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The reference to “six granddaughters” in the title of this dark, complex novel is deceiving: two are dead. One dies as an infant and pulls a shroud of everlasting grief over the family, and the other narrates the entire novel from beyond the grave while she floats in an afterlife. At the heart of the novel is Cecilia, a beautiful poet who is perceived as being the most talented and attractive among the granddaughters. Nonetheless, she is plagued by many demons, not the least of which is abuse at the hands of a mysterious man. Read More
This is the story of a Palestinian family in Gaza coping with the hell of living in a warzone. The book is informative, exciting, and thorough—all you have to do is get through the first 60 cumbersome pages, and then the story flies along until the end. Dabbagh’s main characters are 27-year-old Iman and her twin brother Rashid, and their story opens with a bombing raid. While Rashid is hanging out on his roof, stoned out of his mind and welcoming death, Iman is camped out in a basement with an activist group called the Women’s Committee, trying to find a solution to the war. Read More
In Marbles, cartoonist Ellen Forney’s life-altering journey though mental illness is graphically exposed in more ways than one. The Forney we see at the start of the story is experiencing her most sexual, creative, and manic period, which is followed by a big crash that leads to her bipolar diagnosis at 30. Here, her story evolves into the struggle not only to come to terms with medicating herself, but also to find the right formula of medications that will get her back to her life. This excruciating and lonely process takes four years, even with the help of her omnipresent shrink. Read More
  Imagine a land where boys play with dolls and girls want to grow up to be firemen – and nobody makes fun of them for it. A land where girls don’t worry about being pretty and happily proclaim, “I like what I look like.” A land where boys know that it’s alright to cry. A land where “you’ll do what you like, and be who you are.” This is the land imagined in the album, book, and TV special Free To Be…You And Me, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary in November. Read More
News junkies and fans of Hanna Rosin will surely remember “The End of Men,” her 2010 Atlantic article about female success and how it relates to the simultaneous plummeting of male accomplishment. Her engrossing new book retains that provocative title and expounds on the facts she uncovered in her first go-round. Rosin focuses mostly on the shifting of familial responsibilities and career achievements between men and women by examining statistics and conducting interviews. Read More