After a summer of breezy beach reads, something with a bit more weight is refreshing. Luckily, there is no shortage of good books coming out this fall. The four highlighted here all just hit bookstores and will have you asking yourself the hard questions.
"Barracuda" by Christos Tsilokas
For 15-year-old Danny, being one of the fastest swimmers in his hometown defines him. It's earned him an athletic scholarship at his elite prep school - one his family would not have otherwise been able to send him to - where his friends lovingly call him "barracuda." At home, his little brother looks up to him, taking pride in his big brother's swimming skills. With dreams of the Olympics realistically in his future, life for Danny is pretty good. But then the unexpected occurs. It doesn't happen. Danny's struggle to figure out who he is without swimming is a journey that will have you hooked. But that's not all this book is about. It's about race, class and the clash between a son and the father who doesn't quite believe in him.
"Mastering The Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing" by Anya Von Bremzen
It's rare to come across a food memoir in which the author is as talented a writer as he or she is a chef, but Anya Von Bremzen excels at both. What's more, her background and personal experiences set her apart from other various foodies who get book deals based on their blogs. Anya was born in Russia at a time when food was scarce. When her family moved to Philadelphia - and later Queens, New York - a whole new word of food opened up to her. With vast cooking resources at their disposal, Bremzenand her mom decide to cook a lavish Russian dinner once a week while Bremzen's mother and grandmother pass along stories from the family's history. "Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking" will tell you how to make borsch, but more importantly will introduce you to a family and culture that is rich in so many ways.
"The Terrorist's Son: A Story Of Choice" by Zak Ebrahim
This true story is short, but it's powerful. Author Zak Ebrahim's father was one of the terrorists who helped plan the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. You are supposed to love your family unconditionally. But what if someone in your family is responsible for something unfathomably evil? Ebrahim not only gives a rare and intriguing view into his life (Ever wonder how a terrorist treats his own family?), he explains how he still turned out to be a man of love, compassion and peace. Ebrahim has made speaking out against terrorism his life mission. Violence does not always breed violence. He is one example.
"The Future For Curious People" by Gregory Sherl
Most people date hoping to find someone to fall in love with. That's the end goal, right? If you've been playing the dating game for a while, chances are you are sick of going from partner-to-partner. But if you could know when - or if - you will fall in love, would you want to know? Would you want to skip the trial-and-error process so your heart stays a little less broken? "The Future For Curious People" poses questions like these. Dr. Chin is an "envisionist" and specializes in telling people their romantic fate. When two of his clients - who don't know each other - keep seeing one another in their "futures," they must decide if they should act on it, or if it means nothing at all. This book poses a lot of questions about life and love you'll be tempted to ask your friends, or even on your next date.
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