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Life of Pi

Life Of Pi

by Yann Martel

Paperback, 319 pages, Mariner Books, $15.95, published October 2 2012 | purchase
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  • Life Of Pi
  • Yann Martel

After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, one solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild blue Pacific. The crew of the surviving vessel consists of a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orangutan, a 450-pound Bengal tiger and Pi, a 16-year-old Indian boy. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary pieces of literary fiction of recent years.NPR Bestseller, Literary Award Winner

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Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas

by David Mitchell

Paperback, 514 pages, Random House, $15, published October 2 2012 | purchase
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  • Cloud Atlas
  • David Mitchell

David Mitchell, author of Number9Dream, recounts the connected stories of people from the past and the distant future, from a 19th century notary and an investigative journalist in the 1970s to a young man who searches for meaning in a post-apocalyptic world.NPR Bestseller

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Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall

by Hilary Mantel

Paperback, 604 pages, St Martins Pr, $16, published August 31 2010 | purchase
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  • Wolf Hall
  • Hilary Mantel

Assuming the power recently lost by the disgraced Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell counsels a mercurial Henry VIII on the latter's efforts to marry Anne Boleyn against the wishes of Rome, a successful endeavor that comes with a dangerous price.NPR Bestseller, Literary Award Winner

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The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife

by Paula McLain

Paperback, 331 pages, Random House Inc, $15, published November 27 2012 | purchase
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  • The Paris Wife
  • Paula McLain

The Paris Wife follows the life of Ernest Hemingway's first wife, Hadley, as she navigates 1920s Paris.NPR Bestseller

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The Sense of an Ending

The Sense Of An Ending

by Julian Barnes

Paperback, 163 pages, Random House Inc, $14.95, published May 29 2012 | purchase
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  • The Sense Of An Ending
  • Julian Barnes

Tony Webster is a retired divorced man in his mid-60s who, after receiving notice of an unexpected bequest, is pulled back into a "powerful recollection of strong emotions" from his past. This leads to a reassessment of the accuracy of his memories, a rueful realization of how much he'd gotten wrong, and a harsh re-evaluation of his passive approach to life.NPR Bestseller, Literary Award Winner

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The Night Circus

The Night Circus

by Erin Morgenstern

Paperback, 516 pages, Anchor, $15, published July 3 2012 | purchase
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  • The Night Circus
  • Erin Morgenstern

Waging a fierce competition for which they have trained since childhood, circus magicians Celia and Marco unexpectedly fall in love and share a fantastical romance that manifests in fateful ways.NPR Bestseller

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fifty shades of grey

Fifty Shades Of Grey

by E.L. James

Paperback, 528 pages, Vintage, $15.95, published April 3 2012 | purchase
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  • Fifty Shades Of Grey
  • E.L. James

Growing out of a piece of fan fiction that recast Twilight's Bella and Edward in sexier scenarios, Fifty Shades of Grey tells the steamy affair of a student journalist and an intriguing young entrepreneur.NPR Bestseller

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State of Wonder

State Of Wonder

by Ann Patchett

Paperback, 353 pages, HarperCollins, $15.99, published May 8 2012 | purchase
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  • State Of Wonder
  • Ann Patchett

A researcher at a pharmaceutical company, Marina Singh must step out of her comfort zone when she is sent into the heart of the Amazonian delta to check on a field team that has been silent for two years — a dangerous assignment that forces Marina to confront the ghosts of her past.NPR Bestseller

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

by Stephen Chbosky

Paperback, 213 pages, MTV Books, $14, published August 14 2012 | purchase
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  • The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
  • Stephen Chbosky

In a thought-provoking, coming-of-age novel, teenager Charlie struggles to cope with the complex world of high school. He deals with the confusions of sex and love, the temptations of drugs and the pain of losing a close friend and favorite aunt.NPR Bestseller

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The Snow Child

The Snow Child

by Eowyn Ivey

Paperback, 391 pages, Reagan Arthur/Back Bay Books, $14.99, published November 6 2012 | purchase
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  • The Snow Child
  • Eowyn Ivey

A childless couple working on a farm in the brutal landscape of 1920 Alaska discover a little girl living in the wilderness with a red fox and begin to love the strange, almost supernatural child as their own.NPR Bestseller

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The Language of Flowers

The Language Of Flowers

A Novel

by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Paperback, 334 pages, Random House Inc, $15, published April 3 2012 | purchase
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  • The Language Of Flowers
  • A Novel
  • Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Victoria, the orphaned heroine of Vanessa Diffenbaugh's debut novel, is privy to a secret language of flowers that dates to Victorian England.NPR Bestseller

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Rules of Civility

Rules Of Civility

by Amor Towles

Paperback, 335 pages, Penguin Group USA, $16, published June 26 2012 | purchase
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  • Rules Of Civility
  • Amor Towles

A chance encounter with a handsome banker in a jazz bar on New Year's Eve 1938 catapults Wall Street secretary Katey Kontent into the upper echelons of New York society, where she befriends a shy multimillionaire, an Upper East Side ne'er-do-well and a single-minded widow. NPR Bestseller

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The Marriage Plot

The Marriage Plot

by Jeffrey Eugenides

Paperback, 406 pages, Picador, $16, published September 4 2012 | purchase
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  • The Marriage Plot
  • Jeffrey Eugenides

Madeleine Hanna breaks out of her straight-and-narrow mold when she falls in love with charismatic loner Leonard Bankhead, while an old friend resurfaces, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is his destiny.NPR Bestseller

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The Hobbit, Or, There And Back Again

The Hobbit

Or There And Back Again

by J.R.R. Tolkien

Paperback, 300 pages, Mariner Books, $13.95, published September 18 2012 | purchase
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  • The Hobbit
  • Or There And Back Again
  • J.R.R. Tolkien

Bilbo Baggins, a respectable, well-to-do hobbit, lives comfortably in his hobbit hole until the day the wandering wizard Gandalf chooses him to take part in an adventure from which he may never return.NPR Bestseller

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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
  • Louise Erdrich

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.NPR Bestseller

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Gone Girl

Gone Girl

by Gillian Flynn

Paperback, 560 pages, Random House, $7.99, published November 1 2012 | purchase
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  • Gone Girl
  • Gillian Flynn

After a woman disappears on her fifth wedding anniversary, her diary reveals hidden turmoil in her marriage. Her husband is desperate to clear himself of suspicion and soon discovers that the truth about what happened is even more disturbing than murder.NPR Bestseller

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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
  • Stories
  • Alice Munro

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.NPR Bestseller

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Sweet Tooth cover

Sweet Tooth

by Ian McEwan

Paperback, 378 pages, Random House Inc, $15.95, published July 2 2013 | purchase
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  • Sweet Tooth
  • Ian McEwan

Serena Frome isn't much of a spy. She got recruited into MI5 by her Cambridge history tutor and winds up on the clerical side of the operation, cross-filing schemes and plots to stop terrorists. Then one day, in the middle of the Cold War, she's handed her first secret mission: to cultivate and fund British intellectuals whose politics align with those of the government. Its code name is "Sweet Tooth."NPR Bestseller

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The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy

by J.K. Rowling

Paperback, 512 pages, Little Brown & Co, $18, published July 23 2013 | purchase
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  • The Casual Vacancy
  • J.K. Rowling

The early death of a small-town councilman reveals deep-rooted conflicts in the seemingly idyllic community of Pagford. In the face of cultural disputes, generation clashes and a volatile election, Pagford's peaceful facade rapidly deteriorates.NPR Bestseller

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The Art Forger

The Art Forger

by B.A. Shapiro

Hardcover, 360 pages, Algonquin Books, $23.95, published October 23 2012 | purchase
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  • The Art Forger
  • B.A. Shapiro

An artist whose reputation has been tarnished stumbles on a piece of art that disappeared 25 years ago and agrees to forge it for a gallery owner — until she realizes that the art she is forging may itself be a forgery.NPR Bestseller

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This Is How You Lose Her

This Is How You Lose Her

by Junot Diaz

Paperback, 217 pages, Riverhead Trade, $16, published September 3 2013 | purchase
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  • This Is How You Lose Her
  • Junot Diaz

Junot Diaz tracks protagonist Yunior's struggles with fidelity, beginning with his cheating on his girlfriend and ending with his cheating on his fiancee with 50 different women.NPR Bestseller

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Bring Up the Bodies

Bring Up The Bodies

by Hilary Mantel

Paperback, 432 pages, Picador, $16, published May 7 2013 | purchase
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  • Bring Up The Bodies
  • Hilary Mantel

The spark has gone out of Henry VIII's second marriage. When his roving eye leaves Anne Boleyn and begins to settle on Jane Seymour, another woman at court, the monarch turns to his chief adviser, Thomas Cromwell, for help. Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies is the second book in a planned trilogy about Cromwell.NPR Bestseller

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The Book of Madness and Cures

The Book Of Madness And Cures

by Regina O'Melveny

Paperback, 320 pages, Little, Brown and Company, $15, published June 18 2013 | purchase
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  • The Book Of Madness And Cures
  • Regina O'Melveny

A 16th-century Renaissance woman and renowned physician named Gabriella Mondini searches across Europe for her missing father. Without him, she can't treat her Venetian patients, who need her desperately.

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The Orphanmaster

The Orphanmaster

by Jean Zimmerman

Paperback, 418 pages, Penguin Group USA, $16, published April 30 2013 | purchase
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  • The Orphanmaster
  • Jean Zimmerman

In 17th-century New Amsterdam, 22-year-old trader Blandine von Couvering and British spy Edward Drummond investigate the mysterious disappearance of orphan children.

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The Twelve Rooms of the Nile

The Twelve Rooms Of The Nile

by Enid Shomer

Paperback, 449 pages, Simon & Schuster, $16, published August 20 2013 | purchase
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  • The Twelve Rooms Of The Nile
  • Enid Shomer

Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert meet on a mid-19-century journey up the Nile and become unlikely soul mates.

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The Orchardist by Amanda Coblin.

The Orchardist

by Amanda Coplin

Paperback, 426 pages, HarperCollins, $15.99, published March 5 2013 | purchase
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  • The Orchardist
  • Amanda Coplin

When two skittish pregnant girls appear on his homestead, solitary orchardist Talmadge — who carefully tends the grove of fruit trees he has cultivated for nearly half a century — vows to save and protect them. The Orchardist evokes a powerful sense of place in the American West, mixing tenderness and violence as Talmadge tries to reconcile the ghosts of his own troubled past and faces the dramatic consequences of his actions.NPR Bestseller

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River of Smoke

River of Smoke

by Amitav Ghosh

Hardcover, 522 pages, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $28, published September 27 2011 | purchase
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  • River of Smoke
  • Amitav Ghosh

Amid a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal, three vessels, and the diverse occupants within, converge on Canton's Fanqui-Town, or Foreign Enclave, which is a powder keg awaiting a spark to ignite the Opium Wars.

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2312

2312

by Kim Stanley Robinson

Hardcover, 561 pages, Orbit, $25.99, published May 22 2012 | purchase
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  • 2312
  • Kim Stanley Robinson

The latest novel from Robinson, author of the celebrated "Mars Trilogy," deals with what's happened to humanity since colonizing most of the solar system. The action begins when a politician-scientist from Mercury secretly makes a disturbing discovery about how power is being consolidated among just a few planets in the system. But just as she and her colleagues decide to do something about it, a series of possible crimes undermine their cause — including the politician's death. The politician's troubled granddaughter Swan, an artist and biosphere designer, is left to deal with the consequences.

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After the Apocalypse

After the Apocalypse

Stories

by Maureen F. McHugh

Paperback, 264 pages, Small Beer Press, $16, published November 8 2011 | purchase
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  • After the Apocalypse
  • Stories
  • Maureen F. McHugh

This collection of dark short stories takes place somewhere in a near future where the U.S. economy has crumbled, dirty bombs are commonplace in American cities and prion diseases are eating everyone's brains. A prisoner dumped into Cleveland's "zombie preserve" sees his bloodthirsty companions not as monsters, but as a new kind of wildlife. A teenager watches her mother slipping away into madness as disease eats her brain, but worries more about how to escape her mother's girlfriend, a hoarder who is slowly filling their home with piles of junk. A woman who sells dolls on the internet has to deal with an online reputation she never asked for, and hip-hop loving Chinese factory workers are fomenting socialist-capitalist hybrid revolutions.

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Intrusion

Intrusion

by Ken MacLeod

Hardcover, 320 pages, Orbit, $32.85, published March 1 2012 | purchase
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  • Intrusion
  • Ken MacLeod
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Alif the Unseen

Alif The Unseen

by G. Willow Wilson

Hardcover, 433 pages, Grove Press, $25, published June 19 2012 | purchase
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  • Alif The Unseen
  • G. Willow Wilson

Forced underground when his ex-lover's new fiancee breaches his computer, putting him and his clients in jeopardy, young Arab-Indian hacker and shielder Alif discovers the secret book of the jinn and uses its insights to enable life-threatening developments in information technology. By the creator of the acclaimed comics Air and Vixen.

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The Cold Commands

The Cold Commands

by Richard K. Morgan

Hardcover, 496 pages, Del Rey, $26, published October 11 2011 | purchase
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  • The Cold Commands
  • Richard K. Morgan

Relates the story of aging warrior Ringil Eskiath, whose return to the violent life of a hero is further complicated by a major threat that compels Ringil to forge uncomfortable alliances.

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Daughters of Eve

Daughters of Eve

by Lois Duncan

Paperback, 288 pages, Little Brown & Co, $7.99, published October 3 2011 | purchase
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  • Daughters of Eve
  • Lois Duncan

As the club sponsor for the Daughters of Eve at Modesta High, Irene Stark, a popular and dedicated teacher, uses feminist philosophy to manipulate the girls' lives in a bizarre plan to avenge past injustices.

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Between Heaven and Here

Between Heaven and Here

by Susan Straight

Hardcover, 234 pages, McSweeney's, $24, published September 12 2012 | purchase
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  • Between Heaven and Here
  • Susan Straight

When Glorette Picard is found dead in an alley, those who knew her struggle to come to terms with her death and discover the killer, all the while finding out how intertwined her life and death was with the dark history of her city, Rio Seco.

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A Possible Life

A Possible Life

A Novel in Five Parts

by Sebastian Faulks

Paperback, 287 pages, St Martins Pr, $16, published November 26 2013 | purchase
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  • A Possible Life
  • A Novel in Five Parts
  • Sebastian Faulks

A young intelligence officer endures a Nazi concentration camp; an orphan in rural France faces a few profound decisions; a music producer in the 1970s falls in love with a singer who breaks his heart; a man in a Victorian poorhouse remembers with sadness the son he gave away; and a lonely Italian neuroscientist makes a revolutionary discovery — humans have no souls. Out of these five interconnected stories, Sebastian Faulks weaves a novel that explores the changing dimensions of what makes a self.

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The Midnight House

The Midnight House

by Alex Berenson

Paperback, 481 pages, Jove, $9.99, published January 25 2011 | purchase
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  • The Midnight House
  • Alex Berenson

Summoned to Langley in the aftermath of two murders, CIA agent John Wells learns that the victims were part of a secret interrogation team that used brutal methods to break tough jihadis, a case with ties to unexpected places.

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Sabbath's Theater

Sabbath's Theater

by Philip Roth

Paperback, 451 pages, Random House Inc, $16, published August 1 1996 | purchase
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  • Sabbath's Theater
  • Philip Roth

The death of his mistress sends Mickey Sabbath, an audacious libertine and onetime producer, on a psychic journey into his past

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Home

Home

by Toni Morrison

Hardcover, 144 pages, Knopf, $24, published May 8 2012 | purchase
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  • Home
  • Toni Morrison

Embittered Korean War veteran Frank Money struggles against trauma and racism to rescue his medically abused sister and work through identity-shattering memories.NPR Bestseller

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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
  • Robin Sloan

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.NPR Bestseller

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Bartholomew Biddle

Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind

by Gary Ross

Hardcover, 96pp, Candlewick, $17.99, published November 13 2012 | purchase
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  • Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind
  • Gary Ross

This first book from film director Gary Ross stars young Bartholomew Biddle, whose otherwise ordinary life takes a turn for adventure when he catches a ride on the titular very big wind. Illustrated by Matthew Myers.

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Cross Roads

Cross Roads

by Wm. Paul Young

Hardcover, 290 pages, FaithWords, $24.99, published November 13 2012 | purchase
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  • Cross Roads
  • Wm. Paul Young

Anthony Spencer is egotistical, proud of being a self-made business success at the peak of his game, even though the cost of winning was painfully high. A cerebral hemorrhage leaves Tony comatose in a hospital ICU. He 'awakens' to find himself in a surreal world, a 'living' landscape that mirrors dimensions of his earthly life, from the beautiful to the corrupt.

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The Art of Fielding

The Art of Fielding

by Chad Harbach

Paperback, 544 pages, Back Bay Books, $14.99, published May 1 2012 | purchase
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  • The Art of Fielding
  • Chad Harbach

A baseball star at a small college near Lake Michigan launches a routine throw that goes disastrously off course and inadvertently changes the lives of five people, including the college president, a gay teammate and the president's daughter.NPR Bestseller

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Flight Behavior

Flight Behavior

by Barbara Kingsolver

Paperback, 433 pages, HarperCollins, $16.99, published June 4 2013 | purchase
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  • Flight Behavior
  • Barbara Kingsolver

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.NPR Bestseller

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Telegraph Avenue

Telegraph Avenue

by Michael Chabon

Paperback, 468 pages, HarperCollins, $16.99, published September 10 2013 | purchase
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  • Telegraph Avenue
  • Michael Chabon

Two longtime friends and bandmates are co-regents of Brokeland Records, a kingdom of used vinyl. Their wives are the Berkeley Birth Partners, two semi-legendary midwives. When an ex–NFL quarterback announces plans to build his latest megastore nearby, Nat and Archy fear it means certain doom for their little enterprise. Meanwhile, their wives also find themselves caught up in a battle for their professional existence.NPR Bestseller

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The Life of Objects

The Life Of Objects

by Susanna Moore

Hardcover, 239 pages, Knopf, $25, published September 18 2012 | purchase
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  • The Life Of Objects
  • Susanna Moore

Drawn by a mysterious countess into the Berlin household of an aristocratic couple, Beatrice, a young Irish Protestant lace maker, is introduced to the highly rarified world of affluence and art collecting on the eve of World War II.

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Merge / Disciple

Merge / Disciple

by Walter Mosley

Hardcover, 288 pages, Tor Books, $24.99, published October 2 2012 | purchase
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  • Merge / Disciple
  • Walter Mosley

Two speculative tales include "Merge," in which a heartbroken lottery winner discovers true joy through an otherworldly entity; and "Disciple," in which a dead-end employee is rendered a pawn in an evil plot against the life forces on Earth.

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Christmas at Eagle Pond

Christmas at Eagle Pond

by Donald Hall and Mary Azarian

Hardcover, 78 pages, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $14.95, published November 20 2012 | purchase
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  • Christmas at Eagle Pond
  • Donald Hall and Mary Azarian

A former Poet Laureate draws on childhood memories while sharing the story of 12-year-old Donnie, who visits his grandparents' farm during the holiday season of 1940, where he listens to his grandfather's spoken poetry and wonders at a beautiful but obsolete sleigh before a huge snowstorm challenges his ability to return home.

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