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Time Travel Romance

Who’s to say that time is a constant? Perhaps we can go back and forward to change history, experience the future, or find timeless love. These titles explore these endless possibilities.

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First Semester Fiction: novels about college students

Everything from the freshman thrilled to leave high school behind, to the freshman nervous about leaving high school behind, to professors with dangerous tastes in students, to mysterious cultish classics scholars, to steampunk heroes, to a biography of a university con artist.  And a murder or three.

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The Secret History by Donna TarttThe secret history

Richard Papen, a relatively impoverished student at a New England college, falls in with an exclusive clique of rich, worldly Greek scholars and soon learns the dreadful secret that keeps them together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Magicians by Lev GrossmanThe magicians : a novel

Haboring secret preoccupations with a magical land he read about in a childhood fantasy series, Quentin Coldwater is unexpectedly admitted into an exclusive college of magic and rigorously educated in modern sorcery.

 

 

 

 

 

Losing It by Cora CarmackLosing it

Bliss Edwards decides she needs to lose her virginity before she graduates from college, but she is unable to go through with a one-night stand and soon learns that the man she left naked in her bed is her new theater professor.

 

 

 

 

 

The Technologists by Matthew PearlThe technologists : a novel

Boston, 1868. The Civil War may be over but a new war has begun, one between the past and the present, tradition and technology. On a former marshy wasteland, the daring Massachusetts Institute of Technology is rising, its mission to harness science for the benefit of all and to open the doors of opportunity to everyone of merit. But in Boston Harbor a fiery cataclysm throws commerce into chaos, as ships’ instruments spin inexplicably out of control. Soon after, another mysterious catastrophe devastates the heart of the city. Is it sabotage by scientific means or Nature revolting against man’s attempt to control it?

The shocking disasters cast a pall over M.I.T. and provoke assaults from all sides—rival Harvard, labor unions, and a sensationalistic press. With their first graduation and the very survival of their groundbreaking college now in doubt, a band of the Institute’s best and brightest students secretly come together to save innocent lives and track down the truth, armed with ingenuity and their unique scientific training.

Led by “charity scholar” Marcus Mansfield, a quiet Civil War veteran and one-time machinist struggling to find his footing in rarefied Boston society, the group is rounded out by irrepressible Robert Richards, the bluest of Beacon Hill bluebloods; Edwin Hoyt, class genius; and brilliant freshman Ellen Swallow, the Institute’s lone, ostracized female student. Working against their small secret society, from within and without, are the arrayed forces of a stratified culture determined to resist change at all costs and a dark mastermind bent on the utter destruction of the city.

 

Cartwheel by Jennifer DuBoisCARTWHEEL : A NOVEL

When Lily Hayes arrives in Buenos Aires for her semester abroad, she is enchanted by everything she encounters: the colorful surroundings, the street food, the elusive guy next door. Her studious roommate Katy is a bit of a bore, but Lily didn’t come to Argentina to hang out with other Americans. Five weeks later, Katy is found brutally murdered in their shared home, and Lily is the prime suspect. But who is Lily Hayes? It depends on who’s asking. As the case takes shape–revealing deceptions, secrets, and suspicious DNA–Lily appears alternately sinister and guileless through the eyes of those around her.

 

 

 

Maybe Someday by Colleen HooverMaybe someday : a novel

When she discovers that her boyfriend is cheating on her, Sydney, a college student, must decide what to do next. She becomes captivated by her mysterious neighbor Ridge, and can’t stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. They soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one.

 

 

 

 

 

Little Fish by Ramsey BeyerLITTLE FISH : A MEMOIR FROM A DIFFERENT KIND OF YEAR

Told through real-life journals, collages, lists, and drawings, this coming-of-age story illustrates the transformation of an 18-year-old girl from a small-town teenager into an independent city-dwelling college student. Written in an autobiographical style with beautiful artwork, Little Fish shows the challenges of being a young person facing the world on her own for the very first time and the unease—as well as excitement—that comes along with that challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

Fangirl by Rainbow RowellFangirl

Cath struggles to survive on her own in her first year of college while avoiding a surly roommate, bonding with a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words, and worrying about her fragile father.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain ReynardGabriel's inferno

Enigmatic and sexy, Professor Gabriel Emerson is a well-respected Dante specialist by day, but by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure. He uses his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm to gratify his every whim, but is secretly tortured by his dark past and consumed by the profound belief that he is beyond all hope of redemption.

When the sweet and innocent Julia Mitchell enrolls as his graduate student, his attraction and mysterious connection to her not only jeopardizes his career, but sends him on a journey in which his past and his present collide.

 

 

 

Commencement by J. Courtney SullivanCommencement

Assigned to the same dorm their first year at Smith College, Celia, Bree, Sally, and April couldn’t have less in common. Celia, a lapsed Catholic, arrives with her grandmother’s rosary beads in hand and a bottle of vodka in her suitcase; beautiful Bree pines for the fiance she left behind in Savannah; Sally, pristinely dressed in Lilly Pulitzer, is reeling from the loss of her mother; and April, a radical, redheaded feminist wearing a “Riot: Don’t Diet” T-shirt, wants a room transfer immediately. Together they experience the ecstatic highs and painful lows of early adulthood: Celia’s trust in men is demolished in one terrible evening, Bree falls in love with someone she could never bring home to her traditional family, Sally seeks solace in her English professor, and April realizes that, for the first time in her life, she has friends she can actually confide in. When they reunite for Sally’s wedding four years after graduation, their friendships have changed, but they remain fiercely devoted to one another. Schooled in the ideals of feminism, they have to figure out how it applies to their real lives in matters of love, work, family, and sex. For Celia, Bree, and Sally, this means grappling with one-night stands, maiden names, and parental disapproval – along with occasional loneliness and heartbreak. But for April, whose activism has become her life’s work, it means something far more dangerous.

 

Indignation by Philip RothIndignation

What impact can American history have on the life of the vulnerable individual? It is 1951 in America, the second year of the Korean War. A studious, law-abiding, intense youngster from Newark, New Jersey, Marcus Messner, is beginning his sophomore year on the pastoral, conservative campus of Ohio’s Winesburg College. And why is he there and not at the local college in Newark where he originally enrolled? Because his father, the sturdy, hard-working neighborhood butcher, seems to have gone mad–mad withfear and apprehension of the dangers of adult life, the dangers of the world, the dangers he sees in every corner for his beloved boy. As the long-suffering, desperately harassed mother tells her son, the father’s fear arises from love and pride. Perhaps, but it produces too much anger in Marcus for him to endure living with his parents any longer. He leaves them and, far from Newark, in the midwestern college, has to find his way amid the customs and constrictions of another American world.

 

 

 

You Don’t Scare Me by John FarrisYou don't scare me

Jubilation County, Georgia ten years ago: Chase Emrick was fourteen when her mother married Crow Tillman. Maybe it was his creepy name or his sinister good looks; maybe it was the glass eye with the bolt of lightning for a pupil that he kept covered with a black eye patch, or maybe it was the rattlesnake tattoo that curled around his left wrist onto his hand, but for some reason, Chase never trusted Crow. Then one terrifying night of horror proved what Chase had felt all along … Crow Tillman was pure evil. Hew Haven, Connecticut present day: Crow Tillman is ten years dead, but he hasn’t stopped haunting Chase Emrick. Everyone she’s ever been close to suffers horrible fates, leaving Chase all alone in this world. Haunted by Crow, she has spent the last ten years of her life proving mathematically that a dimension lies unseen in our reality – one where the dead can inflict their will on the living: a netherworld of horror where Crow Tillman is in complete control. Adam Cameron is a campus cop, and he’s utterly smitten by Chase’s frailty, beauty, and genius. But getting close to Chase drags Adam into a world he didn’t bargain for, and head-to-head with the essence of evil and the reality of death. There is only one way to get Crow Tillman to leave Chase alone: To battle him, you must first die.

 

 

Matters of Honor by Louis BegleyMatters of honor

At Harvard in the early 1950s, three seemingly mismatched freshmen are thrown together: Sam, who fears that his fine New England name has been tarnished by his father’s drinking and his mother’s affairs; Archie, an affable army brat whose veneer of sophistication was acquired at an obscure Scottish boarding school; and Henry, fiercely intelligent but obstinate and unpolished, a refugee from Poland via a Brooklyn high school. As roommates they enter a world governed by arcane rules, where merit is everything except when trumped by pedigree and the inherited prerogatives of belonging. Each roommate’s accommodating to this world will require self-reinvention, none more audacious than Henry’s. Believing himself to be at last in the “land of the free,” he is determined to see himself on a level playing field, playing a game he can win. The ante is high – virtual renunciation of his past – but the jackpot seems even higher – long dreamed-of esteem and success. Henry will stay in the game almost to the last hand, even after it becomes clear he must stake his loyalty to his parents and even to himself. Reserved and obedient, Sam recounts the trio’s Harvard years and the reckonings that follow: his own struggle with familial demons and his rise as a novelist; a coarsened Archie’s descent into drink; and, most attentively, Henry’s Faustian bargain and then his mysterious disappearance just as all his wildest ambitions seem to have been realized. Love and loyalty will impel Sam to discover the secret of Henry’s final reinvention.

 

How I Paid for College: a novel of sex, theft, friendship, and musical theater by Marc AcitoHow I paid for college : a novel of sex, theft, friendship & musical theater

It’s 1983 in Wallingford, New Jersey, a sleepy bedroom community outside of Manhattan. Seventeen-year-old Edward Zanni, a feckless Ferris Bueller–type, is Peter Panning his way through a carefree summer of magic and mischief. The fun comes to a halt, however, when Edward’s father remarries and refuses to pay for Edward to study acting at Juilliard.

Edward’s truly in a bind. He’s ineligible for scholarships because his father earns too much. He’s unable to contact his mother because she’s somewhere in Peru trying to commune with Incan spirits. And, as a sure sign he’s destined for a life in the arts, Edward’s incapable of holding down a job. So he turns to his loyal (but immoral) misfit friends to help him steal the tuition money from his father, all the while practicing for his high school performance of Grease. Disguising themselves as nuns and priests, they merrily scheme their way through embezzlement, money laundering, identity theft, forgery, and blackmail. But, along the way, Edward also learns the value of friendship, hard work, and how you’re not really a man until you can beat up your father—metaphorically, that is.

 

 

I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom WolfeI am Charlotte Simmons

Dupont University–the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America’s youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition . . . Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the uppercrust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time. As Charlotte encounters Dupont’s privileged elite–her roommate, Beverly, a fleshy, Groton-educated Brahmin in lusty pursuit of lacrosse players; Jojo Johanssen, the only white starting player on Dupont’s godlike basketball team, whose position is threatened by a hotshot black freshman from the projects; the Young Turk of Saint Ray fraternity, Hoyt Thorpe, whose heady sense of entitlement and social domination is clinched by his accidental brawl with a bodyguard for the governor of California; and Adam Geller, one of the Millennial Mutants who run the university’s “independent” newspaper and who consider themselves the last bastion of intellectual endeavor on the sex-crazed, jock-obsessed campus–she gains a new, revelatory sense of her own power, that of her difference and of her very innocence, but little does she realize that she will act as a catalyst in all of their lives.

 

 

Conning Harvard : Adam Wheeler, the con artist who faked his way into the Ivy League by Julie ZauzmerConning Harvard : Adam Wheeler, the con artist who faked his way into the Ivy League

In a Massachusetts court last year, a 24-year-old man pled guilty to falsifying his application to Harvard, thereby bilking the world’s most prestigious university out of more than $45,000 in prizes and scholarships and cheating an honest applicant out of an Ivy League diploma. Using forged SAT scores, transcripts, and letters of recommendation, Wheeleroutsmarted Harvard‘s admissions office. Once accepted toHarvard, he kept lying, cheating, and succeeding, winning thousands of dollars in prizes and grants. But then he shot too far. During his senior year at Harvard, Wheeler applied for nomination to the illustrious Rhodes and Fulbright scholarships, a gamble that finally exposed his extensive tangle of lies. Alerted that he was under suspicion, Wheelerfled Harvard but did not stop scamming universities. He successfully filed more fraudulent applications at top-tier schools across the country, until some vigilant admissions officers, Massachusetts police, and even his own parents forced him off his computer and into court. As reporters forThe Harvard Crimson, Julie Zauzmer and Xi Yu covered thecase from the moment the news of Wheeler‘s indictment broke. In the course of their reporting, they interviewed dozens of friends, roommates, teachers, and advisors whoknew Wheeler at the many phases of his suspect academic career. Their fascinating account reveals how one serial scammer took on the fast-paced and competitive world ofthe Ivy League–and almost won.

 

 

The unlikely disciple : a sinner’s semester at America’s holiest university by Kevin RooseThe unlikely disciple : a sinner's semester at America's holiest university

No drinking.
No smoking.
No cursing.
No dancing.
No R-rated movies.

Kevin Roose wasn’t used to rules like these. As a sophomore at Brown University, he spent his days drinking fair-trade coffee, singing in an a cappella group, and fitting right in with Brown’s free-spirited, ultra-liberal student body. But when Roose leaves his Ivy League confines to spend a semester at Liberty University, a conservative Baptist school in Lynchburg, Virginia, obedience is no longer optional.

Liberty is the late Reverend Jerry Falwell’s “Bible Boot Camp” for young evangelicals, his training ground for the next generation of America’s Religious Right. Liberty’s ten thousand undergraduates take courses like Evangelism 101, hear from guest speakers like Sean Hannity and Karl Rove, and follow a forty-six-page code of conduct that regulates every aspect of their social lives. Hoping to connect with his evangelical peers, Roose decides to enroll at Liberty as a new transfer student, leaping across the God Divide and chronicling his adventures in this daring report from the front lines of America’s culture war.

His journey takes him from an evangelical hip-hop concert to choir practice at Falwell’s legendary Thomas Road BaptistChurch. He experiments with prayer, participates in a spring break mission trip to Daytona Beach (where he learns to preach the gospel to partying coeds), and pays a visit to Every Man’s Battle, an on-campus support group for chronic masturbators. He meets pastors’ kids, closet doubters, Christian rebels, and conducts what would be the last print interview of Rev. Falwell’s life.

Hilarious and heartwarming, respectful and thought-provoking, THE UNLIKELY DISCIPLE will inspire and entertain believers and nonbelievers alike.


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Around the World in 80 Books

Click on a continent to explore books from around the world!

29

Europe            North American/Latin America/Caribbean

Africa            Asia/Middle East            Oceania/Australia

South America            Antarctica

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North America, Latin America, Caribbean South America Europe Africa Asia/Middle East Oceania Antarctica Europe


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If you like Game of Thrones, why not try…

pizap.com13737439847881George R.R. Martin’s epic Song of Fire and Ice series is wildly popular, both as novels and as the tv miniseries.  The following suggested reads share with GoT exquisitely developed worlds (some parallel fantasy universes, some purely historical) in which their extensive casts of characters play out the epic stories filled with dynastic war, political machination, intrigue, romance, the quest for power, and the struggle to keep the world safe against mysterious forces.

Here is what George R.R. Martin is reading.  Call, text, chat, email us or stop by the library to place requests.

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Gentle Reads

gentle readsGood stories without graphic violence, language, or explicit sex.  These novels feature uplifting plots with wholesome characters mixed with a little humor, a little romance and a little adventure, including some by authors otherwise known for their less-than-gentle bestselling thrillers!

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