Dear Reader,

The tradition of the epistolary novel, a book written by characters corresponding with each other, started in the 18th century by Samuel Richardson using letters to tell the story. A modern update is a novel that uses computer e-mail. Lost letters, misdirected letters, Christmas letters, love letters, and dear reader, "You've got mail!"

The Boy Next Door

By Meg Cabot

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In her first adult novel since her successful series, The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot uses her heroine's e-mails to tell this boy-meets-girl story. Gossip columnist Melissa Fuller, always chronically late for work, has a real excuse for not showing up to work on time when her elderly neighbor is attacked and put in the hospital, leaving Mel in charge of two cats, a great Dane and her playboy nephew Max. But there is something mysterious about Max and then the killer returns...

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Night Letters: A Journey through Switzerland and Italy

By Robert Dessaix

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An Australian traveler, recently diagnosed with HIV, decides to spend his remaining time in Europe. Against a rich background of Venice and allusions to Dante, Casanova, Thomas Mann, and Sterne, this book is a compelling testament to life lived richly.
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Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen

By Fay Weldon

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A collection of correspondence between an eighteen-year-old student with green spiky hair and her aunt Fay, in which they discuss the merits of reading Jane Austen.
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Letters from Cleo and Tyrone: A Feline Perspective on Love, Life, and Litter

By L. Virginia Browne

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Cleo and Tyrone, two cats, take time between naps and feline mayhem to e-mail each other and share their views on catnip fields, fashion, poetry, tummy rubs, fashion and their owners.

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Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence

By Nick Bantock

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Griffin: It's good to get in touch with you at last. Could I have one of your fish postcards? I think you were right -- the wine glass has more impact than the cup. --Sabine

"But Griffin had never met a woman named Sabine. How did she know him? How did she know his artwork? Who is she? Thus begins the strange and intriguing correspondence of Griffin and Sabine. And since each letter must be pulled from its own envelope, the reader has the delightful, forbidden sensation of reading someone else's mail. Griffin & Sabine is like no other illustrated novel: appealing to the poet and artist in everyone and sure to inspire a renaissance in the fine art of letter-writing, it tells an extraordinary story in an extraordinary way."

Sequels include Sabine's Notebook and The Golden Mean.

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Fair and Tender Ladies

By Lee Smith

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Ivy Rowe may not have much education, but her thoughts are classic, and her experiences are fascinating. Born near the turn of the century in the Virginia Mountains, Ivy's story is told completely through letters she is forever writing, and that you will forever want to read....

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E, a Novel

By Matt Beaumont

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Backstabbing, office politics, and corporate intrigue in an advertising agency vying for the almighty Coca-Cola account. E-mails fly with sexual innuendoes, sly insults, and downright lies as the employees claw their way up and down the corporate ladder.

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Clarissa; or, The History of a Young Lady

By Samuel Richardson

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In this classic eighteenth-century epistolary novel, Clarissa's family tries to marry her off and a city gentleman tries to seduce her.
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Dog Years

By Gunter Grass

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In this vast novel, packed with incident, Gunter Grass traces the dark labyrinth of the German mentality as it developed during the rise, fall, and aftermath of the Third Reich.
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Disobedience

By Jane Hamilton

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"Reading someone else's e-mail is a quiet, clean enterprise. There is no pitterpattering around the room, no opening and closing the desk drawers, no percussive creasing as you draw the paper from the envelope and unfold it. There is no sound but the melody of dial-up, the purity of the following Gregorian tones, and the sweet nihilistic measure of static."

Teenager Henry reads his mother's e-mail and shakes the foundations of his family.

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