Three books written by locals.
Finding Paris: A Novel
By Joanne Kimes
This novel by the author behind the “Sucks” book series (e.g., Pregnancy Sucks), tells the story of two women who meet in a French class. Julia is an empty-nester whose husband is leaving her, and Kathy is a type-A workaholic who has a painful secret. After both of their lives implode, they decide to go to Paris. Once there, they encounter struggles with their friendship and the cultural differences of the city, forcing them to take responsibility for their own unhappiness. But, amid the charms of Paris, the women find joy, learning some of life’s most important lessons along the way.
Return to Siberia
By John Shallman
When his family discovered an old book that had once belonged to his grandfather, John Shallman was intrigued. The political consultant had the 100-year-old Yiddish manuscript translated, discovering an incredible life story that ultimately became the inspiration for his first book. The novel recounts the life of a Russian revolutionary during the reign of the last czar, Nicholas II, and continues on to his exile to a bitter Siberian prison and his journey to America to find his family—and the American dream.
The Girl With the Magic Ponytails
By Karen J. Young
From writer and VB contributor Karen J. Young, this vibrant, engaging children’s book (aimed at ages 4 to 8) was inspired by the author’s daughter who, born with a full head of dark brown hair, always wore two symmetrical ponytails. Illustrated by award-winning artist Yoko Matsuoka, it tells the story of a little girl with ponytails that have hidden powers. With a flip, a swoosh and a twirl, they can transport her to spectacular adventures and even different places and times.
The food is only part of the charm.