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Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell

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Unfamiliar Fishes seems like it can't go wrong: after all, Sarah Vowell made me want to go visit sites of presidential assassinations.

Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin

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There’s something for both mothers and children in Please Look After Mom : mothers will feel grateful they don’t have selfish children and children will be glad to not have a martyr for a mother.

The Emperor of All Maladies

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There’s no doubt that Siddhartha Mukherjee absolutely deserved the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer is a brilliant history of cancer, and a book that will change the way you think about a far-too-common disease.

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 .

The Art of Forgetting by Camille Noe Pagan

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Friendships are always a balancing act—each person has a role, whether it’s providing a shoulder to cry on, remembering your past romantic mistakes, or being up for your latest harebrained activity. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to find a friend who fulfills all of these. In the The Art of Forgetting , Marisa and Julia are longtime soulmates.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

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Despite the gag-worthy sentence “Sometimes love does conquer all” on the jacket flap of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel , don’t be alarmed: Helen Simonson’s first novel is a no-nonsense, non-traditional British romance that will delight the reader.

Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading by Maureen Corrigan

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From a truth-in-advertisement standpoint, Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books delivers.

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

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While The Weird Sisters follows three sisters, deep down it’s a book about being a parent.

Matched by Ally Condie

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What if your husband or wife was chosen for you via a matching process in which you had no choice?

Or, put a bit more pragmatically, what if you had an arranged marriage and career?

Cabin Fever: A Suburban Father's Search for the Wild

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As a general rule, I am not a huge fan of nature books. In fact, in general, nature is not really my thing. The times that I’ve tried to get into the outdoors generally end with a virulent case of poison ivy or hyperventilating halfway up a mountain. How I’m related to a barefoot-hiking Wonder Woman, I have no idea.

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