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The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore

The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore (2004)
This is not a heart-warming story, nor is there any peace, miracles, or goodwill towards men. For those who are sick of sugary sweet Christmas stories, this nitty-gritty tale is a much needed counterpoint. There is an angel, and yes he does a stupid thing by losing his wings. But he is too busy trying to prevent this world from coming to an end. Quirky characters are a delight. Also try Moore’s other humorous novel Practical Demonkeeping.

Preview the book, read a review at Bookreporter.com, and visit the author's website.

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Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo

Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo (2007)Breakfast with Buddha has a simple plot and exposition: a middle-aged man, Otto Ringling, is tricked into driving Volya Rinpoche, his sister’s guru, across the country; but Merullo’s ability to create the spiritual aspects of the journey is remarkable.

Witty and at times really funny Breakfast with Buddha drives the reader through the heart of America (the journey from Notre Dame to Chicago was especially fun) and in the process shows us a man about to discover his own true heart.

Read more about the author, read an excerpt and view reviews at Amazon.com.

A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg

A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg (2004)
This was a short, quick, and delightful read. A wonderful book for the holidays! Overall, a real “pick me up” Christmas story.  If you are in the mood for more holiday stories, check our catalog for more titles.  See some of the recipes mentioned in Redbird at Good Morning America.

Go to Bookreporter.com to read reviews, an excerpt from the book and an interview with the author.
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Scat by Carl Hiaasen

Scat by Carl Hiaasen (2009)Scat is a book in the teen section which parents and grandparents should read and recommend to their children. Carl Hiaasen writes in the same style as he does in his adult fiction, but without the profanity. Adults will find this Florida environmental issue of the black panther very informative. Hiaasen’s quest continues to make his readers aware of environmental issues using interesting topics, writing style and suspense.

Read an excerpt from the book and read reviews at Amazon.com.

Still Life by Joy Fielding

Still Life by Joy Fielding (2009)
This is an interesting fictional tale about a young woman who is in a coma following a horrible hit-and-run accident. It turns out that maybe the hit-and-run wasn’t an accident at all. Very enjoyable!

Visit the author's website to read the first chapter or check out the publisher's site for a discussion guide.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (2003)
I really enjoyed this book. It has a good story line and well developed characters. I enjoyed learning about Afghanistan and its culture. Read more about the book and view a trailer for the movie. Read the reviews at Amazon.com and use the reading group guide.

Great Dream of Heaven by Sam Shepard

Great Dream of Heaven by Sam Shepard (2002)
Sam Shepard
, a world-renowned playwright, is also an excellent short story author. His collection, Great Dream of Heaven, is innovative, refreshing, fast moving, and brilliant. I found myself reading some of the stories out loud to my friends and family.  Great Dream of Heaven is a must read.

Read an excerpt from “The Remedy Man” at Random House’s website. See what the reviews say at Amazon.com.

The Cape Ann by Faith Sullivan

The Cape Ann by Faith Sullivan (1988)
Lark Erhardt is six years old in late 1930s small town Minnesota. Her father is the assistant agent at the local train depot. Lark and her parents live in a makeshift apartment attached to the depot. This is good enough for Mr. Erhardt, but Lark and her mother dream of the day they can build their dream house, the Cape Ann, torn from a book of house plans. Lark overhears the troubling relationship between her father and mother. She writes all of her "sins" down in a notebook in preparation for her First Communion, and she is there when her mother's sister goes through crises of her own.

This was an evocative and moving story about a young heroine you want very much to succeed. I am looking forward to reading more of Lark's life in the sequel, Gardenia.

Join us for a discussion of the book on Wednesday, December 9 at 7:30. Check out the reviews at Amazon.com and visit the author's website.

Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult

Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult (2009)
In this very sad but excellent story, Jodi Picoult tells of the heartache a family suffers in caring for their disabled daughter. It grabs you from the very first chapter. Bring some tissues along.

Read the reviews at Amazon.com and visit the author's website to read an excerpt or a synopsis and find discussion questions.

A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell

A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell (2009)
Hannah Vogel is a crime reporter in Berlin in 1931. While visiting the police for news tips, she sees a photograph of her brother's dead body on the wall of the unknown dead. For reasons of her own, Hannah does not tell the police about her brother but investigates her brother's death herself, putting her own life in jeopardy. This is one of the current crop of books that uses Germany between the two world wars as the setting for a crime novel.

Watch the trailer and read more about the author. Check out the reviews at Amazon.com.

Life with Strings Attached by Minnie Lamberth

Life with Strings Attached by Minnie Lamberth (2005)
Life with Strings Attached, Minnie Lamberth's first novel, is the winner of the Paraclete Press Award for Fiction. It is graced with strong writing and a decidedly southern charm. Set in Evergreen, Alabama, in the summer of 1972 seven-year-old Hannah Hayes is concerned with keeping her beagle Pumpkin free from the bad influences of the neighbor's dog and convincing the adults in her life that she is called to be her community's first girl preacher. Told with humor and insight this story is not sentimental, but is an authentic tale of growing up. It held me right up to the end!

Read reviews at Amazon.com and visit the author's website.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (2009)
Libby Day was seven when she testified that her brother murdered their family in a brutal rampage. Years later, she begins to question her recollection and sets out to uncover the truth. A can't-put-down read!

Listen to the author talk about her first book Sharp Objects, read reviews at Amazon.com and visit the author's website.

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (2003)
I loved this novel about the Gonguli family – who left their home in India in the late 1960s to begin a new life in America. It’s a story not only about the immigrant experience, but also about the family ties that bind us all. Beautifully written.

Come join the Novel Idea book discussion of this title on Wednesday, October 14 at 7:30.

Read an interview with the author, preview the book, and explore a reading guide to the book.

Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani

Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani (2009)
A light but very entertaining book for a beach or trip read, especially if you've been or are going to Italy. Valentine, raised in a true Italian family, lives with her aging grandmother as they try to keep their family business (a high-end Italian shoe designer/ manufacturer) up and running. Love enters in for both Valentine and grandma and the ending has a twist. Chick lit, maybe, but I truly enjoyed it!

Read an excerpt and review at Bookreporter.com and visit the author's website.

The Four Corners of the Sky by Michael Malone

The Four Corners of the Sky by Michael Malone (2009)
Twenty-seven year old Annie Goode, a Navy pilot, returns to her North Carolina home for her birthday just in time for a twister to hit and her long lost father Jack to contact her and beg her to fly his old plane to St. Louis. Jack is always one step ahead of the law and an accomplished con man, so Annie is reluctant to follow his wishes, except that he holds out to Annie her own one greatest wish--the name of her father. This is a picaresque adventure complete with Cuban mobsters, the FBI, handsome Miami cops, and an elusive golden statue called The Queen of the Sea. Maybe a bit long, but if you enter into the story, well worth the time.

Preview an excerpt at NPR, check out the Washington Post's review, and read an interview with the author.