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Books & Authors

Human Connections and the Stories Therein

Lost and lonely. Cantankerous and curmudgeonly. Curious and cautious. Lovelorn and adrift. Withdrawn and seeking. Heartfelt and (often) humorous. Introspective and retrospective. The stories and characters living in the pages of this booklist embody these often contradictory states of personal and social conflict. Some are alone by choice, and some are alone by circumstance. Some will find the human connection they crave, and some will not. Any which way the thread untangles, however, you will find yourself deeply invested in each of these character’s lives and the outcomes of their stories.

 

A Man Called Ove : A Novel by Fredrik Backman
A curmudgeon hides a terrible personal loss beneath a cranky and short-tempered exterior while clashing with new neighbors, a boisterous family whose chattiness and habits lead to unexpected friendship.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. That, combined with her unusual appearance (scarred cheek, tendency to wear the same clothes year in, year out), means that Eleanor has become a creature of habit (to say the least) and a bit of a loner. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office.

Less : A Novel by Andrew Sean Greer
Receiving an invitation to his ex-boyfriend's wedding, Arthur, a failed novelist on the eve of his fiftieth birthday, embarks on an international journey that finds him falling in love, risking his life, reinventing himself, and making connections with the past.

Love by Roddy Doyle
Two old friends reconnect in Dublin for a dramatic, revealing evening of drinking and storytelling in this winning new novel from the author of the Booker Prize winning Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha Davy and Joe were drinking pals back in their Dublin youth. Davy rarely sees Joe for a pint anymore--maybe one or two when Davy comes over from England to check on his elderly father. But tonight Davy's father is dying in the hospice, and Joe has a secret that will lead the two on a bender back to the haunts of their youth. Joe had left his wife and family a year earlier for another woman, Jessica. Davy knows her too, or should--she was the girl of their dreams four decades earlier, the girl with the cello in George's pub. As Joe's story unfolds across Dublin--pint after pint, pub after pub--so too do the memories of what eventually drove Davy from Ireland: the upheaval that Faye, his feisty, profane wife, would bring into his life; his father's somber disapproval; the pained spaces left behind when a parent dies. As much a hymn to the Dublin of old as a delightfully comic yet moving portrait of what it means to try to put into words the many forms that love can take, Love marks a triumphant new turn for Roddy Doyle--|cProvided by publisher.

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people's behavior confusing, she'd rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen by Hendrik Groen
First published in the Netherlands as 'Attempts to Make Something of Life. The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old' by Meulenhoff 2014--Title page verso. First published in Great Britain by Michael Joesph, 2016--Title page verso. Hendrik Groen may be old, but he is far from dead and isn't planning to be buried any time soon. Granted, his daily strolls are getting shorter because his legs are no longer willing and he has to visit his doctor more than he'd like. Technically speaking he is...elderly. But surely there is more to life at his age than weak tea and potted geraniums? Hendrik sets out to write an exposé: a year in the life of his care home in Amsterdam, revealing all its ups and downs--not least his new endeavor, the anarchic Old-But-Not-Dead Club. And when Eefje moves in--the woman Hendrik has always longed for--he polishes his shoes (and his teeth), grooms what's left of his hair and attempts to make something of the life he has left, with hilarious, tender and devastating consequences.--Amazon.com.

The Story of Arthur Truluv : A Novel by Elizabeth Berg
Arthur meets Maddy when hes visiting his dead wife in the cemetery; he eats lunch there every day. Maddy is a high school senior whos got a hopeless crush on a jerk. Warm-hearted Arthur reaches out to Maddy in a totally open way, as Maddys parents seem uninvolved at best. The Story of Arthur Truluv is one of those rare coming-of-age novels that is just as much about the end of life as it is about growing up. -- Michelle Beckes for LibraryReads.

When All Is Said by Anne Griffin
If you had to pick five people to sum up your life, who would they be? If you were to raise a glass to each of them, what would you say? And what would you learn about yourself, when all is said? At the bar of a grand hotel in a small Irish town sits 84-year-old Maurice Hannigan. He's alone, as usual, though tonight is anything but. Pull up a stool and charge your glass, because Maurice is finally ready to tell his story. Over the course of this evening, he will raise five toasts to the five people who have meant the most to him. Through these stories - of unspoken joy and regret, a secret tragedy kept hidden, a fierce love that never found its voice - the life of one man will be powerful and poignantly laid bare.

 

 

 

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