Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Crayons+ School Starts Tomorrow

School starts tomorrow. It's also senior year. That means anyone who likes reading college essay applications and offering feedback leave comments or email me! Haha (I'm serious). But more seriously it means that I definitely won't have as much time to blog. I'm no longer accepting books to review unless I specifically ask for them (and I'm going to try my hardest not to accept) until November 1. That's the goal I've set for myself to be done with ALL college applications. I will of course still write reviews for books sent to me for review.

On to New Crayons hosted by Color Online

Won from Helen, thank you so much!

A Cup of Friendship by Deborah Rodriguez

The story of a remarkable coffee shop in the heart of Afghanistan, and the men and women who meet there—thrown together by circumstance, bonded by secrets, and united in an extraordinary friendship.
After hard luck and some bad choices, Sunny has finally found a place to call home—it just happens to be in the middle of a war zone. The thirty-eight-year-old American’s pride and joy is the Kabul Coffee House, where she brings hospitality to the expatriates, misfits, missionaries, and mercenaries who stroll through its doors. She’s especially grateful that the busy days allow her to forget Tommy, the love of her life, who left her in pursuit of money and adventure.

Working alongside Sunny is the maternal Halajan, who vividly recalls the days before the Taliban and now must hide a modern romance from her ultratraditional son—who, unbeknownst to her, is facing his own religious doubts. Into the café come Isabel, a British journalist on the trail of a risky story; Jack, who left his family back home in Michigan to earn “danger pay” as a consultant; and Candace, a wealthy and well-connected American whose desire to help threatens to cloud her judgment.

When Yazmina, a young Afghan from a remote village, is kidnapped and left on a city street pregnant and alone, Sunny welcomes her into the café and gives her a home—but Yazmina hides a secret that could put all their lives in jeopardy. As this group of men and women discover that there’s more to one another than meets the eye, they’ll form an unlikely friendship that will change not only their own lives but the lives of an entire country.

Brimming with Deborah Rodriguez’s remarkable gift for depicting the nuances of life in Kabul, and filled with vibrant characters that readers will truly care about, A Cup of Friendship is the best kind of fiction—full of heart yet smart and thought-provoking.

-As I find myself drawn more and more to books about the Middle East I begin seriously considering studying Persian, Farsi or Urdu in college (as well as finally mastering Spanish). I love learning about this region and I'm not particularly sure why. I think part of it has to do with the era I'm growing up in. I also think it has to do with how much I adore that they have civil (for the most part) political discussions, that point is often made in books I read. Anyway, I've only read two books set in Afghanistan (Three Cups of Tea and Shooting Kabul) so I look forward to this intimate portrayal (and perhaps I will be drawn to coffee....).

Received from Lyn while having lunch in Brooklyn with her, Zetta and Gbemi!

No Ordinary Day by Deborah Ellis (ARC)

Release Date: September 13, 2011

Even though Valli spends her days picking coal and fighting with her cousins, life in the coal town of Jharia, India, is the only life she knows. The only sight that fills her with terror is the monsters who live on the other side of the train tracks, the lepers. When Valli discovers that her aunt is a stranger who was paid money to take Valli off her own family’s hands, she leaves Jharia and begins a series of adventures that takes her to Kolkata, the city of the gods. Valli finds that she really doesn’t need much to live and is very resourceful. But a chance encounter with a doctor reveals that she has leprosy. Unable to bear the thought that she is one of the monsters she has always feared, Valli rejects help and begins an uncertain life on the street.

-I'm fairly certain I've been remiss in not reading Deborah Ellis, she seems to be an author brought up a lot for better or worse. This sounds like it will be tough for me to read about, I've gotten even more sappy when it comes to stories about hardships, I just want to solve all the problems y'know? But I'm ready to read about a grittier side of India

Bought from Borders (the bargains are getting better!)

The GQ Candidate by Keli Goff

After a sex scandal brings down a local politician, Luke Cooper finds himself catapulted into the Michigan Governor’s mansion, making him one of the few black and—by virtue of adoption—Jewish elected officials to hold such an office. His national celebrity is increased when he heroically saves the life of an avowed racist, and his good looks and charm earn him the nickname “The GQ Candidate.”

One day Luke stuns his inner circle by informing them that he has decided to run for president of the United States. His friends offer to help out with the campaign but a fundraiser, hosted by Luke’s good friend, becomes the subject of an incredibly negative gossip item that threatens to jeopardize the campaign. Meanwhile, Luke’s wife is ambivalent about her husband’s political aspirations, and grows increasingly wary of life in the spotlight.

The GQ Candidate gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at what happens in the lives of candidates, and the people closest to them, when the cameras aren’t rolling. In addition to the story of the campaign, the novel also follows the lives of Luke’s tight knit circle of friends and reveals how his amazing race changes their lives forever.

-At first glance it sounds like this book could be modeled after Senator Obama. That's part of why I picked it up but I mostly chose to buy it because I love reading about politics, fictional or not. Especially Black politicians since they are so rarely written about.

Well what did you buy this week? Anyone else dreading going back to school?

PS I pre-ordered What You Wish For. Have you preordered it yet?????