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David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell 

Gladwell uses his unique talent of observation to probe the age old theories of underdogs versus top dogs.  As usually he rewards readers with moving stories, surprising insights and consistently provocative ideas.  Gladwell compares the biblical story of David and Goliath (the battle between the underdog and the giant) to events from everyday life that question how people think about disadvantages and obstacles. 
 
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
 
 The Signature of All Things is an old-fashioned saga that spans continents and a century.  The story begins with Henry Whitaker, poor but determined, as he amasses a fortune in the world of botany.  Gilbert then follows Henry's daughter, Alma, as she takes over her father's business and searches for her place life.  It has an omniscient narrator who can deploy a significant amount of research into the interconnected fields of late 18th- and early 19th-century botany, botanical drawing, spiritual inquiry, exploration, and, eventually, the development of the theory of evolution.  Gilbert is both knowledgeable and entertaining as she takes the reader from Philadelphia to Tahiti to Holland in this intelligent novel.  

 

Tirella's book paints a great historical picture of American culture from 1961-66. Tirella juxtaposes race, big business, popular culture, New York politics and Robert Moses himself as the Fair moves from pre-planning to construction to opening day.  A great snapshot of how Moses attempted to run the Fair with an iron hand, both successfully and unsuccessfully. 

Paris Was The Place by Susan Conley.

 The year is 1989 and Willow, a poetry teacher who goes by the nickname Willie, has followed her brother and best friend to France. Willie winds up working in a detainment center for refugees, mostly young girls who have escaped harrowing circumstances in their homelands. Willie becomes friendly with some of these girls while also embarking on a romance with a lawyer who pleads their cases.
 
Innocence by Dean Koontz

Part mysticism, part thriller, Addison (part boy, part mutant) endures a solitary existence before meeting an unpredictable girl engaged a duel for her life with a malicious enemy.  It’s an allegory of nonviolence, acceptance and love in the face of adversity.
 
 

We Are Water by Wally Lamb

After 27 years of marriage and three children, Anna Oh—wife, mother, outsider artist—has fallen in love with Viveca, the wealthy Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her success. They plan to wed in the Oh family’s hometown of Three Rivers in Connecticut. But the wedding provokes some very mixed reactions and secrets—dark and painful truths that have festered below the surface of the Ohs’ lives.

 
A very practical guide for those students who were not admitted to an Ivy League school on their first try. Also, Henderson discusses methods for older students who have interrupted their educations to enter the school of their choice. As a bonus for students who want to study abroad, methods for entering Oxford and Cambridge are given.