Ancient Light by John Banville
PR6052.A57 A53 2012
Is there any difference between memory and invention? That it is the question that haunts Alexander Cleave, an actor in the twilight of his career and of his life, as he plumbs the memories of his first—and perhaps only—love (he, fifteen years old, the woman more than twice his age, the mother of his best friend; the situation impossible, thrilling, devouring and finally devastating) . . . and of his daughter, lost to a kind of madness of mind and heart that Cleave can only fail to understand. When his dormant acting career is suddenly, inexplicably revived with a movie role portraying a man who may not be who he says he is, his young leading lady—famous and fragile—unwittingly gives him the opportunity to see with aching clarity the “chasm that yawns between the doing of a thing and the recollection of what was done.”
The Yips by Nicola Barker
PR6052.A64876 Y56 2012
2006 is a foreign country; they do things differently there. Tiger Woods’ reputation is entirely untarnished and the English Defence League does not exist yet. Storm-clouds of a different kind are gathering above the bar of Luton’s less than exclusive Thistle Hotel. Among those caught up in the unfolding drama are a man who’s had cancer seven times, a woman priest with an unruly fringe, the troubled family of a notorious local fascist, an interfering barmaid with three E’s at A-level but a PhD in bullshit, and a free-thinking Muslim sex therapist and his considerably more pious wife. But at the heart of every intrigue and the bottom of every mystery is the repugnantly charismatic figure of Stuart Ransom – a golfer in free-fall.
The People of Forever are not Afraid : A Novel by Shani Boianjiu
PR9510.9.B66 P46 2012
Yael, Avishag, and Lea grow up together in a tiny, dusty Israeli village, attending a high school made up of caravan classrooms, passing notes to each other to alleviate the universal boredom of teenage life. When they are conscripted into the army, their lives change in unpredictable ways, influencing the women they become and the friendship that they struggle to sustain. Yael trains marksmen and flirts with boys. Avishag stands guard, watching refugees throw themselves at barbed-wire fences. Lea, posted at a checkpoint, imagines the stories behind the familiar faces that pass by her day after day. They gossip about boys and whisper of an ever more violent world just beyond view. They drill, constantly, for a moment that may never come. They live inside that single, intense second just before danger erupts.
Blasphemy : New and Selected Stories by Sherman Alexie
PS3551.L35774 B53 2012
A bold and irreverent observer of life among Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest, the daring, versatile, funny, and outrageous Alexie showcases all his talents in his newest collection, Blasphemy, where he unites fifteen beloved classics with fifteen new stories in one sweeping anthology for devoted fans and first-time readers. Included here are some of his most esteemed tales, including “What You Pawn I Will Redeem,” “This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,” “The Toughest Indian in the World,” and “War Dances.” Alexie’s new stories are fresh and quintessential—about donkey basketball leagues, lethal wind turbines, the reservation, marriage, and all species of contemporary American warriors.
That’s Not a Feeling by Dan Josefson
PS3610.O6657 T53 2012
Benjamin arrives with his parents for a tour of Roaring Orchards, a therapeutic boarding school tucked away in upstate New York. Suddenly, his parents are gone and Benjamin learns that he is there to stay. Sixteen years old, a two-time failed suicide, Benjamin must navigate his way through a new world of morning meds, popped privileges, candor meetings and cartoon brunches–all run by adults who themselves have yet to really come of age. The only person who comprehends the school’s many rules and rituals is Aubrey, the founder and headmaster. Fragile, brilliant, and prone to rage, he is as likely to use his authority to reward students as to punish them. But when Aubrey falls ill, life at the school begins to unravel. Benjamin has no one to rely on but the other students, especially Tidbit, an intriguing but untrustworthy girl with a “self-afflicting personality.” More and more, Benjamin thinks about running away from Roaring Orchards–but he feels an equal need to know just what it is he would be leaving behind.
Fat Girl, Terrestrial: A Novel by Kellie Wells
PS3623.E47 F38 2012
Not only the story of a colossus of a woman living in Kansas, Fat Girl, Terrestrial is also a meditation on God, treachery, and blind love. In Kingdom Come, Kansas, a town from which children once mysteriously disappeared, there lives a giant woman. Wallis Armstrong is not a pituitary mutant or a person battling a rare medical condition; she’s just an improbably large woman ill at ease in a world built for shrimps. Paradoxically, Wallis builds miniatures of crime scenes, and her specialty is staged suicides. She constructed her first diorama as a child when a boy in her fourth-grade class went suddenly missing. Wallis’s brother, Obie, believes the only explanation for his sister’s amplitude is that she is the incarnation of God on Earth, and he is her one true ardent disciple. Until he too disappears. Kellie Wells’s story of Wallis’s odyssey through this tight-fitting world is a churlish meditation on the existence and nature of God as well as an exploration of the treachery of childhood and the destructive nature of the most blindly abiding kind of love: that of a love-struck brother for a big sister, a disciple for an unwilling prophet, and a bone-weary god for a savage and disappointing flock.