Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Anya's Ghost

Written by: Vera Brosgol

First line: What's for breakfast.

Why you should read this book: Anya just wants to be a normal high school student, and she's done a lot of work to lose her accent and dissociate herself from the one weird Russian kid in her private school, but she only has one friend, who can be kind of mean, and the boy Anya likes already has a prettier girlfriend. Reeling with the unfairness of the world, she runs off and falls into a well, where she discovers the bones and the ghost of Emily Reilly, who helps save her from the well, and then sticks around to help Anya with her schoolwork and her love life. Maybe Emily is the kind of friend that Anya's always longed for, or maybe her kind of help is the kind of help that Anya can do without.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You will never, ever get over your first love, and you'll never, ever let them get over you.


Sunday, June 2, 2019


Written by: Min Jin Lee

First line: History has failed us, but no matter.

Why you should read this book: This sprawling intergenerational epic follows three generations of the Baek family, Korean immigrants who came to Japan to seek a better life, despite a pervasive current of anti-Korean sentiment that pervades every aspect of their existence in this new home. Through poverty and privation, the family's love, determination, and connections serve to keep them and their descendants fed, clothed, sheltered, end educated, and while their lives are punctuated, over and over, by tragedy, their ability to draw on their own knowledge and strength allow the surviving members to achieve a little more than their parents did before them. It's a big book, but it moves with surprising speed, painting a detailed picture of lives from a previous century with exquisite and fascinating detail.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You're never going to get over what the Japanese did during WWII.