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Fiction Recommendations

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Wolf in White Van: A Novel By John Darnielle Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250074713
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Picador - September 1st, 2015

Melancholic and unexpectedly moving. Darnielle’s lyrical prose is refreshing and makes this dark and twisting story unforgettable. Revolving around an unusual hero and the role-playing game he created, this story reminds us of the decisions we make each day, and how those map the course of our lives. I loved how this book unfolded as if the story itself was a role-playing game, mirroring the choices of the characters.

-Reviewed by Madison


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Run River (Vintage International) By Joan Didion Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780679752509
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Vintage - April 26th, 1994

Aside from Play It As It Lays, a lot of Joan Didion’s fiction is wrongly looked over when discussing her life’s work. Run River is her first novel, and it is dark, romantic, suspenseful and, of course, masterfully observant of how people are shaped by place. This reads like Hemingway, but is better because it’s Joan Didion.

-Reviewed by Kate


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Severance: A Novel By Ling Ma Cover Image
By Ling Ma
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250214997
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Picador - May 7th, 2019

An apocalyptic adventure that explores themes of capitalism, pandemics, and office culture. Beginning in New York City, a lethal illness begins to sweep the globe. When Candace is one of the few not to fall ill; she finds herself still tied to her desk, unable to abandon mundane office tasks. As she documents, through photography, the ghost town NYC has become she realizes she needs to find others who are immune to survive. 

-Reviewed by Sam


Circe By Madeline Miller Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316556323
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Back Bay Books - April 14th, 2020

I loved this book so much, it made me want to get up and dance with happiness. Miller does a beautiful job of turning Circe, an immortal and mythical figure, into a character with struggles as keen as any of us mortals. I was so steeped in the story that I felt as if I was there on Aiaia with Circe, sharing her exile and watching the myths unfold over the centuries. 

-Reviewed by Breanna


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Everything I Never Told You: A Novel By Celeste Ng Cover Image
$10.00
ISBN: 9780143127550
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Penguin Books - May 12th, 2015

I cannot say enough good things about this book. The mystery drew me in, but I was astounded by the beautiful prose and the honesty with which the characters were written. Lydia's heartbreaking story had me in tears more than once, but the ending brought with it a clarity and light that brightened the more dark and  sensitive nature of the novel.

-Reviewed by Negar


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On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel By Ocean Vuong Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525562047
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Penguin Books - June 1st, 2021

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a deeply emotionally evocative novel of a young man navigating childhood and adolescence. Vuong brings to life all the intensity of those years in a beautiful and painful way. Vuong’s protagonist deals with complex familial relationships, cross-cultural experience, his sexuality, young love, and so much more. This is a very richly written and touching novel.

-Reviewed by Peter


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Wish You Were Here: A Novel By Jodi Picoult Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781984818430
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Ballantine Books - June 14th, 2022

Wish You Were Here is the exact emotional ride you would expect of a story that takes place against the backdrop of the COVID pandemic. Fans of her work will thoroughly enjoy this book, delivered in Picoult's wonderfully readable voice. At times difficult to read due to the accurate mirror to real-life experience, at its core this is a story about resilience in difficult times and is ultimately an uplifting, hopeful story.

-Reviewed by Katie


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A Long Petal of the Sea: A Novel By Isabel Allende, Nick Caistor (Translated by), Amanda Hopkinson (Translated by) Cover Image
By Isabel Allende, Nick Caistor (Translated by), Amanda Hopkinson (Translated by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593157497
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Ballantine Books - April 6th, 2021

A beautifully written, intimate journey of one couple travel from the Spanish Civil War through immigration to Chile and dislocation to Argentina. The fractures of war, of marriage and of country resonate as we watch Roser and Victor find love with each other and with their homeland, wherever it may be.  A timely parable exploring loyalty and a true joy to read!

-Reviewed by Cynthia


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Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead: A Novel By Emily Austin Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781982167363
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Washington Square Press - June 28th, 2022

I laughed out loud throughout the entirety of this book. Gilda is an anxious and depressed atheist lesbian who happens upon a job as the receptionist for a Catholic church. Watching her play the part of a straight, devout Catholic as she inserts herself into a local murder mystery is hilarious. The turmoil of Gilda’s personal life makes this an equally emotional and endearing novel. 

-Reviewed by Kate


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How to Be Eaten: A Novel By Maria Adelmann Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316450843
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Little, Brown and Company - May 31st, 2022

Five women and their fairy tale inspired stories of love and trauma skewer our own obsession with tabloid and reality TV, media’s victim-blaming and slut-shaming, and society’s tendency to disbelieve women’s stories. This book is whip-smart, and the characters are dimensional and real (even if you don’t really like all of them). A great pick for book clubs, there’s so much to pull apart here. I absolutely loved it!

-Reviewed by Julia


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Woman of Light: A Novel By Kali Fajardo-Anstine Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525511328
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: One World - June 7th, 2022

After Luz’s brother is run out of Denver by a white mob, she receives visions of her ancestors’ origins. As she struggles to navigate life in 1930s Denver, she understands how her Indigenous Chicano family flourished and how they were threatened. Fajardo-Anstine crafts an incredible generational saga—poignant in its realism, tragic in its circumstance, and absolutely beautiful in its resiliency.

-Reviewed by Breanna


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Ridgeline: A Novel By Michael Punke Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250310484
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Holt Paperbacks - June 21st, 2022

A little known piece of history is dissected from all the major players in this novel of the 1800s. Known as the Fetterman Fight, this was the battle where Crazy Horse earned his status as a warrior, where the Lakota tried to take back their hunting lands from a newly built fort. Punke builds the world in such vivid detail, I could feel the tall grass singing in the wind as I read along. Incredibly evocative.

-Reviewed by Brad


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The Lying Life of Adults By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein (Translator) Cover Image
By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein (Translator)
$18.00
ISBN: 9781609457150
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Europa Editions - September 21st, 2021

Possibly Ferrante's best stand alone novel. When Giovanna hears her father compare her to an aunt whom the family has distanced themselves from, she wants to meet her hidden family and learn about them. What unfolds is a story of a teenager who loses her footing in the world, who comes to realize that no one is what they seem. Ferrante's descriptions of Naples are stunningly picturesque.

-Reviewed by Brad


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When We Cease to Understand the World By Benjamin Labatut, Adrian Nathan West (Translated by) Cover Image
By Benjamin Labatut, Adrian Nathan West (Translated by)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781681375663
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: New York Review Books - September 28th, 2021

One of my favorite books of 2021. Labatut describes the lives of physicists and mathematicians, trying to see what makes their lives different, what makes them see the world at a different angle, culminating in the battle for quantum mechanics between Schrodinger and Heisenberg. My favorite chapter is about Schwarschild and his solving of the equations of general relativity, while coming up with black hole theory.

-Reviewed by Brad


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Perestroika in Paris: A novel By Jane Smiley Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525436096
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Anchor - November 2nd, 2021

Perestroika is a runaway racehorse that finds a home near the Eiffel Tower. Somehow she eludes the gaze of the thousands of people that pass by each day. A menagerie of animals and a small boy befriends her and help keep her safe and fed in this heartwarming tale of friendship. Smiley’s novel is like the best Disney film imaginable without being overly sentimental.

-Reviewed by Arsen


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