If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska by Heather Lende
Haines, Alaska, is so small it doesn't have a stoplight and so isolated that at times it's nearly inaccessible. Your neighbor might be a tattooed minister, a stay-at-home mom, a gold miner, or a moose. This short, sweet memoir reveals the pleasures of tiny-town living in warm, personable vignettes. It will definitely make you want to visit Alaska, and it might make you look at your own town with new eyes. "Colorful and captivating," says Publishers Weekly.
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
A slender jewel of a novel for all readers who believe in the power of fiction to transform lives. It is the Cultural Revolution in China and two educated boys are sent to a peasant village as laborers where they come into possession of a cache of forbidden Western literature and use it to free their souls and those of the villagers they tell the stories to. The Los Angeles Times Book Review calls it "an unexpected miracle."