Engineering A Life by Krishan Bedi
Krishan Bedi came to the United States in December of 1961 at the tender age of twenty. He had only $300 in his pocket, and he had made it out of his small village in India on sheer faith, determined to get education in the US. For him, there was no option but to succeed—so he began his new life in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he had to adapt to the culture shock not only of being in the US but a Punjabi man in the South in the 1960s.
Engineering a Life is an examination of Bedi’s life, and how he has handled the plethora of curve balls thrown his way with determination, humor, and an unwavering faith that everything would work out. This is a book about values and faith and the importance of friendship, family, and hard work. It’s a story about achieving the American Dream, proving that no matter how thoroughly you map out your life’s journey, no matter how many blueprints you draw up, when you veer off the course you’ve plotted—as we all do, somehow, in the end—you end up where you’re supposed to be.
Hidden by Kelli Clare
Small-town Connecticut art teacher Ellie James finds the intense connection she’s longing for when she meets Will Hastings, a seductive Englishman with an alluring darkness. But just days later, her sister and grandmother are murdered, and she must confront the unthinkable: is Will a man she can trust, a murderer—or both?
In a desperate move after surviving a near-fatal attempt on her life, she takes her young niece Lissie and flees to England with Will. There, passion becomes indomitable obsession, London paparazzi call her by another name, and assassins of a secret society close in as the stunning truth about Ellie’s family is exposed. When Will suddenly disappears after slipping an engagement ring on her finger, she must find the strength to elude assassins and disentangle herself from the haunting lies she’s lived for twenty-seven years. Who is Ellie James?
The Frontman by Ron Bahar
Ron Bahar is an insecure, self-deprecating, seventeen-year-old Nebraskan striving to please his Israeli immigrant parents, Ophira and Ezekiel, while remaining true to his own dreams. During his senior year of high school, he begins to date longtime crush and non-Jewish girl Amy Andrews—a forbidden relationship he hides from his parents. But that’s not the only complicated part of Ron’s life: he’s also struggling to choose between his two passions, medicine and music. As time goes on, he becomes entangled in a compelling world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Will he do the right thing?
A fictionalized memoir of the author’s life as a young man in Lincoln, Nebraska, The Frontman is a coming-of-age tale of love and fidelity.
The Opposite of Never by Mary Kathleen Mehuron
Life is mostly a mixed bag.
Devastated when they lose their spouses, both Kenny Simmons and Georgia Best carry on for the sake of their children, although they are certain that the best part of their lives is long over. Then Georgia and her lifelong companions, Linda and Yvonne, meet Kenny while walking down a dusty Vermont country road, and the four of them hit it off. Soon, Kenny becomes a regular part of their hiking group, and he and Georgia grow more than fond of each other.
Kenny’s stepdaughter, Zelda, and Yvonne’s teenage son, Spencer, also fall in love—at first sight. Through surprisingly relatable circumstances, they are drawn into opiate use, shocking everyone, and the two of them struggle through the torment of addiction together.
In an impulsive and daring attempt to create a grand finale out of difficult times, Kenny takes Georgia off to vacation in Cuba just as it is opening up to Americans—and what they discover in the golden light of Old Havana is another startling surprise.
Tree Dreams by Kristin Kaye
“Kristin Kaye’s coming of age novel artfully places her young heroine in the midst of the burning questions facing the entire world such as climate change and culture wars. At the same time, she manages to weave her into a discovery of the ancient human connections to both trees and dreams. This is a work of wit and imagination that informs as it inspires; it also marks a trail of encouragement for the mutual lives of people and trees.”
—Michael Meade, author of The Genius Myth and Why the World Doesn’t End
When seventeen-year-old Jade Reynolds witnesses a violent clash between a protesting tree sitter and a local logger, she’s forced to flee the California town she grew up in. Jade runs as far as she can from the battles that plague her home and from the mysteries of the redwood forest, but the ancient redwoods are embedded in her psyche—she feels their call even in the dark and forgotten back alleys of Portland, Oregon where she’s hiding out. She soon becomes entangled with a lovable misfit and a band of radical slackers, environmentalists, and anarchists, and finds herself living 100 feet high in the canopy of a redwood grove, trying to decide whose side she’s on: the logging community she’s known her entire life or the environmentalists who are risking their lives for the future of the forest. When Jade is compelled to find a way beyond the division between Us and Them, she turns to the ancient trees themselves—and the thread-thin web that connects us all.
Tree Dreams is an eco-literary, coming of age novel relevant for teenagers and adults alike. For this rite of passage asks the same of all of us—whatever our life stage, at one point or another we each must discover our one true voice, and learn how to offer it to the world.
Tree Dreams has given rise to a global tree tagging campaign that celebrates the myriad ways we are connected to each other, to nature and to our future. Visit treedreams.net to join in.
Trouble the Water by Jacqueline Friedland
Abigail Milton was born into the British middle class, but her family has landed in unthinkable debt. To ease their burdens, Abby’s parents send her to America to live off the charity of their old friend, Douglas Elling. When she arrives in Charleston at the age of seventeen, Abigail discovers that the man her parents raved about is a disagreeable widower who wants little to do with her. To her relief, he relegates her care to a governess, leaving her to settle into his enormous estate with little interference. But just as she begins to grow comfortable in her new life, she overhears her benefactor planning the escape of a local slave—and suddenly, everything shethought she knew about Douglas Elling is turned on its head.
Abby’s attempts to learn more about Douglas and his involvement in abolition initiate a circuitous dance of secrets and trust. As Abby and Douglas each attempt to manage their complicated interior lives, readers can’t help but hope that their meandering will lead them straight to each other. Set against the vivid backdrop of Charleston twenty years before the Civil War, Trouble the Water is a captivating tale replete with authentic details about Charleston’s aristocratic planter class, American slavery, and the Underground Railroad.