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Fiction

Fiction books

New Fiction

Elegance of the Hedgehog (Muriel Barbery).  Set in a bougeois aprartment building in Paris, this is a poignant story of an unattractive, cantankerous conciege and a supersmart 12 yr. old both of whom hide their considerable intellectual talent.  A new tenant, a wealthy Japanese man detects their intelligence and ultimately changes their lives.  An unusual and appealing tale.

Self Consciousness: a memoir

John Updike was an American novelist, poet, and literary critic. Updike's most famous work is his Rabbit series(Rabbit Run, Rabbit Redux, Rabbit is Rich, Rabbit at Rest, and Rabbit Remembered). Both "Rabbit is Rich" and "Rabbit at Rest" received the Pulitzer Prize.

Lunch and a Book - June 11

Belong to Me
Belong to Me
(Marisa de los Santos) While Cornelia gains unexpected insight into her troubled marriage, Piper finds her carefully controlled life unraveling in the wake of a friend's crisis, and Lake tells a complex series of lies to gain her son's entry into a school for gifted students.

Found: Sherlock Holmes predecessor?

Did you know that twenty years before Sherlock Holmes, a fictional New York private investigator was being celebrated for his ability to solve crimes based on observation and deductive reasoning? Originally published in 1864 and never before reprinted, Leaves from the Note-Book of a New York Detective features 29 cases from the first American detective hero to appear in fiction, James Brampton.The author, John Babbinton Williams (1827–79) was a medical doctor who contributed stories to magazines of the time.

Cover and Review to "The Language of Bees"

Here is a picture and review of Laurie R. King's new book in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, coming soon in April. Here is Amazon's editorial review. 

Dear American Airlines by Jonathan MIles

Sometimes the planes don't fly on time. Bennie Ford, a fifty-three-year-old failed poet turned translator, is traveling to his estranged daughter's wedding when his flight is canceled. Stuck with thousands of fuming passengers in the purgatory of O'Hare airport, he watches the clock tick and realizes that he will miss the ceremony. Frustrated, irate, and helpless, Bennie does the only thing he can: he starts to write a letter. But what begins as a hilariously excoriating demand for a refund soon becomes a lament for a life gone awry, for years misspent, talent wasted, and happiness lost. A margarita blend of outrage, wicked humor, vulnerability, intelligence, and regret, Dear American Airlines gives new meaning to the term "airport novel" and announces the emergence of major new talent in American fiction.

Year 2008 Top Fiction Picks

American Wife
by Curtis Sittenfeld
On what might become one of the most significant days in her husband’s presidency, Alice Blackwell considers the strange and unlikely path that has led her to the White House–and the repercussions of a life lived, as she puts it, “almost in opposition to itself.” A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice learned the virtues of politeness early on from her stolid parents and small Wisconsin hometown. But a tragic accident when she was seventeen shattered her identity and made her understand the fragility of life and the tenuousness of luck.

Book of Lies
by Brad Meltzer
In Chapter Four of the Bible, Cain kills Abel. It is the world's most famous murder. But the Bible is silent about one key detail: the weapon Cain used to kill his brother. That weapon is still lost to history. In 1932, Mitchell Siegel was killed by three gunshots to his chest. While mourning, his son dreamed of a bulletproof man and created the world's greatest hero: Superman. And like Cain's murder weapon, the gun used in this unsolved murder has never been found. Until now.

A not-so-grim Swedish crime

Wallander's First Case, a short story by Henning Mankell, part of "The Pyramid"; this story was written after the main series, in response to readers' questions as to how the famous detective got started.

White Tiger

"White Tiger" is a brutal view of India's class struggles is cunningly presented in Adiga's debut about a racist, homicidal chauffer. Balram Halwai is from the "Darkness," born where India's downtrodden and unlucky are destined to rot. Balram manages to escape his village and move to Delhi after being hired as a driver for a rich landlord.

Adult Contemporary Discussion Books Since 1988

Motor City blue by Loren D. Estleman — January 1988

The situation in Flushing by Edmund G. Love — February 1988

The prince of tides by Pat Conroy — March 1988

Rascal [sound recording] by Sterling North — April 1988

Year 2007 Top Fiction Picks

The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritson: This story is gory, macabre and not for the faint of heart, but she does a great job with the period detail (1830s-70s history/medical details) and merges this with the present day relationship of a modern woman to people in this time period. It was quite suspenseful as the main character tries to research the history of the bones found in her garden. (Also available in Large Print.)

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.

Year 2005 Top Fiction Picks

Bachelor Boys by Kate Saunders: Saunders (The Marrying Game) humorously captures the love affair between the boisterous British Darling family and their lifelong girl-next-door, Cassie; but her beloved Phoebe Darling is dying and comes to Cassie with one last request: Will Cassie help find wives for her sons, two gorgeous, sexy, but wildly impractical bachelors still living in their mother's basement flat?

Year 2004 Top Fiction Picks

The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates: Follows the interconnected and secretive lives of parents and their children when they are challenged by circumstances outside their family, in a tale set against a backdrop of Niagara Falls in the mid-20th century.

Good Grief by Lolly Winston: Grieving over the death of her husband from cancer, 36-year-old Sophie Stanton finds her personal and professional world in a shambles and, in an attempt to reinvent her life, moves to Ashland, Oregon, where she encounters a troubled 13-year-old girl, a job as the Salad Girl at the local restaurant, and a cute actor. (Also available in Large Print format.)

Year 2003 Top Fiction Picks

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon: Despite his overwhelming fear of interacting with people, Christopher, a mathematically-gifted, autistic fifteen-year-old boy, decides to investigate the murder of a neighbor's dog and uncovers secret information about his mother.

Dear Mrs. Lindbergh by Kathleen Hughes: In the wake of their parents' carefully orchestrated disappearance, the adult children of Ruth and Henry Gutterson read a series of letters written by their mother and learn how their parents met when their father crashed his airmail plane, how they enjoyed flying together before a series of miscarriages, and how they finally discovered what was missing in their lives.

Year 2002 Top Fiction Picks

Miracle at St. Anna by James McBride: In a historical novel based on a real-life massacre at St. Anna di Stazzema, a small village in Tuscany, during World War II, four African-American soldiers from the 92nd Division, a band of partisans, and a young Italian boy come together to experience a miracle.

Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg: Captures the humorous and complex realities of ordinary people living in Elmwood Springs, Missouri, including Neighbor Dorothy, a radio hostess, her son Bobby, the Oatman Family Gospel Singers, and hotshot salesman Hamm Sparks.