Contemporary Fiction
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

This 2016 novel is strongly reminiscent of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry in that its all about the power of books and the power of community. When young Swedish girl Sara arrives in small town Iowa to find things are NOT as she expected, she takes the logical next step: she opens a bookstore. The plot is a little thin, but the bookish moments make up for it.

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Someone Else’s Love Story

Someone Else’s Love Story

$10.99$1.99Audiobook: 7.49 (Whispersync)

Sweet 21-year-old Shandi "fell in love with William Ashe at gunpoint, in a Circle K” when he steps between a gunman who's high on drugs and her 3-year-old son. When the crisis is over, Shandi hurls herself into a new mission: getting him to love her back. Her blond god Thor that she fell in love with so quickly turns out to be a brilliant geneticist, whose genetic makeup contains some “specific duplications and deletions.” What Shandi doesn't realize is she's stepped into the middle of someone else's love story, not her own—but that story proves to be far more interesting than she ever could have dreamed.

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Delicious!: A Novel

Delicious!: A Novel

Food critic and author of memoirs <em>Tender at the Bone</em>, <em>Comfort Me with Apples</em>, and <em>Garlic and Sapphires</em> Ruth Reichl's first hand at fiction. From the publisher: "Billie Breslin has traveled far from her home in California to take a job at Delicious!, New York’s most iconic food magazine. Away from her family, Billie feels like a fish out of water—until she is welcomed by the magazine's colorful staff. She is also seduced by the vibrant downtown food scene, especially by Fontanari’s, the famous Italian food shop where she works on weekends. Then Delicious! is abruptly shut down, but Billie agrees to stay on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints in order to pay her bills. To Billie’s surprise, the lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery."

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Life and Other Near-Death Experiences

Life and Other Near-Death Experiences

I read this last fall. Bustle calls this novel "anything but formulaic: it's unceasingly delightful, and Libby Miller is a sensitive, super-smart Everywoman hero you'll come to adore."

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The Knockoff: A Novel

The Knockoff: A Novel

$8.99$2.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Whispersync)

Imagine a mashup of The Devil Wears Prada and In Good Company . The story is heavily inspired by All About Eve (which you must watch immediately if you never have): when 42-year-old Glossy magazine editor Imogen Tate returns from a 6-month sabbatical, she finds that her fill-in, a twenty-something Harvard Business School grad, is actively trying to usurp her position—permanently. (And worse—turn the magazine into an app!) Not great literature, but tons of fun.

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Astonish Me

Astonish Me

$9.99$1.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Whispersync)

This book, set in the rarefied world of professional ballet, is unlike anything I’ve never read in form and content. Spanning 30 years, told from four different viewpoints, this novel sweeps you into the world of classical ballet—a world you didn’t know you’d been longing to enter. Some of the flashbacks are wobblier than others, but the richly drawn characters and powerful storytelling keep you turning the pages, The Times hated it, but nevermind that. (A warning: check all your preconceptions about good girl ballerinas. There’s lots of language, and so much cocaine.)

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Gods in Alabama

Gods in Alabama

$9.99$1.99Audiobook: 4.95 (Whispersync)

Part love story, part murder mystery, pure Southern fiction. After spending ten years in Chicago, hiding from her past, Arlene returns home to face a secret she's been hiding since she fled town after high school, and introduce her black boyfriend to her racist mother. Football, dysfunctional families, and colorful characters landed this one on the staff picks shelf.

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The Lost Sisterhood

The Lost Sisterhood

$11.99$1.99

Perfect summer reading for you ISFJ's. BookPagesays this is "a gorgeous journey from England to North Africa to Greece, thrilling readers with beautiful settings, courageous women and breathtaking adventure." Add Audible narration for $11.49.

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A Prayer for Owen Meany: A Novel

A Prayer for Owen Meany: A Novel

$16.99$2.99Audiobook: 7.49 (Whispersync)

Irving is a masterful storyteller, and has a knack for drawing compelling characters. This novel, which gently addresses heavy themes of fate and faith, is widely believed to be his finest. Read it and see why it’s on so many readers’ desert island lists.

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My Mrs Brown

My Mrs Brown

If you've heard this little book described as a modern-day fairy tale, remember this: those traditional non-Disney fairy tales are often very sad. Mrs Brown is a staid, respectable woman: she's not prone to excess, she's not the sort to have a bucket list, she has the non-glamorous job of cleaning a beauty parlor. But the few who see past her plain exterior adore her. When a local great lady dies, Mrs. Brown is hired to help inventory her things before the estate sale, and it's there she encounters The Dress. It's a very specific Oscar de la Renta dress, in a very specific color, and Mrs. Brown immediately turns her life upside down so she can save the money to buy one. Mrs. Brown's dress isn't just a dress to her, and we don't find out why she needs it until the very end of the novel. I wasn't sure what to make of this one when I read it, but as my thoughts have circled back to it over the past couple of months I've found it increasingly satisfying.

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11/22/63: A Novel
The Thorn Birds

The Thorn Birds

This sweeping Australian saga tops many a reader's favorite books list, and its overall rating on Goodreads is an impressive 4.19. McCullough's modern classic tracks an Australian family across three generations. (It should be noted that for every two people who adore this book there's one who considers it a schmaltzy romance. Read it and decide for yourself.)

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Last Ride to Graceland

Last Ride to Graceland

$11.99$0.99Audiobook: 7.49 (Whispersync)

Talk about the ultimate road trip: when blues musician Corey Ainsworth stumbles upon a relic that makes her question her parentage, she hits the road in Elvis's car on a winding journey through the deep south and her own tangled family history. It's a little bit Elizabethtown, a little bit Walk the Line. If you (or your mother) have ever been obsessed with the king, this is for you. Recommended reading for Joshilyn Jackson fans. Publication date May 24 2016.

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