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Staff Picks for the Best Fiction of 2009

Do you have limited time for leisure reading? One of these titles is sure to please.

 

The Year of the Flood: A Novel

This sequel to Oryx and Crake probes the uneasy intersections of religion, ecology, and technology. Sumptuous and stunning!

 

The Anthologist

A book to read and reread, to inspire or rekindle a love of poetry and literature. This is the story of a poet struggling with writer's block caught up in the mundanity of the everyday. Bask in beautiful details as the poet/narrator muses on the world of poetry.

 

Angel's Tip: A Novel

When fresh-faced college student Chelsea Hart is found murdered in East River Park, her wavy blond hair brutally hacked off, NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher catches the case--and finds herself under the watchful eye of a psychopath eager to add the prideful young female detective to his list of victims.

 

Rain Gods

Hackberry Holland, sheriff of an out of the way, don't-blink-you'll-miss-it Texas town near the Mexican border finds himself caught between a luckless burned Iraqi War vet, a bible-quoting hit-man, several small-time Gulf crime families, and nine murdered Thai women. Too many people have a vested interest in keeping Sheriff Holland from the truth, and from the only witness to the crime.

 

Winter in June

The ever sassy, sleuthing actress Rosie Winter returns to help solve another murder as she does her part in bringing the Axis down a peg, while searching for her lost love in the war-torn Pacific during the 1940s.

 

The Red Tree

The Red Tree is a real treat for fans of old school supernatural suspense horror.

 

Revenge of the Spellmans

The hilarious, continuing adventures of a family of private investigators who can't stop spying on each other.

 

Woodsburner: A Novel

Residents of Concord, Massachusetts face the challenge of a nearby forest fire set by Henry David Thoreau.

 

Sarah's Key

This outstanding fiction debut by de Rosnay examines the 1942 arrests and deportations of Jewish families in Paris. The protagonist, an American journalist in the present day, keeps the novel culturally relevant while providing an intriguing look at a historical event.

 

Look Again

What would you do if your adopted son looked exactly like a child on a "have you seen" flyer? This suspenseful tale is sure to keep you reading.

 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Just after World War II, the men and women of this epistolary novel recollect a number of poignant events they had experienced during the German occupation of their homeland, the British Guernsey Island. The author's adeptness with characterization brings to life vivid, distinctive personalities that held my interest throughout the story.

 

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel

This coming-of-age story focuses on a mute boy who is blessed with a special way of communicating with dogs. Bearing some striking resemblances to Shakespeare's Hamlet, this thrilling novel updates the classic by adding eccentric twists and spectacular scenery.

 

A Happy Marriage: A Novel

The poignant story of a happy marriage, not a perfect one. Enrique recounts the story of his marriage to Margaret, chapters switching from their courtship in the early '70s to Margaret's final weeks as she succumbs to cancer 30 years later.