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Life After Life

Life After Life

by Kate Atkinson

Hardcover, 529 pages, Little Brown & Co, $27.99, published April 2 2013 | purchase

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Life After Life
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Kate Atkinson

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The award-winning author of Behind the Scenes at the Museum follows the experiences of a woman who, after being born on a snowy night in 1910, repeatedly dies and reincarnates into the same life to correct missteps and, ultimately, save the world.

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2

Weeks on List: 23

Dear Life

Dear Life

Stories

by Alice Munro

Paperback, 319 pages, Random House Inc, $15.95, published July 30 2013 | purchase

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Dear Life
Subtitle
Stories
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Alice Munro

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Set in the Canadian towns around Lake Huron, this collection of stories illuminates moments that shape a life — from a dream or a sexual act to simple twists of fate.

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3

Weeks on List: 1

Tenth of December

Tenth of December

by George Saunders

Paperback, 271 pages, Random House Inc, $15, published January 7 2014 | purchase

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Tenth of December
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George Saunders

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Syracuse University professor and one-time geological engineer George Saunders delivers a collection of fantastical stories, including "Home," a wryly whimsical account of a soldier's return from war; "Victory Lap," a tale about an inventive abduction attempt; and the title story, in which a suicidal cancer patient saves the life of a young misfit.

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4

Weeks on List: 41

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

by Maria Semple

Paperback, 330 pages, Little Brown & Co, $14.99, published April 2 2013 | purchase

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Where'd You Go, Bernadette
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Maria Semple

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Bee Fox is a nice kid, a good musician and a great student. But her mother, Bernadette, is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect. Then Bernadette goes missing, and Bee begins a search that will take her to the ends of the earth.

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5

Weeks on List: 41

Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins

by Jess Walter

Paperback, 16 pages, HarperCollins, $15.99, published April 2 2013 | purchase

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Beautiful Ruins
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Jess Walter

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On a rocky patch of Italian coastline circa 1962, a daydreaming young innkeeper has an almost-love affair with a beautiful American starlet. She draws him into her glittering world, from the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to the back lots of contemporary Hollywood, and both begin to cling to an improbable dream.

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6

Weeks on List: 2

A Tale for the Time Being

A Tale for the Time Being

by Ruth Ozeki

Paperback, 422 pages, Penguin Group USA, $16, published December 31 2013 | purchase

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A Tale for the Time Being
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Ruth Ozeki

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On the shores of British Columbia, a novelist discovers the diary of a 16-year-old girl named Nao. Nao spent her formative years in California, but her family has returned to Japan, and when the book begins, she's living in Tokyo. Nao tells readers right up front that her diary will be a log of her last few days on Earth: She plans to take her own life, and as the story goes on, readers learn why.

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7

Weeks on List: 24

Me Before You

Me Before You

by Jojo Moyes

Paperback, 8 pages, Penguin Group USA, $16, published July 30 2013 | purchase

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Me Before You
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Jojo Moyes

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Louisa's ordinary life changes when she takes a job working for Will, who is wheelchair-bound and no longer able to live a life of extreme sports and worldwide travel. Will is pretty sure he cannot go on the way he is, but Louisa sets out to show him that life is still worth living. Soon, his happiness means more to her than she expected.

8

Weeks on List: 2

The Golem and the Jinni

The Golem and the Jinni

by Helene Wecker

Paperback, 485 pages, HarperCollins, $15.99, published December 31 2013 | purchase

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The Golem and the Jinni
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Helene Wecker

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Combining elements of Jewish and Arab folk mythology, this debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures — Chav, a golem brought to life by a disgraced rabbi; and Ahmad, a jinni made of fire — who form an unlikely friendship on the streets of New York.

9

Weeks on List: 16

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

by Robin Sloan

Paperback, 288 pages, St Martins Pr, $15, published September 24 2013 | purchase

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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
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Robin Sloan

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Out-of-work Web designer Clay Jannon copes with a layoff by taking a job at a used-book store in San Francisco. It's not long, though, before Clay discovers that his new workplace has more in store for him than books alone. Codes and secrets lead to one very weird book club in this debut novel by Robin Sloan.

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10

Weeks on List: 16

The Round House

The Round House

by Louise Erdrich

Paperback, 321 pages, HarperCollins, $15.99, published September 24 2013 | purchase

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The Round House
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Louise Erdrich

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After a brutal attack on his mother, 13-year-old Joe Coutts pursues the truth — and a sense of justice, separate from law enforcement. In this National Book Award-winning novel, Louise Erdrich unspools a mystery that has upturned both a North Dakota reservation and the family that Coutts hopes to save.

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11

Weeks on List: 11

The Dinner

The Dinner

by Herman Koch

Paperback, 309 pages, Random House Inc, $14, published October 29 2013 | purchase

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The Dinner
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Herman Koch

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Over dinner at an Amsterdam restaurant, two couples — brothers and their wives — discuss a terrible crime most likely committed by their sons. The crime is not yet public, but grainy video footage exists — and both sets of parents know it depicts their offspring. As the conversation deepens, one wrenching question gets clearer and more pressing by the moment: How far will each family go to protect those it loves?

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12

Weeks on List: 6

The Aviator's Wife

The Aviator's Wife

by Melanie Benjamin

Paperback, 434 pages, Random House Inc, $15, published November 26 2013 | purchase

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The Aviator's Wife
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Melanie Benjamin

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Anne Morrow Lindbergh was often overshadowed by her famous husband, Charles. But Melanie Benjamin's historical novel brings Anne to the forefront, illuminating both her independent accomplishments as an aviator and the heartbreak and triumph of her personal life.

13

Weeks on List: 41

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans

by M.L. Stedman

Paperback, 345 pages, Simon & Schuster, $16, published April 2 2013 | purchase

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The Light Between Oceans
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M.L. Stedman

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After Tom moves his young bride to an isolated lighthouse home on Australia's Janus Rock, the couple suffers miscarriages and a stillbirth. Tom allows his wife to claim an infant who has washed up on the shore, only to witness a rift in their marriage that is further complicated by a search by the baby's desperate mother.

14

Weeks on List: 32

Flight Behavior

Flight Behavior

by Barbara Kingsolver

Paperback, 433 pages, HarperCollins, $16.99, published June 4 2013 | purchase

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Flight Behavior
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Barbara Kingsolver

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Bored housewife Dellarobia Turnbow is tired of living in poverty on a failing farm, and she's frustrated by her marriage to the boy who got her pregnant in high school. Then one day, as she's hiking through rural Tennessee on her way to meet a lover, she witnesses a miraculous event on an Appalachian mountainside. The beautiful, ominous vision ignites a media and religious firestorm that changes her life forever. Barbara Kingsolver addresses rural life, climate change and environmental stewardship in this story of personal awakening.

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15

Weeks on List: 39

The Orphan Master's Son

The Orphan Master's Son

A Novel

by Adam Johnson

Paperback, 456 pages, Random House Inc, $15, published August 7 2012 | purchase

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The Orphan Master's Son
Subtitle
A Novel
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Adam Johnson

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Pak Jun Do, the son of an influential man who runs an orphan work camp, rises to prominence using instinctive talents and eventually becomes a professional kidnapper and romantic rival to Kim Jong Il.

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