While I'm Falling by Laura Moriarty is an easy read with a local Kansas flavor, specifically featuring Lawrence. In this coming of age story, Moriarty in her typical fashion explores relationships and how a major event such as divorce in this case, affects the parents, the children and their future decisions about life.
One of the best books I have read recently was The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver. The story takes place in parallel universes which I found quite intriguing. The main character, Irina, works in London as an illustrator of children's books.
I've always enjoyed J.D. Salinger's only novel, The Catcher in the Rye; I've read it enough times now that I've lost count. Given the author's death on Jan. 27, I'll probably read it again soon. But it is not my favorite Salinger work. That honor goes to Franny and Zooey, and I write this knowing quite well what a strange little book it is.
Sirianni, Carmen and Lewis A. Friedland. The Civic Renewal Movement: Community Building and Democracy in the United States. Kettering, 2005.
This biography is an up-close-and-personal view of mental illness as a father watches his teenage daughter develop psychotic manic-depressive disorder. It is a quick read, like reading a very long newspaper article. It is difficult, too, because you want a happy ending but know from the beginning that there is no way to cure the disease.
The story takes place in Berlin in 1945 when an accomplished, well educated and sophisticated journalist and editor found herself trapped in the Russian occupied sector for a period of eight weeks during the end of World War II. She kept a record of the events of her life and also daily events of the people in her apartment.
Darkly Dreaming Dexter is the first of a series by Jeffry Lindsay. Dexter Morgan is not your average serial killer. His foster father Harry was in the police force, and recognized Dexter's dark side from an early age. Harry taught Dexter to live by a code that would keep his inner monster hidden from others, only turning it loose for the good of humankind.