Fiction

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

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

Dear Mr. Henshaw book cover

Dear Mr. Henshaw

Beverly Cleary

jFICTION Cleary, Beverly
Kids, Fiction

In his letters to his favorite author, ten-year-old Leigh reveals his problems in coping with his parents' divorce, being the new boy in school, and generally finding his own place in the world.

Angie's picture

In his letters to his favorite author, ten-year-old Leigh reveals his problems in coping with his parents' divorce, being the new boy in school, and generally finding his own place in the world. -Angie

I love you, Michael Collins book cover

I love you, Michael Collins

Lauren Baratz-Logsted

jFICTION Baratz-Logsted Lauren
Kids, Fiction

In 1969, as her own family is falling apart, ten-year-old Mamie finds comfort in conducting a one-sided correspondence with the least famous astronaut heading toward the moon on Apollo 11.

Angie's picture

A story told through a collection of letters that 10 year old Mamie Anderson sends to Michael Collins in 1969 as he prepares to go to the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. I am not sure what made me pick this book up off the shelf, but I am glad I did. Since I was a child, I have found that I really like reading books in this format, so I was pleasantly surprised when I flipped through to see it was an epistolary story. -Angie

Behold the dreamers : a novel book cover

Behold the dreamers : a novel

Imbolo Mbue

FICTION Mbue Imbolo
Fiction

Anne W's picture

This book is about the immigrant experience, the parenting experience, the newlywed experience, and the modern American experience. This book will make you angry and sad, but read it anyway because it's REALLY GOOD. -Anne W

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