Category Archives: New Fiction @ SGSS

New fiction books @ SGSS – book covers, description, any awards, etc.

Mr. Morris’ Book Reviews! – The Beautiful Land

Beautiful Land

Mr. Morris’ Rating: 7/10

You ever start reading a book and after only a few pages you stop and think, “Holy crap. This is maybe going to be my favorite book of all time”? It’s happened a few times for me in the past, and I love feeling like I’ve found THE PERFECT book for me. I had the same feeling through the first 80 or 90 pages of The Beautiful Land – and I was really truly believing it this time! – but then the novel fell into the pitfalls of a predictable storyline. Still, there were many above average moments in the writing, and Alan Averill does a great job in somehow making the outlandish plot still seem tied to the real world.

I think my main problem with the book lies in who the target audience might be. Judging by the content and synopsis, The Beautiful Land certainly seemed like it is adult fiction but there are too many cliches and far too obvious plot twists that might cause an older reader to have an over-the-top-eyeroll moment. At times it felt like I was reading YA but there was far too much adult material (ie: profanity and horrific moments) within. There are also a few too many “deus ex machina” moments, conveniently helping the characters along their way to success. You’ll know what they are if you’ve read the book.

Overall though, there are enough moments where, as a writer, I can take in and enjoy regardless of the other literary deficiencies. Like I said, the beginning is fantastic and the ending is beautiful, just as the title has led us to believe. I look forward to future books by the author.

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NEW FICTION (OLDER TITLES)

As the Senior Learning Commons completes its renovation, students and faculty can expect to find many new and exciting changes within. But one thing that won’t be changing is our effort to bring new titles to our readers, both for school curriculum and for pleasure.

Here are some of the older works of fiction (but new to our collection!) that you might find as you explore the new space:

Italian ShoesITALIAN SHOES [2006], by Henning Mankell
Living on a tiny island entirely surrounded by ice during the long winter months, Fredrik Welin is so lost to the world that he cuts a hole in the ice every morning and lowers himself into the freezing water to remind himself that he is alive. Haunted by memories of the terrible mistake that drove him to abandon a successful career as a surgeon, he lives in a stasis so complete an anthill grows undisturbed in his living room. Then an unexpected visitor alters his life completely: Harriet, whom he inexplicably abandoned in the midst of their youthful romance, turns up decades after they last saw each other and demands that Fredrik fulfill an old promise and take her to the forest pool he visited as a youth. Thus begins their eccentric, elegiac journey, leading to undreamt-of connections. A moving tale of loss and redemption, Italian Shoes is a testament to the unpredictability of life, which breeds hope even in the face of tragedy.

Happy Birthday, Turk!More BeerKAYANKAYA SERIES: Books 1 & 2, by Jakob Arjouni HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TURK! [1985]
When a Turkish laborer is stabbed to death in Frankfurt’s red light district, the local police see no need to work overtime. But when the laborer’s wife comes to him for help, wise-cracking detective Kemal Kayankaya, a Turkish immigrant himself, smells a rat. The dead man wasn’t the kind of guy who spent time with prostitutes. What gives? So who wanted him dead, and why? On the way to find out, Kayankaya has run-ins with prostitutes and drug addicts, gets beaten up by anonymous thugs, survives a gas attack, and suffers several close encounters with a Fiat. MORE BEER [1987] Wisecracking PI Kemal Kayankaya cares more about sausage and beer than politics, but when he’s hired to defend four eco-terrorists charged with murdering a chemical plant owner he finds himself stuck in the middle of Germany’s culture wars. And is the fiery journalist Carla Reedermann dogging his steps because she smells a story, or is she after something more? A hardboiled noir in the Chandler tradition that also provides a wry critique of contemporary racial and environmental politics, More Beer shows why Jakob Arjouni’s series of Kayankaya novels has become a bestselling international sensation.

Long StretchTHE LONG STRETCH [1999], by Linden MacIntyre
In one apocalyptic night, John Gillis and his estranged cousin, Sextus, confront a half century of half-truths and suppositions that have shaped and scarred their lives, their families and their insular Cape Breton community. Telling stories that unravel a host of secrets, they begin to realize that they were damaged before they were born, their fathers and a close friend forming an unholy trilogy in a tragic moment of war. Among the roots of a complex andpainful relationship, they uncover the truth of a fateful day John has spent 20 years trying to forget.
Taut and brilliantly paced, etched with quiet humour and crafted with fiery dialogue, The Long Stretch is a mesmerizing novel in the tradition of Alistair MacLeod and David Adams Richards.

One Careless MomentONE CARELESS MOMENT [2009], by Doug Hugelschaffer
When a small fire starts to creep through the underbrush deep within a Montana forest valley, Porter Cassel is brought in to organize the firefighters charged with containing it. The fire moves quickly from bad to worse, rapidly scaling the forest canopy and killing one of Cassel’s men. Removed from command, Cassel takes the fire investigation into his own hands, discovering that the fire was not just a random flare-up, but the work of an arsonist. In this second book in the Porter Cassel mystery series, One Careless Moment picks up where Day Into Night left off — with Porter continuing to prove himself against all odds. Fighting against local legends about the valley being haunted, shady development deals, and the tree-hugging hippies who’ve chosen Holder’s Canyon as their particular Eden, Cassel must get to the bottom of the case not only to clear his name, but also his conscience.

Red Dog Red DogRED DOG, RED DOG [2008], by Patrick Lane
An epic novel of unrequited dreams and forestalled lives, Red Dog, Red Dog is set in the mid-1950s, in a small town in the interior of B.C. in the unnamed Okanagan Valley. The novel focuses on the Stark family, centering on brothers Eddy and Tom, who are bound together by family loyalty and inarticulate love. Unrepentant, bitter, older brother Eddy speeds freely along, his desperate path fuelled by drugs and weapons, while Tom, a loner, attempts to conceal their secrets and protect what remains of the family. Eventually, an unspeakable crime causes him to come face to face with something traumatic that has lain hidden in him since he was a boy. This is also a novel about a small community of people, about complicated loyalties, about betrayals and shifts of power. Filled with moments of harrowing violence and breathtaking description, of shattering truths and deep humanity, Red Dog, Red Dog is about the legacies of the past and the possibilities of forgiveness and redemption. With this astonishing novel, one of Canada’s best poets propels himself into the forefront of our finest novelists.

Suicide MurdersTHE SUICIDE MURDERS [1980], by Howard Engel
She was cool, attractive–a real society lady–and she was in trouble. Benny Cooperman, a private eye with a hard head and a tender heart, was ready to help her in any way he could. But when her husband commits suicide the day Benny begins his investigation, the detective realizes he’s dealing with something beyond a simple “family affair.”
Probing into the curious circumstances surrounding the death, Benny finds himself in the midst of a strange group indeed–one that involves a mysterious psychiatrist, shady eminent citizens, and soon a few more suicides–or murders.

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New Books [Fiction]

As the Senior Learning Commons completes its renovation, students and faculty can expect to find many new and exciting changes within. But one thing that won’t be changing is our effort to bring new titles to our readers, both for school curriculum and for pleasure.

Here are some of the new works of fiction you might find as you explore the new space:

A Wrinkle in TimeA WRINKLE IN TIME [2012], adapted by Hope Larson
The world already knows Meg and Charles Wallace Murry, Calvin O’Keefe, and the three Mrs–Who, Whatsit, and Which–the memorable and wonderful characters who fight off a dark force and save our universe in the Newbery award-winning classic A Wrinkle in Time. But in 50 years of publication, the book has never been illustrated.  Now, Hope Larson takes the classic story to a new level with her vividly imagined interpretations of tessering and favorite characters like the Happy Medium and Aunt Beast. Perfect for old fans and winning over new ones, this graphic novel adaptation is a must-read. [GRAPHIC NOVEL]

Beautiful LandTHE BEAUTIFUL LAND [2013], by Alan Averill
Takahiro O’Leary has a very special job: working for the Axon Corporation as an explorer of parallel timelines. A great gig—until information he brought back gave Axon the means to maximize profits by changing the past, present, and future of this world. If Axon succeeds, Tak will lose Samira Moheb, the woman he has loved since high school—because her future will cease to exist. A veteran of the Iraq War suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, Samira can barely function in her everyday life, much less deal with Tak’s ravings of multiple realities. The only way to save her is for Tak to use the time travel device he “borrowed” to transport them both to an alternate timeline.
But what neither Tak nor Axon knows is that the actual inventor of the device is searching for a timeline called the Beautiful Land—and he intends to destroy every other possible present and future to find it. The switch is thrown, and reality begins to warp—horribly. And Tak realizes that to save Sam, he must save the entire world.

Berlin Boxing ClubTHE BERLIN BOXING CLUB [2011], by Robert Sharenow
Fourteen-year-old Karl Stern has never thought of himself as a Jew. But to the bullies at his school in Nazi-era Berlin, it doesn’t matter that Karl has never set foot in a synagogue or that his family doesn’t practice religion. Demoralized by relentless attacks on a heritage he doesn’t accept as his own, Karl longs to prove his worth to everyone around him. So when Max Schmeling, champion boxer and German national hero, makes a deal with Karl’s father to give Karl boxing lessons, Karl sees it as the perfect chance to reinvent himself. But when Nazi violence against Jews escalates, Karl must take on a new role: protector of his family. Karl longs to ask his new mentor for help, but with Max’s fame growing, he is forced to associate with Hitler and other Nazi elites, leaving Karl to wonder where his hero’s sympathies truly lie. Can Karl balance his dream of boxing greatness with his obligation to keep his family out of harm’s way?

Blood Ninja IIIBLOOD NINJA III: The Betrayal of the Living [2012], by Nick Lake
The fate of feudal Japan hangs in the balance in this bloody conclusion to the epic trilogy. Taro is at a crossroads: He has vanquished Lord Oda for good, but with no land and no title, he has no hope of marrying Hana, the daughter of a daimyo. So when Taro receives news of a murderous dragon and the large reward for killing it, he and his friends find themselves on a dangerous quest to slay the beast. Their mission has the potential to save the people of Japan—but failure will result in the deaths of thousands. And dragons are not the only monsters they will encounter: The dead, led by the odious Kenji Kira, have begun to rise, and they have Taro in their sights.

Chris Eaton, a BiographyCHRIS EATON: A BIOGRAPHY [2013], by Chris Eaton
Haven’t we all been driven, at some point, to Google ourselves? And what did you find? That there are people out there who seem to have something in common with you? Dates, places, interests? How coincidental are these connections? And what are the factors that define a human life? We are the sum of our stories: Anecdotal constructs. We remember moments in our pasts the way we remember television episodes. In pieces. And we realize that our own memories are no more valid in the construction of our identities than stories we’ve heard from others. “Chris Eaton: A Biography” constructs a life by using, as building blocks, the lives of dozens of other people who share nothing more than a name, identities that blur into each other with the idea that, in the end, we all live the same life, deal with the same hopes and fears, experience the same joys and tragedies. Only the specifics are different. From birth to death and everything in between, the narratives we share bring us closer to a truth about what it means to be alive. To be you.

Golem and the JinniTHE GOLEM AND THE JINNI [2013], by Helene Wecker
Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899.
Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop. Though he is no longer imprisoned, Ahmad is not entirely free – an unbreakable band of iron binds him to the physical world.
The Golem and the Jinni is their magical, unforgettable story; unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures – until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful threat will soon bring Chava and Ahmad together again, challenging their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.

Sleeping FunnySLEEPING FUNNY [2012], by Miranda Hill
Sleeping Funny is a rare book–a debut that introduces a mature writer in full possession of her powers, one who instantly draws you in with her sure voice, intelligence, and humour, and then keeps you reading with growing admiration and delight. Rarely do we find a writer who can inhabit, with equal skill and empathy, the consciousness of a modern teenage girl trying to navigate an embarrassing Sex Ed class, a middle-aged country-village minister in the 19th century who is experiencing a devastating crisis of faith, a young pilot’s widow coping with her grief by growing a “Victory Garden” during World War II, and a group of contemporary professional women living on a gentrified big-city street whose routines are thrown into disarray with the arrival of a beautiful bohemian neighbour.
Here are strikingly accomplished stories–surprising and witty tales for readers who love to be drawn in and transported from first word to last. [COLLECTION of SHORT FICTION]

SuttonSUTTON [2012], by J.R. Moehringer
Willie Sutton was born in the Irish slums of Brooklyn in 1901, and he came of age at a time when banks were out of control. Sutton saw only one way out and only one way to win the girl of his dreams. So began the career of America’s most successful bank robber. During three decades Sutton became so good at breaking into banks, the FBI put him on its first-ever Most Wanted List. But the public rooted for the criminal who never fired a shot, and when Sutton was finally caught for good, crowds at the jail chanted his name. In J.R. Moehringer’s retelling, it was more than need or rage that drove Sutton. It was his first love. And when he finally walked free–a surprise pardon on Christmas Eve, 1969–he immediately set out to find her. [HISTORICAL FICTION]

William Shakespeare's Star WarsWILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S STAR WARS [2013], by Ian Doescher
An officially licensed retelling of George Lucas’s epic Star Wars in the style of the immortal Bard of Avon. The saga of a wise (Jedi) knight and an evil (Sith) lord, of a beautiful princess held captive and a young hero coming of age, Star Wars abounds with all the valor and villainy of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. ’Tis a tale told by fretful droids, full of faithful Wookiees and fearsome Stormtroopers, signifying…pretty much everything.
Reimagined in glorious iambic pentameter—and complete with twenty gorgeous Elizabethan illustrations–William Shakespeare’s Star Wars will astound and edify Rebels and Imperials alike. Zounds! This is the book you’re looking for.

The WoodcutterTHE WOODCUTTER [2010], by Kate Danley
Deep within the Wood, a young woman lies dead. Not a mark on her body. No trace of her murderer. Only her chipped glass slippers hint at her identity. The Woodcutter, keeper of the peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of the Faerie, must find the maiden’s killer before others share her fate. Guided by the wind and aided by three charmed axes won from the River God, the Woodcutter begins his hunt, searching for clues in the whispering dominions of the enchanted unknown. Looming in the shadows is the malevolent, power-hungry queen, and she will stop at nothing to destroy the Twelve Kingdoms unless the Woodcutter can outmaneuver her and save the gentle souls of the Wood. Blending magic, heart-pounding suspense, and a dash of folklore, The Woodcutter is an extraordinary retelling of the realm of fairy tales.

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Mr. Morris’ Book Reviews! WORST. PERSON. EVER.

Worst. Person. Ever.

Mr. Morris’ Rating: 7/10

While there’s not too much of a story to speak of here (ie: plot, acts, character arcs), this is was an extremely enjoyable book from one of my favorite authors.

As the back of the book reads: “This novel contains much talk of bodily functions, improbable sexual content, violent death, nuclear crisis and elaborately inventive profanity: Viewer Discretion is Advised.” And the warning is definitely not kidding. This is a much different Douglas Coupland than we’re used to seeing/reading, without any true social commentary or any attempt whatsoever at achieving literary glory. But you can tell he’s having FUN. And that’s the point of it. There’s nothing to think about aside from how ridiculous the tale is. Our hapless protagonist – Raymond Gunt – lives through an endless stream of bad luck, but as the title implies, we’re not really rooting for Raymond anyway. It’s absurdly enjoyable to be witness to so much misfortune being dumped on one individual.

Worst. Person. Ever. is crude, crass, vile, insulting, obnoxious and offensive. But it’s also funny. Very, very funny.

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New Books: FICTION

I AM HALF-SICK OF SHADOWS

By Alan Bradley

It’s Christmastime, and the precocious Flavia de Luce—an eleven-year-old sleuth with a passion for chemistry and a penchant for crime-solving—is tucked away in her laboratory, whipping up a concoction to ensnare Saint Nick. But she is soon distracted when a film crew arrives to shoot a movie. Amid a raging blizzard, the entire village gathers to watch, yet nobody is prepared for the evening’s shocking conclusion: a body found, past midnight, strangled to death with a length of film. But who among the assembled guests would stage such a chilling scene? As the storm worsens and the list of suspects grows, Flavia must use every ounce of sly wit at her disposal to ferret out a killer hidden in plain sight.

 

THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET

By Brian Selznick

Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

 

THE LINCOLN LAWYER NOVELS

By Michael Connelly

The Lincoln Lawyer – For Mickey Haller, the law is rarely about guilt or innocence, it’s about negotiation and manipulation. When he gets hired by a Beverly Hills rich boy arrested for assault, Mickey sees a franchise case: a long, expensive trial with maximum billable hours-until it puts him face-to-face with pure evil and with a man who may truly be innocent. For a lawyer who has always gone for the easy score, getting justice means risking everything.

This collection also contains the second and third novels in the Lincoln Lawyer series – The Brass Verdict and The Reversal.

 

TWO GENERALS

By Scott Chantler

In March of 1943, Scott Chantler’s grandfather, Law Chantler, shipped out across the Atlantic for active service with the Highland Light Infantry of Canada, along with his best friend, Jack, a fellow officer. Not long afterward, they would find themselves making a rocky crossing of the English Channel, about to take part in one of the most pivotal and treacherous military operations of World War II: the Allied invasion of Normandy. Two Generals tells the story of what happened there through the eyes of these two young men — not the celebrated military commanders or politicians we often hear about, but everyday heroes who risked their lives for the Allied cause. Meticulously researched and gorgeously illustrated, Two Generals is a harrowing story of battle and a touching story of friendship — and a vital and vibrant record of unsung heroism.

 

VARIANT

By Robison Wells

Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life. He was wrong. Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive. Where breaking the rules equals death. But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape—his only real hope for survival—may be impossible.

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New Books: FICTION

BEFORE THE POISON

By Peter Robinson

Chris Lowndes built a comfortable career composing scores for films in Hollywood. But after twenty-five years abroad, and still quietly reeling from the death of his beloved wife, he decides to return to the Yorkshire dales of his youth. To ease the move, he buys Kilnsgate House, a rambling old mansion deep in the country. Although Chris finds Kilnsgate charming, something about the house disturbs him, a vague sensation that the long-empty rooms have been waiting for him—feelings made ever stronger when he learns that the house was the scene of a murder more than fifty years before. Ignoring warnings to leave it alone, he sets out to discover what really happened over half a century ago—a quest that takes him deep into the past and into a web of secrets that lie all too close to the present.

 

DAAKU

By Ranj Dhaliwal

In the violent and ruthless world of Indo–Canadian gangs, Ruby Pandher is on his way up. A self–described daaku (Punjabi for outlaw), Ruby learns young that might, in the form of hid drunken father’s fists, is right and that money is easier to steal than earn. After his first stint in youth detention, the big–timers start to notice his potential. Soon, Ruby is doing collections for Indo–Canadian drug dealers. On the cusp of adulthood, and surrounded by Punjabi terrorists, bikers and Indo–Canadian gangsters, Ruby is drawn like a moth to the glamour of the power, money, and drugs.

A story of betrayal, cold–blooded murder and the rise and eventual fall of one gangster, Daaku is a bullet–riddled grand tour of Indo–Canadian gangland.

 

THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES

By Carrie Ryan

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister’s face when she and Elias left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the horde as they found their way to the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.

Annah’s world stopped that day and she’s been waiting for him to come home ever since. Without him, her life doesn’t feel much different from that of the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Then she meets Catcher and everything feels alive again.

 

MY NAME IS MINA

By David Almond

Mina loves the night. While everyone else is in a deep slumber, she gazes out the window, witness to the moon’s silvery light. In the stillness, she can even hear her own heart beating. This is when Mina feels that anything is possible and her imagination is set free.

A blank notebook lies on the table. It has been there for what seems like forever. Mina has proclaimed in the past that she will use it as a journal, and one night, at last, she begins to do just that. As she writes, Mina makes discoveries both trivial and profound about herself and her world, her thoughts and her dreams.

 

THE SENSE OF AN ENDING

By Julian Barnes

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and girl-hungry, they would navigate their girl-less adolescence together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, but they all stayed friends for life.

Now Tony is retired. He’s had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove.

 

WINTER TOWN

By Stephen Emond

Every winter, straight-laced, Ivy League bound Evan looks forward to a visit from Lucy, a childhood pal who moved away after her parent’s divorce. But when Lucy arrives this year, she’s changed. The former “girl next door” now has chopped dyed black hair, a nose stud, and a scowl. But Evan knows that somewhere beneath the Goth, “Old Lucy” still exists, and he’s determined to find her… even if it means pissing her off.

Garden State meets Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist in this funny and poignant illustrated novel about opposites who fall in love.

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New Books: FICTION

AMERICAN DERVISH

By Ayad Akhtar

Hayat Shah is a young American in love for the first time. His normal life of school, baseball, and video games had previously been distinguished only by his Pakistani heritage and by the frequent chill between his parents, who fight over things he is too young to understand. Then Mina arrives, and everything changes.

American Dervish is a brilliantly written, nuanced, and emotionally forceful look inside the interplay of religion and modern life. Ayad Akhtar was raised in the Midwest himself, and through Hayat Shah he shows readers vividly the powerful forces at work on young men and women growing up Muslim in America. This is an intimate, personal first novel that will stay with readers long after they turn the last page.

CHANGO’S BEADS AND TWO-TONE SHOES

By William Kennedy

When journalist Daniel Quinn meets Ernest Hemingway at the Floridita bar in Havana, Cuba, in 1957, he has no idea that his own affinity for simple, declarative sentences will change his life radically overnight. Quinn’s epic journey carries him through the nightclubs and jungles of Cuba and into the newsrooms and racially charged streets of Albany on the day Robert Kennedy is fatally shot in 1968.

This is an unforgettably riotous story of revolution, romance, and redemption, set against the landscape of the civil rights movement as it challenges the legendary and vengeful Albany political machine.

MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN

By Jonathan Lethem

Lionel Essrog is Brooklyn’s very own self-appointed Human Freakshow, an orphan whose Tourettic impulses drive him to bark, count, and rip apart our language in startling and original ways.  Together with three veterans of the St. Vincent’s Home for Boys, he works for small-time mobster Frank Minna’s limo service cum detective agency. But when Frank is fatally stabbed, Lionel’s world is suddenly topsy-turvy, and this outcast who has trouble even conversing attempts to untangle the threads of the case while trying to keep the words straight in his head.  Motherless Brooklyn is a brilliantly original homage to the classic detective novel by one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation.

SUNSET PARK

By Paul Auster

Sunset Park follows the hopes and fears of a cast of unforgettable characters brought together by the mysterious Miles Heller during the dark months of the 2008 economic collapse: An enigmatic young man employed as a trash-out worker in southern Florida obsessively photographing thousands of abandoned objects left behind by the evicted families; A group of young people squatting in an apartment in Sunset Park, Brooklyn; The Hospital for Broken Things, which specializes in repairing the artifacts of a vanished world; William Wyler’s 1946 classic The Best Years of Our Lives; A celebrated actress preparing to return to Broadway; An independent publisher desperately trying to save his business and his marriage.

These are just some of the elements Auster magically weaves together in this immensely moving novel about contemporary America and its ghosts. Sunset Park is a surprising departure that confirms Paul Auster as one of our greatest living writers.

SUPER SAD TRUE LOVE STORY

By Gary Shteyngart

In the near future (let’s say next Tuesday), America is crushed by a financial crisis and our patient Chinese creditors may just be ready to foreclose on the whole mess. Then Lenny Abramov, son of a Russian immigrant janitor and ardent fan of “printed, bound media artifacts” (aka books), meets Eunice Park, an impossibly cute Korean American woman with a major in Images and a minor in Assertiveness. Could falling in love redeem a planet falling apart?

WAR HORSE

By Michael Morpurgo

In 1914, Joey, a beautiful bay-red foal with a distinctive cross on his nose, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges toward the enemy, witnessing the horror of the battles in France. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey’s courage touches the soldiers around him and he is able to find warmth and hope. But his heart aches for Albert, the farmer’s son he left behind. Will he ever see his true master again?

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