Literary Fiction

10/18/2016 - 12:41am
Cover to The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood

Before reading The Book That Matters Most and seeing the list its book club picked, think about the book that matters most to you. I asked several friends and the members of my book group. The books they came up with were also Ann Hood’s choices.

At the beginning of the novel, Ava is lonely and angry. Her do-gooder husband has left her for a yarn bomber, for goodness sakes! She makes huge yarn objects to make political and social statements. Her children, Will and Maggie, are living abroad. Her daughter is a lost soul and trying to find herself in Paris.

10/11/2016 - 2:56pm
If you like Historical Mystery series...

This readalike is in response to a customer'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

If you're looking for a juicy historical mystery series to begin, check out these titles (all firsts in the series):


​The Beekeeper's Apprentice, Or, On the Segregation of the Queen by Laurie R. King (Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes #1)
Chance meeting with a Sussex beekeeper turns into a pivotal, personal transformation when fifteen-year-old Mary Russell discovers that the beekeeper is the reclusive, retired detective Sherlock Holmes, who soon takes on the role of mentor and teacher. (catalog summary)



Cocaine Blues: A Phryne Fisher Mystery by Kerry Greenwood (Phryne Fisher #1)
Phyrne Fisher heads for Melbourne, Australia, where she encounters a mystery involving poisoned wives, cocaine smuggling, corrupt cops, and communism. Spunky Phryne Fisher leaves her adopted London for 1920s Australia to investigate the desperate letters she has been receiving from well-bred Lydia, a young woman married to a low-down scoundrel. (catalog summary)

 

 

10/31/2016 - 9:22am
A History of Classic Monsters: The Invisible Man

H.G. Wells, author of the The Time Machine (1895) and The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), released his fourth novel, The Invisible Man, in 1897.

Many of his readers were surprised to discover that Wells had adopted a third person narrative instead of first person for this particular novel. The protagonist, Dr. Griffin, is a scientist who is interested in optics. He learns how to invent a way to change a body’s refractive index to that of air. Thus, the body neither absorbs nor reflects light, allowing for invisibility. The ambitious Griffin successfully completes the procedure on himself, but he can’t seem to figure out how to reverse it.

10/05/2016 - 10:59am
If you like The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
This readalike is in response to a customer'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 other book matches here.
 
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Abandoned as a tiny girl on a ship headed for Australia, Nell Andrews sets out on a journey to England to try to trace her story, to find her real identity. Her quest leads her to Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish coast and the secrets of the doomed Mountrachet family. But it is not until her granddaughter, Cassandra, takes up the search after Nell's death that all the pieces of the puzzle are assembled. (catalog summary)
 
If you like The Forgotten Garden, you may also like these titles:
 


The Alphabet Sisters
by Monica McInerney
As girls growing up in Clare Valley, Australia, Anna, Bett, and Carrie Quinlan were childhood singing stars known as The Alphabet Sisters. The unbridled enthusiasm of their flamboyant grandmother Lola was the glue that held them together. As adults, though, the women haven't spoken in years-ever since Bett's fiancé deserted her to marry the younger Carrie. Now Lola is turning eighty and she is determined to reunite the girls for a blowout bash. And no one ever says no to Lola. (catalog summary)
 


 


Five Quarters of the Orange
by Joanne Harris
When Framboise Simon returns to a small village on the banks of the Loire, the locals do not recognize her as the daughter of the infamous woman they hold responsible for a tragedy during the German occupation years ago. But the past and present are inextricably entwined, particularly in a scrapbook of recipes and memories that Framboise has inherited from her mother. And soon Framboise will realize that the journal also contains the key to the tragedy that indelibly marked that summer of her ninth year...(catalog summary)
 
 
10/04/2016 - 12:32am
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel Watson is just a girl on the train.

She takes the same London commuter train into work almost daily. She passes the same tiny suburbs on the tracks—the same suburbs she used to live in with her ex-husband, Tom.

Occasionally, she sees Tom and his new wife Anna with their new baby, enjoying a stroll in the afternoons. But more often than not, she directs all of her attention to a house down the street from her old abode, one that houses a young couple who she finds herself obsessing over.

09/28/2016 - 11:47am
One by Sarah Crossan

Looking for some reading recommendations for your book club? Why not mix things up with a Young Adult (YA) title!

09/07/2016 - 11:26am
If you like Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson

This readalike is in response to a customer'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 other book matches here.

 

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
Katie Wilkinson believes she has found the perfect man, until he vanishes, leaving behind a diary penned by a woman named Suzanne who wrote it for her baby boy Nicholas. (catalog summary)
 

If you like relationship stories with strong, complex emotional impact, you may like these titles:


The Amateur Marriage
by Anne Tyler
The moment Pauline, a stranger to the Polish Eastern Avenue neighborhood of Baltimore (though she lived only twenty minutes away), walked into his mother's grocery store, Michael was smitten. And in the heat of World War II fervor, they are propelled into a hasty wedding. But they never should have married. Pauline, impulsive, impractical, tumbles hit-or-miss through life; Michael, plodding, cautious, judgmental, proceeds deliberately. While other young marrieds, equally ignorant at the start, seemed to grow more seasoned, Pauline and Michael remain amateurs. In time their foolish quarrels take their toll. Even when they find themselves, almost thirty years later, loving, instant parents to a little grandson named Pagan, whom they rescue from Haight-Ashbury, they still cannot bridge their deep-rooted differences. Flighty Pauline clings to the notion that the rifts can always be patched. To the unyielding Michael, they become unbearable. (catalog summary)

 




A Bend in the Road
by Nicholas Sparks
Devastated by the death of his wife in a hit-and-run accident, Miles, deputy sheriff of New Bern, North Carolina, discovers new meaning in his life when he meets Sarah Andrews, a woman struggling to rebuild her own life. (catalog summary)

 


 

09/06/2016 - 2:02pm
If you like Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

This readalike is in response to a customer'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.
 

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
The narrator of Atwood's riveting novel calls himself Snowman. When the story opens, he is sleeping in a tree, wearing an old bedsheet, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. He searches for supplies in a wasteland where insects proliferate and pigoons and wolvogs ravage the pleeblands, where ordinary people once lived, and the Compounds that sheltered the extraordinary. As he tries to piece together what has taken place, the narrative shifts to decades earlier. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, who think of him as a kind of monster, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief. (catalog summary)

Other books in the Maddadam trilogy: The Year of the Flood and Maddadam

 

If you like Oryx and Crake, you may also enjoy some of the following novels:

 

 

The Children of Men by P.D. James
The human race has become infertile, and the last generation to be born is now adult. Civilization itself is crumbling as suicide and despair become commonplace. Oxford historian Theodore Faron, apathetic toward a future without a future, spends most of his time reminiscing. Then he is approached by Julian, a bright, attractive woman who wants him to help get her an audience with his cousin, the powerful Warden of England. She and her band of unlikely revolutionaries may just awaken his desire to live...and they may also hold the key to survival for the human race. (catalog summary)


 

 

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham
The Chyrsalids is set in the future after a devastating global nuclear war. David, the young hero of the novel, lives in a tight-knit community of religious and genetic fundamentalists, always on the alert for any deviation from the norm of God's creation. Abnormal plants are publicly burned, with much singing of hymns. Abnormal humans (who are not really human) are also condemned to destruction--unless they succeed in fleeing to the Fringes, that Wild Country where, as the authorities say, nothing is reliable and the devil does his work. (catalog summary)

 

 

09/06/2016 - 12:04pm
If You Like Drop City by T.C. Boyle

This readalike is in response to a customer'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.

Drop City by T.C. Boyle
It is 1970, and a down-at-the-heels California commune has decided to relocate to the last frontier--the unforgiving landscape of interior Alaska--in the ultimate expression of going back to the land. The novel opposes two groups of characters: Sess Harder, his wife Pamela, and other young Alaskans who are already homesteading in the wilderness and the brothers and sisters of Drop City, who, despite their devotion to peace, free love, and the simple life, find their commune riven by tensions. As these two communities collide, their alliances shift and unexpected friendships and dangerous enmities are born as everyone struggles with the bare essentials of life: love, nourishment, and a roof over one's head. (catalog summary)

If you like Drop City, you may also find these stories of folks living outside of society are appealing:  
 

 

Arcadia by Lauren Groff
Follows the fortunes of Bit and the commune his parents helped to create. A group of like-minded folks comes together to create a utopia in Arcadia. Despite everyone’s best intentions, the commune falls apart under the strain of privation and a self-serving leader who can’t live up to his own ideals. Bit is ill-prepared for the real world, but manages to make his way until a flu pandemic threatens the human race. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

Boonville by Robert Mailer Anderson
Surrounded by misfits, rednecks, and counterculture burnouts, John Gibson--the reluctant heir of an alcoholic grandmother--and Sarah McKay--a commune-reared "hippie-by-association"--search for self and community in the hole-of-a-town Boonville. As they try to assemble from the late-twentieth-century jumble of life the facts of sexuality, love, and death, and face the possibility of an existence without God, John and Sarah learn what happens when they dare to try to make art from their lives. (catalog summary)

 

 

09/06/2016 - 12:12pm
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

This readalike is in response to a customer'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 other book matches here.

 

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
A very contemporary cynic, physically beautiful and sexually adept, crashes his car into a ravine and suffers horrible burns over much of his body. As he recovers in a burn ward, undergoing the tortures of the damned, he awaits the day when he can leave the hospital and commit carefully planned suicide--for he is now a monster in appearance as well as in soul. Then a beautiful and compelling, but clearly unhinged, sculptress of gargoyles by the name of Marianne Engel appears at the foot of his bed and tells him that they were once lovers in medieval Germany. (catalog summary)
 

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


The Dante Club
by Matthew Pearl
In 1865 Boston, the literary geniuses of the Dante Club--poets and Harvard professors Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell, along with publisher J. T. Fields--are finishing America's first translation of The Divine Comedy and preparing to unveil Dante's remarkable visions to the New World. The powerful Boston Brahmins at Harvard College are fighting to keep Dante in obscurity, believing that the infiltration of foreign superstitions into American minds will prove as corrupting as the immigrants arriving at Boston Harbor. The members of the Dante Club fight to keep a sacred literary cause alive, but their plans fall apart when a series of murders erupts through Boston and Cambridge. (catalog summary)
 

 

 

Dante's Numbers by David Hewson
It was a warm, golden evening in Rome--a night filled with anticipation. A legendary director was premiering his new film version of Dante's Inferno. From around the world, celebrities gathered at the Villa Borghese as the paparazzi thronged among them. But within moments the event was in chaos. A man was dead. The film's star was missing--and a priceless relic had vanished. In David Hewson's masterful new novel of suspense, Detective Nic Costa, numb from the recent death of his wife, finds himself and his fellow detectives drawn into a strange and terrifying limbo--the first of Dante's nine circles of Hell. (catalog summary)

 

 

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