The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Stieg Larsson
Rated by
Amanda C.
Monday, Jul 17, 2017

Mikael Blomkvist is an investigative reporter and co-owner of a magazine, Millennium, in Stockholm, Sweden. A bygone behemoth of Swedish industry hires him to solve the 36-year-old mysterious disappearance of Harriet Vanger. Lisbeth Salander is the 24-year-old genius computer hacker (complete with tattoos, piercings, and black lipstick) who aids Mikael in his search for the answers. In uncovering what happened to Harriet, they discover a much bigger secret in Sweden.

Purple cover with light blue writing "Exit West"

Exit West

Mohsin Hamid
Rated by
Stefanie E.
Thursday, Mar 16, 2017

Exit West offers an opportunity to understand the refugee experience on a powerful level through the eyes of two university students.

Hamid, in brief poetic prose, shows us just how quickly a country can be thrown into a wartime scenario and a people forced to displace themselves as refugees.

multiple backpacks in bright colors leaning against one another

Wide-Open World

John Marshall
Rated by
Robin D.
Tuesday, Sep 15, 2015

Do you ever dream of working with monkeys in the Costa Rican rainforest? How about teaching English in Thailand, or helping orphans in India? Well John Marshall did and in a radical move to connect better with their teenage son and daughter, he and his wife quit their jobs and took a six month voluntourism break from life. Wide Open World is the story of how six months moving around the globe volunteering changed all of their lives forever.

Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad

Waris Dirie and Cathleen Miller
Rated by
Megan C.
Sunday, Jul 20, 2014

This memoir explores the life of Waris Dirie, recognized by many for her work as a model, and by others for her advocacy for human rights and a battle against female genital mutilation. The reader follows her from her early life as a nomad in the deserts of Somalia, to her difficult and sometimes dangerous journey to Mogadishu and eventually London. Working there as an underappreciated maid for her own family, she is "discovered", and sets off on an equally nomadic life as a model. Throughout her journey, Waris has to face the world with her own wits and tenacity.

Life in a Day

DVD - 2001
Rated by
Megan C.
Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014

This film is the perfect antidote to the evening news. Rather than dwelling on the grim or sensational, it magnifies the beauty of the quotidian as it follows a single day in the life of people all over the world. Not only visually stunning, it is also emotionally impacting to see the human race in all its variety and realize how different, and how very much the same, people can be.

Tuesday, Aug 24, 2010

A friend said it was the best book she’s read in a long time, so I took The Elegance of the Hedgehog on my vacation – seemed perfect, nice little paperback to travel easy with plenty of time to read. After a couple of chapters I was not feeling the same love as my friend, but I was stuck in a hotel room with only that book, so I plodded on. I’m glad I did. Author Muriel Barbery has crafted a novel that is really a work of philosophy – definitely not a beach read – but a gem for the soul.

after dark - Haruki Murakami

Rated by
Hilary S.
Thursday, Jul 1, 2010

A bit strange, but nothing much happens in this book. It's not the kind of "nothing" of Seinfeld fame, but more of a creepy and lonely "nothing." A prostitue is beaten, a girl meets an old acquaintance and then there is a strage dream-like event that you can't even be sure has happened. Maybe it is a dream. Maybe not. There are no definitive answers here.

Friday, May 7, 2010

If you are a film buff, then you already know that the National Film Board of Canada is serious about producing quality culture. Thanks to the internet, you can now see some of their selections from the comfort of your own couch!

The Yellow House

Rated by
Judy R.
Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010

Recently, I realized how much pleasure I derive from reading international fiction with an Irish flair; must be that Irish blood coursing through my veins or a previous lifetime spent roaming locales like Donaghadee, Ballyskeagh or Glengormley. I've escaped to settings like these in the Irish Country Doctor series by Patrick Taylor and Heather Barbieri's The Lace Makers of Glenmara.

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010

This book describes turmoil on many fronts. Felix Hoffman, a Dutch Ambassador finds himself in Prague just before the Velvet Revolution of 1980s, his final diplomatic posting. In Kafka’s haunted city Hoffman spends his insomniac nights studying Spinoza and revisiting the traumas of his life.