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In Red by Magdalena Tulli
This is the story of Stitchings, a small town to be found in the Republic of Poland, although it might not show up on any of your maps. "Whoever has been everywhere and seen everything, last of all should pay a visit to Stitchings," Magdalena Tulli writes in In Red's first line. It's a wary...
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by author and artist Brian Selznick, was an odd hybrid: a picture book for older children; the first YA novel to win the Caldecott Medal for children's book illustration; a kind of proto-graphic novel for kids interested in the intersection of text and image. It was...
Wendy and the Lost Boys: The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein by Julie Salamon
Playwright Wendy Wasserstein belongs to that rare group of beloved writers (which also includes Nora Ephron and Anne Lamott) who make readers feel as if they're talking to them personally, like intimate friends. When she died of lymphoma in January 2006, at 55, the overflow crowd at her memorial...
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
[Editor's note: Ernest Cline recently appeared as a guest blogger on Powells.com. Read his posts here.] If you grew up in the 1980s and resided anywhere on the nerd-geek spectrum, all it takes is the right Rush or Genesis song to bring you back to the video arcade. This was before video games...
A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness by Nassir Ghaemi
It's been almost 40 years since Missouri Sen. Thomas Eagleton, the 1972 Democratic nominee for vice president, revealed that he'd been hospitalized for depression and treated for the mental disorder with electroconvulsive therapy. The party's presidential nominee, South Dakota Sen. George McGovern, ...
The Magician King Signed Edition by Lev Grossman
What if the magical land from the books you loved as a child was real and needed you to save it? This was the thrilling premise of Lev Grossman's The Magicians, which turned out to be the first of a trilogy of novels that chronicle, thus far, the adventures of one Quentin Coldwater, the young hero...
Bright's Passage by Josh Ritter
When 35-year-old singer-songwriter Josh Ritter was in college at Oberlin in the mid-90s, he created his own major: "American History Through Narrative Folk Music." It was there, in pastoral Ohio, that he recorded his first album. Fifteen years later, he's writing not just songs but books, too, and...
The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
For Jake Marlowe, the last werewolf on Earth in this rollicking novel by Glen Duncan, the difference between werewolves and vampires is simple: The vampire gets immortality, immense physical strength, hypnotic ability, the power of flight, psychic grandeur and emotional depth. The werewolf gets...
Northwest Corner by John Burnham Schwartz
What best characterizes a John Burnham Schwartz novel is a quote from Reservation Road, the 1998 novel that made his reputation (and was made into a far lesser film): "There are heroes, and there are the rest of us. There comes a time when you just let go the ghost of the better person you might...
A Dance with Dragons (Song of Ice and Fire #5) by George R. R. Martin
In 2005 I wrote a review of George R. R. Martin's novel, A Feast for Crows, in which I called him "the American Tolkien." That phrase has stuck to him, which is what I meant it to do. I think Martin's fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire is the great epic of our era. It's an epic for a more...
The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting by Rachel Shteir
On the Road to Babadag: Travels in the Other Europe by Andrzej Stasiuk
Congress of the Animals by Jim Woodring
Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
To Do: A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays by Gertrude Stein
The Central Park Five: A Chronicle of a City Wilding by Sarah Burns
The Man in the Gray Flannel Skirt by Jon-Jon Goulian
Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin
Leeches by David Albahari
A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism by Peter Mountford
The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips
Bossypants by Tina Fey
The Pale King by David Foster Wallace
Bent Road by Lori Roy