Putting faith in Paul Auster, the master of inventive perspectives and refracted truths, is a dangerously exhilarating proposition.  His story of innocence lost takes you around the world, across four decades, alongside all the players—and you’re still not sure whose side you’re on when it’s over.  The three rules to navigating Auster’s Invisible (Holt, $25) are: 1) don’t trust the narrator or any other characters; 2) don’t hope for a particular ending because that will ensure it won’t happen; 3) don’t believe in one Truth because everybody has his or her own version. Once you start this powerful mix of humanity and sexuality, you’re going where Auster wants to take you, and, as should be expected, it’s a dark, twisted place.  Have fun, and don’t forget the rules.

Invisible: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312429829
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Picador - June 22nd, 2010

Her Fearful Symmetry (Simon & Schuster, $26.99) opens with intrigue—furtive actions, a private eye, secretive correspondence, an inheritance, and a haunting love story. The protagonists are two historians working at Highgate Cemetery in London (and therefore on intimate terms with the dead) and two young, creepily codependent twin sisters. But lest you think of the syrupy movie Ghost, the delicate unfolding of this paranormal mystery is like petals opening on a dark rose. As in her equally successful forays into imagined realities, The Time Traveler’s Wife and Three Incestuous Sisters, Audrey Niffenegger demonstrates her talent for exploring her characters’ complex and selfish motivations, and their unconscious manipulations in pursuit of their desires.

Her Fearful Symmetry: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439165393
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Scribner - September 29th, 2009

Her Fearful Symmetry: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439169018
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - June 29th, 2010

Border Songs is an engaging, satisfying and immensely entertaining story. The appeal stems largely from the novel’s main character, Brandon Vanderkool. Brandon is six foot eight, severely dyslexic and has an uncanny affinity for the natural world. Working as a border patrol agent along the U.S. Canada border in Washington state, he indulges his passion for bird-watching while keeping an alert eye to potential terrorists and pot smugglers. The forests and farms of northern Washington are beautifully described and play a key role in the story. It’s in this landscape that Brandon’s father Norm operates a dairy farm. His struggle to maintain his business and look after his animals is described with unerring detail. The plot’s satisfying twists and turns largely focus on industrial marijuana production in British Columbia and its importation into the lower 48, but the most lasting and compelling aspect of Border Songs is the characters–-their originality, vitality, and freshness make this a truly stand-out novel.

Brandon Vanderkool is a gentle giant, a dyslexic border patrol agent working the northern border of Washington and western Canada.  More at home in the woods with animals and birds than he is with people, he’s a natural tracker but somewhat clumsy with bureaucracy.  Border Songs (Knopf, $25.95), by Jim Lynch, tells Brandon’s remarkable, eccentric, and ultimately heroic story.  After 9/11, the once barely-observed border is heavily monitored by cameras and planes, and cross-border neighbors eye each other warily. Add to this a marijuana-smuggling operation based in British Columbia, and Brandon and his fellow agents have a lot on their hands.  With a graceful regard for the natural world and a motley cast of characters, Border Songs is an utterly original and unforgettable novel.

Border Songs (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307456267
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - July 13th, 2010