Literary Fiction

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The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood

Rating: 3.5
Weaves a heartrending portrait of lowered expectation: of a man eschewing, and ultimately embracing, mediocrity.
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Glorify Each Day

Rating: 3
Tommy Morrison is too complex a guy for his own good and the story he tells reflects the depth of his complexity.
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A Secret of the Universe

Rating: 4.5
In delving into the depths of human nature and rationality as few have before, A Secret of the Universe provides a new take on the battle between faith and skepticism for the post-9/11 world.
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A Very Rich Man

Rating: 3
A wealthy and socially prominent family reunites in the wake of a father's aneurysm, and all hell breaks loose as a brother and sister uncover a wealth of secrets about their father's past.
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A Multitude of Mercies

Rating: 4
A gut-wrenchingly honest look at a family dealing with schizophrenia, A Multitude of Mercies travels from the depths of despair to the ultimate triumph of love and acceptance.
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Able Was I

Rating: 4.5
Able Was I begins by introducing us to Grey Tigrett, an American college student tooling around Italy for a summer before graduation. On the island of Elba (yes, Napoleon's Elba) Grey, who came to the island with a longtime girlfriend, has a brief but significant amorous encounter with an Italian man named Antonio.
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The Life of O'Reilly

Rating: 4
Nick O’Reilly is a 36-year-old partner in a prestigious Manhattan law firm. Though he’s devoted to his legal career, there’s a side of O’Reilly that knows, even at the onset of this emotionally suspenseful novel, that all is not right with his world.
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The Last Cookie Club

Rating: 3
This moving fictional tale is informed by real-life experience about the roots of food addiction.
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Vencil

Rating: 4.5
Like Jeannette Walls in her memoir, The Glass Castle, Shima does a fine job of comparing and contrasting city and country life through the eyes of a child.
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Eat When You Feel Sad

Rating: 3.5
Twenty-two year-old Zachary German's debut novel, Eat When You Feel Sad, is blowing up all over.
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Outro

Rating: 4
A witty tale--incredibly perceptive--almost to the point where one's worst nightmare would be a date with the author at a local Karaoke bar, the back-drop for the novel.
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Waiting for the World to End

Rating: 4
An intimate portrait of what Thoreau might call a "life of quiet desperation," and its depiction of a love that is kept permanently at a distance.
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Ere I Saw Elba

Rating: 4
Amidst the turmoil of World War II, the second book in the Elba trilogy tackles universal themes like the human ability for forgiveness and redemption.
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Able Was I

Rating: 3.5
A gay protagaonist with a universal plight whose story unfolds against lovingly drawn, evocative depictions of New York City and Italy.
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The Skye in June

Rating: 4.5
A beautifully written, convincing portrayal of a family, in which growth comes by squarely facing the past and accepting all of its truths.