful novels that have been translated into English in the last several years and allow a glimpse of the extensive literary world that exists in other languages.

Gingerbread Cover Art

Fairy Tale Winter

Each season of the year has its own unique qualities. But, it's winter, more than any other season, that feels filled with magic. Maybe it's the quietude, the way an uncommon hush from a snowfall can feel like awe; or maybe just the way we still when  spending more time indoors, more time at home. Magic creeps into my reading taste this time of year, but I like to read things that feel fresh, too, in a way. Below are some books that aren't fully fantasy, but that have it creeping at the edges, like ivy on a wintry house.

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