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Staff Fiction Favorites

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

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

This book destroyed me, and I mean that in the best way possible. Beautiful language, an exquisitely heart-breaking love story, and gorgeous, wistfully descriptive passages about a Paris of a different time. Hands down, my favorite book ever, and my all-time favorite "romance."
Reviewed by: 
Laura
Giovanni's Room Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780385334587
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Delta - June 13th, 2000

The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier

I fell in love with this book once I got over my green envy of its author. I would like to have come up with the notion: what if pain glowed with its light? In a series of wonderfully diverse stories, Brockmeier explores just that in a manner that's much like the light described: painful, but impossible to look away from till it's done.
Reviewed by: 
Erin
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The Illumination (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307387776
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Vintage - February 21st, 2012

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Shaffer

This book has all the best ingredients for a good read: history, characters you wish were your friends, romance, and a built-in love of other literature. It had me ready to pack up and move to the island of Guernsey (now that the war is long over of course.) One of my favorite comfort novels.
Reviewed by: 
Erin
Staff Pick Badge
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780385341004
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - May 5th, 2009

The Lady Matador's Hotel by Cristina Garcia

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It never drags, and its pages are populated by endlessly engaging characters, both villainous and sympathetic. From despots to parrots that spout leftist poetry the Hotel Matador is a melting pot of intrigues and assignations, ambitions, revenge, and heartbreak. The only thing certain about this story's ending is that you will not want it to happen.
Reviewed by: 
Erin
The Lady Matador's Hotel: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781439181751
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Scribner - January 3rd, 2012

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Set in the near future, in a totalitarian theocracy which has overthrown the United States government, The Handmaid's Tale explores themes of women in subjugation. The character is one of a class of individuals kept as ‘handmaids’ for reproductive purposes in an era of declining births. The images of emptiness are one of the most striking aspects of this novel-the effect is chilling.

Reviewed by: 
Tracy
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The Handmaid's Tale: A Novel Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780385490818
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - March 16th, 1998

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Focusing on a 15 year old runaway, Kafka, and the old man Nakata, whose childhood trauma deprived him of his memory, Murakami weaves these characters towards each other in a magical world where cats talk and fish fall from the sky. None of the characters in Kafka on the Shore is as powerful as the forces of fate that drive them, and none even try to resist.

Reviewed by: 
Tracy
Staff Pick Badge
Kafka on the Shore (Vintage International) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781400079278
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - January 3rd, 2006

Lamb by Christopher Moore

Biff, the childhood friend of Jesus who was then known as Joshua, provides the long-awaited gospel of Jesus’ life before he became Christ. The story Biff has to tell is a miraculous one, filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung fu, corpse reanimations, demons, and hot babes. This book had me laughing so hard I had to calm myself down before reading further!

Reviewed by: 
Tracy
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780380813810
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - May 25th, 2004

The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy

A heart-wrenching and beautiful novel that surrounds a South Carolina family over four decades. The novel surrounds Tom Wingo, a man stuck in New York with his sister’s therapist trying to resolve the troubled past that haunts both Tom and his sister Savannah. The drama and intrepid themes make this a wholly engrossing novel which I continue to reread again and again.

Reviewed by: 
Tracy
The Prince of Tides Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780553268881
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Bantam Books - December 1st, 1987

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

This is a tremendous saga about a family surviving in the Australian Outback. The lavish descriptions of the wild setting are background to the incredible and impossible love story between the beautiful red-golden-headed Meggie Cleary and Father Ralph de Bricassart, the ambitious priest. The Thorn Birds has made a great impact on my ideas of what a great book should be.

Reviewed by: 
Tracy
The Thorn Birds: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780061990472
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - May 11th, 2010

Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith

From the guy who brought us Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, here's a twist on the story of baby Jesus and the three wise men. Except in this story, they're thieving scoundrels who steal three priests' robes and make a narrow escape from execution, then get roped into helping the holy baby escape from Herod and his henchmen. Blasphemous? Maybe. Fun? Absolutely!

Reviewed by: 
Andrea
Unholy Night Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780446563093
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 10th, 2012

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