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Dianah


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Oryx and Crake
Oryx and Crake
by Margaret Atwood
Staff Pick
Reading a dystopian novel that so closely matches the current political and cultural situation seems like an exercise in depression, yet part of the truly visceral response to this novel seems due to the realization that it could so easily happen in... (read more)

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The Plover
The Plover
by Brian Doyle
Staff Pick
The Plover is not exactly a sequel to Mink River — more of a companion piece — but fans of the latter will be thrilled to find out what happened to one of the most beloved characters. After sailing his little boat off the final pages of Mink... (read more)

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Saturday: A Novel
Saturday: A Novel
by Ian McEwan
Staff Pick
Ian McEwan's new novel is generous, contemplative, and moving — and in good company, joining classics like Mrs. Dalloway and Ulysses that take place during a single day. McEwan intricately weaves characters and themes towards an eloquent and wrenching... (read more)

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Life of Pi
Life of Pi
by Yann Martel
Staff Pick
I admit it; before reading Life of Pi, I thought, There's just no way that Yann Martel can write a whole book about a teenage boy and a tiger stranded together in a lifeboat for 277 days. But, I was so wrong; he pulls it off beautifully. You will love... (read more)

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The Elegance of the Hedgehog
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
by Muriel Barbery
Staff Pick
The Elegance of the Hedgehog is a study in the dichotomy of the hidden inner self versus outer perceptions. Paloma and René are each careful to build a facade that hides their true nature from the world. Until a new tenant moves into their... (read more)

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State of Wonder (P.S.)
State of Wonder (P.S.)
by Ann Patchett
Staff Pick
State of Wonder is Ann Patchett's best book yet (yes, even better than Bel Canto). Brimming with mystery, philosophy, intrigue, ethical questions, the flora and fauna of the Amazon jungle, and absolutely beautiful prose, Patchett's new novel should be at... (read more)

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The Round House (P.S.)
The Round House (P.S.)
by Louise Erdrich
Staff Pick
Exploring themes of crime, justice, and revenge, Erdrich spins a tale of the brutal rape of a Native American woman who lives on a reservation in North Dakota. When 13-year-old Joe's mother is raped and very nearly murdered, he watches as his family... (read more)

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At Home: A Short History of Private Life
At Home: A Short History of Private Life
by Bill Bryson
Staff Pick
There is nothing on this planet that Bryson cannot make fascinating. In his hands, exploring the minutiae of his house becomes an adventure. (Granted, his house is a Victorian vicarage in Norfolk, England.) At Home is a joyful, chatty dip into the... (read more)

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Gilead
Gilead
by Marilynne Robinson
Staff Pick
Written 25 years after Housekeeping, Gilead was worth the wait. Nearing the end of his life, a small-town Reverend writes letters to his young son, and learns some hard truths about himself along the way. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2005, this... (read more)

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The Lowland (Vintage Contemporaries)
The Lowland (Vintage Contemporaries)
by Jhumpa Lahiri
Staff Pick
In The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri tells the story of two brothers who share everything as children but begin to pull apart as they grow older. Their childhood is set against a 1960s poverty rebellion known as the Naxalite movement in Calcutta, India. However,... (read more)

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Middlesex
Middlesex
by Jeffrey Eugenides
Staff Pick
This engrossing Pulitzer Prize-winner is the utterly amazing story of a hermaphrodite. It is so emotionally accurate and insightful that it reads like a memoir. It's also laugh-out-loud funny. Beautifully written and remarkable in its scope and... (read more)

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The Silver Star
The Silver Star
by Jeannette Walls
Staff Pick
In typical Jeannette Walls style, The Silver Star is hilarious, sweet, and sad at the same time. Walls' books are often populated with flaky, irresponsible adults and kids who have to fend for themselves, and this is no exception. The two Holladay... (read more)

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Glaciers (Tin House New Voice)
Glaciers (Tin House New Voice)
by Alexis Smith
Staff Pick
Alexis Smith's diminutive novella lies somewhere between poetry and prose. So lyrical and so delicate, Glaciers slowly unspools as we follow Isabel on a routine day. Her inner life is rich and minutely detailed, and even though she is alone, her world... (read more)

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After Dark (Vintage International)
After Dark (Vintage International)
by Haruki Murakami
Staff Pick
Somewhere between the edge of sleep and wakefulness, After Dark resides. Told in one evening, with chapters indicated by time-stamps, Murakami's tale of both somnambulists and insomniacs is still, stark, and seductive. With a bonus delicious, "thriller... (read more)

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The Dog Stars
The Dog Stars
by Peter Heller
Staff Pick
A post-apocalyptic story with an open, elegant heart, Heller's debut novel follows a pilot, Hig, and an ex-military man, Bangley, in their fight for survival. Although stuck together in an uneasy partnership, they each flawlessly compensate for the... (read more)

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Atonement
Atonement
by Ian Mcewan
Staff Pick
A young girl sees her older sister and a man in a situation she doesn't understand, and subsequently makes an accusation that changes the course of all three lives. This is a study of a life-long search for forgiveness and atonement. McEwan is at his... (read more)

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The Dog Stars
The Dog Stars
by Peter Heller
Staff Pick
A post-apocalyptic story with an open, elegant heart, Heller's debut novel follows a pilot, Hig, and an ex-military man, Bangley, in their fight for survival. Although stuck together in an uneasy partnership, they each flawlessly compensate for the... (read more)

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Beautiful Ruins (P.S.)
Beautiful Ruins (P.S.)
by Jess Walter
Staff Pick
Jess Walter gets nearer the Pulitzer with Beautiful Ruins. Chance meetings during the 1962 filming of Cleopatra in Italy set in motion events that spiral into the present day. Walter captures perfectly how the best part of life is that it doesn't turn... (read more)

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot
Staff Pick
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells the tale of a woman whose cells were used — without her knowledge — in breakthrough medical research after her 1951 death. Skloot's moving story of faith, family, and science uses the past to teach us about... (read more)

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The Virgin Suicides
The Virgin Suicides
by Jeffrey Eugenides
Staff Pick
Long before Jeffrey Eugenides gave us the Pulitzer Prize-winning Middlesex, he delivered this dark jewel of a novel. Set in small town America, this study of a broken family of suicidal sisters will shock you. It is so compelling, you will be absolutely... (read more)

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