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Previous books on Mari's nightstand:
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: A richly imagined, beautifully told tale of rivalry, love, loss and survival. Unlike anything else I've read, ever. I stayed up way past my bedtime three nights in a row because I didn't want to put it down.

Veronica's Nap by Sharon Bially: An extraordinarily well-written peek inside a not-so-perfect marriage, set in lovely Provence. A new mother, who seems to have it all, struggles with the collapse of her dreams (and perhaps her family) as she discovers that what she thought she wanted and what she really wants aren't the same thing.

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson: An eye opening and comprehensive look at a part of history that was glossed over, at least in my high school. An important look at race relations in our country and why the playing field still isn't level.

The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman: Goodman elevates the omniscient narrative to a form of high art. A compelling self-discovery tale of two outwardly opposite sisters from Boston living in the Bay Area during the heady dot com days.

The Kitchen House—Kathleen Grissom's brilliant tale of masters and slaves in late 18th century Virginia is my book club's current pick.

Girl in Translation —I'm a sucker for a great first generation tale, and Jean Kwok's novel more than fits the bill.

Then Came You—Jennifer Weiner's latest novel deals with the many sides of surrogacy. In my humble opinion, it's her best book yet.

Half the Sky—Everyone should read this book. I read very little non-fiction, but I devoured this look at the plight of women around the globe (by NYT columnist Nicholas Kristof) in three late night sittings.