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The Great American Read

(Librarian Selected)



The Alchemist
by Coelho, Paulo

9780062390622Paulo CoelhoThe AlchemistA special 25th anniversary edition of the extraordinary international bestseller, including a new Foreword by Paulo Coelho. Combining magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist has become a modern classic, selling millions of copies around the world and transforming the lives of countless readers across generations. Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different--and far more satisfying--than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams. - Description from Syndetics
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To Kill a Mockingbird
by Lee, Harper

9780061120084Harper LeeTo Kill a MockingbirdNominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep South--and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable 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. - Description from Syndetics
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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
by Rowling, J. K

9780590353427J. K. Rowling; Mary GrandPré (Illustrator)Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneHarry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility. All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley - a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry - and anyone who reads about him - will find unforgettable. For it's there that he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter. - Description from Syndetics
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The Notebook
by Sparks, Nicholas

9781455558025Nicholas SparksThe NotebookRediscover the unforgettable, heart-wrenching romance set in post-World War II North Carolina, about a young socialite who can't forget the boy who once stole her heart--now one of PBS's Top 100 "Great American Reads." Every so often a love story so captures our hearts that it becomes more than a story-it becomes an experience to remember forever. The Notebook is such a book. It is a celebration of how passion can be ageless and timeless, a tale that moves us to laughter and tears and makes us believe in true love all over again... At thirty-one, Noah Calhoun, back in coastal North Carolina after World War II, is haunted by images of the girl he lost more than a decade earlier. At twenty-nine, socialite Allie Nelson is about to marry a wealthy lawyer, but she cannot stop thinking about the boy who long ago stole her heart. Thus begins the story of a love so enduring and deep it can turn tragedy into triumph, and may even have the power to create a miracle... - Description from Syndetics
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The Pillars of the Earth
by Follett, Ken

9780451225245Ken FollettThe Pillars of the EarthIf you liked the Century Trilogy, you'll love the "extraordinary . . . monumental masterpiece" ( Booklist ) that changed the course of Ken Follett's already phenomenal career. "Follett risks all and comes out a clear winner," extolled  Publishers Weekly  on the release of  The Pillars of the Earth . A departure for the bestselling thriller writer, the historical epic stunned readers and critics alike with its ambitious scope and gripping humanity. Today, it stands as a testament to Follett's unassailable command of the written word and to his universal appeal.    The Pillars of the Earth  tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known . . . of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect--a man divided in his soul . . . of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame . . . and of a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state and brother against brother.   A spellbinding epic tale of ambition, anarchy, and absolute power set against the sprawling medieval canvas of twelfth-century England, this is Ken Follett's historical masterpiece. - Description from Syndetics
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Jurassic Park
by Crichton, Michael

9780345538987Michael CrichtonJurassic Park#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * From the author of Timeline, Sphere, and Congo, this is the classic thriller of science run amok that took the world by storm. Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read "[Michael] Crichton's dinosaurs are genuinely frightening." --Chicago Sun-Times An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now humankind's most thrilling fantasies have come true. Creatures extinct for eons roam Jurassic Park with their awesome presence and profound mystery, and all the world can visit them--for a price. Until something goes wrong. . . . In Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton taps all his mesmerizing talent and scientific brilliance to create his most electrifying technothriller. Praise for Jurassic Park "Wonderful . . . powerful." -- The Washington Post Book World "Frighteningly real . . . compelling . . . It'll keep you riveted." --The Detroit News "Full of suspense." -- The New York Times Book Review - Description from Syndetics
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Frankenstein
by Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft

9780674055520Mary Shelley; Susan J. Wolfson; Ronald LevaoThe Annotated Frankenstein An annotated and illustrated edition of Mary Shelley's classic work, celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2018. First published in 1818, Frankenstein has spellbound, disturbed, and fascinated readers for generations. One of the most haunting and enduring works ever written in English, it has inspired numerous retellings and sequels in virtually every medium, making the Frankenstein myth familiar even to those who have never read a word of Mary Shelley's remarkable novel. Now, this freshly annotated, illustrated edition illuminates the novel and its electrifying afterlife with unmatched detail and vitality. From the first decade after publication, "Frankenstein" became a byword for any new, disturbing developments in science, technology, and human imagination. The editors' Introduction explores the fable's continuing presence in popular culture and intellectual life as well as the novel's genesis and composition. Mary Shelley's awareness of European politics and history, her interest in the poets and philosophical debates of the day, and especially her genius in distilling her personal traumas come alive in this engaging essay. The editors' commentary, placed conveniently alongside the text, provides stimulating company. Their often surprising observations are drawn from a lifetime of reading and teaching the novel. A wealth of illustrations, many in color, immerses the reader in Shelley's literary and social world, in the range of artwork inspired by her novel, as well as in Frankenstein's provocative cinematic career. The fresh light that The Annotated Frankenstein casts on a story everyone thinks is familiar will delight readers while deepening their understanding of Mary Shelley's novel and the Romantic era in which it was created. - Description from Syndetics
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Americanah: A Novel
by Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi

9780307271082Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieAmericanah One of The New York Times Book Review's Ten Best Books of the Year From the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, a dazzling new novel: a story of love and race centered around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home. As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are leaving the country if they can. Ifemelu--beautiful, self-assured--departs for America to study. She suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships and friendships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze--the quiet, thoughtful son of a professor--had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. But when Ifemelu returns to Nigeria, and she and Obinze reignite their shared passion--for their homeland and for each other--they will face the toughest decisions of their lives. Fearless, gripping, at once darkly funny and tender, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story set in today's globalized world: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's most powerful and astonishing novel yet. - Description from Syndetics
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The Book Thief
by Zusak, Markus

9780375842207Markus ZusakThe Book ThiefDON'T MISS BRIDGE OF CLAY , MARKUS ZUSAK'S FIRST NOVEL SINCE THE BOOK THIEF . The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul. Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read . When Death has a story to tell, you listen. It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist-books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time. "The kind of book that can be life-changing." -- The New York Times "Deserves a place on the same shelf with The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank." -- USA Today - Description from Syndetics
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