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Book Lists

Book Lists for Adults

Book Lists for Adults

David Bowie

Amis, Martin.
FICTION AMI
John Self, one of London's top commercial directors, is in New York shooting his first feature film. At the same time, he is living a decadent lifestyle, overspending on food, drugs, sex, and just about everything else. It takes a lot of money to discover just how distasteful the pursuit of pleasure can be.

Baldwin, James, 1924-1987, author.
305.896 BAL
Contains a letter to Baldwin's nephew on the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Also describes his childhood, views on Black Muslims, and his visions.

Barnes, Julian.
FICTION BAR
A kind of detective story, relating a cranky amateur scholar's search for the truth about Gustave Flaubert, and the obsession of this detective whose life seems to oddly mirror those of Flaubert's characters. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Bellow, Saul.
FICTION BEL
A multifaceted portrait of a modern-day hero, a man struggling with the complexity of existence and longing for redemption.

Bulgakov, Mikhail, 1891-1940, author.
FICTION BUL

Capote, Truman, 1924-1984.
364.1523 CAP
Powerful account of the brutal slaying of a Kansas family by two young ex-convicts.

Carter, Angela, 1940-1992.
FICTION CAR
American journalist Jack Walser travels with an enchanted circus that features literate chimpanzees, tragic clowns, idealist brigands, a structuralist Siberian shaman, and a six-foot, two-inch blond aerialist who is part swan and part woman.

Chabon, Michael.
FICTION CHA
Pittsburgh professor and author Grady Tripp is working on an unwieldy 2,611 page manuscript that is meant to be the follow-up to his successful, award-winning novel The Land Downstairs, that was published seven years earlier. On the eve of a college-sponsored writers and publishers weekend called WordFest, two monumental things happen to Tripp: his wife walks out on him, and he learns that his mistress, who is also the chancellor of the college, Sara Gaskell, is pregnant with his child. To top it all off, Tripp finds himself involved in a bizarre crime involving one of his students, an alienated young writer named James Leer. During a party, Leer shoots and kills the chancellor's dog and steals her husband's prized Marilyn Monroe collectible: the jacket worn by the starlet on her wedding day to Joe DiMaggio. -- Wikipedia.

Chatwin, Bruce, 1940-1989.
994 CHA
A story of ideas in which two companions, traveling and talking together, explore the hopes and dreams that animate both them and the people they encounter in Central Australia's almost uninhabitable regions.

DeLillo, Don.
FICTION DEL

Díaz, Junot, 1968-
FICTION DIA

Döblin, Alfred, 1878-1957, author.
FICTION DOB
"The inspiration for Rainer Werner Fassbinder's epic film and that The Guardian named one of the "Top 100 Books of All Time," Berlin Alexanderplatz is considered one of the most important works of the Weimar Republic and twentieth century literature. Franz Biberkopf, pimp and petty thief, has just finished serving a term in prison for murdering his girlfriend. He's on his own in Weimar Berlin with its lousy economy and frontier morality, but Franz is determined to turn over new leaf, get ahead, make an honest man of himself, and so on and so forth. He hawks papers, chases girls, needs and bleeds money, gets mixed up in spite of himself in various criminal and political schemes, and when he tries to back out of them, it's at the cost of an arm. This is only the beginning of our modern everyman's multiplying misfortunes, but though Franz is more dupe than hustler, in the end, well, persistence is rewarded and things might be said to work out. Just like in a novel. Lucky Franz.Berlin, Alexanderplatz is one of great twentieth-century novels. Taking off from the work of Dos Passos and Joyce, Doblin depicts modern life in all its shocking violence, corruption, splendor, and horror. Michael Hofmann, celebrated for his translations of Joseph Roth and Franz Kafka, has prepared a new version, the first in over 75 years, in which Doblin's sublime and scurrilous masterpiece comes alive in English as never before"-- Provided by publisher.

Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965.
811.52 ELI

Flaubert, Gustave, 1821-1880.
PBC CLASSICS FLA
An ordinary woman's unfulfilled dreams of romantic love lead her to a series of desperate acts, including adultery, in a classic novel set against the backdrop of nineteenth-century bourgeois France.

Ginzburg, Evgeni?i|a.
BIO GINZBURG
Eugenia Ginzburg's memoir of her imprisonment during the era of Stalin's purges, is divided into two parts. Part One details her arrest, trial, and two years of solitary confinement.

Jacoby, Susan, 1945-
973.91 JAC
Traces the current of anti-intellectualism from post-WWII to the present and argues that the nation's cult of unreason is both deadly and destructive.

Kerouac, Jack, 1922-1969.
FICTION KER
Behind us lay the whole of America and everything Dean and I had previously known about life, and life on the road. We had finally found the magic land at the end of the road and we never dreamed the extent of the magic. Sal Paradise, a young innocent, joins the slightly crazed Dean Moriarty on a breathless, exuberant ride back and forth across the United States. Their hedonistic search for release or fulfilment through drink, sex, drugs and jazz becomes an exploration of personal freedom, a test of the limits of the American dream. A brilliant blend of fiction and autobiography, Jack Kerouac's exhilarating novel defined the new 'Beat' generation. It had tremendous impact on both sides of the Atlantic and made him famous overnight.

Larsen, Nella, author.
FICTION LAR
Irene Redfield is living an affluent, enviable life with her husband and children in the thriving African American enclave of Harlem in the 1920s. That is, until she runs into her childhood friend, Clare Kendry. Since they last saw each other, Clare, who is similarly light-skinned, has been passing for a white woman, married to a racist man who does not know about his wifes real identity, which she has chosen to hide from the rest of the world. Irene is both fascinated and repulsed by Clares dangerous secret, and in turn, Clare yearns for Irenes sense of ease and security with her Black identity and community, which Clare gave up in pursuit of a more advantageous life, and which she can never embrace again. As the two women grow close, Clare begins to insert herself and her deception into every part of Irenes stable existence, and their complex reunion sets off a chain of events that dynamically alters both women forever. In this psychologically gripping and chilling novel, Nella Larsen explores the blurriness of race, sacrifice, alienation, and desire that defined her own experience as a woman of mixed race, issues that still powerfully resonate today. Ultimately, Larsen forces us to consider whether we can ever truly choose who we are.

Marcus, Greil, author.
781.6609 MAR
"In 1975, Greil Marcus's Mystery Train changed the way readers thought about rock 'n' roll and continues to be sought out today by music fans and anyone interested in pop culture. Looking at recordings by six key artists-Robert Johnson, Harmonica Frank, Randy Newman, the Band, Sly Stone, and Elvis Presley-Marcus offers a complex and unprecedented analysis of the relationship between rock 'n' roll and American culture. In this latest edition, Marcus provides an extensively updated and rewritten Note and Discographies section, exploring the recordings evolution and continuing impact"-- Provided by publisher.

Nabokov, Vladimir Vladimirovich, 1899-1977.
FICTION NAB
The most controversial classic novel of the 20th century, Lolita tells the story of Humbert Humbert, a middle-aged man who is aroused to erotic desire only by a young girl. Awe and exhilaration--along with heartbreak and mordant wit--abound in Lolita, Nabokov's most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert's obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love--love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.

Orwell, George, 1903-1950, author.
FICTION ORW
Portrays life in a future time when a totalitarian government watches over all citizens and directs all activities.

Pagels, Elaine H., 1943- author.
273.1 PAG
"A startling account of the meaning of Jesus and the origin of Christianity based on gnostic gospels and other secret texts, written almost 2,000 years ago, recently discovered near Nag Hammadi in Upper Egypt." -- Jacket subtitle.

Selby, Hubert.
FICTION SEL
The decadence and violence of the urban streets is graphically portrayed in this novel set in a post-WWII Brooklyn slum.

Spark, Muriel.
FICTION SPA
In four short works of contemporary fiction that probe metaphysical truths, a charismatic teacher has a devastating impact on her students, young women struggle for survival in a post-war London hostel, a woman searches for her own death, and a man is implicated in his wife's terrorist activities.

Toole, John Kennedy, 1937-1969.
FICTION TOO
Ignatius J. Reilly of New Orleans, --selfish, domineering, deluded, tragic and larger than life-- is a noble crusader against a world of dunces. He is a modern-day Quixote beset by giants of the modern age. In magnificent revolt against the twentieth century, Ignatius propels his monstrous bulk among the flesh posts of the fallen city, documenting life on his Big Chief tablets as he goes, until his maroon-haired mother decrees that Ignatius must work.

Waters, Sarah, 1966-
FICTION WAT
Sue Trinder is an orphan, left as an infant in the care of Mrs. Sucksby, a "baby farmer," who raised her with unusual tenderness, as if Sue were her own. Mrs. Sucksby's household, with its fussy babies calmed with doses of gin, also hosts a transient family of petty thieves-fingersmiths-for whom this house in the heart of a mean London slum is home. One day, the most beloved thief of all arrives-Gentleman, a somewhat elegant con man, who carries with him an enticing proposition for Sue: If she wins a position as the maid to Maud Lilly, a naïve gentlewoman, and aids Gentleman in her seduction, then they will all share in Maud's vast inheritance. Once the inheritance is secured, Maud will be left to live out her days in a mental hospital. With dreams of paying back the kindness of her adopted family, Sue agrees to the plan. Once in, however, Sue begins to pity her helpless mark and care for Maud Lilly in unexpected ways ... But no one and nothing is as it seems in this Dickensian novel of thrills and surprises. --Publisher.

Waugh, Evelyn, 1903-1966.
FICTION WAU
In the years following the First World War a new generation emerges, wistful and vulnerable beneath the glitter. The Bright Young Things of 'twenties Mayfair, with their paradoxical mix of innocence and sophistication, exercise their inventive minds and vile bodies in every kind of capricious escapade. In a quest for treasure, a favourite party occupation, a vivid assortment of characters hunt fast and furiously for ever greater sensations and the fulfilment of unconscious desires.

Zinn, Howard, 1922-2010, author.
973 ZIN
Presents the history of the United States from the point of view of those who were exploited in the name of American progress.