Book Buzz: It’s all about the human condition

Setting genre literature and non-fiction topics aside, this week’s Book Buzz list of new fiction rambles through the human condition from the miraculous strangeness of being alive and difficulties in finding oneself to the nature of belonging and our human desire for connection. It rummages through the warmth of friendship and the hilarity of community relations, to the generosity of love, the influence of memory and the meaning of existence. Of all life’s mysteries, the ones to which we are the closest may be the most surprising, confounding or elusive. But as they say, “that’s life.”

Happy reading!

The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival

By Ken Wheaton

Adult Fiction Wheaton

Grand Prairie is a Louisiana town of confounding accents, hard-drinking senior citizens and charming sinners. Father Steve Sibille, who returns home to Grand Prairie to take charge of St. Pete’s church, finds his challenges are many. But when an outsider threatens to poach his flock, the First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival is created to keep the parishioners loyal. Of course things do not always go as planned. This original yarn of community characters is hilarious, beguiling and warmly moving.

Sunset Park

By Paul Auster

Adult Fiction Auster

Auster follows the hopes and fears of a cast of unforgettable characters brought together by the mysterious Miles Heller during the dark months of the 2008 economic collapse. Each wounded, questing character’s story illuminates our tragic flaws and profound need for connection, coherence and beauty. In a time of daunting crises and change, Auster reminds us of lasting things, of love, art, and the miraculous strangeness of being alive.

The Lonely Polygamist

By Brady Udall

Adult Fiction Udall

Golden Richards, husband to four wives, father to twenty-eight children, is having the mother of all midlife crises. His construction business is failing, his family has grown into an overpopulated mini-dukedom beset with insurrection and rivalry, and he is done in with grief over the accidental death of a daughter and the stillbirth of a son. He has come to doubt the capacity of his own heart. Udall’s engaging characters grapple with the nature of need, love and belonging in this story of an American family.

One Day

By David Nicholls

Adult Fiction Nicholls

It’s 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met. But after only one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another. Over twenty years, snapshots of that relationship are revealed on the same day – July 15th – of each year. Dex and Em face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life in this funny and heartbreaking read.

Leaving Unknown

By Kerry Reichs

Adult Fiction Reichs

Maeve Connelly’s epic road trip is taking her through every colorfully-named tiny town in America on her way to Los Angeles. With her foulmouthed cockatiel, Oliver, as her only companion, Maeve’s heading way off the beaten track with little money and a load of painful baggage she wants to leave behind. But when her beloved rattletrap “Elsie,” breaks down outside Unknown, Arizona she finds herself taking a much longer stop than she anticipated.

The Peach Keeper

By Sarah Addison Allen

Adult Fiction Allen

In Walls of Water, North Carolina, where secrets are thicker than the fog from the town’s famous waterfalls, Willa Jackson learns that an old classmate, Paxton Osgood, is restoring the Blue Ridge Madame, built by Willa’s great-great-grandfather, and once the town’s grandest home. Maybe, at last, the troubled past can be laid to rest while something new and wonderful rises from its ashes. But what rises instead is a skeleton found buried beneath the property’s lone peach tree, and certain to drag up dire consequences along with it. Thrust together in an unlikely friendship, Willa and Paxton confront the passions and betrayals that once bound their families and uncover truths that defy the grave to touch the hearts of the living.

The Lottery

By Patricia Wood

Adult Fiction Wood

Perry Crandall’s IQ is only 76 but he’s not stupid. His Gram taught him everything he needs to know to survive: to write things down so he won’t forget them, to play the lottery every week, and most important, whom to trust. When Gram dies Perry is left bereft until his lottery ticket wins him $12 million and he finds more family that he knows what to do with. Will Perry’s fortune be able to withstand such a perilous world?

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey

By Walter Mosley

Adult Fiction Mosley

At ninety-one years old, Ptolemy Grey is one of the world’s forgotten, by family, friends, and even by himself. Marooned in a cluttered Los Angeles apartment overflowing with mementoes from his past Ptolemy sinks deeper into lonely dementia until, at a family funeral he meets Robyn and experiences a seismic shift in his head, his heart and his life. Seventeen and without a family of her own Robyn is unlike anyone Ptolemy has ever known. They form an unexpected bond that moves Ptolmey back into the brightness of friendship and desire. Mosley explores the complex tensions at the heart of race in America, the generosity of love, the influence of memory and our human desire for connection.

•Carolyn Larson, head librarian at Lihu‘e Public Library, brings you the buzz on new, popular and good books available at your library.


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