Seattle Picks: Book Group Best Bets--Fiction
Annotation:Ifemelu, a Nigerian woman studying in America, reflects on her love life, but it is her sharp, poignant observations about race that provide real energy and depth to this romantic, moving novel.
Annotation:When her uncle dies of AIDS, June loses her best friend and confidant. This coming-of-age debut novel is tender, subtle and expertly crafted as it explores love and loss.
Annotation:In the early 1900s, William Talmadge quietly tends his orchards in eastern Washington until his life is upturned by the arrival of two pregnant teenage girls. Winner of the 2013 Washington State Book Award.
Annotation:Just before her father sends her away for a “chance at a better life,” Claire disappears. Islanders discover secrets and harsh truths as they search for her in this beautiful, haunting story.
Annotation:Yunior, a Dominican man in New Jersey, navigates life and relationships with a machismo swagger. This Pulitzer Prize–winning author brings comic and tragic weight to Yunior’s everyday struggles and triumphs.
Annotation:Thirteen-year-old Joe's world is turned upside down after his mother is a victim of a horrific attack on their reservation. While tribal and federal authorities face off, Joe and his friends unravel the truth.
Annotation:Elena and Lila grow up in 1950s Naples, Italy, where poverty and familial expectations determine young girls’ lives and education. First in a quartet, this compelling novel takes a powerful look at a complex lifelong friendship.
Annotation:Back from Iraq, Billy Lynn and the other surviving members of Bravo Company are invited to a Dallas Cowboys game on the final leg of their victory tour, with surreal results.
Annotation:Growing up as part of an academic experiment in a college town in the 1970s, Rosemary Cook’s complicated relationship with her chimpanzee sibling continues to shape her into young adulthood.
Annotation:At Westish College, a baseball prodigy’s star rises and falls, the esteemed college president has his first love affair with a young man, and the president’s daughter returns home after a failed marriage.
Annotation:Love begins at a Dollar Tree store in Delaware when Mayor, a young man from Panama, meets Maribel, whose family has left Mexico in hopes of getting her the medical attention she needs.
Annotation:A letter from an old, ailing colleague spurs Harold to do the unexpected: walk 600 miles across rural England to hand-deliver his reply in the hopes that it might keep Queenie Hennessy alive.
Annotation:The true story of abolitionist Sarah Grimké, the daughter of a plantation owner in pre–Civil War South Carolina, inspired this historical novel narrated by Handful, a Grimké family slave.
Annotation:The lives of three disparate people intertwine while saving a child’s life in a novel that spans 1994–2004, covering two wars in Chechnya, in a story both brutal and beautiful.
Annotation:A careful and intimate study of an ordinary life—in this case an Irish Catholic girl named Marie Commeford who grows up in 1930s Brooklyn—illustrates how everyone is someone who matters.
Annotation:Flora 717 is a sanitation bee in her hive, the lowest caste in her group. When she enters the world of the Queen’s sanctum, she inadvertently disobeys orders with radical consequences.
Annotation:Two young soldiers cling to life and their unspoken pact to protect each other while deployed in Iraq. Powers, a poet and a veteran, presents a gritty, realistic portrait of war.
Annotation:In a story about love and memory, Patricia Cowan, now in a care facility, remembers two parallel lives—one where she had four children with a man, and another where she had three children with a woman.
Annotation:A group of friends who meet at an exclusive summer camp in the 1970s remain close as they pursue careers, get married and become parents. But group ties can change as people do.