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Archive for the ‘fiction’ Category

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This audio performance, by the author and a full cast, is far superior to the film.  It fully held the attention of this adult, without the company of children.  “Some books improve with age–the age of the reader, that is. Such is certainly the case with Philip Pullman’s heroic, at times heart-wrenching novel, The Golden Compass, a story ostensibly for children but one perhaps even better appreciated by adults. The protagonist of this complex fantasy is young Lyra Belacqua, a precocious orphan growing up within the precincts of Oxford University. But it quickly becomes clear that Lyra’s Oxford is not precisely like our own–nor is her world. For one thing, people there each have a personal daemon, the manifestation of their soul in animal form. For another, hers is a universe in which science, theology, and magic are closely allied.” – amazon.com

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A great read about a woman newly alone in contemporary London, and “of friendship and the sudden transformations fate can bring.” – Publisher’s Description  Drabble’s Seven Sisters would be an excellent companion piece for reader’s of Virgil’s Aeneid.

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“Shadowy and well-financed interests want to funnel five million dollars to rebels in the Phillipine mountains, to fund the violent revolt against the fledgling Aquino government.  But the rebel leader trusts no one but Booth Stallings, a terrorism expert who fought by his side during World War II.  Stallings isn’t interested in Philippine power sqabbles, but he is deeply interested in five million dollars…” – Publisher’s Despcription  “Out on the Rim is really good.  I mean it’s really good.  Ross Thomas takes us Out on the Rim with a stunning array of characters working a plot that twists and slithers, never stops.” – Elmore Leonard

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An American Book Award Winner,  “ensconed in the rich history of Northern California in the first half of the twentieth century, and peopled by comrades of many classes and cultures and lovers both male and female; but her central odyssey remains one of inner discovery. In Confessions of Madame Psyche, Dorothy Bryant has created a character who is so honest in her search for truth, growth, and spiritual understanding that this quest becomes inherent to her survival. – Publisher’s Description.  Dorothy Bryant is a native San Franciscan, and the author of The Berkeley Pit and many other novels and plays. 

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Hillerman is dependable for authentic New Mexico settings, original characters and solid writing.  “A barren desert landscape is quickly filled with Navajo tribal police, customs patrol officers, and the FBI when a dumped, unidentifiable body is discovered on the Navajo Reservation…Events turn treacherous when [Officer Bernie] Manuelito, identified by the good-luck pin she wears on her lapel, is stalked by one very scary drug-running villain…As always with Hillerman, an intricate pattern of ingenious detective work, comic romance, tribal custom, and desert atmosphere provide multifaceted reading pleasure.” – Booklist

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“Once upon a time, in a novel by Mario Vargas Llosa, there was a good boy who fell in love with a bad girl. He treated her with tenderness; she repaid him with cruelty. The bad girl mocked the good boy’s devotion, criticized his lack of ambition, exploited his generosity when it was useful to her and abandoned him when it was not. No matter how often the bad girl betrayed the good boy, he welcomed her back, and thus she forsook him many times. So it went until one of them died. Do you recognize the story? It’s been told before, by Gustave Flaubert , whose Emma Bovary has fascinated Vargas Llosa nearly all his writing life.” – New York Times

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This is the story of nerdy teenage Oscar Wao and his Dominican family. It is at once riddled with hilarious American pop-culture references and tales of the terrible reign of Trujillo.

“Funny, street-smart and keenly observed…. An extraordinarily vibrant book that’s fueled by adrenaline-powered prose…. A book that decisively establishes [D’az] as one of contemporary fiction’s most distinctive and irresistible new voices.”
-Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

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