i have received votes from only a few folks--would love to get more input so there is a clear preference for both the next Fiction and Non-Fiction selections in December and January. Please rank in order of preference and send me and email or post to the discussion board.
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
National Book Award Winner
"One of the most electric, profound novels I have read in years.... It is a mark of the novel's soaring and largely fulfilled ambition that McCann just keeps rolling out new people, deftly linking each to the next, as his story moves toward its surprising and deeply affecting conclusion." Jonathan Mahler, The New York Times Book Review
In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in bestselling novelist Colum McCann’s stunningly intricate portrait of a city and its people.
Let the Great World Spin is the critically acclaimed author’s most ambitious novel yet: a dazzlingly rich vision of the pain, loveliness, mystery, and promise of New York City in the 1970s.
2) Little Bee by Chris Cleave
"Little Bee will blow you away....In restrained, diamond-hard prose, Cleave alternates between these two characters' points of view as he pulls the threads of their dark — but often funny — story tight. What unfolds between them... is both surprising and inevitable, thoroughly satisfying if also heart-rending." Washington Post
This novel is told from two distinct perspectives: Little Bee, an illegal refugee, and Sarah, a British journalist. These two characters lives are entwined one fateful day on the beach in Nigeria.
We don't want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific. The story starts there, but the book doesn't. And it's what happens afterward that is most important. Once you have read it, you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.
1) Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer
"[T]old with raw narrative force and tight focus....Krakauer lays the portent on beautifully, building his tales carefully from the ground up until they irresistibly, spookily combust." Kirkus Reviews
At the core of Krakauers book are brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a commandment from God to kill a blameless woman and her baby girl. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this appalling double murder, Krakauer constructs a multi-layered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, polygamy, savage violence, and unyielding faith. Along the way he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of Americas fastest growing religion, and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief.
2) Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl
“This wonderful book is funny—at times laugh-out-loud funny—and smart and wise”—The Washington Post
In this New York Times bestseller, beloved food writer Reichl, an unlikely master of disguise, presents her adventures in restaurant reviewing for The New York Times. Reichl reveals the comic absurdity, artifice, and excellence to be found in the sumptuously appointed stages of the epicurean world and gives us—along with some of her favorite recipes and reviews—her remarkable reflections on how on‛s outer appearance can influence on‛s inner character, expectations, and appetites, not to mention the quality of service one receives.
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