The Crane Wife - Patrick Ness

Begin your novel with a heart-wrenchingly beautiful first chapter. Follow it with lighter, dialogue-filled fare, make a Japanese folk tale the backbone of your story, and suddenly your reader is hopelessly hooked, ready to lose some sleep just to read one more page. Add great characters, a mystery woman who does not seem all that, shall we say, human, and you have one of the most moving novels you’ll ever read. The Crane Wife is a love story, but it is also a story of the power of art, of daring, and living your life the way you want to live it. If you shy away from fairy tale re-tellings, The Crane Wife will change your mind; if you are already a fan of some magic in your fiction, prepare to stay up well into the night.

The Crane Wife By Patrick Ness Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143126171
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Books - December 30th, 2014

Molly Antopol - The UnAmericans

UnAmericans by Molly Antopol is as fresh as only a debut collection can be, and yet full of wisdom that could come from a pen of a much more seasoned writer. It was inspired in part by Antopol's family history and it carries her love of human stories in every sentence and every paragraph. It is, in essence, a collection of family stories that could be told over a cup of tea and a bagel.

Antopol's characters are often culturally similar (most of them are Jews with roots in Eastern Europe), but the themes of her stories are universal. UnAmericans is about families caught up in the vortex of history, people overwhelmed by their situations. But do not expect the characters to step up and play major roles in the big events: their actions and heroics are deeply personal, contained in their own private world. Most people in this collection are lonely, and they view the world through the lens of their loneliness. A dissident from Prague is worried about how he is portrayed in his daughter’s play; an actor imprisoned during McCarthy years is trying to reconnect with his son; Israeli journalist is entangled in the relationship with a mourning widower and his teenage daughter; a man realizes he is a poor substitute for his new wife’s dead husband. Perhaps because of their circumstances, many people in Antopol’s stories make questionable choices. There are missteps and decisions soon regretted. And yet there is also a sense of optimism and hope: Antopol writes in the rich tradition of Russian and Jewish stories, combining human tragedies with humor and a dash of fatalism.

The UnAmericans: Stories By Molly Antopol Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393241136
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 3rd, 2014

The UnAmericans: Stories By Molly Antopol Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393349962
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 6th, 2014

Karl Ove Knausgaard - My Struggle

Read My Struggle not for the action or plot twists, but for Knausgaard's incredible self-awareness and his Dostoevskian insights into human thoughts and emotions. His richly-detailed novel (or is it a memoir?) is hard to put down because his experiences are familiar even if you don't expect to have much in common with the author. Knausgaard's oeuvre, in all its voyeuristic, 3,600-page glory, is perhaps the perfect book to read for that ultimate goal of the reading process: to know yourself.
My Struggle: Book 1 By Karl Ove Knausgaard, Don Bartlett (Translated by) Cover Image
By Karl Ove Knausgaard, Don Bartlett (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780374534141
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 28th, 2013