• hollyrutchik

OverBOOKed August 2020

Too busy to read? Studies show those who read live longer and are smarter! Carve out some time in your busy schedule for some SHELFcare. We’ve curated a list for those who don’t have time to pick a book!

The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding By Jennifer Robson

If you’re in the mood for: Historical fiction, friendship tales, self-reliance, fashion, royal watching, a multi-generational story

If you’re a fan of The Crown on Netflix, then The Gown is the book for you!

The Gown reveals personal and universal truths via the lens of three diverse women and one lavish dress. By interweaving the points of view and the settings (London 1947 and Toronto 2016), British author Robson puts the reader into the lives and workspaces of those creating Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown.

In post-war London, Ann Hughes, a young working-class woman, and French-Jewish émigrée Miriam Dassin have been selected for the opportunity of a lifetime. They will lend their embroidering talents to the gown for the most elaborate wedding since the end of the war.

In 2016 Toronto, Heather Machenzie’s late grandmother has left her a lovely set of embroidered flowers, which she discovers are identical to those that adored Queen Elizabeth’s bridal gown. Heather embarks on a journey to London to chase down her grandmother’s past, and potentially find her future.

While reading The Gown, this reader couldn’t help but wonder which threads of our personal and historical pasts could give us clues to our true callings?


Between the World and Me

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

If you’re in the mood for: Introspection, parenting, history, a heart-to-heart conversation, hope

National Book Award winner and named book of the year by numerous outlets, Between the World and Me is a tour de force, interlinking the framework of American history and a parent’s intimate conversation about both the collective and personal present, past and future.

Through a letter to his adolescent son, Coates invites readers into the intimate revelation of himself to his young son about identity and finding one’s place in the world.

Using both personal experience and re-imagined American history, Between the World and Me is a masterclass in emotion and empathy that left this OverBOOKed reader with a better understanding of how knowing the past is an important piece of the puzzle for erecting an effective future.


What’s Left of Me Is Yours By Stephanie Scott

If you’re in the mood for: Deception, true-crime, passion, betrayal, family secrets, consequences

In modern-day Tokyo, Sumiko searches for the truth about her mother Rina’s life and ultimate death. Using alternating points of view, Stephanie Scott discloses the landscape of the budding industry of “wakaresaseya” (breaker-upper) in Japan’s patriarchal society. The practice centers around one spouse’s attempt to gain the advantage in divorce proceedings by hiring an agent to lure the other spouse into an affair.

When husband Satō hires Kaitarō as the agent to seduce his wife, Rina, he doesn’t count on Kaitarō tracking her moves so thoroughly that he comes to know, understand and eventually love her.

Scott’s novel is a mother/daughter story of family secrets, love and betrayal. It explores the price of freedom for a mother who needed more and a daughter who is unsure of how to use the freedom she has.

What’s Left of Me is Yours will leave you questioning if some truths should be left unknown? When is a lie better than the truth?


Craigslist Confessional: A Collection of Secrets from Anonymous Strangers By Helena Dea Bala

If you’re in the mood for: Secrets, inner fears and desires, true stories, identity, a painful yet hopeful read

Helena Dea Bala was a burnt-out lobbyist who hated her job. Then, an honest conversation with the homeless man she passed outside her office each day inspired her leave her job and spend a year listening.

Dea Bala posted an ad on Craigslist in search of people who needed someone to hear their story – without advice, fear or judgement. Craigslist Confessional is the compilation of stories shared with her.

The secrets unearthed in Craigslist Confessional break open the true scope of humanity and the weight of the emotional baggage we all carry. It takes readers on a tour of every emotion possible, and yet, this reader closed the book with a sense of hope for the vastness of the human condition.

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