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Dexter by Design

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Miami is inundated with 'creatively' displayed corpses- the sick art of a tourism advertiser gone wrong. Murder as exhibitionist art. Meanwhile- Dexter is learning about being a husband and father. Wonderfully described- a bit disturbing- especially as his wife Rita's children become involved. The saga continues!
The End of Your Life Book Club

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What a beautiful tribute to a powerful woman. The author and his mother decide to have a two person book club and read together an astonishing number of books during the end stages of his mother's life. She had lived a remarkable, inspiring life and her son captures much of her life in these pages- but it is the depth of her passion for helping people through the medium of books that held power for me. It reminded me of my father's passions and my reading to him when he was no longer able. I found a neat symmetry in the fact that my father's last book- the Kite Runner- was set in Afghanistan and her biggest passion was getting a library built in Afghanistan.
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The Kite Runner

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Set in Afghanistan, this story is worth all the rave reviews it is currently getting. The narrator, who now lives in America has brought to life for North Americans- the real life people of the middle east- made them human, alive- vivid!
Look Me in the Eye

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Wow- this kid lived a messed up life- and he describes the way he treated his brother- whom he calls Varmet- so matter of fact- that you almost don't realize how abusive he was. Meanwhile- you do see that he needed help and didn't get it. Raised by neglectful and mentally ill parents, this young man fended for himself- and taught himself how to survive. Eventually becoming the pyrotechnic genius that made Guitars light on fire for KISS, John Elder Robison didn't learn he is an Aspie until he was well into his adult life. Amazing read!
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

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The narrator of this book suffers from autism. Writing style is exceptional- and it is written as a mystery but is actually an expose of how autism can destroy a family and how the child can never truly understand those around him. Wonderful quick read!
Ten Thousand Saints: A Novel

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A family of well meaning missionaries go to the Congo in the midst of social unrest and political and economic turmoil. It is told from the perspectives of 5 different narrators- artfully written- very well done. The topics are deep and the story has many layers.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: A Novel

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How do we react to the end of our world? This one explores the reactions of a young boy who has a secret- one he has tried to keep to protect his mother and to hang on to memories of his father- one of the Twin Tower victims of 9-11. A strange scavenger hunt ensues- the book is quirky, deeply emotional- enjoyable.
Por la vida de mi hermana (My Sister's Keeper): Novela

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A mesmerizing read! This is about a young girl whose parents had her initially so they could harvest the stem cells from her umbilical cord to assist her terminally ill older sister. The book has complex deep issues but is also very easy to get into.
Across the Nightingale Floor

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Poetic descriptions, insights into Japanese culture and good old fashioned quest for power and revenge. The two main characters are both pawns in the power struggle for Feudal Japan. The chapters alternate between their stories. Long before they meet, the reader can predict a love interest- but it is not too annoying. I will certainly read the second in the series when it becomes available.
The Queen of Katwe by Tim Crothers (excerpt)

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The author is a former Sports Illustrated writer; the main character is a child who lives in a slum of Uganda filled with poverty, AIDS, and destitution- with no knowledge of the world beyond. By chance, Phiona develops an interest in Chess and takes her to international competitions and fame as she competes in the Chess Olympiad in Sudan, and Russia. Fascinating story!
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