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Posted on: September 19, 2019

Five-Carat Soul

Five-Carat Soul

by James McBride

An antiques dealer discovers that a legendary toy commissioned by Civil War General Robert E. Lee now sits in the home of a black minister in Queens. Five strangers find themselves thrown together and face unexpected judgment. An American ...

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Posted on: August 9, 2019

There There

There There

by Tommy Orange

Reviewed by Janet:

This powerful novel begins as a series of loosely connected short stories, but turns into something so much more in this exploration of the plight of the urban Native American. Each of the characters follows their own path...

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Posted on: July 18, 2019

Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere

by Celeste Ng

Reviewed by Janet:

When things don’t go to plan in the planned community of Shaker Heights, Elena Richardson finds herself struggling to make sense of it all. The secrets she uncovers about her tenants Mia and Pearl threaten to disrupt her own...

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Posted on: June 24, 2019

The Friend

The Friend

by Sigrid Nunez

Reviewed by Linda:Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction, this novel is for and about writers, teachers of writing, and those who love fine writing. The narrator is a woman who loses her beloved literary mentor to suicide and finds h...

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Posted on: May 17, 2019

All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir

All You Can Ever Know

by Nicole Chung

Chung investigates the mysteries and complexities of her transracial adoption in this chronicle of unexpected family for anyone who has struggled to figure out where they belong.

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Posted on: April 12, 2019

The Mothers

The Mothers

by Brit Bennett

This dazzling debut novel tells a surprising story about young love, a big secret in a small community — and the things that ultimately haunt us most.

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Posted on: March 20, 2019

Asymmetry

Asymmetry

by Lisa Halliday

A first novel by an award-winning writer explores the imbalances that spark and sustain dramatic human relations, tracing the overlapping stories of a young American editor's relationship with a famous older writer, an unexpected New York ...

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Posted on: February 19, 2019

Small Fry

Small Fry

by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

A frank, smart and captivating memoir by the daughter of Apple founder Steve Jobs. Born on a farm and named in a field by her parents — artist Chrisann Brennan and Steve Jobs — Lisa Brennan-Jobs's childhood unfolded...

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Posted on: January 25, 2019

A Place for Us

A Place for Us

by Fatima Farheen Mirza

A Place for Us is a deeply moving and resonant story of love, identity, and belonging. As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made. There is Hadi...

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Posted on: December 21, 2018

The Locals

The Locals

by Jonathan Dee

Mark Firth is a home builder in Howland, Massachusetts in the early 2000s who, after being swindled by a finanical advisor, feels opportunity passing him by. In the paranoid days after 9/11, a New York money manager, Philip Hadi, moves his ...

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Posted on: November 9, 2018

They May Not Mean To, But They Do

They May Not Mean To, But They Do

by Cathleen Schine

Joy Bergman is not slipping into old age with the quiet grace her children, Molly and Daniel, would prefer. She won't take their advice, and she won't take an antidepressant. Her marriage to their father, Aaron, has lasted through health...

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Posted on: October 12, 2018

Moonglow

Moonglow

by Michael Chabon

A man bears witness to his grandfather's deathbed confessions, which reveal his family's long-buried history and his involvement in a mail-order novelty company, World War II, and the space program.

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Posted on: September 20, 2018

Sing, Unburied, Sing

Sing, Unburied, Sing

by Jesmyn Ward

Reviewed by Linda:

Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction, this novel follows three generations of an African American family in Mississippi over the course of a few days. Ward, a two-time winner of the NBA, writes powerfully of how p...

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Posted on: August 10, 2018

Future Home of the Living God

Future Home of the Living God

by Louise Erdrich

A tale set in a world of reversing evolution and a growing police state follows pregnant thirty-two-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, who investigates her biological family while awaiting the birth of a child who may emerge as a member of a ...

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Posted on: July 24, 2018

The Music Shop

The Music Shop

by Rachel Joyce

It's 1988. The CD has arrived. Sales of the shiny new disks are soaring on high streets in cities across the country. Meanwhile, down a dead-end street, Frank's music shop stands small and brightly lit, jam-packed with records of every kind...

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Posted on: June 22, 2018

Walking Lions

Waking Lions

by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen

After neurosurgeon Eitan Green hits and kills an African migrant while driving on a deserted road late at night, the victim's wife tracks him down and confronts him, and her price for silence shatters his safe existence.

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Posted on: May 11, 2018

All Grown Up

All Grown Up

by Jami Attenberg

Hiding the truth about her unhappiness and struggles with anxiety from everyone including her family, best friend, and therapist, Andrea Bern joins her loved ones in a reevaluation of family strength in the wake of her newborn niece's hea...

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Posted on: April 18, 2018

When Breath Becomes Air

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by Paul Kalanithi

Reviewed by Janet:

Paul Kalanithi was a promising young neurosurgeon on the verge of completing his residency. A talented doctor, he sought to connect with his patients as individuals, not merely problems to be fixed in surgery. Yet a diag...

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Posted on: March 14, 2018

News of the World

News of the World

by Paulette Jiles

In the aftermath of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, an elderly widower and itinerant news reader, is offered fifty dollars to bring an orphan girl, who was kidnapped and raised by Kiowa raiders, from Wichita Falls back to her ...

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Posted on: February 12, 2018

Home Fire

Home Fire

by Kamila Shamsie

From an internationally acclaimed novelist, the suspenseful and heartbreaking story of a family ripped apart by secrets and driven to pit love against loyalty, with devastating consequences. Isma is free. After years of watching out for h...

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Posted on: December 20, 2017

The Locals

The Locals

by Jonathan Dee

Reviewed by Linda:

I once met a librarian from the Berkshires who told me that many of the new houses in his hometown have helicopter pads in the backyards. I thought of him as I devoured Jonathan Dee’s new novel about a small Berk...

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Posted on: December 26, 2017

The Secret History of Wonder Woman

The Secret History of Wonder Woman

by Jill Lepore

This cultural history of Wonder Woman traces the character's creation and enduring popularity, drawing on interviews and archival research to reveal the pivotal role of feminism in shaping her seven-decade story.

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Posted on: November 9, 2017

Pachinko

Pachinko

by Min Jin Lee

Pachinko follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is sav...

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Posted on: November 10, 2017

Be Frank with Me

Be Frank with Me

by Julia Claiborne Johnson

Reclusive literary legend M. M. 'Mimi' Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years. But after falling prey to a Bernie Madoff-style ponzi scheme, she's flat broke. Now Mimi must write a new book for the first time ...

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Posted on: September 15, 2017

Strangers in Their Own Land

Strangers in Their Own Land

by Arlie Russell Hochschild

In Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country – a stronghold of th...

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Posted on: August 11, 2017

Man at the Helm

Man at the Helm

by Nina Stibbe

When her charmed life is shattered by her father's abandonment, young Lizzie is forced to move to a gossipy, disapproving village where her sister and she resolve to find a new man for their dysfunctional mother.

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Posted on: July 14, 2017

Everyone Brave Is Forgiven

Everyone Brave is Forgiven

by Chris Cleave

Shocking her blueblood political family by volunteering for the war effort in 1939 London, socialite Mary teaches evacuated and marginalized children and bonds with her employer, Tom, before their romance is challenged by a painful love tri...

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Posted on: May 15, 2017

The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between

The Return

by Hisham Matar

In 2012, after the overthrow of Qaddafi, the acclaimed novelist Hisham Matar journeyed to his native Libya after an absence of thirty years. When he was twelve, Matar and his family went into political exile. Eight years later Matar&rsq...

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Posted on: May 15, 2017

Lab Girl

Lab Girl

by Hope Jahren

This debut memoir by an award-winning paleobiologist traces her childhood in her father's laboratory, her longtime relationship with a brilliant but wounded colleague, and the remarkable discoveries they have made both in the lab and during ...

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Posted on: April 14, 2017

Hag-seed

Hag-seed

by Margaret Atwood

Felix is at the top of his game as artistic director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival. His productions have amazed and confounded. Now he's staging a Tempest like no other: not only will it boost his reputation, it will heal emotional ...

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Posted on: March 16, 2017

The Excellent Lombards

The Excellent Lombards

by Jane Hamilton

From the internationally bestselling author of The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World, a heartfelt coming-of-age story that Karen Joy Fowler calls "a timeless classic book you will read and reread." Mary Frances "Frankie&qu...

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Posted on: January 19, 2017

My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend

by Elena Ferrante

The story begins in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets, the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow — and as their paths ...

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Posted on: December 9, 2016

The Summer Before the War

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by Helen Simonson

Arriving in the village of Rye, England, in 1914, Beatrice Nash, a young woman of good family, becomes the first female teacher of Latin at the local school and falls in love with her sponsor's nephew.

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Posted on: November 16, 2016

The State We're In: Maine Stories

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by Ann Beattie

An award-winning short story master presents a collection of new, linked tales that impart the diverse perspectives of women orbiting around a disaffected teen who is staying with relatives while attending summer school.

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Posted on: October 17, 2016

The Marriage of Opposites

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by Alice Hoffman

Dreaming of an exotic life in Paris while coming of age in a St. Thomas refugee community, young Rachel is forced to marry a widower before falling scandalously in love and becoming the mother of Impressionist master Camille Pissarro.

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Posted on: September 14, 2016

Nora Webster

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by Colm Tóibín

Set in Wexford, Ireland, Colm Tóibín's superb seventh novel introduces the formidable, memorable, and deeply moving Nora Webster. Widowed at forty, with four children and not enough money, Nora has lost the love of her life, Maurice, the man...

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Posted on: August 12, 2016

The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House

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by Kate Andersen Brower

An intimate account of White House life from the perspectives of the service staff from the Kennedys through the Obamas details their friendships, marriages, everyday activities, and elaborate state dinners.

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Posted on: July 15, 2016

Dimestore: A Memoir

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by Lee Smith

In her first work of nonfiction, an author recounts her early days in the small coal town of Grundy, Virginia — and beyond.

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Posted on: June 10, 2016

Three Strong Women

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by Marie NDiaye; translated by John Fletcher

The U.S. release of a Prix Goncourt-winning novel follows the intertwined stories of three women who discover the power of saying no, including a French-born lawyer who must save a victim of her tyrannical fathe...

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Posted on: May 13, 2016

Euphoria

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by Lily King

Frustrated by his research efforts and depressed over the death of his brothers, Andre Banson runs into two fellow anthropologists, a married couple, in 1930s New Guinea and begins a tumultuous relationship with them.

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Posted on: May 13, 2016

A Strangeness in My Mind

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by Orhan Pamuk

Selling Turkish spirits on the street and dreaming of becoming rich in a rapidly developing Istanbul, street youth Melvut Karatas elopes with the wrong woman and builds a family over decades marked by a series of dead-end jobs and an endurin...

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Posted on: March 17, 2016

Alice in Bed

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by Judith Hooper

Reviewed by Linda:

In Amherst author Judith Hooper’s fascinating work of historical fiction it wasn’t hysteria that kept the brilliant Alice James trapped in bed. Sister to the famous writer Henry and psychologist William, she suffered as m...

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Posted on: February 17, 2016

Deep South

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by Paul Theroux

One of the most acclaimed travel writers of our time turns his unflinching eye on an American South too often overlooked. Paul Theroux has spent fifty years crossing the globe, adventuring in the exotic, seeking the rich history and folklor...

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Posted on: December 24, 2015

Delicious

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by Ruth Reichl

Working as a public relations hotline consultant for a once-prestigious culinary magazine, Billie Breslin unexpectedly enters a world of New York restaurateurs and artisanal purveyors while reading World War II letters exchanged between a pl...

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Posted on: December 24, 2015

The Hilltop

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by Assaf Gavron

Life in a West Bank settlement from one of Israel's most acclaimed young novelists, skewering the complex, often absurd reality of life in Israel, the West Bank settlers, and the nation's relationship to the United States.

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Posted on: November 13, 2015

Dear Life

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by Alice Munro

This collection of stories illuminates moments that shape a life, from a dream or a sexual act to simple twists of fate that turn a person out of his or her accustomed path and into another way of being. Set in the countryside and towns of L...

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Posted on: July 24, 2015

Some Luck

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by Jane Smiley

An epic novel that spans thirty years in the lives of a farm family in Iowa, telling a parallel story of the changes taking place in America from 1920 through the early 1950s.

Find in our catalog Book Club - Contemporary