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Tom's Rex

Mystery, Fiction, and Kids' books, mostly. The story has to snap, and the writing has to be good.

Angelmaker (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780307743626
Published: Vintage - October 23rd, 2012

Fans of Gaiman and Stephenson will go for this big, inventive novel featuring mechanical bees. That's right! Wish I could tell you more, but that would spoil the fun. Follow Joshua Joseph Spork, humble clock-maker born into a family of criminals, as he unravels the secret truth at the heart of this great novel.

Fortunately, the Milk Cover Image
By Neil Gaiman, Skottie Young (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062224088
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - September 30th, 2014

A fantastic adventure, perfect for a family read aloud! (Especially if you can do a good Neil Gaiman impression). Dad pops down to the shop to get some milk for the kids cereal. When he returns hours later, his explanation is, well, beyond belief. Supremely enjoyable.

Case Histories: A Novel (Jackson Brodie #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316010702
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - October 17th, 2005

The characters in this book are so remarkably rendered it's hard to remember you are reading a mystery novel until all the various storylines suddenly snap into place. The cold cases, seemingly unrelated, begin to overlap in unexpected ways. Atkinson pokes fun at her characters without ever belittling them. The first in a top-notch series featuring detective Jackson Brodie. 

The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735222526
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - February 12th, 2019

Brilliant and challenging. Leave your conventional wisdom at the door. Nobody brags that their 25-year-old reads at a 26-year-old level. What you should REALLY be worried about if you want your child to succeed.

Once & Future Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780316449274
Published: Jimmy Patterson - March 26th, 2019

Oh, you know, just your average intergalactic teen-age gender-fluid retelling of the Arthur myth. So much packed in to a book that starts with a bang and never slows down. The authors create a believable and compelling future, with unique and funny characters. Not graphic, but I'd still recommend 14 and up because younger kids will be bored with all the romance talk.

House of Leaves: The Remastered Full-Color Edition Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375703768
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pantheon - March 7th, 2000

Sure, it's got great book design, but does it hold up as a novel??     Yes!!  A book about a manuscript about a missing film about a photographer who discovers some deeply strange aspects of his new house.  For instance, it's slightly larger on the isde than on the ourside. Also, there's a door that leads endlessly down into a dark, unknown maze.  Would you go down there?  Down to be distracted by all the footnotes and hullabaloo (although they're fun, too).  At the heart this is a riveting, very creepy tale of the unknown. 

Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501126079
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - May 8th, 2018

A new Southern Gothic masterpiece, putting the African-american experience in modern rural america into sharp focus. Ward has received a MacArthur Genius award and won TWO National Book Awards, including for this incredible novel.

Beatrix Potter and Her Paint Box Cover Image
By David McPhail, David McPhail (Illustrator)
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ISBN: 9780805091700
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - October 6th, 2015

McPhail captures the sweetness and chaotic joy of Beatrix Potter, chronicling her childhood and early paintings of the mice, bunnies, and other animals that would be come the heroes and heroines of her books. For any fan of Beatrix Potter OR David McPhail!

The Corrections: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780312421274
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Picador - September 1st, 2002

If you are going to bet the farm on showy writing, you'd really better deliver.   In my mind, Corrections, more than delivers, it hits the ball out of the park. People, however, tend to either love or hate this intense novel about three siblings and the many ways that they have failed themselves  and each other.  The writing is cringingly insightful into human weakness, and verbally dazzling, leading to an almost overwhelming ride. You feel a little queasy because it hits a little too close to home. 

The Overstory: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393356687
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 2nd, 2019

A multilayered novel with trees and the enviroment at it's center.  I like Powers, but some of his books are a bit too dense.  Overstory sails, however, and won the Pulitzer. Perfect summer reader for any nature lover.

Specimen Days: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312425029
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - April 18th, 2006

The author of THE HOURS once again blows me away. ..  What is the difference between an act of heroic dedications to a cause and fundamentalist terrorism?  How does character manifest itself in different points in history? What is beauty?  Will you know it when you see it?  This new work is an ever-shifting meditation on these and other issues. It plays out in three different time periods as similar characters trade roles and situations while trying  to find through, love, and beauty in hostile environments. Cunningham is an absolutely superb wirter. 

Still Alice Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439102817
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery Books - January 6th, 2009

Not Funny, but definitely worthwhile. Lisa Genova is a brain scientist who has witten a very good novel about a 50 year old woman with early onset Alzheimer's . The book never gets scholcky or overly weepy, yet manages to convey just how awful this disease is on the victims and their families. 

The Poacher's Son: A Novel (Mike Bowditch Mysteries #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312671143
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - April 12th, 2011

The wilds of Maine make an outstanding setting for this series, which features a young Game Warden (Police in the Woods) whose father is on the run for allegedly shooting a cop. The main character, Mike, is a compelling collection of contradictions, and the supporting cast is well drawn. I love finding a new mystery series!

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553447453
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown - February 28th, 2017

The most brutally important non-fiction book I have read in a while.  Filled with personal stories and interviews of poor tenants and sruggling landlords, the book defty incorporates race, politics, income inequality and more into one narrative.