Recommended By Independent Booksellers

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Underground Airlines: A Novel

by Ben Winters
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"Winters has managed to aim a giant magnifying glass at the problem of institutionalized racism in America in a way that has never been done before. This Orwellian allegory takes place in the present day but in a United States where Lincoln was assassinated before he ever became president, the Civil War never took place, and slavery still exists in four states, known as the Hard Four. In agile prose that manages to convey the darkest of humors, Winters tackles the most sensitive of issues such as the motivations of misguided white liberals involved in racial politics, the use of racial profiling, and the influence of racism on the very young. Underground Airlines is the most important book of the summer.

Barkskins: A Novel

by Annie Proulx
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"This multigenerational saga follows the fortunes of the Sel and Duke families from early Colonial days to the present, spanning centuries and continents as they make their living not only from the bounty of the land but also from the ravaging and destruction of it. As always, Proulx is brilliant at creating a story that flows impeccably, and her nature writing is some of the most beautiful and evocative to be found in modern literature. This novel is an epic work, a fictional Silent Spring that will linger with readers long after completion.

All Is Not Forgotten: A Novel

by Wendy Walker
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"This powerful and intense psychological thriller explores the memory of trauma and how it affects our very being. When 16-year-old Jenny Kramer is brutally raped and then given a controversial drug to erase her memory of the event, her parents think it will allow them all to return to their normal, idyllic life in an affluent small town in Connecticut. But that is far from the truth. What ensues is a fascinating look at psychiatric treatment and the lies people tell themselves and others in order to feel whole.

Miss Jane: A Novel

by Brad Watson
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"At first, I was uncomfortable reading about the life Jane Chisolm has to lead due to a genital birth defect and assumed that I would be sad for her throughout the book, but this is so beautifully written and unsentimental in its depiction of Jane's quiet strength and courageous acceptance of her life that I fell in love with her quite quickly. While all the supporting characters have their own peculiarities, they are tender and endearing to Jane and that helped me to understand how she endured and was loved so fully. Everyone should read this extraordinary book and feel, as I did, the joy of this remarkable woman.

How to Set a Fire and Why : A Novel

by Jesse Ball
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"On page one of Ball's new novel, 16-year-old Lucia Stanton gets kicked out of school for stabbing the star basketball player in the neck with a pencil. Lucia is a delinquent, a philosopher, a shard of glass. She's also an aspiring arsonist and an iconoclast, who is vibrant, alive, and charming in a misanthropic way. Ball's prose is precise and deceptively spare, his message dynamic in what he doesn't write.

Pond

by Claire-Louise Bennett
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"A brilliant and captivating debut, Bennett's Pond is a strange, beautifully layered work of fiction, from its quirky and contemplative narrator's interior life to the vivid and charming descriptions of rural Irish life. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this book is its warm invitation to celebrate solitude. Bennett writes as if in a lush, landscaped dream, each story chapter going forward, circling back, and ending in the middle of the protagonist's musings upon her everyday experiences. Pond is utterly original, by turns hilarious and poignant, a refreshing and simply delightful read.

If I Forget You: A Novel

by Thomas Christopher Greene
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"Twenty years ago, Margo and Henry fell in love, lost each other to a fierce misunderstanding, and went their separate ways -- to marriages, children, and a second-best kind of happiness. Now, a chance encounter holds out hope for reconciliation and the joy of true love. Greene tells this story by jumping back and forth in time and between narrators, while readers wonder 'will they or won't they. ' Read this one for the story and the superb style.

A Certain Age: A Novel

by Beatriz Williams
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"Open the pages of A Certain Age and be drawn into Williams' rich, atmospheric world of Manhattan in the 1920s -- a world where society pages hint at gossip, speakeasies tease with gin, and secrets and hidden desires lie just below the polished veneer of the fashionably dressed and well-bred families of the city. This deft retelling of Richard Strauss' comic opera Der Rosenkavalier is simply exquisite.

Look: Poems

by Solmaz Sharif
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"Sharif's first poetry collection tells the story of the punishing legacy that enduring warfare can have on a family. She expertly utilizes language lifted from the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms to demonstrate how we have sanitized the language of warfare into something more benign and seemingly less deadly. The essential task of poetry is to engender empathy and to speak truth to power; To that end, Look succeeds in spades. " -- Matt Keliher, SubText: A Bookstore, St.

Disappearance at Devil's Rock: A Novel

by Paul Tremblay
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"When a young boy goes missing, his mother and sister begin finding pages from his diary revealing secrets they had never suspected. Where did he go, and why won't his friends tell anyone the truth. Tremblay peels back the layers of a quaint New England town to expose the ugly underbelly of family life in the U. S.