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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (2012)

Rachel Joyce’s first novel –  about a retired Englishman setting off to visit a dying colleague, Queenie Hennessy – sounds excessively sentimental, but it is an inspiring kind of book.  Harold’s need to reconnect with Queenie sends him on a wandertour up England, but his journey becomes one of self-discovery.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is a novel told with humor and charm leading to a powerful climax. I found it to contain insight into the thoughts and feelings we all carry (sometimes buried) within our hearts.

The story is so compelling it becomes a comic and tragic joy and I love it when I find a book that is this funny, wise and charming!
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Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub (2012)

Emma Straub’s debut novel brings the reader back to the golden age of Hollywood and the studios that ran the show. The novel follows Elsa Emerson’s transformation from a simple country girl to the glamorous Laura Lamont. Even though Laura changes her name and her hair, she isn’t able to completely break free of her roots. An enchanting novel that transports you back to old Hollywood and the glamor of the movie stars. Here is an interview with the author.
Check out Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures today.

 
 
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Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Hansen (2012)

Cathy Bailey’s new boyfriend seems almost too perfect to be true. Their “perfect” relationship quickly becomes a nightmare. A portrayal of obsession and recovery make this a can’t-put-down thriller to the last page.

Check out Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Hansen today.

Fables: Sons Of Empire by Bill Willingham (2007

Sons of Empire, the ninth volume of the Fables series, was perfectly balanced in terms of light-hearted and plot-heavy stories. Of particular note were the adorable 15 short comics based upon reader-submitted questions.

For more works by Bill Willingman check out these books.

A Bitter Truth by Charles Todd (2011)

Bess Crawford is a nursing sister in France during World War I, but she finds time during leave in England to become immersed with the secretive Ellis family and to take it upon herself to help solve a murder or two when she isn't tracking down a child who looks suspiciously like the long-deceased Ellis daughter.

Read A Bitter Truth by Charles Todd today.

Creole Belle by James Lee Burke (2012)

Gritty and graphic, James Lee Burke again deftly perpetuates his Dave Robicheaux series. Creole Belle explores the darkest corners of crime in Louisiana. Burke's true gift lies in his lyrical style. You can see the Spanish moss and smell the rotting bodies. His main characters are flawed creatures but, oh so interesting. Once I started reading, I savored the excitement and the over the top plot, which is Burke's signature style.

 

Masters of Atlantis by Charles Portis (1985)

By the author of True Grit, Masters of Atlantis is one of the funniest books I have read in years. The first few chapters are not very funny, but they lay the background for a lot of laugh-out-loud moments later on in the book. Read more books by Charles Portis.
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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (2008)

What a charming story written by Mary Ann Shaffer! Written as a series of letters written between the characters, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society is set in 1944 in London and the island Guernsey at the end of WWII. The characters survived the war under diverse circumstances, creating a story about characters you really care about.

If you enjoy reading about life during WWII here is a list of novels set in during this time period.

Mad River Road by Joy Fielding (2006)

An evil man just released from prison and obsessed with getting revenge on his ex-wife. A misguided young woman who thinks she has finally met the man of her dreams. A woman and her young son living in fear in Ohio. Blend these all together and you’ll have a suspenseful thriller that is guaranteed to keep you up late into the night. A well-written story. I was sorry to see it come to an end.

Check out Mad River Road by Joy Fielding today.

Equal of the Sun by Anita Amirrezvani (2012)

Equal of the Sun is a fascinating tale that will truly transport you to another time and place… an aspect of historical fiction that I especially enjoy. Author Anita Amirrezvani transports us to 16th century Iran for a story which is both political intrigue and a moving portrait.

The novel is based for the most part on the life of Princess Pari Khan Khanoom, who assumes control of late-16th-century Iran after the sudden death of her father, the Shah. Despite the chaos, Pari manages to bring peace to the kingdom with the aid of Javaher, a eunuch and trusted political adviser.

I think you will enjoy reading about the incredible history of the Iranians. Check out our list of other Novels Based on Real People.

For more about the book visit the author’s website.

 

Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick (2012)

Robert Goolrick, author of A Reliable Wife, just keeps getting better. This Gothic novel, set in a tiny village in Virginia in 1948, reveals the dark obsessive love of the town's strange newcomer for the wife of the town's richest and nastiest man. Off stage, but still caught up in this story, is an eleven-year-old boy, who takes a lifetime to understand what happened.

Goolrick captures the hypocrisy of the town's churchmen and their power over the people. All the characters become entangled in the dilemma. More importantly Goolrick intrigues us with intricate and hypnotic delineation of his characters, making us wonder, "How much control do we really have in our lives?"

Check out Heading Out to Wonderful today.

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (2009)

The author of The Time Traveler's Wife goes ghostly this time around. Two generations of identical twins pay a high price for the almost unimaginably intertwined lives they develop while growing up and cling to into adulthood

The story, set largely in London, is full of interesting supporting characters and moves along at a good pace. Niffenegger thanks author Neil Gaiman and her portrayal of various ghostly presences in the story owes quite a bit to his The Graveyard Book.
Read Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger today.
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The Luxe by Anna Godbersen (2007)

The Luxe really held my interest from beginning to end. The story centers around Elizabeth and Diana Holland during the late 19th century. When financial ruin creeps onto this formerly rich family, things begin to go out of control. Within the first chapter, you find out Elizabeth has died, days before her marriage to wealthy bachelor Henry Shoonmaker, and there are many suspicious suspects.

Read this beautiful novel to find out what happened to Elizabeth Holland, and the intricate love stories she finds herself entangled in. It’s the first book in a series by Anna Godbersen.
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An Isolated Incident by Susan R. Sloan (1998)

Interesting page turner set in the Pacific Northwest - a popular high school teacher is arrested for the murder of one of his students. Police have worked for months to catch a suspect, but do they have the right man? This novel explores how quickly hatred and bigotry can destroy a person's life. A good mystery.

Check out An Isolated Incident by Susan R. Sloan.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (2012)

I just finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn...it was the best book I have read in a LONG time. This captivating story unfolds in alternating chapters. A woman disappears from her home on the morning of her 5th wedding anniversary and her husband is the prime suspect. The truth is revealed in a tale with twist and turns up until the very end. This book kept me turning pages long into the night! I highly recommend it!