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The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

The Twelve Tribes Of Hattie

by Ayana Mathis

Paperback, 243 pages, Random House Inc, $15.95, published October 8 2013 | purchase
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  • The Twelve Tribes Of Hattie
  • Ayana Mathis

In 1923, 15-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment, and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children, whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. Their lives tell the story of a mother's monumental courage and the journey of a nation.NPR Bestseller

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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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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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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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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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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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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 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 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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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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The Testament of Mary

The Testament Of Mary

by Colm Toibin

Paperback, 81 pages, Simon & Schuster, $13, published February 4 2014 | purchase
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  • The Testament Of Mary
  • Colm Toibin

A fictional imagining of the Virgin Mary's life finds her living a solitary existence in Ephesus. Years after her son's crucifixion, she struggles with guilt, anger and feelings that her son is not the son of God; that his sacrifice was not for a worthy cause.

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The Artist of Disappearance

The Artist of Disappearance

by Anita Desai

Paperback, 156 pages, Mariner Books, $13.95, published November 20 2012 | purchase
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  • The Artist of Disappearance
  • Anita Desai

Set in modern India, these three novellas move beyond the cities to places still haunted by the past, and to characters who are, each in their own way, masters of self-effacement. An unnamed government official is called upon to inspect a faded mansion of forgotten treasures where he discovers a surprise "relic." A translator blurs the line between writer and translator, and in so doing risks unraveling her desires and achievements. In the title novella, a hermit hidden away in the woods with a secret is discovered by a film crew, which compels him to withdraw even further until he magically disappears.

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Melmoth the Wanderer

Melmoth the Wanderer

by Charles Robert Maturin

Paperback, 560 pages, Oxford Univ Pr, $12.95, published August 1 2008 | purchase
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  • Melmoth the Wanderer
  • Charles Robert Maturin
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The Middlesteins

The Middlesteins

by Jami Attenberg

Paperback, 287 pages, Grand Central Pub, $15, published June 4 2013 | purchase
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  • The Middlesteins
  • Jami Attenberg

Edie Middlestein equates food with love. But by the time her husband walks out and leaves her reeling, her weight has ballooned to more than 300 pounds. In this darkly comic novel, Edie's children try to take control of their mother's food obsession in order to save her life. But the siblings have very different personalities. Between Robin's drinking problem and Benny's perfectionist wife, will they be able to save their mother from her eating disorder? And can this dysfunctional family get their act together in time to do a hip-hop routine at the grandkids' bar and bat mitzvahs?

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History of a Pleasure Seeker

History of a Pleasure Seeker

by Richard Mason

Paperback, 305 pages, Vintage, $15.95, published November 13 2012 | purchase
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  • History of a Pleasure Seeker
  • Richard Mason

An opulent tale set at the height of Europe's belle epoque era follows the experiences of a handsome young tutor in the household of one of Amsterdam's most prominent and secretive bourgeois families who transforms his employers' lives through his charm and sensuality.

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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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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 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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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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