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New & Recommended Fiction

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan’s latest novel centers around Serena Frome, a young secretary in 1970s-era London who loves fiction and works for the MI5. She’s sent on a mission of literary espionage, but falls for the very writer she’s meant to be secretly influencing. If this all sounds a bit odd, that’s because it is…but it works. I just adored this book. It’s thoughtful, ambitious, and compulsively readable, with a bright witty edge. I couldn’t put it down.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
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Sweet Tooth: A Novel Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780345803450
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - July 2nd, 2013

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

Louise Erdrich’s fine, tender, and candid new novel, The Round House, is told through 13-year-old Joe, who lives on an Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. When his mother is brutally attacked, Joe tries to seek his own justice in an adult world of flawed bureaucracy and broken systems. He begins to collect the old stories that have been handed down, stories that inform his understanding about what happened to his mother, and the novel reads as part mystery, part spiritual quest. He is a boy on the cusp of history, of grief and anger and forgiveness, and of a culture that is woven into him. You won’t want to miss this.
Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
The Round House: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062065247
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Harper - October 2nd, 2012

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Eccentric old customers, books in code, secret societies, and clandestine trips to Google’s headquarters—these are things that Clay never expected before he stepped foot into Mr. Penumbra’s bookstore. When he loses his job as a web designer for a bagel company and becomes a bookseller in a dusty old building in San Francisco, he is tasked with keeping a log of the customers’ unpredictable visits: “You must keep precise records of all purchases. Time. Amount. The customer’s appearance. His state of mind. How he asks for the book. How he receives it. Does he appear to be injured. Is he wearing a sprig of rosemary on his hat. And so on.” A curious peek into one of these books leads Clay on an exciting cross-country quest to solve Mr. Penumbra’s puzzle.
Reviewed by: 
Andrea
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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780374214913
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - October 2nd, 2012

Dear Life by Alice Munro

Alice Munro has the ability to smash through the genre of short story writing and claim her place as one of the best writer’s in literary craft. Rules don’t seem to apply to Munro’s stories; she can span 100 years in 15 pages. She shatters the idea of happy endings, and instead ends with a question. She takes children and makes them old, in their wizened stoic views. Dear Life is a collection to be celebrated not only because it is a deft example of literary finesse, but also because it is a mirror for the human experience.
Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
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Dear Life: Stories Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780307596888
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Knopf - November 13th, 2012

Blasphemy by Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie’s stories pack a punch. Most of them center on Native Americans living in the Pacific Northwest, and with irreverence and depth, he makes us care about and relate to each of his characters. In Blasphemy, 15 of Alexie’s best-known and most acclaimed stories are paired with 15 new stories, and the result is an exuberant romp into the fringe of experience and to the mundane made extraordinary—small-town basketball leagues, marriages gone sour, the cord that pulls between an elder and his nephew. This is Alexie at his best, offering up his own America in a damn good collection.
Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
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Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780802120397
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Grove Press - October 2nd, 2012

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

In this new novel, Flight Behavior, one can clearly sense Barbara Kingsolver’s origins as a biologist through her taut and beautiful descriptions of nature. Set in the rural community of Tennessee’s Appalachian Mountains, we meet Dellarobia Turnbow, a young wife and mother who feels confined by the constraints of her bucolic life. On her way to commit an act that threatens to break her family apart, she stumbles upon a mysterious phenomenon of nature that holds a resounding effect that will reach far beyond Dellarobia’s small community. There are no simple answers in this book. And that natural phenomenon that Delorobia discovers? We Santa Cruzans are in the unique position to find our own version of it right here in our own backyard.
Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
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Flight Behavior: A Novel Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062124265
Availability: Backordered
Published: Harper - November 6th, 2012

Astray by Emma Donoghue

While researching her novels, Emma Donoghue often comes across strange and unbelievable tales that have nearly been lost to the ages. Instead of leaving them behind, Donoghue breathes life back into these irresistible stories, reminding us of the odd, brave, funny, and sometimes brutal people who populated our lands before we did. Astray is one of the best short story collections I’ve ever read, and I would recommend it to fiction lovers and history buffs alike.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
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Astray Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780316206280
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - October 22nd, 2013

The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling

I fell in love with J. K. Rowling at age 8 with Harry Potter. Fifteen years later—with a mix of nostalgia, curiosity, and great excitement—I’m ready to read Rowling’s take on adult fiction. This premiere novel features a compelling mystery: When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early 40s, the small town of Pagford is left in shock. Although Pagford seems from the beginning an English idyll, details reveal warring counterparts at every turn, and Fairbrother’s surprising death becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has ever seen.
Reviewed by: 
Tracy
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The Casual Vacancy Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780316228534
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 27th, 2012

Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm by Philip Pullman

The author of the beloved His Dark Materials trilogy offers a simultaneously new and old take on 50 of his favorite Brothers Grimm fairy tales. These stories have been the inspiration for many novels, movies, and TV shows, but we’ve come a long way from their original roots. Pullman reintroduces them as dark, complicated tales (there is nary a bed- making, hair-braiding bird to be found here) that are addictive, surreal, and strangely familiar.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780670024971
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Viking - November 8th, 2012

History of a Pleasure Seeker by Richard Mason

Charming and scintillating, Mason’s novel captures a very rich slice of life in early 20th century Amsterdam and New York. Drawing on the tensions between upstairs and downstairs, and the sexual advances across those lines, History of a Pleasure Seeker provides a lush and evocative romp through posh households and a sensual and hypnotizing account of a man bent on experiencing as much pleasure as possible.
Reviewed by: 
Nici
History of a Pleasure Seeker Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307949288
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Vintage - November 13th, 2012

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