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My Favorite Contemporary Fiction Books

5 Books | by Mira Shah

Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies

Books

DON'T MISS SEASON 2 OF THE GOLDEN GLOBE AND EMMY AWARD-WINNING HBO® SERIES STARRING REESE WITHERSPOON, NICOLE KIDMAN, SHAILENE WOODLEY, LAURA DERN, ZOË KRAVITZ, AND MERYL STREEP From the author of Nine Perfect Strangers, Truly Madly Guilty, and The Husband's Secret comes the #1 New York Times bestselling novel about the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive. A murder...A tragic accident...Or just parents behaving badly? What's indisputable is that someone is dead. Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She's funny, biting, and passionate; she remembers everything and forgives no one. Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare but she is paying a price for the illusion of perfection. New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for a nanny. She comes with a mysterious past and a sadness beyond her years. These three women are at different crossroads, but they will all wind up in the same shocking place. Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the little lies that can turn lethal.

The Guest List

The Guest List

Books

A REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICKTHE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BEST THRILLERS OF THE YEAR“I loved this book. It gave me the same waves of happiness I get from curling up with a classic Christie...The alternating points of view keep you guessing, and guessing wrong.” — Alex Michaelides, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Patient"Evok[es] the great Agatha Christie classics…Pay close attention to seemingly throwaway details about the characters’ pasts. They are all clues.” -- New York Times Book ReviewA wedding celebration turns dark and deadly in this deliciously wicked and atmospheric thriller reminiscent of Agatha Christie from the New York Times bestselling author of The Hunting Party.The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner  – The bridesmaid – The bodyOn an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

Such a Fun Age

Such a Fun Age

Books

A Best Book of the Year: The Washington Post • Chicago Tribune • NPR • Vogue • Elle • Real Simple • InStyle • Good Housekeeping • Parade • Slate • Vox • Kirkus Reviews • Library Journal • BookPage Longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize An Instant New York Times BestsellerA Reese's Book Club Pick  "The most provocative page-turner of the year." --Entertainment Weekly "I urge you to read Such a Fun Age." --NPR A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains' toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store's security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right. But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix's desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix's past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other. With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone "family," and the complicated reality of being a grown up. It is a searing debut for our times.

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 Green From 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.

Anxious People

Anxious People

Books

Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller A People Book of the Week, Book of the Month Club selection, and Best of Fall in Good Housekeeping, PopSugar, The Washington Post, New York Post, Shondaland, CNN, and more! “[A] quirky, big-hearted novel…Wry, wise, and often laugh-out-loud funny, it’s a wholly original story that delivers pure pleasure.” —People From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove comes a charming, poignant novel about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined.Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world. Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next. Rich with Fredrik Backman’s “pitch-perfect dialogue and an unparalleled understanding of human nature” (Shelf Awareness), Anxious People is an ingeniously constructed story about the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope—the things that save us, even in the most anxious times.

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