The Museum of Innocence - Orhan Pamuk

Kemal is a rising young businessman about to become engaged to the ideal woman, when he falls in love with 18-year-old Fusun, a boutique clerk. As this new relationship bursts over him, Kemal is so impassioned that he doesn’t see why he can’t have a wife and a lover. Both women dump him, but he remains obsessed with Fusun, eventually tracking her down and courting her for eight years, even though she’s married by then. Kemal, though self-absorbed, is so earnest and inventive in his plans and theories that he’s an unexpectedly engaging protagonist. And the inward focus of his emotional story is balanced by his habit of collecting objects for his museum. Started as part of his obsession, this collection of figurines, candles, glasses—anything related to Fusun—expands to document a wide range of Turkish life from the mid-1970s on. In fact Pamuk, the Nobel laureate, has been working for the last decade to establish such a museum as a tribute to his own enduring beloved, Istanbul.

The Museum of Innocence (Vintage International) By Orhan Pamuk Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307386243
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - October 5th, 2010

The Anthologist - Nicholson Baker

Nicholson Baker’s zany new novel, The Anthologist (Simon & Schuster, $25), is a beguiling love story about poets that everyone who writes or reads lyrical verse will savor.  Narrator Paul Chowder, a published poet, struggles against his writer’s block to compose a preface to a poetry anthology. In the process, he obsesses over poetry and life with humor and pathos:  “Poetry is a controlled refinement of sobbing….The rhyming of rhymes is a powerful form of self-medication.…Rhyming is the avoidance of mental pain by addicting yourself to what will happen next.”  Chowder instructs his readers to write down and recite aloud every poem they encounter.  I found in my reading that I was so enchanted with some of Chowder’s aphorisms that I was writing those down as well.

The Paul Chowder Chronicles: The Anthologist and Traveling Sprinkler, Two Novels By Nicholson Baker Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399172595
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Books - October 9th, 2014

Blame - Michelle Huneven

Patsy MacLemore is the perfect modern woman with her wit, brains, and recklessness. A history professor at a local college near Pasadena, she has a severe drinking problem. She wakes up in jail following a spree and discovers that she has killed two people. Convicted of negligent homicide she is sentenced to two years in jail. Much of Blame (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25) is about her prison years when she joins AA; after serving her sentence, she marries a much older man who is the den father to the local AA. Her struggle to locate herself and her feelings is aided by a wise therapist. Patsy’s story might seem clichéd if Michelle Huneven had not written such a lively, absorbing story with surprising twists and turns.

Blame: A Novel By Michelle Huneven Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312429850
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - May 25th, 2010