Books for Mature Teens and Adults

Theme: Partner Books

Cutting for Stone - (ISBN: 978-0375414497)

by Abraham Verghese

Twin boys born out of an illicit relationship between a Western physician and a Catholic sister who assists him end up living very different lives. Their mother dies in childbirth in Ethiopia, and their father disappears. He re-emerges only after the twins become doctors estranged from each other by a love triangle. The twins separation resolves itself as one twin needs the other’s help. If you enjoy cross-cultural epics like this one with unusual plot twists, also a partner book: <i> Middlesex </i>by Jeffrey Eugenides.

Middlesex - (ISBN: 978-0374199692)

by Jeffrey Eugenides

A child born as a girl finds he is actually physically a male. His parents’ attempts to use therapy so he will accept his femininity backfire. Gradually the story of his parents’ life and journey from Greece to the U.S. emerges, including the reason for their child’s unusual genetic makeup. As they settle in then-booming Detroit, they preserve their former culture while adapting to American life. Eugenides weaves a marvelous tale that includes of dual adjustments. For another book about unusual cross-cultural families, partner this book with <i>Cutting for Stone</i> by Abraham Verghese.

The Leisure Seeker - (ISBN: 0061671789)

by Michael Zadoorian

An elderly couple take off in their new RV to travel across country against the advice of their concerned, grown children. Although not in perfect health, they try to recapture the delight of their relationship and explore new people and places. For a different viewpoint on aging in the Western world, try <i>The Stone Diaries </i> by Carol Shield.

The Stone Diaries - (ISBN: 978-0143105503)

by Carol Shields

Although this book tells the story of a woman’s life, much of the internal dialog centers on her years from age 60 until her approaching death. Told in diary format complete with “actual” photographs, this book completes her rich life and satisfaction with the changes she has brought about. Think about what documents and photos from your life would be helpful to telling your story. Read this book with <i>The Leisure Seeker</i>.

Happenstance - (ISBN: 978-0140179514)

by Carol Shields

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - (ISBN: 978-0385341004)

by Mary Ann Shaffer

The Handmaid’s Tale - (ISBN: 978-0307264602)

by Margaret Atwood

Activities for this Theme

Share your stories and memories on “Where did your family come from and why.


Enjoy listening to or reading selections from over 50,000 ordinary Americans who chose to tell their stories publically.


Invite family members to enjoy diaries and other memorabilia you have collected throughout your life.


Create a family time capsule of memory items for the next generation. Store it in the attic in a well-labeled box.