Zelda, the Queen of Paris : the true story of the luckiest dog in the world

From Andrea  Kalinowski
Author:  Paul Chutkow
Zelda, the Queen of Paris : the true story of the luckiest dog in the world 
If you enjoy the companionship of a four-footed friend, this book will really appeal to you and reinforce the love and camaraderie you feel with your pet. Zelda, the Queen of Paris : the true story of the luckiest dog in the world  is a true animal lover’s tale. Zelda is a dog on the streets of India who knows she doesn’t want to stay on the streets of India. She befriends an Indian maid, who works for a journalist and his wife. With her gentle eyes and endearing nature, she is eventually welcomed wholeheartedly into the household. She becomes a friend to everyone in the journalist’s circle and when he is reassigned to Paris, she is granted a visa too. She adopts the mannerisms of the French regarding food and while the Parisians in her immediate vicinity at first despise her, when she rescues their wine collection, they heap praise upon her furry head. Her final journey is to California and there she predicts an earthquake. She is a proven companion to the journalist’s sons until the end of her life and demonstrates all the best qualities of a companion animal, loyalty and love.

Last Man in Tower

From Ellen Druda
Author: Aravind Adiga
Title: Last Man in Tower (sound recording)
Love of money is indeed the root of all evil. A congenial group of apartment dwellers who share the same building in a middle-class neighborhood in Mumbai are offered a buy-out deal from a powerful real-estate developer. Most are happy to accept the offer, but a few are hold-outs, including retired teacher Masterji. The pressure begins to build to convince Masterji to agree to sell his share in the building, and as the story draws to its inevitable conclusion, we watch this group of once friendly neighbors commit desperate acts so they can cash in. Aravind paints a vivid picture of life in current day India and narrator Sam Dastor brings the story alive with his authentic reading.

The Hundred Foot Journey

From Kathy Taufman
author: Morais, Richard
The Hundred Foot Journey
I enjoyed reading this book.  The author maintained my interest in the characters and storyline throughout the book.  This book touched on many things.  It gave you some insight into the world of cooking and being a chef. Also, how we treat others and whether we are a person who wants to be in a place of always looking/expecting to receive or do we want to be a giver.  It also gives some insight into another culture.

Tiger Hills

From Catherine Given
author: Mandanna, Sarita
Tiger Hills
Though one might guess otherwise, the book Tiger Hills has nothing to do with a championship golf course.  Rather, it’s a classic saga, so richly spiced that reading it is like enjoying an authentic curry.  Here’s Sarita Mandanna’s winning recipe:  sift together the triumph over adversity of The Good Earth,  the fierce matriarchal determination of Gone with the Wind, and fold in a good measure of Out of Africa‘s coffee-infused life on the plantation.  Then bring the mix to a sizzle in the mountains and valleys of southern India for over a century.  Tiger Hills immerses us in actual life-and-death tiger hunts, as well as in ceremonial festivals, exotic botanical adventures, and the ancient culture’s birth and funeral rites. Mandanna’s vibrant characters may start out in India’s dozing tradition-bound country villages.  But as some members of the clan grow restless, they venture out into unknown territory, only to experience the perversities of life in British boarding school, the squalor of India’s jammed, polluted cities and, in the company of other social climbers, they learn how to behave in a more upper crust British way in the society clubs of the Indian outlands.  Through it all, parents keep secrets and hold grudges, siblings’ rivalries fester, lovers refuse to limit themselves to the partners their parents have chosen, and life gets very messy.  Despite soap opera elements, Tiger Hills is worth the investment, because its characters are well-drawn, its dialogue overall rings true, and intriguing settings are exquisitely described.

Secret Daughter

From Michele Lauer-Bader
author: Gowda, Shilpi Somaya
Secret Daughter
This moving novel tells the story of Kavita in India who gives away her baby daughter in order to save her, and Somer in California who adopts her.  It is about two mothers who both love their daughter and what they learn about themselves. This story speaks of motherhood (and fatherhood) and the loss they all share. The writing is excellent, the characters are real. You won’t put it down.

Awakening

From Ellen Druda
Awakening
The new story of hope is the awakening of the poor to the opportunity of microloans. This film focuses on two particular groups of women. In Bihar, India, Sister Mary Lobo has given the poorest of the poor, the Outcasts, empowerment by teaching them the basics of personal economics. The women work and save and eventually qualify for small loans that they can use to improve life for themselves and their children. In Kabul, Afghanistan, the women recall their lives before and after the Taliban. Their terrible misery under the fundamentalists has given way to glimmers of hope through microloans to build small businesses that provide food, stability, and a sense of self-worth. The larger lessons in this beautifully filmed documentary are about the common wishes of women everywhere, rich or poor: the desire for personal and familial independence, the need to make life better for their children, and the importance of helping one another reach these goals.