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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
  • A Novel
  • Adam Johnson

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.NPR Bestseller

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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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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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The Woman Upstairs

The Woman Upstairs

by Claire Messud

Paperback, 304 pages, Random House Inc, $15, published February 4 2014 | purchase
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  • The Woman Upstairs
  • Claire Messud

Nora is a reclusive schoolteacher whose dreams of being an artist have been suppressed. She is seething inside with rage and resentment, but she manages keeps her anger in until she meets another woman who has everything she does not: a husband, a child and a successful art career. And then everything begins to unravel.NPR Bestseller

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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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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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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
  • George Saunders

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.NPR Bestseller

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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
  • Herman Koch

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?NPR Bestseller

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The Polish Boxer

The Polish Boxer

by Eduardo Halfon, Daniel Hahn, Ollie Brock, Lisa Dillman and Anne McLean

Paperback, 188 pages, Consortium Book Sales & Dist, $14.95, published October 2 2012 | purchase
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  • The Polish Boxer
  • Eduardo Halfon, Daniel Hahn, et al

The narrator, a Guatemalan literature professor, encounters a number of interesting characters, including a Serbian classical pianist, a young Israeli woman, and a Mayan poet, before persuing his most enigmatic subject--himself.

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Lionel Asbo

Lionel Asbo

State of England

by Martin Amis

Paperback, 272 pages, Vintage, $15, published May 7 2013 | purchase
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  • Lionel Asbo
  • State of England
  • Martin Amis

Asbo is an acronym for "anti-social behavior order," and Lionel Asbo certainly demonstrates the anti-social tendencies of his name. This satire of modern society and celebrity culture features Lionel as the uncle of young Desmond Pepperdine, a crime reporter. Desmond's seemingly simple pursuits are hampered by Lionel's near-criminal habits, which become more prominent when Lionel wins the lottery.NPR Bestseller

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The Lower River

The Lower River

by Paul Theroux

Paperback, 336 pages, Mariner Books, $14.95, published May 7 2013 | purchase
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  • The Lower River
  • Paul Theroux

Ellis Hock, a former Peace Corps volunteer whose wife has abruptly left him, longs to return to the village in Malawi where he volunteered decades earlier. He hopes to revisit a different, better chapter of his life. But he finds a very different place than the one he left: a region devastatingly transformed by poverty and apathy.

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Allah Is Not Obliged

Allah Is Not Obliged

by Ahmadou Kourouma and Frank Wynne

Paperback, 215 pages, Random House Inc, $14, published May 8 2007 | purchase
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  • Allah Is Not Obliged
  • Ahmadou Kourouma and Frank Wynne

After the death of his mother, ten-year-old Birahima leaves his Ivory Coast village to search for his for his aunt, Mahan, journeying across the border into Liberia, where he and his companions are captured by rebels and forced into military service, in a compelling novel of the rivalries, power structures, and customs that fuel Africa's bitter wars. Original.

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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 Hunger Angel

The Hunger Angel

by Herta Müller

Paperback, 290 pages, St Martins Pr, $16, published April 30 2013 | purchase
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  • The Hunger Angel
  • Herta Müller

On an icy morning in January 1945, 17-year-old Leo Auberg is deported to a camp in the Soviet Union. He spends the next five years shoveling coal, lugging bricks, mixing mortar and battling an endless calculus of hunger: One shovel load of coal is worth 1 gram of bread. Herta Müller conjures up the distorted world of a labor camp in all its physical and moral absurdity.

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Gold

Gold

by Chris Cleave

Paperback, 324 pages, Simon & Schuster, $16, published April 30 2013 | purchase
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  • Gold
  • Chris Cleave

If your dreams pull you in one direction and your heart in another, which should you follow? This is the question that haunts Kate Meadows, a world champion athlete whose 8-year-old daughter, Sophie, is battling a recurrence of childhood leukemia just as Kate is about to compete for her last chance at an Olympic gold medal. For years, Kate has sacrificed everything for her family and watched her best friend and closest rival, Zoe Castle, conquer the world stage. Kate has never won gold and will have to go through Zoe — who has everything to lose — to get it.NPR Bestseller

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The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

by Aimee Bender

Hardcover, 292 pages, Random House Inc, $25.95, published June 1 2010 | purchase
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  • The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
  • Aimee Bender

Discovering in childhood a supernatural ability to taste the emotions of others in their cooking, Rose Edelstein grows up to regard food as a curse when it reveals everyone's secret realities. By the Pushcart-winning author of An Invisible Sign of My Own. Reprint. A best-selling book.

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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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Heartburn

Heartburn

by Nora Ephron

Paperback, 179 pages, Random House Inc, $12.95, published May 1 1996 | purchase
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  • Heartburn
  • Nora Ephron

Out of analysis and seven months pregnant, cookbook writer Rachel Samstat discovers that her husband is into analysis and an affair and suffers six weeks of intense heartburn. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.

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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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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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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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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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