Fiction

The age of grief  book cover

The age of grief

Jane Smiley

FICTION Smiley, Jane
Fiction, Short Story

The luminous novella and stories in The Age of Grief explore the vicissitudes of love, friendship, and marriage with all the compassion and insight that have come to be expected from Jane Smiley, the Pulitzer Prize—winning author of A Thousand Acres. In “The Pleasure of Her Company,” a lonely, single woman befriends the married couple next door, hoping to learn the secret of their happiness. In “Long Distance,” a man finds himself relieved of the obligation to continue an affair that is no longer compelling to him, only to be waylaid by the guilt he feels at his easy escape. And in the incandescently wise and moving title novella, a dentist, aware that his wife has fallen in love with someone else, must comfort her when she is spurned, while maintaining the secret of his own complicated sorrow. Beautifully written, with a wry intelligence and a lively comic touch, The Age of Grief captures moments of great intimacy with grace, clarity, and indelible emotional power.

Beth's picture

Added by Beth

The complete stories book cover

The complete stories

Flannery O'Connor

FICTION O'Connor, Flannery
Fiction, Short Story

O'Connor published her first story, "The Geranium," in 1946, while she was working on her master's degree at the University of Iowa. Arranged chronologically, this collection shows that her last story, "Judgement Day"--sent to her publisher shortly before her death―is a brilliantly rewritten and transfigured version of "The Geranium." Taken together, these stories reveal a lively, penetrating talent that has given us some of the most powerful and disturbing fiction of the twentieth century. Introduction / by Robert Giroux -The geranium - The barber - Wildcat - The crop - The turkey - The train - The peeler - The heart of the park - A stroke of good fortune - Enoch and the gorilla - A good man is hard to find - A late encounter with the enemy - The life you save may be your own - The river - A circle in the fire - The displaced person - A temple of the Holy Ghost - The artificial nigger - Good country people - You can't be any poorer than dead - Greenleaf - A view of the woods - The enduring chill - The comforts of home - Everything that rises must converge - The partridge festival - The lame shall enter first - Why do the heathen rage? - Revelation - Parker's back - Judgment Day.

Beth's picture

Added by Beth

Anxious people : a novel book cover

Anxious people : a novel

Fredrik Backman

FICTION Backman Fredrik
Fiction

Taken hostage by a failed bank robber while attending an open house, eight anxiety-prone strangers--including a redemption-seeking bank director, two couples who would fix their marriages, and a plucky octogenarian--discover their unexpected common traits.

Beth's picture

Added by Beth

The death of Vivek Oji book cover

The death of Vivek Oji

Akwaeke Emezi

FICTION Emezi Akwaeke
Fiction

Southeastern Nigeria. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek's closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens, an act of violence leads to a family's struggle with loss and transcendence. -- adapted from jacket

Beth's picture

Added by Beth

Autumn book cover

Autumn

Ali Smith

FICTION Smith Ali
Fiction

"From the Man Booker-shortlisted and Baileys Prize-winning author of How to be both: a breathtakingly inventive new novel--about aging, time, love, and stories themselves--that launches an extraordinary quartet of books called Seasonal. Readers love Ali Smith's novels for their peerless innovation and their joyful celebration of language and life. Her newest, Autumn, has all of these qualities in spades, and--good news for fans!--is the first installment in a quartet. Seasonal, comprised of four stand-alone books, separate yet interconnected and cyclical (as are the seasons), explores what time is, how we experience it, and the recurring markers in the shapes our lives take and in our ways with narrative. Fusing Keatsian mists and mellow fruitfulness with the vitality, the immediacy, and the color hit of Pop Art, Autumn is a witty excavation of the present by the past. The novel is a stripped-branches take on popular culture and a meditation, in a world growing ever more bordered and exclusive, on what richness and worth are, what harvest means"--

Beth's picture

Added by Beth

The Dutch house : a novel book cover

The Dutch house : a novel

Ann Patchett

FICTION Patchett Ann
Fiction

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves. Cyril's son Danny and his older sister Maeve are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another.

Beth's picture

Added by Beth

A gentleman in Moscow book cover

A gentleman in Moscow

Amor Towles

FICTION Towles Amor
Fiction

""In all ways a great novel, a nonstop pleasure brimming with charm, personal wisdom, and philosophic insight.this book more than fulfills the promise of Towles' stylish debut, Rules of Civility." - Kirkus Reviews (starred) From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility--a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel With his breakout debut novel, Rules of Civility, Amor Towles established himself as a master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction, bringing late 1930s Manhattan to life with splendid atmosphere and a flawless command of style. Readers and critics were enchanted; as NPR commented, "Towles writes with grace and verve about the mores and manners of a society on the cusp of radical change." A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery. Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count's endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose"--

Beth's picture

Added by Beth

Jayber Crow : the life story of Jayber Crow, barber, of the Port William membership, as written by himself : a novel book cover

Jayber Crow : the life story of Jayber Crow, barber, of the Port William membership, as written by himself : a novel

Wendell Berry

FICTION Berry, Wendell
Fiction

"This is a book about Heaven," says Jayber Crow, "but I must say too that . . . I have wondered sometimes if it would not finally turn out to be a book about Hell." It is 1932 and he has returned to his native Port William to become the town's barber. Orphaned at age ten, Jayber Crow's acquaintance with loneliness and want have made him a patient observer of the human animal, in both its goodness and frailty. He began his search as a "pre-ministerial student" at Pigeonville College. There, freedom met with new burdens and a young man needed more than a mirror to find himself.

Beth's picture

Added by Beth

The glass hotel book cover

The glass hotel

Emily St. John Mandel

FICTION Mandel Emily
Fiction

"From the award-winning author of Station Eleven, a captivating novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts, and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it"--

Beth's picture

Added by Beth

The paper palace book cover

The paper palace

Miranda Cowley Heller

FICTION Cowley Heller, Miranda
Fiction

On a perfect July morning Elle, a fifty-year-old happily married mother of three, awakens at "The Paper Palace"-- the family summer place which she has visited every summer of her life. This morning is different: last night Elle and her oldest friend Jonas crept out the back door into the darkness and had sex with each other for the first time, all while their spouses chatted away inside. Over the next 24 hours Elle will have to decide between the life she has made with her genuinely beloved husband, Peter, and the life she always imagined she would have had with her childhood love, Jonas, if a tragic event hadn't forever changed the course of their lives. -- adapted from jacket

Angie's picture

From the very first line, I was hooked. I felt like I was on the Cape, walking in the woods, taking a swim in the pond. Heartbreaking and heartwarming, all at the same time. It was exactly the right book at exactly the right time. -Angie