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Position:Recommended readings

Literary Fiction

Sing You Home | JODI PICOULT: Picoult consistently addresses the controversial hot topics of the day--teenage violence, childhood illness, date rape, biomedical ethics--in her work. Fresh off a novel about autism (House Rules EXCELLENT May/ June 2010), she now turns to gay rights and reproductive science. After a personal tragedy, Zoe, a previously married music therapist, falls in love with Vanessa, a school guidance counselor--but, of course, their relationship hits some major bumps along the way. MAR


Started Early, Took My Dog | KATE ATKINSON: Private detective Jackson Brodie has appeared in Case Histories (EXCELLENT Selection Jan/Feb 2005), One Good Turn (EXCELLENT Jan/Feb 2007), and When Will There Be Good News? (EXCELLENT Selection Nov/Dec 2008). In the fourth entry of the series, Jackson discovers the dark side of human nature. Again. MAR

Swim Back To Me | ANN PACKER: Packer stunned critics with her debut novel, the acclaimed Dive from Clausen's Pier (2002). Songs Without Words (GOOD Nov/Dec 2007) was less well-received. Here's hoping that Swim Back to Me, a collection of stories that again deals with loss, family dynamics, senseless tragedy, and death, hits the high marks of her first book. APR

The Terrible Privacy Of Maxwell Sim | JONATHAN COE: Coe's ninth novel, about a solitary, isolated man in an atomized society, has already received good reviews in the United Kingdom. Coe "has noticed something interesting about modern Britain, and fashioned an engaging parable from it," writes the Guardian, and his observations likely apply to us in the United States as well. MAR

All The Time In The World New And Selected Stories | E. L. DOCTOROW: Doctorow's panoramic view of the Civil War, The March (CLASSIC Selection Nov/Dec 2005), received the National Book Critics Circle award for fiction. Most recently, he retold the story of two mid-20th century New York hoarders in Homer & Langley (GOOD Nov/Dec 2009). This collection of six stories features a range of characters--from a delusional urbanite to a criminal college graduate. MAR

The Tiger's Wife | TEA OBREHT: The New Yorker recently named Obreht one of the 20 best American fiction writers under 40. In her debut novel, the Belgrade-born author writes about Natalia, a grief-struck young doctor who goes to work in an orphanage in a war-torn Balkan country and comes to terms with the mystery of her beloved grandfather's death. MAR



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