Fiction

The lost book of the Grail, or, A visitor's guide to Barchester Cathedral book cover

The lost book of the Grail, or, A visitor's guide to Barchester Cathedral

Charles C Lovett

FICTION Lovett Charles
Fiction, Mystery, Romance

"From the New York Times bestselling author of The Bookman's Tale comes a new novel about an obsessive bibliophile's quest through time to discover a missing manuscript, the unknown history of an English Cathedral, and the secret of the Holy Grail. Arthur Prescott is happiest when surrounded by the ancient books and manuscripts of the Barchester Cathedral library. Increasingly, he feels like a fish out of water among the concrete buildings of the University of Barchester, where he works as an English professor. His one respite is his time spent nestled in the library, nurturing his secret obsession with the Holy Grail and researching his perennially unfinished guidebook to the medieval cathedral. But when a beautiful young American named Bethany Davis arrives in Barchester charged with the task of digitizing the library's manuscripts, Arthur's tranquility is broken. Appalled by the threat modern technology poses to the library he loves, he sets out to thwart Bethany, only to find in her a kindred spirit with a similar love for knowledge and books--and a fellow Grail fanatic. Bethany soon joins Arthur in a quest to find the lost Book of Ewolda, the ancient manuscript telling the story of the cathedral's founder. And when the future of the cathedral itself is threatened, Arthur and Bethany's search takes on grave importance, leading the pair to discover secrets about the cathedral, about the Grail, and about themselves"--

Anne M's picture

I enjoyed the mystery aspect of this book--finding a lost manuscript and unveiling the secrets of the cathedral--as well as all of the discussion of church architecture and English history. But there is the problem of the romance; I was unconvinced and sometimes annoyed. -Anne M

My favorite thing is monsters book cover

My favorite thing is monsters

Emil Ferris

GRAPHIC NOVEL Ferris My
Fiction, Graphic Novels

"Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late '60s Chicago, and narrated by 10-year-old Karen Reyes, Monsters is told is told through a fictional graphic diary employing the iconography of B-movie horror imagery and pulp monster magazines. As the precocious Karen Reyes tries to solve the murder of her beautiful and enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, we watch the interconnected and fascinating stories of those around her unfold" -- Publisher.

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Dept. of speculation book cover

Dept. of speculation

Jenny Offill

FICTION Offill Jenny
Fiction

"Dept. of Speculation is a portrait of a marriage. It is also a beguiling rumination on the mysteries of intimacy, trust, faith, knowledge, and the condition of universal shipwreck that unites us all. Jenny Offill's heroine, referred to in these pages as simply "the wife," once exchanged love letters with her husband, postmarked Dept. of Speculation, their code name for all the uncertainty that inheres in life and in the strangely fluid confines of a long relationship. As they confront an array of common catastrophes--a colicky baby, bedbugs, a faltering marriage, stalled ambitions--the wife analyzes her predicament, invoking everything from Keats and Kafka to the thought experiments of the Stoics to the lessons of doomed Russian cosmonauts. She muses on the consuming, capacious experience of maternal love, and the near total destruction of the self that ensues from it, as she confronts the friction between domestic life and the seductions and demands of art. With cool precision, in language that shimmers with rage and wit and fierce longing, Jenny Offill has crafted an exquisitely suspenseful love story that has the velocity of a train hurtling through the night at top speed. Exceptionally lean and compact, Dept. of Speculation can be read in a single sitting, but there are enough bracing emotional insights in these pages to fill a much longer novel. "--

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Angle of repose book cover

Angle of repose

Wallace Earle Stegner

FICTION Stegner, Wallace Earle
Fiction, Historical Fiction

Confined to a wheelchair, retired historian Lyman Ward sets out to write his grandparents’ remarkable story, chronicling their days spent carving civilization into the surface of America’s western frontier. But his research reveals even more about his own life than he’s willing to admit. What emerges is an enthralling portrait of four generations in the life of an American family.

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The imperfectionists book cover

The imperfectionists

Tom Rachman

BOOK CLUB KIT Imperfectionists
Fiction

Preoccupied by personal challenges while running a struggling newspaper in Rome, an obituary writer confronts mortality, an eccentric publisher obsesses over his dog, and other staff members uncover the paper's founding by an impulsive millionaire.

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Beartown : a novel book cover

Beartown : a novel

Fredrik Backman

FICTION Backman Fredrik
Fiction

"From the New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here, comes a poignant, charming novel about a forgotten town fractured by scandal, and the amateur hockey team that might just change everything. Winning a junior ice hockey championship might not mean a lot to the average person, but it means everything to the residents of Beartown, a community slowly being eaten alive by unemployment and the surrounding wilderness. A victory like this would draw national attention to the ailing town: it could attract government funding and an influx of talented athletes who would choose Beartown over the big nearby cities. A victory like this would certainly mean everything to Amat, a short, scrawny teenager who is treated like an outcast everywhere but on the ice; to Kevin, a star player just on the cusp of securing his golden future in the NHL; and to Peter, their dedicated general manager whose own professional hockey career ended in tragedy. At first, it seems like the team might have a shot at fulfilling the dreams of their entire town. But one night at a drunken celebration following a key win, something happens between Kevin and the general manager's daughter--and the next day everything seems to have changed. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected. With so much riding on the success of the team, the line between loyalty and betrayal becomes difficult to discern. At last, it falls to one young man to find the courage to speak the truth that it seems no one else wants to hear. Fredrik Backman knows that we are forever shaped by the places we call home, and in this emotionally powerful, sweetly insightful story, he explores what can happen when we carry the heavy weight of other people's dreams on our shoulders"--

Meredith's picture

This is the first book I’ve read by Fredrik Backman, so I went into it without any expectations based on his previous work. I’m glad because I’d hate to have read this amazing story and feel let down because it lacked the lightness people expected. -Meredith

Infinite jest book cover

Infinite jest

David Foster Wallace

FICTION Wallace, David Foster
Fiction

A spoof on our culture featuring a drug-and-alcohol rehabilitation house near Boston. The center becomes a hotbed of revolutionary activity by Quebec separatists in revolt against the Organization of North American Nations which now rules the continent.

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The magnificent Ambersons book cover

The magnificent Ambersons

Booth Tarkington

FICTION Tarkington, Booth
Fiction, Classics

Anne M's picture

George Amberson Minafer's family was the most prominent family in late 19th century Indianapolis--but then Indianapolis begins to change and with it, George's family fortunes. If you love descriptions of houses, clothes, and cotillions with a dash of comeuppance and urban renewal, then this book is for you. -Anne M

And then there were none book cover

And then there were none

Agatha Christie

MYSTERY Christie, Agatha
Fiction, Mystery

Anne M's picture

This is the book that got me into Agatha Christie. It is smart, well-crafted, and surprising. -Anne M

My brilliant friend book cover

My brilliant friend

Elena Ferrante

FICTION Ferrante Elena
Fiction, Historical Fiction

A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. The story begins in the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow, as their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other. They are likewise the embodiments of a nation undergoing momentous change. Through the lives of these 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.

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