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Sunday, November 19

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Last week I listed some of the new and notable Chicago non-fiction books from 2005. This week, as promised, features a selection of novels and short story collections also published this year. Every author on the following list has some significant past or present connection to the Windy City. Check out these books at your local library, or look for them in your favorite neighborhood bookstore.

Best Foot Forward
By Joan Bauer (Putnam's Sons, 208 pages)
This sequel to Bauer's acclaimed Rules of the Road continues the story of high-school student Jenna Boller, who must deal with her alcoholic father and a co-worker with a delinquent past, while helping her boss at the shoe store with problems resulting from a corporate merger.

The Year of Pleasures
By Elizabeth Berg (Random House, 224 pages)
After the death of her husband, Betta Nolan must cope with her grief. She picks up and moves to a small town outside Chicago where she learns to hope and heal.

The Week You Weren't Here
By Charles Blackstone (Low Fidelity, 312 pages)
This debut novel from Blackstone is a postmodern, stream-of-consciousness story about love and meaning in the life of a young writer.

All This Heavenly Glory
By Elizabeth Crane (Little, Brown, 230 pages)
Following the success of her short story collection, When the Messenger is Hot, Crane returns with this coming-of-age story about New Yorker Charlotte Anne Byers. The linked episodes in this new book often employ a stream-of-consciousness writing style.

In the Company of Liars
By David Ellis (Putnam's Sons, 384 pages)
Award-winning author David Ellis returns with his fourth novel, a well-written suspense story that is told in reverse chronological order.

Cast of Shadows
By Kevin Guilfoile (Knopf, 336 pages)
Davis Moore, a fertility doctor who specializes in cloning, clones his daughter's killer in the hopes of solving her murder.

The Company Car
By C.J. Hribal (Random House, 416 pages)
Emil Czabeck narrates the story of his parents' marriage on the eve of their fiftieth wedding anniversary, taking the reader on a trip through past half century in a rich examination of the American family.

Gods in Alabama
By Joshilyn Jackson (Warner, 288 pages)
Arlene Fleet left Alabama for Chicago after high school, vowing never to return. But when an old crime comes back to haunt her, she must return to confront her past.

The Washington Story
By Adam Langer (Riverhead, 400 pages)
This sequel to Langer's hit debut novel, Crossing California, continues the stories of Michelle, Jill and Muley through 1980s Chicago, during the mayoral term of Harold Washington.

Sightseeing
By Rattawut Lapcharoensap (Grove, 208 pages)
A debut collection of seven captivating short stories set in modern-day Thailand.

The Logic of a Rose: Chicago Stories
By Billy Lombardo (BkMk, 146 pages)
A coming-of-age short story collection about growing up Italian in the early '70s in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood.

Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir
By Joe Meno (Triquarterly, 224 pages)
Meno follows the success of Hairstyles of the Damned with this collection of 17 dark and surreal short stories.

In Ordinary Time
By Sharon Mesmer (Hanging Loose, 128 pages)
Mesmer incorporates both poetry and prose in this exciting collection of 16 short stories.

Lost in the Forest
By Sue Miller (Knopf, 256 pages)
Eva has made peace with her divorce from her first husband and is happily remarried. But when her second husband is killed in an accident, her life and the life of her teenage daughter are thrown into turmoil.

Bodies in Motion: Stories
By Mary Anne Mohanraj (HarperCollins, 288 pages)
A collection of 20 short stories chronicles the challenges of two Sri Lankan families over a period of 50 years.

The Three Incestuous Sisters
By Audrey Niffenegger (Abrams, 164 pages)
In this illustrated book for adults, Niffenegger follows the success of The Time Traveler's Wife with a Gothic fairy tale about sisters Bettine, Clothilde and Ophile.

Fire Sale
By Sara Paretsky (Putnam's Sons, 416 pages)
This latest installment in Paretsky's popular V.I. Warshawski mystery series is one of her best.

Match Me if You Can
By Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Morrow, 400 pages) Anabelle Granger takes over her grandmother's matchmaking business in this contemporary romance.

Chicago Noir
Edited by Neal Pollack (Akashic, 300 pages)
Adam Langer, Kevin Guilfoile, Achy Obejas, Joe Meno and many others contributed stories to this new noir anthology.

Lost in the Ivy
By Randy Richardson (PublishAmerica, 194 pages)
Wrigley Field provides the backdrop for this mystery story from first-time novelist Richardson.

The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil
By George Saunders (Riverhead, 130 pages)
An allegorical novella about politics, war and dictatorship that has drawn comparisons to Orwell's Animal Farm.

Almonds to Zhoof: Collected Stories
By Richard Stern (TriQuarterly, 424 pages)
This new collection gathers almost 50 short stories and novellas by writer Richard Stern, originally published from 1949 to the present.

Ordinary Heroes
By Scott Turow (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 384 pages)
The latest novel from best-selling author Scott Turow leaves the courtroom for the battlefields of World War II as Stewart Dubinsky uncovers his father's secret past.

The Hummingbird's Daughter
By Luis Alberto Urrea (Little, Brown, 512 pages)
Award-winning author Urrea tells the fictionalized biography of his own great-aunt, Saint Teresa of Cabora, a girl blessed with divine healing powers in late-nineteenth century Mexico.

Looped
By Andrew Winston (Agate, 412 pages)
This debut novel follows the intertwined lives of several Chicagoans in the year 2000.

~*~

Join the Gapers Block Book Club! Just sign up for the email list for news, announcements and more. Currently we are reading The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow. We will be meeting to discuss the book on Monday, January 9, 2006, at The Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Ave. The meeting will begin at 7:30pm.

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About the Author(s)

Alice Maggio is a Chicago librarian. She welcomes questions and topic suggestions for her column at . Due to the volume of email received, she may not reply to every query, but you may be contacted if your question is selected for the column.

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