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Literary Fiction

06/09/2015 - 9:18am
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Brooklyn is a tough place to grow up in the early part of the 20th century.  It’s made of immigrant families struggling to get by. Young Francie Nolan, half German and half Irish, adores her handsome father, the sometime singing waiter, and her more hard-minded mother who scrubs floors and does much to give her kids a better life. But, uneducated as her parents are, they have few choices and huge problems that a bright girl like Francie can certainly see.

05/29/2015 - 1:35pm
If you like To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man's struggle for justice, in this Pulitzer Prize-winning classic that has been translated into more than 40 languages. 

If you like To Kill a Mockingbird, you may also like the following titles:

Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
Cry, the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son, Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice. Remarkable for its lyricism, unforgettable for character and incident, Cry, the Beloved Country is a classic work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man. 

Freshwater Road by Denise Nicholas
When University of Michigan sophomore Celeste Tyree travels to Mississippi to volunteer her efforts in Freedom Summer, she's assigned to help register voters in the small town of Pineyville, a place best known for a notorious lynching that occurred only a few years earlier. As the long, hot summer unfolds, Celeste befriends several members of the community, but there are also those who are threatened by her and the change that her presence in the South represents. 

06/04/2015 - 1:53pm
The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos
Eustacia “Taisy” Cleary loves like a tiger and a hurricane in The Precious One. Years ago, her family suffered “the combustion” as they call it, separation not being a strong enough word. Her father Wilson traded his old family for a new, improved one: Caro the glass artist and the precious daughter Willow. He also destroys Taisy’s relationship with her childhood sweetheart Ben.

05/08/2015 - 8:50am
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson: "Casually amoral until he is horribly burned in an accident, a man plans suicide but encounters a beautiful but possibly crazy sculptress of gargoyles who says she has rescued him before--in medieval Germany." (Library Journal) 

If you liked The Gargoyle, you may also like these titles:

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Witch and Yale historian Diana Bishop discovers an enchanted manuscript, attracting the attention of 1,500-year-old vampire Matthew Clairmont. The orphaned daughter of two powerful witches, Bishop prefers intellect, but relies on magic when her discovery of a palimpsest documenting the origin of supernatural species releases an assortment of undead who threaten, stalk, and harass her.  (Catalog summary)

The Glimmer Palace by Beatrice Colin
A literary historical novel about an orphan girl's journey from poverty to film stardom, set against the grand backdrop of World War I Berlin, the cabaret era, the run-up to World War II, and the innovations in art and industry that accompanied it all.  (Catalog summary)

 

04/17/2015 - 8:35am
Middlemarch by George Elliot

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.

Middlemarch by George Eliot: "Set in a provincial Victorian neighborhood, the author explores the complex social relationship and the struggle to hold fast to personal tragedy in a materialistic environment."

If you enjoyed the philosophical and social themes of Middlemarch, here are some other titles you may enjoy:

 

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Into the narrow social world of New York in the 1870s comes Countess Ellen Olenska, surrounded by shocked whispers about her failed marriage to a rich Polish Count. A woman who leaves her husband can never be accepted in polite society. Newland Arthur is engaged to young May Welland, but the beautiful and mysterious Countess needs his help. He becomes her friend and defender, but friendship with an unhappy, lonely woman is a dangerous path for a young man to follow - especially a young man who is soon to be married (worldcat.org)
 

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
"Anna Karenina" tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and must endure the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness. (amazon.com)

04/07/2015 - 8:50pm
Heir to the Glimmering World by Cynthia Ozick

Young in years but not so much in worldly cares, Rose Meadows is set adrift when her wayward father abandons her permanently and her handsome, caretaking distant cousin takes up with the local Bolshevik crowd. But, in Cynthia Ozick’s historical novel Heir to the Glimmering World, Rose doesn’t give up. She takes matters into her own hands and answers an advertisement for a research assistant in a town miles away.

03/27/2015 - 9:17am
Cover to Inherent Vice

First, a confession: Thomas Pynchon fans are worse than Jane Austen fans, always proselytizing in the hope of capturing new readers. I hoped the recent success of a film version of Pynchon’s Inherent Vice would bring requests for his work. They did not materialize, which is a shame, as the book is more accessible than some of his other works to the general reader and deserves a broader readership.

His reputation for weirdness, paranoia, and postmodern tricks scares some people: too much work in the reading. All because of one novel.

02/11/2015 - 2:32am
Bright’s Passage by Josh Ritter

There are all kinds of angels. There are the sort that make grand pronouncements from God—bright, shining beings that are meant to be obeyed. They usually say their piece, and then they’re gone, leaving humans to make the best they can of the situation. That wasn’t the kind of angel that followed Henry Bright home from the Great War. No. This was the kind of angel who hung around and made suggestions, pretty much constantly.

02/03/2015 - 7:17am
I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum

Why would someone who seems to have the perfect family risk everything by having an affair? In Courtney Maum’s debut novel I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, Richard Haddon, a 34-year-old British artist, living in Paris with his French wife Anne and their daughter, has just had his first successful solo art show. Many would think he has the perfect life.

01/19/2015 - 3:03pm
Great Food, Great Reads in Fredericksburg

Have a favorite eatery in Fredericksburg?  The library has paired book recommendations with local eateries for your dining and reading pleasure.  Headed to Eileen’s Bakery and Cafe?  Take along a copy of Chocolat, by Joanne Harris.  Enjoy a break at Capital Ale House, and read The Bartender’s Tale, by Ivan Doig.  Meeting the significant other at Bistro Bethem?  If he’s late, whip out your copy of Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything Is Illuminated to while away the time. 

Check out the entire local eateries reading list here!  And then check out Restaurant Week in Fredericksburg, which runs through January 26, 2015.  

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