general fiction

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Great Thanksgiving Reads

The feast is prepared, the guests have arrived - but there’s still time to sneak in a few pages of reading before it’s time to carve the turkey! Here are our suggestions of Thanksgiving-themed books. Even if you can’t make it to the library before the big day tomorrow, these recommendations make for good reading any time. After all, the themes of good food and family and friends coming together are always relevant (even if sometimes these gatherings result in familial drama).

National Book Awards Announced

Yesteday, November 18, the National Book Awards were announced. Founded in 1950, these awards are intended to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of great writing in America.

The top winners in each category are:

The Bees by Laline Paull

Flora 717 is a sanitation worker bee, navigating the strict hierarchy of her beloved hive. She’s also curious, ambitious and unusually talented. A rare chance to rise above her low-caste estate comes when circumstances threaten the hive’s survival. Work and sacrifice conflict with an overwhelming maternal love and lead her to unthinkable and dangerous deeds. Paull’s imaginative prose protects the story from artifice. You’ll never look at the lowly honey bee in your backyard in the same way after reading this thrilling tale.

Animal Factory by Edward Bunker

Edward Bunker knows about the Animal Factory. Having spent his formative years behind bars in some of this country's most notorious prisons, his knowledge came naturally. Luckily for us, instead of submitting to the dark abyss of prison life, Bunker invested his time in writing. The results are some of the most vivid portrayals of convict life, both in and out of prison, that I have ever read.

The Harder They Come by T.C. Boyle

There is a good reason the Boston Globe has called Boyle one of the very best American novelists since Twain. His stories at their best capture several ways of looking at ourselves and our times. His latest novel is set mostly in current-day Northern California. It follows the intersecting lives of three individuals: retired high school principal Sten Stenson, his mentally disturbed son Adam, and a simple-minded right-wing anarchist conspiracy theorist, Sara. Sara and Adam become lovers, despite the nearly 20 year difference in their ages.

Top Titles Borrowed (May, 2015)

Curious what everyone else using the library is reading? Check out our lists of the most borrowed books. In addition to the top titles in any format we also have breakouts for the top books on cd and the top large print books.

MassBook Awards Must-Read fiction books for 2015

book coversHot off the presses! Have you read these yet?

Cartwheel by Jennifer duBois

Lily Hayes' exciting semester abroad in Buenos Aires becomes a little TOO exciting when her roommate Katy is brutally murdered and Lily is the prime suspect. "Inspired by" the Amanda Knox story (American student accused of murdering her roommate in Italy in 2007), this richly imagined novel switches perspectives throughout, from Lily to Katy to the mysterious boy next door to Lily's parents and sister who have flown to Argentina and hired a defense attorney to the local prosecuting attorney.

Foreign Gods by Okey Ndibe

Ike (pronounced Ee-kay) lives in New York City and is tired of scraping by on the meager money he earns as a cabdriver. He knows of a store that sells foreign artifacts to rich people for outrageous sums of money and nourishes a dream to return to his home village in Nigeria and steal the statue of Ngene, an ancient war god, to fund his future. He hasn’t visited his family since he left and has struggled to stay in touch, especially since his father died. One of his childhood friends has come across some great wealth, while a childhood love has fallen on hard times.

Bad Marie by Marcy Dermansky

What a fun little diversion! Marie is 30, recently released from jail, and in love with a toddler. She is only slightly more mature than her new charge and thinks it perfectly fine to bath together while she enjoys some stolen whiskey. That’s not the only thing she steals in this quick celebration of good things happening to bad people. It’s refreshing how good you can feel routing for her as she makes one bad decision after another. Like watching a french-language train-wreck, in black and white. This book took no time to read and was a blast. Every dream of ditching it all?

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