Working in a library, I try to read a wide variety of books – romance books, graphic novels, memoirs, young adult fiction, fantasy and popular non-fiction titles. But my one true love is contemporary literary fiction. A coworker once remarked to me that I didn’t like reading novels by authors who weren’t alive. Yep. Give me Jhumpa Lahiri over Jane Austen any day.
But I assume like a lot of readers I get stuck in a rut and go long periods of time without being excited about the fiction I am reading. This fall might be the answer to all my book desires. Four of my top ten favorite authors have new books coming out!
Michael Chabon wrote one of my all-time favorites and former One Book One Bloomington title, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. His newest, Telegraph Avenue is out this week. It tells the tale of a used record shop and the two friends who are co-owners. Spouses and children complicate the story as well as a mega-store moving in down the street. Set in Northern California in 2004, Chabon explores parenthood, family, music, and the American Dream.
The premise is simple. Wealthy doctor, Richard invites his estranged sister, Angela, her unemployed husband and their three children to share a vacation house in the Welsh countryside knowing she cannot pay for a trip on their own. Joining Richard is his new wife and her willful teenage daughter. Their trip initially brims with the hope of forgiveness and family bonding, all nicely tucked away in a cozy modern pastoral setting. But secrets, resentments, pain and confusion – both old and new – follow everyone. The complicated dynamics of this family and their often awkward attempts to set things right are at the crux of this novel. Can’t we all relate? Being in a family is hard.
Local author Michael Koryta’s new book isn’t coming out until August 7 but you can already place a hold in our catalog. The Prophet is a straight up thriller that stars two brothers, one as an upstanding high school football coach and the other as a fringe bail bondsman. The brothers are estranged after the devastating fallout resulting from the kidnapping and brutal murder of their sister many years earlier. When a similar murder happens, the brothers must learn to work together before the murderer strikes again.
Master thriller author Dennis Lehane says, "The Prophet is a relentless, heart-in-your-throat thriller about ordinary people caught in the middle of an extraordinary nightmare." And Kirkus reviews praises Koryta’s newest as "a brilliantly paced thriller that keeps its villains at a tantalizing distance, a compelling family portrait, a study in morality that goes beyond the usual black-and-white judgments, and an entertaining spin on classic football fiction. A flawless performance." Read more »
Part of offering library services is asking for, listening and responding to feedback from the community. One comment we hear often is that the wait is long for the new and popular materials. We hear ya. This spring, MCPL started offering a new feature called Best Seller Express in our Movies and Music department. Patrons who came to the Main library or Ellettsville were able to check out one brand new DVD. The catch is that they aren't holdable, you can't renew them and they only check out for three days. Despite these limitations, the new service has proven to be extremely popular. We've heard from patrons that they love coming to the library and seeing a DVD on the shelf that they might have been on a very long wait list for. Read more »
I admit to being a streaky reader and will often go through several books on the same subject over the course of a month or so. While not as exotic as reading books about bananas (What? Not exotic either? Well you get the point), I have lately been reading some excellent literary fiction.
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett I have read some critiques of this book that there are plot holes and lapses of logic. Upon reflection, I would have to agree with this, however it in no way changes my reading experience. I loved this book and was completely emotionally invested in the characters and outcome of this story. I both devoured the last pages, and didn't want the book to end.Read more »