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Fiction Picks for Father's Day

Books: 
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The Cactus League: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374117948
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - February 4th, 2020

You don’t have to be a baseball devotee to become engaged by the characters that populate this debut novel set in Scottsdale, Arizona, where spring training for baseball’s minor Cactus League Los Angeles Lions takes place. Despite the setting, it’s the action off the field that is the heart of this book. Each of nine chapters focuses on a different character, some of them on or connected with the Lions Team, and others permanent residents of Scottsdale with loose ties to the team. The link in all of the stories is the team’s star outfielder, Jason Goodyear, who is having a particularly bad year. These stories, each involving a struggle or challenge of some sort, are most artfully and very gradually woven together to form a novel that will tug at your heartstrings. And in a perfect and prescient ending, Jason, after performing a true heroic act of redemption, tells an injured child to “hang on,” and the sportswriter whose musings are interspersed throughout the book, observes, “…goddamn it if his words couldn’t have been meant for himself, if they couldn’t have been meant for us all.” Indeed, hang on everyone. —Jeanne


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Moonglow: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062225566
Availability: Not at store. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - September 19th, 2017

A journey down memory lane, told from the author’s point of view during an interview with his dying grandfather. Chabon has a knack at the slow unveil, and I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir-disguised-as-a-novel after I finished it. It reminds me of one of my favorite lines: “In the end, we are all stories.” Chabon does his family proud in deciding how to frame his particular family’s story (tragic circumstances and all). —Mike


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Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780060885618
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - November 27th, 2012

This novel is the Catch-22 of this century (I intend this to be the highest of praise)—the quintessential war novel that captures with humor, irony, and pathos the absurdity and the horror of war. And incredibly Fountain does this not by setting his novel on the battlefields of Iraq, but in Texas, where Billy and the other survivors of a brutal Iraqi raid are making their final appearance of a publicity tour orchestrated by the Army, at the 2004 Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day NFL game. This is an absolutely brilliant setting in which to contrast these traumatized soldiers who signed up for duty because it seemed to be the best option and whose return to active duty in Iraq is imminent, with the fur and cashmere clad privileged folk who populate the suites at the NFL game. Fountain runs with it and dark hilarity ensues. He is at his best capturing hypocrisy and the absurd, but also the bond these soldiers share. And with extraordinary prescience he brings the very issues that increasingly divide our country today in sharp focus in this amazing, unforgettable book. —Jeanne


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Little Faith: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062469724
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - October 29th, 2019

Two things work really well in Nickolas Butler’s latest book: Pacing, and tone. Anyone who enjoys a well-told, accessible story that also packs a philosophical punch, this is for you. Butler’s novel spoke to me — I felt connected to it, like I knew these characters, I knew this region, I knew this kind of conflict.   A powerful, moving story. —Mike


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Weather: A novel Cover Image
$23.95
ISBN: 9780385351102
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - February 11th, 2020

The thing about living in our contemporary moment is that it feels like the sky is falling down around us but we all still have to go to work every day. If I needed to pick a book that perfectly encapsulates this feeling, it’s WEATHER. Written in pithy vignettes, Lizzie’s astute observations of her work and family while the world seemingly inches towards apocalypse are filled with sadnesses, small joys, and interactions that point out exactly how complicated it is to be a person in our world. Offill’s writing is brilliant and often obliquely really, really funny; there are lines in this book so perfectly pointed that I had to stop to read them again to myself. I couldn’t put this odd little novel down, and ultimately it gets at the heart of what’s worth fighting for in this world: “All these people. I have so many people, you wouldn’t believe it. —Kelsey


Warlight (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780525562962
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - April 2nd, 2019

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Desert Boys: Fiction Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250141019
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - January 9th, 2018

The desert, like the past, can be a thorny and sometimes serpentine place for people to live; in the interweaving stories throughout Desert Boys, debut author Chris McCormick offers a stirring examination of those who live, leave, and—in the case of protagonist Daley Kushner—return. With McCormick’s smart, witty prose and equally gratifying storytelling, we are offered a refreshing, nuanced, and much more complicated take on the stereotypical male coming-of-age tale. It is an unforgettable kaleidoscope of not just childhood friendship and the small-town American West, but, seemingly, anyone’s nostalgic, binary star quandary of simultaneously loathing and longing for the past. Desert Boys is an unforgettable, startling debut by the talented and skilled McCormick — one that will surely gain him a loyal and career-long mainstream following. It will resonate with those who have sought identity in far-away places, only to find it lurking in one’s own rattlesnake-filled childhood backyard. —Mike


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Ill Will: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780345476050
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - January 9th, 2018

There’s something I love about reading utterly grim books in the middle of Summertime; curling up in the sun, filling your mind with darkness, while the sensory pillars of Summer flicker against your reading brain.  Let’s first establish here that ILL WILL is a complete masterpiece.  Dan Chaon’s many multiple storylines solidifying around an unsolved murder from the past, and the potentially connected drownings of inebriated college-aged men in the present is transfixing, and brilliantly insane.  Add to this the background of Ohio in the wintertime, the ever-present cloud of death that clings to all the characters, and the prose itself which are smoky and muddled with grief, iconic observation, and suspended hilarity. It is an absolute work of art.  Read it in the sun on a warm afternoon, but don’t be surprised if you still get a chill. —Charlotte


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So Brave, Young, and Handsome Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802144171
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - April 8th, 2009

I was utterly charmed by this book, a midwestern-western about a blocked novelist who accompanies his new friend (a boatbuilder and former train robber) on a journey to make amends with the wife he abandoned decades ago. Along the way they encounter cowboys, sharpshooters, Pinkerton agents, German movie stars, and the greatest snapping turtle in all of literature. Why Enger isn’t celebrated as one of our best prose stylists I can’t fathom—every page of So Brave, Young, and Handsome boasts sentences that astonish, illuminate, and delight. Few writers, moreover, know how to keep your heart pounding and breaking in equal measure, but with this gem of a novel Enger makes it seem effortless. —Sam


Nothing to See Here Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062913463
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - October 29th, 2019