Disclafani, Anton (2013) The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls. Riverhead Books. In the midst of the Great Depression, Thea Atwell, age fifteen, is exiled to a boarding school, high in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is far removed from her free and easy childhood, and as she comes to grips with the complex social strata ordered by money, beauty and friendships, she starts to unravel her relationship with her own family. The narrative slowly unfurls the story behind a scandal and her own coming of age. A vivid tale that is totally engaging and compulsive. Rating: 8.5/10.
Koppel, Lily (2008) The Red Leather Diary; Reclaiming Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal. Harper Collins. When Lily Kopppel dove into a dumpster on Manhattan’s Upper West Side to retrieve a little red diary, little did she realise she would journey with Florence Wolfston from 1920s and ’30 New York, culminating with meeting the nonagenarian in the next century. Lily’s rescue of Florence’s diary led to a retelling of life in bygone New York and of a glamorous and headstrong dreamer and writer; combining intimate interviews with original diary entries. An amazing tale of an independent women, highly recommended. Rating: 9/10.
Sloan, Robin (2012) Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Clay has landed a new gig working the night-shift at Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, but after a few days on the job he begins to get curious about a bookstore with very few customers. Soon Clay begins to analyse customer behaviour and this leads him to uncovering the secrets of the Waybacklist, a mystery that extends back 500 years. Set in Silicon’s world capital of San Francisco this twenty-first century literary adventure is full of the pathos for the culture clash between digitisation and the bibliophile. Rating: 8/10.
Sandberg, Sheryl (2013) Lean In; Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Knopf. Women’s voices are still not heard equally in decisions that affect women’s lives. Men still rule the world. Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook, and ranked one of the world’s most influential women delves into the issues affecting women in the workplace. She combines hard data with personal anecdotes and compelling research to unbundle the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women. Lean In has become a call to action and a blueprint for personal growth. Excellent update on the issues that affect working women in the twenty-first century. Rating: 9/10.