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THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING

From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage—and a life, in good times and bad—that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.

A spare, lucid, and remarkably moving examination of the year following her husband’s sudden death just before their fortieth anniversary, The Year of Magical Thinking is the story of Didion’s search for answers, for relief, and above all for the chance to change the course of events.

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THE LOST NIGHT

“At about three thirty a.m on June 22, 1986, someone entered, through an unlocked sliding-glass door, my father’s house on the outskirts of the central California farming town where he had grown up. The intruder took a knife from the kitchen and stabbed my father as he lay sleeping next to his third wife.”

So begins Rachel Howard’s memoir about her father’s unsolved murder, which happened when she was just ten years old. But from the start The Lost Night is about something much deeper and more complex than justice. Writing more than 15 years after her father’s bizarre death,

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WHALE SEASON

Whale Season is a literary murder mystery in the tradition of Tom Robbins, about the quintessentially weird heart of Florida where sunburn is the only thing you can be sure of. Set in Whale Harbor, a town that has no whales, it is the story of Leon Pettit, an RV Salesman who once loved a one-ton alligator, but has a lot of trouble with non lizard-like women. One Christmas Eve, Leon is visited by a man who thinks he’s Jesus and claims to be looking for a game of poker. But, as usual, things are not quite what they seem.

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MARCH

One of our recommended books is March by Geraldine Brooks

As the North reels under a series of unexpected defeats during the dark first year of the Civil War, one man leaves behind his family to aid the Union cause. His experiences will utterly change his marriage and challenge his most ardently held beliefs. Riveting and elegant as it is meticulously researched, March is an extraordinary novel woven out of the lore of American history by the author of the international bestseller Year of Wonders.

From Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic Little Women, Geraldine Brooks has taken the character of the absent father,

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WHEN MADELINE WAS YOUNG

Jane Hamilton, award-winning author of The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World, is back in top form with a richly textured novel about a tragic accident and its effects on two generations of a family.

When Aaron Maciver’s beautiful young wife, Madeline, suffers brain damage in a bike accident, she is left with the intellectual powers of a six-year-old. In the years that follow, Aaron and his second wife care for Madeline with deep tenderness and devotion as they raise two children of their own.

Narrated by Aaron’s son,

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ON BEAUTY

One of our recommended books is On Beauty by Zadie Smith

On Beauty, Zadie Smith’s third novel, is both a tribute to and a riff on English novelist E. M. Forster’s Howards End, updated as an exploration of the politics of contemporary life. In a book as bold and funny as it is precise and insightful, Smith applies her dazzling powers of description to a middle-class family in the United States. The Belseys are based at a fictional college called Wellington, where earthy African American Kiki, abstract—and English—Howard, and their three searching children seem the picture of modern liberal success. Yet in spite of their outward harmony and privilege,

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