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Literary Fiction

The bookshop book cover

The bookshop

Penelope Fitzgerald

FICTION Fitzgerald, Penelope
Fiction, Literary Fiction

In 1959 Florence Green, a kindhearted widow with a small inheritance, risks everything to open a bookshop the only bookshop in the seaside town of Hardborough. By making a success of a business so impractical, she invites the hostility of the town's less prosperous shopkeepers. By daring to enlarge her neighbors lives, she crosses Mrs. Gamart, the local arts doyenne. Florence s warehouse leaks, her cellar seeps, and the shop is apparently haunted. Only too late does she begin to suspect the truth: a town that lacks a bookshop isn t always a town that wants one.

Anne M's picture

Need a book to put you in the mood for Fall? The Bookshop is a biting, moody little book that takes on the attitudes of the provincial residents of a British coastal town. It is a sad book, but it is also a funny book. And it is a book about books. -Anne M

The seven or eight deaths of Stella Fortuna : a novel book cover

The seven or eight deaths of Stella Fortuna : a novel

Juliet Grames

FICTION Grames Juliet
Literary Fiction

Death has always been a part of Stella Fortuna life. Ordinary situations like cooking eggplant or feeding the pigs inexplicably take lethal turns. In her Italian village, Stella is considered an oddity-- beautiful and smart, insolent and cold. She uses her peculiar toughness to protect her slower, plainer baby sister Tina from life's harshest realities. Her father Antonio is a man who demands subservience from women and whose greatest gift to his family is his absence. When the Fortunas emigrate to America on the cusp of World War II, Stella learns that her survival is worthless without the one thing her family will deny her at any cost: her independence. -- adapted from jacket

Mari's picture

Mariastella Fortuna's story is told as memoir written by a descendant in the family, from her early life of poverty in an Italian village to her family's immigrant experience adjusting to American life in the 1940's. The title refers to a family curse that leads to several brushes with death over her lifespan, but the story is much more about Stella's complicated relationships with family members and how she is forced into roles of wife and mother. -Mari

History of wolves : a novel book cover

History of wolves : a novel

Emily Fridlund

FICTION Fridlund Emily
Literary Fiction

""So delicately calibrated and precisely beautiful that one might not immediately sense the sledgehammer of pain building inside this book. And I mean that in the best way. What powerful tension and depth this provides!"-Aimee Bender. Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents in the beautiful, austere woods of northern Minnesota, where their nearly abandoned commune stands as a last vestige of a lost counter-culture world. Isolated at home and an outlander at school, Linda is drawn to the enigmatic, attractive Lily and new history teacher Mr. Grierson. When Mr. Grierson is charged with possessing child pornography, the implications of his arrest deeply affect Linda as she wrestles with her own fledgling desires and craving to belong. And then the young Gardner family moves in across the lake and Linda finds herself welcomed into their home as a babysitter for their little boy, Paul. It seems that her life finally has purpose but with this new sense of belonging she is also drawn into secrets she doesn't understand. Over the course of a few days, Linda makes a set of choices that reverberate throughout her life. As she struggles to find a way out of the sequestered world into which she was born, Linda confronts the life-and-death consequences of the things people do-and fail to do-for the people they love. Winner of the McGinnis-Ritchie award for its first chapter, Emily Fridlund's propulsive and gorgeously written History of Wolves introduces a new writer of enormous range and talent"--

Heidi K's picture

This novel reverberates beyond the page. This had been on my to-read list since it came out, and I'm glad I finally got around to it. I loved the portrayal of the rural Minnesota landscape. I was haunted by the ending. I can't wait to read future books by Emily Fridlund! -Heidi K

Motherhood book cover


Sheila Heti

FICTION Heti Sheila
Literary Fiction

Heidi K's picture

This is a brilliant meditation on one of those great questions of life: To have children, or not? This is very much a book about that idea - it reads more like literary nonfiction or memoir than a novel. There isn't much by way of traditional plot or sense of place - the woman narrator takes us on a journey in her mind as she wrestles with ambivalence about whether or not to procreate. For me, this was a timely read and very reassuring that not everyone feels strongly about whether or not they want children. -Heidi K

An American marriage book cover

An American marriage

Tayari Jones

FICTION Jones Tayari
Literary Fiction

"Newlyweds Celestial and Roy, the living embodiment of the New South, are settling into the routine of their life together when Roy is sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit. An insightful look into the lives of people who are bound and separated by forces beyond their control"--

Heidi K's picture

When newlyweds Celestial and Roy are separated by Roy's incarceration for a crime he didn't commit, the life they've been trying to build together falls apart. This is a book written as letters between Roy and Celestial, which I really enjoyed. The writing is excellent, and the ending surprised me somewhat while still not being disappointing. -Heidi K

Drop City book cover

Drop City

T. Coraghessan Boyle

FICTION Boyle, T. Coraghessan
Literary Fiction

Anne W's picture

Added by Anne W

The immortalists book cover

The immortalists

Chloe Benjamin

FICTION Benjamin Chloe
Literary Fiction

It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children -- four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness -- sneak out to hear their fortunes. Their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco. Dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy. Eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate. Bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality. The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.

Anne M's picture

I found myself immersed in this book. I couldn't put it down. It is a serious read--it begins when four siblings visiting a fortune teller learn the dates of their deaths. Each person reacts differently as they approach their day, often looking like self-fulfilling prophecies, except one--who works to fight her time. This was a great read--wonderfully written--engaging characters. -Anne M