Friday, August 21, 2009

Book Discussion Kit Titles: Fiction M - Z

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson.
The Major leads a quiet life valuing the proper things that Englishmen have lived by for generations: honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. But then his brother's death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and her as the permanent foreigner. Can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition?
Sponsor: Friends of the Rye Public Library.
Host Library: Rye Public Library, 964-8401.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.
A curmudgeon hides a terrible personal loss beneath a cranky and short-tempered exterior while clashing with new neighbors, a boisterous family whose chattiness and habits lead to unexpected friendship.
Host Library: Rodgers Memorial Library, 886-6030.

The Man Who Ate the 747 by Ben Sherwood.
J.J. Smith, Keeper of the Records for The Book of Records, is an ordinary man searching for the extraordinary. In a tiny windswept town in the heartland of America J.J. discovers a world record attempt like no other: Piece by piece, a farmer is eating a Boeing 747 to prove his love for a woman.
Host Library: Effingham Public Library, 539-1537.

March by Geraldine Brooks.
From Louisa May Alcott's beloved classic Little Women, Geraldine Brooks has taken the character of the absent father, March, who has gone off to war, leaving his wife and daughters to make do in mean times. As March recovers from a near mortal illness, he must reassemble his shattered mind and body and find a way to reconnect with a wife and daughters who have no idea of the ordeals he has been through.
Sponsor: Friends of the Amherst Town Library.
Host Library: Amherst Public Library, 673-2288

The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman.
Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel's mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules.
Host Library: Derry Public Library, 432-6140.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.
Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life, who has barely been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life and now he’s sure he cannot live the way he is...
Host Library: Fuller Public Library, Hillsboro, 464-3595.

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards.
On a winter night in 1964, Dr. David Henry is forced by a blizzard to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy. Yet when his daughter is born, he sees immediately that she has Down's syndrome. Rationalizing it as a need to protect Norah, his wife, he makes a split second decision that will alter all of their lives forever. He asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution and never to reveal the secret.
Host Library: Minot-Sleeper Library, Bristol, 744-3352.

The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty.
By all accounts, especially his own, Smithson "Smithy" Ide is a loser. An overweight, friendless, chain-smoking, forty-three-year-old drunk, Smithy's life becomes completely unhinged when he loses his parents and long-lost sister within the span of one week. Rolling down the driveway of his parents' house in Rhode Island on his old Raleigh bicycle to escape his grief, the emotionally bereft Smithy embarks on an epic, hilarious, luminous, and extraordinary journey of discovery and redemption.
Host Library: Keene Public Library, 352-0157.

Mercy Snow by Tiffany Baker.
A tragic bus accident in the town of Titan Falls has two families on a course of destruction. June McAllister is the undisputed first lady in Titan Falls and wife of the mill owner. The Snows are a family of nomadic ne'er-do-wells.
Host Library: Aaron Cutler Memorial Library, Litchfield, 424-4044.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.
A breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of l967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction.
Host Library: Manchester City Library, 624-6550.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.
After a layoff during the Great Recession sidelines his tech career, Clay Jannon takes a job at Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore in San Francisco, and soon realizes that the establishment is a facade for a strange secret.
Host Library: Somersworth Public Library, 692-4587.

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan.
When Henry McAllan moves his city-bred wife, Laura, to a cotton farm in the Mississippi Delta in 1946, she finds herself in a place both foreign and frightening. Laura does not share Henry's love of rural life, and she struggles to raise their two young children in an isolated shotgun shack with no indoor plumbing or electricity, all the while under the eye of her hateful, racist father-in-law. When it rains, the waters rise up and swallow the bridge to town, stranding the family in a sea of mud.
Sponsor: Friends of the Bartlett Public Library.
Host Library: Bartlett Public Library, 374-2755.

The Muralist by Barbara A Shapiro.
When Alizée Benoit, a young American painter working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), vanishes in New York City in 1940, no one knows what happened to her.
Host Library: Walpole Town Library, 756-9806.

Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman.
Coralie, the daughter of a Coney Island curiosities museum owner, appears daily as a "mermaid" in a tank. One night she encounters Eddie, a young photographer, and their lives become more complicated.
Host Library: Pelham Public Library, 635-7581.

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult.
By age thirteen, Anna has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate--a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister--and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.
Host Library: Manchester City Library, 624-6550.

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.
An engineer by training, Ashoke adapts far less warily than his wife, who resists all things American and pines for her family. When their son is born, the task of naming him betrays the vexed results of bringing old ways to the new world. Named for a Russian writer by his Indian parents in memory of a catastrophe years before, Gogol Ganguli knows only that he suffers the burden of his heritage as well as his odd, antic name.The Namesake is a fine-tuned, intimate, and deeply felt novel of identity.
Host Library: Concord Public Library, 225-8670.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing.
Sponsor: New Hampshire Library Association.
Host Library: Lincoln Public Library, 745-8159.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.
It began forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed--within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.
Host Library: Peterborough Town Library, 924-8040.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.
At times stern, at other times patient, at times perceptive, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town and in the world at large, but she doesn’t always recognize the changes in those around her: a former student who has lost the will to live; Olive’s own adult child, who feels tyrannized by her irrational sensitivities; and her husband, Henry, who finds his loyalty to his marriage both a blessing and a curse.
Host Library: Minot-Sleeper Library, 744-3352.

One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus.
One Thousand White Women is the story of May Dodd and a colorful assembly of pioneer women who, under the auspices of the U.S. government, travel to the western prairies in 1875 to intermarry among the Cheyenne Indians. The covert and controversial "Brides for Indians" program, launched by the administration of Ulysses S. Grant, is intended to help assimilate the Indians into the white man's world. Toward that end May and her friends embark upon the adventure of their lifetime.
Host Library: Thornton Public Library, 726-8981.

The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin.
At the turn of the twentieth century, in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest, a reclusive orchardist, William Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots. One day, at the market, two teenage girls, both pregnant, steal his fruit.
Sponsor: Friends of the Holderness Library.
Host Library: Holderness Library, 968-7066.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.
Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community-service position helping an elderly widow clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But, as Molly helps Vivian Daly sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they appear. Both have unanswered questions about the past.
Host Library: Baker Free Library, Bow, 224-7113.

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson.
We were going out stealing horses. That was what he said, standing at the door to the cabin where I was spending the summer with my father. I was fifteen. It was 1948 and one of the first days of July.

Trond’s friend Jon often appeared at his doorstep with an adventure in mind for the two of them. But this morning was different. What began as a joy ride on "borrowed" horses ends with Jon falling into a strange trance of grief. Trond soon learns what befell Jon earlier that day—an incident that marks the beginning of a series of vital losses for both boys.
Host Library: Gilford Public Library,
524-6042.

The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan.
In belle époque Paris, the Van Goethem sisters struggle for survival after the sudden death of their father, a situation that prompts young Marie's ballet training and her introduction to the painter Degas.
Sponsor: Friends of the Sullivan Public Library
Host Library: Sullivan Public Library, 847-3458.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.
Though deeply in love, Hadley and Ernest Hemingway are ill prepared for the hard-drinking, fast-living, and free-loving life of Jazz Age Paris. As Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history and pours himself into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises, Hadley strives to hold on to her sense of self as her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Eventually they find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage--a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for.
Host Library: Gale Library, Newton, 382-4691.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender.
On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein bites into her mother's homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the slice. To her horror, she finds that her cheerful mother tastes of despair. Soon, she’s privy to the secret knowledge that most families keep hidden: her father’s detachment, her mother’s transgression, her brother’s increasing retreat from the world. But there are some family secrets that even her cursed taste buds can’t discern.
Sponsor: New Hampshire Library Association.
Host Library: East Kingston Public Library, 642-8333.

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi.
In Kabul, 2007, with a drug-addicted father and no brothers, Rahima and her sisters can only sporadically attend school and rarely leave the house, and their only hope lies in the ancient custom of bacha posh, which allows young Rahima to dress and be treated as a boy until she is of marriageable age.
Host Library: Hampton Falls Free Library, 926-3682.

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake.
On the eve of the United States's entrance into World War II in 1940, Iris James, the postmistress of Franklin, a small town on Cape Cod, does the unthinkable: She doesn't deliver a letter.

In London, American radio gal Frankie Bard is working with Edward R. Murrow, reporting on the Blitz. One night in a bomb shelter, she meets a doctor from Cape Cod with a letter in his pocket, a letter Frankie vows to deliver when she returns from Germany and France, where she is to record the stories of war refugees desperately trying to escape.
Sponsor: Moultonborough Public Library Annual Book Sale.
Host Library: Moultonborough Public Library, 476-8895.

The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman.
The Red Garden introduces us to Blackwell, Massachusetts, presenting us with some three hundred years of passion, dark secrets, loyalty, and redemption in a web of tales where characters' lives are intertwined by fate and by their own actions.

At the center of everyone’s life is a mysterious garden where only red plants can grow, and where the truth can be found by those who dare to look.
Host Library: Laconia Public Library, Laconia, 524-4775.

Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman.
In the aftermath of a devastating wedding day, two families, the Tetherlys and the Copakens, find their lives unraveled by unthinkable loss. Over the course of the next four summers in Red Hook, Maine, they struggle to bridge differences of class and background to honor the memory of the couple, Becca and John.
Sponsor: New Hampshire Library Association.
Host Library: Madison Library, Madison, 367-8545. Please note: this paperback edition is printed in a small font that may be difficult for some readers. If in doubt, please order large print editions through regular ILL channels for those readers.

The Red House by Mark Haddon.
Richard, a wealthy doctor, invites his estranged sister Angela and her family to join his for a week at a vacation home in the English countryside. Richard has just re-married and inherited a willful stepdaughter in the process; Angela has a feckless husband and three children who sometimes seem alien to her. The stage is set for seven days of resentment and guilt.
Host Library: Hampstead Public Library, 329-6411.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant.
The red tent of the title is the place where women were sequestered during their cycles of birthing, menses, and illness. It is here that Dinah hears the whispered stories of her four mothers—-Jacob’s wives Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah—-and tells their tales to us in remarkable and thought-provoking oratories. Familiar passages from the Bible take on new life as Dinah fills in what the Bible has left out—the lives of women. Dinah tells us of her initiation into the religious and sexual practices of the tribe; Jacob’s courtship with Rachel and Leah; the ancient world of caravans, farmers, midwives, and slaves; her ill-fated sojourn in the city of Sechem; her years in Canaan; and her half-brother Joseph’s rise in Egypt.
Host Library: Wiggin Memorial Library, Stratham, 772-4346.

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick.
He placed a notice in a Chicago paper, an advertisement for "a reliable wife." She responded, saying that she was "a simple, honest woman." She was, of course, anything but honest, and the only simple thing about her was her single-minded determination to marry this man and then kill him, slowly and carefully, leaving her a wealthy widow, able to take care of the one she truly loved.
Host Library: Wiggin Memorial Library, Stratham, 772-4346.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.
Sponsor: NH's ALA member libraries through the generosity of Oprah's Book Club.
Host Library: Manchester City Library, 624-6550.

Room by Emma Donoghue.
To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.
Sponsor: New Hampshire Library Association
Host Library: Lincoln Public Library, 745-8159.

The Round House by Louise Erdrich.
One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.
Host Library: Plaistow Public Library, 382-6011.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles.
On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker, happens to sit down at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a year-long journey into the upper echelons of New York society—where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve.
Sponsor: Friends of the Ashland Town Library
Host Library: Ashland Town Library, 968-7928.

The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama.
The daughter of a Chinese mother and a Japanese father, Tsukiyama uses the Japanese invasion of China during the late 1930s as a somber backdrop for her unusual story about a 20-year-old Chinese painter named Stephen who is sent to his family's summer home in a Japanese coastal village to recover from a bout with tuberculosis. Here he is cared for by Matsu, a reticent housekeeper and a master gardener. Over the course of a remarkable year, Stephen learns Matsu's secret and gains not only physical strength, but also profound spiritual insight.
Host Library: Baker Free Library, Bow, 224-7113.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay.
Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

Paris, May 2002: On Vel’ d’Hiv’s 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah.
Host Library: Nashua Public Library, 589-4600.

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes.
Tony Webster contends with a past he has never much thought about--until his closest childhood friends return with a vengeance, one of them from the grave, another maddeningly present.
Sponsor: New Hampshire Library Association.
Host Library: Stephenson Memorial Library, 547-2790.

Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
Barcelona, 1945—just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother’s face. To console his only child, Daniel’s widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Daniel’s father coaxes him to choose a volume from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him.
Host Library: Hopkinton Town Library, 746-3663.

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See.
May and Pearl, two sisters living in Shanghai in the mid-1930s, are beautiful, sophisticated, and well-educated, but their family is on the verge of bankruptcy. Hoping to improve their social standing, May and Pearl s parents arrange for their daughters to marry Gold Mountain men who have come from Los Angeles to find brides.
Sponsor: Merri-Hill-Rock Co-op.
Host Library: Chester Public Library, 887-3404.

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the Whittaker family, and daughter Alma. Alma Whittaker, born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolution was a woman beyond her times with a scientific career and physical desires.
Sponsor: Woman's Service Club of Windham.
Host Library: Nesmith Library, Windham, 432-7154.

Sister by Rosamund Lupton.
When her mom calls to tell her that Tess, her younger sister, is missing, Bee returns home to London on the first flight. Then Tess is found dead, apparently by her own hand.

Bee is certain that Tess didn’t commit suicide. Their family and the police accept the sad reality, but Bee feels sure that Tess has been murdered. Single-minded in her search for a killer, Bee moves into Tess's apartment and throws herself headlong into her sister's life--and all its secrets.
Sponsor: New Hampshire Library Association.
Host Library: Wadleigh Memorial Library, Milford, 673-2408.

Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.
For the Chatterjees, an upper-caste Calcutta family fallen on hard times but tenaciously remaining in their decaying mansion of mystery and faded glory, storytelling is a lifeline cast from aunt to niece, mother to daughter, cousin to cousin, past to present, and, in the book's climax, continent to continent.
Host Library: Monroe Public Library, 638-4736.

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld.
When a minor earthquake occurs just north of their St. Louis home, Kate's self-proclaimed-medium twin's prediction about a more powerful earthquake places the whole family under public scrutiny and causes Kate reevaluate her relationship to her sister and to acknowledge her own psychic abilities.
Sponsor: Woman's Service Club of Windham.
Host Library: Nesmith Library, Windham, 432-7154.

Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian.
In January 1945, in the waning months of World War II, a small group of people begin the longest journey of their lives: an attempt to cross the remnants of the Third Reich, from Warsaw to the Rhine if necessary, to reach the British and American lines.
Host Library: Nashua Public Library, 589-4600.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.
Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone--but a young, blonde-haired girl is running through the trees.
Host Library: Campton Public Library, 726-4877.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.
In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, an "old same," in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s written a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on the fan and compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together they endure the agony of footbinding and reflect upon their arranged marriages, their loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood.
Host Library: Rye Public Library, 964-8401.

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.
Research scientist Dr. Marina Singh is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have disappeared in the Amazon while working on an extremely valuable new drug. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding answers to the questions about her friend's death, her company's future, and her own past.
Sponsor: New Hampshire Library Association.
Host Library: Bethlehem Public Library, 869-2409.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.
A famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to fall apart due to the arrival of a highly contagious virus.
Host Library: Gilford Public Library, 524-6042.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova.
Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children and a house on the Cape, is a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career when she notices a forgetfulness creeping into her life. As confusion starts to cloud her thinking and her memory begins to fail her, she receives a devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer's disease. Fiercely independent, Alice struggles to maintain her lifestyle and live in the moment, even as her sense of self is being stripped away.
Host Library: Fitzwilliam Town Library, 585-6503.

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin.
When his most prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, is stolen, widower and bookstore owner A. J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family and associates before receiving a mysterious package that compels him to remake his life.
Host Library: Dover Public Library, 516-6050.

The Talk-Funny Girl by Roland Merullo.
In one of the poorest parts of rural New Hampshire, teenage girls have been disappearing. For 17-year-old Marjorie Richards, the fear raised by these abductions is the backdrop to what she lives with her own home, every day. Marjorie has been raised by parents so intentionally isolated from normal society that they have developed their own dialect. Marjorie is tormented by her classmates, who call her "The Talk-funny girl," but as the nearby factory town sinks deeper into economic ruin and as her parents fall more completely under the influence of a sadistic cult leader, her options for escape dwindle. But then, thanks to a loving aunt, Marjorie is hired by a man, himself a victim of abuse, who is building what he calls "a cathedral," right in the center of town.
Host Library: Keene Public Library, 352-0157.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt.
Fourteen-year-old June Elbus's beloved uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss, is dead. At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail...
Host Library: Fremont Public Library, 895-9543.

Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum.
For fifty years, Anna Schlemmer has refused to talk about her life in Germany during World War II. Her daughter, Trudy, was only three when she and her mother were liberated by an American soldier and went to live with him in Minnesota. Trudy's sole evidence of the past is an old photograph: a family portrait showing Anna, Trudy, and a Nazi officer, the Obersturmfuhrer of Buchenwald.
Sponsor: Hillstown Co-op.
Host Library: Amherst Public Library, 673-2288.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
Audrey Niffenegger's innovative debut, The Time Traveler's Wife, is the story of Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry finds himself periodically displaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.
Host Library: Dover Public Library, 516-6050.

Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante.
Dr. Jennifer White, a brilliant former surgeon in the early grips of Alzheimer's, is suspected of murdering her best friend, Amanda. Amanda's body was found brutally disfigured--with four of her fingers cut off in a precise, surgical manner. As the police pursue their investigation and Jennifer searches her own mind for fractured clues to Amanda's death, a portrait emerges of a complex relationship between two uncompromising, unsentimental women, lifelong friends who were at times each other's most formidable adversaries.
Host Library: Kimball Library, Atkinson, 362-5234.

Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan.
A story of the unconventional love affair of Scottish literary giant, Robert Louis Stevenson, and American divorcee Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne. They meet in rural France in 1875, when Fanny, having run away from her philandering husband back in California, takes refuge there with her children. Stevenson, too, is escaping from his life, running from family pressure to become a lawyer.
Sponsor: Hillstown Co-Op
Host Library: Whipple Free Library, 487-3391.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.
Harold Fry, recently retired, lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen. One morning a letter arrives from a woman he hasn’t heard from in twenty years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye.
Host Library: Keene Public Library, 352-0157.

Us by David Nicholls.
Almost three decades after their relationship first blossomed in London, Douglas and Connie Peterson live more or less happily in the suburbs with their moody seventeen year-old son, Albie. Then Connie tells him she thinks she wants a divorce.
Host Library: Epsom Public Library, 736-9920.

The Vacationers by Emma Straub.
Celebrating their thirty-fifth anniversary and their daughter's high-school graduation during a two-week vacation in Mallorca, Franny and Jim Post confront old secrets, hurts, and rivalries that reveal sides of themselves they try to conceal.
Host Library: East Kingston Public Library, 642-8333.

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.
Bennie Salazar, a punk rocker in his teenage years, is facing middle age as a divorced and disheartened record producer. His cool, competent assistant, Sasha, keeps everything under control—except for her unconquerable compulsion to steal. Their diverse and diverting memories of the past and musings about the present set the stage for a cycle of tales about their friends, family, business associates, and lovers.
Host Library: Keene Public Library, 352-0157.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.
Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. There he meets the freaks, grifters, and misfits that populate this world. He introduces us to Marlena, beautiful star of the equestrian act; to August, her charismatic but twisted husband (and the circus's animal trainer); and to Rosie, the seemingly untrainable elephant Jacob cares for. Beautifully written, with a luminous sense of time and place, Water for Elephants tells of love in a world in which love's a luxury few can afford.
Sponsor: Friends of Gordon-Nash Library.
Host Library: Gordon-Nash Library, New Hampton, 744-8061.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler.
Narrator, Rosemary Cook, begins her story in the middle. "I spent the first eighteen years of my life defined by this one fact: I was raised with a chimpanzee."
Host Library: Paul Memorial Library, Newfields, 778-8169.

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown.
Three sisters, named after Shakespearean women by their professor father, return to their childhood home, ostensibly to care for their ailing mother, but really to lick their wounds and bury their secrets. They are horrified to find the others there. They love each other, but they just don't happen to like each other very much. The sisters soon discover that everything they've been running from--one another, their small hometown, and themselves--might offer more than they ever expected.
Sponsor: New Hampshire Library Association.
Host Library: Gordon-Nash Library, New Hampton, 744-8061.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.
Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. Then, Bernadette disappears...
Host Library: Dover Public Library, 516-6050.

The Widower's Tale by Julia Glass.
In a historic farmhouse outside Boston, seventy-year-old Percy Darling is settling happily into retirement: reading novels, watching old movies, and swimming naked in his pond. His routines are disrupted, however, when he is persuaded to let a locally beloved preschool take over his barn. As Percy sees his rural refuge overrun by children, parents, and teachers, he must reexamine the solitary life he has made in the three decades since the sudden death of his wife. No longer can he remain aloof from his community, his two grown daughters, or, to his shock, the precarious joy of falling in love.
Host Library: Davis Public Library, Stoddard, 446-6251.

Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks.
When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna's eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers confront the spread of disease and superstition. As death reaches into every household and villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must find the strength to confront the disintegration of her community and the lure of illicit love.
Host Library: Laconia Public Library, 524-4775.

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