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Staff Fiction Favorites

A rotating selection of some of our staff's favorite titles. New reviews added quarterly.

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

In a far dystopic future that includes desert villages and a city seething with corruption, the main character, Onyesonwu (“Who Fears Death”) fights on in spite of persecution and hardship. The author builds a beautifully nuanced world filled with real people of diverse perspectives who must face the same dangers—both outside and within—to survive. - Jocelyn

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Who Fears Death Cover Image
ISBN: 9780756406691
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: DAW - June 7th, 2011

The Stranger by Albert Camus

“Mother died today. Or maybe it was yesterday.” It’s one of the most famous openings in world literature, kicking off one very strange (pun intended) and compelling read. Mersault’s life of detached mundanity, and the eventual tragedy he makes of it, is like a train wreck—you can’t look away. I’ve read this book five times and I can’t wait to read it again. - Rico

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The Stranger (Vintage International) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679720201
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - March 13th, 1989

Still Life by Louise Penny

This book is beautifully crafted, drawing you in through multiple layers of community, family, art, literature, and life—even while circling death. The beginning of a series that’s become a modern classic, the story pulls you in so strongly you find yourself wanting to linger in the Quebec village where it’s set. A murder mystery with a deeply human core, it’s a great escape. - Jocelyn

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Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312541538
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - September 30th, 2008

The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Though Lahiri has written other critically acclaimed and well-known books, this one, her first, is still my favorite. With its focus on people in transition, the stories collected here capture the promise, as well as the sense of dislocation and sadness, of those who try to pick up stakes and build a better life elsewhere. The prose is stunning, the characters heartbreaking. - Rico

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Interpreter of Maladies Cover Image
ISBN: 9780395927205
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - June 1st, 1999

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

I dream of fantasy books like this one. The clarity of Novik’s world-building and the vividness of her protagonist, Agnieszka, set the stage for a vivacious and satisfying fairy tale. Uprooted satisfies the same part of my heart that Tamora Pierce and Ellen Kushner did in my childhood. For fantasy fans, I cannot recommend it enough. - Clara

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Uprooted: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780804179058
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - March 1st, 2016

An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro

I came away from this book awed by a master. The chapters reveal the story of a great artist’s life, and show us layers of a personality we can’t quite trust but can’t help empathize with. The book captures a specific historical moment and, at the same time, evokes the dreams we all have of becoming our own people and the consequences of our decisions. - Jocelyn

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An Artist of the Floating World (Vintage International) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679722663
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - September 19th, 1989

Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson

In these six short stories (and “short” is relative here; a couple of these are novellas) Johnson spans the globe, from San Francisco to Germany, from post-Katrina New Orleans to North Korea, capturing the lives of ordinary people (and a couple of total weirdos) in extraordinary circumstances. This is quite simply one of the best short story collections of the 21st century. - Rico

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Fortune Smiles: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812987232
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - October 4th, 2016

Autumn by Ali Smith

This book is sublime. Smith processes friendship, stages of life, and Brexit through lyrical, breathless storytelling. Smith captures the stillness and wistfulness of the season beautifully, making Autumn the most healing and invigorating book I've read in ages. - Clara

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Autumn: A Novel (Seasonal Quartet) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101969946
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - October 17th, 2017

Roomies by Christina Lauren

I’m a sucker for a good marriage of convenience plot, but imagine my surprise when it was in a contemporary romance instead of the typical historical. I love that Holland, the heroine, is not perfect. She’s a little bit of a mess yet she is relatable and I found myself rooting for her and Calvin. - Karena

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Roomies Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501165832
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery Books - December 5th, 2017


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