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  Cover Art: 1Q84 Murakami, Haruki
1Q84
An ode to George Orwell's "1984" told in alternating male and female voices relates the stories of Aomame, an assassin for a secret organization who discovers that she has been transported to an alternate reality, and Tengo, a mathematics lecturer and novice writer.
2011
Adult Fiction Book
  Cover Art: A Choice of Weapons Parks, Gordon
A Choice of Weapons
Gordon Parks (1912-2006)--the groundbreaking photographer, writer, composer, activist, and filmmaker-- was only sixteen in 1928 when he moved from Kansas to St. Paul, Minnesota, after his mother's death. There, homeless and hungry, he began his fight to survive, to educate himself, and to fulfill his potential dream.
2010
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: A Fine Balance Mistry, Rohinton
A Fine Balance
A portrait of India featuring four characters. Two are tailors who are forcibly sterilized, one is a student who emigrates, and the fourth is a widowed seamstress who decides to hang on. A tale of cruelty, political thuggery and despair by an Indian from Toronto, author of Such a Long Journey.
1997
Adult Fiction Book
  Cover Art: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius Eggers, Dave
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
One of the most mesmerizing memoirs of the literary season: a wrenching, hilarious, and stylistically groundbreaking story of a college senior who, in the space of five weeks, loses both of his parents to cancer and inherits his eight-year-old brother. "Well, this was when Bill was sighing a lot. He had decided that after our parents died he just didn't want any more fighting between what was left of us. He was twenty-four, Beth was twenty-three, I was twenty-one, Toph was eight, and all of us were so tired already, from that winter. So when something would come up, any little thing, some bill to pay or decision to make, he would just sigh, his eyes tired, his mouth in a sorry kind of smile. But Beth and I...Jesus, we were fighting with everyone, anyone, each other, with strangers at bars, anywhere -- we were angry people wanting to exact revenge. We came to California and we wanted everything, would take what was ours, anything within reach. And I decided that little Toph and I, he with his backward hat and long hair, living together in our little house in Berkeley, would be world-destroyers. We inherited each other and, we felt, a responsibility to reinvent everything, to scoff and re-create and drive fast while singing loudly and pounding the windows. It was a hopeless sort of exhilaration, a kind of arrogance born of fatalism, I guess, of the feeling that if you could lose a couple of parents in a month, then basically anything could happen, at any time -- all bullets bear your name, all cars are there to crush you, any balcony could give way; more disaster seemed only logical. And then, as in Dorothy's dream, all these people I grew up with were there, too, some of them orphans also, most but not all of us believing that what we had been given was extraordinary, that it was time to tear or break down, ruin, remake, take and devour. This was San Francisco, you know, and everyone had some dumb idea -- I mean, wicca? -- and no one there would tell you yours was doomed. Thus the public nudity, and this ridiculous magazine, and the Real World tryout, all this need, most of it disguised by sneering, but all driven by a hyper-awareness of this window, I guess, a few years when your muscles are taut, coiled up and vibrating. But what to do with the energy? I mean, when we drive, Toph and I, and we drive past people, standing on top of all these hills, part of me wants to stop the car and turn up the radio and have us all dance in formation, and part of me wants to run them all over."--Excerpt from chapter 5.
2001
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: A Reliable Wife Goolrick, Robert
A Reliable Wife
Rural Wisconsin, 1909. In the bitter cold, Ralph Truitt, a successful businessman, stands alone on a train platform waiting for the woman who answered his newspaper advertisement for "a reliable wife." But when Catherine Land steps off the train from Chicago, she's not the "simple, honest woman" that Ralph is expecting. She is both complex and devious, haunted by a terrible past and motivated by greed. Her plan is simple: she will win this man's devotion, and then, ever so slowly, she will poison him and leave Wisconsin a wealthy widow. What she has not counted on, though, is that Truitt -- a passionate man with his own dark secrets --has plans of his own for his new wife.
2009
Adult Fiction Book
  Cover Art: A Train in Winter : an Extraordinary Story of Women Friendship and Resistance in Occupied France Moorehead, Caroline
A Train in Winter : an Extraordinary Story of Women Friendship and Resistance in Occupied France
In January 1943, the Gestapo hunted down 230 women of the French Resistance and sent them to Auschwitz. This is their story, told in full for the first time -- a searing and unforgettable chronicle of terror, courage, defiance, survival, and the power of friendship to transcend evil that is an essential addition to the history of World War II.
2011
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: A Visit from the Goon Squad Egan, Jennifer
A Visit from the Goon Squad
Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs confront their pasts in this powerful story about how rebellion ages, influence corrupts, habits turn to addictions, lifelong friendships fluctuate and turn, and how art and music have the power to redeem.
2010
Adult Fiction Book
  Cover Art: About Schmidt Begley, Louis
About Schmidt
Proud, traditional, and impeccably organized, Albert Schmidt is a button-down lawyer of the old school. But now, after years of careful management, his life is slowly unraveling. His beloved wife has recently died. He stumbles--or is he being pushed?--into early retirement. And his daughter, his only child, is planning to marry a man Schmidt cannot approve of, for reasons he can scarcely admit, even to himself. As Schmidt gropes for resolutions, he finds unexpected hope in an intense passion that comes out of the blue. Set in the Hamptons and Manhattan, infused with black humor and startling eroticism, About Schmidt is both a meditation on loneliness and on the power of romance to unlock the most impenetrable recesses of the heart.
1997
Adult Fiction Book
  Cover Art: All Over but the Shoutin' Bragg, Rick
All Over but the Shoutin'
This haunting, harrowing, gloriously moving recollection of a life on the American margin is the story of Rick Bragg, who grew up dirt-poor in northeastern Alabama, seemingly destined for either the cotton mills or the penitentiary, and instead became a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times. It is the story of Bragg's father, a hard-drinking man with a murderous temper and the habit of running out on the people who needed him most. But at the center of this soaring memoir is Bragg's mother, who went eighteen years without a new dress so that her sons could have school clothes and picked other people's cotton so that her children wouldn't have to live on welfare alone.
1997
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: All Souls : a Family Story from Southie MacDonald, Michael Patrick
All Souls : a Family Story from Southie
This searing coming-of-age memoir is set in "Southie" where gangster Whitey Bulger runs the drug business, and class and racial violence erupt in response to forced busing in the 1970s. MacDonald loses four siblings to drugs, poverty, and violence, and eventually attempts to transcend his grief as he becomes an activist in the Southie he can't help but love.
1999
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons Landvik, Lorna
Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons
The women of Freesia Court are convinced that there is nothing good coffee, delectable desserts, and a strong shoulder can't fix. Laughter is the glue that holds them together--the foundation of a book group they call AHEB (Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons), an unofficial "club" that becomes much more. It becomes a lifeline. Holding on through forty eventful years, there's Faith, a lonely mother of twins who harbors a terrible secret that has condemned her to living a lie; big, beautiful Audrey, the resident sex queen who knows that with good posture and an attitude you can get away with anything; Merit, the shy doctor's wife with the face of an angel and the private hell of an abusive husband; Kari, a wise woman with a wonderful laugh who knows the greatest gifts appear after life's fiercest storms; and finally, Slip, a tiny spitfire of a woman who isn't afraid to look trouble straight in the eye.
2003
Adult Fiction Book
  Cover Art: Animal Farm Orwell, George
Animal Farm
Animal Farm is the most famous by far of all twentieth-century political allegories. Its account of a group of barnyard animals who revolt against their vicious human master, only to submit to a tyranny erected by their own kind, can fairly be said to have become a universal drama.
1993
Adult Fiction Book
  Cover Art: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle : a Year of Food Life Kingsolver, Barbara
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle : a Year of Food Life
Hang on for the ride: With characteristic poetry and pluck, Barbara Kingsolver and her family sweep readers along on their journey away from the industrial-food pipeline to a rural life in which they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Their good-humored search yields surprising discoveries about turkey sex life and overly zealous zucchini plants, en route to a food culture that's better for the neighborhood and also better on the table. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.
2007
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Any Bitter Thing Wood, Monica
Any Bitter Thing
Lizzy Mitchell was raised from the age of two by her uncle, a Catholic priest. When she was nine, he was falsely accused of improprieties with her and dismissed from his church, and she was sent away to boarding school. Now thirty years old and in a failing marriage, she is nearly killed in a traffic accident. What she discovers when she sets out to find the truths surrounding the accident and about the accusations that led to her uncle's death does more than change her life.
2006
Adult Fiction Book
  Cover Art: Arcadia Groff, Lauren
Arcadia
The lyrical and haunting story of a great American dream--the progress of a utopian community and its lasting impact on a gifted young man.
2012
Adult Fiction Book
  Cover Art: Atonement McEwan, Ian
Atonement
On the hottest day of the summer of 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her older sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching Cecilia is their housekeeper's son Robbie Turner, a childhood friend who, along with Briony's sister, has recently graduated from Cambridge. By the end of that day the lives of all three will have been changed forever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had never before dared to approach and will have become victims of the younger girl's scheming imagination. And Briony will have committed a dreadful crime, the guilt for which will color her entire life.
2002
Adult Fiction Book
  Cover Art: Beautiful Ruins Walter, Jess
Beautiful Ruins
A novel that spans fifty years. The Italian housekeeper and his long-lost American starlet; the producer who once brought them together, and his assistant. A glittering world filled with unforgettable characters.
2012
Adult Fiction Book
  Cover Art: Bel Canto Patchett, Ann
Bel Canto
Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening -- until a band of gun-wielding terrorists breaks in through the air-conditioning vents and takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different countries and continents become compatriots. Friendship, compassion, and the chance for great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion and cannot be stopped.
2005
Adult Fiction Book
  Cover Art: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk Fountain, Ben
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
A satire set in Texas during America's war in Iraq that explores the gaping national disconnect between the war at home and the war abroad. Follows the surviving members of the heroic Bravo Squad through one exhausting stop in their media-intensive "Victory Tour" at Texas Stadium, football mecca of the Dallas Cowboys, their fans, promoters, and cheerleaders.
2012
Adult Fiction Book
  Cover Art: Bitter Grounds BeniĀ“tez, Sandra
Bitter Grounds
A novel on El Salvador featuring two families on a coffee plantation, one which owns it, the other works it. The novel begins with a 1930s massacre of Indians, suspected of being Communists, and ends with exile in 1970s Miami.
1997
Adult Fiction Book
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