Joanna’s March Recommendation

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

this is where i leave youJoanna says:  “An amusing and, at moments, heart wrenching novel about four siblings who reunite to sit Shiva after their father passes away.  Recently made into a movie starring Jane Fonda, Jason Bateman, and Tina Fey.  Both are equally entertaining and worth checking out.”
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3 Similar Reads
While I’m Falling by Laura Moriarty – “Veronica Von Holten is about to learn just how badly life can spiral out of control. She’s already stressed by the demands of being a premed major when a series of bad decisions and her parents’ acrimonious divorce leave her dazed and confused.” – Library Journal
The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta – “One hundred people have disappeared from tiny Mapleton, New Jersey, in a Rapture-like event that has left the community visibly shaken.” – Booklist
The Vacationers by Emma Straub – “Celebrating their thirty-fifth anniversary and their daughter’s high-school graduation during a two-week vacation in Mallorca, Franny and Jim Post confront old secrets, hurts, and rivalries that reveal sides of themselves they try to conceal.” – Summary from catalog

Francisca’s February Recommendation

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

beautiful ruinsFrancisca says:  “I just read Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter and really enjoyed it.  The language is beautiful and vivid and I loved the juxtaposition of simple Italian life with the glamor of Hollywood.  The story intertwines the lives of several very different individuals over a 50 year period and is a page turner.  It also has a lovely message about life and making the most of what we are given.”

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3 Similar Reads

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan – “Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs confront their pasts in this powerful story about how rebellion ages, influence corrupts, habits turn to addictions, lifelong friendships fluctuate and turn, and how art and music have the power to redeem.” – Summary from catalog

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby – “Journalist Hornby’s very funny first novel has already hit the best-seller lists in London and with good reason. In a candid, engaging narrative voice, 35-year-old pop-music fanatic Rob, the owner of a vintage record shop who has just broken up with his longtime girlfriend, attempts to ease his misery by giving an account of his top-five most memorable split-ups.” – Booklist (note:  a film adaptation starring John Cusack is also available via the SWAN network)

The Inn at Lake Devine by Elinor Lipman – “In 1962 the Marx family of liberal Newton, Massachusetts, is politely discouraged from vacationing at a placid Vermont resort by a thinly veiled response to the innocent inquiry about accommodations, stating that the ‘guests who feel most comfortable here, and return year after year, are Gentiles.’ Experiencing her first taste of overt anti-Semitism, 13-year-old Natalie Marx becomes instantly obsessed with the Inn at Lake Devine and the seemingly bigoted family that owns and operates it.” – Booklist

Victoria’s October Recommendation

Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer

This tells the story of a mother and wife and career woman who quits her job due to illness, and decides that she will commit suicide in five days, so she spends her time saying goodbyes.

Here is the official description:

‘Mara Nichols, a terminally ill career woman, wife, and mother, and Scott Coffman, a middle-school teacher whose eight-year-old foster son is about to return to his former inmate mother, traverse the last five days they have to say goodbye to their loved ones.”

3 Similar Reads

The Sea by John Banville – Following the death of his wife, Max Morden retreats to the seaside town of his childhood summers, where his own life becomes inextricably entwined with the members of the vacationing Grace family.  – Novelist

Little Bird of Heaven by Joyce Carol Oates – This book is similar because it also deals with family and how to deal with loss. After a murder, there are two suspects, and the children of the suspects are out to determine who the real killer is.

Death With Interruptions by Jose Saramago – This book explores the question, what if you couldn’t die? At first, people are very excited to live forever, but they must figure out how to take care of people who are eternally sick, and many other complications.

Sara’s March Recommendation

The Kid Table by Andrea Seigel

thekidtable“This book was funny, well written, and true to life. It’s a hilarious insight into life and all the debilitating psychoses you might develop along the way. This book would make an amazing movie, it’s almost a screenplay already. You’re welcome Sony or 21st Century Fox!” – Sara

Explores the quirky dynamics in an extended family full of close-knit cousins who both help and hinder each other as they celebrate holidays and momentous occasions together. – swan catalog

3 Similar Recommendations

Slam by Nick Hornby

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

Francisca’s November Recommendation

The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson

the family fang“Annie and Buster Fang have spent most of their adult lives trying to distance themselves from their famous artist parents, Caleb and Camille. But when a bad economy and a few bad personal decisions converge, the two siblings have nowhere to turn but their family home. Reunited under one roof for the first time in more than a decade and surrounded by the souvenirs of their unusual upbringing, Buster and Annie are forced to confront not only their creatively ambitious parents, but the chaos and confusion of their childhood.

Written with tremendous heart, wit, and honesty, Kevin Wilsons The Family Fang is a “comedy, a tragedy, and a tour de force….The best single-word description would be genius” (Ann Patchett, bestselling author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder).” – Summary

3 Similar Titles

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

The Elephant Keeper’s Children by Peter Hoeg

How Should A Person Be? by Sheila Heti

Mary Ann’s November Recommendation

The Red House by Mark Haddon
the red houseThe set-up of Mark Haddon’s brilliant new novel is simple: Richard, a wealthy doctor, invites his estranged sister Angela and her family to join his for a week at a vacation home in the English countryside. Richard has just re-married and inherited a willful stepdaughter in the process; Angela has a feckless husband and three children who sometimes seem alien to her. The stage is set for seven days of resentment and guilt, a staple of family gatherings the world over.But because of Haddon’s extraordinary narrative technique, the stories of these eight people are anything but simple. Told through the alternating viewpoints of each character, The Red House becomes a symphony of long-held grudges, fading dreams and rising hopes, tightly-guarded secrets and illicit desires, all adding up to a portrait of contemporary family life that is bittersweet, comic, and deeply felt. As we come to know each character they become profoundly real to us. We understand them, even as we come to realize they will never fully understand each other, which is the tragicomedy of every family.

The Red House is a literary tour-de-force that illuminates the puzzle of family in a profoundly empathetic manner — a novel sure to entrance the millions of readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. – Publisher Summary

3 Similar Reads
Ask Again Later by Jill Davis
True to Form by Elizabeth Berg
The Position by Meg Wolitzer

Susie’s October Recommendation

The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Created a Dynasty  by Willie Robertson

duck commander family“I found it quite interesting.   It is a unique family  with good values.” – Susie

“Presents a behind-the-scenes look at the Roberston family, documenting the teenage romance and marriage of Willie and Korie Robertson, their success as a multi-million dollar hunting equipment business, and their rise to stardom on reality television.” – Summary

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