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The Beginner's Goodbye

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There are two main reasons I love Anne Tyler: one is rather facile, which is that I get a childlike delight when she mentions Sinai Hospital or Cold Spring Lane and I say aloud “yay Baltimore!” The other is because Tyler floats above the “women’s literature/literary fiction” brouhahas, allowing for beautiful portrayals of marriage, siblings, and grief.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

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If your family was killed and you had a choice of whether to wake up from a coma, what would you choose?
Three years ago, that’s the situation that cellist and high school student Mia faced. In the haunting If I Stay , she reflects on her life while listening to those around her, including her boyfriend Adam. Ultimately, Mia chooses to wake up.

Death Comes to Pemberley

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It takes a fair amount of chutzpah to think “Gosh, Pride and Prejudice sure was great, but what it really could have used was a dash of murder.”

The Long Goodbye

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Horror. That’s the dominant feeling I had reading Meghan O’Rourke’s The Long Goodbye: A memoir .

Obit by Jim Sheeler

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Last week I headed to Crested Butte, Colorado. It turns out there’s no better book to bring along than Obit: Inspiring Stories of Ordinary People Who Led Extraordinary Lives , which is as much about creating a picture of Coloradoans as it is the individuals profiled.

Grief

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In an age of big novels with big themes - here's looking at you, Freedom - it's refreshing to spend some time with an understated but moving work.

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