RHC Fiction Nightstand Titles

Posted on June 2, 2016. Filed under: Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , |

During the spring “What’s on Your Nightstand” event at the Skokie campus, the following fiction books were discussed.

Remember, if Oakton doesn’t own the book or our copy is checked out, you can order a copy to be sent from one of our consortium libraries for FREE! Most books take less than a week to arrive.

book cover for Persian BridesPersian Brides
by Dorit Rabinyan
translated by Yael Lotan

Persian Brides is a novel of rare beauty and extraordinary accomplishment. Set at the turn of the century in the fictional Persian village of Omerijan, it tells the magical story of two young girls—Flora and Nazie Ratoryan—and their many neighbors in the almond tree alley in Omerijan where they live. Fifteen-years-old, pregnant, and recently abandoned by her cloth-merchant husband, Flora longs desperately for the return of her unborn baby’s father. Nazie consoles and pities her, and though she is still a child of eleven, she yearns—just as desperately—for her own future marriage.

Although the narrative spans only two days, it branches out and back, encompassing the lives and histories of many of Omerijan’s inhabitants. Rabinyan’s vivid depiction of the village is a sensual feast, recreating the odors and flavors, the colors, sounds, and textures of everyday life. A masterful blend of fantasy and reality, the narrative forcefully conveys the shocking cruelties endured by many of the characters while at the same time weaving a modern-day Arabic legend where snakes offer jewels in exchange for milk and death is thwarted by appeasing the village demons. Written with passion and elegance, Persian Brides brings a rich array of characters to life—telling of their hardships without ever losing the magic and wonder that is so much a part of their lives” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for The CircleThe Circle: A Novel
by Dave Eggers

“When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO.

Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover of Invisible ManInvisible Man
by Ralph Ellison

“Ralph Elllison’s Invisible Man is a monumental novel, one that can well be called an epic of modern American Negro life. It is a strange story, in which many extraordinary things happen, some of them shocking and brutal, some of them pitiful and touching—yet always with elements of comedy and irony and burlesque that appear in unexpected places. It is a book that has a great deal to say and which is destined to have a great deal said about it.

After a brief prologue, the story begins with a terrifying experience of the hero’s high school days, moves quickly to the campus of a Southern Negro college and then to New York’s Harlem, where most of the action takes place. The many people that the hero meets in the course of his wanderings are remarkably various, complex and significant. With them he becomes involved in an amazing series of adventures, in which he is sometimes befriended but more often deceived and betrayed—as much by himself and his own illusions as by the duplicity of the blindness of others. Invisible Man is not only a great triumph of storytelling and characterization; it is a profound and uncompromising interpretation of the Negro’s anomalous position in American society” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover of RottersRotters
by Daniel Kraus.

“Grave-robbing. What kind of monster would do such a thing? It’s true that Leonardo da Vinci did it, Shakespeare wrote about it, and the resurrection men of nineteenth-century Scotland practically made it an art. But none of this matters to Joey Crouch, a sixteen-year-old straight-A student living in Chicago with his single mom. For the most part, Joey’s life is about playing the trumpet and avoiding the daily humiliations of high school.

Everything changes when Joey’s mother dies in a tragic accident and he is sent to rural Iowa to live with the father he has never known, a strange, solitary man with unimaginable secrets. At first, Joey’s father wants nothing to do with him, but once father and son come to terms with each other, Joey’s life takes a turn both macabre and exhilarating.

Daniel Kraus’s masterful plotting and unforgettable characters make Rotters a moving, terrifying, and unconventional epic about fathers and sons, complex family ties, taboos, and the ever-present specter of mortality” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for My Name is Lucy BartonMy Name is Lucy Barton
by Elizabeth Strout

“Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for House of LeavesHouse of Leaves
by Mark Z. Danielewski

“Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth—musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies—the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.

Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices.

The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story—of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Everything I Never Told YouEverything I Never Told You
by Celeste Ng

“‘Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet’ . . . So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue—in Marilyn’s case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James’s case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party.

When Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart. James, consumed by guilt, sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to find a responsible party, no matter what the cost. Lydia’s older brother, Nathan, is certain that the neighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it’s the youngest of the family—Hannah—who observes far more than anyone realizes and who may be the only one who knows the truth about what happened.

A profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family, and uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for The Husband's SecretThe Husband’s Secret
by Liane Moriarty

“Mother of three and wife of John-Paul, Cecilia discovers an old envelope in the attic. Written in her husband’s hand, it says: to be opened only in the event of my death.

Curious, she opens it—and time stops.

John-Paul’s letter confesses to a terrible mistake which, if revealed, would wreck their family as well as the lives of others.

Cecilia—betrayed, angry and distraught—wants to do the right thing, but right for who? If she protects her family by staying silent, the truth will worm through her heart. But if she reveals her husband’s secret, she will hurt those she loves most . . .

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty is about the things we know, the things we don’t, and whether or not we ever get to choose. Above all, though, it’s about how we must live with the consequences of our actions—whether we like it or not” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

-posted by Kevin Purtell

Advertisements

Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Oakton Community College Library’s Blog

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Oakton on Twitter

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: