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Bob loves contemporary fiction augmented by an occasional mystery or science fiction novel. Non-fiction interests include physics, math, medicine, economics and anything by Malcolm Gladwell. When not watching ER or West Wing with Gayle, he indulges himself in Shakespeare, always willing to watch yet another version of Hamlet. And there's a dozen podcasts from NPR including Selected Shorts, Studio 360, On the Media, NYT Book Review, Writer's Almanac and the monthly short story from the New Yorker.

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The Dog Stars (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307950475
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 7th, 2013

Imagine someone drags you into a museum to show you a great portrait. You go, reluctantly, thinking, "a portrait, really, sigh," and it turns out to be a Vermeer or Van Gogh that leaves you weak in the knees. That's how you feel, over and over, reading this remarkable novel. After the first few chapters you know what's probably going to happen, but when it does, you find yourself laughing or crying or issuing a breathy "wow," and then, once again a few pages later. Finally, at the end, you shake your head, smile and sigh in total awe.

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What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316076203
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - December 14th, 2010

In moments of crisis, some people choke, others panic. There's a big difference and the author gives fascinating examples of how this effects our lives. In another of his chapters based on 22 brilliant recently published articles, Gladwell asks what an employer can learn about job candidates during an interview. Not much, research shows, unless you're willing to throw out everything you think you know about judging the character of a person you've just met. Filled with great personal stories and entertaining interviews, this book is the perfect gift for anybody, including you.

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The Fruit of Stone (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307739384
Availability: Backordered
Published: Vintage - April 19th, 2011

Two friends growing up in the vast Wyoming landscape fall in love the same girl, who, without warning—after some twenty years of marriage to one and friendship with the other—leaves them both. This sets the two men off on a journey across the Rocky Mountain West trailing remnants of their former lives and picking up pieces of a possible future along the way. With witty dialogue, vivid settings and a memorable cast of supporting characters, The Fruit of Stone is a deeply moving novel destined for major awards.

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The Forgery of Venus: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060874490
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - March 10th, 2009

This is the moving story of a magazine artist’s son, who might be creating great works of art, but settles for commercial jobs. He sees himself repeating his father's patterns. Is it a case of "be careful what you wish for" when he is given the opportunity to paint a true master piece for one million dollars? Every page seems lit from within like a Vermeer painting, or a Velázquez. It’s a great novel, packed with unpredictable twists through the world of fine art, and through time itself.

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The Good Son: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312674946
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - February 15th, 2011

This excellent work of fiction has three overlapping story lines, two of which share the tone of a well written adventure novel and the other, the mother's tale, takes the reader into the realm of truly great storytelling. The rave review I had read in the New York Times was right on the mark—The Good Son is well crafted, tightly edited, and tough to put down.

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The Anthologist: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781416572459
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Simon & Schuster - July 6th, 2010

Why would anyone want to read a novel about poetry? Or about a teacher of poetry who can't bring himself to write an intro to an anthology of collected poems for a tidy fee despite having lost his teaching position and needing the income badly? Well, those few, those happy few ardent Nicholson Baker fans who have so deeply enjoyed his previous works will not be disappointed with The Anthologist. In Baker's new novel we share the musings of this thoroughly imperfect man who, despite his shortcomings, offers us many brilliant, fascinating and often laugh-out-loud observations on the world of words. I could only stop reading when the book fell from my hands in the late hours of the night. David Orr, who writes the On Poetry column for the New York Times Book Review, called Nicholson Baker's Anthologist a "tremendous success."

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The Farmer's Daughter Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802145024
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - September 7th, 2010

The Farmer's Daughter is Jim Harrison at his finest. He tells Sarah's coming of age tale with wit, compasson and a pure storytelling genius that writers hardly ever achieve and readers can't ever get enough of. What a treat!

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You or Someone Like You: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061715679
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - June 8th, 2010

Anne, a wife and mother, is living the Beverly Hills good life. She leads book groups for directors, screenwriters, producers, and actors. It’s not that she planned to do this, it just happened because she’s so well read, so brilliant, so delightfully British. But from the opening scene in which we see her highly connected, Hollywood deal-maker husband packing to leave, she must use her literary brilliance to maintain her equilibrium and to fight ferociously for the life she knows that she deserves. Anne ultimately confronts one of the thorniest issues of our time in this finely crafted and deeply moving novel.

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The Signal: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143117551
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Books - May 25th, 2010

Redemption is what you seek when you have lost something that is very important—like trust or respect or friendship or the love of a good woman. You can work for redemption, but you can't earn it—some luck is involved. But luck alone won’t get you there. The work is essential. The work is necessary but not always sufficient. So you work and wait and never give up hope. Ron Carlson has written a beautiful story illustrating these very qualities of redemption. It is one of those novels that when you’ve read the last page, you shake your head in wonder how the author has put into words a truth that you know but could never have expressed so precisely or so elegantly. With The Signal Ron Carlson joins Mark Spragg and Kent Haruf in the circle of great western writers.

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Every Man Dies Alone: A Novel Cover Image
By Hans Fallada, Michael Hofmann (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781935554042
Availability: Backordered
Published: Melville House - March 30th, 2010

I read this book on the bus and at rest stops on the trail up and down “A” mountain. And each night I read it in bed until it slipped from my hands as I dozed off. It is now weeks since I finished it, and its power remains undiminished. It is a tale written by a madman, about madmen and common folk in a time of terror, in a place of fear—and about those who resist their oppressors because in such situations someone must. Based on a true story, this bestseller from the '40s has, to our good fortune, resurfaced to take its rightful place beside The Reader and All is Quiet on the Western Front as yet another great anti-war novel by a brilliant German author.