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Staff Picks - Staff Favorites (Fiction)

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All titles can be found in the fiction section unless otherwise noted.

Watership Down
by Richard Adams
An allegorical tale of survival about a band of wild rabbits who leave their ancestral home to build a more humane society chronicles their adventures as they search for a safe place to establish a new warren where they can live in peace.

Winesburg, Ohio
by Sherwood Anderson
21 interconnected stories follow the lives of the solitary inhabitant of a small Midwestern town who confide their disappointments in life and dashed hopes to a local reporter.

Persuasion
by Jane Austen
Having once given up the man she loved because of family objections, Anne Elliot must come to terms with her feelings when years later they meet again.

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
by Tiffany Baker
A girl grows physically and emotionally beyond her small town’s wildest expectations.

A Matter of Class
by Mary Balogh
After his father forces him to become engaged to Lady Ashton, a woman disgraced by a scandal, Reginald Mason finds his new fiancée shares his resentment toward the impending marriage.

Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage (MYSTERY)
by M. C. Beaton
While in the midst of planning her marriage to her next-door neighbor, Agatha’s undivorced, long-thought-dead husband reappears, only to end up murdered the next day, leaving the amateur sleuth the prime suspect.

Death of a Glutton (MYSTERY)
by M. C. Beaton
The arrival of a gluttonous woman at the Tommel Castle Hotel in the Scottish Highlands has staff & guests upset, especially when the woman is later found murdered. Hamish MacBeth must solve the murder.

Make Way for Lucia
by E. F. Benson
Sophisticated Lucia and frumpy Miss Mapp compete with each other and have to extricate themselves from a series of social disasters in comical style.

Twilight’s Dawn (SCIENCE FICTION)
by Anne Bishop
Four novellas set in the Blood realm in the world of the Black Jewels featuring Daemon, the Black Jeweled Warlord Prince of Dhemlan, Queen Sylvia, and Surreal SaDiablo.

In Dublin’s Fair City (MYSTERY)
by Rhys Bowen
Searching for an Irishwoman, P.I. Molly Murphy leaves early 20th century New York to head back to her native Ireland, only to be confronted by the murder of her maid and the disappearance of a famed Irish actress.

The Women
by T. C. Boyle
Inspired by the life of Frank Lloyd Wright and presented from the perspectives of four very different women who loved him, offering insight into the eminent architect's enduring struggles against conventional boundaries.

Fahrenheit 451 (SCIENCE FICTION)
by Ray Bradbury
A totalitarian regime has ordered all books to be destroyed, but one of the book burners suddenly realizes their merit.

Long After Midnight
by Ray Bradbury
While this quirky collection of short stories inevitably includes tales of science fiction, including Martians transmuting into Christ figures & deserted worlds, readers will also be surprised to find mainstream fiction.

Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (MYSTERY)
by C. Alan Bradley
11-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is propelled into a mystery when a man is found murdered on the grounds of her family’s decaying English mansion and Flavia’s father becomes the main suspect.

The Mists of Avalon
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Retells the legend of Arthur as perceived by Viviane, the Lady of the Lake and high priestess of Avalon, Arthur’s mother Igraine, his Christian wife Guinevere, and the sorceress Morgaine.

Possession
by A. S. Byatt
A young academic couple's attempt to trace the relationship between two turbulent Victorian poets reveals uncanny parallels with their own lives.

Bright Flows the River
by Taylor Caldwell
Following his attempted suicide, 55-year-old Guy Jerald is confined to a sanitarium where he maintains silence toward his wife, family, and best friend and struggles to break the bonds of an unbearably unhappy marriage.

Kushiel’s Dart
by Jacqueline Carey
Sold into indentured servitude at the exotic Night Court as a child, Phaedre nao Delaunay faces a difficult choice between honor and duty as she deals with a world of conspiracy and betrayal.

Soulless
by Gail Carriger
Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Summerland
by Michael Chabon
Ethan Feld, the worst baseball player in the history of the game, finds himself recruited by a 100-year-old scout to help a band of fairies triumph over an ancient enemy.

2010, Odyssey Two (SCIENCE FICTION)
by Arthur C. Clarke
Haywood Floyd, director of the original Discovery mission, sets out to discover what happened to HAL 9000 and comes face to face with something claiming to be Dave Bowman.

White Noise
by Don DeLillo
Jack Gladney, a professor of Nazi history at a Middle American liberal arts school, and his family try to handle normal life as a black cloud of lethal gaseous fumes threatens their town.

A Scanner Darkly (741.5973)
by Philip K. Dick
A drug dealer of the future periodically moves away from his spaced-out world to become an informer for narcotics agents until he becomes unable to separate his two personalities.

Rebecca
by Daphne du Maurier
“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” Not since “Jane Eyre” has a heroine faced such difficulty in the struggle to find her identity while consumed by love.

Gunpowder Plot (MYSTERY)
by Carola Dunn
In 1924, while at an old school friend's home for the annual Guy Fawkes celebration, Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher is stunned by the supposed suicide of the tyrannical head of the family, who may also have killed a guest.

The Bookman’s Promise (MYSTERY)
by John Dunning
When Cliff Janeway investigates the provenance of a signed first edition of a memoir by nineteenth-century explorer Sir Richard Burton, he becomes embroiled in a mystery involving a lost library of rare Burton material.

The Name of the Rose
by Umberto Eco
In 1327, Brother William of Baskerville is sent to investigate charges of heresy against Franciscan monks at a wealthy Italian abbey but finds his mission overshadowed by seven bizarre murders.

The Reivers
by William Faulkner
Relates the comic adventures of eleven-year-old Lucius Priest on the day he stole his grandfather's car to drive to Memphis.

Tender is the Night
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Americans living on the French Riviera in the 1930s in this portrait of psychological disintegration as a wealthy couple supports friends and hangers-on financially and emotionally at the cost of their own stability.

Canada
by Richard Ford
After his parents are arrested and imprisoned for robbing a bank, 15-year-old Dell Parsons is taken in by Arthur Remlinger, who, unbeknownst to Dell, is hiding a dark and violent nature that interferes with Dell’s quest to find grace and peace on the prairie of Saskatchewan.

A Room with a View
by E. M. Forster
Miss Lucy Honeychurch, an upper-class Englishwoman, stifles her inherent passion for life until a trip to Italy triggers her impetuosity and sense of romance.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
by Ben Fountain
A satire set in Texas during America’s war in Iraq that explores the gaping national disconnect between the war at home and the war abroad. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction.

Outlander
by Diana Gabaldon
Hurtled back through time more than 200 years to Scotland in 1743, Claire Randall finds herself caught in the midst of a world torn apart by violence and revolution and haunted by her growing feelings for James Fraser, a young soldier.

American Gods
by Neil Gaiman
Shadow encounters Mr. Wednesday, an enigmatic stranger who seems to know a lot about him. When Shadow accepts Wednesday’s job offer to be his bodyguard, he is plunged into a dark world.

Pattern Recognition (MYSTERY)
by William Gibson
Hired to investigate a mysterious video collection that has been appearing on the Internet, market research consultant Cayce Pollard realizes there’s more to the assignment when her computer is hacked.

Replay
by Ken Grimwood
Through a bizarre cycle of dying and coming back to life again and again, Jeff Winston receives six chances to change his life, correct previous mistakes and find the happiness that has long eluded him.

Available Dark (MYSTERY)
by Elizabeth Hand
Fleeing for her life after being shown photos of ritual killings during a job in Helsinki, Cass Neary encounters a former lover and exiled musician in Iceland only to be inundated by a series of unsolved murders.

For Us, the Living (SCIENCE FICTION)
by Robert Heinlein
After crashing his car in 1939, Perry Nelson awakens to find the radically different world of 2086, one marked by a United Europe, the destruction of Manhattan island by two helicopters in 2003, and other changes.

Dune (SCIENCE FICTION)
by Frank Herbert
The story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family & would bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream.

The Eternal Philistine
by Odon von Horvath
A brutally funny look at the human comedy on the eve of Europe’s descent into Fascism.

A Prayer for Owen Meany
by John Irving
Owen Meany hits a foul ball while playing baseball in the summer of 1953, killing his best friend’s mother, an accident that he is sure is the result of divine intervention.

The Turn of the Screw
by Henry James
A new governess at a remote country estate. She has been hired by the uncle of two young orphans to take complete charge of the children's lives and upbringing. Her first peaceful weeks are disturbed by the apparition of the ghosts of two evil servants who once served in the house.

Children of Men
by P. D. James
In 2021, with humans becoming extinct due to the infertility of all males, Oxford historian Theodore Faron joins an unlikely group of revolutionaries out to save society.

When She Woke
by Hillary Jordan
In the future, abortion has become a crime as a series of events threatens the existence of the United States. One woman wakes up to discover that her skin color has been changed to red as punishment for having the procedure done. Now she must embark on a dangerous journey in order to find refuge from a hostile and threatening society.

Dubliners
by James Joyce
15 short stories evoke the character and atmosphere of the Irish city at the turn of the 20th century.

Kim
by Rudyard Kipling
Kim, a young Irish orphan, journeys throughout India and accompanies a Tibetan holy man on his pilgrimage quest to find a mystic river.

Jubal Sackett
by Louis L’Amour
Restless explorer Jubal Sackett journeys westward into the vast, unmapped wilderness of seventeenth-century America & discovers the perils of the rugged frontier, a new way of life among the Indians, and the love of a beautiful Natchez Indian princess.

The Telling (SCIENCE FICTION)
by Ursula Le Guin
On a world in which ancient beliefs and customs are banned, Sutty journeys deep into the countryside and discovers the Telling, the old faith of the Akans, a banned religion that teaches her about the meaning of her own existence.

Game of Thrones (SCIENCE FICTION)
by George R. R. Martin
The kingdom of the royal Stark family faces its ultimate challenge in the onset of a generation-long winter, the poisonous plots of the rival Lannisters, the emergence of the Neverborn demons, and the arrival of barbarian hordes.

Sweet Tooth
by Ian McEwan
Recruited into MI5 against a backdrop of the Cold War in 1972, Cambridge student Serena Frome is assigned to infiltrate the literary circle of a promising young writer whose politics align with those of the government.

Dead Man’s Walk
by Larry McMurtry
In the prequel to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove, young Texas Rangers Woodrow Call and Gus McCrae confront the perils of the western wilderness, from the Rangers' ill-fated attempt to take Santa Fe to their desperate trek across the Jornada del Muerto.

Sacre Bleu
by Christopher Moore
Lucien Lessard and Toulouse-Lautrec vow to discover the truth behind the untimely death of Vincent van Gogh, which leads them on a surreal odyssey and brothel-crawl deep into the art world of late 19th century Paris.

The Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern
In a fierce competition for which they have trained since childhood, circus magicians Celia and Marco unexpectedly fall in love.

Song of Solomon
by Toni Morrison
Macon Dead Jr., called Milkman, moves from childhood into early manhood, searching among the disparate, mysterious members of his family for his life & reality.

South of the Border, West of the Sun
by Haruki Murakami
Years after their separation, two Japanese childhood sweethearts are reunited, and happily married Hajime finds himself prepared to risk everything for the chance to be with his now mysterious first love.

The Eight
by Katherine Neville
A woman who enjoys chess as a hobby is offered the chance to collect pieces of a very old chess service, which when all pieces are assembled, gives the players a game of unlimited power.

Vurt (SCIENCE FICTION)
by Jeff Noon
In the not-too-distant future, Scribble embarks on a perilous and mythical odyssey into the virtual underworld to rescue his beloved sister Desdemona from the drug-induced dream state in which she has become trapped.

Scent of Magic (SCIENCE FICTION)
by Andre Norton
Willadene, a young orphan and apprentice to a revered herbalist, must draw on her uniquely heightened sense of smell to uncover an unknown evil that threatens her world and draws her on a perilous quest into a dark and deadly realm of shadows to rescue an abducted prince.

Victory of Eagles
by Naomi Novik
As Napoleon attacks on Britain, Captain Will Laurence, accused of treason, escapes from his prison ship and sets out on a desperate quest to reunite with his fighting dragon, Temeraire.

The Dive from Clausen’s Pier
by Ann Packer
When her fiancé is left paralyzed following a tragic accident, Carrie begins to question her familiar world as she sets out to rediscover her own identity.

The Expats
by Chris Pavone
Along the cobble-stoned streets of Luxembourg, mother and expat Kate Moore suspects that another American couple are not who they claim to be and as her paranoia grows, she becomes increasingly terrified that her own past is catching up with her.

Arcadia
by Iain Pears
Traces the fantastical intersections between a 1960s Oxford professor who dabbles in espionage, a psychomathematician from a dystopian future world, and a scholar's apprentice in a pastoral land.

An Instance of the Fingerpost
by Iain Pears
In a literary epic, when a fellow of New College in 17-century Oxford is found dead & a young woman is accused of his murder, four witnesses, each with their own agenda, tell what they saw, but only one speaks the truth.

Beautiful Mystery (MYSTERY)
by Louise Penny
When a peaceful monastery in Quebec is shattered by the murder of its renowned choir director, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is challenged to find the killer in a cloistered community that has taken a vow of silence.

The Moviegoer
by Walker Percy
Kate's fierce struggle to maintain her sanity forces cousin Binx to relinquish his dreamworld.

Snuff (SCIENCE FICTION)
by Terry Pratchett
Commander Sam Vimes of Ankh-Morpork City Watch attempts to take a vacation, but, as usual, nothing goes as planned in the Discworld.

The Mask of Apollo
by Mary Renault
Narrated by Nikeratos, a tragic actor who takes with him on all his travels a gold mask of Apollo. At first his mascot, the mask gradually becomes his conscience, and he refers to it his gravest decisions, when he finds himself at the center of a political crisis in which the philosopher Plato is also involved.

When It Happens to You
by Molly Ringwald
A collection of interlinked stories follows a L.A. family and their friends and neighbors as they negotiate the deceptions and heartbreaks of everyday life.

Thrones, Dominations (MYSTERY)
by Dorothy Sayers
Newlyweds Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane explore another mysterious turn of events during the short-lived reign of Edward VIII, in a novel left unfinished and unpublished for almost sixty years.

The Raj Quartet
by Paul Scott
Classic novels about 1940’s India when the British fear Indian demands for independence. Follows the same English and Indian characters throughout the years as the actions of one cruelly ambitious English policeman affect the lives of many.

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk
by David Sedaris
An original collection of humorous fables features animals with unmistakably human failings, including a cynical cat struggling to sit through his prison-mandated AA meetings, and a pair of lovers separated by prejudiced family members.

Where’d You Go Bernadette
by Maria Semple
When her notorious, talented and agoraphobic mother goes missing, teenage Bee begins a trip that takes her to the ends of the earth to find her mom.

Killer Angels
by Jeff Shaara
In an effort to draw out the Union Army of the Potomac, the Confederate Army invades the North, and the armies clash in a bloody battle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for four days.

Troubled Waters (SCIENCE FICTION)
by Sharon Shinn
Zoe Ardelay, chosen to become the king’s 5th wife, is a coru prime ruled by the elemental sign of water, and, after unlocking the secrets of the royal family, must decide how to use her power. 

The Day is Dark (MYSTERY)
by Yrsa Siguroardottir
When contact is lost with 2 Icelanders working in a harsh, sparsely populated region on Greenland’s coast, Thaora Gudmunsdaottir’s investigations reveal another recent disappearance before she encounters unexpected resistance.

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
by Helen Simonson
Forced to confront the realities of life in the 21st century when he falls in love with widowed Pakistani descendant, retired Major Pettigrew finds the relationship challenged by local prejudices that view Mrs. Ali, Cambridge native, as a perpetual foreigner.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
by Betty Smith
A young girl from an impoverished family comes of age in Brooklyn at the turn of the 20th century.

Quicksilver
by Neal Stephenson
The exploits of an alchemy-rejecting scientist, a vagabond leader and a former Turkish harem prisoner intersect in the colonies, Tower of London and courts of Louis XIV.

Brat Farrar (MYSTERY)
by Josephine Tey
A stranger enters the inner sanctum of the Ashby family posing as Patrick Ashby, heir to the family’s sizable fortune. The stranger, Brat Farrar, has been carefully coached on every detail of Patrick’s life up until his 13th year when he disappeared. Can he pull it off or will he lose his life?

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
by Hannah Tinti
A once-professional killer protects his daughter from the legacy of his criminal past, an effort that is challenged by his daughter's struggles with the death of her mother and the reckoning of old enemies.

A Bitter Truth (MYSTERY)
by Charles Todd
Bess Crawford, a WWI battlefield nurse returns to London for Christmas leave, and finds her holiday fraught with mystery and murder when she agrees to help a bruised and battered woman return to her small Sussex village.

A Confederacy of Dunces
by John Kennedy Toole
A fat New Orleans misanthrope who constantly rebukes society, Ignatius Reilly, gets a job at his mother's urging but ends up leading a workers' revolt.

Angelology
by Danielle Trussoni
Having entered a convent at a young age, Sister Evangeline discovers a letter from famous philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller that reveals an ancient conflict between an angel society Evangeline is destined to join and the human descendants of the Nephilim.

The Submission
by Amy Waldman
Selected for a jury that must choose an appropriate memorial for September 11 victims, Claire Harwell struggles to navigate a media firestorm when the winning designer is revealed as an enigmatic Muslim-American. An NPR 10 Best Novel of 2011.

A Presumption of Death  (MYSTERY)
by Jill Paton Walsh
Drawing on the events of "The Wimsey Papers," a tale set during the Blitz in 1940 London finds Lord Peter conducting secret business for the Foreign Office, while Harriet, caring for the family, is shocked by the murder of a young Land Girl.

Starfish (SCIENCE FICTION)
by Peter Watts
Attempting to exploit the geothermal energy of the deepest rifts in the Pacific Ocean, a group of volunteers journey to an ocean-floor experimental base, where their psychoses become rampant and a deadly foe approaches from the deep.

A Handful of Dust
by Evelyn Waugh
Murderously urbane, it depicts the breakup of a marriage in the London gentry, where the errant wife suffers from terminal boredom, & becomes enamored of a social parasite and professional luncheon-goer.

Zone One
by Colson Whitehead
A pandemic has devastated the planet. The plague has sorted humanity into two types: the living and the living dead.

Doomsday Book (SCIENCE FICTION)
by Connie Willis
Journeying back to the year 1320, 21st century Oxford woman Kivrin arrives during the outbreak of a deadly epidemic.

Leaving Everything Most Loved (MYSTERY)
by Jacqueline Winspear
When the body of an Indian woman is found in a south London canal, Maisie Dobbs is asked to investigate, a task that takes her into a dangerous, and unexpected, exotic world.

John Dies at the End
by David Wong
A full-length tale based on the cult online serial finds an increasing number of people changed into threatening inhuman creatures by a hallucinogen, a situation that places the fate of the world in the hands of a pair of anti-heroes.