The Hot Country : a Christopher Marlowe Cobb thriller by Robert Olen Butler
PS3552.U8278 H68 2012
Christopher Marlowe Cobb, the swashbuckling early 20th century American newspaper war correspondent, travels to Mexico in April and May of 1914, during that country’s civil war, the American invasion of Vera Cruz and the controversial presidency of Victoriano Huerta, El Chacal (The Jackal). Covering the war in enemy territory and sweltering heat, Cobb falls in love with Luisa, a young Mexican laundress, who is not as innocent as she seems. The intrepid war reporter soon witnesses a priest being shot. The bullet rebounds on the cross the holy man wears around his neck and leaves him unharmed. Cobb employs a young pickpocket to help him find out the identity of the sniper and, more importantly, why important German officials are coming into the city in the middle of the night from ammunition ships docked in the port.
The Fun Parts by Sam Lipsyte
PS3562.I648 F86 2013
Sam Lipsyte, author of the New York Times bestseller The Ask, offers up The Fun Parts, a book of bold, hilarious, and deeply felt fiction. A boy eats his way to self-discovery while another must battle the reality-brandishing monster preying on his fantasy realm. Meanwhile, an aerobics instructor, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, makes the most shocking leap imaginable to save her soul. Other tales feature a grizzled and possibly deranged male birth doula, a doomsday hustler about to face the multi-universal truth of “the real-ass jumbo,” and a tawdry glimpse of the northern New Jersey high school shot-putting circuit, circa 1986.
Benediction by Kent Haruf
PS3558.A716 B46 2013
When Dad Lewis is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he and his wife must work together, along with their daughter, to make his final days as comfortable as possible, despite the bitter absence of their estranged son. Next door, a young girl moves in with her grandmother and contends with the memories that Dad’s condition stirs up of her own mother’s death. A newly arrived preacher attempts to mend his strained relationships with his wife and son, and soon faces the disdain of his congregation when he offers more than they are used to getting on Sunday mornings. And throughout, an elderly widow and her middle-aged daughter do all they can to ease the pain of their friends and neighbors.
Rage is Back by Adam Mansbach
PS3613.A57 R34 2013
From the author of the best-seller Go the F*** to Sleep. Kilroy Dondi Vance is an eighteen-year-old mixed-race Brooklynite who deals pot and goes to prep school on scholarship, all while growing up in the shadow of his absentee father, Billy Rage, a legendary graffiti writer who disappeared from New York City in 1989 following a public feud with MTA police chief Anastacio Bracken. Now it’s 2005. Bracken is running for mayor of New York City. And who should Dondi discover on a rooftop in Brooklyn but his father, newly returned to the city and ready to settle the score. The return of Rage and the mayoral race of Bracken prompt a reunion of every graffiti writer who mattered in the 1980s—in order to thwart Bracken with the greatest graffiti stunt New York City has ever seen.
Schroder: A Novel by Amity Gaige
PS3557.A3518 S37 2013
Attending summer camp as a boy, Erik Schroder — a first generation East German immigrant — adopts the name of Eric Kennedy, a decision that will set him on an improbable and transformative journey, SCHRODER relates the story of how years later, Erik finds himself on an urgent escape to Lake Champlain, Vermont with his daughter, hiding from authorities amidst a heated custody battle with estranged wife, Laura, who is unaware of his previous identity. From a correctional facility, Erik surveys the course of his life: his love for Laura, his childhood, his experience as a father. In this way, this sweeping and deftly-imagined novel is an exploration of the identities we take on in our lives-those we are born with, and those we construct for ourselves.
Autobiography of Us by Aria Beth Sloss
PS3619.L74 A97 2013
Coming of age in the patrician neighborhood of Pasadena, California during the 1960s, Rebecca Madden and her beautiful, reckless friend Alex dream of lives beyond their mothers’ narrow expectations. Their struggle to define themselves against the backdrop of an American cultural revolution unites them early on, until one sweltering evening the summer before their last year of college, when a single act of betrayal changes everything. Decades later, Rebecca’s haunting meditation on the past reveals the truth about that night, the years that followed, and the friendship that shaped her.
Frances and Bernard by Carlee Bauer
PS3602.A934 F73 2012
In the summer of 1957, Frances and Bernard meet at an artists’ colony. She finds him faintly ridiculous, but talented. He sees her as aloof, but intriguing. Afterward, he writes her a letter. Soon they are immersed in the kind of fast, deep friendship that can take over—and change the course of—our lives.
From points afar, they find their way to New York and, for a few whirling years, each other. The city is a wonderland for young people with dreams: cramped West Village kitchens, rowdy cocktail parties stocked with the sharp-witted and glamorous, taxis that can take you anywhere at all, long talks along the Hudson River as the lights of the Empire State Building blink on above. Inspired by the lives of Flannery O’Connor and Robert Lowell, Frances and Bernard imagines, through new characters with charms entirely their own, what else might have happened. It explores the limits of faith, passion, sanity, what it means to be a true friend, and the nature of acceptable sacrifice.
The End of the Point: A Novel by Elizabeth Graver
PS3557.R2864 E53 2013
For the Porter family, summers at Ashaunt Point – a mile and a half long finger of land on Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts – have anchored life, providing sanctuary for generations. But in 1942, everything abruptly changes when the U.S. Army sets up a base on the Point. The two older girls – teenagers Dossie and Helen – run wild. Their Scottish nanny, Bea, falls in love. And the youngest daughter, Jane, is involved in an incident that cuts the summer short, unsettling notions of safety and home.
As decades pass, first Helen and then her son Charlie return to the Point, seeking refuge in rapidly changing times. But Ashaunt proves to be a space at once protected and contested – geographically remote, but never entirely removed from the events of history unfolding beyond its borders. Neither Charlie nor his mother – nor any other family member – can escape the long shadow of the Vietnam War, the bitterly disputed development of the land around them, economic misfortune, and illness, both psychological and physical.