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Debra K has commented on (4) products.

Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity

Debra K, January 2, 2013

I typically am a fiction fanatic but a friend gifted me this book and I have not been able to put it down. Solomon explores the challenges of both parenting and being a child whose identity falls far from their family tree through the realities of deafness, dwarfism, Down's Syndrome, schizophrenia and other "horizontal identities". He is incredible at weaving families' gutwrenching and heartening stories with science and cultural observations. This book is a page turner that has made me think about my own family's unique characteristics and the power of differences which ultimately unite.
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Zelda, the Queen of Paris: The True Story of the Luckiest Dog in the World by Paul Chutkow
Zelda, the Queen of Paris: The True Story of the Luckiest Dog in the World

Debra K, March 5, 2012

An absolutely charming true story about Zelda, a globe trotting dog, who moves from an unassuming, butt-biting life in India as a smart if unsophisticated stray adopted by journalists. She and her owners relocate to Paris where Zelda eventually overcomes her French neighbors' disdain by catching a wine burglar. She continues to spread her love and savvy through Italy and on into her Dog Days in the Napa Valley. A world class tale written by a world class journalist.
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How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer
How We Decide

Debra K, January 1, 2012

I tend to be a fiction reader so I'm nominating a great non-fiction book that explores brain science and how we make decisions. The examples of good and bad decision-making in this book, including those made under extreme pressure (think about trying to land a plane with over 200 passengers on board with no hydraulic system,) are fascinating. I love all of the work being done on the parts of our brains that are involved in various activities, emotions, etc. and this book dissects the way our gray matter works when a choice is necessary. It also considers whether it's better to make a decision using logic only, the Spock theory, or if emotions can help us make the right decision, the Captain Kirk theory. The answer is yes. A great read.
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A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns

Debra K, September 1, 2011

Khaled Hosseini wrote another good book that demystifies Afghanistan. This time he uses the lives of two women spanning 30 years from the time of the Soviet invasion and retreat until the U.S. involvement post 9-11. The first woman, Mariam, is the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy businessman and the second woman, Laila, comes from the educated middle class. The story intertwines these women from different backgrounds and educations as they learn to love and count on each other despite the nearly constant turmoil of their lives. While this doesn't have the same emotional punch as The Kite Runner, it provides an excellent window on all parts of Afghani life and tensions, especially women's.
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