The Architect's Apprentice by Elif Shafak, 432 pages, 2015Written by a well known Turkish author, this book spins an epic tale during the Ottoman Empire. In 1540, twelve-year-old Jahan arrives in Istanbul as an animal tamer in the sultan’s menagerie as he looks after the white elephant Chota and befriends the sultan’s daughter Princess Mihrimah. A palace education leads Jahan to Mimar Sinan, the empire’s chief architect, who takes Jahan under his wing as they construct (with Chota’s help) some of the most magnificent buildings in history. Yet even as they build Sinan’s triumphant masterpieces—the incredible Suleymaniye and Selimiye mosques—dangerous undercurrents begin to emerge, with jealousy erupting among Sinan’s four apprentices. Jahan is a fictional character, however Sinan was the most famous and iconic architects's in the ottoman era.
Cartwheel by Jennifer duBois, 384 pages, 2013
This book is a fictional account of the Amanda Knox story, different characters, different location - Buenos Aires, but same story line.
Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Hepola, 240 pages, 2015
A brave memoir of a young woman successful in her writing career yet had a drinking problem. Her social drinking led to frequent blackouts where she couldn't remember the entire night before. It's a funny book from a woman who laid out every one of her flaws and her evolution in life.
Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings by Michelle Knight 252 pages, 2014 I downloaded this book on my kindle which I read on the flight home. I had just watched the movie (staring Taryn Manning) before leaving for vacation so I thought I'd read the book to learn more about Michelle. She had a traumatic childhood following by being imprisoned in a house in Cleveland for 11 years with 2 other girls. She was rescued in 2013 and has overcome this horrible episode in her life with such a positive attitude. It was a tough read but her brave spirit to find hope after all the terror she experienced is amazing.