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Librarians' Choice 2001 - Fiction

The tenth annual Fiction Department "Librarians' Choice" list of staff picks is coming soon! Each year, the department publishes a list of sixty or seventy fiction titles that were particular favorites of staff reviewers.

Call (513-369-6918) or email the Fiction & Young Adults Department for a copy, or pick one up at your branch. Some lists from previous years are also available in print or on our webpage.

The 2001 edition will include these titles:

cover of The Hiding Place

The Hiding Place
Trezza Azzopardi (also in large print)
Dol was the youngest of an impoverished, Maltese immigrant family in Cardiff, Wales, in the early 1960s. Fostered away from the family at an early age, she is only now reconstructing her childhood memories. It's a heartbreaking process, as she now understands what she didn't as a child.

Open Season
C.J. Box
Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett is a modern-day straight arrow whose good intentions often go awry. When he investigates a triple homicide, Joe senses that "things are going to get real western" around here. An exciting debut novel.

Elvis In the Morning
William F. Buckley Jr.
In 1950s Germany, Elvis fan Orson Killere meets his hero. Their friendship continues in America as Elvis' fame grows and Orson protests the Vietnam War. Each man faces personal and cultural changes in this immensely appealing story for fans of both Buckley and Presley.

In Sunlight, in a Beautiful Garden
Kathleen Cambor (also in audio cassette)
In the late 1880s, America's new-moneyed industrialists created a personal peaceful retreat in rural Pennsylvania. Cambor juxtaposes the views of the locals and the weekenders, the historical and the fictional, as a time and place of innocence ends with the devastating Johnstown Flood.

The Wooden Sea
Jonathan Carroll
An ugly, three-legged dog walks into the office of police chief Fran McCabe and dies, the first in a series of surreal events happening all over town. Fran has been chosen for a mysterious task and given his own unruly, adolescent self as helper in this graceful literary fantasy.

Dead Hand
Harold Coyle
Dead Hand was Russia's "Doomsday Machine" in the Cold War. When a chunk of asteroid slams into Siberia, Dead Hand is triggered. Coyle's technothriller brings terse realism to an unlikely tale of Special Forces preventing nuclear war caused by a cosmic disaster.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Dai Sijie
Two young men in a Maoist re-education camp are enthralled with a rediscovered collection of European classics. Sharing these books with the local tailor's daughter, however, leads to a surprising conclusion. Dai Sijie, a camp survivor himself, has written a poignant debut novel.

cover of Fred & Edie

Fred & Edie
Jill Dawson
Dawson's fascinating novel recreates the celebrated 1922 trial of a woman and her lover for the murder of her husband. Edie's undelivered letters to Fred paint a vivid portrait of a woman yearning to be free of the constrictive morality of her time and failing to live up to society's expectations.

Little Boys Come from the Stars
Emmanuel Dongala
This radiant novel by Congolese native Dongala is set in a rapidly changing African culture where VCRs and fetish makers exist side by side. The young boy Matapari, intellectually ravenous and uncrushably optimistic, narrates a remarkable description of village life.

Emma Donoghue
Basing her novel on the case of a servant who killed her mistress because she longed for "fine clothes," Donoghue imagines the life of Mary Saunders, turned prostitute at fourteen for the sake of a scarlet ribbon. It's a vivid, Hogarthian picture of life in eighteenth-century London.

Two O'Clock, Eastern Wartime
John Dunning (also in audio cassette)
In this compelling whodunit and story of love and loyalty set during World War II and the glorious days of live radio, Jack Dulaney tracks down a long lost love in Regina Beach, New Jersey, and becomes caught up in the investigation of her father's mysterious disappearance.

The Widow's Kiss
Jane Feather
A spirited widow and a seasoned soldier match wits to battle the machinations of King Henry VIII's court in this sensual historical romance.

cover of Death of a River Guide

Death of a River Guide
Richard Flanagan
Aljaz Cosini is drowning, caught among the rocks on a Tasmanian river where he has been leading a raft tour. As he dies, visions of his own life and the lives of his ancestors sweep through his mind, providing a panoramic history of Tasmania in this stunning, highly original novel.

Saturn's Return to New York
Sara Gran
Gran's novel is utterly charming in its sympathetic view of Mary Forrest, an almost-twenty-nine-year-old single woman struggling with life and love in a vibrant New York City.

Five Quarters of the Orange
Joanne Harris
An inherited book of recipes is also an account of the past and a primer on human character. A "literary feast for the senses" by the best-selling author of Chocolat.

The Hunted
Alan Jacobson
Amnesiac Michael Chambers is told by the FBI that he's Harper Payne, key witness in the trial of an international assassin. Chambers resists the plan to use him to flush out the killer and follows his own path to rediscovering his past. A compelling, edge-of-the-chair thriller.

Kinship Theory
Hester Kaplan
Maggie grudgingly agrees to bear a child for her barren daughter, Dale, then finds herself acting as mother again, to baby Lily, as the reality of motherhood overwhelms Dale. A restrained and well-written novel that explores the complexity of a mother-daughter relationship.

cover of In a Strange City

In a Strange City
Laura Lippman
Every January 19th in Baltimore, a mysterious Visitor comes to offer a tribute at the grave of Edgar Allan Poe. This year two caped figures enter the cemetery but only one leaves alive. Can Tess Monaghan solve this puzzle before her entombed friend runs out of air?

David Lodge
Novelist Helen Reid is guest lecturer at a university renowned for research in Artificial Intelligence. Her involvement with Messenger, the charismatic director of A.I., initiates a clash between literature and technology in this smart, amusing, sometimes bawdy satire.

Tim Powers
Andrew Hale retires from England's spy service after a disastrous operation on Mount Ararat in 1948. He's recalled in 1963 for a second journey to the mountain top in this stunning and imaginative blend of espionage, occult fantasy, and romance by British fantasist Powers.

Lost Soldiers
James Webb
Ex-Marine Brandon Condley helps a forensic anthropologist to identify the remains of U.S. soldiers in Vietnam. A village graveyard unexpectedly yields the body of an Australian murdered by a U.S. deserter. A poignant and gripping novel about the crimes, ghosts, and memory of war.