Fiction

Where'd you go, Bernadette : a novel book cover

Where'd you go, Bernadette : a novel

Maria Semple

eBOOK
Fiction

Brent's picture

This is a fun read. Kind of light and funny but it has a little intrigue too. Keep reading, it gets better as it goes. -Brent

One more thing : stories and other stories book cover

One more thing : stories and other stories

B. J. Novak

FICTION Novak B. J.
Fiction

"B.J. Novak's One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories is an endlessly entertaining, surprisingly sensitive, and startlingly original debut that signals the arrival of a brilliant new voice in American fiction. A boy wins a $100,000 prize in a box of Frosted Flakes--only to discover how claiming the winnings might unravel his family. A woman sets out to seduce motivational speaker Tony Robbins--turning for help to the famed motivator himself. A new arrival in Heaven, overwhelmed with options, procrastinates over a long-ago promise to visit his grandmother. We also meet Sophia, the first artificially intelligent being capable of love, who falls for a man who might not be ready for it himself; a vengeance-minded hare, obsessed with scoring a rematch against the tortoise who ruined his life; and post-college friends who try to figure out how to host an intervention in the era of Facebook. Along the way, we learn why wearing a red T-shirt every day is the key to finding love, how February got its name, and why the stock market is sometimes just. down. Finding inspiration in questions from the nature of perfection to the icing on carrot cake, One More Thing has at its heart the most human of phenomena: love, fear, hope, ambition, and the inner stirring for the one elusive element that might just make a person complete. Across a dazzling range of subjects, themes, tones, and narrative voices, the many pieces in this collection are like nothing else, but they have one thing in common: they share the playful humor, deep heart, sharp eye, inquisitive mind, and altogether electrifying spirit of a writer with a fierce devotion to the entertainment of the reader"--

Melody's picture

I both read the book and listened to the audiobook, which features a cast of fantastic actors. Novak, known for his work on The Office, tested these stories as one-acts on the stage. There was very little I didn't find entertaining in these stories. -Melody

A constellation of vital phenomena : a novel book cover

A constellation of vital phenomena : a novel

Anthony Marra

FICTION Marra Anthony
Fiction

Stegner Fellow, Iowa MFA, and winner of The Atlantic's Student Writing Contest, Anthony Marra has written a brilliant debut novel that brings to life an abandoned hospital where a tough-minded doctor decides to harbor a hunted young girl, with powerful consequences. In the final days of December 2004, in a small rural village in Chechnya, eight-year-old Havaa hides in the woods when her father is abducted by Russian forces. Fearing for her life, she flees with their neighbor Akhmed - a failed physician - to the bombed-out hospital, where Sonja, the one remaining doctor, treats a steady stream of wounded rebels and refugees and mourns her missing sister. Over the course of five dramatic days, Akhmed and Sonja reach back into their pasts to unravel the intricate mystery of coincidence, betrayal, and forgiveness that unexpectedly binds them and decides their fate. With The English Patient's dramatic sweep and The Tiger's Wife's expert sense of place, Marra gives us a searing debut about the transcendent power of love in wartime, and how it can cause us to become greater than we ever thought possible.

Melody's picture

Such an affecting story set in a war zone. Marra writes in the author’s note, “The axis on which this novel rests is formed from two narratives shared by Islamic and Christian traditions—that of a parent asked to sacrifice a child and that of an orphan delivered into the family responsible for her orphanhood…” This theme drives the book so smoothly you’d think the book was on autopilot. Marra beautifully weaves the stories of his three primary characters, and it works. There’s very little that’s superfluous in this book. Marra’s commitment to this theme delivers these relationships and storylines from being otherwise contrived. -Melody

Billy Lynn's long halftime walk book cover

Billy Lynn's long halftime walk

Ben Fountain

FICTION Fountain Ben
Fiction

Billy Lynn's Long Half-Time Walk is a razor-sharp satire set in Texas during America's war in Iraq. It explores the gaping national disconnect between the war at home and the war abroad. Ben Fountain’s remarkable debut novel 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.

Melody's picture

A coming of age story like none I've ever read. This young man comes of age as an Iraq war soldier, surviving a firefight and coming home a hero. What I loved most was how zen the character seemed as all these political forces pushed him around, when all he was was this 19yo kid with a complicated family life and raging hormones. -Melody

The bookshop on the corner : a novel book cover

The bookshop on the corner : a novel

Jenny Colgan

FICTION Colgan, Jenny
Fiction

Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion... and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more. Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile--a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling. From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there's plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that's beginning to feel like home... a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.

Melody's picture

One of my favorite parts of this book was when Nina was handing out reading recommendations left and right, and people came back for more! Definitely a librarian's fantasyland. This is a great book to read during the winter, when you want to delight in staying warm indoors. Cozy up with Scottish countrysides and strapping young poets and farmers. Also available as an audiobook in Libby. -Melody

Rush oh! : a novel book cover

Rush oh! : a novel

Shirley Barrett

FICTION Barrett Shirley
Fiction, Adventure

Anne M's picture

Such a fun read—very whimsical—wonderfully funny scenes. But also sad. I couldn’t wait to pick it up and read it every day. -Anne M

The remains of the day book cover

The remains of the day

Kazuo Ishiguro

FICTION Ishiguro, Kazuo
Fiction

The novel's narrator, Stevens, is a perfect English butler who tries to give his narrow existence form and meaning through the self-effacing, almost mystical practice of his profession. In a career that spans the second World War, Stevens is oblivious of the real life that goes on around him -- oblivious, for instance, of the fact that his aristocrat employer is a Nazi sympathizer. Still, there are even larger matters at stake in this heartbreaking, pitch-perfect novel -- namely, Stevens' own ability to allow some bit of life-affirming love into his tightly repressed existence.

Anne M's picture

This is a surprising book. A book about an English butler lamenting how his work is change and his world disappearing should be such a quiet book, but that isn't the tragedy at the heart of this story. -Anne M

The most dangerous place on earth : a novel book cover

The most dangerous place on earth : a novel

Lindsey Lee Johnson

FICTION Johnson Lindsey
Fiction

Anne M's picture

Lindsey Lee Johnson’s The Most Dangerous Place on Earth is everything you want a summer read to be. It’s fast-paced, full of drama, and you can’t put the book down. -Anne M

The devils of Cardona book cover

The devils of Cardona

Matthew Carr

FICTION Carr Matthew
Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery

"In this gripping historical thriller set in sixteenth-century Spain, a Catholic priest is murdered by a mysterious Muslim avenger as the Inquisition continues to force Moriscos to live and worship as Christians. In March 1584, the priest of Belamar de la Sierra, a small town in Aragon near the French border, is murdered in his own church. Most of the town's inhabitants are Moriscos, former Muslims who converted to Catholicism. Anxious to avert a violent backlash on the eve of a royal visit, an adviser to King Philip II appoints local magistrate Bernardo de Mendoza to investigate. A soldier and humanist, Mendoza doesn't always live up to the moral standards expected of court officials, but he has a reputation for incorruptibility. From the beginning, Mendoza finds almost universal hatred for the priest. And it isn't long before he's drawn into a complex and dangerous world in which greed, fanaticism, and state policy overlap. And as the killings continue, Mendoza's investigation is overshadowed by the real prospect of an ethnic and religious civil war. By turns an involving historical thriller and a novel with parallels to our own time, The Devils of Cardona is an unexpected and compelling read"--

Anne M's picture

If you want history with a dose of mystery than Matthew Carr’s The Devils of Cardona is your book. Judge Licenciado ­Bernardo Mendoza is sent to the Aragon region of Spain to investigate the murder of a Catholic priest. However, this is 1584, the Inquisition is in full swing, and the suspect, known only as the Redeemer, is a supposed Moor calling for the end of Catholic rule. This is a delicate situation for the King of Spain as he doesn’t want a revolt. When Mendoza arrives at the scene, he soon learns that this murder is much more personal than the historical and religious conflicts being exploited. So who is this Redeemer, is he the murderer, and what does he really want? -Anne M

Golden Hill : a novel of old New York book cover

Golden Hill : a novel of old New York

Francis Spufford

FICTION Spufford Francis
Fiction, Adventure, Historical Fiction

"New York, a small town on the tip of Manhattan island, 1746. One rainy evening in November, a handsome young stranger fresh off the boat arrives at a countinghouse door on Golden Hill Street: this is Mr. Smith, amiable, charming, yet strangely determined to keep suspicion shimmering. For in his pocket, he has what seems to be an order for a thousand pounds, a huge sum, and he won't explain why, or where he comes from, or what he is planning to do in the colonies that requires so much money. Should the New York merchants trust him? Should they risk their credit and refuse to pay? Should they befriend him, seduce him, arrest him; maybe even kill him? Rich in language and historical perception, yet compulsively readable, Golden Hill is a story "taut with twists and turns" that "keeps you gripped until its tour-de-force conclusion" (The Times, London). Spufford paints an irresistible picture of a New York provokingly different from its later metropolitan self but already entirely a place where a young man with a fast tongue can invent himself afresh, fall in love--and find a world of trouble"--

Anne M's picture

It is funny and exciting. It is well-written with a great sense of character and a great sense of place. There is adventure, romance, and mystery. And it does not shy away from the dark issues of pre-revolutionary America, including religion, slavery, and the infighting of colonial government. Golden Hill is a great story. Put it on hold today—you’ll be a happy reader. -Anne M