In My Hands Today…

Morality for Beautiful Girls – Alexander McCall Smith (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency #3)

Mma Ramotswe is engaged to “the excellent” Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, owner of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, but faces a slowdown of business at the The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency that threatens its existence.

Mma Ramotswe investigates the alleged poisoning of the brother of an important government official, and the moral character of four beauty contestants.

When her business has money trouble, and problems arise at at her reliable fiance Mr J.L.B. Matekoni’s Speedy Motors, she finds he is more complicated then he seems. Forced to make difficult choices, Mma Ramotswe moves the business into the office of her fiancé’s garage and makes her assistant, Mma Grace Makutsi, its assistant manager. At just this time, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni has been showing signs of lethargy and neglecting his business.

In My Hands Today…

The Feng Shui Detective (Feng Shui Detective #1) – Nury Vittachi

Mr. Wong is a feng shui consultant, but his cases tend to involve a lot more than just interior decoration. You see, Wong specializes in a certain type of problem premises: crime scenes. He and his brash teenage Aussie-American ex-pat intern (think an Asian Sherlock Holmes paired up with Kelly Osbourne) travel around Singapore solving crimes while trying to decipher each other’s language and behavior. His latest case involves a mysterious young woman who, according to a psychic reading, is doomed to die. Wong’s desperate efforts to save her eventually lead him and his sidekick to Sydney where the story climaxes at the Opera House, a building known for its appalling feng shui. A delightful combination of crafty plotting, quirky humor, and Asian philosophy, the Feng Shui Detective is an investigator like no other!

In My Hands Today…

Straight From the Donkey’s Mouth A Tail of a Greek Island, its People, their Politics – and their Donkeys! – Eleni Trataris Cotton

What is life like on a Greek island? Indigo and turquoise seas, white sands, wine, salads and cheese? Yes, and handsome dark-eyed waiters too! But why not delve deeper and discover the passions, feuds and exuberance of the islanders. Be ready to be charmed, captivated and maybe shocked!

Join Peter and Serena, an English couple, drowning in a quagmire of bureaucracy as they try to start a new life on the island and struggle to get a licence to open a business. Will they make it?

Meet Apollo (brown) and Hortensia (grey), two island donkeys owned by the sadistic Aristides whom Apollo has named Arsie . They see everything as they go with Arsie on his rounds, the effects of draconian government measures to raise money for the country’s debt, the rabid tax evasion, the manipulation of EU grants – everything. Unhindered by human logic their comments are pithy, straight on the mark, acidic even. But will Apollo be able to save himself and Hortensia, and Eleftheris, another farmer, from Arsie’s cruel plans?

Stay awhile with the warm, earthy inhabitants of Paradisaki island and join in the rollicking lifestyle, the fun, the laughter and the tears. Cheer them on in their struggle as they use all their wits to survive the political climate and never lose that determination to live, and live well, come what may.

In My Hands Today…

The Garden of Burning Sand – Corban Addison

Lusaka, Zambia: Zoe Fleming is a young, idealistic American lawyer working with an NGO devoted to combatting the epidemic of child sexual assault in southern Africa. Zoe’s organization is called in to help when an adolescent girl is brutally assaulted. The girl’s identity is a mystery. Where did she come from? Was the attack a random street crime or a premeditated act?

A betrayal in her past gives the girl’s plight a special resonance for Zoe, and she is determined to find the perpetrator. She slowly forms a working relationship, and then a surprising friendship, with Joseph Kabuta, a Zambian police officer. Their search takes them from Lusaka’s roughest neighbourhoods to the wild waters of Victoria Falls, from the AIDS-stricken streets of Johannesburg to the matchless splendour of Cape Town.

As the investigation builds to a climax, threatening to send shockwaves through Zambian society, Zoe is forced to radically reshape her assumptions about love, loyalty, family and, especially, the meaning of justice.

In My Hands Today…

Destination Saigon – Walter Mason

Get a taste of the real Vietnam and its people on a sometimes funny, always fascinating journey from the bustling cities to out of the way villages, into Buddhist monasteries and along the Mekong

From the crazy heat and color of Saigon to the quieter splendor of Hanoi, this is a rare, joyous, and at times hilarious insight into 21st century Vietnam. Seduced by the beauty and charm of its people and the sensuousness of its culture we can almost taste the little coconut cakes cooked over a fire in a smoky Can Tho kitchen, or smell the endless supplies of fresh baguettes and croissants just out of city ovens. As colorful city cafes and bars make way for visits to out-of-the-way shrines and temples, we take an impromptu visit to forbidden fortune tellers, and glimpse a little of the Cao Dai religion, made famous in Graham Greene’s The Quiet American. Traveling off the beaten track to far-flung villages and lesser-known towns, we cruise along the Mekong, board hopelessly overcrowded local buses, or perch perilously on the back of motorbikes. Behind-the-scenes visits to Buddhist monasteries reveal a quieter and more transcendent world beyond the busy day trips of tourists, and in the process, we begin to see the country through the eyes of its people.

In My Hands Today…

Life of Pi – Yann Martel

The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.

The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth.” After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional–but is it more true?