Serena's Current Picks
What a unique and unforgettable character Bonnie Garmus has created in chemist, mother, partner, and friend Elizabeth Zott! I loved her and this book!!! The early 1960s sexism that Elizabeth and her fellow female humans had to deal with made me want to scream, but the real lessons in "Lessons in Chemistry" -- about how believing in oneself and in the strength and potential of others (dogs included!) -- made this a feel-good, genuine pleasure to read. Looking forward to reading more from Bonnie Garmus!
SMALL WORLD took my breath away. This suspenseful epic seamlessly weaves the stories of “outsiders” in America during the 19th century – Irish, African, Chinese, and Indian – and their present-day descendants, all connected to the railroad in some way. Rich with authentic characters and a spectacular sense of place and time, this is historical fiction at its finest.
A terrific tale of survival, acceptance, and love. Just before WWI, man disillusioned by city life in Stockholm becomes a miner in the Arctic. A disfiguring accident pushes Sven even farther north and farther from people. He lives a difficult and isolated life as a trapper, but has wonderful support from his few family members and some very interesting friends. I enjoyed his surprisingly uplifting -- and at times, humorous -- journey.
"Joan is Okay" is so, so good! I loved this contemporary story about family, immigration, and life expectations. As unique as her experience is, it was easy to relate to Joan's struggle against the pressures to conform that come at her from all sides. Wang's smart prose sparkles with spare intensity, just like Joan herself. I can't wait to tell readers about this book!