Ann and Elisabeth's MUOMS Picks

Ann and Elisabeth's Picks
Ann and Elisabeth's Picks

Ann's Picks

Madame Toussaud by Michelle Moran (audio book). A fictional account of the life of Mdm. Toussaud from her wax museum in Paris depicting famous people of her lifetime to the "death masks" of the Reign of Terror. A fascinating life of a woman who enjoyed the favor of the royals, the respect of the revolutionaries, and then spent months in prison.

The Magic Room by Jeffrey Zaslow. A nonficiton account of a family-run bridal shop in small town Michigan. An enjoyable read of brides and their dresses through the generations, and a interesting account of the stresses that occur from working with your family and difficult economic times.

11/22/63 by Stephen King. A wonderful book containing time travel, intrigue, and romance. It is a fun ride back in history and you are rooting for Jack/George the entire time.

 

Elisabeth's Picks

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. 13 year old Connor's mother is dying of cancer. His father lives in America with his new wife. His grandmother hates him. Bullies at school beat him up. His best friend betrayed him. Then one night, a monster comes to his window and offers to tell him three stories in exchange for something Connor might not be able to give: the truth.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. When Hazel was 13 she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Now 16, a miracle drug has prolonged her life but not changed her prognosis. Believing she's depressed, her doctor sends her to a support group that meets "literally in the heart of Jesus." There she meets August, a hottie in remission who shares her disdain for misuse of the word 'literal.' Heart-warming and heartbreaking, this is a story of life and love in the face of certain death.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. A finalist for the 2001 Pulitzer prize. Dave is 21 when his father dies suddenly of cancer, months before his mother dies after her own three year battle with the disease. As the youngest and least tied-down of his siblings, Dave is left the care of his 8 year-old brother, Toph. By turns angry, anxious, hysterical, and beautiful, AHWOSG is a memoir that stays with you long after you turn the final page.

 

Priscilla and Asha’s MUOMS Picks

Priscilla and Asha’s MUOMS Picks
Priscilla and Asha’s MUOMS Picks

 Priscilla's Picks

A Good American by Alex George. A sweet story of Frederick and Jette immigrating to America. Family, Love, and a wonderful cast of charcters. Made me laugh and cry.

Navigating Traps & Maps by Maura Laughlin Carley (local author). Great handbook to help you find your way through health care issues and problems. Transitioning from one health care program to another.

Bomerang: Travels in The New Third World  by Michael Lewis. The credit boom told country by country. Mr. Lewis delves into the culture of each country and how differently each came to embrace this phenomenon. I found it hilarious but sad.

 

Asha's Picks

"Perfect Host". Perception is not always reality, that being said you should probably be careful about the people who seem unassuming.  I found the movie to be disturbing but hilarious. I'm not sure what that says about my sense of humor.

Ed King by David Guterson. An interesting adaption of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. Gutereson took a few liberties with the characters but I think it was fastastic. A new, and fresh take on the Oedipus saga.

Little Children by Tom Perotta.  I listened to the audiobook and the characters in this book were so unlikable, I could not relate to any of them but that does not take away from how wonderfully written the book is. 

 

 

Caroline and Sally's MUOMS Picks

Caroline and Sally
Caroline and Sally

Sally's Picks

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.

 

Caroline's Picks

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.

Louise and Alan's MUOMS Picks

Alan and Louise
Alan and Louise

 Louise's Picks

"Moneyball" DVD starring Brad Pitt: A story about Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A's who changed baseball by using computer generated analysis to find undervalued players.  Oakland won a record 20 games in a row with the smallest payroll in baseball in 2002 and changed the industry forever. Based on the book by Michael Lewis.

Catherine the Great by Robert Massie: Massie is a biographer with the instincts of a novelist according to the New York Times Book Review. Catherine  was the longest ruling female leader of Russia ( ruling from 1762-1796). Her rule was considered the Golden Age of the Russian Empire, and a period of enlightenment.

Jerry Thomas' Bartender Guide: My personal copy printed from the Espresso Book Machine. First published in 1862.  Cocktails are enjoying a huge revival, and some of the best cocktail books are reprints of old guides. Available from EBM for $8.99. Please contact On Demand Books for information about the Espresso Book Machine.

 

Alan's Picks

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson:  This biography of Steve Jobs was released immediately after his death, and Isaacson does an extraordinary job of presenting the dual sides of Jobs’ personality: the modern-day Edison redefining technology used by millions, and strong personality who cared only what he thought and who was someone you either liked or loathed. Well-written and researched, a definitive treatment of an American icon. 

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman:  Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist and Princeton professor, won the Nobel Prize for Economics for his ground-breaking studies of how we think, and how our brains make decisions, sometimes rapidly, sometimes stupidly. This is a book of insights, with great examples of how we think and why we should be careful about the decisions we make. Far and away one of the best books of the year. 

Willpower by Baumeister and Tierney: Baumeister is one of the world experts on how the mind works with respect to decision-making, and his focus here is how you exercise willpower. Two points to think about: you only have so much willpower, and if you burn it out during the day making decisions, you’ll not have it later, and are likely to just go with the flow. So spend it carefully on important decisions. And guess what? Exercising willpower burns up energy in your brain, and when it burns out, you can get your brain back up to speed to make a few more good decisions by taking in a few pieces of candy, or something with sucrose. Yup, a piece of chocolate to the rescue!

 

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