November reads!

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84, Charing Cross Road

84, Charing Cross Road

Hanff, Helene, author
1990

This charming classic, first published in 1970, brings together twenty years of correspondence between Helene Hanff, at the time, a freelance writer living in New York City, and a used-book dealer in London. Through the years, though never meeting and separated both geographically and culturally, they share a winsome, sentimental friendship based on their common love for books. Their relationship, captured so acutely in these letters, is one that will grab your heart and not let go.

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The book thief

The book thief

Zusak, Markus, author
2016

Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

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Erotic stories for Punjabi widows

Erotic stories for Punjabi widows

Jaswal, Balli Kaur, author
2017

Nikki has spent most of her life distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community. After her father's death she takes a job teaching a creative writing course in the heart of the Punjabi community. When one of the women students brings a book of erotica to class, Nicki use it as the basis for helping these modest women unleash creativity by telling their own stories.

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Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451

Bradbury, Ray, 1920-2012
2003


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Shaffer, Mary Ann, author
2008

As London is emerging from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton discovers her next subject in a book club on Guernsey--a club born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi after its members are discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island.

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Hell of a book : or, the altogether factual, wholly bona fide story of a big dreams, hard luck, American-Made mad kid

Hell of a book : or, the altogether factual, wholly bona fide story of a big dreams, hard luck, American-Made mad kid

Mott, Jason, author
2021

An African-American author sets out on a cross-country book tour to promote his bestselling novel. This novel also tells the story of Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author on his tour. This heartbreaking and magical book is about family, love of parents and children, art, and money - and the tragic story of a police shooting playing over and over on the news.

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The Jane Austen book club

The Jane Austen book club

Fowler, Karen Joy
2004


The librarianist : a novel

The librarianist : a novel

deWitt, Patrick, 1975- author
2023

Hoping to fill the void he's known since retiring, retired librarian Bob Comet begins volunteering at the senior centre. Behind Bob Comet's straight man fac╠žade is the story of an unhappy child's runaway adventure during the last days of the Second World War, of true love won and stolen away, of the purpose and pride found in the librarian's vocation, and the pleasures of a life lived to the side of the masses. Comet's experiences are imbued with melancholy but also a bright, sustained comedy.

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The man who loved books too much : the true story of a thief, a detective, and a world of literary obsession

The man who loved books too much : the true story of a thief, a detective, and a world of literary obsession

Bartlett, Allison Hoover
2009

Unrepentant book thief John Charles Gilkey has stolen a fortune in rare books from around the county. Yet unlike most thieves, who steal for profit, Gilkey steals for the love of the books. Perhaps equally obsessive, though, is Ken Sanders, the self-appointed "bibliodick" driven to catch him. Sanders, a lifelong rare book collector and dealer turned amateur detective, will stop at nothing to catch the thief plaguing his trade.

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Mister Pip

Mister Pip

Jones, Lloyd, 1955-
2007


Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore

Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore

Sloan, Robin, 1979-, author
2012


No one round here reads Tolstoy : memoirs of a working-class reader

No one round here reads Tolstoy : memoirs of a working-class reader

Hodkinson, Mark.
2022

Mark Hodkinson grew up among dark satanic mills in a house with just one book: Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain. His dad kept it on top of a wardrobe with other items of great worth - wedding photographs and Mark's National Cycling Proficiency certificate. If Mark wanted to read it, he was warned not to crease the pages or slam shut the covers. Fast forward to today, and Mark still lives in Rochdale snugly ensconced (or is that buried?) in a 'book cave' surrounded by 3,500 titles - at the last count. He is an author, journalist and publisher. So this is his story of growing up a working-class lad during the 1970s and 1980s. It's about schools (bad), music (good) and the people (some mad, a few sane), and pre-eminently and profoundly the books and authors (some bad, mostly good) that led the way, shaped a life. If only coincidentally, it relates how writing and reading has changed, as the Manor House novel gave way to the kitchen sink drama and working-class writers found the spotlight (if only briefly). Mark also writes movingly about his troubled grandad who, much the same as books, taught him to wander, and wonder.

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The Paris library : a novel

The Paris library : a novel

Skeslien Charles, Janet, author
2021

Paris, 1939. When World War II breaks out, Odile Souchet stands to lose everything she holds dear - including her beloved library. But by war's end, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal. Montana, 1983. Odile's solitary existence in gossipy small-town Montana is unexpectedly interrupted by her neighbour Lily, a lonely teenager craving adventure. Odile helps Lily navigate the troubled waters of adolescence, never suspecting that Lily will be the one to help her reckon with her own terrible secret. Based on the true story of the American Library in Paris.

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The plot

The plot

Korelitz, Jean Hanff, 1961- author
2021

Jacob Finch Bonner was once a promising young novelist with a respectably published first book. Today, he's teaching in a third-rate MFA program and struggling to maintain what's left of his self-respect. When Evan Parker, his most arrogant student, announces he doesn't need Jake's help because the plot of his book in progress is a sure thing, Jake is prepared to dismiss the boast as typical amateur narcissism. But then . . . he hears the plot. When he discovers that his former student has died, presumably without ever completing his book, Jake does what any self-respecting writer would do with a story like that-a story that absolutely needs to be told. In a few short years, all of Evan Parker's predictions have come true, but Jake is the author enjoying the wave. But at the height of his glorious new life, an e-mail arrives, the first salvo in a terrifying, anonymous campaign: You are a thief, it says.

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The reader

The reader

Schlink, Bernhard
1997

The former lover of a German attorney refuses to defend herself when she is accused of a hideous crime. The attorney gradually realizes that the woman may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.

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The reading list : a novel

The reading list : a novel

Adams, Sara Nisha, author
2021

Widower Mukesh lives a quiet life after losing his beloved wife. Working at the local library for the summer, Aleisha discovers a list of novels that she's never heard of before. Intrigued, she impulsively decides to read every book on the list. When Mukesh arrives at the library, desperate to forge a connection with his bookworm granddaughter, Aleisha passes along the reading list hoping that it will be a lifeline for him too. Slowly, the shared books create a connection between two lonely souls, as fiction helps them escape their grief and everyday troubles and find joy again.

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Seven days in June : a novel

Seven days in June : a novel

Williams, Tia, 1975- author
2021

Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer, who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award-winning literary author who, to everyone's surprise, shows up in New York. When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their past buried traumas, but the eyebrows of New York's Black literati. What no one knows is that twenty years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. Over the next seven days in the middle of a steamy Brooklyn summer, Eva and Shane reconnect, but Eva's not sure how she can trust the man who broke her heart, and she needs to get him out of New York so that her life can return to normal.

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The storied life of A.J. Fikry : a novel

The storied life of A.J. Fikry : a novel

Zevin, Gabrielle, author
2020

When his most prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, is stolen, bookstore owner A. J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family and associates before receiving a mysterious package that compels him to remake his life.

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The ten thousand doors of January

The ten thousand doors of January

Harrow, Alix E., author
2019

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place. Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure, and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world, and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

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The thirteenth tale

The thirteenth tale

Setterfield, Diane
2007

Margaret, a reclusive biographer is asked to write the biography of an equally reclusive famous author, Vida Winter. Margaret is captivated by the power of Vida's storytelling. But when she goes to check up on Vida's story she experiences a journey of truth that is both chilling and transforming. A wonderfully atmospheric and haunting debut reminiscent of "Wuthering Heights".

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The uncommon reader

The uncommon reader

Bennett, Alan, 1934-
2007