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BKLYN BookMatch - Contemporary Fiction for a Fan of Jonathan Franzen, Jeffrey Eugenides & Liane Moriarty

This list was created by a librarian with the Brooklyn Public Library for a reader. Would you like to your own personal list of reading suggestions? Visit Bklyn BookMatch, here: www.bklynlibrary.org/bookmatch

20 items

Love medicine

Louise Erdrich. |

This is the epic story about the intertwined fates of two families: the Kashpaws and the Lamartines. With astonishing virtuosity, each chapter draws on a range of voices to limn its tales. Black humor mingles with magic, injustice bleeds into betrayal, and through it all, bonds of love and family marry the elements into a tightly woven whole that pulses with the drama of life.

The imperfectionists

Tom Rachman. |

An "imperfect" crew of reporters and editors working for an international English language newspaper stumble toward an uncertain future as the era of print news gives way to the Internet age.

The rehearsal

Eleanor Catton. |

After a teacher has an affair with an underage student, a group of teenage girls gains a new awareness of their own power to attract and manipulate, and when a local drama group turns the story of the affair into their year-end show, reality and drama merge.

The dive from Clausen's pier

Ann Packer. |

When her fiance is left paralyzed following a tragic accident, Carrie Bell begins to question her familiar world, from her everyday life in Wisconsin to her relationships, as she sets out to rediscover her own identity.

Aloft

Chang-rae Lee. |

Since the day his wife died, Jerry has turned avoiding conflict into an art form-the perfect expression being his solitary flights from which he can look down on a world that appears serene and unscathed. From his comfortable distance, he can't see the messy details, let alone begin to confront them. But Jerry is learning that in avoiding conflict, he is also avoiding contact with the people he loves most.

The Interestings

Meg Wolitzer. |

Forging a powerful bond in the mid-1970s that lasts throughout subsequent decades, six individuals pursue respective challenges into their midlife years, including an aspiring actress who harbors jealousy toward friends who achieve successful creative careers.

The silver star

Jeannette Walls. |

Abandoned by their artist mother at the age of 12, Bean and her older sister, Liz, are sent to live in the decaying antebellum mansion of their widowed uncle, where they learn the truth about their parents and take odd jobs to earn extra money before an increasingly withdrawn Liz has a life-shattering experience.

On beauty

by Zadie Smith. |

Struggling with a stale marriage and the misguided passions of his three adult children, art professor Howard Belsey finds his family life thrown into turmoil by his son's engagement to the socially prominent daughter of a right-wing icon.

The adventures of Augie March

Saul Bellow ; introduction by Christopher Hitchens. |

Augie's nonconformity leads him into an eventful, humorous, and sometimes earthy way of life.

Perfect little world

Kevin Wilson. |

Joining a psychologist's utopian experiment involving children collectively raised apart from their biological families, a pregnant teen struggles with the group's growing hostilities and funding challenges while fighting her feelings for the doctor.

A free life

Ha Jin. |

In A Free Life, Ha Jin follows the Wu family — father Nan, mother Pingping, and son Taotao — as they sever their ties with China in the aftermath of the 1989 massacre at Tiananmen Square and begin a new life in the United States. As Nan takes on a number of menial jobs, eventually operating a restaurant with Pingping, he struggles to adapt to the American way of life and to hold his family together, even as he pines for a woman he loved and lost in his youth. Ha Jin's prodigious talents are in full force as he brilliantly brings to life the struggles and successes of the contemporary immigrant experience.

Little children

Tom Perrotta. |

A group of young suburban parents, including a stay-at-home dad, a former feminist, and an over-structured mom, finds its sleepy existence shattered when a convicted child molester moves back into town and two of the parents have an affair.

The admissions

by Meg Mitchell Moore. |

The seemingly perfect Hawthorne family of northern California is tested by Ivy League ambitions, overscheduling, impossible expectations by the Bay Area elite, and difficult personal secrets.

The slap

Christos Tsiolkas. |

At a festive barbecue in the Melbourne suburb a man slaps the child of another couple, triggering a court case and a variety of confrontations within the lives of the families and friends present.

Telegraph Avenue

Michael Chabon. |

When ex-NFL quarterback Gibson Goode, the fifth richest black man in America, decides to open his newest Dogpile megastore on Telegraph Avenue, Nat and Archy, the owners of Brokeland Records, fear for their business until Gibson's endeavor exposes a decades-old secret history.

Red Hook Road

Ayelet Waldman. |

As lyrical as a sonata, Ayelet Waldman's follow-up novel to Love and Other Impossible Pursuits explores the aftermath of a family tragedy. Set on the coast of Maine over the course of four summers, Red Hook Road tells the story of two families, the Tetherlys and the Copakens, and of the ways in which their lives are unraveled and stitched together by misfortune, by good intentions and failure, and by love and calamity...

4 3 2 1

Paul Auster. |

Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson's life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Athletic skills and sex lives and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Each Ferguson falls under the spell of the magnificent Amy Schneiderman, yet each Amy and each Ferguson have a relationship like no other. Meanwhile, readers will take in each Ferguson's pleasures and ache from each Ferguson's pains, as the mortal plot of each Ferguson's life rushes on. As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written, yet with a passion for realism and a great tenderness and fierce attachment to history and to life itself.

Here I am

Jonathan Safran Foer. |

Three sons watch as their parents' marriage falter and their family home falls apart, while at the same time a massive earthquake devastates the Middle East, sparking a pan-Arab invasion of Israel.

The family Fang

Kevin Wilson. |

Performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang dedicated themselves to making great art. But when an artist's work lies in subverting normality, it can be difficult to raise well-adjusted children. Just ask Buster and Annie Fang. For as long as they can remember, they starred (unwillingly) in their parents' madcap pieces. But now that they are grown up, the chaos of their childhood has made it difficult to cope with life outside the fishbowl of their parents' strange world. When the lives they've built come crashing down, brother and sister have nowhere to go but home, where they discover that Caleb and Camille are planning one last performance-- their magnum opus-- whether the kids agree to participate or not. Soon, ambition breeds conflict, bringing the Fangs to face the difficult decision about what's ultimately more important: their family or their art. The novel displays a keen sense of the complex performances that unfold in the relationships of people who love one another.

First comes love

Emily Giffin. |

Meredith thought she'd done it all right - married the perfect man, had the perfect daughter - but as she grows increasingly restless, she can't help but wonder if she got the love part wrong. Josie has been happily single for years, but she wants a child of her own so much she's one bad Match.com date away from heading straight for the baby carriage all on her own. The sisters, whose relationship was strained by the tragic death of their older brother over a decade ago, find that they need each other more than they realized.