Book Lists

Book Lists

Book Lists for Adults

Book Lists for Adults

Jonathan Franzen

Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999.
Three Americans drifting through post-war North Africa encounter the limits of human existence in the form of a land and a people utterly alien to them.

Bynum, Sarah Shun-lien.

Connell, Evan S., 1924-2013.
In Mrs. Bridge, Evan S. Connell, a consummate storyteller, artfully crafts a portrait using the finest of details in everyday events and confrontations. With a surgeon's skill, Connell cuts away the middle-class security blanket of uniformity to expose the arrested development underneath--the entropy of time and relationships lead Mrs. Bridge's three children and husband to recede into a remote silence, and she herself drifts further into doubt and confusion. The raised evening newspaper becomes almost a fire screen to deflect any possible spark of conversation. The novel is comprised of vignettes, images, fragments of conversations, events--all building powerfully toward the completed group portrait of a family, closely knit on the surface but deeply divided by loneliness, boredom, misunderstandings, isolation, sexual longing, and terminal isolation. In this special fiftieth anniversary edition, we are reminded once again why Mrs. Bridge has been hailed by readers and critics alike as one of the greatest novels in American literature.

Fox, Paula.
First published in 1970 to great acclaim, this novel stands as one of the most dazzling and rigorous examples of the storyteller's craft in postwar American literature--a novel that, according to Irving Howe, ranks with "Billy Budd" and "The Great Gatsby".

Johnson, Denis, 1949-
A collection of eleven short stories by Denis Johnson.

Moore, Lorrie.
Here is a portrait of a Midwest college town through the eyes of Tassie Keltjin, a student from the country whose mind has been lit up by learning but who spends nearly all this story out of class, as a nanny for a couple who have adopted a toddler.

Morrison, Toni, author.
Macon Dead, Jr., known as Milkman, grows up in "his father's money-haunted, death-haunted house with his silent sisters and strangely passive mother" and with his friend Guitar who is connected to the secret avengers called the Seven Days, falls in love with his cousin Hagar, learns from bootlegging Aunt Pilate, and then heads south, lured by the promise of buried gold and the mysteries of his heritage.

Saunders, George, 1958-
This new collection of stories--his best work yet--comes from the acclaimed and mind-bendingly hilarious George Saunders.

Smiley, Jane.
The Greenlanders is the compelling story of one family--proud landowner Asgeir Gunnarsson; his daughter Margret, whose willful independence leads her into passionate adultery and exile; and his son Gunnar, whose quest for knowledge is at the compelling center of this unforgettable book.

Bellow, Saul.