Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in an Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo: A deep look into the lives of the families of Annawadi, a slum city on a half-acre abutting the Mumbai airport. It brings a new level of meaning to the concepts of hope and courage. Highly recommended.
The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons: For those who can't get enough of Downton Abbey, a wonderful story of a young Viennese woman forced to leave her glamourous life in Austria and become a parlor maid at Tyneford House.
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides: A rich story about the intertwining lives of three students at Brown University in the early 1980s, filled with the requisit existential soul-searching of the times. This is one of our picks for our Spring Book Discussion Series.
This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman: A disturbingly realistic story of a wealthy family living in New York City. The teenage son, Jake, is at an exclusive private school when he is emailed an explicit video from a girl and forwards it to a friend, who forwards it to a friend, and the video goes viral.
Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals from My Home to Yours by Mario Batali: Mario's newest cookbook, divided into months rather than courses for seasonal cooking. Each month features a couple dishes (usually pasta, his specialty), and then includes one whole meal from appetizers to dessert. Accessible and enjoyable family style recipes - and Mario is hilarious!
No Angel by Penny Vincenzi: The first book of a trilogy, set in London, which starts right before World War I. If you may be stuck inside during a snowstorm in the near future, or on a beach this summer, you should definitely pick this up. Especially if you like Downton Abbey, because it's the same world. One of her newer books, The Best of Times is also a great page turner.