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METROPOLIS

One of our recommended books is Metropolis by B.A. Shapiro

The New York Times bestselling author of The Art Forger delivers a spellbinding and moving novel about what we hang on to, what we might need to let go, and how unexpected events can lead us to deeper truths.

Six people, six secrets, six different backgrounds. They would never have met if not for their connection to the Metropolis Storage Warehouse in Cambridge, Massachusetts. When someone falls down an elevator shaft at the facility, each becomes caught up in an intensifying chain of events.

We meet Serge, an unstable but brilliant street photographer who lives in his storage unit,

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BENEFIT

One of our recommended books is Benefit by Siobhan Phillips

Laura, a student from a modest background, escapes her small town to join the ranks of the academic elite on a Weatherfield fellowship to study at Oxford University. She enthusiastically throws herself into her coursework, yet she is never able to escape a feeling of unease and dislocation among her fellow chosen “students of promise and ambition.”

Years later, back in the United States with a PhD and dissertation on Henry James, she loses her job as an adjunct professor and reconnects with the Weatherfield Foundation. Commissioned to write a history for its centennial, she becomes obsessed by the Gilded Age origins of the Weatherfield fortune,

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STRIKE PATTERNS

One of our recommended books is Strike Patterns by Leah Zani

A strike pattern is a signature of violence carved into the land—bomb craters or fragments of explosives left behind, forgotten. In Strike Patterns, poet and anthropologist Leah Zani journeys to a Lao river community where people live alongside such relics of a secret war. With sensitive and arresting prose, Zani reveals the layered realities that settle atop one another in Laos—from its French colonial history to today’s authoritarian state—all blown open by the war. This excavation of postwar life’s balance between the mundane, the terrifying, and the extraordinary propels Zani to confront her own explosive past.

From 1964 to 1973,

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MEANT TO BE

One of our recommended books is Meant to Be by Jo Knowles

Ivy loves living in Applewood Heights. The family’s apartment is tiny, and her older sister, Rachel, won’t stop grumbling about sharing a room after their old house was lost to foreclosure. But for the first time, Ivy has friends. Lucas and Alice live close by, and every week all three watch their favorite cooking show and practice baking together (even if Ivy has to find creative substitutes for the pricey ingredients). But Ivy is a worrier, and this summer there’s plenty to be anxious about. Her parents can’t wait to move to a bigger, nicer place, which is the last thing Ivy wants.

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NOT EVERYBODY LIVES THE SAME WAY

One of our recommended books is Not Everybody Lives the Same Way by Jean-Paul Dubois

Paul Hansen is in prison. He’s been in this prison on the outskirts of Montreal for a couple of years now, sharing a cell with a murderous Hells Angel who often reminds Paul that he could kill him at any moment. What did Paul do to end up here? And why does he jeopardize his life and release by refusing to show remorse?

Before prison, there were his parents. There were his friends at the Excelsior, the luxury apartment complex where Paul worked as caretaker as well as restorer of souls and comforter of the afflicted. And there was his partner,

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ACTIVITIES OF DAILY LIVING

One of our recommended books is Activities of Daily Living by Lisa Hsiao Chen

A searching, sharply observed debut novel on the interconnection between work and life, loneliness and kinship, and the projects that occupy our time.

How do we take stock of a life—by what means, and by what measure? This is the question that preoccupies Alice, a Taiwanese immigrant in her late thirties. In the off-hours from her day job, Alice struggles to create a project about the enigmatic downtown performance artist Tehching Hsieh and his monumental, yearlong 1980s performance pieces. Meanwhile, she becomes the caretaker for her aging stepfather, a Vietnam vet whose dream of making traditional Chinese furniture dissolved in alcoholism and dementia.

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