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Somewhere There Is Still a Sun: A Memoir of the Holocaust
Michael Gruenbaum ’60MCP with Todd Hasak-Lowy
Aladdin/Simon and Schuster, $17.99

“Gas...and then...up the chimney.” In April 1945, when a train disgorged the living skeletons liberated from Auschwitz, Birkenau, and other death camps, Gruenbaum, a 15-year-old at the Terezin concentration camp in what was then Czechoslovakia, learned the awful truth about a fate he had miraculously avoided. In an unforgettable story aimed at middle-schoolers, the author recounts how he and his young companions survived their harrowing ordeal.

Delicious Foods: A Novel
James Hannaham ’90
Little, Brown, $26

“After escaping from the farm, Eddie drove through the night.” This is the beginning of a harrowing allegorical tale of racism, addiction, and love. Eddie, a remarkable 17-year-old, has just been freed from the chains that held him—by having both his hands cut off. He is driving a stolen car with his stumps. The farm and the form of slavery it practices are painful to read about but portrayed in exquisite prose, and the protagonists’ story is riveting.

The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life
Janice Kaplan ’76
Dutton/Penguin Random House, $26.95

At a recent New Year’s Eve party she didn’t really want to attend, journalist Kaplan had a revelation. “Like many people, I often focused on the negatives of life instead of the pleasures,” she writes. In a memoir of what Kaplan calls her “year of living gratefully,” she recounts how she set out to deliberately change her behavior and be more thankful for her marriage, her family and friends, her career, and her health. Her experiences, which are backed by research, demonstrate a way to become more positive.


Insights: Reflections from 101 of Yale’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs
Chris Lopresti ’12
Merry Dissonance Press, $24.95

“Entrepreneurship is about having an idea and then figuring out how to make it a reality,” says Sean Glass ’03, a founder of the Yale Entrepreneurial Society and several other companies. But he didn’t triumph without a lot of help. In this fine collection of “easily digestible advice” from Glass and a hundred other alumni successes, Lopresti, who already has a couple of start-ups to his credit, provides a wealth of pitfall-avoiding information that “you should be shameless about borrowing.”


Badinage: The Piano Music of Mana-Zucca
Nanette Kaplan Solomon ’73, ’74MusM
Albany, $9.99 on iTunes

The prolific composer and all-around entertainer Mana-Zucca, who performed with the likes of Franz Lehar and George Gershwin, is given a sensitive and sumptuous tribute by concert pianist Solomon. Solomon eschews most of Mana-Zucca’s pop songs (like the hit “I Love Life”) for darker, wilder works such as the oddly inverted rag “Wistaria.” The three-part Sonata No. 2, Op. 280, that closes this album demonstrates both variety and depth, especially in its spooky, severe middle section.

Food Whore: A Novel of Dining and Deceit
Jessica Tom ’06
William Morrow/HarperCollins, $14.99

Bakku-shan is Japanese for “a girl who looks pretty from behind, but is ugly in the front.” In Tom’s deft and scathing novel about the New York City food scene, the word is also a metaphor for the restaurants, the restaurateurs, the chefs—and Tia Monroe, the Yale-graduate heroine. Monroe is taken in by (fictional) food critic Michael Saltz to become his surrogate palate after the kingmaker has lost his sense of taste. Tia learns, the hard way, that “the best flavor is always itself.”

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