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Staff Recommendations

The thing about DecemberBy Ryan, Donal, 1977-

"[A]nd everything was lovely and normal and comfortable and destroyed forever at the same time."

Lyrical and haunting, Donal Ryan’s The Thing About December, is another brilliantly written work from the author of The Spinning Heart. This short novel reminds me of a cross between Dostoevsky’s psychological insights and Chekhov’s brevity and description of the human condition. Each chapter depicts a month in one year of the life of Johnsey Cunliffe, a bullied and lonely man living in rural Ireland who has never really felt like he belonged. Johnsey, considered less than intelligent by the rest of town, is swept up by the changes around him that he is unequipped to handle. Each character you encounter is realistic, though as you get to know them, you may find yourself sometimes wishing they weren’t so believable. Manipulation and deceit run rampant around Johnsey. Though Mumbly Dave, my favorite character, is the one who tells tall tales, he is the most honest and genuine person Johnsey knows. Wonderfully written, soon the chapter months are passing quicker than you’d like, much like the months do in life. Bleak, yet full of delightfully humorous moments, this novel is not for the faint of heart.

"Interfered with or left alone, everything eventually turns rotten and dies."

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By Kim, Outreach Services
06/25/15 | Fiction
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Just In

Delicious foods : a novelBy Hannaham, James

Hannaham’s book is the engrossing story of a Southern family’s disintegration after the death of husband and father, Nat Hardison. It is narrated by Eddie, the couple’s son, as well as an unusual inanimate character named Scotty, and Eddie’s mother, Darlene, absent both emotionally and physically during much of his childhood, unable to cope with the intense emotional burden, local injustice, and overwhelming grief she experiences when Nat is murdered. Eleven year-old Eddie spends a lot of time with his widowed Aunt Bethella, but at one point he decides to try to find his absent mother. Boldly navigating the seedy underbelly of the streets, Eddie’s path leads him to the horrible prison-like agricultural farming enterprise called Delicious Foods, from which he barely escapes with his life. A bold, harrowing story told with amazing love and respect for its characters.

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