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Cover ArtKabul Beauty School : an American woman goes behind the veil
by Deborah Rodriguez
This memoir provided insight into Kabul and an American’s attempt to open a beauty school for Afghan women. I enjoyed the story, but wonder if the author has painted an unrealistic picture of her efforts and results. Debbie Rodriguez may have overstated the results of the school and endangered the women identified in this memoir. I hope she has not endangered any of the women trained in the school or their families. I found it interesting that she was critical of the Afghan culture but was willing to become wife #2 of Sam, an Afghan warlord.   posted Dec 2, 2013 at 10:54AM

Cover ArtA cup of friendship : a novel
by Deborah Rodriguez
I truly enjoyed Deborah Rodriguez’s fictional account of a Kabul coffee shop, complete with a cast of Afghans and the outsiders working with NGOs and other groups. What a story of the beauty of humanity and friendship. I liked the fiction so well that now I am reading Deborah Rodriguez’s Kabul Beauty School, nonfiction and a good, easy read.   posted Nov 25, 2013 at 10:42AM

Cover ArtFlight behavior : a novel
by Barbara Kingsolver
This may be one of the best novels of 2012, but it is not one I was able to get into quickly. I’ll give it one more try after reading the reviews. I tried it one more time and did find that I finally got into the book. All in all, not one of my favorites but I did enjoy Dellarobia’s emergence.   posted Oct 28, 2013 at 10:04AM

Cover ArtThe sweet by and by
by Johnson, Todd
This is a strong recommendation for the book written by Todd Johnson. The lives of 5 women intertwine through each chapter and slowly the lives of each unfold for the reader. The author has captured the beauty and grace of friendship among women who do not share common beginnings. I am amazed at how well the author captured the humor and concerns of these five women.   posted Sep 16, 2013 at 11:25AM

Cover ArtThe distant land of my father
by Caldwell, Bo.
This memoir provided good historical perspective on Shanghai and its evolution from pre-WW II to communism through the eyes of a young girl as she grows into adulthood. I liked the writing style and the historical details provided. In addition, the relationship dynamic of a husband who is unable/unwilling to leave Shanghai and separates himself from his family provides depth to the main characters. This would be a good book club book and does include discussion questions in the edition I read.   posted Feb 16, 2013 at 8:54PM

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