Hardback Fiction from the 2015 Summer Newsletter

These titles were featured in our 2015 Summer Newsletter.

 

In this slim, emotionally taut novel about Bride and Booker, Rain and Queen, Morrison explores childhood and the injustices done there, how one ascends from it or is shackled by it, how one parents accordingly, all the while surrounded by the dangers of the world, its violence, racism, abuse, and neglect, but also its shining love, its connectedness, its imperfect hope. With beautiful writing, assured storytelling, and layers of complexity, this is classic Toni Morrison. 

Reviewed by: 
Melinda
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God Help the Child Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780307594174
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - April 21st, 2015

A master storyteller, both in the short story form and in her novels, Karen Joy Fowler writes with an eye that sees a bit more out of its corner and does not blink when confronted with truths, beautiful and wretched. Diverse in her interest and scope, her writing is curious, fluid, and haunting. Black Glass is a collection of her early short stories, published together for the first time, and they are a wonder.

Reviewed by: 
Melinda
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Black Glass: Short Fictions Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780399175794
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Marian Wood Books/Putnam - June 23rd, 2015

When a car accident leaves 7-year-old Anabelle Vincent in a coma-like state called “akinetic mutism,” strange and miraculous things begin to happen—or so the people around her believe. In this heartfelt meditation on faith, Roe writes intelligently and compassionately about our shared need to make sense of loss. With deep empathy for a panoply of struggling, working-class characters, he evokes life in Southern California’s semi-desert “wasteland” suburbs with honesty, humor, and, most of all, sympathy. Uplifting but not maudlin, skeptical but not cynical, this is a terrific debut.

Reviewed by: 
Rico
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The Miracle Girl Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781616203603
Availability: Backordered
Published: Algonquin Books - April 21st, 2015

Kate Atkinson describes A God in Ruins as a “companion piece” to Life After Life, but I like to think of it as the quieter younger brother. The book is about Teddy, a quiet soul who becomes a RAF bomber, and his long life after World War II. While his sister Ursula had hundreds of chances at reliving her life, Teddy remains fixed, and must reckon with a future he never thought he’d live to see.

Reviewed by: 
Rico
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A God in Ruins Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780316176538
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little Brown and Company - May 5th, 2015

Early Warning is the second in a trilogy Jane Smiley is writing that starts with Some Luck and features the unforgettable Langdon family. Some Luck takes place on the Langdon’s Iowa farm during the early 20th century. Early Warning follows the Langdon children into adulthood from the post-World War II era to the mid-1980s. Frank, the oldest, tries to adjust to civilian life after being a sniper in Europe and North Africa during World War II. Joe is the only sibling to stay on the farm. Lillian embraces motherhood. Henry becomes a university professor, while quiet Claire struggles with a controlling husband. How will they deal with the turbulent Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, and the equal rights and gay rights movements after being raised on a quiet midwestern farm? Smiley conveys them growing into their very individual personalities, during these times of radical political and social change, with skill and empathy. After living so closely with these wonderfully real characters it’s painful to have to wait for her next book in the trilogy.

—Kara

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Early Warning Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780307700322
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - April 28th, 2015

The Children’s Crusade is simply wonderful. Set in pre-Silicon Valley Palo Alto, it is the coming-of-age story of the Blair family. The story is as much about the family entity itself as it is of its individual members: the gentle yet focused father, the mercurial mother, and their four children, each with their own roles. But Packer also writes the “every” family, making us consider our own relationships with our parents and siblings, how adult they are, and how caught in childhood they remain.

Reviewed by: 
Melinda
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The Children's Crusade Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781476710457
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - April 7th, 2015

Perfect for the Jane Austen fan, McCall Smith evokes the wit and style of Austen while telling a story very much in the 21st century and very much with his own humorous and gently biting commentary. This is the Emma that we know and love, recognizable but refreshingly new. If you can’t read Jane Austen again for the first time, then Alexander McCall Smith is your next best experience.

Reviewed by: 
Melinda
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Emma: A Modern Retelling Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780804197953
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Pantheon Books - April 7th, 2015

Set in Nigeria in the mid-1990s, this terrific debut tells the story of four brothers whose fortunes change for the worse when their father takes a job in a faraway city. The plot feels as solid and classic as something out of the Old Testament—an African version of Cain and Abel—and the writing is unique, creating tension in oblique and unexpected ways. I found this a profound and moving reading experience.

Reviewed by: 
Rico
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The Fishermen Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780316338370
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little Brown and Company - April 14th, 2015

70-year-old widow Addie Moore knocks on the door of fellow septuagenarian Louis Waters and proposes that they spend their nights together, and so begins a charming adventure and a moving story that somehow captures the whole of life itself: love, courtship, companionship, marriage, family, sorrow, disappointment, death, and joy, quiet beautiful brazen youthful joy. This small bittersweet book is intimate in the way its characters tell each other their lives, and universal in the way their relationship unfolds.

Reviewed by: 
Melinda
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Our Souls at Night Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781101875896
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - May 26th, 2015

Do you like science? Or historical figures, like Charles Babbage (father of the computer) or Ada Lovelace (mother of computer coding)? What if those same historical figures were reimagined as crime fighters in steampunk London? Then, friend, you would have found that truly magical thing you didn’t know you were looking for: The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage. Hilarious, witty, and imaginative: You can’t miss this!                                               

Reviewed by: 
Jax
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The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer (Pantheon Graphic Novels) Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780307908278
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon Books - April 21st, 2015

 

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