Category Archives: General Fiction

Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa

Title: Mornings in Jenin

Title: Susan Abulhawa

Call #:  ABU

The story of a Palestinian family’s struggle to survive after they are driven from their ancestral lands following the end of World War II and the formation of the modern state of Israel. Heart-wrenching.

Recommended by: Bobbie

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Title: Night Film

Author: Marisha Pessl

Call #: PESSL

This is the story of Scott McGrath, a journalist whose entire career was trashed when he falsely accused the [fictional] cult horror film maker, Cordova, of evil things. When Cordova’s daughter turns up dead, McGrath is drawn back into the filmmaker’s world. But when you are trying to solve the murder of the daughter of a highly secretive man, whose entire life has been spent creating dark, disturbing, movie masterpieces, things do not follow the straight line of a basic mystery novel. Night Film is part mystery, part psychological suspense, and part horror movie. In fact, I loved how the entire book was written in an uneasy and unsteady tone that never lets up. And, if you are looking for a closed ending, stop reading this recommendation right now because you aren’t getting one here.

Recommended by: Becky

The Virtues of War by Steven Pressfield

Title: The Virtures of War

Author: Steven Pressfield         

Call #:  PRE

This first-person memoir of Alexander the Great brings to the reader a highly-researched and historically accurate reckoning of the ancient past. Most enjoyable of all, is the impressive way in which the personal character and thinking of Alexander is presented. What kind of a person would think that he could conquer the world? What kind of a person would want to? Alexander was the best military thinker of his or any age. The charismatic arrogance and visionary brilliance of the man come across in wonderful battle scenes, colorful legends, and brutal facts of history. This is one of the best Alexander novels ever written.    

Recommended by: John

The Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas

Title: The Oracle of Stamboul

Author: Michael David Lukas

Call #:  LUK

An eight-year old child prodigy travels to Istanbul as a stowaway and finds herself in a world of literature, knowledge and intrigue. She learns many languages, memorizes books at a glance and breaks codes with ease. She comes to the attention of powerful people who can use those talents. Her life, as she knows it, will change immeasurably.   

Recommended by: Betty

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

Title: The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

Author: Katherine Howe

Call #: HOW

Its 1991 in Marblehead, Massachusetts, Connie Goodwin finds a hidden key along with a piece of paper with the words ‘Deliverance Dane’ among her grandmothers possessions in her old abandon house in Salem. Working on her doctorate as a historian, Connie does some academic detective work researching the local archives and finds that Deliverance Dane was a local herbalist and wise woman who became a victim in the dark days of the Salem witch trials. This novel is slow-paced but engaging.

Recommended by: Connie

Ines of my Soul by Isabel Allende

Title: Ines of My Soul

Author: Isabel Allende

Call#: ALLENDE

This historically accurate novel fictionalizes the story of the Spanish conquerors of Chile in the 1500s. Ines Suarez narrates the book in her old age looking back on her life that began as a seamstress in Spain, but wound up with her becoming the first Gobernadora of Chile. Ines relates the trials and jubilation, the hard times and the wonderful moments of establishing Santiago, Chile. Most of the novel is taken up with the story of Ines and her lover, Pedro Valdivia, the war hero, and their bloody struggles with the indigenous people of Chile. This is the story of Ines’ life, a chronicle of the founding of Chile, a comment on the price of “discovering” the New World, and a tale of the power of love.

Recommended by: Becky

The Maid by Kimberly Cutter

Title: The Maid

Author: Kimberly Cutter                

Call #:  CUT

A novelization of the story of Joan of Arc, the illiterate French peasant who, guided by visions of saints, led an army and overthrew the English invaders – only to be betrayed, condemned as a heretic, and burned at the stake.

Recommended by: Bobbie