Fiction

Fever dream : a novel book cover

Fever dream : a novel

Samanta Schweblin

FICTION Schwebli Samanta
Fiction, Thriller

"A young woman named Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She's not his mother. He's not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins, and the power and desperation of family. Fever Dream is a nightmare come to life, a ghost story for the real world, a love story and a cautionary tale. One of the freshest new voices to come out of the Spanish language and translated into English for the first time, Samanta Schweblin creates an aura of strange psychological menace and otherworldly reality in this absorbing, unsettling, taut novel"--

Anne M's picture

If you enjoy surrealist fiction, you may like Samantha Schweblin’s “Fever Dream,” which is best described as a ghost story, but that label still doesn’t feel quite right. The narration follows a conversation between a hospital-bound woman and a neighbor’s son. However, it is unclear if either are still of this world. This book is a puzzle in both subject and form. -Anne M

Me book cover

Me

Tomoyuki Hoshino

FICTION Hoshino Tomoyuki
Fiction, Suspense

A young Tokyoite named Hitoshi Nagano who, on a whim, takes home a cell phone belonging to Daiki Hiyama who accidentally put it on Hitoshi's tray at McDonald's. Hitoshi uses the phone to call Daiki's mother, pretending he is Daiki, and convinces her to wire him 900,000 yen. Three days later, Hitoshi returns home from work to discover Daiki's mother in his apartment, and she seems to truly believe Hitoshi is her son. Even more bizarre, Hitoshi discovers his own parents now treat him as a stranger; they, too, have a "me" living with them as Hitoshi. At a loss for what else to do, Hitoshi begins living as Daiki, and no one seems to bat an eye.

Anne M's picture

For a more recent mystery of technological social psychosis, check out Tomoyuki Hoshino’s “Me.” -Anne M

The ninety-ninth floor book cover

The ninety-ninth floor

Janá Fawwāz Ḥasan

FICTION Hasan, Jana Fawwaz
Fiction

"Shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2015. At times as cold and hard-edged as the skyscrapers in its backdrop, The Ninety-Ninth Floor follows the struggles and triumphs of Majed as he makes it in Manhattan at the turn of the century, after surviving the devastating 1982 massacre at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camp. A Palestinian born and raised in Lebanon, Majed creates a new life for himself in the glittery world of New York City's computer games industry. But with all his success, Majed's past continues to haunt him. His relationship with Hilda, a Lebanese woman from a right-wing Christian family, exposes his innermost fears, worries, and dark secrets. A multi-voiced narration, The Ninety-Ninth Floor conveys the brutality that war leaves on the people who experience it. It is also a love story that asks questions about the ability of passion to overcome hatred and difference."--Amazon.com

Anne M's picture

Jana Fawaz Elhassan’s “The Ninety-Ninth Floor” is fantastic read about a young man navigating a new place and a new love. -Anne M

Daredevils book cover

Daredevils

Shawn Vestal

FICTION Vestal Shawn
Fiction

From the winner of 2014’s PEN Robert W. Bingham Prize, an unforgettable debut novel about Loretta, a teenager married off as a “sister wife,” who makes a break for freedom At the heart of this exciting debut novel, set in Arizona and Idaho in the mid-1970s, is fifteen-year-old Loretta, who slips out of her bedroom every evening to meet her so-called gentile boyfriend. Her strict Mormon parents catch her returning one night, and promptly marry her off to Dean Harder, a devout yet materialistic fundamentalist who already has a wife and a brood of kids. The Harders relocate to his native Idaho, where Dean’s teenage nephew Jason falls hard for Loretta. A Zeppelin and Tolkien fan, Jason worships Evel Knievel and longs to leave his close-minded community. He and Loretta make a break for it. They drive all night, stay in hotels, and relish their dizzying burst of teenage freedom as they seek to recover Dean’s cache of “Mormon gold.” But someone Loretta left behind is on their trail... A riveting story of desire and escape, Daredevils boasts memorable set pieces and a rich cast of secondary characters. There’s Dean’s other wife, Ruth, who as a child in the 1950s was separated from her parents during the notorious Short Creek raid, when federal agents descended on a Mormon fundamentalist community. There’s Jason’s best friend, Boyd, part Native American and caught up in the activist spirit of the time, who comes along for the ride, with disastrous results. And Vestal’s ultimate creation is a superbly sleazy chatterbox—a man who might or might not be Evel Knievel himself—who works his charms on Loretta at a casino in Elko, Nevada. A lifelong journalist whose Spokesman column is a fixture in Spokane, WA, Shawn has honed his fiction over many years, publishing in journals like McSweeney's and Tin House. His stunning first collection, Godforsaken Idaho, burrowed into history as it engaged with masculinity and crime, faith and apostasy, and the West that he knows so well. Daredevils shows what he can do on a broader canvas--a fascinating, wide-angle portrait of a time and place that's both a classic coming of age tale and a plunge into the myths of America, sacred and profane.

Heidi K's picture

This is an interesting book featuring a fundamentalist Mormon female protagonist in the 1970s. The plot and voice are quite unique, and I finished this one quickly. -Heidi K

Sula book cover

Sula

Toni Morrison

FICTION Morrison, Toni
Fiction

Heidi K's picture

Probably my favorite book ever. -Heidi K

A discovery of witches book cover

A discovery of witches

Deborah E. Harkness

SCIENCE FICTION Harkness, Deborah E.
Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Witch and Yale historian Diana Bishop discovers an enchanted manuscript, attracting the attention of 1,500-year-old vampire Matthew Clairmont. The orphaned daughter of two powerful witches, Bishop prefers intellect, but relies on magic when her discovery of a palimpsest documenting the origin of supernatural species releases an assortment of undead who threaten, stalk, and harass her.

Amanda's picture

This book is delightful! It starts a bit slow, but it's so worth sticking with it. It's part coming-of-age, part romance, part fantasy--and it's a series, so if you like it, there are more books! -Amanda

Jane Steele : a confession book cover

Jane Steele : a confession

Lyndsay Faye

FICTION Faye Lyndsay
Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance, Mystery

"A reimagining of Jane Eyre as a gutsy, heroic serial killer, from the author whose work The New York Times described as "riveting" and The Wall Street Journal called "thrilling.""--

Amanda's picture

Jane Eyre is one of my absolute favorite books, and this retelling didn't disappoint! The prose reads like a 19th-century novel without being too archaic, and I loved the characters so much. I also enjoyed learning more about the Anglo-Sikh Wars and the Sikh religion. If you love classics, and especially if Jane Eyre is your jam, you will LOVE this! -Amanda

Unusual chickens for the exceptional poultry farmer book cover

Unusual chickens for the exceptional poultry farmer

Kelly (Kelly Anne) Jones

jFICTION Jones Kelly
Kids, Fiction, Humor

Through a series of letters, Sophie Brown, age twelve, tells of her family's move to her Great Uncle Jim's farm, where she begins taking care of some unusual chickens with help from neighbors and friends.

Angie's picture

Through a series of letters, Sophie Brown, age twelve, tells of her family’s move to her Great Uncle Jim’s farm, where she begins taking care of some unusual chickens with help from neighbors and friends. -Angie

Love, Ruby Lavender book cover

Love, Ruby Lavender

Deborah Wiles

jFICTION Wiles, Deborah
Kids, Fiction

When her quirky grandmother goes to Hawaii for the summer, nine-year-old Ruby learns to survive on her own in Mississippi by writing letters, befriending chickens as well as the new girl in town, and finally coping with her grandfather's death.

Angie's picture

When her quirky grandmother goes to Hawaii for the summer, nine-year-old Ruby learns to survive on her own in Mississippi by writing letters, befriending chickens as well as the new girl in town, and finally coping with her grandfather’s death. -Angie

Dying to meet you book cover

Dying to meet you

Kate Klise

jFICTION Klise, Kate
Kids, Fiction

In this story told mostly through letters, children's book author, I.B. Grumply, gets more than he bargained for when he rents a quiet place to write for the summer.

Angie's picture

Ignatius B. Grumply moves into the Victorian mansion at 43 Old Cemetery Road hoping to find some peace and quiet so he can crack a wicked case of writer’s block. But 43 Old Cemetery Road is already occupied by eleven-year-old Seymour, his cat Shadow, and an irritable ghost named Olive. -Angie