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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 Flame Alphabet

The Flame Alphabet

by Ben Marcus

Paperback, 289 pages, Vintage, $15, published November 13 2012 | purchase
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  • The Flame Alphabet
  • Ben Marcus

When the speech of children becomes toxic to adults, Sam and his wife Claire face the difficult choice of whether to abandon their spoiled teenage daughter Esther, as government scientists try to find a safe form of speech.

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The Heat of the Sun

The Heat of the Sun

by David Rain

Hardcover, 288 pages, Henry Holt & Co, $26, published November 13 2012 | purchase
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  • The Heat of the Sun
  • David Rain

From Greenwich Village in the Roaring Twenties to a revelation on a Nagasaki hillside, the story of Ben "Trouble" Pinkerton, the son of Lieutenant Benjamin Pinkerton and the geisha Madame Butterfly, finds him at the center of some of the biggest events of the twentieth century.

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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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Birds of a Lesser Paradise

Birds of a Lesser Paradise

Stories

by Megan Mayhew Bergman

Paperback, 224 pages, Scribner, $15, published November 6 2012 | purchase
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  • Birds of a Lesser Paradise
  • Stories
  • Megan Mayhew Bergman

A debut collection by a prize-winning writer whose stories have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories evaluates the surprising moments when bonds with nature become evident and includes the story of a single mom and her son's effort to reclaim an African Gray Parrot and a population control activist who longs to have a baby.

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The Silver Linings Playbook

The Silver Linings Playbook

by Matthew Quick

Paperback, 289 pages, Sarah Crichton Books, $15, published October 16 2012 | purchase
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  • The Silver Linings Playbook
  • Matthew Quick

Embracing a philosophy that life is a movie produced by God, neural health patient Pat Peoples endeavors to win back his estranged wife by making strategic sacrifices and coordinating their communications through a depressed widow. A first novel.NPR Bestseller

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London Fields

London Fields

by Martin Amis

Paperback, 470 pages, Random House Inc, $15.95, published April 1 1991 | purchase
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  • London Fields
  • Martin Amis

Cursed with premonitions since childhood, Nicola forsees her own murder, and sets out to make the two most likely suspects pay in advance for what one of them is going to do to her.

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Astray

Astray

by Emma Donoghue

Paperback, 271 pages, Little Brown & Co, $15, published October 22 2013 | purchase
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  • Astray
  • Emma Donoghue

A young mother sets sail from Ireland to meet her husband in Canada; prospectors hope to strike gold in the frozen Yukon; a slave poisons his master and escapes with the master's wife. In 14 stories inspired by history, the author of Room presents wanderers, immigrants and other boundary-crossers.

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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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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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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 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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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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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 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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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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