One of our favorite things to do at this time of year at EBG is to select the books we’ll read over our winter break. As we collect them, some of us will stack them on our bedside table where every morning, we see them upon waking and are reminded of our imminent vacation OR we put our books on the shelf in our living room with a note that says, “READ!”
This year, we compiled a rather eclectic collection because that’s the mood we’re in. So here’s what we’re reading, offered to you in the hopes that you might find something in this list that sparks your curiosity.
London, You’re Beautiful: An Artist’s Year by David Gentleman
David Gentleman has been drawing London all his adult life. But can you look afresh at the place where you live? Over the past year he has immersed himself in his home city to try and find out. “London, You’re Beautiful”, the resulting book of sketches, drawings and watercolours, arranged month by month, shows a year in the life of London, and reveals the city that is hidden in plain view. David’s notes on his work offer us a privileged insight into how an artist sees and captures the ever-shifting light and colours, movement and figures of a teeming city as it moves through the seasons. He describes how he chooses techniques and materials to render the spellbound children at his grandchildren’s Camden primary school; the spectacular transformation of Hendon’s streets from brown to pink to green with April’s cherry blossom; the strange world evoked by the city under snow. Through David’s eyes we see London anew as he shows us how the sun turns rubbish-strewn ditches into enchanting waterside glades, or how just twenty-two lines on paper can deliver the dazzling complexity of Canary Wharf’s windows. This book is for everyone who would like to understand how an artist works, for lovers of the Olympic city that will be celebrated in London 2012, and for those who long to see a familiar world, transformed. David Gentleman, born in London in 1930, is a watercolourist and printmaker, working in many media and scales. He has designed British stamps and coins and the platform-length mural at Charing Cross tube station, well-known to Londoners, that is blown up from his wood engravings. His studio is at the top of an early Victorian house in Camden Town between the crowded, rackety Camden Lock and the green spaces of Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill.Buy the Book
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, Will Grayson crosses paths with… Will Grayson. Two guys with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, and culminating in epic turns-of-heart and the most fabulous musical ever to grace the high-school stage.
A Long Way Down (film tie-in) by Nick Hornby
New York Times-bestselling author Nick Hornby mines the hearts and psyches of four lost souls who connect just when they’ve reached the end of the line. A Long Way Down is now a major motion picture from Magnolia Pictures starring Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Aaron Paul, and Imogen Poots.
Meet Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen. Four people who come together on New Year’s Eve: a former TV talk show host, a musician, a teenage girl, and a mother. Three are British, one is American. They encounter one another on the roof of Topper’s House, a London destination famous as the last stop for those ready to end their lives.
In four distinct and riveting first-person voices, Nick Hornby tells a story of four individuals confronting the limits of choice, circumstance, and their own mortality. This is a tale of connections made and missed, punishing regrets, and the grace of second chances.
Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah
A riveting memoir of a girl’s painful coming-of-age in a wealthy Chinese family during the 1940s.
A Chinese proverb says, “Falling leaves return to their roots.” In Chinese Cinderella, Adeline Yen Mah returns to her roots to tell the story of her painful childhood and her ultimate triumph and courage in the face of despair. Adeline’s affluent, powerful family considers her bad luck after her mother dies giving birth to her. Life does not get any easier when her father remarries. She and her siblings are subjected to the disdain of her stepmother, while her stepbrother and stepsister are spoiled. Although Adeline wins prizes at school, they are not enough to compensate for what she really yearns for — the love and understanding of her family.
Following the success of the critically acclaimed adult bestseller Falling Leaves, this memoir is a moving telling of the classic Cinderella story, with Adeline Yen Mah providing her own courageous voice. Includes 6-page photo insert.Buy the Book