July 6, 2005 Get the full list of titles recommended by independent booksellers to Susan Stamberg on Morning Edition.
July 6, 2005 Twenty-five year old Cutter is a waitress struggling to keep the family homestead from being sold. She enlists the help of neighbors — in this case, the residents of a nearby home for retarded men — to come by when she knows that buyers will be at home. A first novel, this story is about people looking for love in all the wrong places.
July 6, 2005 This book of poetry involves many of the same characters as the author's book of short stories. The poems here are like little aural slices of the stories. Though more abstract, they have the same driving force and the same themes of snow and coldness.
July 6, 2005 This Southern novel is named after the first passenger train line to go between New York and Miami and set in the end of the 1950s. The story is told with the backdrop of the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War.
July 6, 2005 This is a delightful story of a group of women who form a relationship in college and remain buddies through decades of divorce, death, and remarriage. Twice a year, they meet and elect a queen who gets to wear a tiara and rule the other eight women.
July 6, 2005 Arlene's gods include high school quarterbacks and Jack Daniels in this tender story of redemption. This is a fun summer read with lots of turmoil, says Jake Reis of The Alabama Booksmith.
July 6, 2005 This book can be read either as a series of interconnected short stories or as a novel told in stories. It takes place in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan; the writing has a driving energetic force, and uses a lot of atmosphere to set the mood.
July 6, 2005 Some might call these short stories quirky, but they are much more than that. Set in the Mohabi desert, they revolve around the quiet hopefulness of children. The characters are organic and gritty; the stories are beautifully constructed and emotionally and atmospherically strong.
July 6, 2005 It is the beginning of the 1900s. Henry MacAlpine, an artist, is in a self-imposed exile on an island off the coast of Brittany. He lures his biggest critic to the island to paint his portrait.
July 6, 2005 A fantastical 9-year-old boy serves as a pyschological medium for this emotional, multigenerational story. It's a device that works, according to Lucia Silva of Portrait of a Bookstore in a Studio City, Calif.
June 24, 2005 Sometimes you need a big book that you can really sink your teeth into, and this Dickensian romp has it all: eccentric characters, scheming relatives, triumphs, tragedies, and through it all, a protagonist you won't soon forget.
June 16, 2005 Salon book critic Laura Miller says this follow-up to Bangkok 8 is a wild and crazy, very funny, very smart and very non-Western look at life in the Thai capital.
June 16, 2005 Author David Mitchell displays in this novel a prodigiously sneaky gift for black comedy, a full-throated disgust at the hash mankind is making of the world, and the one thing you never find in the same package as all those other virtues: plot.
June 14, 2005 "An absolute must for science fiction fans," according to critic Alan Cheuse, this book is the conclusion to the authors' "A Time Odyssey" series.
June 13, 2005 All Things Considered book critic Alan Cheuse recommends this collection of stories from Ugandan writer Doreen Baigana in his roundup of summer reads.
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