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. The last person who was sent to find her died before he could complete his mission. 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.
Doc by Mary Doria Russell
The year is 1878, peak of the Texas cattle trade. The place is Dodge City, Kansas, a saloon-filled cow town jammed with liquored-up adolescent cowboys and young Irish hookers. Violence is random and routine, but when the burned body of a mixed-blood boy named Johnnie Sanders is discovered, his death shocks a part-time policeman named Wyatt Earp. And it is a matter of strangely personal importance to Doc Holliday, the frail twenty-six-year-old dentist who has just opened an office at No. 24, Dodge House.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption, and it is also about the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
“Last Night I Dreamt I Went To Manderley Again.”
With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew.
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Quentin Coldwater, a well-to-do high school senior, goes to a college interview where his interviewer turns up dead. As the the body is being removed, Quentin is offered an envelope with his name written on it by one of the paramedics . This envelope leads Quentin to a secret academy of magic and to a world that Quentin has long fantasized about.
Suite Francaise by Irène Némirovsky
Beginning in Paris on the eve of the Nazi occupation in 1940. Suite Française tells the remarkable story of men and women thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. As Parisians flee the city, human folly surfaces in every imaginable way: a wealthy mother searches for sweets in a town without food; a couple is terrified at the thought of losing their jobs, even as their world begins to fall apart. Moving on to a provincial village now occupied by German soldiers, the locals must learn to coexist with the enemy—in their town, their homes, even in their hearts.
Anna’s Book by Barbara Vine
Anna Westerby’s diaries, written in Danish over seventy years ago, are published to great acclaim by her daughter Swanny after Anna’s death. But, do the diaries also contain the revelations of a double mystery within their pages: the true identity of a lost child and an unsolved gruesome murder? Anna’s Book by Barbara Vine is a compelling novel that will keep you guessing until its final pages.
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
The Historian is driven by the quests of four major characters during three separate time periods: in the 1930’s Dr. Bartholomew Rossi; in the 1950’s Paul and Helen, Dr. Rossi’s graduate student, and his daughter, respectively; and in the 1970’s Paul’s teenage daughter. They each seek the truth behind the legendary Vlad Tepes (Dracula) and his hidden tomb.
We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates
The Mulvaneys of High Point Farm in Mt. Ephraim, New York, are a large and fortunate clan, blessed with good looks, abundant charisma, and boundless promise. But over the twenty-five year span of this ambitious novel, the Mulvaneys will slide, almost imperceptibly at first, from the pinnacle of happiness, transformed by the vagaries of fate into a scattered collection of lost and lonely souls.
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Piscine Patel, the second son of a zookeeper, has grown up in Pondicherry in South India. Tired of being called “Pissing Patel” he changes his name to “Pi”, a move approved by his older brother. The sensitive and inquisitive teenage Pi, searching for religious truths, embraces the teachings and guidance he receives from Hindu, Christian, and Muslim holy men.
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
The four Batiste siblings are living in a run down house on what remains of their grandparents once thriving farm. Their mother died in childbirth and their neglectful father is oftentimes too tired or too drunk to tend to the needs of the children.
Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières takes place on the Greek isle of Cephalonia under German and Italian occupation during Word War II.
The jovial Italian Captain Antonio Corelli is quartered with Dr. Iannis and his daughter Pelagia. Despite the fact that Captain Corelli is Italian and considered the enemy, his love of life, his kind joyful spirit, and his gifted ability on the mandolin, all work to win Pelagia’s heart.
The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
Only a few years before becoming a famous silent-film star and an icon of her generation, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita, Kansas, to study with the prestigious Denishawn School of Dancing in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone, who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle, a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip, has no idea what she’s in for. Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous black bob with blunt bangs, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will transform their lives forever.
Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
The Awful Grandmother, the Little Grandfather, Aunty Light-Skin, Uncle Baby, and Uncle Fat-Face are just a few of the colorful family members we meet as Lala’s story unwinds.