The Little Red Chairs

Dark yet beautiful, far reaching but still intimate, and being hailed as O'Brien's masterpiece, this is a powerful novel about migration and reinvention, small lives and big issues. Marvelous for book groups, and my book of the year.

The Little Red Chairs Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780316378239
Availability: Hard to Find--Contact us for more info
Published: Little, Brown and Company - March 29th, 2016


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The Fires of Autumn (Vintage International) Cover Image
By Irene Nemirovsky, Sandra Smith (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781101872277
Availability: It's Complicated--Contact us for more info
Published: Vintage - March 17th, 2015

The Fires of Autumn is one of bestselling author Irène Némirovsky’s later works; first published in France in 1957, many years after her death at Auschwitz. In this novel she tells the story of idealistic young Bernard Jacquelain, who fought in World War I only to return home to Paris a changed man. Estranged from those around him, and desperate to achieve success, he moves into a world of excess and corruption.


Signs Preceding the End of the World

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Signs Preceding the End of the World Cover Image
By Yuri Herrera, Lisa Dillman (Translator)
ISBN: 9781908276421
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: And Other Stories - March 10th, 2015

If you start highlighting what stuns you about Yuri Herrara’s debut novel in English, Signs Preceding the End of the World, every page will be mottled with fluorescent lines. Herrera writes in prose that feels like you are standing on both sides of the uncanny valley while something beautiful happens below and above you, creating a delectable unease, cut through with the simple joy of precise and surprising images. Herrara will draw the obvious comparisons to Roberto Bolano, but Signs Preceding the End of World should also find a should also find a home next to Jesse Ball and Italo Calvino.




West of Sunset

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West of Sunset Cover Image
ISBN: 9780670785957
Availability: It's Complicated--Contact us for more info
Published: Viking - January 13th, 2015

This book beautifully walks the fine line between historical fiction and biography. It depicts Fitzgerald's troubled and frustrating last years in Hollywood, struggling against being a has-been and desperately trying to get work to pay for Zelda's sanitarium and their daughter Scottie's education, all while dealing with his own alcoholism and trying to live a "normal" life with his mistress Sheila Graham. Half of the literary and film worlds of the 1930s makes an appearance, and O'Nan intersperses flashbacks of Scott's and Zelda's lives for rich background and context.   


Us : A Novel

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Us: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062365583
Availability: It's Complicated--Contact us for more info
Published: Harper - October 28th, 2014

I enjoyed this book so much that I tried to take my time finishing it in an attempt to make the pleasure last a little longer. I met with very limited success.  Douglas and Connie Peterson embark on a month long excursion in Europe with their almost adult son Albie.  Their marriage is shaky and Albie is chafing at the idea of another family trip especially one that seemingly has so much at stake.  If you liked Nicholls' previous book One Day or are a Jojo Moyes fan you are going to want to read this one.


A Replacement Life

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A Replacement Life: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062287878
Availability: It's Complicated--Contact us for more info
Published: Harper - June 3rd, 2014

A young journalist whose family and friends are all Russian Jewish immigrants living in Brooklyn gets roped into a scheme of writing (made-up) stories to submit to the committee that is awarding restitution claims to Holocaust survivors.  This debut novel is funny, intelligent and wonderfully written, exploring the mysterious bonds of family and the often obscure line between fiction and reality.


Lost for Words

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Lost for Words: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780374280291
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 20th, 2014

A highly entertaining, though sometimes excoriating, send up of a certain British literary award.  After failing to win the Mann Booker in 2006 for Mother's Milk, St Aubyn claimed to have been "relieved", he was then not even long listed for his follow up, At Last, despite protests from his many fans.  Lost for Words is a witty riposte and half the fun is trying to figure out St Aubyn's satirical targets. (thriller writer and ex MI5 head Stella Rimmington is the most obvious). It is both hilarious and somewhat bitter at the same time. I wonder what literary prize committees will do with this next year.... hmmm, tricky.

Susannah and Gary


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