Paperback Fiction from the 2016 Summer Newsletter

These titles were featured in our 2016 Summer Newsletter.

 

How refreshing to find a novel that is truly new and original. The story of Eva Thorvald, the famous and famously private chef, is told through a quirky, honest, endearing cast of characters who come into or sidle next to her life at different times. From their vantage points, we experience not only the particularity of her culinary prowess, but also a full sense of life in the Midwest. Joyfully crafted, funny and heartfelt, Stradal’s debut novel is a pleasure to read. Join us on September 6th at Lúpulo Craft Beer House, where we’ll discuss Kitchens of the Great Midwest, our Books & Brews community read. See page 18.  —Melinda

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Kitchens of the Great Midwest Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143109419
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - June 7th, 2016

In what is likely to be Kundera’s last book (please, no!), four old friends bump into each other in Paris and pick up a long-running argument about sex, lust, history, dictators, art, and yes, even the meaning of human existence. Simultaneously soul wrenching and laughable. Only a literary master could pull it off gracefully and create an absurd and cerebral critical commentary on contemporary life—luckily, Kundera is and he does.  —Julia

 

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The Festival of Insignificance: A Novel Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9780062356901
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - June 14th, 2016

Patricia Park may have borrowed some of the bones of Jane Eyre in this delightful homage, but this Jane is all her own, a Koreanish orphan of sorts living in Queens who becomes an au pair for a Brooklynite odd couple and their adopted Chinese daughter. Life ensues, enjoyably. Within this seemingly light coming-of-age novel, Park also packs in the human side of immigration, adoption, families of all kinds, and ways to live with otherness.  —Melinda

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Re Jane Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143107941
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - April 19th, 2016

This small book explores with great agility all that a novel can be, with its poetry, its allegory, its humor, dark, lovely and raw. This is a story about grief, told by a widowed husband, his two young sons, and the crow who comes to tend them, raucously and with great feeling. Porter has written a remarkable novel, suffused with the love of  literature and sound, one that can be read over and over; out loud may be best.  —Melinda

 

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Grief Is the Thing with Feathers Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9781555977412
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - June 7th, 2016

Welcome to ancient Japan, a place of history and of folklore, where tengu haunt the mountain forests and intrigue haunts the capital. The ambitions of sorcerers vie with the politics of rule and succession, and children are so many pawns in the hands of adults—until they form their own plans. This beginning to an original, magical, historical series will sweep you away. A new folktale whose next installment you can read later this year.  —Jocelyn

 

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Emperor of the Eight Islands (Tale of Shikanoko #1) Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780374536312
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Fsg Originals - April 26th, 2016

This treasure-like collection displays exactly why Makkai has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories. Art, creativity, war, and ghosts are all woven together with quiet insight: a small-town reverend in a crisis of faith after the death of a circus elephant; a reality TV producer toying with contestants as her own romance withers. Like a patchwork quilt, each story is its own, yet with tones so complementary that the complete creation is a comfort and a wonder.  —Julia

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Music for Wartime: Stories Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143109235
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - June 7th, 2016

Sarai Walker’s mysterious, engaging, and politically charged story about a woman who is sick of waiting for her perfect life to begin is pitched to perfection. It’s obvious from the first page that a major amount of lived experience shaped the story—as I read I was nodding in recognition so often I got a little dizzy. I’m also madly in love with this book because there’s a book within the book! It’s a two for one!   —Louise

 

Dietland Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780544704831
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - May 24th, 2016

John Irving’s newest novel explores fate, memory, faith, and the endurance of love between siblings. Juan Diego, a 14-year-old boy who has a gift for language, and his sister Lupe were born in a city dump in Mexico. Lupe has a vocal chord problem that leaves her unintelligible to most but not to Juan Diego, who understands her perfectly. Lupe is also a mind reader. She can see into people’s thoughts, their past, and also at times predict the future. Juan Diego leaves Mexico as a young teenager and becomes a famous novelist and professor in the States. Lupe does not come with him. Avenue of Mysteries is the story of their separation and of the magical worlds and bonds that tie them together, and is filled with humor and heart.   —S.M.C.

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Avenue of Mysteries Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781451664171
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 7th, 2016

 

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