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The Books of CNY Reads

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin
A.J. Fikry, the irascible owner of Island Books, has recently endured some tough years. He has given up on people, and even the books in his store offer him no solace. But a most unexpected occurrence gives him the chance to make his life over and see things anew.

The Double Bind
by Chris Bohjalian

When college sophomore Laurel Estabrook is attacked while riding her bicycle through Vermont’s back roads, her life is forever changed. In this spellbinding literary thriller, rich with complex and compelling characters, Chris Bohjalian takes readers on an intriguing, haunting, and most unforgettable journey.
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

A gripping tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.
The First of July
by Elizabeth Speller
A captivating novel of the tragedies of war, as lives cross, dreams are shattered, and futures are altered as the hours pass during the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
The Namesake
by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Namesake
follows the life of Gogol Ganguli from birth until middle age, chronicling his struggle to discover who he is as a second-generation Indian  immigrant. It is a novel of self-discovery that is an emotional journey its readers will not soon forget.


The Tortilla Curtain
by T. C. Boyle
In this timely, provocative account of immigration in central California, Boyle intertwines the lives of two couples–one a pair of wealthy suburbanites and the other a pair of illegal immigrants from Mexico.
The Book
Thief by Marcus Zusak

A story about, among other things: A girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.
Wish You Well
by David Baldacci

When tragedy strikes in 1940, precocious 12-year-old Louisa Mae Cardinal and her younger brother, Oz, must leave New York City to go with their invalid mother to live on their great-grandmother’s farm in the Virginia mountains. But the forces of greed and justice are about to clash over her new home, and                                        their struggle is played out in a crowded Virginia courtroom.
Water for Elephants
by Sarah Gruen

An atmospheric, gritty, and compelling novel of star-crossed lovers, set in the circus world circa 1932 illuminated by a wonderful sense of time and place.
by Geraldine Brooks

From Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic Little Women, Geraldine Brooks has animated the character of March, the absent father. Brooks follows March as he leaves behind his family to aid the Union cause in the Civil War. His experiences will utterly change his marriage and challenge his most ardently held beliefs.
Mountains Beyond Mountains
by Tracy Kidder

Mountains Beyond Mountains takes us from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba, and Russia as Doctor Paul Farmer changes minds and practices through his dedication to the philosophy that “the only real nation is humanity” – a philosophy that is embodied in the small public charity he founded, Partners In Health.
Sixty Poems
by Charles Simic

Sixty poems by Serbian-American poet Charles Simic and gathered from nine collections spanning 1986-2005, explore themes in history, spirituality, and American culture.
The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini
A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual, powerful, and heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant.
North Star Conspiracy
by Miriam Monfredo

The year is 1854. In Seneca Falls, New York, everyone is busy with the opening of a new theater and no one notices the death of a freed slave. As a supporter of the Underground Railroad, librarian Glynis Tryon hears information that raises her suspicions, and soon discovers more than she wants to know.
The Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck

Tom Joad and his family are forced from their farm in the Depression-era Oklahoma Dust Bowl and set out for California along with thousands of others in search of jobs and land. But their hopes for a brighter future are dashed by a depleted job market and the hardships of daily living in worker camps.

The Works of Arthur Miller

CNY Reads celebrates the work of master playwright Arthur Miller, creator of theater classics such as Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, All My Sons, and The Misfits.


A Lesson Before Dying
by Ernest Gaines

Set in the fictional community of Bayonne, Louisiana, in the late 1940s, A Lesson Before Dying tells the story of Jefferson, a twenty-one-year-old uneducated black field worker wrongfully accused and convicted of the robbery and murder of a white man, and sentenced to death by electrocution.