Off-beat, Eclectic, Quirky, Slightly Askew Fiction

Like Water for Chocolate

By Laura Esquivel

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A #1 bestseller in Mexico in 1990, this charming, imaginative, and just plain fun novel of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico includes unique recipes at the beginning of each chapter for a variety of traditional dishes.

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Little Miss Strange

By Joanna Rose

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"Sarajean is the child of love children. She lives with Jimmy Henry, a Vietnam vet she accepts as her father. Her mother, whoever she was, disappeared long ago. Sarajean scams her way through childhood, surviving on intuition, seeing her world clearly without judging it. From carelessly discarded clues, she knits together the identity she's always longed for."
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Louisiana Power & Light

By John Dufresne

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In 1972, Billy Wayne Fontana, last of the famous--and genetically deficient--Fontanas of Monroe, Louisiana, trades his religious calling for an impulsive marriage to Earlene deBastrop, while trying to preserve his spiritual longing.
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Love Is a Racket

By John Ridley

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"Everything's a racket for Jeffty Kittridge, a thirty- seven-year-old ex-wannabe scriptwriter living on the skids in Hollywood--the two-bit cons he pulls for spending money; the way he convinces himself that he's not a drunk between every shot of booze he kicks back; the way he tries to assure Dumas, the local shark, that he's just about to pay off his 15K debt . . . Except he's not good at any of that. He's been in jail twice (and the state's got a bad attitude about seeing someone the third time); that bug he just felt crawling up his neck is most likely the first installment of the DTs; and Dumas recently delivered a fairly emphatic payment-due reminder: a couple of his goons busted two of Jeffty's fingers.

"The fact is, Jeffty's a loser, big as they come, and things aren't about to change up for him anytime soon: 'I would've felt . . . near terminally depressed,' he tells us as his story begins to unfold, 'but I was so used to my life all I felt was content.' Then he stumbles on salvation: a dirt-caked, street-hardened, exquisitely beautiful young homeless woman named Mona--Jeffty prefers to think of her as Angel--who inspires both his love and the idea for the perfect con."

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Motherless Brooklyn

By Jonathan Lethem

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"A black comedy in New York's criminal underworld. The twitching hero--he suffers from Tourette's syndrome--is one of four misfits who were rescued from an orphanage by a man who gave them jobs in his detective agency. Now the man has been killed and the boys intend to get the killer."

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Mr. White's Confession

By Robert Clark

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Heading a police investigation into the brutal murder of a showgirl, Lt. Wesley Horner zeroes in on Herbert White, an eccentric recluse whose spends his days writing gushing fan letters to Hollywood starlets.
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My Year of Meats

By Ruth L. Ozeki

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"When Jane Takagi-Little finally lands a job--producing a Japanese television show sponsored by BEEF-EX, an organization promoting the export of U.S. meats--she takes her crew on the road in search of all-American wives cooking all-American meat. Over the course of filming, though, Jane makes a few troubling discoveries about both. Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, in Japan, Akiko Ueno watches My American Wife! and diligently prepares Coca-Cola Roast and Panfried Prairie Oysters for her husband, John, (the ad-agency rep for the show's sponsor).

"As Akiko fills out his questionnaires, rating each show on Authenticity, Wholesomeness, and Deliciousness of Meat, certain ominous questions about her own life--and the fact that after each meal she has to go to the bathroom and throw up--begin to surface. A tale of love, global media, and the extraordinary events in the lives of two ordinary women, counterpointed by Sei Shonagon's vibrant commentary..."

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Native Tongue

By Carl Hiaasen

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"When the precious clue-tongued mango voles at the Amazing Kingdom of Thrills on North Key Largo are stolen by heartless, ruthless thugs, Joe Winder wants to uncover why, and find the voles. Joe is lately a PR man for the Amazing Kingdom theme park, but now that the voles are gone, Winder is dragged along in their wake through a series of weird and lethal events that begin with the sleazy real-estate agent/villain Francis X. Kingsbury and can end only one way...."
An audio book that is also available to download.

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Native Tongue

By Carl Hiaasen

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"When the precious clue-tongued mango voles at the Amazing Kingdom of Thrills on North Key Largo are stolen by heartless, ruthless thugs, Joe Winder wants to uncover why, and find the voles. Joe is lately a PR man for the Amazing Kingdom theme park, but now that the voles are gone, Winder is dragged along in their wake through a series of weird and lethal events that begin with the sleazy real-estate agent/villain Francis X. Kingsbury and can end only one way...."
An audio book that is also available to download.

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Night of the Avenging Blowfish: A Novel of Covert Operations, Love, and Luncheon Meat

By John Welter

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"When a disgruntled chef plots to avenge himself on the President by serving lunch meat at a diplomatic dinner, Secret Service agent Doyle Coldiron is swept up in a tide of crazy events involving terrorists, activists, and a tipsy ambassador."

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