Discussion Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2022 via Zoom.
"An inside-Washington thriller about an ambitious law clerk thrown into a life-or-death treasure hunt with major national implications when the Supreme Court justice she works for slips into a sudden coma." New York Times Bestseller.
Call Number: PZ7.5.A348 Po 2018 (2nd Floor, Juv Lit)
Publication Date: 2018
Discussion Date: Tuesday, October 15, 2019.
Winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, and the Pura Belpré Award! This novel-in-verse by an award-winning slam poet is about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth. Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, September 5, 2017.
A masterly, haunting novel that re-creates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in Nigeria in the 1960s, and the chilling violence that followed.
Discussion Date: Tuesday,October 24, 2017.
A long-awaited English translation of the groundbreaking oral history of women in World War II across Europe and Russia--from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Books of 2017.
Nazneen's inauspicious entry into the world, an apparent stillbirth on the hard mud floor of a Bangladeshi village hut, imbues in her a sense of fatalism that she carries across continents when she is married off to Chanu, a man old enough to be her father. Nazneen moves to London and, for years, keeps house, cares for her husband, and bears children, just as a girl from the village is supposed to do. But gradually she is transformed by her experience, and begins to question whether fate controls her or whether she has a hand in her own destiny. Listed in Fiction Core Collection (H.W. Wilson); ALA Notable Book, 2004; Nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, 2003; Publishers Weekly Best Books, 2003; Man Booker prize finalist, 2003.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, June 16, 2020 via Zoom.
In the late 1930s, civil war grips Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them desires. Together with two thousand other refugees, they embark on the SS Winnipeg, a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda, to Chile: "the long petal of sea and wine and snow." As unlikely partners, they embrace exile as the rest of Europe erupts in world war. New York Times Bestseller.
Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea; Marilyn Booth (Translator)
Publication Date: 2007
Discussion Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2016.
The novel unfolds as every week after Friday prayers, the anonymous narrator sends an e-mail to the female subscribers of her online chat group. In fifty such e-mails over the course of a year, we witness the tragicomic reality of four university students-Qamra, Michelle, Sadim, and Lamis-negotiating their love lives, their professional success, and their rebellions, large and small, against their cultural traditions. The world these women inhabit is a modern one that contains "Sex and the City," dating, and sneaking out of their parents' houses, and this affluent, contemporary existence causes the girls to collide endlessly with the ancient customs of their society. Riyadh is the larger setting of the novel, but the characters travel all over the world shedding traditional garb as they literally and figuratively cross over into Western society.
"Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima enters his life. She is a curandera, one who heals with herbs and magic. 'We cannot let her live her last days in loneliness,' says Antonio's mother. 'It is not the way of our people,' agrees his father. And so Ultima comes to live with Antonio's family in New Mexico."
Discussion Date: Tuesday, November 21, 2013.
When a car of inebriated guests from Carmen's wedding hits and kills a girl on a country road, Carmen and the people involved in the accident connect, disconnect, and reconnect throughout twenty-five subsequent years of marriage, parenthood, holidays, and tragedies.
New York Times Notable Books of 2012.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, March 20, 2018.
Experimental, inventive, provocative and above all visionary, this work is widely recognized among scholars of Chicano/Latino, Gay and Lesbian, Women's, Postcolonial, Ethnic and Cultural Studies as a foundational elaboration of the politics and poetics of cultural hybridity. A "Best of 1987" Library Journal selection; One of the 100 Best Books of the Twentieth Century - Hungry Mind Review (Spring 1999).
Sea Monsters by Chloe Aridjis
Publication Date: 2019
Discussion Date: Tuesday, June 7, 2022 via Zoom.
One autumn afternoon in Mexico City, seventeen-year-old Luisa does not return home from school. Instead, she boards a bus to the Pacific coast with Tomás, a boy she barely knows. He seems to represent everything her life is lacking―recklessness, impulse, independence. Tomás may also help Luisa fulfill an unusual obsession: she wants to track down a traveling troupe of Ukrainian dwarfs. According to newspaper reports, the dwarfs recently escaped a Soviet circus touring Mexico. The imagined fates of these performers fill Luisa's surreal dreams as she settles in a beach community in Oaxaca. Surrounded by hippies, nudists, beachcombers, and eccentric storytellers, Luisa searches for someone, anyone, who will "promise, no matter what, to remain a mystery." It is a quest more easily envisioned than accomplished. Winner of the 2020 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2007.
Told in a style that magnificently captures the colloquialisms and clichés of the 1930s and 1940s, this novel is a richly layered and uniquely rewarding experience. It has many threads and a series of events that follow one another at a breathtaking pace. ALA Notable Book, 2001; Booklist Editors' Choice, 2000; Booker Prize; Time Magazine's All-Time Best 100 Novels.
"The chief business of Mrs. Bennet’s life is to find suitable husbands for her five daughters. Consequently, she is elated when she hears that nearby Netherfield Park has been let to a Mr. Bingley, a gentleman from the north of England. Gossip reports him to be a rich and eligible young bachelor. Mr. Bingley’s first public appearance in the neighborhood is at a ball. With him are his two sisters, the husband of the older, and Mr. Darcy, Bingley’s friend." -Catherine E. Moore, Salem Press Encyclopedia of Literature. Listed in Fiction Core Collection; Guardian Newspaper Top 100 Books of All Time.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, August 23, 2016.
What happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits? And what happens when this forces humanity to the cusp of post-human evolution? This is a tale of Bangkok struggling for survival in a post-oil era of rising sea levels and out-of-control mutation. Hugo Award for Best Novel; Nebula Award for Best Novel; John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Novel; Wilson Fiction Core Collection; Locus Award for Best First Novel; RUSA Reading List, 2010.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2012.
A violent novel filled with insidious twists, Kingdom Come follows the exploits of Richard Pearson, a rebellious, unemployed advertising executive, whose father is gunned down by a deranged mental patient in a vast shopping mall outside Heathrow Airport. Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction of 2012.
In an elegant hôtel in Paris, Renée, the concierge, is all but invisible--short, plump, middle-aged, with bunions on her feet and an addiction to television soaps. Her only genuine attachment is to her cat, Leo. But Renée has a secret: she furtively, ferociously devours art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With biting humor, she scrutinizes the lives of the tenants--her inferiors in every way except that of material wealth. Paloma is a twelve-year-old who lives on the fifth floor. Talented and precocious, she's come to terms with life's seeming futility and decided to end her own on her thirteenth birthday. Paloma and Renée hide their true talents and finest qualities from a world they believe cannot or will not appreciate them. But after a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building, they will begin to recognize each other as kindred souls, in a novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us, and "teaches philosophical lessons by shrewdly exposing rich secret lives hidden beneath conventional exteriors." H. W. Wilson Fiction Core Collection.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, January 24, 2012.
In the vast expanse of late-Victorian Britain, two boys come to life: George, the son of a Midlands vicar, and Arthur, in shabby genteel Edinburgh, both of them feeling at once near to and impossibly distant from the beating heart of Empire.
New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year, 2006; Kirkus Reviews Best Books, 2006.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2022 via Zoom.
A novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white. The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Named a Best Book of 2020 by the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, People, Time Magazine, Vanity Fair, and Glamour; 2021 Women's Prize Finalist.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, July 7, 2020 via Zoom.
This book compiles the best work of the legendary short-story writer Lucia Berlin. With the grit of Raymond Carver, the humor of Grace Paley, and a blend of wit and melancholy all her own, Berlin crafts miracles from the everyday, uncovering moments of grace in the laundromats and halfway houses of the American Southwest, in the homes of the Bay Area upper class, among switchboard operators and struggling mothers, hitchhikers and bad Christians. One of TheNew York Times Book Review's Ten Best Books of 2015; one of Jezebel's Favorite Books of 2016.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2011.
The epic and intimate story of young Lillian Leyb, a dangerous innocent, an accidental heroine. When her family is destroyed in a Russian pogrom, Lillian comes to America alone, determined to make her way in a new land. ALA Notable Book, 2008; Kirkus Reviews Best Books, 2007.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, July 22, 2014.
Contains: Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius -- Garden of Forking Paths -- Lottery in Babylon -- Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote -- Circular Ruins -- Library of Babel -- Funes the Memorious -- Shape of the Sword -- Theme of the Traitor and the Hero -- Death and the Compass -- Secret Miracle -- Three Versions of Judas -- Sect of the Phoenix -- Immortal -- Theologians -- Story of the Warrior and the Captive -- Emma Zunz -- House of Asterion -- Deutsches Requiem -- Averroes' Search -- Zahir -- Waiting -- God's Script.
Fahrenheit 451 is a novel set in the (perhaps near) future when "firemen" burn books forbidden by a totalitarian "brave new world" regime. The hero is "a book burner who suddenly discovers that books are flesh-and-blood ideas and cry out silently when put to the torch." Library of Congress list of 88 Books That Shaped America;
Listed in Fiction Core Collection; Listed in "Science FIction: The 100 Best Novels" by David Pringle.
Broken Glass Park by Alina Bronsky
Publication Date: 2014
Discussion Date: Tuesday, April 19, 2016.
The heroine of this enigmatic, razor-sharp, and thoroughly contemporary novel is seventeen- year-old Sacha Naimann, born in Moscow. Sacha lives in Berlin now with her two younger siblings and, until recently, her mother. She is precocious, independent, skeptical and, since her stepfather murdered her mother several months ago, an orphan. Unlike most of her companions, she doesn't dream of getting out the tough housing project where they live. Her dreams are different: she wants to write a novel about her mother; and she wants to end the life of Vadim, the man who murdered her.
Agnes Grey is the daughter of a minister who faces financial ruin. Agnes decides to take up one of the only professions available to Victorian gentlewomen and become a governess. Drawing on her own, similar experiences, Anne Bronte portrays the desperation of such a position. Agnes' livelihood depends on the whim of spoiled children, and she witnesses how wealth and status can degrade social values.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2006.
As the North reels under a series of unexpected defeats during the dark first year of the war, one man leaves behind his family to aid the Union cause. His experiences will utterly change his marriage and challenge his most ardently held beliefs. Riveting and elegant as it is meticulously researched, March is an extraordinary novel woven out of the lore of American history. From Louisa May Alcott's beloved classic "Little Women," Brooks has taken the character of the absent father, March, and added adult resonance to portray the moral complexity of war and a marriage tested by the demands of extreme idealism. Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 2006.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2014.
The first novel published by an African American, Clotel takes up the story, in circulation at the time, that Thomas Jefferson fathered an illegitimate mulatto daughter who was sold into slavery. Powerfully reimagining this story, and weaving together a variety of contemporary source materials, Brown fills the novel with daring escapes and encounters, as well as searing depictions of the American slave trade. Fiction Core Collection.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, May 20, 2014.
Follows ten-year-old Zimbabwe native, Darling, as she escapes the closed schools and paramilitary police control of her homeland in search of opportunity and freedom with an aunt in America. Kirkus 100 Best Fiction Books of 2013; New York Times Notable Books, 2013; Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; Los Angeles Times Book Award; Betty Trask Prize; PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award.
The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland
Publication Date: 2018
Discussion Date: Tuesday, May 14, 2019.
"Witty and irreverent, funny and sad, this is a charming tribute to stories on the page and in our lives--and the powers they can hold over us."
Discussion Date: Tuesday, September 13, 2011.
When Olive Wellwood’s oldest son discovers a runaway named Philip sketching in the basement of the new Victoria and Albert Museum—a talented working-class boy who could be a character out of one of Olive’s magical tales—she takes him into the storybook world of her family and friends. But the joyful bacchanals Olive hosts at her rambling country house—and the separate, private books she writes for each of her seven children—conceal more treachery and darkness than Philip has ever imagined. Listed in Fiction Core Collection (H.W. Wilson); Library Journal Best Books 2009; James Tait Black Memorial Prize winner.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2006.
A mystery where the clues lurk in university libraries, old letters and dusty journals. Together with Roland Michell, a fellow academic and accidental sleuth, Maud Bailey discovers a love affair between two Victorian writers. Booker Prize; ALA Notable Book, 1990; Time Magazine's All-Time Best 100 Novels.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2019.
For Francisco Cantú, the border is in the blood: his mother, a park ranger and daughter of a Mexican immigrant, raised him in the scrublands of the Southwest. Driven to understand the hard realities of the landscape he loves, Cantú joins the Border Patrol. He and his partners learn to track other humans under blistering sun and through frigid nights. Plagued by a growing awareness of his complicity in a dehumanizing enterprise, he abandons the Patrol for civilian life. But when an immigrant friend travels to Mexico to visit his dying mother and does not return, Cantú discovers that the border has migrated with him, and now he must know the full extent of the violence it wreaks, on both sides of the line. Named a Top 10 Book of 2018 by NPR, and the Washington Post; Publishers Weekly Best Books 2018; Amazon Best Books of 2018; Library Journal Best Books 2018.
Discussion Date: Thursday, July 17, 2008.
On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. Guardian's 100 Greatest Non-Fiction Books; Library of Congress list of 88 Books That Shaped America; Modern Library 100 Best Nonfiction Books.
Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
Publication Date: 1988
Discussion Date: Tuesday, July 16, 2013.
A romance set in nineteenth-century Australia, where a nervous Anglican minister gambles on the instructions of the Divine to become allied with a teenage heiress who buys a glassworks to help liberate her sex. A Booker Prize-winning novel.
A brilliantly rendered historical tale set in the waning days of eighteenth-century London. Poet, artist, and printer William Blake works in obscurity as England is rocked by the shock waves of the French Revolution. Next door, the Kellaway family has just moved in, and country boy Jem Kellaway strikes up a tentative friendship with street savvy Maggie Butterfield. As their stories intertwine with Blake's, the two children navigate the confusing and exhilarating path to adolescence, and inspire the poet to create the work that enshrined his genius. Listed in Fiction Core Collection (H.W. Wilson).
Discussion Date: Tuesday, July 19, 2016.
The first English-language novel ever written by a woman from the Himalayan nation of Bhutan, this novel tells the story of Tsomo, a fifteen-year-old girl caught up in the everyday realities of household life and work. But when her mother dies, Tsomo suddenly feels called to travel and sets off toward a faraway village to light ritual butter lamps in her mother's memory.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, September 8, 2020 via Zoom.
Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her--but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he's ever known. So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia's proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the Deep South to dangerously idealistic movements in the North. New York Times Bestseller; Oprah's Book Club Selection; Kirkus Best Fiction of 2019; Booklist Editors' Choice 2019; Library Journal Best Books 2019; ALA Notable Books 2020.
There are few historical heroines as fascinating and controversial as Pope Joan, a woman whose hunger for knowledge and independent nature led her to pass as a man and ultimately to attain the high seat in Rome. Pope Joan is a spellbinding tale of a woman who gave up everything, even her very name, for the sake of knowledge.
Discussion Date: Wednesday, August 15, 2007.
After years of studying Freud in Paris, Mr. Muo returns home to introduce the blessings of psychoanalysis to twenty-first-century China. But it is his hidden purpose - to liberate his university sweetheart, now a political prisoner - that leads him to the sadistic local magistrate, Judge Di.
Discussion Date: Thursday, May 15, 2008.
The story focuses on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story -- of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams. Listed in Fiction Core Collection.
At the age of twelve, Sophie Caco is sent from her impoverished village of Croix-des-Rosets to New York, to be reunited with a mother she barely remembers. There she discovers secrets that no child should ever know, and a legacy of shame that can be healed only when she returns to Haiti--to the women who first reared her. What ensues is a passionate journey through a landscape charged with the supernatural and scarred by political violence, in a novel that bears witness to the traditions, suffering, and wisdom of an entire people. Oprah's Book Club Selection.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, July 10, 2012.
Defrocked monks, mad professors, and wealthy eccentrics are part of the cast in this spectacle of theft, perjury, murder, scholarship, and love at a modern university. Listed in Fiction Core Collection.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2019.
A compelling autobiographical testament to Dorothy Day's life of social activism and her spiritual pilgrimage.
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Publication Date: 2007
Discussion Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2010.
A brilliantly subtle, compelling portrait of France under occupation during July 1942 that reveals the taboos and silence that surrounded the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup.
In a crumbling, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas lives an embittered judge who wants only to retire in peace, when his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, arrives on his doorstep. The judge’s cook watches over her distractedly, for his thoughts are often on his son, Biju, who is hopscotching from one gritty New York restaurant to another. ALA Notable Book, 2007; Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year, 2006; One of the New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year, 2006; Man Booker Prize for Fiction Award winner, 2006; National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, 2006.
Discussion Date: Thursday, August 14, 2008.
Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fukú--the curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim. Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 2008; National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, 2007; Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, August 29, 2006.
The novel follows the fortunes and relationships of three characters whose fates are tied to the obscure inheritance case of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, which is tied up in endless litigation. While many deserving and undeserving claim the inheritance, it is ironically being devoured in legal costs. Listed in Fiction Core Collection (H.W. Wilson).
Discussion Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2013.
The story of a woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own past. ALA RUSA Reading List, 2012; Listed in Fiction Core Collection.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, October 23, 2007.
"Can't cook but doesn't bite." So begins the newspaper ad offering the services of an "A-1 housekeeper, sound morals, exceptional disposition" that draws the hungry attention of widower Oliver Milliron in the fall of 1909. And so begins the unforgettable season that deposits the noncooking, nonbiting, ever-whistling Rose Llewellyn and her font-of-knowledge brother, Morris Morgan, in Marias Coulee along with a stampede of homesteaders drawn by the promise of the Big Ditch-a gargantuan irrigation project intended to make the Montana prairie bloom. Listed in Fiction Core Collection (H.W. Wilson); ALA Notable Book, 2007; Alex Award winner, 2007; Booklist Editors' Choice, 2006.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, September 9, 2008.
"In the middle of the nineteenth century in Skotoprigonyevski, a town in the Russian provinces, Fyodor Karamazov fathers three sons, the eldest, Dmitri, by his first wife, and the other two, Ivan and Alexey, by his second. Fyodor, a good businessman but a scoundrel by nature, abandons the children after their mothers die. A family servant, Grigory, sees that they are placed in the care of relatives." -Joanne G. Kashdan, Salem Press Encyclopedia of Literature. Listed in Fiction Core Collection (H.W. Wilson); Guardian Newspaper Top 100 Books of all Time.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, August 11, 2009.
In a “profoundly moving, intellectually acute” novel (Philadelphia Inquirer) that is “as meticulous as Jane Austen, as deadly as Evelyn Waugh” (Los Angeles Times), Margaret Drabble conjures up a retired writer besieged by her three grasping children in this dazzling, wickedly gothic tale.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2022 via Zoom.
"The surprising, often fiercely feminist, always fascinating, yet barely known, history of home economics. The term 'home economics' may conjure traumatic memories of lopsided hand-sewn pillows or sunken muffins. But common conception obscures the story of the revolutionary science of better living. The field exploded opportunities for women in the twentieth century by reducing domestic work and providing jobs as professors, engineers, chemists, and businesspeople that were otherwise foreclosed." An NPR Favorite History Book of 2021.
The Doll: The Lost Short Stories by Daphne du Maurier
Publication Date: 2011
Discussion Date: Tuesday, May 1, 2012.
Thirteen of du Maurier's early shorter fictional works are in this collection: each story written before the author's twenty-third birthday and some in print for the first time since the 1930s. These are compelling tales of human foibles and tragic romance.
Ella Minnow Pea is a girl living happily on the fictional island of Nollop off the coast of South Carolina. Nollop was named after Nevin Nollop, author of the immortal phrase containing all the letters of the alphabet, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." Now Ella finds herself acting to save her friends, family, and fellow citizens from the encroaching totalitarianism of the island's Council, which has banned the use of certain letters of the alphabet as they fall from a memorial statue of Nevin Nollop. As the letters progressively drop from the statue they also disappear from the novel. The result is both a hilarious and moving story of one girl's fight for freedom of expression, as well as a linguistic tour de force sure to delight word lovers everywhere. Fiction Core Collection.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, September 8, 2009.
Set in a fictitious Midlands town from 1829 to 1832, Middlemarch follows distinct, intersecting stories with many characters. Issues include the status of women, the nature of marriage, idealism, self-interest, religion, hypocrisy, political reform, and education. Despite comic elements, Middlemarch uses realism to encompass historical events: the 1832 Reform Act, early railways, and the accession of King William IV.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, August 7, 2018.
A tale set in a world of reversing evolution and a growing police state follows pregnant thirty-two-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, who investigates her biological family while awaiting the birth of a child who may emerge as a member of a primitive human species. A New York Times Notable Book of 2017; Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Books of 2017; Booklist Editors' Choice 2018; Carnegie Medal Longlist 2018; YBP Core Collection Titles 2017; Fiction Core Collection.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, November 29, 2005.
A story of the intertwined fates of the Kashpaws and the Lamartines near a North Dakota reservation from 1934 to 1984. Listed in Fiction Core Collection (H.W. Wilson); Booklist's Best of the '80s; Booklist's Best American Fiction from the Last 25 Years; Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, 1985; National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction; YBP Core Collection, 2010.
This is the astonishing tale of a gene that passes down through three generations of a Greek-American family and flowers in the body of a teenage girl. In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry blond classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.The explanation for this shocking state of affairs takes us back to a tiny village in Asia Minor where two lovers, and one rare genetic mutation, set in motion the metamorphosis that will turn Callie into a being both mythical and perfectly real. Listed in Fiction Core Collection (H.W. Wilson); Library Journal Best Books, 2002; Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 2003; Ambassador Book award;
Oprah's Book Club selection.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, October 13, 2020 via Zoom.
Bernardine Evaristo is the winner of the 2019 Booker Prize and the first Black woman to receive this highest literary honor in the English language. This novel is a portrayal of the intersections of identity and a moving and hopeful story of an interconnected group of Black British women that paints a vivid portrait of the state of contemporary Britain and looks back to the legacy of Britain's colonial history in Africa and the Caribbean. Booklist Editors' Choice 2019; Kirkus Best Fiction of 2019; ALA Notable Books 2020.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, August 12, 2014.
The protagonists are Stephen Wraysford, a British businessman, and Isabelle Azaire, a married Frenchwoman. They meet in 1910, she elopes with him, gives birth to his child, then remorse sends her back to her husband. But World War I will bring them together when he returns to France as an officer in the British army.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2018.
Through the lives of two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists, the unforgettable Elena and Lila. New York Times Bestseller List and The New Zealand Best Seller List 2015.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2020 via Zoom.
"This vibrant and varied collection of essays contains first person accounts about the experience of growing up between cultures. Ferrera has edited together the stories of immigrants, children or grandchildren of immigrants, indigenous people, or people who otherwise grew up with deep and personal connections to more than one culture. Each of them struggled to establish a sense of self, find belonging, and feel seen. And they call themselves American enthusiastically, reluctantly, or not at all."
Discussion Date: Tuesday, January 16, 2018.
Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late 1960s Chicago, this fictional graphic diary of 10-year-old Karen Reyes is filled with B-movie horror and pulp monster magazines iconography. She tries to solve the murder of her enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, while the interconnected stories of those around her unfold. When Karen's investigation takes us back to Anka's life in Nazi Germany, the reader discovers how the personal, the political, the past, and the present converge.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, April 24, 2014.
Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. In her notebook, she writes down everything she knows about everyone, even her classmates and her best friends. Then Harriet loses track of her notebook, and it ends up in the wrong hands. Before she can stop them, her friends have read the always truthful, sometimes awful things she has written about each of them. Will Harriet find a way to put her life and her friendships back together? Booklist 100 Books of the Century award; School Library Journal's list of "One Hundred Books that Shaped the Century."
Discussion Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2014.
A razor-sharp satire set in Texas during America's war in Iraq that explores the gaping national disconnect between the war at home and the war abroad. It follows the surviving members of the heroic Bravo Squad through one exhausting stop in their media-intensive "Victory Tour" at Texas Stadium, football mecca of the Dallas Cowboys, their fans, promoters, and cheerleaders. National Book Critics Circle Award for Best Novel; National Book Award finalist; New York Times Notable Books of 2012; Washington Post 10 Best Books of 2012; ALA Notable Books, 2013.
In California's central valley, five women and one man join to discuss Jane Austen's novels. Over the six months they get together, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens. Listed in Fiction Core Collection (H.W. Wilson); Publishers' Weekly Best Books List, 2004; A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, 2004.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2013.
While in Lyme Regis to visit his fiancee, Ernestina Freeman, Charles Smithson, a 32-year-old paleontologist, becomes fascinated by the mysterious Sarah Woodruff. A fallen woman said to have been jilted by a French officer, Sarah is a pariah to the well-bred society that Charles and Ernestina are a part of. While searching for fossils in a wooded coastal area, Charles encounters Sarah alone, and his curiosity and pity for her soon evolve into other emotions.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, September 4, 2018.
Richard Mayhew is a plain man with a good heart -- and an ordinary life that is changed forever on a day he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk.
The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
Publication Date: 2008
Discussion Date: Tuesday, October 10, 2014.
While a cellist plays at the site of a mortar attack to commemorate the deaths of twenty-two friends and neighbors, two other men set out in search of bread and water to keep themselves alive, and a woman sniper secretly protects the life of the cellist as her army becomes increasingly threatening.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation.
Stone Heart: A Novel of Sacajawea by Diane Glancy
Publication Date: 2003
Discussion Date: Tuesday, March 18, 2008.
Presented in Sacajawea's own voice juxtaposed with excerpts from Lewis and Clark's diaries, it is a work of moving and illuminating fiction cast from a famed piece of history that has long been masked by myth.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, November 25, 2014.
Steve and Jabulile, an interracial couple living in a newly, tentatively, free South Africa, have a daughter, Sindiswa; they move to the suburbs; Steve becomes a lecturer at a university; Jabulile trains to become a lawyer; there is another child, a boy this time. Gordimer manages to capture the tortured, fragmented essence of a nation struggling to define itself post-apartheid. YBP Core Collection; Fiction Core Collection.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, January 18, 2022 via Zoom.
One September evening in 1785, Jonah Hancock hears an urgent knocking on his front door near the docks of London. The captain of one of Jonah's trading vessels is waiting eagerly on the front step, bearing shocking news. On a voyage to the Far East, he sold Jonah's ship for something rare and far more precious: a mermaid. As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlors and brothels, all of London is curious to see this marvel in Jonah Hancock's possession. Thrust from his ordinary existence, somber Jonah finds himself moving from the city's seedy underbelly to the finest drawing rooms of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of the coquettish Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on--and a shrewd courtesan of great accomplishment. This meeting sparks a perilous liaison that steers both their lives onto a dangerous new course as they come to realize that priceless things often come at the greatest cost. Amazon Best Books of 2018; Betty Trask Prize Award.
Follows the escapades of four animal friends--Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger--who live along a river in the English countryside. Listed in the School Library Journal list of "One Hundred Books that Shaped the Century."
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance--Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem by Seth Grahame-Smith; Jane Austen
Publication Date: 2009
A mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton-and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers-and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2019.
A struggling novelist travels the world to avoid an awkward wedding in this hilarious Pulitzer Prize-winning novel full of "arresting lyricism and beauty" (New York Times Book Review). Carnegie Medal Longlist 2018, American Library Association Notable Books 2018, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, A New York Times Notable Book of 2017, A Washington Post Top Ten Book of 2017, A San Francisco Chronicle Top Ten Book of 2017.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 via Zoom.
The best seller begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indeliably drawn, as the legacy of slavery is fully revealed in light of the present day. Winner of the NBCC's John Leonard First Book Prize; A New York Times 2016 Notable Book; One of Oprah's 10 Favorite Books of 2016; NPR's Debut Novel of the Year; One of Time's Top 10 Novels of 2016.
Stone Tree by Gyrðir Elíasson; Victoria Cribb (Translator)
Publication Date: 2009
Discussion Date: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 via Zoom.
Along the lonely western shores of Iceland, among its vast mountain ranges and its barren lava fields, this sublime collection of short stories blends the desires and efforts of its numerous protagonists, nearly all intent on taking leave of their normal lives in order to pursue their dreams more seriously.
Narrated by a 15-year-old autistic savant obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, this dazzling novel weaves together an old-fashioned mystery, a contemporary coming-of-age story, and a fascinating excursion into a mind incapable of processing emotions. Whitbread Literary Prize winner; ALA Notable Book, 2004; Library Journal Best Books, 2003; Publishers Weekly Best Books, 2003; Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First FIction, 2003.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, January 21, 2020.
In this transcendent memoir, grounded in tribal myth and ancestry, music and poetry, Joy Harjo details her journey to becoming a poet. Born in Oklahoma, the end place of the Trail of Tears, Harjo grew up learning to dodge an abusive stepfather by finding shelter in her imagination, a deep spiritual life, and connection with the natural world. Narrating the complexities of betrayal and love, Crazy Brave is a haunting, visionary memoir about family and the breaking apart necessary in finding a voice. Harjo was named US Poet Laureate in June 2019.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
Publication Date: 2019
Discussion Date: Tuesday, August 4, 2020 via Zoom.
In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut. In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place. Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own. Lush and richly imagined, a tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories awaits in Alix E. Harrow's spellbinding debut--step inside and discover its magic.
Angel of Harlem: A Novel Based on the Life of Dr. May Chinn by Kuwana Haulsey
Publication Date: 2004
Discussion Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2005.
This novelized account of the life of Dr May Chinn, a woman who broke the barriers in the medical profession in the 1920s and became a leading specialist in cancer treatment, also features the dazzling cultural, social, and political life of the Harlem Renaissance.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, August 8, 2017.
A luminous, masterful novel of suspense--the story of Celine, an elegant, aristocratic private eye who specializes in reuniting families, trying to make amends for a loss in her own past.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2020 via Zoom.
In this love story of impossible odds, award-winning writer Tim Z. Hernandez weaves a rich and visionary portrait of Bea Franco, the real woman behind famed American author Jack Kerouac's “The Mexican Girl.” Inspired by Franco’s love letters to Kerouac and Hernandez’s interviews with Franco, now in her nineties and living in relative obscurity, the novel brings this lost gem of a story out of the shadows and into the spotlight.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2022 via Zoom.
A moving and deeply engaging debut novel about a young Native American man finding strength in his familial identity, from a stellar new voice in fiction.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 via Zoom.
This book presents twelve amazing and often heart-wrenching stories of American women in the frontlines including America's first female pilot to be shot down and survive, the US military's first black female combat pilot, a 21-year-old turret gunner defending a convoy, two military policewomen in a firefight, a nurse struggling to save lives, including her own and more.
The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant, caught in the tragic sweep of history, The Kite Runner transports readers to Afghanistan at a tense and crucial moment of change and destruction. A powerful story of friendship, it is also about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons--their love, their sacrifices, their lies. Listed in Fiction Core Collection; ALA Notable Book, 2004.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2016.
First published in 1942 at the crest of her popularity, this is Hurston's unrestrained account of her rise from childhood poverty in the rural South to prominence among the leading artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance. Listed in the HW Wilson Public Library Core Collection.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, June 9, 2009.
For 120 years, an ideal society has flourished on a Pacific island where drug use and open sex are encouraged, and children are not at the mercy of one set of parents. Inevitably, this island of bliss attracts the envy and enmity of the surrounding world. A conspiracy is underway to take over Pala and events begin to move when an agent of the conspirators, a newspaperman named Faranby, is shipwrecked there. What Faranby doesn't expect is how his time with the people of Pala will revolutionize all his values and give him hope.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2012.
Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it. Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it's only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school (as they always knew they would) that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is. Time Magazine's All-Time Best 100 Novels.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, July 18, 2017.
This lyrical novel of community, betrayal, and love centers on an unforgettable matriarchal family in Barbados. Two sisters, ages ten and sixteen, are exiled from Brooklyn to Bird Hill in Barbados (where the family has lived for centuries) after their mother can no longer care for them.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, September 3, 2013.
An American woman, Maggie Verver, marries an Italian prince, while her wealthy father marries Maggie's girlhood friend, Charlotte Stant--neither Verver being aware that the Prince and Charlotte have been (and possibly continue to be) lovers. Maggie's eventual discovery of the nature of that relationship provides the basis for an exploration of the fragility and strength of human ties and further develops what James once called that 'complex fate, being an American.' Modern Library 100 Best Novels.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, September 10, 2019.
In the stunning first novel in Marlon James's Dark Star trilogy, myth, fantasy, and history come together to explore what happens when a mercenary is hired to find a missing child. New York Times Bestseller.
Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, Vol. 1 by Montague Rhodes James
Publication Date: 2016
Discussion Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2016.
Published on the 80th anniversary of James's death, this is a graphic novel to be read on a winter's night, a book to curl up with--but not a book for the fainthearted. The four stories are: Canon Alberic's Scrap-book; Lost Hearts; The Mezzotint; and The Ash Tree.
Discussion Date: TBD.
In the tradition of Zadie Smith and Marlon James, a brilliant Caribbean writer delivers a powerful story about four people each desperate to escape their legacy of violence in a so-called "paradise." In Baxter's Beach, Barbados, Lala's grandmother Wilma tells the story of the one-armed sister. It's a cautionary tale, about what happens to girls who disobey their mothers and go into the Baxter's Tunnels. When she's grown, Lala lives on the beach with her husband, Adan, a petty criminal with endless charisma whose thwarted burglary of one of the beach mansions sets off a chain of events with terrible consequences. A gunshot no one was meant to witness. A new mother whose baby is found lifeless on the beach. A woman torn between two worlds and incapacitated by grief. And two men driven into the Tunnels by desperation and greed who attempt a crime that will risk their freedom - and their lives.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2021 via Zoom.
An uplifting, irresistible novel about two women on a life-changing adventure, where they must risk everything, break all the rules, and discover their best selves--together. It is 1950. London is still reeling from World War II, and Margery Benson, a schoolteacher and spinster, is trying to get through life, surviving on scraps. 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. When she advertises for an assistant to accompany her, the woman she ends up with is the last person she had in mind. Fun-loving Enid Pretty in her tight-fitting pink suit and pom-pom sandals seems to attract trouble wherever she goes. But together these two British women find themselves drawn into a cross-ocean adventure that exceeds all expectations and delivers something neither of them expected to find: the transformative power of friendship.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2013.
Harold Fry is convinced that he must deliver a letter to an old love in order to save her, meeting various characters along the way and reminiscing about the events of his past and people he has known, as he tries to find peace and acceptance. Booklist Editors Choice: Adult Fiction, 2012; Washington Post Notable Books of 2012; ALA Notable Books, 2013.
Books by Author - K-L
The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali
Publication Date: 2019
Discussion Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 via Zoom.
Roya is a dreamy, idealistic teenager living in 1953 Tehran who, amidst the political upheaval of the time, finds a literary oasis in kindly Mr. Fakhri's neighborhood book and stationery shop. When Mr. Fakhri, with a keen instinct for a budding romance, introduces Roya to his other favorite customer--handsome Bahman, who has a burning passion for justice and a love for Rumi's poetry--she loses her heart at once. And, as their romance blossoms, the modest little stationery shop remains their favorite place in all of Tehran. Until, more than sixty years later, an accident of fate leads her back to Bahman and offers her a chance to ask him the questions that have haunted her for more than half a century: Why did he leave? Where did he go? How was he able to forget her? The Stationery Shop is a beautiful and timely exploration of devastating loss, unbreakable family bonds, and the overwhelming power of love.
Introduction / Ann Patchett -- Once the shore / Paul Yoon -- Awaiting orders / Tobias Wolff -- The ambush / Donna Tartt -- Secret / Maxine Swann -- Dominion / Mark Slouka -- So much for Artemis / Patrick Ryan -- Refresh, refresh / Benjamin Percy -- Self-reliance / Edith Pearlman -- The view from Castle Rock / Alice Munro -- Tattooizm / Kevin Moffett -- Cowboy / Thomas McGuane -- The dog / Jack Livings -- After a life / Yiyun Li -- The conductor / Aleksandar Hemon -- Today I'm yours / Mary Gaitskill -- How we avenged the Blums / Nathan Englander -- Grandmother's nose / Robert Coover -- A new gravestone for an old grave / David Bezmozgis -- The casual car pool / Katherine Bell -- Mr. Nobody at all / Anne Beattie with Harry Mathews.
Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted black "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina--a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sister, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come. Listed in Fiction Core Collection.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, October 2, 2012.
Steps Under Water is a novel drawn from Alicia Kozameh's experiences as a political prisoner in Argentina during the "Dirty War" of the 1970s.
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Publication Date: 1997
Discussion Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2008.
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.
The Gun Seller: A Novel by Hugh Laurie
Publication Date: 1997
A British spoof on spy thrillers that moves at an exciting pace & involves not only Brits but CIA personnel, international arms dealers, & terrorists.
The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet by Reif Larsen
Publication Date: 2009
Discussion Date: Tuesday, June 22, 2010.
When twelve-year-old genius cartographer T.S. Spivet receives an unexpected phone call from the Smithsonian announcing he has won the prestigious Baird Award, life as normal-if you consider mapping family dinner table conversation normal-is interrupted and a wild cross-country adventure begins, taking T.S. from his family ranch just north of Divide, Montana, to the museum's hallowed halls.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, July 21, 2009. Wandering Star tells two discrete stories of two young girls, one Jewish and one Palestinian, who meet once briefly by chance. Their stories are connected by substance, rather than plot. Each is a wandering star in search of a homeland-Esther escaping the Nazi holocaust, and Nejma, who experiences the horrors of life in the camps. Yet through this novel of dark times and human suffering, affirmation shines as the characters encounter the beauty of nature and instances of human kindness and love. Nobel Prize for Literature.
The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic. Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Time Magazine's All-Time Best 100 Novels; Listed in Fiction Core Collection; Booklist 100 Books of the Century Award; Modern Library 100 Best Novels; Library of Congress list of 88 Books That Shaped America.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2018.
Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government. Newbery Medal Winner, 1963.
Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li
Publication Date: 2018
Discussion Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2018.
Named a Must-Read by TIME, Buzzfeed,The Wall Street Journal,Star Tribune, Fast Company,The Village Voice, Toronto Star,Fortune Magazine,In Style, and O: The Oprah Magazine. An exuberant and wise multigenerational debut novel about the complicated lives and loves of people working in everyone's favorite Chinese restaurant.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, August 30, 2022 via Zoom.
A revolutionary memoir about domestic abuse. An engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming. And it's that struggle that gives the book its original structure: each chapter is driven by its own narrative trope--the haunted house, erotica, the bildungsroman--through which Machado holds the events up to the light and examines them from different angles.
An ingenious and provocative retelling of the timeless Cinderella fairy tale. Perhaps best known for his dark and breathtaking Oz series The Wicked Years--including the novel Wicked, which inspired the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical--Maguire is a master at upending the ordinary to help us see the familiar in a brilliant new light. Listed in Fiction Core Collection.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, January 19, 2016.
Moving back and forth in time-from the actor's early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains-this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor's first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. National Book Award finalist; Amazon Top 20 Books of 2014; Kirkus Best Fiction Books of 2014; Huffington Post Best Books 2014; Booklist Editors' Choice 2014; ALA Notable Books.
All his life, Alberto Manguel has turned to books, so it's not surprising that on a trip through Canada the writer and scholar began to see affinities between the book open before him and the world around him. An article in the daily paper would be suddenly illuminated by a passage in the book; a long reflection would be prompted by a single word. He decided to keep a record of these moments, rereading a book a month, and forming a reading diary: a volume of notes, reflections, impressions of travel, of friends, of events public and private, all ellicited by his reading. From "Don Quixote (August) to "The Island of Dr. Moreau (February) to "Kim (April), Manguel leads us on an enthralling adventure in literature and life, and demonstrates how, for the passionate reader, the two are inextricably linked.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, September 7, 2010.
In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political power. England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. The quest for the king's freedom destroys his adviser, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and leaves a power vacuum. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. With a vast array of characters, overflowing with incident, the novel re-creates an era when the personal and political are separated by a hairbreadth, where success brings unlimited power but a single failure means death. New York Times Notable Book, 2009; Library Journal Best Books 2009;
Listed in Fiction Core Collection; Man Booker Prize for Fiction; National Book Critics Circle Award; Galaxy British Book Award winner.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 via Zoom.
How do you get your dinner? That is the basic question of economics. When economist and philosopher Adam Smith proclaimed that all our actions were motivated by self-interest, he used the example of the baker and the butcher as he laid the foundations for 'economic man.' He argued that the baker and butcher didn't give bread and meat out of the goodness of their hearts. It's an ironic point of view coming from a bachelor who lived with his mother for most of his life -- a woman who cooked his dinner every night.
Discussion Date: Thursday, June 5, 2008.
At sixteen, Robert Lomos has lost his family. His father, a Latin jazz musician, has left San Antonio for life on the road as a cool-hand playboy. His mother, shattered by a complete emotional and psychological breakdown, has moved to Los Angeles and taken Robert's little brother with her. Only his iron-willed grandmother, worn down by years of hard work, is left. But Robert's got a plan: Duck trouble, save his money, and head to California to put the family back together. Trouble is, no one believes a delinquent Mexican American kid has a chance--least of all, Robert himself.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, July 18, 2006.
An extraordinary first novel that tells the story of a British piano tuner sent deep into Burma in the nineteenth century. In October 1886, Edgar Drake receives a strange request from the British War Office: he must leave his wife and his quiet life in London to travel to the jungles of Burma, where a rare Erard grand piano is in need of repair. The piano belongs to an army surgeon-major whose unorthodox peacemaking methods—poetry, medicine, and now music—have brought a tentative quiet to the southern Shan States but have elicited questions from his superiors. Sensuous, lyrical, rich with passion and adventure, this is a hypnotic tale of myth, romance, and self-discovery: an unforgettable novel.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, October 13, 2015.
Meeting through mutual friends in Chicago, Hadley is intrigued by brash "beautiful boy" Ernest Hemingway, and after a brief courtship and small wedding, they take off for Paris, where Hadley makes a convincing transformation from an overprotected child to a brave young woman who puts up with impoverished living conditions and shattering loneliness to prop up her husband's career. New York Times Bestseller; Named one of the Best Books of the Year by People, Chicago Tribune, NPR, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Kirkus Reviews, The Toronto Sun.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, July 9, 2019.
A sweeping and enchanting new novel from the widely beloved, award-winning author Elizabeth McCracken about three generations of an unconventional New England family who own and operate a candlepin bowling alley. A Recommended Book of 2019 from: Entertainment Weekly; O, The Oprah Magazine; Southern Living; BBC; Huffington Post; Lit Hub; Kirkus; Bustle; Publishers Weekly; BookRiot; Popsugar; Bookish; The Boston Globe; The Seattle Times; Vulture; Real Simple.
Saturday is a masterful novel set within a single day in February 2003. Henry Perowne is a contented man — a successful neurosurgeon, happily married to a newspaper lawyer, and enjoying good relations with his children. Henry wakes to the comfort of his large home in central London on this, his day off. On this particular Saturday morning, Perowne’s day moves through the ordinary to the extraordinary.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2016.
An epic tale of a father and two sons, of betrayals and loyalties, of a family unraveling in the wake of Ethiopia's revolution. Publishers Weekly Top 100 Books, 2010; Boston Book Review Best Fiction, 2010; Listed in Fiction Core Collection.
Moore focuses on the anxiety and disconnection of post-9/11 America, on the insidiousness of racism, the blind-sidedness of war, and the recklessness thrust on others in the name of love. As the United States begins gearing up for war in the Middle East, twenty-year-old Tassie Keltjin, the Midwestern daughter of a gentleman hill farmer—his “Keltjin potatoes” are justifiably famous—has come to a university town as a college student, her brain on fire with Chaucer, Sylvia Plath, Simone de Beauvoir. Between semesters, she takes a job as a part-time nanny... Tassie finds herself becoming more and more the stranger she felt herself to be, and as life and love unravel dramatically, even shockingly, she is forever changed. Booklist Editors' Choice, 2009; New York Times Notable Book; Listed in Fiction Core Collection; PEN/Faulkner Fiction award finalist; Midwest Booksellers Choice Award.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, August 24, 2021 via Zoom.
When Wayétu Moore turns five years old, her father and grandmother throw her a big birthday party at their home in Monrovia, Liberia, but all she can think about is how much she misses her mother, who is working and studying in faraway New York. Before she gets the reunion her father promised her, war breaks out in Liberia. The family is forced to flee their home on foot, walking and hiding for three weeks until they arrive in the village of Lai. Finally, a rebel soldier smuggles them across the border to Sierra Leone, reuniting the family and setting them off on yet another journey, this time to the United States. Spanning this harrowing journey in Moore's early childhood, her years adjusting to life in Texas as a black woman and an immigrant, and her eventual return to Liberia, this book is a deeply moving story of the search for home in the midst of upheaval. Library Journal Best Books 2020; Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2020.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2013.
It is winter, barely three days into 1926, seven years after Armistice. Joe Trace--in his fifties, door-to-door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products, erstwhile devoted husband--shoots to death his lover of three months, impetuous, eighteen-year-old Dorcas. At the funeral, his determined, hard-working wife, Violet, herself a hairdresser--who is given to stumbling into dark mental cracks, and who talks mostly to birds--tries with a knife to disfigure the corpse. ALA Notable Book, 1992; Booklist Editors' Choice, 1992.
In the 1680s the slave trade was still in its infancy. In the Americas, virulent religious and class divisions, prejudice and oppression were rife, providing the fertile soil in which slavery and race hatred were planted and took root. A Mercy reveals what lies beneath the surface of slavery. But at its heart it is the ambivalent, disturbing story of a mother who casts off her daughter in order to save her, and of a daughter who may never exorcise that abandonment. Booklist Editors' Choice, 2008; New York Times 10 Best Books of 2008; Library Journal Best Books, 2008; ALA Notable Book, 2010.
Call Number: PZ7.R9553 Dr 2010 (2nd Floor, Juv Lit Collection)
Publication Date: 2010
Discussion Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2018.
Combining elements of magical realism with biography, poetry, literary fiction, and transporting illustrations, Pam Muñoz Ryan and Peter Sís take readers on a rare journey of the heart and imagination as they explore the inspiring early life of the poet who became Pablo Neruda. Pura Belpré Award Winner.
Discussion Date: Thursday, March 27, 2014.
The sisters, mothers and daughters, aunts, grandmothers, and friends in these stories shimmer with hope and love, anger and reconciliation, as they contend with their histories and their present, and what they can see of the future. Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, 2013.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, September 4, 2012.
The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo. A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 --"Q is for 'question mark.' A world that bears a question." Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction of 2011; New York Times Notable Books of 2011; Booklist Editors' Choice, 2011; Library Journal Best Books.
This is the story of Azar Nafisi’s dream and of the nightmare that made it come true. For two years before she left Iran in 1997, Nafisi gathered seven young women at her house every Thursday morning to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature. Azar Nafisi’s luminous tale offers a fascinating portrait of the Iran-Iraq war viewed from Tehran and gives us a rare glimpse, from the inside, of women’s lives in revolutionary Iran. It is a work of great passion and poetic beauty, written with a startlingly original voice. Publishers Weekly Best Books, 2003; Library Journal Best Books, 2003.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2019.
The National Book Award-winning novel that launched the brilliant career of Gloria Naylor (1950-2016). In her heralded first novel, Gloria Naylor weaves together the stories of seven women living in Brewster Place, a bleak-inner city sanctuary, creative a powerful, moving portrait of the strengths, struggles, and hopes of black women in America. Vulnerable and resilient, openhanded and openhearted, these women forge their lives in a place that in turn threatens and protects - a common prison and a shared home.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2021 via Zoom.
The winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as seven other awards. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a "man of two minds," a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who arranges to come to America after the Fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2015.
Told by nine-year-old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, this is the Cain and Abel-esque story of a childhood in 1990s Nigeria, in the small town of Akure. When their father has to travel to a distant city for work, the brothers take advantage of his absence to skip school and go fishing. At the forbidden nearby river, they meet a madman who persuades the oldest of the boys that he is destined to be killed by one of his siblings. Library Journal Best Books 2015; New York Times Notable Books 2015; Listed in Fiction Core Collection.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2012.
In a Balkan country mending from war, Natalia, a young doctor, is compelled to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather's recent death. Searching for clues, she turns to his worn copy of The Jungle Book and the stories he told her of his encounters over the years with "the deathless man." But most extraordinary of all is the story her grandfather never told her--the legend of the tiger's wife. National Book Award finalist; Library Journal Best Books; New York Times Notable Books of 2011; ALA Notable Books, 2012; Indies Choice for Best Debut Fiction.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, November 29, 2016.
A story about love, the artifice of evil, and the terrible necessity of accountability in our shattered, damaged world. A narrative which dares to travel deep into the darkness has produced a book of enormous emotional intelligence and courage.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, July 20, 2021 via Zoom.
In 1580s England, during the Black Plague a young Latin tutor falls in love with an extraordinary, eccentric young woman in this "exceptional historical novel" (The New Yorker) and best-selling winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction. Agnes is a wild creature who walks her family's land with a falcon on her glove and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer, understanding plants and potions better than she does people. Once she settles with her husband on Henley Street in Stratford-upon-Avon she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband, whose career on the London stage is taking off when his beloved young son succumbs to sudden fever. Library Journal Best Books 2020; New York Times Notable Books 2020; Kirkus Best Books 2020; YBP Core Collection.
Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver by Mary Oliver
Publication Date: 2017
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver presents a personal selection of her best work in this definitive collection spanning more than five decades of her esteemed literary career. Carefully curated, these 200 plus poems feature Oliver's work from her very first book of poetry, No Voyage and Other Poems, published in 1963 at the age of 28, through her most recent collection, Felicity, published in 2015. This timeless volume, arranged by Oliver herself, showcases the beloved poet at her edifying best. Within these pages, she provides us with an extraordinary and invaluable collection of her passionate, perceptive, and much-treasured observations of the natural world.
Set in Namibia just after independence in the early 1990s, Peter Orner's first novel is a chronicle of the long days, short loves, and cold nights at Goas, an all-boys Catholic primary school so deep in the veld that "even the baboons feel sorry for us." But above all it's about the fleetingness of love and the endurance of fellowship.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, July 26, 2022 via Zoom.
For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life--until the unthinkable happens. Amazon Best Books of 2018; Reese's Book Club Pick; A Business Insider Defining Book of the Decade.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, June 10, 2014.
In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a century. A diary is Nao's only solace--and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Kirkus 100 Best Fiction Books of 2013; Booklist Editors' Choice, 2013; Washington Post Notable Fiction of 2013; ALA Notable Books; Salon's What to Read Award; Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature; Los Angeles Times Book Award.
Following years of lonely political exile in Western Europe, Ka, a middle-aged poet, returns to Istanbul to attend his mother's funeral. Only partly recognizing this place of his cultured, middle-class youth, he is even more disoriented by news of strange events in the wider country: a wave of suicides among girls forbidden to wear their head scarves at school. Listed in Fiction Core Collection; A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, 2004; Nobel Prize for Literature winner.
A novel that is as lyrical and profound as it is unforgettable, Bel Canto engenders in the reader the very passion for art and the language of music that its characters discover. A virtuoso performance by an important writer. Listed in Fiction Core Collection; PEN/Faulkner Award, 2002.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, December 2, 2008.
Since their mother's death, Tip and Teddy Doyle have been raised by their loving possessive and ambitions father. As the former mayor of Boston, Bernard Doyle wants to see is sons in politics, a dream the boys have never shared. But when an argument in a blinding New England snowstorm inadvertently causes an accident that involves a stranger and her child, all Bernard Doyle cares about is his ability to keep his children--all his children--safe. Listed in Fiction Core Collection.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, June 4, 2013.
A novel of morality and miracles, science and sacrifice set in the Amazon rainforest. An enthrallingly innovative tale of aspiration, exploration, and attachment in State of Wonder--a gripping adventure story and a profound look at the difficult choices we make in the name of discovery and love. YBP Core Collection; Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction of 2011; Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2011; H.W. Wilson Fiction Core Collection.
The literary geniuses of the Dante Club--poets and Harvard professors Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell, along with publisher J. T. Fields--are finishing America's first translation of The Divine Comedy. The powerful Boston Brahmins at Harvard College are fighting to keep Dante in obscurity, believing the infiltration of foreign superstitions to be as corrupting as the immigrants arriving at Boston Harbor.
What began as a joy ride on "borrowed" horses ends with Jon falling into a strange trance of grief. Trond soon learns what befell Jon earlier that day--an incident that marks the beginning of a series of vital losses for both boys. Library Journal Best Books, 2007; Listed in Fiction Core Collection; ALA Notable Book, 2008.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, August 6, 2013.
Both a psychological self-portrait and a profound meditation upon the artistic process, Proust's seven-part masterpiece "In Search of Lost Time" changed the course of 20th-century literature. "Swann's Way," the first volume, introduces the novel's major themes and the narrator, a sensitive man drawn in his youth to fashionable society. Its focus then shifts to Charles Swann, a wealthy connoisseur who moves in high-society circles in nineteenth-century Paris and a victim of an agonizing romance. Unabridged reprint of the classic 1922 edition. Fiction Core Collection; Booklist Books of the Century award; Publishers Weekly Best Books, 2003.
Books by Author - R
The Patience Stone by Atiq Rahimi; Polly Mclean (Translator)
Publication Date: 2009
Discussion Date: Tuesday, December 8, 2020 via Zoom.
In Persian folklore, Syngue Sabour is the name of a magical black stone, a patience stone, which absorbs the plight of those who confide in it. It is believed that the day it explodes, after having received too much hardship and pain, will be the day of the Apocalypse. But here, the Syngue Sabour is not a stone but rather a man lying brain-dead with a bullet lodged in his neck. His wife is with him, sitting by his side. But she resents him for having sacrificed her to the war, for never being able to resist the call to arms, for wanting to be a hero, and in the end, after all was said and done, for being incapacitated in a small skirmish. Yet she cares, and she speaks to him.
After the fall of communism, Russia was in a state of shock. Returning again and again to the provincial hinterlands of this rapidly evolving country from 1992 to 2008, Susan Richards struck up some extraordinary friendships with people in the middle of this historical drama. Through their stories and her own experiences, Susan Richards demonstrates how in Russia, the past and the present cannot be separated.
In 1956, toward the end of Reverend John Ames's life, he begins a letter to his young son, an account of himself and his forebears. Ames is the son of an Iowan preacher and the grandson of a minister who, as a young man in Maine, saw a vision of Christ bound in chains and came west to Kansas to fight for abolition: He "preached men into the Civil War," then, at age fifty, became a chaplain in the Union Army, losing his right eye in battle. Reverend Ames writes to his son about the tension between his father--an ardent pacifist--and his grandfather, whose pistol and bloody shirts, concealed in an army blanket, may be relics from the fight between the abolitionists and those settlers who wanted to vote Kansas into the union as a slave state. 2005 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Fiction; 2004 National Book Critics Circle Winner; Ambassador Book Award; ALA Notable Book, 2006; Booklist's Best American Fiction from the Last 25 Years.
1 Dead in Attic: After Katrina by Chris Rose
Publication Date: 2007
Discussion Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2008.
A collection of stories by Pulitzer Prize-winning Times-Picayune columnist Chris Rose, recounting the first harrowing year and a half of life in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Celebrated as a local treasure and heaped with national praise, Rose provides a roller coaster ride of observation, commentary, emotion, tragedy, and even humor--in a way that only he could find in a devastated wasteland.
Twelve year old Ava must travel into the Underworld part of the swamp in order to save her family's dynasty of Bigtree alligator wrestling. New York Times Notable Books of 2011; ALA Notable Books, 2012; Booklist Editors' Choice: Best Adult Books for Young Adults; Pulitzer Prize for Fiction nominee; Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction; Young Lions Fiction Award.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, April 23, 2013.
A dejected teenager discovers that the universe is communicating with him through talismanic objects left behind in a seagull's nest to two vampires in a sun-drenched lemon grove who try helplessly to slake their thirst for blood. Washington Post Notable Fiction of 2013; Oprah.com Best Books of 2013; Listed in Fiction Core Collection.
As a child, Renne showed promise of becoming one of the world's greatest cellists. Now, years later, his life suddenly is altered by two events: he becomes a juror in a murder trial for the brutal killing of a Buddhist monk, and he takes on as a pupil a Korean boy whose brilliant musicianship reminds him of his own past.
Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch
Publication Date: 2011
Discussion Date: Tuesday, September 1, 2015.
After the untimely death of her sister, Nina Sankovitch kept her mind busy by dashing from one activity to another. Then on her forty-sixth birthday, she started reading a book a day and discovered the joy, healing, and wisdom.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2006.
Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation tells of growing up in San Antonio, Texas, in an in-between place and time -- shifting back and forth across the Mexican border, between present realities and ancient cultures. Interweaving family remembrance, pre-Columbian mythology, and the histories of Texas and Mexico, it blends the story of one Mexican family with the soul of an entire people. Part treasury of the elders, part elegy, part personal odyssey, part Book of the Dead, its tales are of a fragile family lineage that spans borders and rivers and decades.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, October 21, 2008.
A city is hit by an epidemic of "white blindness" which spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and raping women. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides seven strangers-among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears-through the barren streets, and the procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. Booklist Editors' Choice, 1998; Guardian Newspaper Top 100 Books of all Time.
A wise, funny, and heartbreaking memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran's last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. Listed in the H.W. Wilson Public Library Core Collection, 2015.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, June 20, 2017.
Set over the course of that one night and populated by ghosts of the recently passed and the long dead, Lincoln in the Bardo is a thrilling exploration of death, grief, the powers of good and evil, a novel - in its form and voice - completely unlike anything you have read before. It is also, in the end, an exploration of the deeper meaning and possibilities of life, written as only George Saunders can: with humor, pathos, and grace. Man Booker Prize winner.
When Harriet Vane attends her Oxford reunion, known as the 'Gaudy, ' the prim academic setting is haunted by a rash of bizarre pranks: scrawled obscenities, burnt effigies and poison-pen letters--including one that says, "Ask your boyfriend with the title if he likes arsenic in his soup." Some of the notes threaten murder; all are perfectly ghastly; yet in spite of their scurrilous nature, all are perfectly worded. And Harriet finds herself ensnared in a nightmare of romance and terror, with only the tiniest shreds of clues to challenge her powers of detection--and those of her paramour, Lord Peter Wimsey.
An account of scandal, sex, jealousy, and murder in New York high society at the turn of the century profiles the debonair Roland Molineux, one of New York's most eligible bachelors, and possible killer who used poison to eliminate romantic and professional rivals.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, July 17, 2018.
Peri, a married, wealthy, beautiful Turkish woman, is on her way to a dinner party at a seaside mansion in Istanbul when a beggar snatches her handbag. As she wrestles to get it back, a photograph falls to the ground--an old polaroid of three young women and their university professor. YBP Core Collection 2017.
Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo by Ntozake Shange
Publication Date: 1982
After growing up with their mama in Charleston, South Carolina, three sisters find themselves divided across the country. Sassafrass, the oldest, a poet and a weaver like her mother, gone north to college, living with other artists in Los Angeles and trying to weave a life out of her work, her man, her memories and dreams; Cypress, the dancer, who leaves home to find new ways of moving and easing the contractions of her soul; Indigo, the youngest, still a child of Charleston-- "too much of the south in her"--who lives in poetry, can talk to her dolls, and has a great gift of seeing the obvious magic of the world.
Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry by Leanne Shapton
Publication Date: 2009
Discussion Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2009.
The story of a romantic relationship is told in the form of a catalog from the auction of objects previously owned by the fictional couple.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, March 20, 2012.
A dark tale of America's dysfunctional coming years, and of the timeless and tender feelings that just might bring us back from the brink. Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction, 2010; New York Times Notable Books of 2010; Boston Book Review Best Fiction, 2010; Wilson Fiction Core Collection, 2011 supplement.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, August 14, 2012.
Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) leads a quiet life in the village of St. Mary, England, until his brother's death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But will their relationship survive in a society that considers Ali a foreigner? Library Journal Editors' Spring Picks, 2010; Wilson Fiction Core Collection.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, October 19, 2010.
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. The story of the Lacks family is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of. Library Journal Best Sci-Tech Books, 2010; Library Journal's 10 Best Books of the Year, 2010; Publisher Weekly Top Ten Books, 2010; New York Times Best Books of 2010; Booklist's Top 10 Sci-Tech Books, 2010; Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction, 2010; ALA Notable Books, 2011; Booklist Top of the List: 2010 Editors' Choice.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, June 30, 2009.
Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, amid cow pastures and waving fields of grain, lies Moo University, a distinguished institution devoted to the art and science of agriculture. Here, among an atmosphere rife with devious plots, mischievous intrigue, lusty liaisons, and academic one-upmanship, Chairman X of the Horticulture Department harbors a secret fantasy to kill the dean; Mrs. Walker, the provost's right hand and campus information queen, knows where all the bodies are buried; Timothy Nonahan, associate professor of English, advocates eavesdropping for his creative writing assignments; and Bob Carlson, a sophomore, feeds and maintains his only friend: a hog named Earl Butz. Booklist Editors' Choice, 1995; Listed in Fiction Core Collection.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2015.
The oldest existing epic poem in French, translated into English, tells the tale of the massacre in 778 of Charlemagne's rear guard at Roncesvalles in northern Spain. Listed in the HW Wilson Public Library Core Collection.
Discussion Date: Wednesday, February 18, 2009.
Happily loitering about London, circa 1949, with intent to gather material for her writing, Fleur Talbot finds a job "on the grubby edge of the literary world," as secretary to the peculiar Autobiographical Association. Mad egomaniacs, hilariously writing their memoirs in advance -- or poor fools ensnared by a blackmailer? Rich material, in any case. But when its pompous director, Sir Quentin Oliver, steals the manuscript of Fleur's new novel, fiction begins to appropriate life. Listed in Fiction Core Collection.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2007.
The son of a carpenter, Julian Sorel is inspired by the writings of Napoleon to conquer the heights of society. His initial plan to work his way up through the church is, however, thwarted when he is forced to accept employment as a tutor--and this rash social entrepreneur certainly has not considered the dangers of falling in love. Listed in Fiction Core Collection; Guardian Newspaper Top 100 Books of All Time.
At the edge of the continent, in the small town of Crosby, Maine, lives Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher who deplores the changes in her town and in the world at large but doesn't always recognize the changes in those around her. Library Journal Best Books, 2008; Pulitzer Prize winner for Fiction, 2009; National Book Critics Circle Award finalist; ALA Notable Books, 2009.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2016.
The beguines began to form in various parts of Europe over eight hundred years ago, around the year 1200. Beguines were laywomen, not nuns, and thus did not take solemn vows and did not live in monasteries. This book invites us to listen to their voices, to discover them anew.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, September 2, 2014.
A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by a friend's family and struggles to make sense of his new life. In the years that follow, he becomes entranced by one of the few things that reminds him of his mother: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the art underworld. Kirkus 100 Best Fiction Books of 2013; Washington Post Notable Fiction of 2013; New York Times Notable Books 2013; Booklist Editors' Choice, 2013; Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction winner.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, May 22, 2012.
Growing up in a New England orphanage unaware of his family and of how he had lost his left hand as an infant, twelve-year-old Ren is terrified of the future, until a young man shows up claiming to be his long-lost brother, with whom he embarks on an adventure-filled odyssey of scam artists, petty criminals, and resurrection men. New York Times Notable Books, 2008; John Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize winner, 2008; Kirkus Reviews Best Books, 2008; Alex Award.
Discussion Date: Wednesday, August 17, 2005.
Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and must endure the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness.
Judd Foxman's wife, Jen, has left him for his boss, but after the death of his father and a week of sitting shivah with his enjoyably dysfunctional family presided over by their mother, a celebrated parenting expert despite her children's difficulties, the mourning period brings each of the family members to unexpected epiphanies about their own lives and each other. Library Journal Best Books.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, June 1, 2010.
In the midst of a World War II, two young brothers learn the traditional arts of sumo wrestling and mask making only to place their dreams of future careers in these traditions on hold as Japan rebuilds.
An Uncommon Friendship: From Opposite Sides of the Holocaust, With a New Epilogue by Bernat Rosner; Frederic C. Tubach; Sally Patterson Tubach (Contribution by)
Publication Date: 2009
Discussion Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010.
2001 edition available via the Internet Archive.
In 1944, 13-year-old Fritz Tubach was almost old enough to join the Hitler Youth in his German village of Kleinheubach. That same year in Tab, Hungary, 12-year-old Bernie Rosner was loaded onto a train with the rest of the village's Jewish inhabitants and taken to Auschwitz, where his whole family was murdered. Many years later, after enjoying successful lives in California, they met, became friends, and decided to share their intimate story--that of two boys trapped in evil and destructive times, who became men with the freedom to construct their own future, with each other and the world. In a new epilogue, the authors share how the publication of the book changed their lives and the lives of the countless people they have met as a result of publishing their story.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, May 14, 2013.
A middle-aged man, ripped apart by the death of his wife, is gradually restored by her frequent appearances--in their house, on the roadway, in the market. YBP Core Collection; Fiction Core Collection; Booklist Editors Choice: Adult Fiction, 2012.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, August 13, 2019.
"In Urrea's exuberant new novel of Mexican-American life, 70-year-old patriarch Big Angel de la Cruz is dying, and he wants to have one last birthday blowout. Unfortunately, his 100-year-old mother, America, dies the week of his party, so funeral and birthday are celebrated one day apart." American Library Association Notable Books; New York Times Notable Books; YBP Core Collection 2018; Kirkus Best Books of 2018.
Reality merges with fantasy in this hilarious comic novel about the world of radio soap operas and the pitfalls of forbidden passion by the bestselling author of The Storyteller. Sexy, sophisticated, older Aunt Julia, now divorced, seeks a new mate who can support her in high style. She finds instead her libidinous nephew, and their affair shocks both family and community. Listed in Fiction Core Collection.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2019.
From the Nobel Laureate comes a politically charged detective novel weaving through the underbelly of Peruvian privilege. New York Times Notable Books and YBP Core Collection 2018.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, July 1, 2014.
Considered to be the first "Gothic" novel, the plot centers around Manfred, the lord of Otranto Castle, who has just witnessed the death of his son under mysterious circumstances, just as his son was about to be married. Manfred is thrust into a galloping and melodramatic series of events that lean heavily on the supernatural.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, February 25, 2020.
Whitehead dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida. Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers. Booklist Editors' Choice 2019; Kirkus Prize winner 2019; New York Times Notable Books; National Book Award nominee; Publishers Weekly Best Books 2019; Library Journal Best Books 2019; Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2020.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2017.
At once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share. Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2017.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2013.
Spanning three generations, this novel of family and myth is told through a series of flashbacks that depict events of staggering horror set against a landscape of gemlike beauty, as the Chinese battle both Japanese invaders and each other in the turbulent 1930s. Winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, August 3, 2010.
Barcelona, 1945--just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother's face. To console his only child, Daniel's widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona's guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Listed in Fiction Core Collection; ALA RUSA Reading List, 2012.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, June 22, 2021 via Zoom.
An electric debut novel set against the twilight of the American gold rush, two siblings are on the run in an unforgiving landscape--trying not just to survive but to find a home. Ba dies in the night; Ma is already gone. Newly orphaned children of immigrants, Lucy and Sam are suddenly alone in a land that refutes their existence. Fleeing the threats of their western mining town, they set off to bury their father in the only way that will set them free from their past. Along the way, they encounter giant buffalo bones, tiger paw prints, and the specters of a ravaged landscape as well as family secrets, sibling rivalry, and glimpses of a different kind of future. Kirkus Best Books of 2020; YBP Core Collection; New York Times Notable Books 2020.
Discussion Date: Thursday, June 26, 2008.
Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors. Publishers Weekly Best Children's Books of the Year, 2006; Michael L. Printz Honor Book; Margaret A. Edwards Award.