Book Genre: Contemporary

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Tracy Letts
Mary P
3

There is some heavy, heavy business going on in this play.  Even from the opening scene, I found myself thinking about the characters and the situations long after I finished reading.  I chose to read the majority of the play in one sitting so that I could imagine it as if I were...

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Mario Alberto Zambrano
Lily
5

Lotería is a dark tale told from the perspective of a young Mexican girl punctuated by vivid illustrations of lotería cards. The cards act as vignettes that slowly reveal the causes of why narrator Luz Castillo is in foster care while her sister is in the intensive care unit, her...

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Matthew Quick
Kelly
4

Today is Leonard Peacock's birthday, and he is planning on making it his last. He goes to school with his grandfather's pistol with plans to shoot his ex-best friend and then himself. He spends this day giving four gifts to some important people in his life that he wants to say goodbye to. There...

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Sara Gran
Emily
4

Oh Claire, I love you, my heart breaks for you, I want you to be my friend but honestly I don't think it would work out.

Claire deWitt should be dead, it's true, my god the things she does to her body... Ms. Gran, you write such wonderful, messy, broken, hopeful, sad, lonely, damaged,...

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David Levithan
Becker
5

From the cover and title of this one, you might think this is a love story...and you'd be right, but wrong. It's about love, but not romantic love, not entirely. The two boys kissing in the title are Craig and Harry, who are ex-boyfriends, but are attempting to break the world record in kissing...

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Thrity N Umrigar
Becker
4

Friends during the 1970s in college in Bombay, the lives of Armaiti, Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta have gone in very different directions from their days as activist students, ready to change the world. Armaiti has left for America. Nishta, admired for choosing a life with the man she loved even...

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Luis Alberto Urrea
Becker
5

I listened to this book on a recent road trip, and fell in love with the characters, the descriptions, the quest. Nayeli, a young woman from the Mexican village of Tres Camarones, and her friends have realized that there are almost no men left in their town, they have all gone north, to the U.S...

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Howard Jacobson
Lily
3

Zoo Time is a scathingly hysterical account of the current state of the publishing industry. This book is worth reading for any self proclaimed literati or bookworm merely for the dry criticism of "Oxfam, Amazon, eBooks, iPads, Oprah, apps, Richard and Judy, Facebook … the graphic novel...

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Will Self
Lily
3

If you are interested in a challenging literary read and you secretly wish for the second coming of James Joyce, then Umbrella will meet all your Modernist resurrection fantasies. Will Self uses boggling and dense language to describe the mistaken institutionalization of suffragette...

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Ann Leary
Liberty
4

Despite being in complete denial about her alcoholism, Hildy Good has made a name for herself as a successful real estate agent.  Acting as a conduit between land-rich locals and the truly rich outsiders moving to her picturesque New England town, Hildy smartly navigates the...

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Yōko Ono
Laurie.
4

Sean Lennon found the unpublished version of An Invisible Flower in his mother's closet and fortunately for all us daydreamers, he published the tale. Ono, a conceptual artist, wrote the story after she was evacuated to the Japanese countryside as a child during WWII. Not just a...

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Keith Boykin
Laurie.
5

How would you respond to growing suicides in your community? Keith Boykin responded by publishing a call to action through a collection of memoirs by African American and Latino men. Winner of the 2013 Stonewall Book Award for Nonfiction, these raw...

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Blythe Woolston
Becker
4

Valkyrie (Valley) White is 15. She believes the government killed her family. She has a bomb strapped to her chest. This tension filled book puts you into Valley's mind, giving you a glimpse of how a 15 year old girl can end up a suicide bomber. She grew up in isolation, totally off the grid,...

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Juliann Garey
Michelle
5

As close as you'll likely get in literary form to seeing the devastation that bipolar disorder wreaks on those who live with it and among it.

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Sherman Alexie
Michelle
4

Fifteen Alexie classics and fifteen new short stories, some a page long.  One reviewer describes him as rowdy.  Yes. 

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George Saunders
Michelle
4

These short stories are in turn funny, odd, and heartbreaking.  Saunders is original and that's about the best description.

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Sarah Thornton
Laurie.
4

If you ever wondered about what goes on behind the scenes of the contemporary art world, you may enjoy this ethnographic romp.  Thornton's research, compiled through interviews between 2004-2007, provides glimpses of a day in the life of artists and people who make art...

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Adam Mansbach
Liberty
4

Kicked out of school, Dondi stumbles upon his estranged father, "Rage," who has come back to NYC to settle an old score.  A legendary graffiti artist, "Rage" revives a network of "ninjas" from New York's glory days to paint the town every imaginable color.  ...

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Robin Sloan
Liberty
5

Enticed by a help wanted sign, an out-of-work 21st century man enters an antiquarian bookstore and gets caught up in the puzzle of a lifetime. Set in San Francisco and New York, this upbeat book is a perfect blending of old and new and a read that technophiles and bibliophiles will find...

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Brenna Yovanoff
Rachel F
4

If Lillian's been dead for 6 months, why's she still hanging around as a ghost? Hannah's trying to keep it together, but this summer is not helping -- it's HOT and there's a murderer on the loose. Plus, she's a Colorado author.

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Carin Berger
Mary P
3

This is an excellent book to encourage dialogic reading with children; there is very limited text and intricate pictures to spur the story along.  It spreads the message about being good to the environment by thinking about the many alternative ways we can get from point A to point B....

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Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt
Mary P
4

This story is an adorable and atypical look at the tooth fairy and how great she is at her job.  She even gives some helpful hints on how to stay on her good side when you lose your teeth!  She tells you how clean they should be, where she wants to find them, and where she wants to NOT...

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Simon Doonan
Laurie.
3

Who knew snarky insights into another's dieting world could be so funny.  Mere mortals were first introduced to Simon Doonan via his memoir, Beautiful People, which was adapted for television and aired on the BBC. The 20 year gig at Barney's earned him some recognition too. Doonan...

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Mikey Walsh
Laurie.
4

Gritty memoir about growing up in a Romany Gypsy family.  If you like heartbreaking memoirs like Angela's Ashes or Running with Scissors, this book is a must read.

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Deborah E. Harkness
Mary P
4

This is the second installment in Deborah Harkness' Discovery of Witches series.  Some series books fall flat on the second, but I felt that her use of time travel in this book kept it interesting and fresh.

The story follows Matthew and Diana through time and space as they...