1

Weeks on List: 15

The Help

by Kathryn Stockett

Paperback, 534 pages, Penguin Group USA, $16, published June 28 2011 | purchase

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The Help
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Kathryn Stockett

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Limited and persecuted by racial divides in 1962 Jackson, Miss., three women — an African-American maid, her sassy and chronically unemployed friend (also a maid) and a recently graduated white woman — team up for a clandestine project.

2

Weeks on List: 17

A Visit from the Goon Squad

by Jennifer Egan

Paperback, 340 pages, Random House Inc, $14.95, published March 22 2011 | purchase

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A Visit From The Goon Squad
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Jennifer Egan

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Working side by side for a record label, former punk rocker Bennie Salazar and the passionate Sasha hide illicit secrets from one another while interacting with a motley assortment of equally troubled people from 1970s San Francisco to the postwar future.

3

Weeks on List: 77

Cutting for Stone

Cutting for Stone

by Abraham Verghese

Paperback, 667 pages, Random House Inc, $15.95, published January 26 2010 | purchase

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Cutting for Stone
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Abraham Verghese

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Twin brothers born from a secret love affair between an Indian nun and a British surgeon in Addis Ababa, Marion and Shiva Stone come of age in Ethiopia, where their love for the same woman drives them apart.

4

Weeks on List: 10

Room

by Emma Donoghue

Paperback, 352 pages, Little Brown & Co, $14.99, published May 5 2011 | purchase

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Room
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Emma Donoghue

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A 5-year-old narrates a story about his life growing up in a single room where his mother aims to protect him from the man who has held her prisoner for seven years — since she was a teenager.

5

Weeks on List: 3

Faithful Place

by Tana French

Paperback, 400 pages, Penguin Group USA, $16, published June 28 2011 | purchase

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Faithful Place
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Tana French

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Planning to run away with his girlfriend to London in the hopes of escaping poverty, Frank concludes he has been dumped when Rosie fails to join him and is astonished when Rosie's suitcase and evidence of foul play are discovered more than 20 years later.

6

Weeks on List: 33

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

by Helen Simonson

Paperback, 368 pages, Random House Inc, $15, published November 30 2010 | purchase

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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
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Helen Simonson

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Forced to confront the realities of life in the 21st century when he falls in love with Pakistani widow Mrs. Ali, Major Pettigrew finds the relationship challenged by local prejudices that view Mrs. Ali, a Cambridge native, as a perpetual foreigner.

7

Weeks on List: 129

Water for Elephants

A Novel

by Sara Gruen

Paperback, 350 pages, Workman Pub Co, $14.95, published March 1 2011 | purchase

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Water for Elephants
Subtitle
A Novel
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Sara Gruen

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Ninety-something-year-old Jacob Jankowski remembers his time in the circus as a young man during the Great Depression, and his friendship with Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, and Rosie, the elephant, who gave them hope.

8

Weeks on List: 110

The Art of Racing in the Rain

by Garth Stein

Paperback, 321 pages, HarperCollins, $14.99, published June 1 2009 | purchase

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The Art Of Racing In The Rain
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Garth Stein

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Faithful canine Enzo, on the eve of his death, takes stock of his life while recalling the sacrifices, unexpected losses and personal struggles of his would-be race car driver human, Denny, in the latter's efforts to retain custody of his daughter.

9

Weeks on List: 24

The Postmistress

by Sarah Blake

Paperback, 371 pages, Penguin Group USA, $15, published February 1 2011 | purchase

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The Postmistress
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Sarah Blake

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The stories of a Cape Cod postmistress and an American radio reporter stationed in London collide on the eve of the United States' entrance into World War II, a meeting shaped by a broken promise to deliver a letter.

10

Weeks on List: 4

Star Island

by Carl Hiaasen

Paperback, 354 pages, Grand Central Pub, $14.99, published June 21 2011 | purchase

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Star Island
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Carl Hiaasen

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Ann DeLuisa, body double for drug-addled pop star Cherry Pye, is kidnapped by an obsessed paparazzo, and Cherry's entourage must rescue her while keeping her existence a secret from Cherry's public—and from Cherry herself.

11

Weeks on List: 3

One Day

by David Nicholls

Paperback, 437 pages, Random House Inc, $14.95, published May 24 2011 | purchase

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One Day
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David Nicholls

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David Nicholls' romantic comedy One Day has become one of Britain's most popular novels. Each chapter is a snapshot of where July 15 finds the main characters over the 20 years following their high school graduation, as they keep finding — and just missing — each other.

12

Weeks on List: 6

A Dog's Purpose

by W. Bruce Cameron

Paperback, 333 pages, St Martins Pr, $12.99, published May 24 2011 | purchase

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A Dog's Purpose
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W. Bruce Cameron

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Searching for his purpose over the course of multiple canine lives, Bailey is reborn as a golden-haired puppy after a tragic death as a stray and shares a loving bond with young Ethan before he again dies and starts over.

13

Weeks on List: 28

The Imperfectionists

by Tom Rachman

Paperback, 281 pages, Random House Inc, $15, published January 4 2011 | purchase

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The Imperfectionists
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Tom Rachman

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Preoccupied by personal challenges while running a struggling newspaper in Rome, an obituary writer confronts mortality, an eccentric publisher obsesses over his dog, and other staff members uncover the paper's founding by an impulsive millionaire.

14

Weeks on List: 74

Little Bee

by Chris Cleave

Paperback, 271 pages, Simon & Schuster, $15, published February 16 2010 | purchase

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Little Bee
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Chris Cleave

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The Somerset Maugham Award-winning author of Incendiary presents a tale of a precarious friendship between an illegal Nigerian refugee and a recent widow from suburban London, a story told from the alternating and disparate perspectives of both women.

15

Weeks on List: 2

French Lessons

by Ellen Sussman

Paperback, 242 pages, Random House Inc, $15, published July 5 2011 | purchase

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French Lessons
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Ellen Sussman

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A single day in Paris changes the lives of three Americans as they each set off to explore the city with a French tutor, learning about language, love, and loss as their lives intersect in surprising ways.