Book column |

Book column

“Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled and More Miserable Than Ever Before” by Jean M. Twenge Ph.D. A new book that tackles the 18-to-35-year-old generation’s problems – those they face and those they create. Twenge’s book is comprehensive and scholarly, filled with statistics and thoughtful observations about the group she’s dubbed Generation Me. These young people were raised with the idea of self-esteem being more important than achievement, which has caused them to place the self above all else. Such beliefs also have created a generation of young people who believe every dream is attainable but who aren’t prepared to deal with discovering it isn’t so. Accessible and a must-read for the generation they address.

“Sweetness In the Belly” by Camilla Gibb. When her British-Irish expatriate parents are murdered in Tangier, 8-year-old Lilly is left in the care of monks and taught the Qur’an by a great Sufi teacher. As she flees Morocco for Ethiopia and is ostracized for being a farenji, Lilly finds love and peace in the teachings of Islam. Kate Reading’s honeyed voice offers a direct delivery, flawless diction and multidimensional characterizations. Alternating between the unsettled brutal regimes ruling Ethiopia in the 1970s and the harshness of British bigotry in the 1980s, the story details the grim effects of the Ethiopian diaspora on ordinary people, refugees forced to survive in London council flats.

“Eye Contact” by Cammie McGovern. A child has been murdered, and the only witness won’t talk. This is fairly common stuff in murder mysteries, but this witness is a boy locked up by autism. Adam’s view of the world around him is interesting, and the plot itself is thought provoking since the reader hears about an assortment of people with communication challenges as the mystery untangles. Julia Fletcher offers a flawless reading that steps back to allow the listener to become absorbed in the story. Unobtrusive and clear, Adam’s voice calmly sheds light on the difficulty of moving through a complicated world searching for one’s strengths.

“Astrid & Veronika” by Linda Olsson. Gravlax and lingonberries, dark winter nights, you can almost smell Sweden as you read through the pages of this compelling story about a friendship between two very different women who, nonetheless, are able to strip away their differences as they share stories and secrets over the course of one year.

“The Secret of Lost Things” by Sheridan Hay. Grumpy odd booksellers, an immigrant who finds her place in the rarified / abysmal world of a New York bookstore, the whiff of an elusive Melville manuscript, and, best of all, an author who can write about the world of books in words you will savor. “The Secret of Lost Things” lovingly tells of things and emotions lost and found, of lives and worlds that surround and abound with depths we never notice.


Compiled by owner Stacey Colin at Harmony Books, 231 Broad St. Nevada City, 265-9564. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday, 11a.m-5 p.m.

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