Fiction

The dreamers : a novel book cover

The dreamers : a novel

Karen Thompson Walker

FICTION Walker Karen
Fiction, Science Fiction

One night in an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a first-year student stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep, and doesn't wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. When a second girl falls asleep, and then a third, Mei finds herself thrust together with an eccentric classmate as panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. A young couple tries to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. Two sisters turn to each other for comfort as their survivalist father prepares for disaster. Those affected by the illness, doctors discover, are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, higher than has ever been recorded before. They are dreaming heightened dreams, but of what? Written in luminous prose, The Dreamers is a breathtaking and beautiful novel, startling and provocative, about the possibilities contained within a human life, if only we are awakened to them.

Anne M's picture

Every page of this book made me uncomfortable and anxious. What book on a contagion wouldn't? The loss of individual control, the breakdown of society, the baffled experts...this is not for pleasure-reading. But I've been thinking about the book a lot after finishing it, particularly the ethics and beliefs the characters subscribe to that are tested when the virus hits. It was worth the quickening pace of my heart. -Anne M

Meet me at the museum book cover

Meet me at the museum

Anne Youngson

FICTION Youngson Anne
Fiction

In Denmark, Professor Anders Larsen has lost his wife and his hopes for the future. On an isolated English farm, Tina Hopgood is trapped in a life she doesn't remember choosing. Brought together by a shared fascination with the Tollund Man, subject of Seamus Heaney's famous poem, they begin writing letters to one another. From their vastly different worlds, they find they have more in common than they could have imagined, and an unexpected friendship blooms. When Tina's letters stop coming, Anders is thrown into despair. How far are they willing to go to write a new story for themselves? -- adapted from jacket

Heidi L's picture

My favorite book of 2018. An epistolary novel that is full of awakenings, tenderness, and hope. This is the author's first novel; I hope for more. -Heidi L

The winter soldier book cover

The winter soldier

Daniel (Daniel Philippe) Mason

FICTION Mason Daniel
Historical Fiction, Fiction

"Vienna, 1914. Lucius is a twenty-two-year-old medical student when World War I explodes across Europe. Enraptured by romantic tales of battlefield surgery, he enlists, expecting a position at a well-organized field hospital. But when he arrives--at a commandeered church tucked away high in a remote valley of the Carpathian Mountains--he discovers a freezing outpost ravaged by typhus. The other doctors have fled, and only a single mysterious nurse named Sister Margarete remains. But Lucius has never lifted a surgeon's scalpel. And as the war rages across the winter landscape, he finds himself falling in love with the woman from whom he must learn a brutal makeshift medicine. Then one day, an unconscious soldier is brought in from the snow, his uniform stuffed with strange drawings. He seems beyond rescue, until Lucius makes a fateful decision that will change the lives of doctor, patient, and nurse forever"--Provided by publisher.

Anne M's picture

Someone told me to read this book several times and I am glad I listened to them. For a 300 page book, Mason really threads this story together with well-executed plot and thorough character development, as well as an ending that is fitting, yet surprising. If you like historical fiction, really exploring a place and time, I highly recommend "The Winter Soldier." -Anne M

The great alone book cover

The great alone

Kristin Hannah

FICTION Hannah Kristin
Fiction

Lenora Allbright is 13 when her father convinces her mother, Cora, to forgo their inauspicious existence in Seattle and move to Kaneq, AK. It's 1974, and the former Vietnam POW sees a better future away from the noise and nightmares that plague him. Having been left a homestead by a buddy who died in the war, Ernt is secure in his beliefs, but never was a family less prepared for the reality of Alaska, the long, cold winters and isolation. Locals want to help out, especially classmate Matthew Walker, who likes everything about Leni. Yet the harsh conditions bring out the worst in Ernt, whose paranoia takes over their lives and exacerbates what Leni sees as the toxic relationship between her parents. The Allbrights are as green as greenhorns can be, and even first love must endure unimaginable hardship and tragedy as the wilderness tries to claim more victims.

Meredith's picture

I've never been to Alaska, but Kristin Hannah paints such a vivid picture, I felt like I was there while reading this amazing book of love, loss and survival. -Meredith

To kill a mockingbird book cover

To kill a mockingbird

Harper Lee

FICTION Lee, Harper
Fiction

Karen's picture

Added by Karen

French exit : a tragedy of manners book cover

French exit : a tragedy of manners

Patrick deWitt

FICTION Dewitt Patrick
Fiction, Humor

"From bestselling author Patrick deWitt, a brilliant and darkly comic novel about a wealthy widow and her adult son who flee New York for Paris in the wake of scandal and financial disintegration. Frances Price-- tart widow, possessive mother, and Upper East Side force of nature-- is in dire straits, beset by scandal and impending bankruptcy. Her adult son Malcolm is no help, mired in a permanent state of arrested development. And then there's the Price's aging cat, Small Frank, who Frances believes houses the spirit of her late husband, an infamously immoral litigator and world-class cad whose gruesome tabloid death rendered Frances and Malcolm social outcasts. Putting penury and pariahdom behind them, the family decides to cut their losses and head for the exit. One ocean voyage later, the curious trio land in their beloved Paris, the City of Light serving as a backdrop not for love or romance, but self destruction and economical ruin-- to riotous effect. A number of singular characters serve to round out the cast: a bashful private investigator, an aimless psychic proposing a seance, a doctor who makes house calls with his wine merchant in tow, and the inimitable Mme. Reynard, aggressive houseguest and dementedly friendly American expat. Brimming with pathos and wit, French Exit is a one-of-a-kind 'tragedy of manners,' a riotous send-up of high society, as well as a moving mother/son caper which only Patrick deWitt could conceive and execute"--

Stacey's picture

This is an enjoyably dark, slow, and casual story of some oddball characters ambling toward ruin, with frequent pithy moments of humor and insight. -Stacey

The wild robot escapes book cover

The wild robot escapes

Peter Brown

jFICTION Brown Peter
Fiction

After being captured by the Recons and returned to civilization for reprogramming, Roz is sent to Hilltop Farm where she befriends her owner's family and animals, but pines for her son, Brightbill.

Karen's picture

Added by Karen

Christmas on the island book cover

Christmas on the island

Jenny Colgan

FICTION Colgan Jenny
Fiction

It's a time for getting cozy in front of whisky barrel wood fires, and enjoying a dram and a treacle pudding with the people you love - unless, of course, you've accidentally gotten pregnant by your ex-boss, and don't know how to tell him. In the season for peace and good cheer, will Flora find the nerve to reveal the truth to her nearest and dearest? Will her erstwhile co-parent Joel think she's the bearer of glad tidings - or is this Christmas going to be as bleak as the Highlands in midwinter? Meanwhile Saif, a doctor and refugee from war-torn Syria is trying to enjoy his first western Christmas with his sons on this remote island where he's been granted asylum. His wife, however, is still missing, and her absence hangs over what should be a joyful celebration. Can the family possibly find comfort and joy without her?

Melody's picture

I think it was last year when I got hooked on love stories set in faraway places that are isolated, cold, and take a village to solve a problem. Colgan's books suit the bill. Call it Women's Fiction, call it Chick Lit, call it highly emotional and slightly melodramatic. I call it cozy and A-OK by me. Her newest is set during the holidays and I am excited to learn what's next in this series. It is book 3 in her Mure Island series. The first book in the series is The Summer Seaside Kitchen. So start there if you want to get into island cozy! -Melody

The poet X book cover

The poet X

Elizabeth Acevedo

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Acevedo, Elizabeth
Fiction, Young Adult

Harlem. Ever since her body grew into curves, Xiomara Batista has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. She pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers-- especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. Mami is determined to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, and Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. When she is invited to join her school's slam poetry club, she can't stop thinking about performing her poems.

Jason's picture

Winner in the Young People's Literature category -Jason

The emissary book cover

The emissary

Yōko Tawada

FICTION Tawada Yko
Fiction

Japan, after suffering from a massive irreparable disaster, cuts itself off from the world. Children are so weak they can barely stand or walk: the only people with any get-go are the elderly. Mumei lives with his grandfather Yoshiro, who worries about him constantly. They carry on a day-to-day routine in what could be viewed as a post-Fukushima time, with all the children born ancient--frail and gray-haired, yet incredibly compassionate and wise. Mumei may be enfeebled and feverish, but he is a beacon of hope, full of wit and free of self-pity and pessimism. Yoshiro concentrates on nourishing Mumei, a strangely wonderful boy who offers "the beauty of the time that is yet to come."A delightful, irrepressibly funny book, The Emissary is filled with light. Yoko Tawada, deftly turning inside-out "the curse," defies gravity and creates a playful joyous novel out of a dystopian one, with a legerdemain uniquely her own.

Jason's picture

Winner in the Translated Literature category -Jason