fiction

Have you read the Goodreads Choice Award Winners?

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Last week, Goodreads announced the Goodreads Choice Award winners for 2014. These awards–covering everything from Humor to Memoir to Picture Books–reflect the popular vote of the website's 30 million members across 20 different categories. Four hundred books were nominated and 20 were chosen. Have you read them all?

  • Fiction: Landline, Rainbow Rowell
  • Mystery & Thriller: Mr. Mercedes, Stephen King
  • Historical Fiction: All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
  • Fantasy: The Book of Life, Deborah Harkness
  • Romance: Written In My Own Heart's Blood, Diana Gabaldon
  • Science Fiction: The Martian, Andy Weir

Check out the other winners on Goodreads!

High-Rise by JG Ballard

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In a gleaming new high-rise building on the outskirts of London, the inhabitants have everything they need to live comfortable, pampered lives: two indoor pools, an elegant restaurant, a grocery store, a beauty parlor, a bank, even a rooftop park and a school. But violence lurks beneath the polished surface: when minor construction problems send a floor into darkness, riots erupt—leaving a dead dog floating in the swimming pool. In the weeks that follow, chaos rules, as the lower floors send raiding parties to assault the penthouse, and warring groups seize control of the elevators. A dark (and darkly funny) exploration of the animal passions that lie beneath the most civilized facades, this 1975 novel is being adapted into a 2015 movie directed by Ben Wheatley and starring Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, and Luke Evans.

Unsung Heroes: The Men and Women of the US Coast Guard

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On this day in 1915, Congress merged the Revenue Cutter Service and the U.S. Lifesaving Service to form the United States Coast Guard. On an average day, the Coast Guard conducts over 500 missions, including 109 Search and Rescue cases to assist 192 people in distress. They also seize over $9 million worth of illegal drugs and protect over $2.7 million in property. Read more about these brave men and women in these novels and true-life accounts.

"The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye" by Rachel Joyce

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Harold Fyre is retired, henpecked, and indifferent to life.  Then he receives a letter from a elderly friend who is dying.  Rather than mail her correspondence Harold decides to walk 600 miles to deliver his message in person.  His trek is peppered with fascinating characters who help unlock Harold's buried spirit and renew his sense of life. 

"Me before You: a novel" by Jojo Moyes

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Me before You is the story of Louisa Clark, and Will Traynor. “Lou” is a small town British girl, living with her zany family, and a waitress in a small Tea Shoppe. She answers an ad in the paper for a companion to a young man, and is hired for her likability and cheerfulness. Will, who was once a very active man, had an accident and is now a quadriplegic. His depression and sorrow are understood, but his mother would like him to live life in a different way. What follows is a combining of heart and soul, as these two unlikely people share their lives careening toward an unbelievable ending.

"The Hypnotist's Love Story" by Liane Moriarty

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The hypnotist has finally started dating someone that seems like he could be “the one.” He tells her on a date that he has a stalker and she finds herself fascinated rather than disturbed. This story is told from the point of view of two characters, one of whom is the stalker. The author has such a way with character development that it's easy to sympathize with the stalker and you find yourself liking her. Moriarty seems to be able to capture the most complicated of human emotions and motivations in a simple and accessible way. There are no black and white issues in her books and the truthfulness of that really shines through. This was a very enjoyable read.

"The Dinner" by Herman Koch

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It begins with dinner at a high-end restaurant in Amsterdam. Two brothers, Paul and Serge, and their wives meet to discuss their teenage sons. It is quickly apparent this is no ordinary discussion.  What have the cousins done? What is to be done about it? Slowly the tension builds and the reader becomes anxious as the story unfolds. The ending is a stunner!

Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons

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Mr. Rosenblum is a Jewish refugee who fled to England from Germany before the outbreak of WWII.  He longs to be accepted as a true Englishman.  As a profitable businessman, he buys the correct Savile Row suit, a Jaguar, and shops at Fortnum & Mason.  But his Jewish background prevents his membership into a golf club, for him the ultimate sign of an English gentleman.  In desperation he decides to build his own golf course which proves to be a greater endeavor than anticipated.  The character is exasperating at times, but heartwarming overall, especially when you learn the author is writing about her grandfather.

The Expats

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Kate Moore and her husband decide to accept a job offer in Luxemburg.   While her husband begins his new job and Kate spends more time with her children she must learn how to adjust to the daily life in a new country.  Kate begins to notice her husband’s suspicious behavior and also becomes suspicious of another American couple they have befriended.   As she begins to investigate she becomes nervous they are connected to her past.   Mystery lovers will enjoy this novel which keeps them guessing until the very end.

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