Check out some of our current fiction favorites!

Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812995343
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Published: Random House - February 14th, 2017

First of all, I LOVED LINCOLN IN THE BARDO! It is a Dante-esque tour thru a Georgetown cemetery teeming with spirts (the “Bardo” a sort of Buddhist limbo where souls temporarily reside between death and the next life). I loved the novel’s unique narrative form – a kaleidoscope of seemingly fragmented voices, a collage of short testimonies that form a tapestry of grief centering on the death of Abraham Lincoln’s young son, Willie. It is a novel set in the past, but surprisingly timely (and funny!), with a lot here to think about – morality, grief, and the way memory lingers; the whole notion of unfinished business (all lives end too soon), and our stubborn, nostalgic attachment to life, the tenuous, existential stated shared by us all. LINCOLN IN THER BARDO is profound, vital, and stylistically creative. Ed loves and highly recommends!

Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451495112
Availability: Available, order here for delivery or pickup.
Published: Hogarth - February 21st, 2017

These stories are a real punch in the gut – depicting a troubled, changing Argentina, but also the strange, the mystic, and the horrific – supernatural and otherwise. That’s why Mariana is getting comparisons to the likes of Shirley Jackson and Borges, and those comparisons are apt, although I think there’s an edge and a bleakness that makes these stories unique. Some of these stories work better than others, but the title story is worth the price alone – it’s a chilling indictment of our contemporary times. Other stories in this collection are just as haunting – like The Dirty Kid and The Intoxicated Years. All of the stories are mesmerizing though – and this book should be must-have for lovers of horror, magical realism, and gritty Latin American literature.

The Night Ocean Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781101981085
Availability: Hard to Find, Please email for more information.
Published: Penguin Press - March 7th, 2017

This literary Russian nesting doll of a novel is one wild ride. Charlie is obsessed with the writer H.P. Lovecraft, specifically his relationship with a male fan in the summer of 1934. In the middle of his research on the subject, he mysteriously disappears. His wife, Marina, then becomes obsessed with his disappearance, which the police believe is a suicide. Let the unraveling of ordered reality begin! Being a fan of Lovecraft is what initially attracted me to this wondrous and dizzying tale, but the book is about so much more. The Night Ocean explores the power of stories to shape our reality. It's an homage to the bygone era of the golden age of weird fiction. It's historical fiction, as it deals with factual details of Lovecraft’s life and spans decades and continents. It's a story of obsession, a love story, a story about hoaxes and deception and the blurring of fiction and fact. And it’s a meditation about how we all search for truth and meaning in our lives and how often that truth and meaning remains elusive forever. A beautifully written, strange and complex tale. Shane loved!

A Spare Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9781931883559
Availability: Available, order here for delivery or pickup.
Published: Two Lines Press - October 11th, 2016

Fans of Elena Ferrante and Magda Szabo will not want to miss A SPARE LIFE! This novel, by celebrated Macedonian poet, Lidija Dimkovska, follows Zlata and Srebra, twins born conjoined at the head. The twins come of age as their native Macedonia struggles to declare independence from communist Yugoslavia. Though their poverty-stricken childhood is marred by alienation and disappointment, Zlata and Srebra develop distinct identities and aspirations, hinging on a long-held belief that they will one day be separated by surgeons in London. A lyrical and devastating meditation on tragedy, national & global identities, diaspora, and hope, A SPARE LIFE is one of the most powerful novels I read in 2016. Katharine ardently recommends this incredible book.

A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780670026197
Availability: Backordered, Please email for more information.
Published: Viking - September 6th, 2016

Witty, erudite, sophisticated, and utterly charming, Count Alexander Rostov is the original MOST INTERTESTING MAN IN THE WORLD. Sentenced to house arrest at Moscow’s grand Metropol Hotel by a Bolshevik Tribunal in the early days of the Revolution, the Count still manages to carve an “absorbing, adventure-filled existence, filled with capers, affairs, conspiracies, and culture.” As the years during of Russia’s most tumultuous history unfold, we are introduced to a cast of vibrant characters, one of whom will irrevocably change his life. Rich in detail – gloriously written – full of philosophical insights and with all the charm of a Wes Anderson film, this is a marvelous novel and one of my favorites this year! Ianni loved!

Iza's Ballad Cover Image
By Magda Szabo, George Szirtes (Introduction by), George Szirtes (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781681370347
Availability: Available, order here for delivery or pickup.
Published: NYRB Classics - October 18th, 2016

It’s my privilege to herald the rescue of another work by the Doyenne or Hungarian letters, Magda Szabo. Originally published in 1963, IZA’S BALLAD has now been masterfully translated from the Hungarian by George Szirtes. After the death of Ettie’s husband of 49 years, she moves from her rural village to live with her successful eminently poised daughter, Iza. Mother and daughter endeavor to understand each other as Ettie struggles to adjust to life in a modern city. Fans of Szabo’s critically acclaimed THE DOOR will not want to miss this wistful, profoundly moving novel. A triumph! Katharine loves this book.

The Portable Veblen: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101981597
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Published: Penguin Books - November 1st, 2016

Easily the funniest novel I’ve read this year – THE PORTABLE VEBLEN is sharp, and despite the fact that it deals with big timely issues (like Big Pharma and the military industrial complex) remains a lighthearted romp from beginning to end. Veblen, herself, is a character we can all root for, and her struggles with her mother, her upcoming wedding, and an enthusiastic squirrel, are all a joy to read. If you love Emma Straub, give THE PORTABLE VEBLEN a shot! Even if you’re used to more serious, dark reads (like I am!), this book should be clever enough to hold your interest. And, besides, we can all use a FUN! book once in a while. Tim recommends!

Dark Matter: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101904220
Availability: Not in stock. Order here for delivery or to pickup later.
Published: Crown - July 26th, 2016

If you’re in the mood for something different, this novel is for you.  This thrill ride is set in Chicago.  Jason Dessen goes to a buddy’s party in Logan Square when he is abducted, driven to a warehouse, stripped, and injected with a drug.  Three months later he awakens in a roomful of people who are all applauding him for his accomplishments.  This well-crafted mind-bender will have you guessing and keep you reading.  Crouch leaves the reader with a lot to think about after the final page.  Owen recommends.

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