All St. Lucie County beach accesses will be closed July 3-5 to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

H is for Hawk (nonfiction), Helen Macdonald   -    Macdonald has a life-long fascination with birds of prey, especially the goshawk, a large wild bird which is the hardest to train. The book tells of her efforts to train her goshawk while working through her grief over the loss of her father. A complex, but ultimately satisfying piece of work. (2015)

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The Handmaid’s Tale (fiction), Margaret Atwood - A fable of the near future. In the Republic of Gilead, formerly the United States, far-right ideals have been carried to extremes in the government. The resulting society is a feminist's nightmare. (1985)

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Heart of Darkness (fiction), Joseph Conrad    – The story reflects the physical and psychological shock Conrad himself experienced in 1890, when he worked briefly in the Belgian Congo. The narrator, Marlow, describes a journey he took on an African river. Assigned by an ivory company to take command of a cargo boat stranded in the interior, Marlow makes his way through the treacherous forest, witnessing the brutalization of the natives by white traders and hearing tantalizing stories of a Mr. Kurtz, the company's most successful representative.  (1902)

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The Help (fiction), Kathryn Stockett   –   “Set in 1962, in the early Civil Rights Movement, a budding social activist begins to collect the stories of the black women who raise the children, cook the meals and clean the homes of the white women.” (2009)

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Hidden Figures (nonfiction), Margot Lee Shetterly - The true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. (2016)

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Hillbilly Elegy (nonfiction), J.D. Vance - From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class through the author’s own story of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town. (2016)

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Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (fiction), Jamie Ford   –   “Ford’s debut novel concerns Henry Lee, a Chinese– American in Seattle who, in 1986, has just lost his wife to cancer. The narrative shuttles between 1986 and the 1940s in a somewhat predictable story that chronicles the losses of old age and the bewilderment of youth.” (2009)

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House of Sand and Fog (fiction), Andre Dubus   –    “Ethics, logic, and love collide in a surprising and tragic tale. Dubus tells his tale from the viewpoints of the two main adversaries, Colonel Behrani and Kathy. To both of them, the house represents something more than just a place to live. For the colonel, it is a foot in the door of the American dream; for Kathy, a reminder of a kinder, gentler past. In prose that is simple yet evocative, House of Sand and Fog builds to its inevitable denouement, one that is painfully dark but unfailingly honest.” (1999)

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How to Stop Time (fiction), Matt Haig   –   Born in 1581 France, Tom Hazard has a condition where he only ages one year every 15 years. Having lived through history, Tom struggles to cope with the pain of his memories and his inability to form lasting relationships. While trying to blend in, he searches modern day London for his daughter, who shares his unique genes. (2018)

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Hunting and Gathering (fiction), Anna Gavalda – The French title, "Ensemble, c'est tout" translates roughly to "Together, That's Everything." An international best-seller and blockbuster in France, Gavalda offers a glimpse into the modern day life of an unusual Parisian family. (2007) *

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I Am the Clay (fiction), Chaim Potok - The author turns to Korea in the 1950s for a tale about the trek of a Korean peasant couple and an orphaned boy across a war-blighted landscape. A powerful narrative of survival of the human spirit. (1992) *

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I Still Dream About You (fiction), Fannie Flagg   –    “Flag’s whimsical heartstring tugger follows the interrupted suicide attempts of a former Miss Alabama, Maggie Fortenberry, now age 60, as she plans her final exit.” (2010)

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Identical Strangers (nonfiction),  Paula Bernstein   –   “A poignant memoir of twin sisters who were split up as infants, became part of a secret scientific study, then found each other as adults.” (2007)

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Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (biography), Rebecca Skloot   –   This is a story of faith, science and journalism. It is also a tale of medical wonders and medical arrogance as well as racism and poverty. (2010)

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The Immortalists (fiction), Chloe Benjamin   –    The four Gold siblings visit a fortune teller who claims to predict the day of their death. Are their life choices their own, or based on a pre-determined destiny? (2018)

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In the Lake of the Woods, (fiction), Tim O’Brien   –   “A politician's career is ruined overnight by revelations of his wartime participation in a village massacre in Vietnam, while his personal life is undone by the sudden disappearance of his wife.” (1995)

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Infidel (biography), Ayaan Hirsi Ali   – “Infidel describes a unique intellectual journey, from the tribal customs of Hirsi Ali's Somali childhood, through the harsh fundamentalism of Saudi Arabia and into the contemporary West.” (2007)

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Inside the O’Briens (fiction), Lisa Genova - Bestselling author and neuroscientist Lisa Genova writes a novel that does for Huntington’s disease what her debut novel Still Alice did for early onset Alzheimer’s disease. (2015) *

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The Invention of Wings (fiction), Sue Monk Kidd   –   Based on the life of Sarah Grimke, an early Abolitionist, Kidd follows the lives of Grimke and Handful, the ten-year-old slave given to her for her eleventh birthday, as they each strive for a life of their own in a time when this was unheard of. (2014)

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The Japanese Lover (fiction), Isabel Allende - A multigenerational epic of friendship and love; a bit of Same Time Next Year, a taste of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.  (2016)

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Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (nonfiction), Bryan Stevenson   -   Stevenson, then a 23-year-old Harvard law student, started an internship in Georgia; his first assignment was to deliver a message to a man living on death row. This led to his calling: representing the innocent, those inadequately defended, children, domestic abuse survivors, the mentally ill and prisoners. This fast-paced book reads like a John Grisham novel.  (2015)

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The Kitchen House (fiction), Kathleen Grissom   -    Young, white Lavinia, orphaned during her passage from Ireland, arrives on the steps of a plantation’s kitchen house and is placed as an indentured servant under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate slave daughter. The novel unfolds in a story of class, race, dignity, deep-buried secrets, and familial bonds. (2010)

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The Kommandant’s Girl (fiction), Pam Jenoff   –   “Nineteen–year–old Emma Bau has been married only three weeks when Nazi tanks thunder into her native Poland. Within days Emma's husband, Jacob, is forced to disappear underground, leaving her imprisoned in a Jewish ghetto. But then, the Resistance smuggles her out and she takes on a new identity as Anna Lipowski, a gentile.” (2007)

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A Land Remembered (fiction),  Patrick Smith  –   The story of three generations of the MacIveys, a Florida family who battle the hardships of the frontier to rise from a dirt–poor Cracker life to the wealth and standing of real estate tycoons. (1984) *

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The Language of Flowers (fiction), Vanessa Diffenbaugh   –   The language of flowers conveyed romantic expression in the England of Queen Victoria. In the United States of today, after a childhood of foster care, Victoria Jones communicates with other people using this same language. (2011) *

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The Leavers (fiction), Lisa Ko - When Deming Guo was 11, his Chinese immigrant mother, Polly, left for work at a nail salon and never returned. In alternating perspectives, this novel tells both of their stories. (2017)

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The Liar’s Club (nonfiction), Mary Karr   –    “A funny, razor–edged memoir. The author looks back at her upbringing in a swampy East Texas refinery town amidst her volatile and defiantly loving family.” (1995)

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Life After Life (fiction), Jill McCorkle   –    This award–winning author takes the reader on a splendid journey through time and memory in these tales and adventures of the residents, staff and neighbors of the Pine Haven Retirement Center (from twelve–year–old Abby to eighty–five–year–old Sadie). (2013)

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Light Between Oceans (fiction), M.L. Stedman   –   When Tom Sherbourne, a lighthouse keeper, finds a baby who washed up in a rowboat, he and his young wife Isabel decide to raise the child as their own. The baby seems like a gift from God, yet years later, justice for one character will mean another’s tragic loss. (2012) *

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Light in the Ruins (fiction), Chris Bohjalian   –    In 1955 Serafina Bettini, an investigator with the Florence Police Department, is assigned to a gruesome new case: a serial killer who is targeting the remaining members of the nearby Rosati family one by one. Soon she finds herself digging into secrets of days past. (2013)

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The Line Becomes a River (nonfiction), Francisco Cantú  –    After years of grueling experience as a US Border Patrol agent, Cantú leaves the stress behind for civilian life. When a friend is caught in the middle of crisis trying to cross from Mexico back into the US, Cantú is compelled to help him. This novel examines the violence along the Mexican border from a personal perspective and gives a face to the immigration crisis on both sides. (2018)

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Little Fires Everywhere (fiction), Celeste Ng Smith   –   A suburban family becomes entwined with their artist tenant and teenage daughter. An examination of the complexities of identity, how relationships are formed and tested, and the fluidity of motherhood. (2017)

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Live by Night (fiction), Dennis Lehane   –    This Prohibition–era tale of Joe Coughlin’s rise to criminal power is packed with guns, booze and babes as it roars from Boston to Tampa to Cuba. How Coughlin changes his personality, yet retains his humanity, is beautifully described by Lehane. (2012)

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Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 (fiction), Francine Prose - Historical fiction built around a famous photograph by Brassai of two women at a table in a Paris nightclub. The women are regulars at the Chameleon Club, a haven for lesbians, gays, cross-dressers, and others. A portrait of Paris from the mid- twenties to the Second World War. (2015) *

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Loving Frank (fiction), Nancy Horan   –    “Horan's Loving Frank describes Frank Lloyd Wright's passionate affair with a woman named Mamah Cheney. Both of them left their families to be together, creating a Chicago scandal that eventually ended in inexplicable violence.” (2007)

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Lucy (fiction), Ellen Feldman   –   “This novel details the love affair between Franklin Roosevelt and his wife's secretary, Lucy Mercer Rutherford. Told from Rutherford's viewpoint, the story follows their affair from when she is initially hired as Eleanor's personal secretary in the days before World War I to Rutherford's deathbed in 1948.” (2003)

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Luna Babies (fiction), Carole Lee Limata - The exhibit of premature babies in Luna Park at Coney Island was a popular attraction for 40 years. Its story is told here by the doctor who cared for the infants as well as his wife, his daughter and his nurse. (2016) *

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Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand (fiction),  Helen Simonson   –   A charming contemporary English comedy of manners which touches on the clash between two cultures, the greed of materialism, family behavior, and the tension between fathers and sons. (2010)

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Making Rounds with Oscar (nonfiction), David Dosa    –   The story of a doctor who at first doesn't always listen, of the patients he serves, of their caregivers, and, most importantly, of a cat who teaches by example, embracing moments of life from which so many of us shy away. (2010)

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A Man Called Ove (fiction), Fredrik Backman  -  Ove, the grumpiest man in the world, trundles from his well-ordered solitary world into one of unkempt cats, unlikely friendships and a community’s unexpected reassessment of the one person they thought they had all figured out. A thoughtful and charming read. (2015) *

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Me, Before You (fiction), Jojo Moyes  -  Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl who takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe, Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living. (2012) *

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The Memory Keeper’s Daughter (fiction), Kim Edwards   –   This is the story of a man who gives away his newborn baby daughter, who has Down’s syndrome, to one of the nurses. The nurse raises the child, the mother believes she has died, the father is consumed with guilt. His deception becomes the defining moment of the main characters' lives, and the baby’s absence corrodes her birth family's core over the course of the next 25 years. (2005)

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The Middlesteins (fiction), Jami Attenberg   –    As an epic story of marriage, family and obsession that’s written with compassion and humor, this novel explores the hopes and heartbreaks of new and old love, and our devastating, fascinating preoccupation with food. (2012)

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Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women’s Literary Society (fiction),  Amy Hill Hearth   –   Set in Naples, Florida, in the early 1960s, the cast of characters includes a postmistress, a librarian, a convicted murderer, a northern transplant, a lone African–American girl, and a lonely gay man. Serious topics innocently addressed.  (2012)

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Missing Person (fiction), Patrick Modiano  –  Follow amnesiac Guy Roland throughout postwar Paris as he searches for himself and begins to suspect that he may have lead a mysteriously compartmentalized existence and employed multiple identities. He may even have been fleeing the German occupation when his memory was wiped away. Modiano is the 2014 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. (1978)

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Molokai (fiction),  Alan Brennert    –   “Kalama, a spirited seven–year–old Hawaiian girl, dreams of visiting far–off lands like her father, a merchant seaman. When a rose–colored mark of leprosy appears on her skin, she is taken from her home and family, and sent to live her life on Kalaupapa, the quarantined leprosy settlement on the island of Molokai.”  (2003)

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Mom & Me & Mom (biography), Maya Angelou   –    In an open and honest look at a difficult relationship, Angelou’s autobiography tells of her childhood without her mother, her reunion with her, and their love for one another.  (2013)

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Moonglow (fiction), Michael Chabon - From the Jewish slums of prewar South Philadelphia to the invasion of Germany, from a Florida retirement village to New York’s Wallkill prison, the novel revisits an entire era through a single life and collapses a lifetime into a single week. (2016)

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Mudbound (fiction),  Hillary Jordan   –    Focusing on a time when returning World War II veterans knew the world was changing, but their home communities were not, the racism of the South produces an almost inevitable catastrophe for two returning men. (2008)

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The Muralist (fiction), B.A. Shapiro   -  This fine-art detective story blends the early years of the abstract expressionist movement, the Roosevelts, institutionalized anti-Semitism that denied American visas to Jewish refugees, the relentless run-up to World War II, and the generational losses of the Holocaust. Mystery and historical fiction lovers will find this an inviting read.  (2015)

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My Sister’s Keeper (fiction), Jodi Picoult   –    Anna was genetically engineered to be a perfect match for her cancer– ridden older sister. This novel explores the moral and emotional complexities of this situation. (2004)

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Mystic River (fiction), Dennis Lehane  –  An “emotionally   wrenching crime drama about the effects of a savage killing on a tightly knit, blue–collar Boston neighborhood. Written with sensitivity toward character, the story tracks the friendship of three boys from a single defining moment in their childhood.” (2001)

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Namesake (fiction), Jhumpa Lahiri   –   “A multi–generational story of a Hindu Bengali family’s journey to self– acceptance in Boston. The author masterfully explores the themes of the immigrant experience.” (2003)

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Next Year in Havana (fiction), Chanel Cleeton   –  A Cuban-American woman travels to Havana to scatter her grandmother’s ashes and experiences the contrast of Cuba's tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. Here she discovers the roots of her identity and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution. (2019)

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The Nickel Boys (fiction), Coleson Whitehead –    Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children. The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist confronting racial prejudices and true-life atrocities. (2019)

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Night Road (fiction), Kristin Hannah   –    For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own. After she and her family befriend a youthful stranger, decisions they make change the course of all of their lives. (2011) *

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Norwegian By Night (fiction), Derek Miller  –  Sheldon Horowitz is a grumpy, guilt–driven 82–year old war vet who lives in New York and is recently widowed. His grand–daughter insists that he come to live with her and her Norwegian husband in Oslo. How will he adjust? And should he interfere when he hears a violent argument erupting from the upstairs flat where a woman and her son are clearly in terrible trouble? To his mind, Europe turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to the Jews' plight in the Second World War; he is not going to make the same mistake. Instead, he makes another. (2012) *

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An Object of Beauty (fiction), Steve Martin - Lacey Yeager is an ambitious young art dealer who uses everything at her disposal to advance in the world of the high-end art trade in New York City. This book is about the absence of a moral compass, not just in the life of an adventuress but for an entire era. (2010) *

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The Old Man and the Sea (fiction), Ernest Hemingway - An apparently simple fable, this is the story of an old Cuban fisherman down on his luck, and his battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Symbolism abounds. (1952) *

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One Corpse Too Many (mystery), Ellis Peters   –  When Shrewsbury Castle falls in the summer of 1138, Brother Cadfael discovers a murder mystery amid the wreckage. He vows to find the truth behind disparate clues: a girl in boy's clothing, a missing treasure, and a single broken flower. Second book in the Chronicles of Brother Cadfael series. (2014)

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One Thousand White Women (fiction), Jim Fergus – “This is the story of May Dodd and a colorful assembly of pioneer women who, under the auspices of the U.S. government, travel to the western prairies in 1875 to intermarry among the Cheyenne Indians.” (1998)

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Only Child (fiction), Rhiannon Navin – A school shooting leaves six year old little brother, Zach, an only child. He sets out on a harrowing journey towards healing and forgiveness, determined to help the adults in his life rediscover their place in the world after tragedy strikes home. (2018)

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Ordinary Grace (fiction), William Kent Krueger–The narrator, Frank Drum, writes as a middle–age man looking back on a summer in 1961 when he was 13 and death, in five different instances, shook his family and their community. The first death is that of Frank’s sometime friend Bobby Cole. The proximate cause was a train, but the mystery is whether Bobby stood in front of that train, or was pushed or placed there. More deaths follow, one of which rips apart Frank’s family. This novel is one of redemptive grace and mercy, as well as unidentified corpses and unexplainable tragedy. (2013)

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Origin (fiction), Dan Brown – Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon attends a lecture that promises to forever change the course of religious history and science. Navigating secret history and extreme religion, he searches for the truth to the shocking discovery that answers fundamental questions of human existence. (2017)

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Orphan Train (fiction), Christina Baker Kline–Teenage Molly Ayers expected her Community Service project would have her clearing out an elderly woman’s attic. Instead, the recollections of the woman put Molly on an Orphan Train, one of many which for nearly a century took children from cities to the Midwest where they were adopted by farm families and made to work for them. (2013) *

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The Orphan’s Tale (fiction), Pam Jenoff - A powerful novel of friendship and sacrifice, set in a German traveling circus during World War II. (2017)

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The Overstory (fiction), Richard Powers   –  A book for all readers who despair of humanity’s self-imposed separation from the rest of creation and who hope for the transformative, regenerating possibility of a homecoming. If the trees of this earth could speak, what would they tell us? "Listen. There’s something you need to hear." (2019)

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Pachinko (fiction), Min Jin Lee - Sunja, a Korean woman living in Japan during World War II, lives with the impact of racism as a "Zainichi," or non- Japanese. She has persevered through random misfortunes determined to shape her destiny. A family saga of epic proportions detailing strong, passionate characters through four generations. (2018)

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Palm Trees in the Snow (fiction), Luz Gabás   –  At once an epic family drama and a sweeping love story that spans both an ocean and a generation, Palm Trees in the Snow is an emotionally gripping and historically vivid tale of the secrets that can destroy a family and the bonds that endure. (2017) *

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Peace Like a River (fiction), Lief Enger – To the list of great American child narrators that includes Huck Finn and Scout Finch, let us now add Reuben "Rube" Land, an asthmatic 11–year–old boy. Rube recalls the events of his childhood in small–town Minnesota, circa 1962, in a voice that perfectly captures the poetic, verbal stoicism of the northern Great Plains. "Here's what I saw," Rube warns his readers. "Here's how it went. Make of it what you will." And Rube sees plenty. (2001)

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The Pecan Man (fiction), Cassie Dandridge Selleck - The Pecan Man is a work of Southern fiction whose first chapter was the First Place winner of the 2006 CNW/FFWA Florida State Writing Competition in the Unpublished Novel category. In the summer of 1976, recently widowed and childless, Ora Lee Beckworth hires a homeless old black man to mow her lawn. The neighborhood children call him the Pee-can Man; their mothers call them inside whenever he appears. When the police chief's son is found stabbed to death near his camp, the man Ora knows as Eddie is arrested and charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, Ora sets out to tell the truth about the Pecan Man. In narrating her story, Ora discovers more truth about herself than she could ever have imagined. This novel has been described as To Kill a Mockingbird meets The Help. (2012) *

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A Piece of the World (fiction), Christina Baker Kline - A story of friendship, passion and art, inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s iconic painting Christina’s World. (2017)

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The Pilot’s Wife (fiction), Anita Shreve – “The novel is about Kathryn Lyons, whose husband, Jack Lyons, dies in a plane crash over the Atlantic Ocean. As she and her daughter Mattie try to cope with this sudden loss, she finds herself bombarded by the press. While she and the airlines try to find the reason for the crash, she slowly unravels a series of secrets her husband has kept from her until she realizes that he lived a double life she never knew about.” (1998)


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Postmortem (mystery), Patricia Cornwell   –  A gruesome killer moves through Richmond, Virginia, leaving few clues behind. Newly-appointed Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Kay Scarpetta faces a maze of politics and sabotage in the biggest challenge of her life. First in a mystery series. (2017)

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The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend (fiction), Katarina Bivald   -   Sara, a young Swedish woman, comes to visit her pen pal Amy in Broken Wheel, but Amy has just died. Sara uncovers Amy’s stash of books and decides to open a bookstore, sparking a renaissance in Broken Wheel as the residents come together to help the store become a success.  This fish-out-of-water story will remind you why you’re a booklover. (2015)

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Reading Lolita in Tehran (nonfiction), Azar Nafisi   -   “A moving testament to the power of art and its ability to change and improve people's lives. In 1995, after resigning from her job as a professor at a university in Tehran due to repressive policies, Azar Nafisi invited seven of her best female students to attend a weekly study of great Western literature in her home.” (2003)

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Rebecca (fiction), Daphne DuMaurier – This is the classic dark psychological tale of secrets and betrayal, dead loves and an estate called Manderly that is as much a presence as the people who inhabit it. (1938)

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Red Sparrow (fiction), Jason Matthews   –  A spy-versus-spy tale written by an ex-CIA officer, Red Sparrow depicts both sides of present day politics in United States and Russia. Dominika has an unusual gift known as synesthesia. She perceives sounds as colors and can sense emotions by the color of one’s aura. This first novel in the trilogy has inspired a major motion picture. (2013) *

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Remington and the Mysterious Fedora (fiction), donated by local author Chuck Waldron  -  An old Remington typewriter and a strange fedora take over Josh’s life as he rushes to complete his novel in one month’s time. (2011) *

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Returned (fiction), Jason Mott– All over the world people's loved ones are returning from the dead. No one knows how or why, whether it's a miracle or a sign of the end. But as chaos erupts around the globe, one newly-reunited family finds itself at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality. (2013) *

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Room (fiction), Emma Donoghue–In many ways, Jack is a typical five-year-old. He likes to read books, watch TV, and play games with his Ma. But Jack is different in a big way: he has lived his entire life in a single room, sharing the tiny space with only his mother and an unnerving nighttime visitor known as Old Nick. When their world suddenly expands beyond the confines of their four walls, the consequences are extraordinary. (2010) *

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The Rosie Effect (fiction), Graeme Simsion   –  Don Tillman employs his unique research methods when he finds out his wife is pregnant, but soon finds himself in trouble. A hilarious and charming sequel picking up where The Rosie Project left off. (2014)

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The Rosie Project (fiction), Graeme Simsion   -   Don Tillman, a brilliant, socially inept professor of genetics, decides it’s time he found a wife. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers. Then he meets Rosie. (2013)

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* Book Kits with asterisks are gifts from St Lucie County Book Clubs or individuals.

Annotations in quotation marks have been summarized from reviews found on

For more information or to book your kit, please call 772–462–2190.

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