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The Into Beautiful North
Urrea, Luis Alberto
Luis Alberto Urrea draws on his own borderland experience to write this engaging story. A small Mexican village is inhabited only by children, women and old men since men of working age have all gone north to find work. Narco-traffickers start appearing in the village and create a sense of insecurity. Nineteen-year-old Nayeli, after having seen The Magnificent Seven at the local movie theater, decides to go north and recruit a group of men to live in and protect the village. She and some friends start an remarkable trip that will bring them to Tijuana first and then San Diego. They have amazing adventures along the way; including crossing the border illegally twice and taking a road trip to Illinois where Nayeli hopes to find her father who has long been incommunicado. This is a hard-to-put down book with characters that make you feel like you want to know them better and be a part of their story.
[Adult Fiction Book ]
Lorenzo T., System and Online Services
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Tell the Wolves I'm Home
Rifka Brunt, Carol
Fourteen year old June is devastated when her beloved Uncle Finn dies of AIDS in the mid 80s. After his death, June begins a fragile friendship with Finn's partner Toby, who June didn't know existed until Finn's death. It's this relationship that sets all the family members on a path to healing and understanding. The writing is exquisite and Brunt does an amazing job of bringing that era back to life.
[Adult Fiction book ]
Jan G., Penn Lake Library
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Love Minus Eighty
McIntosh, Will
Love Minus Eighty is the story of a few intertwined characters, centered around the concept of advanced technology that allows people who've been in fatal accidents to be cryogenically frozen until they can be rejuvenated, if they've got the cash. After causing a terrible accident how far will Rob go to make up for his deed? Very interesting concept, I would recommend this even for people who aren't interested in science fiction, very compelling character, not tech, driven story.
[Adult Fiction Book MCINTOSH]
Lee B., Minnetonka Library
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Fin & Lady
Shine, Cathleen
Fin finds himself orphaned and alone on his New England dairy farm after the death of his beloved mother. When his eccentric and glamorous half-sister, Lady, spirits him away to New York’s Greenwich Village, life for the eleven year old will never be the same again. 1960’s politics and social upheaval envelop this uncommon family unit. Lady views life as an adventure in the pursuit of happiness and Fin is along for the ride. An eloquently written, emotionally packed comedic adventure ensues.
[Adult Fiction Book ]
Crystal H., Long Lake Library
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The Humans
Haig, Matt
Explore life on earth from a fresh other-worldly perspective in this fascinating nod towards science fiction. When Professor Andrew Martin solves the Reimann Hypothesis, beings of a superior intelligence decide humans are unworthy of the advances this discovery would entail. They promptly replace the professor with one of their own. This unnamed alien being is tasked with destroying all evidence of Martin’s mathematical breakthrough. What begins as an easy quest for this space traveler soon challenges his understanding of humans and himself. Haig crafts a humorous and emotionally charged portrayal of our species which will make readers question their own understanding of what it means to be human.
[Adult Fiction Book HAIG]
Crystal H., Long Lake Library
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The Language of Flowers
Diffenbaugh, Vanessa
Victoria was abandoned as a baby and has spent her life in various foster homes. Now eighteen, she is on her own and trying to survive. She finds it hard to communicate her feelings and finds that she does it best with the Victorian language of flowers. This is the first book in a really long time to make me cry. It was also really hard to put down. I found myself very invested in Victoria's story and wanting so badly for her life to work out. This is definitely one that will spark a lot of discussion.
[Adult Fiction Book DIFFENBAUGH]
Molly R., Oxboro Library
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My Struggle: Book One
Knausgaard Ove, Karl
The opening immediately grabs me and I wonder what this novel will be like ... then it changes style and I read about Karl's everyday life in Norway, in great detail. Nothing extraordinary happens but I do not want to stop reading. My Struggle: Book One is the first of a six part series which has won many awards including the 2004 Norwegian Critic's Prize. The novels have just been published in the United States. Fascinating and original.
[Adult Fiction Book ]
Kim B., Ridgedale Library
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The Likeness
French, Tana
Tana French follows up her brilliant In the Woods with this equally compelling and gripping suspense novel. The author has an extraordinary ability to reveal layers about her protagonist while connecting them to the complexity of the mystery at hand. The novel is dense, but always readable, moving forward at a deliberate pace towards its satisfying conclusion. If you haven't picked up a Dublin Murder Squad mystery, treat yourself! Each one is a gem in its own right and even more delightful taken as one of a whole.
[Adult Mystery Book FRENCH]
Anne P., Washburn Library
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Cheerful Weather for the Wedding
Strachey, Julia
This sardonic and beautifully written novella about a family in Forster territory was first published in 1932. 'As delightful and perceptive today as it no doubt was seventy years ago: on her wedding day a girl knows she is about to make a serious mistake'.
[Adult Fiction Book STRACHE]
Anne D., Southdale Library
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The Childhood of Jesus
Coetzee, J.M.
"The Childhood of Jesus" is about two refugees, a young boy and a man, who arrive in an unnamed place that resembles an old Soviet country. We never learn of their past and there are no references to identifiable places, people or things. Cotzee’s style is abstract and his story reads like a gray fairytale. The world he creates is one without desires, its people content with bland food, bare apartments and simple work. They want for nothing, seem incapable of imagining anything else. The man is upset by this world. Things don't seem to move here, no one is going anywhere, and he cannot understand why. He is a man of pleasure and is confused by the cold purpose and restraint of his peers. The young child is precocious and difficult. He questions authority—teachers, language, social etiquette- and refuses to acquiesce to the existing order. He seems to possess something this world lacks, to represent the beginning of something new. His is the childhood of Jesus.
[Adult Fiction Book COETZEE]
Alessandra F., Oxboro Library
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The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.
Waldman, Adelle
I've often wondered what in the world my ex-boyfriends were thinking after the relationship has ended. Adelle Waldman does a bang-up job of getting into the mind of an "enlightened", modern, intellectual young man as he navigates dating and the New York writing scene. I wanted to laugh and scream at Nathaniel pretty much throughout the entire book.
[Adult Fiction Book WALDMAN]
Kristina D., Augsburg Park Library
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Errantry: Strange Tales
Hand, Elizabeth
A collection of strange stories, which sometimes leave readers with an unsettled feeling, but in a good way! Hand writes unexpected characters and scenes and surprises. Her characters have quirks, such as the fungalist who also happens to be a gourmand. It would be both frightening and exhilarating to be a part of Hand's world, which seems to exist only one wild step away from our own.
[Adult Fiction Book HAND]
Lee B., Minnetonka Library
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Dead Souls
Gogol, Nikolai
Can't afford a world cruise? Allow the witty and irreverent Nikolai Gogol to take you on a tour of Old Rus. You'll encounter a hilarious gallery of rogues and an unforgettable panorama of a vast and resource-rich country. Descriptions of foods prepared by portly landowners are mouth-watering!
[Adult Fiction Book GOGOL]
Mary Kay H., Brookdale Library
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Wicked Autumn
Malliet, G.M.
Max Tudor is an unusual vicar. Formerly an MI5 agent, Max now revels in the peace and harmony of his English village. When the president of the Women's Institute is murdered, Max must to solve the murder.
[Adult Mystery Book MALLIET]
Penny J., Minnetonka Library
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Fallen Land
Flanery, Patrick
Paul Krovik has dreamed of building homes since he was a child, but when the housing bubble bursts, his fantasy of creating the perfect suburban community on Poplar Farm quickly crumbles. With dystopian overtones, Flanery crafts a world in which corporations play god, farms are distorted into suburban nightmares, and the past haunts everyone. Perfect for chilly evenings, this is an unsettling read that will leave you questioning modern existence.
[Adult Fiction Book FLANERY]
Crystal H., Long Lake Library
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Empire Falls
Russo, Richard
Richard Russo is unquestionably my favorite living author. His ability to construct a sentence with effortless poetry, subtle wit and striking clarity is unmatched, making his novels a joy to read from beginning to end just for the language. But add to that complex, entirely human characters and a keen sense of small-town life and you have any one of Russo's brilliant novels. Empire Falls, probably the most known and respected of his works, combines the humor of his earlier novels with a deeper sadness and longing to create a rich, satisfying reading experience. The story of Miles Roby, his family and friends will capture your heart.
[Adult Fiction Book RUSSO]
Anne P., Washburn Library
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Ready Player One
Cline, Ernest
Even those who don’t play video games will be drawn into Cline’s story about a boy named Wade Watts and the online alternative reality world called the OASIS. The OASIS is where Wade plays games, attends high school, and tries to hunt down three hidden keys to unlock a treasure worth a fortune in real life. As Wade gets closer to finding the secret keys, his real life is in danger and it’s a race against time and other players to find the keys first. Filled with ‘80s trivia and references, this is a fast paced adventure that will especially appeal to anyone who lived through that decade.
[Adult Fiction Book CLINE]
Susan L., Hopkins Library
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Bloodroot
Loehfelm , Bill
Loehflem’s specialty is genre thrillers whose characters you actually care about; it reads easily without being vapid. In Bloodroot, one man struggles to understand his reckless, drug-addicted brother’s roots and uncovers a surprising history. The writing is similar to Dennis Lehane.
[Adult Fiction Book LOEHFELM]
Emily L., Eden Prairie Library
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Ordinary Grace
Krueger, William Kent
Although not a Cork O'Connor title, everyone will love this title as it is written by the same author. Frank Drum relives the tragedies of the summer of 1961 when he was 13.
[Adult Fiction Book KRUEGER]
Coreen B., Champlin Library
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Tell the Wolves I'm Home : a Novel
Brunt, Carol Rifka
It’s 1987 and 14-year-old June Elbus has just discovered that her beloved uncle, renowned painter Finn Weiss, is dying of AIDS. She can hardly cope. Not only was Finn her uncle and godfather, he was also her best friend, her only friend, the one who understood her. Following Finn’s funeral, June receives several packages from a mysterious man by the name of Toby, who wishes to meet her. Against her better judgement, June and Toby start meeting regularly, forming a new friendship in which they discover bits and pieces of Finn and bits and pieces of themselves. A moving coming-of-age novel of unexpected love and loss.
[Adult Fiction Book BRUNT]
Bailey D., Minneapolis Central Library
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