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Staff Fiction Favorites

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

The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates

This is a marvelously written American family tragedy which follows a woman's misfortunes in 50s Niagra Falls. Ariah is widowed on her honeymoon and finds love years later, only to see have her new life engulfed by an environmental scandal. Her story is so filled with grief and pain that it is sometimes difficult to read, but Ariah's struggle for happiness drives her to the end.

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The Falls: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060722296
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - August 2nd, 2005

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

Have you read an enjoyed A Brave New World or 1984 ? Do you love wacky dystopian societies that are just creepy enough to make you uncomfortable? Zamyatin did them first, and in my opinion, best. What is freedom? What is truth? And does love ensnare us, or free us as individuals? These are just a few of the questions asked here, you’re in for a heck of a ride.

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We: New Edition Cover Image
By Yevgeny Zamyatin, Clarence Brown (Translated by), Clarence Brown (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780140185850
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Classics - August 1st, 1993

Loose Women by Sandra Cisneros

To really talk about Sandra Cisneros in a way that does her justice I have to use lines from her own poems. Her words are “beautiful as money and as brutal”, “backflips snapping open like/ A carpenters hinged ruler,” “parrot tulips and papayas”, a “helix of desire and vanity”, a “fleshy undertongue of sorrows”, a “mariachi howl”.

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Loose Woman: Poems (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679755272
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - March 14th, 1995

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

“They seek him here, they seek him there…” so to reveal too much about this book would ruin the mystery. I can’t tell you the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel who rescues French aristocrats from the jaws of the Guillotine, but I can tell you his story is full of laughs, intrigue, romance, and surprises. My all time favorite swashbuckler!

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The Scarlet Pimpernel (Dover Thrift Editions) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780486421223
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dover Publications - August 6th, 2002

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

If you think you know this story, and you haven’t read the book, think again. Peter, Wendy, Captain Hook and Tinkerbell are all here, but probably not the way you remember them. In a tale much deeper and darker than most people know J.M. Barry explores both the wonder and savagery of innocence.

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Peter Pan Cover Image
By J. M. Barrie, Alison Lurie (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9780451520883
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Signet - May 5th, 1987

War Dances by Sherman Alexie

Before War Dances, I had only read Sherman Alexie’s novels. So I
am used to the feeling of having his stories and characters unleash
their quiet powers until I am willingly held hostage, both begging for
the release to have time to reflect, yet longing to have the experience
keep going, as I don’t want to finish his tale and say goodbye to newly
made friends. Therefore, I was hesitant to read Alexie’s short stories
only because I wasn’t sure if, in shorter form, Alexie could give me the
gift of the journey I was used to taking with him. But I was wrong.
These stories are a hurricane of strength. Each one makes you pull back
in awe, take spacious breaths when the chance is there, but lifts you to
spin, whirl, and ache at the connection that is so finely wrought
between the characters and the story he creates again and again. Do not
miss out on this incredible read.

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War Dances Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802144898
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - August 3rd, 2010

Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell by Samantha James

This historical romance has a little bit of a dark edge, but not terribly so. The heroine of the novel is force to marry a man who still mourns his deceased wife and children and who wasn't really looking to get over his issues. But she plans on winning him over, and with much angst and sexual tension she does so. It's a good summer read.

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The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060896454
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Avon - March 27th, 2007

Daughters of Rome by Kate Quinn

Seeing the world of Rome the lives of its citizens adjust to the bloody coups and political upheavals that are at the center of the story line is interesting and rewarding, but it's the relationship between four particular women that pulls you in hard-core. It's rich and wonderful, with good action and a well-woven plot that resolves itself very satisfactorily.

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Daughters of Rome (Empress of Rome #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780425238974
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - April 5th, 2011

Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson

Far and away one of my favorite novels of all time, this book feels like a mystery where instead of figuring out whodunit, you are unraveling the past to put the present into context. I loved the narrative style, which might remind you of Joesph Boyden's Three Day Road, and the powerful role that the natural setting played. It's an import, so it's expensive, but it's worth it. 

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Monkey Beach Cover Image
ISBN: 9780618219056
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Mariner Books - April 1st, 2002

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

This is unlike any other Werewolf novel I've ever read and wonderfully so. It's like a cross between Nick Cave and Kelly Armstrong, with a bit of existentialism mixed in. I has happily blown away by the ending. It's visceral and intellectual, full of sex and violence and all the things werewolves should be surrounded by.

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The Last Werewolf Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307595089
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Knopf - July 12th, 2011


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