Everything you need for your book club, all in one bag! Book club sets consist of 7-15 copies of the title and include a discussion guide. They can be reserved by community book clubs – as well as by external libraries – at no charge.
One of the newer services of New Tecumseth Public Library, it has already proven to be a popular one! If you are interested in reserving a Book Club Set for your group, we ask that you register your book club with the library. To reserve or enquire about the availability of a specific set, please contact Leslie Carrol or Jo-Ann Dabrowa or call 705-435-5651 x1.
How It Works:
Each book club set is checked out for a maximum of eight weeks to the person who reserved the set, unless otherwise agreed upon. The entire set must be returned in person to library staff. If any part of the set is lost or damaged, regular lost procedures and charges will apply.
Other Book Club Services:
Library staff are happy to meet with book clubs to discuss other options for acquiring multiple copies of book club selections. Should your club not wish to use an NTPL Book Club Set, the Ontario Interlibrary Loan system can be used to order books, contingent on the desired title being in publication for at least one year. Please note that all members must have a New Tecumseth Public Library card.
Is your book club new and looking for tips on selecting your books and producing lively discussion? Library staff can help! Simply call Leslie or Kim to arrange a meeting.
Leslie Carrol 705-435-5651 x 1 Kim Burgess 705-435-5651 x 1
NTPL Currently Offers These Sets:
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
Jonas Jonasson (2012)
Desperate to avoid is 100th birthday party, Allan Karlsson sneaks out of his nursing home, intending to travel as far as his pocket money will take him. A spur-of-the-moment decision to steal a suitcase from a fellow bus passenger sends him on a strange journey involving criminals, a pile of cash and an elephant named Sonya.
Will Ferguson (2012)
A literary thriller that spans continents, 419 is the story of a woman’s quest to track down the man she feels is responsible for her father’s death.
Winner of the 2012 Giller Prize
Above All Things
Tanis Rideout (2012)
A captivating blend of historical fact and imaginative fiction, this breathtaking debut novel of obsession and divided loyalties, brilliantly weaves together the harrowing story of George Mallory’s ill-fated 1924 attempt to be the first man to conquer Mount Everest, with that of a single day in the life of his wife as she waits at home in England for news of his return.
All My Puny Sorrows
Miriam Toews (2014)
The story of two sisters: Yoli, a delightful mess with a passion for life, and Elf, a talented, famous pianist with a death wish. “She wanted to die and I wanted her to live and we were enemies who loved each other.” The question becomes, can Yoli convince Elf that life is worth living? All My Puny Sorrows is based on the author’s own experience of her sister’s suicide, in 2010, 12 years after their father killed himself, explaining the novel’s urgency and rawness.
All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr (2014)
When Marie Laure is six, she goes blind. When she is 12, the Germans occupy Paris, and she flees with her father to Saint-Malo. Meanwhile, in Germany, orphaned Werner’s talent at building radios wins him a place at a military academy. As he becomes aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and into Saint-Marlo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Garth Stein (2009)
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television and listening carefully to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Now in his twilight years, Enzo finds himself thinking back on his life with the Swift family, reflecting on all he has learned about the human condition and how life, like racing, is about so much more than simply going fast.
The Beauty of Humanity Movement
Camilla Gibb (2010)
Set in contemporary Vietnam, this is the story of a country undergoing momentous change and the story of how family is defined – not always by bloodlines but by the heart.
The Best Kind of People
Zoe Whittall (2016)
What if someone you trusted was accused of the unthinkable?
With exquisite emotional precision, award-winning author Zoe Whittall explores issues of loyalty, truth, and the meaning of happiness through the lens of an all-American family on the brink of collapse.
The Best Laid Plans
Terry Fallis (2007)
A burnt-out political aide quits just before an election — but is forced to run a hopeless campaign on the way out. He makes a deal with a crusty old Scot, Angus McLintock — an engineering professor who will do anything, anything, to avoid teaching English to engineers — to let his name stand in the election. No need to campaign, certain to lose – or is he?
Better Living Through Plastic Explosives
Zsuzsi Gartner (2011)
From an emerging master of short fiction and one of Canada’s most distinctive voices, a collection of stories as heartbreaking as those of Lorrie Moore and as hilariously off-kilter as something out of McSweeney’s. These stories ruthlessly expose our most secret desires, and allow us to snort with laughter at the grotesque world we’d live in if we all got what we wanted.
The Book of Negroes
Lawrence Hill (2007)
A sweeping story that transports the reader from a tribal African village to a plantation in the southern United States, from the teeming Halifax docks to the manor houses of London, The Book of Negroesintroduces one of the strongest female characters in recent Canadian fiction, one who cuts a swath through a world hostile to her colour and her sex.
The Boys in the Trees
Mary Swan (2008)
At the turn of the twentieth century, newly arrived to the countryside, William Heath, his wife, and two daughters appear the picture of a devoted family. But when accusations of embezzlement spur William to commit an unthinkable crime, those who witnessed this affectionate, attentive father go about his routine of work and family must reconcile action with character. A doctor who cared for the young Lillian searches for clues that might penetrate the mystery of the father’s motivation. Meanwhile Rachel’s teacher grapples with guilt over a moment when fate wove her into a succession of events that will haunt her dreams.
Craid Davidson (2013)
Cataract City opens with Duncan Diggs serving the last day of an eight-year prison term for murder. He is picked up by his childhood friend, Owen Stuckey, and driven from the Kingston Penitentiary back to their hometown of Niagara Falls, Ontario.
The Cat’s Table
Michael Ondaatje (2011)
In the early 1950s, an 11-year-old boy boards a huge liner bound for England. At mealtimes, he is placed at the lowly “Cat’s Table” with an eccentric group of grown-ups and two other boys. At night, the boys spy on a shackled prisoner – his crime and fate a mystery that will haunt them forever.
Brad Smith (2012)
Jack-of-all-trades Virgil Cain gets tangled up in an old crime surfacing from the waters of the Hudson River, in this second novel.
Cutting for Stone
Abraham Verghese (2009)
Born of a liaison between East and West, twins Marion and Shiva Stone grow up in an Ethiopia on the brink of revolution. Years later, as Marion works as a doctor in an overcrowded New York hospital, he discovers help form the family he had all but given up on years ago.
Herman Koch (2013)
An international bestseller, this is a darkly suspenseful, highly controversial tale of two families struggling to make the hardest decision of their lives – all over the course of one meal.
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Muriel Barbery (2008)
The lives of a widowed caretaker of a Paris apartment building and an extremely bright but suicidal twelve-year-old are transformed by the arrival of a new tenant from Japan.
Alissa York (2010)
A contemporary human fable that taps into the great tenderness and drama at the heart of the animal world. Edal Jones is on stress leave from her job busting smugglers of exotic pets and banned animal parts, when she discovers a modern-day sanctuary for injured souls. Handsome proprietor Guy Howell offers refuge to animals and humans alike: a half-starved hawk and a brood of orphaned raccoons; a soldier whose heart failed him during his first tour of duty; a teenage runaway and her massive black dog. Guy’s a rare kind of man—well-versed in the delicate workings of damaged beings, he might just stand a chance at capturing Edal’s heart.
Andre Alexis (2015)
Andre Alexis (2015)
The gods Hermes and Apollo wonder what would happen if animals had human intelligence – and make a wager on the outcome. This leads them to grant human consciousness and language to a group of dogs overnighting at a Toronto veterinary clinic. Suddenly capable of more complex thought, the pack is torn between those who resist the new ways of thinking, preferring the old ‘dog’ ways, and those who embrace the change. The gods watch from above as the dogs venture into their newly unfamiliar world.
The Free World
David Bezmozgis (2011)
Follow the Krasnansky family, three generations of Russian Jews – through their journey of immigration, from Russian, through Rome, towards Canada. A saga of great historical scope and even greater human depth.
Girl on the Train
Paula Hawkins (2015)
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and evening, rattling over the same junctions, flashing past the same townhouses.The train stops at the same signal every day, and she sees the same couple, breakfasting on their roof terrace. Then one day Rachel sees someone new in their garden. Soon after, Rachel sees the woman on the news, she has disappeared. As she befriends Scott, Rachel pieces together what really happened the day Megan disappeared. But when Megan’s body is found, Rachel finds herself the chief suspect in the case. Plunged into a world of betrayals, secrets and deceptions, Rachel must confront the facts about her own past and her own failed marriage.
A God in Ruins
Kate Atkinson (2015)
Edward “Teddy” Todd lives this paradox every day on the pages of Kate Atkinson’s new novel, A God in Ruins. As an RAF wing commander flying a Halifax bomber during the war, Teddy is both the god who is ruined by war, and the one who rains destruction from the sky.
Donna Tartt (2013)
Donna Tartt (2013)
It begins with 13-year old Theo Decker, a New Yorker, who miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend, clinging to the memory of his mother, he discovers the underworld of Art. As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.
Gillian Flynn (2012)
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
The Good Lord Bird
James McBride (2013
The memoirs of Henry Shackleford, a slave in Kansas during the Bleeding Kansas era, are discovered in a Delaware church. Henry, nicknamed “Little Onion” for eating a particularly rancid onion, accidentally encounters abolitionist John Brown in a tavern. Brown mistakes Henry for a girl because he wears a dress; Shackleford wears a dress for much of the novel. The two join together, and Henry narrates his encounters with Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and the events at John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry. The book is narrated in the first person through Henry.
Esi Edugyan (2011)
The aftermath of the fall of Paris, 1940. Hieronymous Falk, a rising star on the cabaret scene, was arrested in a cafe and never heard from again. He was twenty years old. He was a German citizen. And he was black. Fifty years later, Sid, Hiero’s bandmate and the only witness that day, is going back to Berlin. Persuaded by his old friend Chip, Sid discovers there’s more to the journey than he thought.
The Hanged Man’s Noose
Judy Penz Sheluk (2015)
Small-town secrets and subterfuge lead to murder in this fast-moving, deftly written tale of high-stakes real estate wrangling gone amok.
Journalist Emily Garland lands a plum assignment as the editor of a niche magazine based in Lount’s Landing, a small town named after a colorful 19th century Canadian traitor. As she interviews the local business owners for the magazine, Emily quickly learns that many people are unhappy with real estate mogul Garrett Stonehaven’s plans to convert an old schoolhouse into a mega-box store.
Before long, a vocal dissenter at a town hall meeting about the proposed project dies. A few days later, another body is discovered, and although both deaths are ruled accidental, Emily’s journalistic suspicions are aroused.
Putting her reporting skills to the ultimate test, Emily teams up with Arabella Carpenter, the outspoken owner of an antiques shop, to discover the truth behind Stonehaven’s latest scheme before the murderer strikes again.
Lynn Coady (2013)
With astonishing range and depth, Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist Lynn Coady gives us eight unforgettable new stories, each one of them grabbing our attention from the first line and resonating long after the last.
A House in the Sky
Amanda Lindhout (2013)
The dramatic and redemptive memoir of a woman whose curiosity led her to the world’s most beautiful and remote places, it’s most imperiled and perilous countries, and then into fifteen months of harrowing captivity—an exquisitely written story of courage, resilience, and grace. The searingly intimate story of an intrepid young woman and her search for compassion in the face of unimaginable adversity.
The Imposter Bride
Nancy Richler (2012)
When a young, enigmatic woman arrives in post-war Montreal, it is immediately clear that she is not who she claims to be. Her attempt to live out her life as Lily Azerov shatters as she disappears, leaving a new husband and baby daughter, and a host of unanswered questions. Who is she really and what happened to the young woman whose identity she has stolen? Why has she left and where did she go? It is left to the daughter she abandoned to find the answers to these questions as she searches for the mother she may never find or really know.
Alix Ohlin (2012)
In a trio of interlocked stories, Ohlin’s bleak second novel shadows three broken people in the hunt for fulfillment who sabotage any true chance of finding it.
Meg Wolitzer (2014)
“In Meg Wolitzer’s lovely, wise The Interestings, Julie Jacobson begins the summer of ’74 as an outsider at arts camp until she is accepted into a clique of teenagers with whom she forms a lifelong bond. Through well-tuned drama and compassionate humor, Wolitzer chronicles the living organism that is friendship, and arcs it over the cours of more than thirty years.”—O, the Oprah Magazine
I See You
Clare Mackintosh (2017)
I See You is a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat, page-turning psychological thriller from one of the most exciting and successful British debut talents of 2015.
The Last Lecture
Randy Pausch (2008)
According to Randy Pausch “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand” (Pausch & Zaslow, 2008). At 47 Pausch, a college professor at Carnegie Mellon University, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He then decided to write The Last Lecture.
In their last year professors are often asked to give a talk, their last lecture, in which they reflect on their experiences. While they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? What would we want as our legacy?
Late Nights on Air
Elizabeth Hay (2008)
Concocting a story from the entanglements and longings of a group of transplanted people working at a small radio station in the Canadian north (Yellowknife, to be exact) back in the 1970s is so old-fashioned as to appear nervy. The medium, the place and the time period come across as aspects of another world, almost forgotten and recently excavated. Over the course of the novel, a television station encroaches on radio country and a gas pipeline is in the offing, threatening the region and its native communities. But such “new” developments are rarities, and tension surrounding their arrival isn’t what keeps the reader going.
Life After Life
Kate Atkinson (2013)
What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?
Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, Kate Atkinson finds warmth even in life’s bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past. Here she is at her most profound and inventive, in a novel that celebrates the best and worst of ourselves.
A Long Way Gone
Ishmael Beah (2013)
At the age of twelve, Ishmael Beah fled attacking rebels in Sierra Leone and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. At sixteen, he was removed from fighting by UNICEF, and through the help of the staff at his rehabilitation center, he learned how to forgive himself, to regain his humanity, and, finally, to heal.
This is an extraordinary and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.
Eleanor Catton (2013)
It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to the New Zealand goldfields to make his fortune. He soon stumbles across a small group of locals who are meeting to discuss a series of unsolved crimes: a wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is drawn into a network of fates that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.
The Massey Murder
Charlotte Gray (2013)
A scandalous crime, a sensational trial, a surprise verdict—the true story of Carrie Davies, the maid who shot Charles “Bert” Massey in 1915. But who was the victim here? Bert, a scion of a famous family, or the frightened, perhaps mentally unstable Carrie, a penniless British immigrant? Set against a backdrop of the Great War in Europe and the changing face of a nation, this sensational crime is brought to vivid life for the first time.
Me Before You
Jojo Moyes (2012)
Louisa is living a very ordinary life… until she takes a job working for WIll Traynor, who is wheel-chair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life – big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel – and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Can love help him find the strength to carry on, or will it allow him to stop fighting?
Richard Wagamese (2014)
In this new novel, Wagamese presents his reader with the problem of reconciliation writ small. Franklin Starlight, 16 and raised by a guardian for most of his life, receives a summons from his biological father, who is an alcoholic dying of liver failure in a hardscrabble mill town. The request is hard to stomach, yet Franklin balks only briefly, taking up his filial duty like the honourable man he’s been raised to be, walking out on the land behind the horse that carries the broken shell of his father…
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter
Kim Edwards (2006)
What would you do if your child was born with Down’s syndrome? Dr. David Henry chooses to tell his wife their daughter died at birth, while their healthy son survived. The nurse he asks to take the baby to an institution instead keeps her and moves away. So begins this story that unfolds over a quarter of a century – in which these two families, ignorant of each other, are yet bound by the fateful decision made that long-ago winter night.
Christopher Bohjalian (1997)
The time is 1981, and Sibyl Danforth has been a dedicated midwife in the rural community of Reddington, Vermont, for fifteen years. But one treacherous winter night, in a house isolated by icy roads and failed telephone lines, Sibyl takes desperate measures to save a baby’s life. She performs an emergency Caesarean section on its mother, who appears to have died in labor. But what if—as Sibyl’s assistant later charges—the patient wasn’t already dead, and it was Sibyl who inadvertently killed her?
My Sister’s Keeper
Jodi Picoult (2005)
A provocative novel that raises some important ethical issues, My Sister’s Keeper is the story of one family’s struggle for survival at all human costs and a stunning parable for all time. Two sisters, one a product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, born for the purpose of being a bone marrow match for the other – a life and a role that she has never challenged… until now. Always defined in terms of her sister, Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.
Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (2016)
Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down.
Kristin Hannah (2015)
“I loved Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale. She has captured a particular slice of French life during World War II with wonderful details and drama. But what I loved most about the novel was the relationship between the two sisters and Hannah’s exploration of what we do in moments of great challenge. Do we rise to the occasion or fail? Are we heroes or cowards? Are we loyal to the people we love most or do we betray them? Hannah explores these questions with probing finesse and great heart.” ―Lisa See, #1 New York Times bestseller author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
Alexander McCall Smith (1998)
The No.1 ladies’ detective agency consists of one woman, the engaging and sassy Precious Ramotswe, who sets up shop in Gabarone, Botswana. This unlikely herione specialises in missing husbands, wayward daughters, con men and impostors.
Terry Fallis (2013)
After 15 years, a NYC copywriter is suddenly fired, and single. But his worst trouble? Meet Earnest Hemmingway, bedeviled by moniker of famous author Ernest Hemingway. Earnest’s father pressures him to come home and help run the family clothing business. As a complex familial battle plays out, Earnest’s inherited name leads him in unexpected directions.
Elizabeth Strout (2008)
Olive Kitteridge is a retired schoolteacher who is unhappy to see things changing around her but fails to realize her role in that change. As thirteen stories of her students and family unfold, Olive comes to a deeper understanding of herself and the power she possesses.
Joseph Boyden (2013)
The Orenda, Joseph Boyden’s stunning historical epic, is set in mid-17th-century Huronia, during a period of brutal skirmishes between the Huron and the Iroqouis, just as the Catholics launch their campaign to convert aboriginal peoples. Boyden’s previous novel, the Giller Prize-winning Through Black Spruce, examined aboriginal life in contemporary times.
Christina Baker Kline (2013)
A captivating story of two very different women who build an unexpected friendship: a 91-year-old woman with a hidden past as an orphan-train rider and the teenage girl whose own troubled adolescence leads her to seek answers to questions no one has ever thought to ask. Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.
The Painted Girls
Cathy Marie Buchanan (2012)
A gripping novel set in Belle Époque Paris and inspired by the real-life model for Degas’s Little Dancer Aged Fourteen and a notorious criminal trial of the era. Set at a moment of profound artistic, cultural, and societal change, The Painted Girls is a tale of two remarkable sisters rendered uniquely vulnerable to the darker impulses of “civilized society.”
The Paris Wife
Paula McLain (2011)
An elegantly written look inside Ernest Hemingway and Hadley Richardson’s marriage. After a brief courtship and small wedding, they take off for Paris, where Hadley transforms from an overprotected child to a brave young woman who endures impoverished living conditions and shattering loneliness to prop up her husband’s career.
The Promise of Canada
Charlotte Gray (2016)
Charlotte Gray’s The Promise of Canada examines the idea of Canada from the position of a biographer “who believes that the ideas and actions of individuals can shape larger social changes, and those changes, in turn, mould national identity.” Impressive in its purview of Canadian history, while providing portraits of a few living Canadians, such as Margaret Atwood and Preston Manning, Gray has chosen eight Canadians to probe the mythos of Canada, from George-Étienne Cartier’s role in Confederation (“One hundred and fifty years later, the federal system that Cartier envisaged is the basic building block of Canada’s uniqueness,” Gray writes) to Emily Carr’s magnificent artistic ability to Tommy Douglas’s struggle for universal health care in Saskatchewan, which later led to Canadawide coverage (“The fight to introduce medicare into Saskatchewan remains a turning point in Canadian history”).
The Rosie Project
Graeme Simsion (2013)
Don Tillman, a bright yet socially challenged genetics professor, has decided it’s time he found a wife. And so, in his typical orderly, evidence-based manner, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner. After meeting Rosie, Don is forced to confront the fact that love is not always logical.
Kim Thuy (2012)
The word “Ru” is Vietnamese for lullaby. In French it can signify a stream or flow. A fitting title for this book, given both Ru’s haunting and incantatory writing style and the migratory passage the Montreal-based novelist describes. Sensitively rendered in English by celebrated translator Sheila Fischman, Thúy’s novel originated with a French edition that won the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction in 2010.
Tatiana de Rosnay (2008)
Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family’s apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.
Paris, May 2002: On Vel’ d’Hiv’s 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France’s past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl’s ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d’Hiv’, to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah’s past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.
Shilpi Somaya Gowda (2010)
When Kavita gives birth to a daughter her rural Indian family cannot afford, her only choice is to send baby Asha to an orphanage, from which she is adopted by an American doctor and her husband. Gowda intertwines the lives of these three women, as they struggle with issues of culture, identity and familial loyalty.
The Secret Life of Bees
Sue Monk Kidd (2003)
The Secret Life of Bees was a New York Times bestseller for more than two and a half years, a Good Morning America “Read This” Book Club pick and was made into an award-winning film starring Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, and Alicia Keys. A coming of age tale set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees will appeal to fans of Kathryn Stockett’s The Help and Beth Hoffman’s Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, and tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed.
The Sisters Brothers
Patrick deWitt (2011)
With The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt pays homage to the classic Western, transforming it into an unforgettable comic tour de force. Filled with a remarkable cast of characters–losers, cheaters, and ne’er-do-wells from all stripes of life–and told by a complex and compelling narrator, it is a violent, lustful odyssey through the underworld of the 1850s frontier that beautifully captures the humor, melancholy, and grit of the Old West and two brothers bound by blood, violence, and love.
State of Wonder
Ann Patchett (2011)
A provocative novel of morality and miracles, science and sacrifice set in the Amazon rainforest–a gripping adventure story and a profound look at the difficult choices we make in the name of discovery and love. In a narrative replete with poison arrows, devouring snakes, scientific miracles, and spiritual transformations, State of Wonder presents a world of stunning surprise and danger, rich in emotional resonance and moral complexity.
Margaret Atwood (2014)
Nine tales of acute psychological insight and turbulent relationships. In these nine tales, Margaret Atwood is at the top of her darkly humorous and seriously playful game.
A Tale for the Time Being
Ruth Ozeki (2013)
In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying, but before she ends it all, Nao plans to document the life of her great-grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in a ways she can scarcely imagine.
Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.
The Thirteenth Tale
Diane Setterfield (2006)
Biographer Margaret Lea returns one night to her apartment above her father’s antiquarian bookshop. On her steps she finds ahand-written request from one of Britain’s most prolific and well-loved novelists, Vida Winter, who wishes to have Margaret capture her history before it’s too late. While pondering whether to accept the task of recording Miss Winter’s personal story, Margaret begins to read her father’s rare copy of Miss Winter’s Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation. She is spellbound by the stories and confused when she realizes the book only contains twelve stories. Where is the thirteenth tale? Intrigued, Margaret agrees to meet Miss Winter and act as her biographer.
Through Black Spruce
Joseph Boyden (2009)
Will Bird and his niece Suzanne are both in trouble – he is fighting for his life in a hospital in Ontario, while she has disappeared into the dangers of Manhattan as a model. Annie Brid, Suzanne’s sister, worries about them both, as their secrets unfold.
A Visit from the Goon Squad
Jennifer Egan (2010)
Egan’s spellbinding interlocking narratives circle the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Although Bennie and Sasha never discover each other’s pasts, the reader does, in intimate detail, along with the secret lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs, over many years, in locales as varied as New York, San Francisco, Naples, and Africa.
Water for Elephants
Sara Gruen (2007)
The runaway international bestseller by “the must-read author of summer” (Ottawa Citizen). Orphaned and penniless at the height of the Depression, Jacob Jankowski escapes everything he knows by jumping on a passing train—and inadvertently runs away with the circus. So begins Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen’s darkly beautiful tale about the characters who inhabit the less-than-greatest show on earth
Where We Have to Go
Lauren Kirshner (2009)
Where We Have to Go is a luminous and sassy first novel about the last days of childhood in a family coming apart at the seams. At once wryly humorous and deeply affecting, this sparkling novel follows the irresistible Lucy Bloom as she searches for her place in the world.
Russell Wangersky (2012)
Short story collection examines when coping skills slip – denial, pragmatism, or delusion. A caretaker of a prairie amusement park, the lone occupant of a collapsing Newfoundland town, a travelling sports drink marketer with a pressing need to get off the road, an elevator inspector who finds himself losing his marriage amid sensuous food gourmandizing – all spin out of control into new worlds.
Aravind Adiga (2008)
A stunning literary debut critics have likened to Richard Wright’s Native Son, The White Tigerfollows a darkly comic Bangalore driver through the poverty and corruption of modern India’s caste society. “This is the authentic voice of the Third World, like you’ve never heard it before” (John Burdett, Bangkok 8).
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