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Woke Up Lonely

Woke Up Lonely

by Fiona Maazel

Hardcover, 325 pages, Graywolf Press, $26, published April 2 2013 | purchase
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  • Woke Up Lonely
  • Fiona Maazel

Thurlow Dan founded a cult-like commune for the lovelorn, which has gathered thousands of followers and attracted the notice of governments around the world. But while he's a mentor to the lonely, he is also loveless himself, full of longing for his ex-wife... who is working as a covert agent to keep tabs on his cult.

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Snapper

Snapper

by Brian Kimberling

Paperback, 210 pages, Random House Inc, $15, published March 11 2014 | purchase
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  • Snapper
  • Brian Kimberling

Brian Kimberling's debut novel is a loose-limbed collection of stories about an aimless ornithologist named Nate, who, as the book opens, is possessed of a glitter-covered pickup truck and a massive crush on redheaded dream girl Lola.

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The Interestings

The Interestings

by Meg Wolitzer

Paperback, 538 pages, Penguin Group USA, $17, published March 25 2014 | purchase
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  • The Interestings
  • Meg Wolitzer

The Interestings follows six artistic friends who meet as teenagers one pivotal summer at a camp called Spirit-in-the-Woods. Over the next 40 years, they grow up to find some of their talents developing into grand success, while others don't.NPR Bestseller

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The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen L. Carter

The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln

by Stephen L. Carter

Paperback, 667 pages, Random House Inc, $15.95, published April 9 2013 | purchase
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  • The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln
  • Stephen L. Carter

Stephen L. Carter imagines what might have happened if Abraham Lincoln had lived to face the tumultuous postwar politics of 1865 Washington, D.C., including an impeachment trial for overstepping his constitutional authority during the Civil War. At the novel's center is Abigail Canner, a young black Oberlin graduate who is hired by the D.C. law firm that is working on Lincoln's defense.

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The World Without You

The World Without You

by Joshua Henkin

Paperback, 319 pages, Random House Inc, $15, published April 9 2013 | purchase
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  • The World Without You
  • Joshua Henkin

It's July 4, 2005, and the Frankel family is descending on their beloved summer home in the Berkshires. They have gathered to memorialize Leo, the youngest of the four siblings and an intrepid journalist killed on that day in 2004 while on assignment in Iraq. But Leo's parents are adrift in a grief that's tearing apart their 40-year marriage, his sisters are struggling with their own difficulties, and his widow has arrived from California bearing a secret.

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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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Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart

by Chinua Achebe

Paperback, 209 pages, Random House Inc, $11, published October 1 1994 | purchase
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  • Things Fall Apart
  • Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe tells two intertwining stories, both centering on Okonkwo, a "strong man" of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first traces Okonkwo's fall from grace with the tribal world. The second concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world with the arrival of aggressive European missionaries.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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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 Flamethrowers

The Flamethrowers

by Rachel Kushner

Paperback, 383 p., Simon & Schuster, $17, published January 14 2014 | purchase
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  • The Flamethrowers
  • Rachel Kushner

It's the 1970s in New York, and the art world is a rollicking, raucous place full of odd characters and exciting ideas. A young woman, unnamed, though nicknamed Reno for her place of origin, arrives into this scene hoping for a creative career in SoHo. But she falls in love with the estranged son of an Italian motorcycle scion and follows him back to Italy, where she gets embroiled in a radical social movement.NPR Bestseller

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Elders

Elders

by Ryan McIlvain

Paperback, 307 pages, Random House Inc, $15, published December 3 2013 | purchase
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  • Elders
  • Ryan McIlvain

In Brazil, two Mormon missionaries find their faith unexpectedly tested by a pair of potential converts. The veteran, Elder McLeod, is outspoken and surly, eyeing the end of his two-year mission teaching the Book of Mormon door to door; the new guy, Elder Passos, is a devout Brazilian who came to the church only after his mother's death. Together, they must face down their doubts and the trials of a new and tenuous friendship.

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The Burgess Boys

The Burgess Boys

by Elizabeth Strout

Paperback, 332 pages, Random House Inc, $15, published April 8 2014 | purchase
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  • The Burgess Boys
  • Elizabeth Strout

Catalyzed by a nephew's thoughtless prank, two brothers confront painful issues surrounding the freak accident that killed their father when they were boys, a loss linked to a heartbreaking deception that shaped their lives. NPR Bestseller

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All That Is

All That Is

by James Salter

Paperback, 350 pages, Random House Inc, $15.95, published January 28 2014 | purchase
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  • All That Is
  • James Salter

After returning from World War II, former naval officer Philip Bowman finds a position as a book editor in New York and loses himself in a world of intimate connections and surprising triumphs, until he is betrayed by the woman he loves.NPR Bestseller

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The New Republic

The New Republic

by Lionel Shriver

Paperback, 536 pages, HarperCollins, $26.99, published March 27 2012 | purchase
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  • The New Republic
  • Lionel Shriver

Edgar Kellogg has always yearned to be popular. When he leaves his lucrative law career for a foreign correspondent post in a Portuguese backwater with a homegrown terrorist movement, Edgar recognizes the disappeared reporter he's replacing as the larger-than-life character he longs to be. Yet all is not as it appears. A tongue-in-cheek take on terrorism, The New Republic also presses a more intimate question: What makes particular people so magnetic, while the rest of us inspire a shrug?

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Charming Billy

Charming Billy

A Novel

by Alice McDermott

Paperback, 243 pages, St Martins Pr, $14, published November 24 2009 | purchase
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  • Charming Billy
  • A Novel
  • Alice McDermott

Literary Award Winner

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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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