Literary and General Fiction
Guests on Earth by Lee Smith
Lee Smith's Guests on Earth revisits the infamous 1948 fire at Asheville's Highland Hospital which took the lives of seven female patients, including Zelda Fitzgerald.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Thirteen-year-old Theo Decker survives an explosion at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, but his mom does not. In his escape from the tragedy, Theo grabs a single painting, "The Goldfinch," a Dutch masterpiece that Theo drags through his ensuing coming-of-age along with his broken heart and longing to have his mother back.
Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon
In Thomas Pynchon's latest, it is Spring of 2001 and New York private investigator Maxine Tarnow is at the center of a story about fraud, the Internet and the bleeding edge of both technology and pop culture.
The Good Lord Bird by James McBride
In The Good Lord Bird, James McBride follows abolitionist John Brown through the last half of the 1850s, culminating in Brown’s raid of Harper’s Ferry, Virginia.
Personae by Sergio De La Pava
Sergio De La Pava's Personae is not so much a novel as it is an amalgamation of ideas, a difficult, disjointed book but one that maintains its ability captivates despite its construction.
Local Souls by Allan Gurganus
In Local Souls three novellas reveal independent but interrelated stories. They are a serious and hilarious examination of lives in Allan Gurganus's small village of Falls, North Carolina, the setting of Gurganus' acclaimed debut novel, "Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All."
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland is the story of two brothers born into a divided India. With prose that is evocative, emotional and powerful, she builds a world that is so real we feel that we can reach out and touch it.
Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
Mark Helprin’s Winter's Tale is the story of love, larceny and flying horses during New York’s Belle Epoque,a tale of criminal gangs, indigenous marsh-dwelling tribes and immortal architects delivered inimitably by one of the best storytellers of our time.
The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi
At once a coming of age story and a comic novel of race and class, Hanif Kureishi's The Buddha of Suburbia will lift you from wherever your spacio-temporal circumstances find you and transport you - instantly - to London during the 1970s.
Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw
Set in the bustling, money-driven world of Shanghai, Aw has created not only a compelling story about five characters struggling to adapt socially and financially to China's economy, but has made a novel of unquestionable historical significance.
Enon by Paul Harding
Paul Harding's Enon, named after the New England town in which the novel is set, follows Charlie Crosby as he grapples with his daughter Kate's death and his newly obtained, unwanted independence.
All That Is by James Salter
All That Is, James Salter's first novel in thirty-five years, follows the life of Philip Bowman through the middle decades of twentieth-century America.
Lotería by Mario Alberto Zambrano
Mario Alberto Zambrano's debut novel is masterpiece of design that unfortunatel neither lies up to its packaging nor the conceit that drives it.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
In Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's fourth novel, a young Nigerian woman finds reinvention in America, where she learns what it means to be a Nigerian immigrant.
Manuscript Found in Accra by Paulo Coehlo
In Manuscript Found in Accra, Paulo Coelho once again approaches questions of spirit and of how to live.
The Humanity Project by Jean Thompson
In The Humanity Project, Jean Thompson explores what it means to be charitable, and human.
Lexicon by Max Barry
Lexicon, the latest in a series of satirical thrillers from Australian author Max Barry, revolves around the existence of an ancient language discovered by a society of "poets" who use the lexicon to control the actions of others.
Autobiography of Us by Aria Beth Sloss
Aria Beth Sloss' Autobiography of Us, a coming of age story set in California during the 1960's, tells the tale of two women and their struggle to define themselves in turbulent times.
The Whispering Muse (and other novels) by Sjon
Icelandic author Sjon's works are unreasonably underrepresented in English-language markets. Here, Farrar, Straus and Giroux attempts to remedy that with the publication of the author's masterpiece, The Whispering Muse.
Wise Men by Stuart Nadler
Opening in a wealthy community in Cape Cod in the 1950s, Wise Men is a novel about love, about race, and about a son attempting to break free of his father's money and legacy.
The Sunshine When She's Gone by Thea Goodman
Thea Goodman's The Sunshine When She's Gone tells a story about parenthood and marriage that typically gets swept under the rug.
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
Ruth Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being comprises two narratives, that of a 16-year-old Japanese girl who sets out to tell the story of her 104-year-old Buddhist grandmother, and one of a novelist named Ruth, who finds the aforementioned story.
Norumbega Park by Anthony Giardina
Anthony Giardina's Norumbega Park is a family saga centered around the Palumbo family's house.
Sight Reading by Daphne Kalotay
Daphne Kalotay's second novel revisits themes of art and love she employed in Russian Winter.
House of Earth by Woody Guthrie
From Woody Guthrie, who gave us "This land is your land. This land is my land" in addition to more than 3,000 song lyrics, journals, diaries, letters, sketches, and cartoons, comes a singlular portrait of rural resilience and social activism.
The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout
Two brothers, Jim and Bob Burgess, escape their hometown, where a tragic accident killed their father years before, only to find themselves called back by familial obligations in Elizabeth Strout's The Burgess Boys.
The Dinner by Herman Koch
Herman Koch's The Dinner finds two couples erecting a wall of small talk as they avoid the subject of an atrocious act committed by their 15-year-old sons.
Red Doc> by Anne Carson
Ann Carson's Red Doc> is complex work of both poetry and prose that reaches into the mythical past in the creation of a uniquely contemporary story.
The Pickup by Nadine Gordimer
Julia, the daughter of a wealthy businessman in Cape Town, falls in love with Abdu, a poor Arab immigrant in Nadine Gordimer's The Pickup, a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Africa.
Umbrella by Will Self
Will Self's Umbrella is a novel full of wormholes, a maddening cross between high literature and string theory, and an inspiring and challenging experience, worthy of any supplemental essays, criticism, and charts that might emerge in years to come.
Good Kids by Benjamin Nugent
From Benjamin Nugent, the author of American Nerd, comes a story of Joshua Paquette, one of two "good kids," whose early exposure to parental adultery prompts a personal vow of divergence from anything to do with the life of his father.
Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman
Determined to break the cycle that women in her family have of getting pregnant early and often, Rory Hendrix takes refuge in books in Tupelo Hassman's debut novel.
Tenth of December by George Saunders
Tenth of December, George Saunders' latest collection of short stories is a fine collection that highlights Saunders' ability to deftly combine humor with serious themes.
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
In Robin Sloan's debut, a handful of Silicon Valley technophiles collide with the members of an ancient bibliophilic luddite cult to the great amusement of the reader.
Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
In Ian McEwan's twelfth novel, Serena Frome, a beautiful Cambridge graduate, math whiz, and lover of literature, is recruited by the British secret service as a Cold War spy.
Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World by Sabina Berman
Mexican playwright, journalist and poet Sabina Berman's debut novel delivers a brilliant portrait of an autistic savant and her relationship with the world around her.
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
The Round House, Louise Erdich's fourteenth novel and the winner of the 2012 National Book Award for fiction, is the story of a Native American teenager's investigation of his mother's attack on a North Dakota reservation.
The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin
Colm Toibin's The Testament of Mary finds the virgin mother in Ephesus years after Jesus' crucifixion, trying to understand the events of her son's life.
Woes of the True Policeman by Roberto Bolano
In a prequel to his masterwork, 2666, Roberto Bolano's unfinished novel follows exiled Chilean university professor Oscar Amalfitano from Barcelona to a Mexican city close to the U.S. border, the center of a series of grizzly murders.
The Islands by Carlos Gamerro
Felipe Felix, an Argentinian hacker and veteran of The Falklands War, becomes embroiled in a mystery during which he must confront the history of that conflict from which his people are still licking their wounds.
In Sunlight and In Shadow by Mark Helprin
A lyrical tale of love set in a magical post-wartime New York City by Mark Helprin? Who would've guessed?
It's Fine By Me by Per Petterson
A coming-of-age novel whose 13-18-year-old narrator is attempting to distance himself from his abusive, alcoholic father.
The Fifty-Year Sword by Mark Z. Danielewski
Originally published as a Dutch limited edition in 2005, Mark Z. Danielewski's The Fifty-Year Sword is an ambitious, elegaic ghost story surrounding an East Texas seamstress named Chintana.
Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe
Police officer Nestor Camacho is at the center of Tom Wolfe's latest novel which sports a cast of colorfully diverse characters at odds both with each other and with themselves.
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
Kevin Powers' debut novel is a fictional account of the Iraq war that Powers, an Iraq war veteran, experienced first hand and is able to convey in a way that is at once poetic and real.
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
In The Casual Vacancy, promoted as J.K. Rowling's "novel for adults" (as though the Harry Potter books were just for children?), we apparate into the town of Pagford, England, where a cast of all-too lifelike characters painfully illustrate the destructive consequences of human shortcomings.
Open Door by Iosi Havilio
In Iosi Havilio's slim novel, Open Door, a detached and melancholy veterinarian narrator attempts to restructure her life after the mysterious disappearance of her girlfriend and finds herself buffeted by strange occurances in the bizarre Argentinian village of Open Door.
This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
In This is How You Lose Her, Junot Diaz brings back Yunior, the narrator of several stories in his first short story collection, Drown, as the central character in a collection of stories about love.
Revenge by Yoko Ogawa
Revenge is an interwovven collection of 11 macabre tales by Shirly Jackson Award winner Yoko Ogawa, an exemplary reminder that traditional "fiction of the strange" is not yet a lost art.
You & Me by Padgett Powell
Padget Powell has written a modern day Waiting for Godot in You & Me, a novel built upon the endless dialogue of two old men who sit on a porch and talk about everything and nothing at all.
Vlad by Carlos Fuentes
Take Bram Stoker's Dracula and drop him in present day Mexico City with a a middle class lawyer and real estate agent as his grim targets and you have Carlos Fuentes' Vlad.
Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil
Jeet Thayil's debut novel Narcopolis recalls the two decades of his life he spent in the opium dens of Bombay.
With the Animals by Noelle Revaz
In With the Animals, Noelle Revaz's debut novel, Paul, amysogynistic, luddite farmer and his wife, Vulva take center stage for a story of inhumane and brutal masculinity.
Replacement by Tor Ulven
In Replacement, Norwegian novelist Tor Ulven combines the perspectives of fifteen characters as they reflect upon lives that have brought each of them to a place of inertia.
A Hologram For the King by Dave Eggers
In A Hologram For the King, Dave Eggers latest novel, Alan Clay, a middle-aged American businessman, shows up in Saudi Arabia to pitch a large IT deal to the king of the country.
Search Sweet Country by Kojo Laing
Kojo Laing's Search Sweet Country, originally published in 1986, follows a myriad of Ghanaian characters through a chaotically interwoven tale of events that take place in the city of Accra.
A Million Heavens by John Brandon
John Brandon's third novel, A Million Heavens, weaves together the stories of a girl who hears the music of her dead band mate, a piano prodigy in a coma, and a massive, sentient wolf that roams the streets of the Lofte, New Mexico setting.
The Lower River by Paul Theroux
When his wife leaves him, Ellis Hock decides to return to the one place he was truly hapy - the Lower River of Malawi, Africa. However, what he finds there is not what he expects.
The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard
A painter and collagist of quietly prodigious talent, Joe Brainard was an associate of both the New York School's poetry circle and the Pop Art movement. The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard compiles over 500 pages of the artist's writing, including his seminal spin on the memoir, I Remember.
Reticence by Jean-Philippe Toussaint
In Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s experimental mystery novel, a nameless narrator shows up in a tiny village with his infant son and finds himself under surveillance by an enigmatic writer named Biaggi.
In One Person by John Irving
In "In One Person," a novel about a bisexual man who, as a boy, fell in love with a beautiful transgender woman, John Irving once again expertly explores themes of alienation, identity, and intolerance.
A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava
Sergio De La Pava originally self-published A Naked Singularity, the story of Casi, a young public defender caught in a surrealistically bizarre justice system in a postmodern novel that is garnering comparisons to Don DeLillo and David Foster Wallace.
The Sea Is My Brother by Jack Kerouac
The Sea is My Brother, described as Jack Kerouac's "lost novel" is the semi-autobiographical story of a young man's sea-faring with the Merchant Marine.
The New Republic by Lionel Shriver
Written in 1998, The New Republic is a satirical novel that takes on the topic of terrorism in the form of a radical Portuguese organization that protagonist Edgar Kellogg happens upon in his search to locate another journalist in the terrorists' home turf.
Satantango by Laszlo Krasznahorkai
Published in 1985, Laszlo Krasznahorkai's Satantango is reknown as the inspiration for filmaker Bela Tarr's seven-and-a-half hour film adaptation, often considered a cinephile rite of passage. Translated now by George Szirtes, the novel is finally available to English language readers.
Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
A gangster's son and an aging secret agent team up in Nick Harkaway's Angelmaker to stop a doomsday device and an evil villain from bringing about the end of the world.
Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult
Jodi Piccoult is known for centering her novels around issues of morality, and Lone Wolf is no exception. Using the behavior of wolves within their packs as a model, Piccoult confronts the difficult and painful decision faced by individuals and families with a loved one who is tethered only by the merest of tendrils to this life.
The Sugar Frosted Nutsack by Mark Leyner
An entire pantheon of ridiculously-imagined and slightly hungover gods and goddesses roll into the universe on a bus blaring the Mister Softee jingle and take up residence in Dubai's Burj Khalifa, from which they gaze down upon their sole acolyte, an unemployed New Jersey butcher.
Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman
Stephen Kelman's Pigeon English tells the coming-of-age story of a boy from Ghana who has recently emigrated to London's housing projects.
The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus
In The Flame Alphabet, Ben Marcus' dark and dystopic novel, children begin speaking a form of speech that is lethal to adults.
Mr. g A Novel About the Creation by Alan Lightman
Alan Lightman presents us with a rather young and whimsical God in Mr. g, a being who lives alone in the Void with his aunt and uncle until one day, he decides to experiment with the act of creation. The rest, as they say, is history.
The Map and the Territory by Michel Houllebecq
The Map and the Territory, winner of France's Prix Goncourt, is Michel Houellebecq's new postmodern novel about the art market and what it means to be creative in today's mundane society.
Blueprints of the Afterlife by Ryan Boudinot
Ryan Boudinot’s Blueprints of the Afterlife is often hilarious, sometimes disturbing, and frequently challenging. While thematically mature, Blueprints of the Afterlife is a laugh riot of a book. There are miniature software development monks, a giant celestial head, and a marauding sentient glacier rampaging across North America.
The Third Reich by Roberto Bolano
The Third Reich, written by Roberto Bolano in 1989 and published posthumously, follows the German national champion of The Third Reich, a WWII-themed board game, and his girlfriend as they enjoy a vacation at a Spanish resort and become involved with a sinister collection of characters.
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding wraps a coming-of-age story within a baseball novel that you don't have to be a sports fan to love.
The Shadow of a Blue Cat by Naoyuki Ii
Naoyuki Ii's The Shadow of a Blue Cat is a novel of culture and generation in which a 51-year-old entrepreneur reflects on the watershed moments in his youth.
The Galley Slave by Drago Jancar
In Drago Jancar's The Galley Slave, the madness of plague-ridden Europe has spread its sickly tentacles. Can picaresque anti-hero Johannes Ot flee from illness, inquisition, and his own dark identity?
The Angel Esmeralda by Don DeLillo
In The Angel Esmeralda, Don DeLillo collects nine stories that he wrote between 1979 and 2011. Individually taken, these nine narratives are tightly-woven masterpieces, but ordered chronologically, they tell a global tale that is simultaneously about how far we've come and how bad it's gotten.
The Snow Whale by John Minchillo
John Jacobs takes a DNA test that shows he's part Inuit, and - in flight from his depressingly mild middle class life - sets off to join "his people" in the annual whale hunt.
11/22/63 by Stephen King
What if you could go back in time? Back to a November day in Dallas in 1963 to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy - that's the goal of English teacher Jake Epping, the protagonist in Stephen King's time travel novel, 11/22/63.
Nightwoods by Charles Frazier
It's the early 1960s, and young Luce is living a carefree life in North Carolina's Appalachian Mountains, until her sister Lily is murdered and Luce finds herself caring for Lily's troubled, mute children. From Charles Frazier, the author of Cold Mountain, comes Nightwoods, yet another literary masterpiece.
Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi
Mr. Fox can't stop killing off the heroines of his novels. That is, not until his muse comes to life and changes everything. Helen Oyeyemi's Mr. Fox is at once a love story and fairy tale in nine iterations.
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
A sexy assassin steps out of a traffic jam and into an alternative world which is seemingly being crafted by a young ghost writer in love with this shadowy heroine. Dual moons fille the sky, little people emerge from the mouth of a goat, and time and space bend altogether in Haruki Murakami's opus 1Q84.
Reamde by Neal Stephenson
Neal Stephenson's Reamde begins with a computer virus engineered to squeeze gold pieces from players in a virtual world but soon morphs into a action thriller with Russian mobsters, British operatives, and al-Qaeda terrorists.
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex) emerges with his long-awaited third novel exploring the realities of love and marriage.
Aleph by Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho, the protagonist of this novel, sets out for a journey on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. But the journey is much larger than even Coelho at first perceives.
Sanctus by Simon Toyne
In Simon Toyne's Sanctus, an ancient order of monks guards a Sacrament so secret that they will die, and even kill, to protect it.
Plainsong by Kazushi Hosaka
The characters in Kazushi Hosaka' Plainsong seem immune to the dramatic upheavals suffered by many literary figures. Their lives move along steadily, almost listlessly in a manner that seems less like literature and more like life.
Cross Currents by John Shors
John Shors' Cross Currents is set on a small island west of Thailand, where the combined dramas of two families are dwarfed by the 2004 tsunami.
The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst
When Cecil Valance visits the country home of his Cambridge boyfriend George, he pens a poem in George's younger sister's diary, an act that becomes the subject of speculation over the ensuing decades.
There But For The by Ali Smith
A peculiar character named Miles Garth locks himself in a stranger's extra room during a dinner party.
Anatomy of a Disappearance by Hisham Matar
Nuri, who has fallen for the same 26-year-old woman as his widower father, wishes the old man would disappear. Until he does.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
A circus that arrives unannounced and only at night, a duel between two young magicians, a love afair like no other - a magical debut from Erin Morgenstern.
Millennium People by J.G. Ballard
J.G. Ballard's satire opens with the bombing of Heathrow Airport by a disaffected middle class.
The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
When millions of people suddenly vanish from the Earth, the affluent residents of suburban Mapleton try to figure out what happened.
Animalinside by Laszlo Krasznahorkai and Max Neumann
In Animalinside, Hungarian author Laszlo Krasznahorkai and German artist Max Neumann collaborate to create a slim collection of pieces addressing the animal inside us all.
Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You In All the Confusion by Johan Harstad
In Harstad's debut novel of intentional obscurity, Mattias, a Norwegian gardener, loses his job and his girlfriend before disappearing to the Faroe Islands to find himself accidentally rescued by an enigmatic cast of characters in a most unxpected place.
The Book of Happenstance by Ingrid Winterbach
In Ingrid Winterbach's The Book of Happenstance, a lexicagrapher moves to Durban, South Africa to preserve the Afrikaans language and has a cherished collection of shells stolen from her, an intrusion that leads her into a deeper understanding of life and happenstance.
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
A missing medical researcher, an obsessed professor, and a drug that keeps an obscure tribe of Amazonian woman fertile into their 70s are the key ingredients in Ann Patchett's State of Wonder.
The Night Train by Clyde Edgerton
It's 1963 in a rural North Carolina town where Dwayne Hallston, a white teenager, emulates James Brown and Larry Lime Nolan, his black friend, strives to play piano like Thelonious Monk. With impossible dreams and a forbidden friendship, Dwayne and Larry help each other navigate their racially divided world in Clyde Edgerton's The Night Train.
The Curfew by Jesse Ball
In Jesse Ball's The Curfew, William, an epitaphorist employed by the dystopic city of C. carries on with his daughter, Molly. They're good citizens, keeping their heads down until an old acquaintance who claims knowledge of what became his wife, moves William to action, after dark, during the curfew.
A Moment in the Sun by John Sayles
A Moment in the Sun traces the opportunistic era around the turn of the twentieth century with impeccable research and captivating grace.
Pulse by Julian Barnes
Julian Barnes' Pulse is a well-tempered anthology of subtle dramatics. By dividing the stories in Pulse between two distinctly different sections, Barnes reminds readers that a short story collection can have a remarkable amount of craft in its structuring.
The Great Night by Chris Adrian
Chris Adrian's The Great Night fuses the heavy weight of the mortal coil with the mischiefs of the faerie kingdom when three individuals crossing San Francisco's Buena Vista Park en route to a party find their world intermingled with that of Titania, Oberon and Puck, fairies from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
When the Killing's Done by T.C. Boyle
T.C. Boyle chooses controversial topics and then weaves chatty novels around them; his characters are modern and the language in his writing feels instantly familiar. When the Killing's Done is no exception: the topic is how humans interact with the environment, and while the scenarios feel a bit stale, they do represent both sides of this...
Lydia by Tim Sandlin
Following a 15-year hiatus, Tim Sandlin returns to the fictional town of GroVont, Wyoming with Lydia, a comical dive back into the wonderfully-flawed and colorful characters Sandlin explored in his GroVont Trilogy.
The Pale King by David Foster Wallace
The Pale King, like its progenitor Infinite Jest, is a puzzle - a bit like one of those 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzle that consumes the family's attention for weeks - and before emptying the pieces onto the table, Wallace shows us the cover on the box in a chapter that luminously sets the stage in the pastoral Midwest, instantly reminding the reader...
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Jennifer Egan extracts episodes from the lives of a colorful array of characters to weave an atemporal tapestry of narrative that extends into both past and future.
The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
Tea Obreht's outstanding debut novel, The Tiger's Wife, captivates with both awe and understanding. With a flawless synthesis of politics, folklore, and tradition, Obreht has created such a perfectly private book that readers will feel grateful for her exquisite prose.
Donald by Eric Martin and Stephen Elliott
Not only does Stephen Elliott and Eric Martin's novella Donald make a resounding partisan statement, the premise of their book allows them to showcase their skills as storytellers through the use of their political-minded fantasy.
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
Hilola Bigtree, matriarch of the Bigtree Clan and star of the alligator wrestling show at the family-operated Swamplandia! alligator park, has passed away. "We lost our headliner," explains thirteen-year-old narrator Ava Bigtree to a group of tourists. In the wake of their mother's death, the children - Ava, Osceola, and Kiwi - must find their...
The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier
Kevin Brockmeier's The Illumination is a deftly constructed literary meditation built that opens with the onset of a worldwide paranormal phenomenon: without any known origin, mankind's physical pain is suddenly manifested with a peculiar luminescence.
Sing You Home by Jodie Pocoult
Jodi Picoult's Sing You Home will bring tears to your eyes from both anger and sympathy as it presents both sides of three of America's most polarizing, hot-button issues: gay rights, reproductive science, and the Christian right.
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
Anthony Marra's A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a story of loss and love in war-torn Chechnya.
Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer
Jonathan Safran Foer's latest effort, Tree of Codes, is simultaneously a paean to his favorite book, Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz and a bold artistic experiment with the form of the physical book. What it delivers from a literary perspective is less obvious.
My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk
Originally published in Turkish in 1998, My Name is Red won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2003. The novel was burned publicly in Turkey when Orhan Pamuk was accused of "insulting Turkishness" in 2005.
Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie
Luka and the Fire of Life is the second children's novel by Salman Rushdie, coming twenty years after the publication of Haroun and the Sea of Stories in 1990. Although set in the same World of Magic and with the same cast of characters, those who have read Haroun will find Luka a wildly different sort of novel.
The Box: Tales from the Darkroom by Gunter Grass
A literary master, his family, an assistant and her all-seeing camera are the components that make up Gunter Grass's great literary experiment, The Box: Tales from the Darkroom. In this work of fiction, Grass writes in the voices of his eight children as they sit around the tables in their various households to record memories of their...
Sunset Park by Paul Auster
Poor dialogue and poor pacing make Sunset Park a difficult story to believe and a difficult book to trust. The characters in Paul Auster's latest all speak with a strained dramatic flair that is better left for the author's meta-noir novels.
C by Tom McCarthy
In Tom McCarthy's C - the current favorite for the 2010 Man Booker Prize - young Serge Carrefax comes of age in pre-World War I England on the campus of a school for deaf children where his father experiments with machines and chemicals and his mother weaves tapestries from homegrown silkworms and self-medicates with opium.
By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham
Michael Cunningham's novel By Nightfall features a a middle-aged SoHo art dealer whose world is shaken by the arrival of his wife's younger brother, a recovering drug addict who wants to pursue a career in the arts.
Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
Nicholas Sparks is a brand as surely as Kellogg, Chevrolet, or Apple. As surely as you know those cornflakes/car/computer will be of a certain quality, the reader knows that Sparks will deliver a competent, predictable story. Geared toward a female audience, the story will feature certain elements. A "lost" boy/man and girl/woman will meet by...
In the Land of the Living by Austin Ratner
Austin Ratner's In the Land of the Living is a multi-generational novel about finding oneself despite having lost a father early on.
Great House by Nicole Krauss
In Great House, Nicole Krauss has built a monument to the art of the novel. She reminds readers of the limitless restraints of a novelist, and in...
Ape House by Sara Gruen
Ape House by Sara Gruen Spiegel and Grau, September 2010 4.5 stars John M. Formy-Duval Having read Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen’s previous,...
Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman
Khaled Hosseini calls Red Hook Road "thoroughly gripping and elegantly written." I had my doubts. The writing felt serviceable but not inspired....
Trespass by Rose Tremain
Rose Tremain's Trespass is a cautionary tale of sorts. At once about boundaries both emotional and familial, Trespass tells the story of five aging characters as they struggle balancing independence with imposition.
Richard Yates by Tao Lin
Richard Yates takes place in the year 2006 and centers on a character named Haley Joel Osment and his obsession with a sixteen-year-old New Jersey...
Room by Emma Donoghue
Seven years ago, Jack's mother was kidnapped and held captive in a man's soundproof garden shed. Equipped with little more than an analog television, the room, measuring eleven feet square, is her prison - but to Jack, her son (now five years old), it is the whole world. Told from the perspective of precocious Jack, Emma Donoghue's Room tells the story of him and his mother as they try to cope and grow in a room that seems to shrink further as they continue to age.
Long Division by Kiese Laymon
A fusion of magical realism, Southern literature and time-travel, Kiese Laymon's Long Division is a novel like no other and one of the best you'll read this year.
Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas
Part literary fiction, Zen koan, and philosophical discussion, Scarlett Thomas' Our Tragic Universe will appeal to readers who can detach from expectations of traditional narrative and enjoy a thoughtful and wide-ranging philosophical meander through a "storyless story."
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
Skippy is a complicated kid. He’s a got a good heart but is growing increasingly bored with his successes in both the classroom and on the swim team. Skippy looks to be a Nintendo-fueled recast of the classic Russian hero — laced with an enigmatic malaise - but as Skippy Dies progresses, we learn in a perfectly plotted series of hints that there’s a lot more trouble behind Skippy’s silent face.
Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner
A highly unreliable young American poet on a fellowship in Madrid narrates this spellbinding novel that, with ample humore, explores the difference between art and fraud.
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
In Freedom, the mom is an ex-athelete who still carries a torch for her husband's rock star best friend, the dad is a corporate progressive who fights Big Coal, the son actually moves out of the house and into the neighbor's, and the author, Jonathan Franzen, once again proves mastery at mining the suburban experience for both comedy and tragedy.
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
David Mitchell is known for writing brilliant concept novels, but The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet doesn't fit that bill. Here, the author forgoes the stylistic wizardry of Cloud Atlas in writing a straightforward work of literature set in early nineteenth century Japan.
The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker
Paul Chowder may have met with some early successes, but of late he's been stalled in his career as a poet. Admittedly poor with rhyme, he writes free verse, but these days Chowder finds it difficult to pen even a single "flying spoon poem," much less the daunting poetry anthology introduction that will net him the big check from his publisher that he so desperately needs to pay his bills.
The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
Tom Rachman's subject is "the paper," an English language newspaper in Rome that we follow from its inception in the 1950's through to its present-day decline. Its story is told through a series of short vignettes, each of which is a pivotal moment in a single character's life. The imperfectionists are the staffers at the paper - reporters, editors, publishers - and each of their tales build upo…
Malarky by Anakana Schofield
Malarky, Anakana Schofield's story of an Irish farmwife's attempt to make the most out of her life was the winner of the 2012 Amazon.ca First Novel Award.
Tinkers by Paul Harding
Paul Harding’s Tinkers is the story of George and Howard, of fathers and sons, of existence and the end of existence. It is a poetic meditation in which Harding, with rich and evocative language, weaves the lives of three generations of Crosby men into a tapestry of life and death.
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Anne Lamott employs her characteristically laugh-out-loud writing style to explore teenage drug abuse and its consequences. Full of quirky insights and funny moments, Lamott's latest book profiles a husband, a mother and a daughter in the midst of domestic distress. But even this author's humor can't soften the blow of this family's tragedy.
Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel
Yann Martel, winner of the Man Booker Prize for 'Life of Pi' (2001), is back with a story of a novelist named Henry whose animal-filled novel meets with similar success. The novelist meets with a taxidermist, also named Henry and a novel in which a donkey and a monkey are the main characters.
House Rules by Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult places us squarely in the life of a boy with Asperger's Syndrome so that we can see the painful effects this condition has on him, his family, and those around them.
The Ask by Sam Lipsyte
Sam Lipsyte's 'The Ask' is the sad yet hilarious story of Milo Burke, a disheveled, semi-bitter failed artist whose mediocre job as a development officer at a mediocre New York university comes to hinge upon the whim of a single person, a millionaire entrepreneur with whom Milo shared numerous alcoholic drinks while purportedly pursuing higher education himself.
The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni
Cross the visionary philosophies of Buckminster Fuller with the raw energy of punk rock music, and the result is Iowa Writer's workshop graduate Peter Bognanni's debut novel.
Point Omega by Don DeLillo
Don DeLillo's 'Point Omega' is about Richard Elster, a secret defense intellectual who has retreated to solace in the desert southwest. Elster is sought out by a young filmmaker and then by his daughter Jessie. The three proceed to train discussion on points philosophical.
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
If you are at all disposed to dystopian and decidedly satirical coming-of-age steampunk, with a healthy dose of Monty Pythonesque laughs, you may skip to the end of the review where I recommend buying this book immediately.
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood's latest explores environmental and Biblical themes. The plot follows a religious group called the Gardeners who are waiting for what their scripture calls the Waterless Flood.
The Girl With Glass Feet by Ali Shaw
Ida Maclaird has come to the icy archipelago of St. Hauda’s Land seeking a man – one she’d met while in the mysterious islands six months prior, before the glass.
The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris
Joshua Ferris uses his considerable talents with dialogue and character to render what is at once a story of love and family and a thoughtful reflection upon the fragility of life.
Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
Nick Hornby's latest novel explores the nature of love and meaning in life with the backdrop of popular music that High Fidelity fans will relish.
Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving
Drawing on the lives of an unforgettable cast of characters, John Irving delivers an entertaining history of logging in the wilds of New Hampshire in the early 1950s and a remarkable tale of the emergence of a writer.
Matchless: A Christmas Story by Gregory Maguire
Gregory Maguire's refreshing twist on the Hans Christian Andersen classic, "The Little Match Girl."
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
Chicago twins, Julia and Valentina Poole, inherit their deceased aunt's estate, on the condition that they live in her London flat - overlooking Highgate Cemetary - for a year.
The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman
The Teleportation Accident is a hilarious amalgamation of historical and genre fiction, possessing a humor reminiscent of novels like The Crying of Lot 49 and A Confederacy of Dunces.
The Wild Things by Dave Eggers
The novelized version of Maurice Sendak's wonderfully captivating children's book about a young boy who sails off into the world of imagination to a jungle island populated with a small cast of monsters who proclaim him their king.
The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
The Last Song explores the aspects of familial love and the storm and stress that come with having a teenager in the family.
The Winner Stands Alone by Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho's latest novel is like his bestselling 'The Alchemist,' except with a murderer on the loose.
Dragon House by John Shors
Each of John Shors' novels have been set in some corner of Asia. Each has deftly caught the milieu and language of its setting.
The Blue Notebook by James Levine
James A. Levine's standout debut novel is the kind of fiction that convinces you of a disturbing reality that exists beyond the story itself, even though you wish it didn't.
The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A Barcelona youth survives his troubled childhood by taking refuge in stories until — at the age of seventeen — he gets the chance to begin writing his own. Under the patronage of Pedro Vidal, he makes a quick rise to fame by telling tales of Barcelona's gritty underworld.
Overqualified by Joey Comeau
In Overqualified, Joey Comeau spins a narrative of love and loss via a most unusual vehicle: a series of letters of application for employment - cover letters.
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace's 1996 novel of addiction and recovery, is a long and complex work bearing the labyrinthine threads of plot and stylistic intricacies for which Wallace was famous, and certainly one of the most engrossing novels I have ever read.
'Little Bee' is the story of a tenuous friendship that emerges between a Nigerian refuge girl and a white British magazine editor.
The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen
The story of a 12-year-old Divide, Montana cartographer and his Smithsonian-bound adventures, bursting with the youthful progagonist's maps and illustrations.
The Great Perhaps by Joe Meno
The Caspers are a family in decline, each member watching helplessly as the ties that bind them unravel despite utter devotion to the simple tenets they believe will save them.
The Ten-Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer
'The Ten-Year Nap' includes both deliciously pointed observations and annoying, too-clever remarks. Despite the promise of this unflinching and sharp-eyed look at career women who return home to raise their children, I ended up disappointed.
Out of My Skin by John Haskell
In 'Out of My Skin' John Haskell's narrator-protagonist moves to Los Angeles to write movie reviews and, in an act of self-transformation, ends up a Steve Martin impersonator.
Lowboy by John Wray
John Wray's novel 'Lowboy' is about a schizophrenic teenager who has stopped taking his medication and escaped the asylum into the New York subway.
Testimony by Anita Shreve
A departure for Shreve in more ways than one, Testimony's plot is uncovered through a series of flashbacks and flash-forwards.
Family Planning by Karan Mahajan
The Indian family that Mahajan so succinctly chronicles is a disaster before it even becomes a family. Hilarious.
Summertime by J.M. Coetzee
J.M. Coetzee designs a fictional autobiography in Summertime in which an unnamed biographer lifts illustrative passages from Coetzee's diaries and interviews significant persons from the Nobel Laureate's past, now that Coetzee (in the novel, though not in real life) has passed away.
The Bible Salesman by Clyde Edgerton
A criminal picks up a young Bible salesman and cons him into believing he is working as an FBI agent.
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
In 'The Story of Edgar Sawtelle' (2008), far and away the best debut novel of the year, David Wroblewski creates a beautifully imagined world filled with people who grapple with real issues. There is even a dog, Almondine, who shares her thoughts with us. This may be fiction, but it has the feel and punch of Life.
Indignation by Philip Roth
A young Jewish man from New Jersey seeks to improve his social status to avoid being drafted by the armed forces for service in the Korean War.
The Butt by Will Self
Tom Brodzinski is vacationing in a tropical land when he sets off an absurd and horrible chain of events by carelessly flicking a cigarette butt from his hotel terrace.
Man in the Dark by Paul Auster
Paul Auster creates an alternate universe in which the twin towers never toppled, the war in Iraq never began, and instead the United States wages against itself, divided in civil war.
God Is Dead by Ron Currie, Jr.
God, while inhabiting the body of a young Dinka woman, is killed, and word of his death soon begins to spread. Faced with the hard proof that there is no supreme being in charge, the world is irrevocably transformed, yet remains oddly recognizable.
Out Backward by Ross Raisin
Ross Raisin's stunning debut is a tale of obsession with a dark turn, as told through a teenage farmer's own Yorkshire dialect and disturbed inner life.
The Garden of Last Days by Andre Dubus III
Instantly interesting and engaging, 'The Garden of Last Days' grabs one's attention and holds it to the last page.
Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen
Rivka Galchen dishes up an amalgam of psychiatry, meteorology, and poetic prose in a story about a psychiatrist who finds his lovely young wife has disappeared and been replaced by an exact replicate at the same time that his patient, who believes that he is secretly employed to control the weather, has also gone missing.
Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje
Sensuous, languid, filled with images, both sublime and earthy. It is a story of separation, division, that feeling of not belonging quite any place or to any relationship.
Merde Happens by Stephen Clarke
The third installation of Paul West's hilarious mis-adventures in merde.
A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke
The almost-true account of Stephen Clarke's adventures as an expat in Paris, based loosely on his own experiences and with names changed to avoid embarrassment and possible legal action.
Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong
Winner of the inaugural Man Asian Literary Prize. The story of Chen Zhen, a Beijing intellectual who moves to the grasslands of Inner Mongolia during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
My Revolutions by Hari Kunzru
A revolutionary past catches up with a former radical anti-war activist in Hari Kunzru's latest novel.
The Age of Shiva by Manil Suri
Following his spectacular debut novel, "The Death of Vishnu," Manil Suri returns with a mesmerizing story of modern India.
Homecoming by Bernhard Schlink
A protagonist's odyssey through Germany and Europe to the United States in an effort to reconnect and find "home."
Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow
Toby Barlow's free verse novel takes the werewolf myth to L.A., where werewolves form packs and vie for power.
The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
After Toru Okada loses his cat, his job, and his wife, things go from bad to weird. Surreal visitations from beautiful women, gruesome stories from wartime Japan, and an entryway into a different world deep at the bottom of a well combine with the usual lost cats, jazz music and enigmatic characters in Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's depiction of the Buendia family in One Hundred Years of Solitude, Diaz's novel traces Oscar de Leon's family history from 1940s Dominican Republic to 1980s Patterson, NJ of Oscar's nerd youth.
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "March," the journey of a rare illuminated manuscript through centuries of exile and war.
Design Flaws of the Human Condition by Paul Schmidtberger
Through a hilarious series of events, two strangers find themselves railroaded into an anger-management class, where they soon become fast friends.
Lamb by Christopher Moore
Lamb is Christopher Moore's irreverent, iconoclastic, and hilarious tale of the early life of Jesus Christ as witnessed by his boyhood pal, Biff.
Run by Ann Patchett
As she did in her bestselling novel "Bel Canto," Patchett weaves together seemingly disparate lives to show how intimately humans can connect.
The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold
A woman steps over the line into the unthinkable in this unforgettable work by the author of "The Lovely Bones" and "Lucky."
Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
What The Office brought to television, what Office Space brought to the movies, and what Dilbert brought to comics, Then We Came to the End brings to literature.
Home Land by Sam Lipsyte
Lewis Miner is the 30-something graduate of a New Jersey high school who uses his time sending updates to his alumni newsletter.
The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
Nicholas Sparks turns his talents to a tale about love found and lost, and the choices we hope we'll never have to make.
Engleby by Sebastian Faulks
Something about Mike Engleby is not quite right. When he becomes fixated on a classmate and she goes missing, we are left with the looming question: Is Mike Engleby involved?
Spook Country by William Gibson
In William Gibson's follow-up to Pattern Recognition virtual art and international espionage collide.
The Entitled by Frank Deford
In The Entitled, six-time National Sportswriter of the Year and NPR commentator Frank Deford takes the reader deep inside the game of baseball and evokes the roles of the players as well as the one man who can make or break a team and a season.
Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee
Free Food for Millionaires is a fresh take on the immigrant experience and a worthwhile treatment of intergenerational and cultural issues.
Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician by Daniel Wallace
From the author of Big Fish comes this haunting, tender story that weaves a tragic secret, a mysterious meeting with the Devil, and a family of charming circus freaks recounting the extraordinary adventures of their friend Henry Walker, the Negro Magician.
Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis
Comic-book auteur Warren Ellis' very funny first novel combines a mystery, a road trip, a romance, and extensive research into the darker corners of the Internet, and purports to be a descent into the Inferno of contemporary America.
Body Surfing by Anita Shreve
At the age of 29, Sydney has already been once divorced and once widowed. Now she has answered an ad to tutor the teenage daughter of a well-to-do couple as they spend a sultry summer in their oceanfront New Hampshire cottage.
Queen of Broken Hearts by Cassandra King
In Cassandra King's fictional town of Fairhope, hearts and personalities collide.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
By Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a story of the unconquerable spirit of a people seen through the eyes of two indomitable women.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Kite Runner is Afghanistani-American novelist, Khaled Hosseini's best-selling debut novel, a tale of betrayal and redemption that rises above time and place while simultaneously remaining firmly anchored against the tumultuous backdrop of modern Afghanistan.
Traveler by Ron McLarty
In Traveler, his beautifully written follow up to The Memory of Running, Ron McLarty has created a character who returns home to an awakened sense of responsibility after a note arrives telling him of the death of his first love.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Cormac McCarthy traces the progress of a father and son through a postapocalyptic landscape in what is perhaps the author's most powerful novel to date.
Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakthrough
A feel-good chick-lit at the top of its game, Isabel Sharpe's latest novel is a story about three women on the verge of self-discovery.
The Book of Dave by Will Self
When Dave Rudman's wife deserts him for another man, Dave pens a memoir, part deranged philosophical treatise, part handbook of "the Knowledge" learned by all London cab drivers. Five hundred years later, the Book of Dave is discovered by the inhabitants on the island of Ham, where it becomes a sacred text of biblical proportion, and its author is revered as a mighty prophet.
Once in a Promised Land
Once in a Promised Land is the story of a couple, Jassim and Salwa, who left the deserts of their native Jordan for those of Arizona, each chasing their own dreams of opportunity and freedom.
Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon
Thomas Pynchon devotees have waited a long time for the author's sixth novel, Against the Day, and want to know - is it brilliant, or just complex?
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Never Let Me Go is speculative, set in an alternate England whose dystopic elements aren't immediately apparent to the reader.
Only Revolutions by Mark Z. Danielewski
Only Revolutions surrounds a 200 year road journey taken by two teenage lovers, more experimentalist literature from the author of House of Leaves.
Paint it Black by Janet Fitch
From the author of White Oleander: a self-destructive teen runaway in the 1980's L.A. punk music scene struggles after her enigmatic artist-dropout-boyfriend commits suicide.
Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
Black Swan Green is divided into 13 chapters, each a month in the life of 13-year-old Jason Taylor, each revealing a bit more about the sweet torture that is his life in sleepy Worcestershire.
Jpod by Douglas Coupland
Ethan Jarlewski and five co-workers are bureaucratically marooned in JPod, a no-escape architectural limbo on the fringes of a massive Vancouver video game design company.
The Futurist by James P. Othmer
A "Dear John" letter and minibar's worth of alcohol send a trend-spotting Futurist on a global mid-life crisis in this satirical first novel.
Terrorist by John Updike
John Updike's twenty-second novel tells of eighteen-year-old Ahmad Ashmawy Mulloy, who becomes involved with a fundamentalist jihadist and a terrorist plot.
Everyman by Philip Roth
Roth's Everyman is a hero whose youthful sense of independence and confidence begins to be challenged when illness commences its attack in middle age.
Walter Mosley's novel about two boys, one ensconced in a life of privilege and the other in a life of hardship, explores the true meaning of fortune.
The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier
Kevin Brockmeier's fascinating novel of a City whose deceased inhabitants exist only so long as they are remembered by those alive on Earth.
Londonstani by Gautam Malkani
Gautam Malkani's extraordinary comic novel portrays the lives of young Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu men in the ethnically charged enclave of one of the biggest western cities, London.
Adverbs by Daniel Handler
Adverbs is a novel about love -- a bunch of different people, in and out of different kinds of love.
This Book Will Save Your Life by A. M. Homes
Richard Novak is a modern-day Everyman and functionally dead until two incidents conspire to hurl him back into the world.
The Good Life by Jay McInerney
On a September 2001 morning in New York, brightness falls horribly from the sky. What happens when life stops us in our tracks, or our own choices do? What is the good life?
Company by Max Barry
A smart send-up of corporate culture that will make you laugh your action items right off your plate.
Utterly Monkey by Nick Laird
Utterly Monkey is an entertaining page-turner, a work of lad-lit that will nonetheless appeal to a broad audience.
The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster
Nathan Glass returns to Brooklyn to die. Instead, despair is swept away in favor of discovery, in Brooklynite, Paul Auster's "hymn to the glories and mysteries of ordinary human life."
At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks
Nicholas Sparks brings back two characters from his bestseller, True Believer.
On Beauty by Zadie Smith
Zadie Smith made a literary splash as a twenty-five-year-old with her debut novel White Teeth. Smith's latest is On Beauty, a modern twist on E. M. Forster's Howard's End.
The People of Paper by Salvador Plascencia
Amidst disillusioned saints hiding in wrestling rings, mothers burnt by glowing halos, and a Baby Nostradamus who sees only blackness, a gang of flower pickers heads off to war, led by a lonely man who cannot help but wet his bed in sadness.
Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis
Lunar Park, is a feat of literary sleight-of-hand, a bait and switch game that finds Ellis addressing his controversial work and his relationship to it in a fictionalized confession.
Indecision by Benjamin Kunkel
The narrator of Benjamin Kunkel's comic novel is encouraged by one of his roommates to try an experimental pharmaceutical meant to banish indecision and finds himself on the brink of a new life.
The Accidental by Ali Smith
Ali Smith's Booker-nominated novel, The Accidental, is about how people break down and the terrifying possibilities of who they might become.
Until I Find You by John Irving
John Irving's eleventh novel is the story of the actor Jack Burns, son of a Toronto tattoo artist and a church organist who is addicted to being tattooed.
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
When Fat Charlie's father dies, Charlie discovers that his old man, heretofore merely embarrassing, was actually Anansi, the West African spider trickster god.
Freddy and Fredericka by Mark Helprin
If you've not read Helprin before, start with Winter's Tale or A Soldier of the Great War. If you're familiar with Helprin's epic odysseys and have been waiting for his next, wait no longer.
The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
From Sue Monk Kidd, author of "The Secret Life of Bees." Jessie Sullivan returns to Egret Island,off the coast of South Carolina, to care for her mother and finds herself attracted to a young monk at a Benedictine Monastery.
A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen; a former TV talk show host, a musician, a teenage girl, and a mother; encounter one another on the roof of Topper's House, a London destination famous as the last stop for those ready to end their lives.
The Man In My Basement by Walter Mosely
Walter Mosely, author of the Easy Rawlins detective novels, weaves a more philosophical story in The Man in My Basement.
Sex and Sunsets by Tim Sandlin
A hilariously engaging first-novel, Sex and Sunsets garnered Tim Sandlin comparisons to Jack Kerouac and Tom Robbins at its publication in 1987.
The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer
Max Tivoli is born with the external physical appearance of an old, dying person. Max grows older like any child, but his physical age appears to go backward.
St. Dale by Sharyn McCrumb
A group of racing fans sets off on a bus tour of Southern speedways in tribute to NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt in this road novel modeled after the Canterbury Tales.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Oskar Schell is nine years old and on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center.
Liberating Paris by Linda Bloodworth Thomason
Themes of friendship, redemption, and grace under pressure are examined in the context of Paris, Arkansas.
The Sea of Tears by Nani Power
Nani Power's otherworldly novel delves into the tangled relationships and hidden worlds of people brought together-and torn apart-under extraordinary circumstances.
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
Characteristically engaging in its humor and surrealism - true to form for Haruki Murakami.
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
David Mitchell's "Cloud Atlas" ricochets it's way through time, space, and literary genres and characters in an extremely compelling "puzzle book" novel.
Wake Up, Sir! by Jonathan Ames
Alan Blair is a young writer with numerous problems of the mental, emotional, sexual, spiritual, and physical variety. Luckily for Alan, he has a personal valet, a wondrously helpful fellow named Jeeves, who does his best to sort things out for his young master.
I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe
A smart girl from a dull town is thrust into the excesses of college life in Tom Wolfe's satirical take on the undergraduate experience.
The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty
Actor and playwritght, Ron McLarty, delivers a character-driven epic journey.
Colors Insulting to Nature by Cintra Wilson
Cintra Wilson has fused a hilarious yet strangely touching coming-of-age story with a blistering satire of our celebrity-debased culture.
Astonishing Splashes of Colour by Clare Morrall
Booker finalist Astonishing Splashes of Colour takes its title from J. M. Barrie's description of Peter Pan's Neverland. It follows the life of Kitty, a woman who, in a sense, has never grown up.
The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore
It is the return of America's favorite chronicler of absurdity, Christopher Moore, with shovel-wielding murderesses, stoned officers of the law, one half-witted agent of The Lord, a flock of undead zombies fed up with the living, and oh, don't forget the illustrious reemergence of Roberto The Fruit Bat.
The Christmas Train by David Baldacci
Tom Langdon, a weary and cash-strapped journalist, must take the train if he has any chance of arriving in Los Angeles in time for Christmas.
How I Paid for College by Marc Acito
Marc Acito, hailed as the "gay Dave Barry" for his humor column, "The Gospel According to Marc" delivers on this fun-filled romp through adolescence.
The Darling by Russell Banks
A political radical and former member of the Weather Underground becomes a friend and colleague of ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor, a relationship that triggers a momentous series of events.
Eve’s Apple by Jonathan Rosen
Jonathan Rosen's Eve's Apple on the surface appears to be a story about a man obsessed with his girlfriends' eating disorder. What it turns out to be is something much more intriguing.
Brick Lane by Monica Ali
In a time when every Western country is facing off with its Muslim populations, this book provides its readers a look at a community that, frankly, frightens them.
The Normals by David Gilbert
Billy Schine, a debt-ridden and disillusioned Harvard grad, signs up for a medical research trial of a new antipsychotic.
Scream Queens of the Dead Sea by Gilad Elbom
When a young graduate of the Israeli army decides to moonlight as an assistant nurse at a mental institution in Jerusalem, he finds himself trapped in a hilarious yet terrifying freak show.
The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst
Nick Guest, finds his life dramatically altered when he takes up residence with conservative Parliament member, in Hollinghurst's winner of the 2004 Booker Prize.
A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
Miriam Toews' darkly funny novel is the world according to Nomi Nickel, a bewildered and wry sixteen-year-old trapped in a town governed by fundamentalist Mennonites.
The End of the Story by Lydia Davis
Mislabeled boxes, problems with visiting nurses, and confusing notes --such are the obstacles in the way of the unnamed narrator of The End of the Story as she attempts to organize her memories of a love affair into a novel.
Tearjerker by Daniel Hayes
In Daniel Hayes' darkly humorous debut novel, Evan Ulmer takes matters into his own hands after his writerly dreams of fame and recognition have stalled. He kidnaps renowned editor Robert Partnow and cages him in a basement.
Enter Sandman by Stephanie Williams
Two months after her 30th birthday, celebrated journalist, Stephanie Williams, was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. Enter Sandman, is a largely biographical account of her struggle. Stephanie Williams died on July 3, 2004, just weeks after the book's publication.
Oblivion by David Foster Wallace
In the stories that make up Oblivion, David Foster Wallace joins the rawest, most naked humanity with the infinite involutions of self-consciousness-a combination that is dazzlingly, uniquely his. These are worlds undreamt-of by any other mind.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Narrated by a fifteen-year-old autistic savant obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, Mark Haddon's novel weaves together an old-fashioned mystery, a contemporary coming-of-age story, and a fascinating excursion into a mind incapable of processing emotions.
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Winner of 2001's National Book Award, Jonathan Franzen's "The Corrections" is a modern portrait of the family in decline.
The Known World by Edward P. Jones
The Known World weaves together the lives of freed and enslaved blacks, whites, and Indians -- and allows all of us a deeper understanding of the enduring multidimensional world created by the institution of slavery.
Transmission by Hari Kunzru
Transmission, Hari Kunzru’s new novel of love and lunacy, immigration and immunity, introduces a daydreaming Indian computer geek whose luxurious fantasies about life in America are shaken when he accepts a California job offer.
P by Andrew Lewis Conn
Andrew Lewis Conn has chosen to embrace rather then deny his predecessors and create a work of ultimate reference. He has taken James Joyce's "Ulysses" as his model and created his own single day in the late 20th century over which the action of his story takes place.
The Paris Review Book for Planes, Trains, Elevators, and Waiting Rooms
The Paris Review Book for Planes, Trains, Elevators, and Waiting Rooms is a uniquely-themed anthology in that it's theme is the reader. This compendium offers reading material to fill those moments of waiting for something to happen.
Samaritan by Richard Price
Samaritan by Richard Price tells the story of Ray Mitchell, who after a lucrative television writing career comes to an abrupt end, returns to the New Jersey city of his birth—to rethink his life and to spread the wealth on the housing project that reared him.
Fat White Vampire Blues by Andrew Fox
In Andrew Fox's first novel Fat White Vampire Blues, he has created an Ignatius Reilly (A Confederacy of Dunces) of the undead and as in John Kennedy Toole's famous novel, Fox takes full advantage of the exotic and eccentric nature of New Orleans.
Oracle Night by Paul Auster
Paul Auster is one author who likes to write novels about novelists, and continues to be consistently entertaining and provocative in doing so. Auster's latest novel, Oracle Night, is another exploration on why we write, and what kind of power that writing actually holds.
Yellow Dog by Martin Amis
Martin Amis is no stranger to the nittier and grittier walks of life. Amis's novels are filled with sex, drugs, and violence, and is an expert at creating despicable characters for whom you can't help but feeling a little bit sympathetic. His latest novel, Yellow Dog, should please fans of his morbid sense of humor, layered storytelling, and uniquely descriptive language.
The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon
Compelled by his book club to choke down The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon, this reviewer finds his patience in the face of sophomoric and choppy prose rewarded generously with gripping plot and intriguing characters.
Drop City by T.C. Boyle
It is 1970, and a California commune devoted to peace, free love, and the simple life has decided to relocate to the last frontier—the unforgiving landscape of interior Alaska. Armed with the spirit of adventure and naïve optimism, the inhabitants of "Drop City" arrive in the wilderness of Alaska only to find their utopia already populated by other homesteaders.
Gilligan's Wake by Tom Carson
In Gilligan's Wake by Tom Carson, seven familiar narrators recall the last century. The Skipper shares his memories of fellow skipper Jack Kennedy. The millionaire gets Alger Hiss a job. Mrs. Howell reveals her friendship with The Great Gatsby's Daisy Buchanan. Ginger dishes up the scoop on the Rat Pack. The professor confesses to his part in every event from Los Alamos to Watergate. And Mary-Ann finds romance in Paris. And then Gilligan, inventing this comic collage for reasons of his own.
Little Children by Tom Perrotta
The characters of Tom Perrotta's latest novel, Little Children, are a surprising bunch: Todd, the handsome stay-at-home dad; Sarah, a lapsed feminist with a bisexual past; Richard, Sarah's husband, who has found himself more and more involved with a fantasy life on the internet; and Mary Ann, who thinks she has it all figured out. Written with all the fluency of Perrotta's previous novels, Little Children exposes adult dramas amidst the swingsets and slides of an ordinary American playground.
She Plays with the Darkness by Zakes Mda
In a remote mountain village, the beautiful Dikosha lives for dancing and for song. Her twin brother, Radisene, works in the lowland capital of Maseru, struggling amid political upheaval. As the years pass, Radisene's fortunes rise and fall in the city, while Dikosha remains in the village, never leaving and never aging. And through it all, the community watches, comments, and passes judgment.
The Bride Stripped Bare by Anonymous
In writing The Bride Stripped Bare, the author decided to remain anonymous so she would feel absolutely free to explore a woman's inner world. As she writes in her afterword, "That doesn't mean this book is a memoir; it's many things to me, fiction and nonfiction, fantasy and fact, a quilt pieced together not only from my stories but those of my friends."
Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle Vol. 1) by Neal Stephenson
Volume I of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, Quicksilver, is history, adventure, science, truth, invention, sex, absurdity, piracy, madness, death, and alchemy. It sweeps across continents and decades with the power of a roaring tornado, upending kings, armies, religious beliefs, and all expectations.
The Confusion (The Baroque Cycle Vol. 2) by Neal Stephenson
The Confusion, the second book of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle trilogy does not disappoint as he picks up his characters where he abruptly dropped them at the end of Quicksilver. Join Stephenson amidst a vast and intricate historical backdrop in Volume Two of The Baroque Cycle.
Villa Incognito by Tom Robbins
Tom Robbins has been dishing out metaphor-rich and metaphysically-playful novels since 1971 when he delivered Another Roadside Attraction. His latest work, Villa Incognito, begins with 3 American MIAs who choose to remain missing after the Vietnam war, but as is always the case with a Tom Robbins' work, careens gleefully into untold realms of myth and imagination.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Carlos Ruiz Zafón's The Shadow of the Wind seems born of a different time. An ode to its own genre, a love song to itself, the story of a boy who is shown the power of a book, one so powerful that it threatens to destroy everything and everyone he loves.
Gotham Tragic by Kurt Wenzel
Kurt Wenzel's quick moving new novel Gotham Tragic is the sequel to his debut Lit Life. Wenzel's novel is an amusing look at the New York publishing hi-life in which a group of militant Muslims declare a fatwa against an arrogant author.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky tells the story of a single year in the life of Charlie, a 15-year-old boy, through the poignant letters that he writes to an anonymous friend.
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
From Cornelia Funke, the author of the international best-selling novel THE THIEF LORD: One night Meggie's father, Mo, reads aloud from a book called INKHEART, and an evil ruler named Capricorn escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books.
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
To call Middlesex a coming-of-age novel about a hermaphrodite would be like calling The Odyssey a story about some guy on a boat. Middlesex is nothing short of epic; one family's survival on a twisted path through Greece to 20th Century America; the igniting of Michigan race riots, and the burning desires hidden within a girl named Callie and...
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
In "The Secret Life of Bees," Sue Monk Kidd wraps a coming-of-age tale around a search for one's mother, plunks it down into the racially-charged South Carolina of the civil rights movement and sets it all alight with a dose of feminine spirituality.
Diary by Chuck Palahniuk
For the first time since his first novel, Invisible Monsters, Chuck Palahniuk is writing in a woman's voice, albeit the obsessed and borderline deranged voice of Diary's "heroine." However, the urgency and broken speech are so reminiscent of his earlier work that it could very well be the fantasy of Fight Club's truly psychotic narrator.
The Bay of Noon by Shirley Hazzard
"The Bay of Noon" is Shirley Hazzard's 1970 classic story about a friendship between two women; Jenny, an English diplomatic assistant on assignment in post-WWII Italy. And Gioconda, the sole mistress of a decaying ancestral home rooted in the heart of Naples.
Appleby House by Sylvia Smith
Appleby House-the true story of a house rented out in 1984 London that involves such exciting things as cooking, cleaning, rearranging furniture, paying for bath water, secretarial work…and well, not too much else...
Ten Little Indians by Sherman Alexie
“Nine is a much funnier number than eleven,” explained Sherman Alexie in a recent book signing for Ten Little Indians, a collection of nine contemporary Native American tales.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, "Kavalier and Clay" is the story of two young Jewish cousins whose meeting in 1939 ignites a luminous career in comic books at a time in history when the art form exploded in American popular culture.
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man - also named Jonathan Safran Foer - sets out to find the woman who might or might not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis.
The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin
Daniel Pecan resides in his Santa Monica apartment, living much of his life as a bystander: He watches from his window as the world goes by, and his only relationships seem to be with people who barely know he exists. He passes the time idly filling out contest applications, counting ceiling tiles, and estimating the wattage of light bulbs.
The Phantom Limbs of the Rollow Sisters by Timothy Schaffert
After reading Timothy Schaffert's latest work, "The Phantom Limbs of the Rollow Sisters," there is no doubt that Schaffert is a fantastic short story writer and the fact that he won one of the highest honors for his genre...
Beemer (TM) by Glenn Gaslin
Glenn Gaslin's first novel, Beemer (TM) is a fresh, though perhaps too non-confrontational exploration of the media cultural landscape seeping into our collective mindscapes...
To Live by Yu Hua
"To Live" is an epic and heartbreaking journey spanning four decades of recent Chinese history. It begins in the 1930s around the time of China’s second war with Japan and continues into the late 1970s reform era. In between, Hua weaves great sorrow and struggle for Fugui and his family through the tempestuous Chinese Civil War, The Great Leap Forward, and The Cultural Revolution.
Fluke by Christopher Moore
A chance encounter with a whale with peculiar markings on its flukes sets four mismatched companions on an increasingly bizarre adventure that can only culminate in a showdown with the origins of life on earth itself.
Jennifer Government by Max Barry
The planet is run by huge American corporations; the government has been marginalized to such an extent that it is unable to quell the war stirring between rival corporate loyalty programs; and elementary schools are sponsored by the likes of Mattel and McDonalds.
By Blood by Ellen Ullman
In By Blood, Ellen Ullman tells the story of an out-of-work professor in the 1970s whose eavesdropping at a psychologist's office leads to obsession with the patient.
The Financial Lives of the Poets
Matt Prior is on a late-night milk run at the 7/11 when he meets with destiny in the form of Skeet and Jamie, two stoned, twenty-something gangbangers with unfortunate tattoos and uncertain futures. Despite the trappings of upper-middle class, Matt's future is equally uncertain. A former journalist, he quit his job at the newspaper to pursue...
In Nemesis, Philip Roth's thirty-first novel, a Jewish community in Newark is crippled with paranoia surrounding the polio outbreak during the summer of 1944. Yet, twenty-three year old Bucky Cantor, the summer's playground director for the Weequahic neighborhood, is afflicted with a different sort of inaction: unable to enlist due to his bad...
How to Read the Air
Dinaw Mengestu's How to Read the Air is a brilliantly written, literary elegy that holds the reader's close attention from the first paragraph until the end. Mengestu's facility with language is reflected on every page; his ability to astound with a turn of phrase, a metaphor is usual. Yet, in its elegiac exploration of how the bonds between...
The Next Queen of Heaven
Gregory Maguire's newest novel, The Next Queen of Heaven, packs in some of the cleverest wit and one-liners since Patrick Dennis' Auntie Mame (1955). Sure the story itself drags like a plus-sized snail through wet cement, but the snark is too precious to toss aside.
In over one thousand pages, Adam Levin's The Instructions follows four days in the life of Gurion ben-Judah Maccabee, a fifth grader in Aptakisic Junior High's "Cage Program," a severely monitored schooling system for children with behavioral disorders. Some of Gurion's classmates are handicapped, many are prone to violence, but Gurion is...
Norwegian Wood (Noruwei no Mori) stands out among Haruki Murakami’s novels not only because it was the novel that launched Murakami into the literary stratosphere, but because it is a straightforward love-story / bildungsroman devoid of the elements of magical realism typical of a Haruki Murakami novel.
The Petting Zoo
As both editor Paul Slovak and rocker Patti Smith note in their forewords to Jim Carroll's posthumously published novel The Petting Zoo, Carroll died of a heart attack at his writing desk on September 11, 2009 while putting the finishing touches to this swan song, which he'd been working on since the 1990s. Smith says Carroll wrote The Petting...
The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey
Consider that you are very old and beginning to sink into the abyss of dementia, but you are still at a point that you know that something is happening to you. You have a choice. You can continue along your current path and slowly become more disoriented, perhaps over a few weeks or years. Or, you can take an experimental new drug that will...
Men in Space
Men in Space is Tom McCarthy's (C, Remainder) first novel, a cinematicaly-inclined story set in the 1990s whose characters range from a Bulgarian football referee to a stranded astronaut, all of whom are chasing after an elusive MacGuffin, a stolen painting making its way from Sofia to Prague.
Gods Without Men by Hari Kunzru
Hari Kunzru (Transmission, My Revolutions) brings his readers to the desert where Jaz and Lisa Matharu have a run-in with Coyote, the trickster god, when their son Raj inexplicably vanishes and then reappears (changed) during a family vacation, throwing the family into a momentous and adventurous narrative.
Emmaus by Alessandro Baricco
In a city in Northern Italy, four teenage boys meet with challenges new and strange when a hyper-sexual woman enters their midst.
Skios by Michael Frayn
Michael Frayn's latest novel, Skios, is an hilariously farcical comedy of mistaken identity that takes on eponymous Greek island amidst a wild cast of characters.
Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon is back with Telegraph Avenue, a story of jazz, midwifery, and racial strife set in Chabon's hometown of Berkeley in 2004.
The Art of Forgetting by Camille Noe Pagan
In The Art of Forgetting, Marissa, a diet magazine editor, and her closest friend Julia find themselves diving deep beneath the surface of their relationship after Julia survives a tragic accident that causes her to lose her memory.
NW by Zadie Smith
Zadie Smith's NW, named after the diverse northwest region of London, is a Joycean story of place that centers around four Londoners making their way outside the council estate of their youths.
We Are What We Pretend to Be by Kurt Vonnegut
We Are What We Pretend to Be comprises Kurt Vonnegut's never before published first and last works, a novella written in the late 1940s and the unfinished novel Vonnegut left when he died in 2007.
The Tragedy of Mister Morn by Vladimir Nabokov
Vladimir Nabokov's earliest major work, his only full-length play The Tragedy of Mister Morn, now available in an English translation.
The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristpoher Jansma
Kristpoher Jansma's The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards follows an uninspired writer who attempts to bend the truths around him into a compelling work of fiction.
Caribou Island by David Vann
In David Vann's Caribou Island, a retired couple sets off to chase the ultimate homesteader's dream: a cabin, on an island, in Alaska. But the project will have consequences more far-reaching than anyone originally intended.
This Must Be the Place by Kate Racculia
An accidental death, a never-mailed postcard, and a long-kept secret set the stage for a sometimes funny and sometimes heartbreaking novel about loss, love, and life.
Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi by Geoff Dyer
Geoff Dyer has always blurred the edges between fiction and nonfiction, but his celebration of the sublime in both the mundane and the exotic is made palatable if not delicious by his facile hand. The best parts of Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi are beautifully written and incisive.
This Must Be the Place
In the beginning there was Amy. Amy Henderson, who recalled seeing The Clash of the Titans with her father and made monster movies with her childhood friend; who at the age of 16 got on a bus to Los Angeles to become a special effects artist, who swept quickly into Arthur Rook's world and disappeared as suddenly when the touch of a loose wire sent thousands of volts into her finger, killing her i…