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Fiction

Cloud cuckoo land : a novel book cover

Cloud cuckoo land : a novel

Anthony Doerr

FICTION Doerr Anthony
Literary Fiction, Fiction

Constantinople, 1453: Anna lives in a convent where women toil all day embroidering the robes of priests. She learns the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to the paradise of Cloud Cuckoo Land, a better world, and reads it to her sister as the walls of Constantinople are bombarded by armies of Saracens. Lakeport, Idaho, 2020: Seymour, an activist bent on saving the earth, sits in the public library with two homemade bombs in pressure cookers. Upstairs, eighty-five-year old Zeno, a former prisoner-of-war, and an amateur translator, rehearses five children in a play adaptation of Aethon's adventures. The future: On an interstellar ark called The Argos, Konstance, alone in a vault with access to all the information in the world, knows Aethon's story through her father, who has sequestered her to protect her. All are dreamers, misfits on the cusp of adulthood in a world the grown-ups have broken. -- adapted from publisher info

Anne M's picture

If you read “All the Light We Cannot See,” Anthony Doerr’s 2014 novel about two young people living in war-torn Europe, you know it was phenomenal. This is the much-anticipated next novel. It was worth the wait. This novel spans places and time. It has an interweaving narrative from characters living during the collapse of the Byzantine Empire to 20th century Idaho to sometime in the non-distinct future. What anchors them and puts them together is a book and libraries. It is specifically about a lost book (lost multiple times in history), the aforementioned “Cloud Cuckoo Land” and found again by the characters and what this Greek comedy meant to each person. I can’t recommend it enough. -Anne M

Northern spy book cover

Northern spy

Flynn Berry

FICTION Berry Flynn
Fiction

"A producer at the Belfast bureau of the BBC, Tessa is at work one day when the news of another raid comes on the air. The IRA may have gone underground after the Good Friday agreement, but they never really went away, and lately, bomb threats, arms drops, and helicopters floating ominously over the city have become features of everyday life. As the anchor requests the public's help in locating those responsible for this latest raid - a robbery at a gas station - Tessa's sister appears on the screen. Tessa watches in shock as Marian pulls a black mask over her face. The police believe Marian has joined the IRA, but Tessa knows this is impossible. They were raised to oppose Republicanism, and the violence enacted in its name. They've attended peace vigils together. And besides, Marian is vacationing by the sea. Tessa just spoke to her yesterday. When the truth of what has happened to Marian reveals itself, Tessa will be forced to choose: between her ideals and her family, between bystanderism and action. Walking an increasingly perilous road, she fears nothing more than endangering the one person she loves more fiercely than her sister: her infant son."--Provided by publisher.

Mari's picture

It was very difficult to stop reading this until I finished. The Troubles in Ireland is such a complicated topic, I found the narrative set within to be very interesting. Plus, there are a lot of surprises. -Mari

Hell of a book : or the altogether factual, Wholly Bona Fide story of a big dreams, hard luck, American-Made Mad Kid book cover

Hell of a book : or the altogether factual, Wholly Bona Fide story of a big dreams, hard luck, American-Made Mad Kid

Jason Mott

FICTION Mott Jason
Fiction

Soot, a young Black boy, lives in a rural town in the recent past. The Kid, a possibly imaginary child appears to a Black author on a cross-country publicity tour. to promote his bestselling novel. As their stories build and converge, they astonish. As the nation reckons with a tragic police shooting playing over and over again on the news, what it can mean to be Black in America? Who has been killed? Who is The Kid? Will the author finish his book tour, and what kind of world will he leave behind? -- adapted from jacket

Jason's picture

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The prophets : a novel book cover

The prophets : a novel

Robert Jones

FICTION Jones Robert
Fiction

"A singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence"--

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Zorrie : a novel book cover

Zorrie : a novel

Laird Hunt

FICTION Hunt Laird
Fiction

After losing both her parents and her aunt, Zorrie is cast into the perilous realities of rural Depression-era Indiana. Drifting west, surviving on odd jobs, Zorrie finds a position at a radium processing plant. When Indiana calls Zorrie home, she finds the love and community that has always eluded her in and around the small town of Hillisburg, but discovers that her trials have only begun. -- adapted from jacket

Jason's picture

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Matrix book cover

Matrix

Lauren Groff

FICTION Groff Lauren
Fiction

"Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, deemed too coarse and rough-hewn for marriage or courtly life, seventeen-year-old Marie de France is sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey, its nuns on the brink of starvation and beset by disease. At first taken aback by the severity of her new life, Marie finds focus and love in collective life with her singular and mercurial sisters. In this crucible, Marie steadily supplants her desire for family, for her homeland, for the passions of her youth with something new to her: devotion to her sisters, and a conviction in her own divine visions. Marie, born the last in a long line of women warriors and crusaders, is determined to chart a bold new course for the women she now leads and protects. But in a world that is shifting and corroding in frightening ways, one that can never reconcile itself with her existence, will the sheer force of Marie's vision be bulwark enough? Equally alive to the sacred and the profane, Matrix gathers currents of violence, sensuality, and religious ecstasy in a mesmerizing portrait of consuming passion, aberrant faith, and a woman that history moves both through and around. Lauren Groff's new novel, her first since Fates and Furies, is a defiant and timely exploration of the raw power of female creativity in a corrupted world"--

Jason's picture

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Cloud cuckoo land : a novel book cover

Cloud cuckoo land : a novel

Anthony Doerr

FICTION Doerr Anthony
Fiction

Constantinople, 1453: Anna lives in a convent where women toil all day embroidering the robes of priests. She learns the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to the paradise of Cloud Cuckoo Land, a better world, and reads it to her sister as the walls of Constantinople are bombarded by armies of Saracens. Lakeport, Idaho, 2020: Seymour, an activist bent on saving the earth, sits in the public library with two homemade bombs in pressure cookers. Upstairs, eighty-five-year old Zeno, a former prisoner-of-war, and an amateur translator, rehearses five children in a play adaptation of Aethon's adventures. The future: On an interstellar ark called The Argos, Konstance, alone in a vault with access to all the information in the world, knows Aethon's story through her father, who has sequestered her to protect her. All are dreamers, misfits on the cusp of adulthood in a world the grown-ups have broken. -- adapted from publisher info

Jason's picture

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The cookbook collector book cover

The cookbook collector

Allegra Goodman

FICTION Goodman, Allegra
Fiction

Twenty-eight-year-old Emily is the CEO of Veritech, twenty-three-year-old Jess is an environmental activist and graduate student in philosophy. Pragmatic Emily is making a fortune in Silicon Valley, romantic Jess works in an antiquarian bookstore. Emily is rational and driven, while Jess is dreamy and whimsical. Emily's boyfriend, Jonathan, is fantastically successful. Jess's boyfriends, not so much, as her employer George points out in what he hopes is a completely disinterested way.

Beth's picture

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Sourdough book cover

Sourdough

Robin Sloan

FICTION Sloan Robin
Fiction

A software engineer at General Dexterity, a San Francisco robotics company with world-changing ambitions, Lois Clary codes all day and collapses at night, her human contact limited to the two brothers who run the neighborhood hole-in-the-wall from which she orders dinner every evening. When the brothers have Visa issues, they have one last delivery for Lois: their culture, the sourdough starter used to bake their bread. She must keep it alive, they tell her-- and learn to bake with it. Soon Lois is providing loaves to the General Dexterity cafeteria, then the farmer's market, and a whole new world opens up-- including a secret market that aims to fuse food and technology.

Beth's picture

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The art of baking blind : a novel book cover

The art of baking blind : a novel

Sarah Vaughan

FICTION Vaughan, Sarah
Fiction

"There are many reasons to bake: to feed; to create; to impress; to nourish; to define ourselves; and, sometimes, it has to be said, to perfect. But often we bake to fill a hunger that would be better filled by a simple gesture from a dear one. We bake to love and be loved. In 1966, Kathleen Eaden, cookbook writer and wife of a supermarket magnate, published The Art of Baking, her guide to nurturing a family by creating the most exquisite pastries, biscuits and cakes. Now, five amateur bakers are competing to become the New Mrs. Eaden. There's Jenny, facing an empty nest now that her family has flown; Claire, who has sacrificed her dreams for her daughter; Mike, trying to parent his two kids after his wife's death; Vicki, who has dropped everything to be at home with her baby boy; and Karen, perfect Karen, who knows what it's like to have nothing and is determined her facade shouldn't slip. As unlikely alliances are forged and secrets rise to the surface, making the choicest pastry seems the least of the contestants' problems. For they will learn--as as Mrs. Eaden did before them--that while perfection is possible in the kitchen, it's very much harder in life"--

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