Nominated by our Staff: Best Read 2020
The BookWalker 'roams' the globe to discover books. Our list of emerging author standout includes writers from 'around the world', titles from both indie and trade. Themes tackling topics from sexual trauma, financial malfeasance, war, corruption, modern politics, digital bullying and anything our staff find life altering. Happy reading!
The Dreamers: A Novel by Karen Thompson Walker
One night in an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a first-year student stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. When a second girl falls asleep, and then a third, Mei finds herself thrust together with an eccentric classmate as panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. A young couple tries to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. Two sisters turn to each other for comfort as their survivalist father prepares for disaster. "I find this story compelling that I carry it twice during my subway ride wondering if it could ever get true. "— Issa, Program Director
The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst
In the summer of 1983, twenty-year-old Nick Guest moves into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the Feddens: conservative Member of Parliament Gerald, his wealthy wife Rachel, and their two children, Toby―whom Nick had idolized at Oxford―and Catherine, who is highly critical of her family's assumptions and ambitions.
As the boom years of the eighties unfold, Nick, an innocent in the world of politics and money, finds his life altered by the rising fortunes of this glamorous family. His two vividly contrasting love affairs, one with a young black clerk and one with a Lebanese millionaire, dramatize the dangers and rewards of his own private pursuit of beauty, a pursuit as compelling to Nick as the desire for power and riches among his friends. Richly textured, emotionally charged, disarmingly comic, this is a major work by one of our finest writers.
Winner of the 2004 Man Booker Prize and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the NBCC award. From Alan Hollinghurst, the acclaimed author of The Sparsholt Affair, The Line of Beauty is a sweeping novel about class, sex, and money during four extraordinary years of change and tragedy.
An Evening with Claire by Gaito Gazdanov
Written when its author was just twenty-six―with the memories of his harsh years in the Russian civil war still hauntingly vivid in his mind―An Evening with Claire is a psychological novel that is both grand and introspective. Gazdanov’s fist novel is at once an intimate and sensual account of a young man’s coming-of-age, and a tribute to the shattered dreams of the early twentieth century. As Jodi Daynard writes in her marvelously informed introduction, An Evening with Claire “presented pre-revolutionary Russia and the cataclysmic events which destroyed it in a manner both real and wistful, unregretful yet tender.”
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Big Book by Laura Joffe Numeroff
This book is a great first introduction to Mouse, the star of the If You Give series and a perennial favorite among children. And with its spare, rhythmic text and circular tale, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is perfect for beginning readers and story time!
If a hungry little mouse shows up on your doorstep, you might want to give him a cookie. And if you give him a cookie, he'll ask for a glass of milk. He'll want to look in a mirror to make sure he doesn't have a milk mustache, and then he'll ask for a pair of scissors to give himself a trim...