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Fiction Reviews

Gold Fame Citrus

Gold Fame Citrus is a frontrunner for my top books of 2015. A love story set amidst a catastrophic California drought, Claire Vaye Watkins’s debut novel is by turns wrenching, thrilling, gorgeously lyrical, and hilarious. It follows protagonists Luz and Ray as they navigate an American West overrun by sand and completely bereft of freshwater. The characters are meticulously drawn and the settings are vivid. Gold Fame Citrus has some of the sharpest and most compelling world-building this side of Swamplandia.

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Gold Fame Citrus Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781594634239
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - September 29th, 2015

Named a Best Book of the Year byThe Washington Post, NPR, Vanity Fair, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, The Atlantic, Refinery 29, Men's Journal, Ploughshares, Lit Hub, Book Riot, Los Angeles Magazine, Powells, BookPageandKirkus Reviews
The much-anticipated first novel from a Story Prize-winning 5 Under 35 fiction writer.


Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

STAFF REVIEW: Kate Atkinson's novel, Life After Life, tells many stories all revolving around the lives of a upper-middle-class English family of seven who live in an idyllic rural home named Fox Corner. The reader follows the family from 1911 to the 1950s, tumultuous years in England. But wait–some characters, especially Ursula the middle daughter, have many different narratives, some contradictory to what has been told before.

Life After Life Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780316176491
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - January 7th, 2014

"One of the best novels I've read this century. Kate Atkinson is a marvel. There aren't enough breathless adjectives to describe LIFE AFTER LIFE: Dazzling, witty, moving, joyful, mournful, profound."--Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?


Secondhand Souls

STAFF RECOMMENDATION: Christopher Moore, author of amongst other books, Lamb, the Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, has entered into another world, this time of dead souls.

Secondhand Souls Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780061779787
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: William Morrow & Company - August 25th, 2015

In San Francisco, the souls of the dead are mysteriously disappearing--and you know that can't be good--in New York Times bestselling author Christopher Moore's delightfully funny sequel to A Dirty Job.


Fourth of July Creek

A man with two last names better be a tough writer, and Smith Henderson doesn’t disappoint. In fact, his debut novel Fourth of July Creek resembles some of American Lit’s toughest writers, namely Cormac McCarthy and William Faulkner. A large part of the toughness comes from Fourth of July Creek’s rural Montana setting, equal parts menacing and lovely.

Fourth of July Creek Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062286444
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco Press - May 27th, 2014

In this shattering and iconic American novel, PEN prize-winning writer, Smith Henderson explores the complexities of freedom, community, grace, suspicion and anarchy, brilliantly depicting our nation's disquieting and violent contradictions.


Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms

A crackling, marvelous voice in young adult fiction appears in Katherine
Rundell's book CARTWHEELING IN THUNDERSTORMS. The wilds of Africa seem
made for young Wilhelmina who roams her widowed father's ranch with her
friend Simon. When the powers that be decide she should live in an
English boarding school, she must muster all her confidence and

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781442490611
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - August 26th, 2014

Even a life on the untamed plains of Africa can't prepare Wilhelmina for the wilds of an English boarding school in this lovely and lyrical novel from the author of Rooftoppers, which Booklist called "a glorious adventure."


Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards

Otherwise known as Julie Andrews the singer, Julie Andrews Edwards is also a terrific writer. When I was a pre-teen, I read this book about Mandy, a plucky ten-year-old who discovers a "home" of her own in the woods near the orphanage where she lives. I reread it recently, and it still holds up.

Mandy Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9780061207075
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Published: HarperCollins - August 15th, 2006

Mandy, the first children's novel ever written by the beloved star of Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews, is a modern classic.


Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper

STAFF REVIEW: Susan Cooper, Newbery Award-winning author of the Dark is Rising trilogy, has ventured into Native American folklore. When Little Hawk goes into the woods for 3 months to survive on his own, he becomes a man in his tribe.

Ghost Hawk Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781442481428
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - August 26th, 2014

A friendship between a young Native American and a colonial New England settler endangers them both in this "simply unforgettable" (Booklist, starred review) adventure story from Newbery Medalist Susan Cooper.


Between Friends by Amos Oz

Compelling stories about the intersecting lives of men and women living on a kibbutz. In some ways its a short novel with the narrative changing from one protagonist to another, but with most of the characters somewhere in each chapter or story. Oz writes in clear, simple, subtle prose, pungent and thoughtful.

Between Friends Cover Image
By Amos Oz, Sondra Silverston (Translator)
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ISBN: 9780547985589
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Houghton Mifflin - September 24th, 2013

"Oz lifts the veil on kibbutz existence without palaver. His pinpoint descriptions are pared to perfection . . . His people twitch with life." -- Scotsman


Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

A wonderfully written modern space opera, Leckie's debut novel is the right mix of broad, intriguing galactic/political unknown coupled with compelling, multi-faceted (quite literally) characters. Fresh, engaging and complex, Ancillary Justice was one of my favorite books of the year. Recommended by Alex.

Ancillary Justice Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780316246620
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Orbit - October 1st, 2013

The only novel ever to win the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards and the first book in Ann Leckie's New York Times bestselling trilogy.
On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.


The View from Penthouse B by Elinor Lipman

Elinor Lipman’s delightful new novel The View from Penthouse B is the witty tale of unexpectedly widowed Gwen, who moves in with her divorced sister Margot. Margot’s ex-husband is a fertility doctor (much scandal in that divorce…), and they lost money in a Ponzi scheme. There is a third tenant, cupcake-baker Timothy.

The View from Penthouse B Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780544228078
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - April 8th, 2014

"It's all wonderful fun. Lipman sketches her characters' foibles with amused affection and moves the plot forward with practiced ease." - Washington Post


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