fiction

"The Dinner" by Herman Koch

Vita's picture

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

Vita's picture

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

Vita's picture

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.

Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne in Gone Girl

Jen's picture

Yes, it's true; David Fincher has adapted Gillian Flynn's bestselling thriller Gone Girl into a film starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. Filming has started and 20th Century Fox posted a pic of Ben in character as Nick Dunne on their twitter account. The film is scheduled to hit theaters in October 2014. For more info, see the article on CNN's The Marquee Blog

The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles

Jen's picture

If you're looking for something to brighten your dreary winter day, pick up Pancol's first English-translated novel. The plot revolves around two sisters - Iris, a glamorous, rich attorney's wife and her plain Jane, bookish sister Jo. The story begins when Jo's husband empties their joint savings account and leaves her for his manicurist, who he runs off to farm crocodiles with in Kenya. Jo is left to pick up the pieces of her life and raise her two daughters, Zoe and Hortense, on the meager salary she makes as a 12th century scholar. Iris and Jo hatch the perfect scheme - Jo will write a medieval historical novel that Iris will take the credit for, thus giving Jo the money she needs and Iris the fame she craves. As in life, things don't go quite as planned and hilarity ensues. It's chick lit done up en Francais; humorous, quite charming and perfect to curl up on the couch with and escape to bright, sunny Paris, if only for a few hundred pages.  

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathon Tropper

Catie's picture

No one is more surprised than Judd Foxman when his father passes away.  Not so much by the death, but by the nonreligious patriarch’s last wish to have the family sit Shiva, a Jewish tradition that requires his mother and siblings to spend an entire week together under one roof.  This wouldn’t be so bad if Judd’s family wasn’t so dysfunctional.  As this group of unique characters are forced to spend time together old wounds are brought to surface and they are made to deal with issues they would have rather continued to ignore.  The only family member not present is Judd’s wife who has been openly having an affair.  As Judd unwillingly reconnects with his family and struggles to deal with the reality of his deteriorating marriage what results is a novel full of biting, albeit slightly dark humor with realizations about family life and love.  

Have you read the Goodreads Choice Award Winners?

Caitlin's picture

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

Caitlin's picture

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

Caitlin's picture

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.

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