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My Favorite Contemporary Fiction Books

5 Books | by Sonya Westerman

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Books

A misanthropic matriarch leaves her eccentric family in crisis when she mysteriously disappears in this "whip-smart and divinely funny" novel that inspired the movie starring Cate Blanchett (New York Times). Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect; and to 15-year-old Bee, she is her best friend and, simply, Mom. Then Bernadette vanishes. It all began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle -- and people in general -- has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic. To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, and secret correspondence -- creating a compulsively readable and surprisingly touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.

An American Marriage (Oprah's Book Club)

An American Marriage (Oprah's Book Club)

Books

A NEW YORK TIMES AND WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK A 2018 BEST OF THE YEAR SELECTION OF NPR  * TIME  * BUSTLE  * O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE  * THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS  * AMAZON.COM OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION LONGLISTED FOR THE 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION“A moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.” —Barack Obama “Haunting . . . Beautifully written.” —The New York Times Book Review   “Brilliant and heartbreaking . . . Unforgettable.” —USA Today   “A tense and timely love story . . . Packed with brave questions about race and class.” —People   “Compelling.” —The Washington Post   “Epic . . . Transcendent . . . Triumphant.” —Elle Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.   This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future.

Daisy Jones & The Six

Daisy Jones & The Six

Books

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A gripping novel about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group and their beautiful lead singer, revealing the mystery behind their infamous breakup—from the author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and the new novel Malibu Rising, available now!REESE’S BOOK CLUB PICK • IN DEVELOPMENT AS AN ORIGINAL STREAMING SERIES EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY REESE WITHERSPOON   “An explosive, dynamite, down-and-dirty look at a fictional rock band told in an interview style that gives it irresistible surface energy.”—Elin Hilderbrand NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • The Washington Post • Esquire • Glamour • Real Simple • Good Housekeeping • Marie Claire • Parade • Paste • Shelf Awareness • BookRiot Everyone knows DAISY JONES & THE SIX, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ’n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road. Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend. The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

The Scent Keeper

The Scent Keeper

Books

Erica Bauermeister, the national bestselling author of The School of Essential Ingredients, presents a moving and evocative coming-of-age novel about childhood stories, families lost and found, and how a fragrance conjures memories capable of shaping the course of our lives. Emmeline lives an enchanted childhood on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the natural world through her senses. What he won’t explain are the mysterious scents stored in the drawers that line the walls of their cabin, or the origin of the machine that creates them. As Emmeline grows, however, so too does her curiosity, until one day the unforeseen happens, and Emmeline is vaulted out into the real world--a place of love, betrayal, ambition, and revenge. To understand her past, Emmeline must unlock the clues to her identity, a quest that challenges the limits of her heart and imagination.Lyrical and immersive, The Scent Keeper explores the provocative beauty of scent, the way it can reveal hidden truths, lead us to the person we seek, and even help us find our way back home.

Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere

Books

The #1 New York Times bestseller!Now a Hulu original series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.“I read Little Fires Everywhere in a single, breathless sitting.” —Jodi Picoult“To say I love this book is an understatement. It’s a deep psychological mystery about the power of motherhood, the intensity of teenage love, and the danger of perfection. It moved me to tears.” —Reese Witherspoon“Extraordinary . . . books like Little Fires Everywhere don't come along often.” —John GreenFrom the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned—from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren—an enigmatic artist and single mother—who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town—and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides.  Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs. Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood—and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.Named a Best Book of the Year by: People, The Washington Post, Bustle, Esquire, Southern Living, The Daily Beast, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Audible, Goodreads, Library Reads, Book of the Month, Paste, Kirkus Reviews, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and many more...Perfect for book clubs! Visit celesteng.com for discussion guides and more.

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