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Fiction Recommendations

Writers & Lovers by Lily King

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$27.00
ISBN: 9780802148537
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - March 3rd, 2020

Charming, intelligent, and emotionally adrift, Casey does her best to navigate life on the other side of 30.  An aspiring novelist by day and a waitress by night, she grapples with the recent death of her mother, suffocating student debt, and a tricky love triangle. Fans of King’s previous work will not be disappointed, her writing remains raw and intimate and her characters beautifully drawn. I came to feel a deep connection to Casey as I read, laughing and crying along with her. I loved this book so much that I tore through it at lightning speed and was then immediately devastated that it was over.  —Jade

 


The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich

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$28.99
ISBN: 9780062671189
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - March 3rd, 2020

Louise Erdrich has done it again—she has written yet another novel that weaves together that magical mix of character, heart, wit, and masterful prose. Like Erdrich’s award-winning The Round House, this new novel speaks to the politics and life of the Chippewa living on a North Dakota Reservation. In fact, Erdrich bases The Night Watchman on her own grandfather and his fight to save Native American land and identity from betrayal by the United States Congress in the 1950s. The explicit political undertones in this novel serve only to deepen the virtuosity and depth of its characters. Intertwining several different storylines and characters, their collective plights for understanding, rescue, love, and triumph, created such a crescendo by the novel’s end that once again, I was in awe of Erdrich’s brilliance. It is hard to capture the totality that The Night Watchman: a love story, a haunting, a mystery, cityscape, country, horror, and humor—it’s all here. All I can say is read it, and you will ever be so glad you did.  —S.M.C.


The Other Americans by Laila Lalami

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The Other Americans: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525436034
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - March 17th, 2020

The Other Americans is a novel that traces the aftermath of a Moroccan immigrant family after the father, Driss, is killed in a hit and run. Laila Lalami tells the story through the perspectives of nine narrators, alternating between the daughter, Nora, her family, and the residents of the town. Lalami is a master in character development and has created a beautiful novel that effortlessly combines family drama and murder mystery. 

—Natalie


The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

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The Glass Hotel: A novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780525521143
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Published: Knopf - March 24th, 2020

The distinctive writing style of Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven) is unmistakable in her new novel—a haunting, immersive story of ambition, greed, and guilt, and a cautionary tale about the far-reaching consequences of crossing moral lines. Quite apropos to our current times. The book starts at the end, builds intricate threads back and forth across two decades, then returns to the end. A remote island hotel, a Ponzi scheme, a container ship, and a cast of complex characters are woven together to create a remarkable dreamlike read. —Trey


Days of Distraction by Alexandra Chang

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Days of Distraction: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062951809
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Published: Ecco - March 31st, 2020

The roomy, breezy format of this debut reads almost as notebook-style reflective entries, but don’t be fooled—there’s real weight in the contents of Days of Distraction. The narrator navigates career ambitions as a young woman in tech journalism, her complicated family dynamics, the subtle and overt racism of our society, and her sometimes-stifling but loving long-term relationship. Chang writes with clear and sparkling prose; her honesty is refreshing, illuminating, and possibly life-changing. A coming-of age for all ages.  —Chorel


Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami

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By Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett (Translator), David Boyd (Translator)
$27.00
ISBN: 9781609455873
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Europa Editions - April 7th, 2020

Mieko Kawakami is an astute observer of how relationships are challenged and changed by ideology, particularly ideologies that pertain to gender roles. Breasts and Eggs is a novel that explores “women’s issues,” such as artificial insemination, breast implants, and female puberty. These are not topics that are traditionally represented in literature and it is refreshing to see them written about so intelligently. Mieko Kawakami proves that women’s issues are worthy of artistic representation; in dialogue that is exceptional due to its frankness, a discussion about breast implants is transformed into a work of art.

—K.L.


Temporary by Hilary Leichter

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$16.95
ISBN: 9781566895668
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Published: Coffee House Press - March 3rd, 2020

What a strange, wonderful journey this book is! Hilary Leichter is an exciting new voice in literary fiction. Told with marvelous, funny, language, Temporary offers a look at the gig economy through a surreal lens that I've never seen before and didn't know I needed. I find myself thinking about this excellent novel again and again as we contend with what our work will look like when this health crisis is over (and if it matters). Leichter reminds me that though we often try to define ourselves by our careers, we are always more than the mold we we've taken up. —Emma


Lie with Me by Philippe Besson

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Lie With Me: A Novel Cover Image
By Philippe Besson, Molly Ringwald (Translated by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501197888
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Published: Scribner - April 7th, 2020

Lie with Me is an exquisite, intimate novel presented as if a memoir. Author Phillipe Besson confides in the reader as if talking to an old friend. He recounts the seminal event of his life, the story of a secret love between two 17-year-old boys in 1984 provincial France. It's a remembrance of a brief powerful connection that reverberates for decades. The writing is beautiful and poignant, sparse and direct. This is a story that leaves hearts and minds both moved and transfixed.

—Trey


Lot: Stories by Bryan Washington

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Lot: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525533689
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Published: Riverhead Books - March 17th, 2020

Washington’s debut collection of short stories would be an inhalation of brisk air, except the diverse neighborhoods of Houston are so fully realized that the experience is also steamy and thick with atmosphere. Lot is an all-encompassing read, seeking unapologetic truths, following those often forced to society’s margins; here they are centered, not as problems or issues or heartstrings to be pulled, but as people living their own messy, inconsequential, uniquely essential lives. The writing is real, gritty, and can be a challenge, but there is also a lightness to it, a palpable joy, and Washington’s evident intelligence and open gaze at what humanizes a story makes for necessary reading. —Melinda


City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

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City of Girls: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781594634741
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Published: Riverhead Books - April 7th, 2020

Seeing few examples in literature, Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love; The Signature of All Things) set out to write a book about promiscuous girls “whose lives are not destroyed by their sexual desires.” Meet Vivian Morris, a naïve 19-year-old, dropped into the middle of the New York City theater scene in the 1940s. The drama, energy, and spirit of the city weaves into the unfolding of her identity. You’ll never forget this cast of characters or the ways in which Vivian struggles to claim her life as her own.  —Casey

 


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