Literary Fiction

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The Twenty and One Nights

Rating: 3.5
Two dysfunctional families try to cope with work, bills, divorce, and teenage maladjustment. But the book is not as depressing as that summary might suggest, largely because of the interesting characters that people it, especially Hestor, the quirky narrator.
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The Pursuit of Cool

Rating: 5
Lance Rally is the type of guy who does not know how to fit in with any particular group. So as a freshman when he stumbles and fumbles into one of Langford College’s most popular crews, he is quite surprised.
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A Greater Monster

Rating: 3
Katzman bundles all we associate with genre-plot, character development, obstacle and resolution—and tosses them into a hamper. There is no adequate way to describe this book in traditional terms.
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Love and War

Rating: 4
Two young people from wildly different backgrounds meet by chance while traveling along a desolate Arizona highway in the year 1970.
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A Family Institution

Rating: 4
"A Family Institution" centers on a man's quest to discover what happened to his Aunt Eva, who, at age twelve was sent to an asylum. Eva died there, and his mother and aunt had kept that secret from him all these years..
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Love & Darts

Rating: 2.5
Nath Jones' Love & Darts, a collection of twenty-four stories, gives readers an insight into the anxieties of the heartland of the United States today.
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Hang On

Rating: 4
It’s 1973 and Holly Salvino is just trying to Hang On. But when Holly meets Trevor, a roadie for a famous English rock band, her life starts to seem more like a “soap opera than real life.”
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In Leah's Wake

Rating: 4
In Leah’s Wake is the compelling story of a girl and her family whose lives are slowly unraveling into chaos and separation.
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Uncertain Journey

Rating: 4
Serendipitous circumstances lead Rejep Etaj, an Albanian-born illegal immigrant, and Eudoxia “Doxi” Athanasiou, a Greek-American, to strike up a tender, if unlikely companionship in the city of Ionnina, Greece.
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Out, Out: A Novel of Women and Apes

Rating: 4
Deb Solomon, married and the mother of a two-year-old daughter, isn’t expecting her life to take any unusual turns when she lands a position as business manager of a Southern University primate lab outside of Atlanta.
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The Angry Woman Suite

Rating: 4.5
Frances Grayson never quite gets over been raised by the overbearing, obsessive and disturbed women in his family. His demons raise their ugly heads, especially with his stepdaughter Elyse who tries desperately to maintain a sense of ‘normalcy’ for herself and her young sister Bean.
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The Able Seaman's Mate

Rating: 4.5
Author William Cheevers provides a glimpse into America’s cultural history in this beautifully written tale about Irish immigrant James Patrick Delaney adjusting to life in America.
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Learning to Haight

Rating: 4
Learning to Haight’s main character, Jack is a rather naive young man, who—bored with his P.R. job back East and hoping to find himself—leaves to become a journalist at the San Francisco Daily Mirror. J
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Paint Stop Boom

Rating: 3
Michael’s life is torn apart when his mother and sisters are killed in a terrorist bombing. He flounders about not knowing what to do next. When he meets David, it seems that Michael has found purpose. He has also found a group of people who want to stop the terrorist attacks in a way that is strange but profound.
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Cassie Draws the Universe

Rating: 4
A combination of Catcher in the Rye, A Clockwork Orange, Silence of the Lambs and Girl Interrupted, “Cassie Draws the Universe” is opera. It is opulent, grand and brilliant in strange ways, executed with a low grade fever.
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The Siren's Call

Rating: 3
Steve and Kip are successful lawyers. Initially rivals, they teamed up in high school to form an unbeatable team. As the story begins, Steve's girlfriend has been tragically killed by a drunk driver. Steve begins hearing voices. After he confides this to Kip, his friend decides to take him to Hawaii to help him recover. But Kip is hiding a terrible secret from his partner and best friend, one that could destroy their relationship.
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Born in Rio

Rating: 4
Rita Ray is uprooted by her mother, Maia, from their home in Brazil for a new life in Florida. She works hard and becomes a successful banker in New York but seldom dates and keeps everyone at a distance, until the day she gets a call informing her that her mother is dying from cancer. Rita rushes to the hospital, anxious to make up for her fifteen years of absence. The reunion is not to be.
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Ladies of the Borobudur

Rating: 3.5
Barbara Haines Howett’s eleven interlinked stories take us into the lives of ex-pat women in Indonesia in the early 1970s. There are two worlds to explore here: colorful Indonesia and the claustrophobic world of corporate wives--before feminism made its mark.
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Spoonful

Rating: 5
Michael Lira is a crafty heroin addict with all sorts of sordid things going on. Not only does he manage not to work and always have enough cash for drugs, but his escapades along the way make for a great story.
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Rising Sunsets

Rating: 2
David Fletcher is an American who is starting a new life as a teacher in Japan. He leaves behind him his loving and supportive mother, but also a failed relationship with his girlfriend and his abusive father.
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The Spectacular Simon Burchwood

Rating: 2
Determined to reassemble reclaim his shattered life, Simon and a pair of oddball sidekicks embark on a quest to answer the “question of all questions”: Why is life so hard?
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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.