Notable Books for Adults List, 2011
Nashville Chrome by Rick Bass.
This lovely and unsettling account of pop trio The Browns reels you in as though the concept of rags to riches were brand new.
Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue.
Five-year-old Jack vividly narrates the story of his life confined in a room with his mother in this unsettling exploration of resilience and hope.
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.
A‘70s punk band becomes the touchstone for a motley crew who spin their interconnected stories over time and distance.
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin.
Two men – one black, one white – must confront the secrets surrounding their childhood friendship following the disappearance of two girls in rural Mississippi.
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.
This incisive portrait of the fractured Berglund brood captures the zeitgeist of contemporary America.
Next by James Hynes.
Welcome to the worst day of Kevin Quinn’s life as he battles the anxieties of the modern world in steamy Austin, Texas.
The Surrendered by Chang Rae Lee.
The complex entangled lives of three people forever scarred by the Korean War are sympathetically portrayed in gorgeous prose.
Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes.
An ambitious and idealistic American Marine faces the horror, heroism, futility, and pragmatism of war in this visceral portrayal of life in-country.
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: A Novel by David Mitchell.
A young clerk attempts to establish himself in the artificial and intense world of Dejima, the Dutch trading colony in 1800s Japan.
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray.
Filled warmth and humor, this coming-of-age novel set in a Dublin boys schools is a sprawling homage to adolescence, string theory, donuts, and unrequited love.
The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli.
The adrenaline high that danger offers infects photojournalist Helen Adams as she documents the war in Vietnam.
The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel by Brady Udall.
In this big-hearted novel, Golden Richards and his clan navigate their chaotic lives as each clamors to be noticed.