Book List Category:
By Chad Harbach.
"At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big-league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended."--from publisher's description.
By Ann Patchett.
Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening -- until a band of gun-wielding terrorists breaks in through the air-conditioning vents and takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different countries and continents become compatriots.Friendship, compassion, and the chance for great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion and cannot be stopped.
By Kate Atkinson.
Private detective Jackson Brodie finds his own need for resolution sparked by three investigations, including that of two sisters who discover a shocking clue to the disappearance of their third sister thirty years earlier.
By Alice McDermott.
A teenage girl, raised on the east end of Long Island among the country estates of the rich, reflects on her understanding of human nature during a seemingly idyllic summer spent with her eight-year-old cousin Daisy.
By Matt Beynon Rees.
Omar Yussef is a schoolteacher in Bethlehem, struggling to teach history unfettered by politics. When a PLO soldier is murdered, and a Palestinian Christian is arrested for the crime (and accused of being a collaborator with the Israelis), Yussef launches his own investigation, convinced that the accused, a former student, is innocent.
By Amy Hempel ; with an introduction by Rick Moody.
A complete collection of short works offers insight into the progression of the writer's work throughout a thirty-year period and features, among other tales, the complete texts of "At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom" and "Tumble Home."
By Miriam Toews.
"A 16-year-old rebels against the conventions of her strict Mennonite community and tries to come to terms with the collapse of her family..."-- Publishers Weekly.
By Jonathan Franzen.
"After almost fifty years as a wife and mother, Enid Lambert is ready to have some fun. Unfortunately, her husband, Alfred, is losing his sanity to Parkinson's disease, and their children have long since flown the family nest to the catastrophes of their own lives. The oldest, Gary, a once-stable portfolio manager and family man, is trying to convince his wife and himself, despite clear signs to the contrary, that he is not clinically depressed. The middle child, Chip, has lost his seemingly secure academic job and is failing spectacularly at his new line of work. And Denise, the youngest, has escaped a disastrous marriage only to pour her youth and heart down the drain of an affair with a married man - or so her mother fears. Desperate for some pleasure to look forward to, Enid has set her heart on an elusive goal: bringing her family together for one last Christmas at home."--BOOK JACKET.
By Nicole Mones.
Flying to Beijing to appraise some rare imperial porcelain, art historian Lia Frank must ensure that the collection is authentic as she finds herself being drawn into the perilous underworld of art forgeries and smuggling.
By Mark Haddon.
Despite his overwhelming fear of interacting with people, Christopher, a mathematically-gifted, autistic, fifteen-year-old boy, decides to investigate the murder of a neighbor's dog and uncovers secret information about his mother.
By Mary Doria Russell.
After the burned body of a mixed-blood boy, Johnnie Sanders, is discovered in 1878 Dodge City, Kansas, part-time policeman Wyatt Earp enlists the help of his professional-gambler friend Doc Holliday.
By Richard Russo.
Milo Roby tries to hold his family together while working at the Empire Grill in the once-successful logging town of Empire Falls, Maine, with his partner, Mrs. Whiting, who is the heir to a faded logging and textile legacy.
By Kent Haruf.
When the McPheron brothers see Victoria Roubideaux, the single mother they'd taken in, move from their ranch to begin college, an emptiness opens before them and for many other townspeople it also promises to be a long, hard winter.
By Hans Fallada ; translated by Michael Hofmann ; afterword by Geoff Wilkes.
This never-before-translated masterpiece is based on a true story. It presents a richly detailed portrait of life in Berlin under the Nazis and tells the sweeping saga of one working-class couple who decides to take a stand when their only son is killed at the front.
By Jonathan Safran Foer.
A new novel by the author of Everything Is Illuminated introduces Oskar Schell, the nine-year-old son of a man killed in the World Trade Center bombing who searches the city for a lock that fits a black key his father left behind. Jonathan Safran Foer emerged as one of the most original writers of his generation with his best-selling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated. Now, with humor, tenderness, and awe, he confronts the traumas of our recent history. What he discovers is solace in that most human quality, imagination. Meet Oskar Schell, an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist, correspondent with Stephen Hawking and Ringo Starr. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. His mission is to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. An inspired innocent, Oskar is alternately endearing, exasperating, and hilarious as he careens from Central Park to Coney Island to Harlem on his search. Along the way he is always dreaming up inventions to keep those he loves safe from harm. What about a birdseed shirt to let you fly away? What if you could actually hear everyone's heartbeat? His goal is hopeful, but the past speaks a loud warning in stories of those who've lost loved ones before. As Oskar roams New York, he encounters a motley assortment of humanity who are all survivors in their own way. He befriends a 103-year-old war reporter, a tour guide who never leaves the Empire State Building, and lovers enraptured or scorned. Ultimately, Oskar ends his journey where it began, at his father's grave. But now he is accompanied by the silent stranger who has been renting the spare room of his grandmother's apartment. They are there to dig up his father's empty coffin.
By Jasper Fforde.
Great Britain circa 1985: time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodas are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. Based on an imaginary world where time and reality bend in the most convincing and original way since The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Eyre Affair is a delightful rabbit hole of a read: once you fall in you may never come back. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in Wordsworth poems, militant Baconians roam freely spreading the gospel that Bacon, not Shakespeare, penned those immortal works. And forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. This is all business as usual for brainy, bookish (and heat-packing) Thursday Next, a renowned Special Operative in literary detection -- that is, until someone begins murdering characters from works of literature. When this madman plucks Jane Eyre from the pages of Bronte's novel Thursday faces the challenge of her career. Aided and abetted by characters that include her time-traveling father, an executive of the all-powerful Goliath Corporation, and Edward Rochester himself, Thursday must track down the world's Third Most Wanted criminal and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide. A brilliantly outlandish and absorbing caper destined to become a classic adventure tale, The Eyre Affair is an irresistible thriller and the introduction to the imagination of a most distinctive writer. In Jasper Fforde's singular fictional universe no literary character is safe from crime. And for Special Operative Thursday Next this is only the beginning ...
By Elinor Lipman.
A hysterical phone call from his ex-wife and a familiar face in a photograph upend gay lawyer Henry Archer's wellordered life and bring him back into contact with the child he adored, a short-term stepdaughter from a misbegotten marriage long ago in this humorous domestic tale from the Upper West Side.
By Mischa Berlinski.
Following his girlfriend to her new teaching position in Thailand, a young reporter researches the story of American anthropologist Martiya van der Leun, following her suicide in the Thai prison where she was serving a lengthy sentence for murder.
By Jon Clinch.
In this debut by a major new voice in fiction, the author takes readers on a journey into the history and heart of one of American literature's most brutal and mysterious figures: Huckleberry Finn's father. The result is a deeply original tour de force that springs from Twain's classic novel but takes on a fully realized life of its own. Finn sets a tragic figure loose in a landscape at once familiar and mythic. It begins and ends with a lifeless body flayed and stripped of all identifying marks, drifting down the Mississippi. The circumstances of the murder, and the secret of the victim's identity, shape Finn's story as they will shape his life and his death. Along the way the author introduces a cast of unforgettable characters: Finn's terrifying father, known only as the Judge; his sickly, sycophantic brother, Will; blind Bliss, a secretive moonshiner; the strong and quick witted Mary, a stolen slave who becomes Finn's mistress; and of course young Huck himself. In daring to recreate Huck for a new generation, the author gives readers a living boy in all his human complexity,not an icon, not a myth, but a real child facing vast possibilities in a world alternately dangerous and bright. Finn is a novel about race; about paternity in its many guises; about the shame of a nation recapitulated by the shame of one absolutely unforgettable family. Above all, Finn reaches back into the darkest waters of America's past to fashion something compelling, fearless, and new.
By Kavita Daswani.
Unable to find a husband despite the efforts of friends, fortune-tellers, and matchmakers, thirty-three year old Anju, confronted by her family's shame, obtains their permission to leave Bombay to look for a husband in the United States.
By Mark Jude Poirier.
Raised by his mother and Goat Man, a loner who maintains a home on his mom's property, fourteen-year-old Ellis leaves for a new life at boarding shcool where he meets his super-straight father and his father's new girlfriend.
By Michael Gruber.
Somewhere in Pakistan, Sonia Laghari and eight fellow members of a symposium on peace are being held captive by armed terrorists. Sonia, a deeply religious woman as well as a Jungian psychologist, has become the de facto leader of the kidnapped group, while her son Theo, an ex-Delta soldier, uses his military connections to find and free the victims.
By Peter Carey.
Brought up in isolated privilege by his New York grandmother, Che, a precocious seven-year-old boy, yearns for his parents, radical activists wanted by the FBI, until a woman claiming to be his mother arrives to help him escape.
By Luis Alberto Urrea.
This historical novel is based on Urrea's real great-aunt Teresita, who had healing powers and was acclaimed as a saint. Urrea has researched historical accounts and family records for years to get an accurate story.
By Michelle Huneven.
Encountering one another during a midweek service at Helen Harland's church, four characters struggle to define themselves in Los Angeles, dealing with extramarital affairs, romance, parenting, and the search for God.
By Haruki Murakami ; translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel.
This magnificent new novel has a similarly extraordinary scope and the same capacity to amaze, entertain, and bewitch the reader. A tour de force of metaphysical reality, it is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle-yet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered, just as the entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own.
By Edward P. Jones.
When a plantation proprietor and former slave--now possessing slaves of his own--dies, his household falls apart in the wake of a slave rebellion and corrupt underpaid patrollers who enable free black people to be sold into slavery.
By Bernard Cornwell.
Captured and raised by Danes in the ninth century, dispossessed nobleman Uhtred witnesses the unexpected defeat of his adoptive Viking clan by Alfred of Wessex and longs to recover his father's land.
By Jim Shepard.
"Like You'd Understand, Anyway reaches from Chernobyl to Bridgeport, with a host of narrators only Shepard could bring to pitch-perfect life. Among them: a middle-aged Aeschylus taking his place at Marathon, still vying for parental approval. A maddeningly indefatigable Victorian explorer hauling his expedition, whaleboat and all, through the Great Australian Desert in midsummer. The first woman in space and her cosmonaut lover, caught in the star-crossed orbits of their joint mission. Two Texas high school football players at the top of their food chain, soliciting their fathers' attention by leveling everything before them on the field. And the rational and compassionate chief executioner of Paris, whose occupation, during the height of the Terror, eats away at all he holds dear"--Publisher website (November 2007).
By Jennifer Egan.
Model Charlotte Swenson returns to Manhattan after recovering from a devastating car accident in her Illinois hometown. She finds that she can't restart her career and floats invisibly through the New York fashion world.
By Tatjana Soli.
A novel that follows an American female combat photographer in the Vietnam War as she captures the wrenching chaos and finds herself torn between the love of two men.
By Richard Price.
In this first-rate police procedural, Eric Cash, the 34-year-old bartender at Café Berkmann and a would-be screenwriter, ends up in jail as a murder suspect and it's up to two New York City police detectives to find out the truth.
By Geraldine Brooks.
From the author of the international bestseller "Year of Wonders" comes a powerful love story set against the catastrophe of the Civil War. From Louisa May Alcott's beloved classic "Little Women," Brooks has taken the character of the absent father, March, and adds adult resonance to portray the moral complexity of war and a marriage tested by the demands of extreme idealism.
By Alberto Fuguet ; translated from the Spanish by Ezra E. Fitz.
"Beltran Soler is from Chile, a land in constant movement. A seismologist who knows more about the science of tectonic plate movement than about life, he is cocooned in a world of seismic data, scientific articles, and natural disasters. Beltran believes he can protect himself from the world around him by losing himself to theoretical pursuits, but thousands of feet above the ground he so meticulously analyzes, on a flight to L.A. - the capital of film and the city in which he was raised - he has a conversation that sparks in him a firestorm of nostalgia. Suddenly Beltran finds himself recalling the fifty most important movies of his life - films both precious and absurd that affected him during his childhood and adolescence in the 1960s and '70s." "From Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to Close Encounters of the Third Kind to kitschy disaster films such as Earthquake!, as well as cult classics of '70s sci-fi such as Logan's Run, Beltran connects with his past by remembering the films he saw, the people with whom he saw them, and even the theaters in which they were shown. Recalling one movie after another, he reconstructs the unusual history of his eccentric and dysfunctional family, coming to terms with his obsession with the movies that helped define him - often whether he wanted them to or not." "Set in the oddly parallel worlds of Nixon's suburban California and Pinochet's Santiago de Chile, this ingenious novel throws us into the claustrophobic world of an adolescent who tries to escape from a tumultuous and fragmented existence, one caught between two languages, two cultures, and two families that watch the same movies. Movies of My Life is a book about film and about how movies embed themselves in our souls, helping us all share a blinding fondness for the magic of make-believe."--BOOK JACKET.
By Kazuo Ishiguro.
From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, comes an unforgettable edge-of-your-seat mystery that is at once heartbreakingly tender and morally courageous about what it means to be human. 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.
By Cormac McCarthy.
Llewelyn Moss is hunting antelope near the Texas/Mexico border when he stumbles upon several dead men, a big stash of heroin, and more than two million dollars in cash. He takes off with the money--and the hunter becomes the hunted. A drug cartel hires a former Special Forces agent to track down the loot, and a ruthless killer joins the chase as well. Also looking for Moss is the aging Sheriff Bell, a World War II veteran who may be Moss' only hope for survival.
By Elizabeth Strout.
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.
By Margaret Atwood.
A novel of the future explores a world that has been devastated gy ecological and scientific disasters.
By William Gibson.
Hired to investigate a mysterious video collection that has been appearing on the Internet, market research consultant Cayce Pollard realizes that there is more to the assignment when her computer is hacked.
By Susan Choi.
Wrongfully implicated when a mail bomb claims the life of a beloved computer scientist, math professor Lee receives a threatening letter that compels him to confront key events in his life, an exercise that inadvertently renders him all the more suspicious.
By Lionel Shriver.
A tale told from the parallel perspectives of two possible timelines considers the life of American expatriate Irena McGovern, who in one reality stays faithful to her disciplined American intellectual partner, and in the other runs off with an exuberantBritish friend.
By Sofi Oksanen ; translated from the Finnish by Lola Rogers.
Aliide Truu, an older woman guilty of crimes during the Soviet occupation of Estonia, takes in a young woman, Zara, who is trying to escape a sex-trafficking ring, and as they work through their suspicion, the two rediscover a tragic family history from the past.
By Amor Towles.
A chance encounter with a handsome banker in a jazz bar on New Year's Eve 1938 catapults Wall Street secretary Katey Kontent into the upper echelons of New York society, where she befriends a shy multi-millionaire, an Upper East Side ne'er-do-well, and a single-minded widow.
By Maggie Shipstead.
"Winn Van Meter is heading for his family's retreat on the pristine New England island of Waskeke. Normally a haven of calm, for the next three days this sanctuary will be overrun by tipsy revelers as Winn prepares for the marriage of his daughter Daphne to the affable young scion Greyson Duff. Winn's wife, Biddy, has planned the wedding with military precision, but arrangements are sideswept by a storm of salacious misbehavior and intractable lust: Daphne's sister, Livia, who has recently had her heart broken by Teddy Fenn, the son of her father's oldest rival, is an eager target for the seductive wiles of Greyson's best man; Winn, instead of reveling in his patriarchal duties, is tormented by his long-standing crush on Daphne's beguiling bridesmaid Agatha; and the bride and groom find themselves presiding over a spectacle of misplaced desire, marital infidelity, and monumental loss of faith in the rituals of American life"--Dust jacket.
By by Alix Ohlin.
"These sixteen stories by the much-celebrated Alix Ohlin illuminate the connections between all of us--connections we choose to break, those broken for us, and those we find and make in spite of ourselves."--P.  of cover.
By Madeline Miller.
Patroclus, an awkward young prince, follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate. Set during the Trojan War.
By Gary Shteyngart.
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.
By Carol Rifka Brunt.
It is 1987, and only one person has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus -- her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn's company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June's world is turned upside down. But Finn's death brings a surprise acquaintance into June's life -- someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.
By Joshua Ferris.
No one knows us quite the same way as the men and women who sit beside us in department meetings and crowd the office refrigerator with their labeled yogurts. Every office is a family of sorts, and the ad agency Joshua Ferris brilliantly depicts in his debut novel is family at its strangest and best, coping with a business downturn in the time-honored way : through gossip, pranks, and increasingly frequent coffee breaks. Among coworkers fighting for their jobs and their precious perks: Tom Mota, recently divorced and inexplicably wearing three company polo shirts, one on top of the other, every day; Joe Pope, a workaholic and perpetual victim of office sabotage; Carl Garbedian, whose unchecked depression has led him to "borrow" Janine Gorjanc's medication and black out his windows; Chris Yop, suspected of stealing Tom Mota's chair; and Marcia Dwyer with whom Benny Shassburger is in love, despite her mean streak and badly dated haircut. As one colleague after another is laid off, everyone strikes their best busines-as-usual pose, pretending to make headway on the mysterious pro bono ad campaign that is their only remaining "work". Meanwhile tempers flare, office furniture disappears, and the survivors parse their bosses' decisions in ever-more paranoid sessions at the nearest bar.--Cover.
By David Mitchell.
1799, Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor. Jacob de Zoet, a devout and resourceful young clerk, has a chance encounter with Orito Aibagawa, the disfigured daughter of a samurai doctor and midwife to the city's powerful magistrate. The borders between propriety, profit, and pleasure blur until Jacob finds his vision clouded, one rash promise made and then fatefully broken--the consequences of which will extend beyond Jacob's worst imaginings.
By Kem Nunn.
From Kem Nunn, the National Book Award-nominated author of Tapping the Source and The Dogs of Winter, comes an exquisitely written tale of loss and redemption. Nunn renders the dangerous beaches and waters of California's borderland as only the critically acclaimed poet laureate of surf noir can, and Tijuana Straits confirms his reputation as a master of suspense and a novelist of the first rank
By William Boyd.
Wrongly accused of rape, Lysander Rief, a young English actor, finds his life taking a dangerous turn when the men who help him escape a conviction recruit him for a lethal mission that leads him to a traitor who is linked to his family.
By Sara Gruen.
A novel of star-crossed lovers, set in the circus world circa 1932. When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, grifters, and misfits, a second-rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her.--From publisher description.
By Dave Eggers.
A biographical novel traces the story of Valentino Achak Deng, who as a boy was separated from his family when his village in southern Sudan was attacked, and became one of the estimated 17,000 "lost boys of Sudan" before relocating from a Kenyan refugee camp to Atlanta in 2001.
By Aravind Adiga.
Balram Halwai is a complicated man. Servant. Philosopher. Entrepreneur. Murderer. Over the course of seven nights, by the scattered light of a preposterous chandelier, Balram tells the terrible and transfixing story of how he came to be a success in life--having nothing but his own wits to help him along.