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Year 2006 Top Fiction Picks

Black Swan Green by David Mitchell: The year is 1982 and 13-year-old Jason Taylor feels he is living in the sleepiest Worcestshire village in a dying Cold War England. However, as the 13 chapters reveal, the world Jason is living in is anything but sleepy.

The Copper Scroll by Joel Rosenberg: Another Dead Sea Scroll has been discovered, and this time it contains a code leading to great treasures. As plans emerge to rebuild the Third Jewish Temple in the Middle East, scientists who know about the scroll are mysteriously killed.

For One More Day by Mitch Albom: Grief-stricken Charles "Chick" Benetto goes into an alcoholic tailspin when his always-attentive mother, Pauline, dies. After a suicide attempt, Chick encounters Pauline's ghost. Together, the two revisit Pauline's travails raising her children alone after his father abandons them.

The Girl from Charnelle by K.L. Cook: As Kennedy battles Nixon for the White House, 16-year-old Laura must navigate complex emotional terrain and choose whether she, like her mother, will flee Charnelle, leaving her brothers and father to fend on their own.

Isolation Ward by Joshua Spanogle: Dr. Nathaniel McCormick, an investigator from the Centers for Disease Control, confronted with three victims of an unidentifiable virus, suspects this virus may not be an act of nature, but of man. Turning to an old colleague and former lover, Dr. Brooke Michaels, for help, they follow a twisting trail of clues to a discovery that is at once groundbreaking and unspeakable.

The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean: During the World War II bombing of Leningrad by the German Luftwaffe, the Heritage Museum's priceless masterpieces were taken down for safekeeping, leaving the frames hanging empty on the walls - a symbol of the artworks' eventual return. To hold on to sanity when the Luftwaffe's bombs began to fall, Marina, a tour guide, burns to memory these exquisite artworks.

The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld: By the time she's in her late 20s, Hannah has finally figured out what she wants most - but she doesn't know yet whether she'll find the courage to go after it.

The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen: Boston medical examiner Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli arrive at the scene of a young woman's brutal murder and find the Latin phrase "Peccavi, i.e. "I HAVE SINNED." How is this woman connected to controversial celebrity psychiatrist Joyce O'Donnell and her Mephisto Club? (Also available in Large Print.)

The Road by Cormac McCarthy: A father and his son walk alone through post apocalyptic America. Their destination is the West Coast, armed with only a pistol; they encounter the worst and the best of humanity.

The Ruins by Scott Smith: A group of young 20-something tourists vacationing in Cancun impetuously agrees to make an expedition into the wilds when one of their group fails to return from his day-trip to the Mayan ruins.

Talk Talk by T.C. Boyle: It's a battle of good and evil in Boyle's identity theft suspense story. Dana Halter runs a stop sign and is hauled off to jail when a routine police check turns up multiple pending felony charges. Out on bail, Dana and her boyfriend, Bridger, set out to find the real culprit, William 'Peck' Wilson.

Triangle by Katharine Weber: As the last living survivor of the notorious 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire, Esther Gottesfeld has told her story countless times. Even so, her death at the age of 106 leaves unanswered many questions about what happened that fateful day - the day she lost her sister and her fiance, the day her life changed forever.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen: Told in flashback by 90-year-old Jacob Jankowski, he recounts the wild and wonderful period he spent with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, a traveling circus he joined during the Great Depression. (Also available in Large Print.)

The Whole World Over by Julia Glass: This is a story about the accidents, both grand and small, that determine our choices in love and marriage. Greenie Duquette makes a life change that impacts not only on herself, but her husband Alan, their son George, and their friend Walter. Folly, chance and determination pull all these lives together and apart over a year that culminates in the fall of the twin towers at the World Trade Center, an event that will affirm or confound the choices each character has made or has refused to face.

The Widow's War by Sally Gunning: When her husband is lost in a whaling disaster, Lyddie Berry finds her status as a widow is vastly changed. Her son-in-law sets out to strip her of everything she and her husband worked for, but she refuses to bow to societal and legal pressures. (Also available in Large Print.)