American Library Association Notable Books 1999

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RUSA Notable Books Council

The Notable Books Council of the Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, selected these titles for their significant contribution to the expansion of knowledge or for the pleasure they can provide to readers.

Fiction

Anderson, Scott. Triage. Scribner, $23 (ISBN 0-684-84695-0).

This superb debut novel, reminiscent of Hemingway's work, deftly presents the psychological effects of war. Anderson delivers a story filled with guilt, love, and ultimately, reconciliation.

Anthony, Patricia. Flanders. Ace, $23.95 (ISBN 0-441-00528-4).

In a series of letters home, Texas sharpshooter Travis Lee describes life in the trenches during World War I and his visions of impending death.

Barrett, Andrea. The Voyage of the Narwhal. W. W. Norton, $24.95 (ISBN 0-393-04632-X).

Rich in historical and natural detail, filled with adventure and romance, this tale of a 19th century Arctic expedition explores the affects of extreme circumstances on character.

Borge, Jorge Luis. Collected Fictions. Tr. by Andrew Hurley. Viking, $35 (ISBN 0-670-84970-7).

For the first time in English, all the intriguing and ingenious stories by the master of the magical are brought together in a new and lively translation.

Byers, Michael. The Coast of Good Intentions. Houghton/Mariner, paper, $12 (ISBN 0-395-89170-1)

The lives of ordinary people fill these extraordinary stories, each distinctive, all linked by a strongly evoked setting. Assured, perceptive storytelling makes this an impressive debut.

Danticat, Edwidge. The Farming of Bones. Soho, $23 (ISBN 1-56947-126-6).

Anabelle, a Haitian servant in the Dominican Republic, recalls the 1937 slaughter of her people and her lover in this lush, sensuous depiction of a forgotten tragedy.

Hornby, Nick. About a Boy. Penguin/ Riverhead, $22.95 (ISBN 1-57322-087-6).

Through hilarious characterizations, Hornby crafts a sharp and insightful journey of two "boys"--Will, 36, and Marcus, 12--teaching each other to become men.

McDermott, Alice. Charming Billy. Farrar, $22 (ISBN 0-374-12080-3).

Billy Lynch's death prompts the unraveling of a lifelong secret in McDermott's eloquent exploration of deception and its lingering influences on family and friends.

Moore, Lorrie. Birds of America. Knopf, $23 (ISBN 0-679-44597-8).

In a wise and funny short story collection, Moore's protagonists cope with life's compromises and confusions with honesty and humor.

Roth, Philip. I Married a Communist. Houghton Mifflin, $26 (ISBN 0-395-93346-3).

Ira Ringold, an idealistic and larger-than-life character, embraces communism and collides with McCarthyism and the rancor of his estranged wife, Eve Frame.

Vakil, Ardashir. Beach Boy. Scribner, $22 (ISBN 0-684-85299-3).

A vivid voyage into the Bombay boyhood of Cyrus Ready-money, who longs for film, food, and ultimately, a loving family.

Nonfiction

Ackroyd, Peter. The Life of Thomas More. Doubleday, $30 (ISBN 0-38547709-0).

Ackroyd vividly portrays the life and times of the complex statesman and author who was martyred for refusing to follow Henry VIII's break with Catholicism.

Berg, A. Scott. Lindbergh. Putnam, $30 (ISBN 0-399-14449-8).

Masterfully written and extensively researched, this beautifully balanced biography depicts one of the twentieth century's most controversial, famous, and yet private of men. …