Fiction Novels

The Time Traveler’s Wife

One thing I can say about the story is that Henry’s interaction as an adult with Claire as a little girl is very much part of the love story, rather than being creepy. It could easily have veered into a grotesque, Humbert Humbert-ish parody of a May-December relationship, but it doesn’t.

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The Color Purple

She begins by blindly following the vengeful God of her fathers, casts off her entire past in an effort to find who she is, and rebuilds her relationship with God to fit with who she has become. Her later relationship to God is more spiritual than religious “People spend all their time trying to please God. Us don’t realize that God trying always to please us too. I think God don’t like it when us walk by the color purple in a field and don’t notice it.” (paraphrased) A reference, of course, to the title.

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Dawsey reveals that he is a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – a group formed as a lark when he and several neighbors were caught breaking curfew by the Nazis, and in part to conceal a secret roast pig. As time went on, however, the society became important to all of them as a way to distract themselves from the Occupation, and strong friendships were forged.

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Gods Behaving Badly

Combining what we know of the Greek Gods and modern society, a hilariously entertaining world is created where the Gods of Olympus live together in London in a filthy, dilapidated old house, and work day jobs to pay their rent. Artemis (Goddess of the Hunt) is a dog walker, Apollo (God of the Sun) is a television psychic, Aphrodite (Goddess of Love & Beauty) is a phone sex operator, Dionysus (God of Wine and Merriment) owns a nightclub, and Eros (God of Love) has converted to Christianity, much to the chagrin of his family.

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Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal

Biff and Jesus (known by his friends as Josh) lead the lives of normal Jewish little boys, save for the fact that Josh can raise the dead (mostly lizards, to freak out his friends.) At the age of twelve, however, when most boys are beginning to learn trades under their fathers and train for their adulthoods, Josh is told by an angel that he is the son of God, and that his destiny is to become the savior of all mankind.

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In the Woods

The tone is eerily set when on one such night, three children disappear into the woods to play and don’t return. The police are dispatched, and find no traces whatsoever of two of the children. The third, a terrified little boy with his fingernails embedded in the tree he is plastered against, is catatonic and his shoes are filled with blood.

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Like Water for Chocolate (Como Agua para Chocolat)

On one evening after a particularly sumptuous meal infused with Tita’s desire for Pedro, Tita’s eldest sister Gertrudis becomes overcome with an unquenchable lust and runs away with a Mexican Revolutionary, furiously making love with him on horseback as they ride away. Mama Elena is furious, but Tita begins to realize that if Gertrudis can defy Mama Elena, perhaps she can too.

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Portnoy’s Complaint

Portnoy is a chronic masturbator and a sexual deviant with an oppressive mother, a chronically constipated father, and a crippling superiority complex. The book is less a story than an (often very funny) monologue by its titular character, who seems to blame many of his problems on his Judaism, and by default, the family who raised him that way.

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Outlander

Claire Randall is a WW2 nurse on vacation in Scotland with her historian husband, Frank. Separated during the war, they are enjoying a second honeymoon while Frank looks into his Scottish family history. Claire is increasingly disinterested in her husband’s obsession with the past, and ends up making friends with a local who knows all of the native plants of the region. Interested in botany, Claire ventures with the old man to a nearby stonehenge-esque site where rumored pagan rituals are conducted…

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Although brilliant, Christopher struggles with many of the trappings of such a disorder. He is agoraphobic, afraid of strangers, dislikes being touched, dislikes any deviation from a predictable routine, cannot correctly interpret tone of voice or facial expressions, and very much lives in his own world. His tutor, Siobhan, has drawn a chart with faces on it displaying various expressions, which Christopher carries around with him so that he can compare it with the faces of those he interacts with; helping him understand if they are happy, sad, angry, etc.

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The Thirteenth Tale

She has given hundreds of interviews over the course of her career “My genius is not so fragile that it must be shut away”, but when it comes to the inevitable questions about herself; she’s cooperative but her answers are always lies. Not lies, stories. After all, storytelling is her craft, and there is nothing more telling than a good story.

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Heads, We Fly

“We’ve got freedom,” my husband would say, treading on eggshells. “We could take up drinking, or fly to Italy! People with children can’t do that. What’s wrong with another couple of years of freedom?” I’d furiously point out that we never did those things, and he’d drop it; his face falling. Nobody ever says “Heads, we fly to Italy. Tails, we get pregnant!”

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