The Leftovers

The Leftovers Description:

What if whoosh right now with no explanation a number of us simply vanished Would some of us collapse Would others of us go on one foot in front of the other as we did before the world turned upside down That s what the bewildered citizens of Mapleton who lost many of their neighbors friends and lovers in the event known as the Sudden Departure have to figure out Because nothing has been the same since it happened not marriages not friendships not even the relationships between parents and children br br Kevin Garvey Mapleton s new mayor wants to speed up the healing process to bring a sense of renewed hope and purpose to his traumatized community Kevin s own family has fallen apart in the wake of the disaster his wife Laurie has left to join the Guilty Remnant a homegrown cult whose members take a vow of silence his son Tom is gone too dropping out of college to follow a sketchy prophet named Holy Wayne Only Kevin s teenaged daughter Jill remains and she s definitely not the sweet A student she used to be Kevin wants to help her but he s distracted by his growing relationship with Nora Durst a woman who lost her entire family on October th and is still reeling from the tragedy even as she struggles to move beyond it and make a new start br br With heart intelligence and a rare ability to illuminate the struggles inherent in ordinary lives Tom Perrotta has written a startling thought provoking novel about love connection and loss

Rating: 3.45 out of 5

Little Children

Little Children Description:

Tom Perrotta s thirtyish parents of young children are a varied and surprising bunch There s Todd the handsome stay at home dad dubbed The Prom King by the moms at the playground and his wife Kathy a documentary filmmaker envious of the connection Todd has forged with their toddler son And there s Sarah a lapsed feminist surprised to find she s become a typical wife in a traditional marriage and her husband Richard who is becoming more and more involved with an internet fantasy life than with his own wife and child br And then there s Mary Ann who has life all figured out down to a scheduled roll in the hay with her husband every Tuesday at nine P M br They all raise their kids in the kind of quiet suburb where nothing ever seems to happen until one eventful summer when a convicted child molester moves back to town and two parents begin an affair that goes further than either of them could ever have imagined

Rating: 3.64 out of 5

The Abstinence Teacher

The Abstinence Teacher Description:

Stonewood Heights is the perfect place to raise kids It s got the proverbial good schools solid values and a healthy real estate market It s the kind of place where parents are involved in their children s lives where no opportunity for enrichment goes unexplored br br Ruth Ramsey is the human sexuality teacher at the local high school She believes that pleasure is good shame is bad and knowledge is power Ruth s younger daughter s soccer coach is Tim Mason a former stoner and rocker whose response to hitting rock bottom was to reach out and be saved Tim belongs to The Tabernacle an evangelical Christian church that doesn t approve of Ruth s style of teaching And Ruth in turn doesn t applaud The Tabernacle s mission to take its message outside its doors Adversaries in a small town culture war Ruth and Tim instinctively mistrust each other But when a controversy on the soccer field pushes the two of them to actually talk to each other they are forced to take each other at something other than face value br br The Abstinence Teacher exposes the powerful emotions that run beneath the surface of modern American family life and explores the complex spiritual and sexual lives of ordinary people Elegantly written it is characterized by the distinctive mix of satire and compassion that have animated Perrotta s previous novels

Rating: 3.29 out of 5

Election

Election Description:

A suburban New Jersey high school teacher confronts a student body election gone haywire in this darkly comic novel by the author of The Wishbones Scheduled for release as a feature film in starring Matthew Broderick Who really cares who gets elected President of Winwood High School Nobody except Tracy Flick Tracy s one of those students of boundless energy and ambition who somehow finds the time to do everything edit the school paper star in the musical sleep with her favorite teacher Her heart is set on becoming President of Winwood and what Tracy wants Tracy gets With weeks to go before election day her victory is nearly a foregone conclusion br br And that s just the problem according to Mr M a k a Jim McAllister faculty advisor to the Student Government Association and a popular Winwood history teacher In the name of democracy not to mention a simmering grudge against Tracy Flick Mr M recruits the perfect opposition candidate Paul Warren is a golden boy a football hero with a brain and a heart eager to bulk up his meager resume br br As Winwood High experiences election fever Mr M is distracted by a sudden attraction to his wife s best friend The two dramas he has created one personal and private the other public and political unfurl simultaneously with all the players sharing in a life altering conclusion br br Part satire part soap opera Election is an uncommon look at an ordinary American high school and the extraordinary people who inhabit it

Rating: 3.49 out of 5

Mrs. Fletcher

Mrs. Fletcher Description:

b i New York Times i bestseller b br From the bestselling author of i The Leftovers i and i Little Children i comes a penetrating and hilarious new novel about sex love and identity on the frontlines of America s culture wars br br Eve Fletcher is trying to figure out what comes next A forty six year old divorcee whose beloved only child has just left for college Eve is struggling to adjust to her empty nest when one night her phone lights up with a text message Sent from an anonymous number the mysterious sender tells Eve i U R my MILF i Over the months that follow that message comes to obsess Eve While leading her all too placid life serving as Executive Director of the local senior center by day and taking a community college course on Gender and Society at night Eve can t curtail her own interest in a porn website called MILFateria com which features the erotic exploits of ordinary middle aged women like herself Before long Eve s online fixations begin to spill over into real life revealing new romantic possibilities that threaten to upend her quiet suburban existence br br Meanwhile miles away at the state college Eve s son Brendan a jock and aspiring frat boy discovers that his new campus isn t nearly as welcoming to his hard partying lifestyle as he had imagined Only a few weeks into his freshman year Brendan is floundering in a college environment that challenges his white dude privilege and shames him for his outmoded chauvinistic ideas of sex As the New England autumn turns cold both mother and son find themselves enmeshed in morally fraught situations that come to a head on one fateful November night br br Sharp witty and provocative i Mrs Fletcher i is a timeless examination of sexuality identity parenthood and the big clarifying mistakes people can make when they re no longer sure of who they are or where they belong

Rating: 3.58 out of 5

Joe College

Joe College Description:

For many college students spring break means fun and sun in Florida For Danny a Yale junior it means two weeks behind the wheel of the Roach Coach his father s lunch truck which plies the parking lots of office parks in central New Jersey br br But Danny can use the time behind the coffee urn to try to make sense of a love life that s gotten a little complicated There s loyal and patient hometown honey Cindy and her recently dropped bombshell to contend with and there s also lissome Polly back in New Haven with her shifting moods perfect thrift store dresses and inconvenient liaison with a dashing professor If girl problems aren t enough there s the constant menace of the Lunch Monsters a group of thugs who think Danny has planted the Roach Coach in their territory br br i Joe College i is Tom Perrotta s warmest and funniest fiction yet a comic journey into the dark side of love higher education and food service

Rating: 3.42 out of 5

Nine Inches: Stories

Nine Inches: Stories Description:

Nine Inches Tom Perrotta s first true collection features ten short stories some sharp and funny some mordant and surprising and a few intense and disturbing Whether he s dropping into the lives of two teachers and their love lost and found in Nine Inches documenting the unraveling of a dad at a Little League game in The Smile on Happy Chang s Face or gently marking the points of connection between an old woman and a benched high school football player in Senior Season Perrotta writes with a sure sense of his characters and their secret longings

Rating: 3.78 out of 5

The Wishbones

The Wishbones Description:

Everything is going pretty well for Dave Raymond He s but he still feels young He s playing guitar with the Wishbones a New Jersey wedding band and while it isn t exactly the Big Time it is music He has a roof over his head well it s his parents roof but they don t hassle him much Life isn t perfect but it isn t bad Not bad at all But then he has to blow it all by proposing to his girlfriend

Rating: 3.39 out of 5

The Best American Short Stories 2012

The Best American Short Stories 2012 Description:

The Best American Series br First Best and Best Selling br br The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country s finest short fiction and nonfiction Each volume s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines journals and websites A special guest editor a leading writer in the field then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected and most popular of its kind br br i The Best American Short Stories i includes br br Nathan Englander Mary Gaitskill Roxane Gay Jennifer Haigh br Steven Millhauser Alice Munro Lawrence Osborne Eric Puchner br George Saunders Kate Walbert and others br br

Rating: 3.46 out of 5

Bad Haircut: Stories of the Seventies

Bad Haircut: Stories of the Seventies Description:

Tom Perrotta made his literary debut with his short story collection Bad Haircut earning critical praise and comparisons to Salinger Carver and Roth by taking readers to New Jersey in the s as a boy named Buddy struggles with the timeless mysteries of sex death parents and of course bad haircuts

Rating: 3.41 out of 5