Fiction

Life after life : a novel book cover

Life after life : a novel

Kate Atkinson

FICTION Atkinson Kate
Fiction

"What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war. Does Ursula's apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can -- will she? Darkly comic, startlingly poignant, and utterly original -- this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best. "--

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Leviathan book cover

Leviathan

Scott Westerfeld

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Westerfeld, Scott
Young Adult, Fiction

A steampunk novel. In an alternate 1914 Europe, fifteen-year-old Austrian Prince Alek, on the run from the Clanker Powers who are attempting to take over the globe using mechanical machinery, forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn who, disguised as a boy to join the British Air Service, is learning to fly genetically-engineered beasts.

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11/22/63 book cover

11/22/63

Stephen King

FICTION King, Stephen
Fiction

Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students-- a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning's father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced his crooked walk. Not much later, Jake's friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlisted Jake on an insane -- and insanely possible -- mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake's new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sandie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake's life -- a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.

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The road book cover

The road

Cormac McCarthy

FICTION McCarthy, Cormac
Fiction

The searing, post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son's fight to survive. A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.

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On the beach book cover

On the beach

Nevil Shute

FICTION Shute, Nevil
Fiction

Following a nuclear war in the Northern Hemisphere, the inhabitants of a small Australian community wait for the inevitable aftereffects of the bombs to reach them.

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Alas, Babylon book cover

Alas, Babylon

Pat Frank

FICTION Frank, Pat
Fiction

“Alas, Babylon.” Those fateful words heralded the end. When the unthinkable nightmare of nuclear holocaust ravaged the United States, it was instant death for tens of millions of people; for survivors, it was a nightmare of hunger, sickness, and brutality. Overnight, a thousand years of civilization were stripped away. But for one small Florida town, miraculously spared against all the odds, the struggle was only just beginning, as the isolated survivors—men and women of all ages and races—found the courage to come together and confront the harrowing darkness.

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The passage book cover

The passage

Justin Cronin

FICTION Cronin, Justin
Fiction

First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse. As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he's done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. Wolgast is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors, but for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey—spanning miles and decades—toward the time an place where she must finish what should never have begun.

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Book one of The Passage series. -Beth

Rodham : a novel book cover

Rodham : a novel

Curtis Sittenfeld

FICTION Sittenfeld, Curtis
Fiction

"In 1971, Hillary Rodham is a young woman full of promise. Life magazine covered her Wellesley commencement speech, she's attending Yale Law School, and she's on the forefront of student activism and the women's rights movement. Then she meets a fellow law student named Bill Clinton. A charismatic Southerner, Bill is already laying the groundwork for his political career. In each other, Hillary and Bill find a profound intellectual, emotional, and physical connection that neither has previously experienced. In the real world, Hillary followed Bill back to Arkansas, and he proposed several times. Although she turned him down more than once, she eventually accepted and became Hillary Clinton. But in Curtis Sittenfeld's powerfully imagined tour de force of fiction, Hillary follows a different path. Listening to her doubts about the prospective marriage, she endures a devastating break-up and leaves Arkansas. Over the next four decades, she blazes her own trail--one that unfolds in public as well as in private, that crosses paths again (and again) with Bill Clinton, that raises questions about the trade-offs all of us must make to build a life. Brilliantly weaving actual historical events into a riveting fictional tale, Sittenfeld delivers an uncannily astute story for our times. In exploring the loneliness, moral ambivalence, and iron determination that characterize the quest for political power, as well as both the exhilaration and painful compromises demanded of female ambition in a world still mostly run by men, Rodham is a singular and unforgettable novel."--

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The underground railroad : a novel book cover

The underground railroad : a novel

Colson Whitehead

FICTION Whitehead, Colson
Fiction

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood—where greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him. In Colson Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight from one state to the next, encountering, like Gulliver, strange yet familiar iterations of her own world at each stop.

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Good morning, midnight : a novel book cover

Good morning, midnight : a novel

Lily Brooks-Dalton

FICTION Brooks-Dalton Lily
Fiction

"In a world transformed by an unknown disaster, two outsiders must grapple with love, regret, and survival. Augustine, a brilliant and aging astronomer, refuses to evacuate his remote research post when news of a catastrophe arrives. He and a mysterious child, left behind in the evacuation, are trapped alone in the Arctic Circle, with no one responding to their radio calls. Meanwhile, Mission Specialist Sullivan is on a long return flight from Jupiter. When she and her fellow astronauts discover that Mission Control has fallen silent, and that they must find their way home without help, she wonders if she will ever return to the daughter and the life she left behind. As their stories gradually intertwine, Augustine and Sully each confront uncertain futures and question the regrets and sacrifices that have defined their lives -- until the profound and unexpected conclusion, when a powerful answer is offered." -- Page [4] of cover.

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George Clooney directed and starred in the 2020 film version. -Beth