The Great Believers by Rebecca MakkaiWhat it's about: Set in Chicago during the height of the AIDS crisis as well as in modern-day Paris, this thoughtful novel is a powerful portrayal of loss, life, friendship, and family.
Why you might like it: Empathetic characters; moving details of the AIDS epidemic; an emphasis on the families you choose.
Read it if: you enjoyed the scope and subject matter of A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara but want something a little more uplifting.
Bearskin by James A. McLaughlinWhat it's about: Obsessed with catching the poachers intruding on a private preserve, caretaker Rice Moore runs into trouble with vicious locals, a drug cartel, and U.S. law enforcement.
Why you might like it: With a flawed and damaged hero, bursts of violence, and an atmospheric setting in Virginia's Appalachian forests, this visceral, literary debut shows that it's not just nature that's red in tooth and claw...
There There by Tommy OrangeWhat it is: a debut by a Native American author; vignettes in the lives of 12 different characters as they prepare for the upcoming Big Oakland Powwow in Oakland, California.
Why you might like it: With characters whose motivations run the gamut, this is a wide-ranging, multifaceted portrait of a complex and sometimes only tangentially connected community -- that of urban Native Americans.
Reviewers say: "a new kind of American epic" (The New York Times); "white-hot" (The Washington Post); "kaleidoscopic" (Kirkus Reviews).
How to Stop Time
by Matt Haig
Introducing: Tom Hazard, who is centuries old -- but appears to be only in his 40s. Now, he's in danger -- he's falling in love, and that is expressly forbidden by the shadowy group that "protects" people like him.
Read it for: the rich details of the different eras that Tom lives through; the purpose that Tom's search for his daughter gives to his lonely existence; the quirky rom-com nature of the novel.
Book buzz: Benedict Cumberbatch will star in the planned-for big-screen adaptation.
How to Build a Girl by Caitlin MoranStarring: awkward 14-year-old misfit Johanna Morgan, whose family is on the dole and who reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde, a hard-charging partier who makes a name for herself as a hard-to-please rock critic.
Why you might like it: England in the 1990s (and its music scene) is vividly depicted; the writing is clever, observant, and often hilarious; your awkward teen years are comfortably far behind you.
Look for: the sequel, How to Be Famous, publishing this month.
How to Be Both by Ali SmithWhat it is: an inventive, genre-blending combination of historical and contemporary stories, in a highly unusual format -- chapters are arranged in a different order from copy to copy, so readers will experience the book differently depending on what they hold in their hands.
Starring: a Renaissance-era artist and a grieving modern-day teen.
Why you might like it: With thought-provoking explorations of gender and art, plus the creative layout, How to Be Both offers plenty of fodder for discussion.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Avon Lake Public Library
32649 Electric Blvd.
Avon Lake, Ohio 44012