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This Week's Recommendations

A Spy Among Friends

Ben Macintyre

Riveting! A Spy Among Friends chronicles the incredible career of Kim Philby: British gentleman, M16 officer, husband, father, friend--and Soviet spy. With his trademark impeccable research and a flair for the humorous as well as the dramatic, Ben Macintyre tells a fascinating story culminating in a betrayal both political and personal.


A New York Times Notable Book of 2014

A Replacement Life

Boris Fishman

A sharp, darkly funny debut novel.  Irreverent but loving, I loved it and I missed the characters for days after finishing it.  If you love the novels of Nicole Krauss, Gary Shteyngart, and Jonathan Safran Foer, this book is for you.  Beautifully written and beautifully told.


A New York Times Notable Book of 2014

All the Birds Singing

Evie Wyld

Rare is the novel that is both beautifully written and a suspenseful page-turner.  Loved it!!


A New York Times Notable Book of 2014

The Ghost of the Mary Celeste

Valerie Martin

“I must go down to the sea again, to the lovely sea and the sky . . . “  This wonderful novel is a seafaring tale in the best tradition.  Highly recommended!


The UnAmericans

Molly Antopol

This exceptionally strong collection of stories observes characters who inhabit the Old Country, Israel, and the United States while never feeling quite at home.  Antopol is an elegant and perceptive writer who will surprise and delight you.


Boy, Snow, Bird

Helen Oyeyemi

Snow White meets Toni Morrison meets Sylvia Plath. This beautifully written novel recounts an unsettling version of the fairy tale that touches on questions of race, beauty, identity, and morality.


The Blazing World

Siri Hustvedt

The only way to get me to read a novel about the '90s-'00s New York modern art scene is to make it fearlessly philosophical, intensely personal, and very, very angry. Actually, this is the book that inspired these criteria (there were no previous criteria, only "No"). It's not only intelligent but clever, framing the fictional story as a nonfictional endeavor constructed from multiple points of view. This appeals to my inner narratologist; in addition to its emotional and philosophical brilliance, The Blazing World is a masterpiece of technique.

Mrs. Queen Takes the Train

William Kuhn

The Queen goes AWOL. The Palace goes berserk. You will go wild for this delightful, fun read.

~ Marion

The Silent Wife

A.S.A. Harrison

You should feel bad about rooting for “the silent wife” in this dark story of a marriage gone sour -- but you won’t.  You know who dies by page 2, but that won’t stop you from anxiously and breathlessly turning the pages.  Great book for an airplane - time will fly!


Famous Writers I Have Known

James Magnuson

Hilarious and touching.  Required reading for anyone with an MFA or even contemplating one.