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2023 Picks | Lisa Stone Zabka

Lisa Stone Zabka, eMaterials Librarian


A book cover of "The Buddha in the Attic" by Julie Otsuka with a red sun-like background and praise badges.

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

This book tells the story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as “picture brides” a century ago. I loved that this story was told from the point of view of a whole group of women as a character, a unique style I had never experienced before! 


A book cover titled "An Immense World" by Ed Yong, featuring stylized animal illustrations in a circular arrangement.

An Immense World by Ed Yong

In this book the author Ed Yong, a science journalist, encourages us to go beyond our own senses, allowing us to perceive the scents, waves of electromagnetism, and pulses of pressure that surround us. The title of this book is perfect, because it’s scope really is immense!


It's a book cover for "Trespasses" by Louise Kennedy, featuring a woman's extended arm with a cigarette, and a vintage setting.

Trespasses by Louise Kennedy

Amid daily reports of violence, Cushla lives a quiet life with her mother in a small town near Belfast. The plot thickens when she meets a Protestant barrister who’s made a name for himself defending IRA members. Against her better judgment, Cushla lets herself get drawn into his sophisticated world. I loved the historical setting of this novel and the exploration of 1960’s Irish culture and conflict.


Book cover of "Miss Benson's Beetle" by Rachel Joyce, featuring vivid colors and beetle illustrations.

Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce

It is 1950 and London is still reeling from World War II.  Margery Benson, a schoolteacher and spinster, is just trying to get through life. One day, she reaches her breaking point, abandoning her job and small existence to set out on an expedition to the other side of the world in search of her childhood obsession: an insect that may or may not exist—the golden beetle of New Caledonia. I loved the strong female characters that carry this unique storyline.