Lionel Asbo: State of England, by Martin Amis
Although some major critics have not been kind to this book, the joke is ultimately on them. Amis's novel is a satiric look at the media's fascination with celebrity. The book's anti-hero, Lionel Asbo is an uncouth petty criminal who wins millions of pounds in the lottery. He becomes a "celebrity" over night, thanks to a gullible media. The book is hilarious, as you might expect but by the time it nears its end, the Amis offers up plenty of thoughtful moments.
The Orchardist, by Amanda Coplin
At the turn of the 20th century in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest, a gentle solitary orchardist, Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots. Then two feral, pregnant girls and armed gunmen set Talmadge on an irrevocable course not only to save and protect but to reconcile the ghosts of his own troubled past.
Office Girl, by Joe Meno
In the last months of the twentieth century, art school dropout Odile and her companion Jack, who spends his time capturing the sounds of the city on his out-of-date tape recorder, decide to start their own art movement. "The talented Chicago-based Meno has composed a gorgeous little indie romance, circa 1999 . . . A sweetheart of a novel, complete with a hazy ending." --Kirkus Reviews
The Twelve Rooms of the Nile, by Enid Shomer
Imagines shared encounters between Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert before their famous achievements, in a dramatic account inspired by their 1850 journey up the Nile during which they overcame considerable differences to forge a bond of intelligence, humor and passion.
We're flying : stories, by Peter Stamm ; translated from the German by Michael Hofmann
an anthology of stories that employ the acclaimed Swiss author's use of direct prose, deceptively simple narratives and deep psychological insights into the existential dilemmas of contemporary life.
Battleborn, by Claire Vaye Watkins
A debut collection of ten short works reimagines the mythology of the American West and includes stories of a foreigner's arrival at a prostitution ranch, a hermit's attempt to rescue an abused teen, and a woman's role in a friend's degrading Vegas encounter.