Elaine and Luisa's Picks: March - April 2018

March - April 2018

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The Oracle Year: A Novel By Charles Soule Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780062686633
Published: Harper Perennial - April 3rd, 2018

When Will Dando learns that he has the ability to predict the future, he realizes that he’d better protect his true identity. He starts doling out predictions under the name of The Oracle. Soon, not particularly ethical corporations offer huge sums for predictions that will impact their businesses. Then the US President sends his advisor (you’ll hate this guy) to pressure The Oracle. With a magnificently sleazy religious leader, a couple of women who can figure out just about anything, a grandma who moonlights as an assassin, and a warlord with nuclear weapons, what could go wrong? Don’t miss this mesmerizing thriller.  —Elaine

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A Long Way from Home: A novel By Peter Carey Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780525520177
Published: Knopf - February 27th, 2018

It’s 1954 and Tich, his wife, and his neighbor are trying to complete an auto race that circumvents the entire Australian continent. At first, I thought I was immersed in a comedic novel, but I soon realized that it was a magnificent exploration of race, class, and some painful history. While Tich is focused on the auto race that he hopes will launch him on a new business venture, his traveling companions speak frankly to each other and reveal their personal history. With a light touch and plenty of depth, Carey shows that although some things have changed, the important unsolved issues of the 1950s and before, resonate today.  —Elaine

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Sometimes I Lie: A Novel By Alice Feeney Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781250144843
Published: Flatiron Books - March 13th, 2018

There are suspense novels that surprise you with one big twist, and then there are books like this that will leave you breathless with the number of brilliant twists and turns. Amber is in a coma desperately trying to figure out what happened, who she can trust, or if she can even trust herself. Vulnerable, she views every character as both a possible savior or threat. But just as we feel the flicker of understanding, Amber’s memories are revealed from different angles that change the very story they tell. Amber’s fear and panic leap off the page as she realizes she may be running out of time to unravel the mystery. This is a heart-stopping thriller!  —Luisa

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Varina: A Novel By Charles Frazier Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780062405982
Published: Ecco - April 3rd, 2018

Who knew that I would be fascinated and truly sympathetic to Varina, the second wife of Jefferson Davis? We meet her not long after the Civil War, and she tells us what it was like to marry an older man as a teenager, to bury beloved children, to flee with her remaining children with a price on her head, and to be married to a man who cheated on her while taking the nation into hell.  In his piercing and beautifully realized novel, Frazier shows us the Civil War and its aftermath through Varina’s eyes.  —Elaine

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The House of Broken Angels By Luis Alberto Urrea Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780316154888
Published: Little, Brown and Company - March 6th, 2018

This is a powerful, big hearted novel, reminding us that there are no boundaries on love. Big Angel is the family patriarch and a formidable character. Hardworking, undeterred by circumstance, fiercely loving his family and proud of all they have achieved, he approaches death as he has approached life, both fearlessly and generously. When his mother passes away shortly before his last birthday he commits to celebrating both their lives, allowing the history they shared to carry forward, past the line of death. Urrea’s sure hand has given us an extraordinary tale of America today, where too often barriers are woven into the fabric of our history, but these challenges will never be able to constrain the better angels of our nature.  —Luisa

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American By Day By Derek B. Miller Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781328876652
Published: Mariner Books - April 3rd, 2018

There is nothing more satisfying than a beautifully crafted literary mystery. A perfect example of this is the latest from  Derek B. Miller, the acclaimed author of Norwegian by Night. In American by Day, Norwegian police officer, Sigrid Ødegård, finds herself confounded by the backwoods and politics of the Adirondacks as she tries to track down her missing brother. Miller penetrates the darkness of America’s unique brand of individualism, while never losing the heart and humor that makes his writing so refreshing. This is one that even non-mystery readers will love!  —Luisa

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Tangerine: A Novel By Christine Mangan Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780062686664
Published: Ecco - March 27th, 2018

Come to 1950’s Tangiers where Alice Shipley is living with her new husband. Afraid to go out alone into the tumultuous city, Alice is relieved when Lucy, her adventurous former Bennington roommate, arrives in Morocco. Before long, Alice realize that something is off. Lucy wants to control her and there is still the issue of the accident that happened at school that they don’t talk about. When Alice’s husband disappears we are in for a marvelous atmospheric mystery with a diverse group of fascinating characters.  —Elaine

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Through the Bookstore Window By Bill Petrocelli Cover Image
ISBN: 9781945572906
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Rare Bird Books, a Vireo Book - March 13th, 2018

Okay, we admit that we’re biased on this one. The heroine is a bookstore manager, and the author is our colleague/partner. That would probably be enough to get us hooked, but there is so much more to this story. This is a fast-moving suspense tale that looks at the grim effects of war, sexual abuse, and gun violence, but it still finds time for love—sometimes in unexpected places. The protagonist is a refugee from the civil war in Bosnia who learns that a long-lost child has been adopted into an abusive situation. That discovery sets the tale in motion.  —Luisa & Elaine

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Girls Burn Brighter: A Novel By Shobha Rao Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781250074256
Published: Flatiron Books - March 6th, 2018

There is nothing stronger than the bonds of love, and nothing more powerful than a story that rings true. Named for the moon, Poorima struggles to find her way in a world that deems her unworthy. Named for the sun, Savitha is determined to find a world that will finally let her shine. These two friends from India form a deep bond. But when a devastating act of cruelty drives Savitha away from her home, Poorima sets out to reunite with her kindred spirit. The beauty, grace, and understated power of these girls light up these pages, while Rao never shies from the difficult circumstances that often surround them.  —Luisa

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Circe By Madeline Miller Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316556347
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - April 10th, 2018

Circe was already memorable as a vengeful goddess in The Odyssey, but Madeline Miller brings her fully to life. From an overlooked outcast in her father’s palace, to a fearless goddess playing a vital role amongst creatures mythical and mortal, Miller’s gorgeous novel captures the fire that burns in Circe’s soul and the doubts that plague her heart. Here Circe is terrifying and tender, powerful and vulnerable, mythical and all too human. The fascinating tale woven together with Miller’s spotless prose combines fantastic tales of the gods and the frailties of man, creating one of the most unforgettable heroines of all time.  —Luisa

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Alternate Side: A Novel By Anna Quindlen Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780812996067
Published: Random House - March 20th, 2018

Nora is a museum director and her husband, Charlie, is an investment banker. Although they don’t love their jobs, they appreciate that their high incomes allow them to live on a lovely dead end Manhattan street. They are truly fond of some of their neighbors; others they tolerate at Christmas parties and barbeques. Then a rich, white, obnoxious lawyer uses his golf club to attack the neighborhood’s beloved Latino handyman. With each blow, Nora feels her carefully constructed world unravelling. Soon the reaction to this violent act peels away the protective layers and resentments surface between neighbors and spouses. Read this gem and then talk about it with your book group. I bet there will be plenty of opinions about Quindlen’s complex characters and how they face truths that they have worked so hard to avoid.  —Elaine

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Anatomy of a Miracle: A Novel* By Jonathan Miles Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780553447583
Published: Hogarth - March 13th, 2018

Jonathan Miles has been quietly setting pages on fire with the hubris, humiliation, and humor that mark modern American life. Once again he doesn’t disappoint in this story of a paraplegic vet who recovers the ability to walk. No one is more astounded than Cameron Harris himself, and as word gets out, everyone sees in his miraculous recovery the confirmation of their own deepest desires. Effortlessly shifting between Cameron’s past and his present, from heartfelt to hilarious, Miles reveals our best and worst inclinations and the dangers that can arise from not examining them. Miles makes the miraculous feel real and gives us the distance to examine our everyday lives.  —Luisa