Paperback Fiction Recommendations, Summer 2014

Andre Dubus III writes my kind of summer reads. His latest, a collection of linked novellas, delves into the vulnerability that shadows love and desire. As always, Dubus has crafted characters who feel like people we know intimately, and in Dirty Love they wander in and out of each other's stories, lending perspective and nuance to a larger narrative. Dirty Love is an assertive, addictive read that is reminiscent of his earlier work, House of Sand and Fog.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
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Dirty Love Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780393348910
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 10th, 2014

This is Austen’s Pride & Prejudice as you’ve never seen it before! Lizzy’s a grad student with a full course load, a crazy family, and a future in communications to plan. To top it all off, there’s some new arrivals in town, including a handsome, pretentious jerk named Darcy. Funny, bitingly honest, and completely heartwarming, this book is wonderful even if you’ve never seen the YouTube show. (If you haven’t you should, it’s excellent!)
Reviewed by: 
Jax
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The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781476763163
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Touchstone Books - June 24th, 2014

Inspired by the friendship of Flannery O’Connor and Robert Lowell, this novel imagines two new characters and captures the writer’s life of the late ‘50s, complete with artist colonies, East Village life, and a martini or two. Written entirely in letters, Frances and Bernard ruminates on art, religion, faith, and friendship in a way that only the correspondence between a novelist and a poet could.
Reviewed by: 
Melinda
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Frances and Bernard Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780544105171
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - January 7th, 2014

Brave and exceptional, this incredible novel is set in post-revolutionary Iran and details three generations of oppression, struggle, and revolution. The intimacy with which the characters’ lives are portrayed moved me completely, and although it was heartbreaking and stunning, it was also amazingly beautiful. These stories deserve our attention; this book deserves much praise.
Reviewed by: 
Nici
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Children of the Jacaranda Tree Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781476709109
Availability: Backordered
Published: Atria Books - June 17th, 2014

In writing immediate and stripped to its necessity, Maksik gives us Jacqueline, an unknown woman, homeless and bereft, struggling to survive on some Greek island. Slowly, her story of escaping devastation and fleeing Liberia is revealed as she searches for shelter, food, and safety. How does one choose to survive amidst absolute horror and grief? What does it mean to survive, when so much has already been lost? These are the questions at hand, powerfully at hand.
Reviewed by: 
Melinda
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A Marker to Measure Drift Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780345803863
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage Books - June 3rd, 2014

The very deserving recipient of last year’s Nobel Prize for Literature delivers another beautiful and heartbreaking collection of stories. Filled with simple, honest moments that reveal the depths of her all-too-human characters, Munro’s writing appears effortless, but the casual asides, detours, and odd details are the precise and compassionate brushstrokes of a master painting tableaus of uncanny artistry and power. The book is simply dazzling.
Reviewed by: 
Rico
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Dear Life: Stories Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780307743725
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - July 30th, 2013

This is a bold and compassionate story about the woman known as Typhoid Mary. In this telling, Mary Mallon is a compelling, outspoken, and unforgettable heroine who suffered multiple injustices. This book is infectious, and a darn good read.
Reviewed by: 
Clytia
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Fever Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781451693423
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - March 18th, 2014

I was captivated by Jackson's writing style from start to finish. He deftly weaves hard truths and murky beauties together, juxtaposing a gritty crack-riddled tale with a need for security drugs cannot provide. Set in 1990s Portland (our nation's whitest city), Jackson also exposes the injustices of dissimilar sentences for crack and cocaine across racial lines. If you love novels with realistic characters and authors who aren't afraid to be vulnerable, this is for you.
Reviewed by: 
Louise
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The Residue Years Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781620400296
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - May 6th, 2014

Have you ever watched an episode of Downton Abbey and found yourself wishing a ghost or two would liven the place up? Then you should be reading Simone St James. Her third novel, set just after World War I, follows protagonist Kitty Weekes, who lies her way into a nursing position at a home for shell-shocked veterans. Silence for the Dead has it all - historical detail, ghosts that are actually scary, and even a love story.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
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Silence for the Dead Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780451419484
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New American Library - April 1st, 2014

This continues to be one of my favorite books. It incorporates all the best that life has to offer within the context of a bourgeois apartment in the center of modern-day Paris. Muriel Barbery writes an original and thoughtful narrative between two different yet oddly similar characters. One, a bright­-beyond­-her­-years twelve year old, and the other, a widowed yet highly cultured concierge. Thus ensues a beautiful and thought-provoking philosophical discussion.

Reviewed by: 
Megan
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The Elegance of the Hedgehog Cover Image
By Muriel Barbery, Alison Anderson (Translator)
$15.00
ISBN: 9781933372600
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Europa Editions - September 1st, 2008

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