Book Genre: Contemporary

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Dave Hnida
Nancy
4

This book caught my eye for several reasons.  I've read a large number of first person accounts of the Vietnam War, have probably seen every episode of the TV show M*A*S*H and have periodically wondered how the experience of soldiers in Iraq compares.  So, when I saw this book on our...

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Jenn McKinlay
IAmGenesis
2

As the first book of the Library Lover's Mysteries, this book was a charming, quick read. The story was a well rounded mystery, with a homespun feel. The characters were amusing and witty, and the story was engaging. All in all, it was cute, but not amazing. This would be a great read for those...

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James Patterson
Shanna
3

This installment of James Patterson's Women's Murder Club features an eccentric professor, who is convinced he is clairvoyant.  He has detailed dreams of murders; no one believes him until the first shooting happens exactly as he described in his dream.  At the same time, a celebrated...

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Andre Dubus
dfields
5

In a collection of linked short stories, Andre Dubus III masterfully probes the nature of love's many facets and human nature. Set in coastal New Hampshire, the reader explores infidelity, first love, betrayal and the impact of the digital age on love. Each of the characters serve as navigator...

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Mary Gaitskill
Jennifer B.
3

Bad Behavior is a collection of unlinked short stories, most taking place in New York City, that focuses on the relationships (usually sexual) between men and women.  Many of the stories are populated by the same types of women -- prostitutes, drug users, artists -- and tended to blend...

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Larry Correia
Ken
4

This was a pretty sweet book. A little to gun porny at times, but it fits with the book. It doesn't add much to the monster mythos it uses, but it does have hillbilly elves. Also the romantic interest seems forced at times.

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S.
Doug Dorst
Lily
4

S. is two stories for the price of one. As a tribute to reading, S. explores and celebrates the adventure of the writer as well as the reader. The internal novel is well written and worth reading for the interesting story and the story in the margins is an amazing creative...

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Mindy Kaling
Adelina
3

Mindy takes us along on her re-telling of her life and career thus far up (to 2011, the time of the book's publication). Listening to her talk about her childhood, young adulthood and career. I listened to the audio book read by the author. I think it was more satisfying to listen to her telling...

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P.N. Elrod- Editor
Adelina
4

An enjoyable collection of paranormal short stories. Most of the stories feature characters from the authors full length book series. Short stories are a great way to try out new authors and get a feeling for their style of storytelling without committing to a whole novel. Some of my favorites...

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Randy Christensen
Shanna
4

Ask Me Why I Hurt tells the story of Arizona pediatrician Dr. Randy Christensen, who left his position at the Phoenix Children's Hospital in order to convert an ancient Winnebago into a mobile doctor's office.  The Crews'n Healthmobile​ travels around Phoenix,...

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Sarah Smiley
ShellyB
4

When their Dad is scheduled for a one year (or longer) deployment to Africa and one of the three Smiley boys comments that he will be most missed at the family dinnertime, the Smileys decide to try inviting someone over for dinner once a week to help fill the empty space and distract them from...

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Rainbow Rowell
Nikki
5

I loved this audio book!  The readers were perfect  and listening to it was a wonderful change.  Eleanor + Park has been getting a lot of attention the last few months as it has been showing up on many Best Books of the Year lists and I really believe it deserves the praise....

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Muriel Barbery
Hope H
4

The hedgehog is "covered in quills, a real fortress...a deceptively indolent little creature, fiercely solitary - and terribly elegant." So says the precocious twelve year old Paloma Josse in reference to her building's concierge, a middle-aged nobody named Renee Michel, though the sentiment...

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Peter Stenson
Charles
3

Fiend, by Peter Stenson, does not differ much from any other apocalyptic, zombie themed book.  There is the typical shocking revelation that the people outside are not normal and want to eat you, the characters realize that everyone but themselves have become zombies, and the rest of the...

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Meg Medina
Nikki
4

This was a hard book to read.  The writing is good and the characters strong, but the subject matter was tough.  Piddy is a new girl at school and for reasons she doesn’t understand, she becomes the target of Yaqui Delgado, a relentless bully.  The title has stirred up a lot of...

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Adelle Waldman
Charlissa
4

Nathaniel P is a writer on the verge of publishing his first novel. This book is a chronicle of his relationships inside the world of the young and hip literati of Brooklyn. In spite of the title, it has little to do with love (a word that is barely mentioned maybe one time as nothing but a...

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Helen Simonson
Hope H
3

Major Pettigrew is a lonely, opinionated, and judgmental old man who has a dry sense of humor, an estranged son, and the respect (or at least the pretense of it) of his neighbors and fellow club members. When his younger brother unexpectedly dies of a heart attack, the Major finds comfort in the...

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Ellen Hopkins
Becker
3

This novel in verse follows three teens--Conner, Tony, and Vanessa--as they meet and go through treatment after attempting suicide. Each is in residential facility Aspen Springs for different reasons, and they connect in different ways. As the poems, told from each of their voices, reveal their...

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Joyce Carol Oates
Jennifer D
5

“Black Water” was my first journey into the world of Joyce Carol Oates, and a perfect autumn read. Lush descriptions of the day leading up to a car accident, vignettes of the main character’s life render descriptions of the accident and subsequent entrapment in the car underwater all the more...

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Tom Robbins
Lily
5

Tom Robbins is one of my favorite authors because he can combine unrelated topics like immortality and perfumery and create poetic, flowery prose that borders on nonfiction. Like all Robbins novels Jitterbug Perfume is stylized, fanciful, and funny, but only Jitterbug Perfume...

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Ben Stroud
Brett
4

In this debut collection of stories, Ben Stroud demonstrates an amazing versatility, creating completely believable characters in a variety of contemporary and historical settings. Stroud takes us from 19th century Berlin to present day East Texas to the ancient city of Byzantium. To give you an...

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Jesmyn Ward
Mary P
3

Jesmyn Ward paints a beautiful picture of a bleak and challenging situation in this novel.  It takes place in the Mississippi Delta during the days leading up to and including Hurricane Katrina.  The characters in this novel are visceral and struggle with many difficult issues before...

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Jim Butcher
Rebecca
3

Storm Front is one of those novels that navigates a couple of genres at once, namely, fantasy (Harry Dresden, the main character, is a wizard) and crime noir (he's also a private investigator who contracts sometimes with the Chicago PD). This is not, however, a slightly-parallel world...

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Meg Rosoff
Kristi
3

Londoner Mila is traveling to upstate NY with her translator father Gil to visit his old friend Matt. But two days before they arrive, Matt disappears. He leaves behind his unhappy wife, toddler son, and beloved dog. What happened to him? Mila soon finds out that Matt has a complicated life. He...

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Meg Rosoff
CarolE
5

Mila admits that she's still technically a child, but her observational powers are strong and accompanying her father on a trip to locate Matthew, an old friend of his who has disappeared makes her aware that adult concerns impact her life.  Mila sees what many of the people around her are...