“The Collective” by Don Lee (Norton, $25.95) Eric Cho, an aspiring writer, arrives at Macalester College ready to take on the world. There he meets two other aspiring artists: Jessica Tsai, a beautiful painter; and the bawdy,
brilliant, and enigmatic Joshua Yoon. Together, the three create the 3AC – the Asian American Artists Collective – and negotiate the demands of work, art, love, idealism, and ambition. Then a racially tinged controversy hits
the headlines, blowing the friendship apart, ultimately devastating lives. Brilliant and full of humanity, “The Collective” is a modern classic in the making.
“Beautiful Ruins” by Jess Walter (Harper, $25.99) It all begins in a small coastal town in Italy, 1962. But it doesn’t stay there: alternating through time, “Beautiful Ruins” introduces an interesting cast of madcap characters.
There’s a starstruck Italian innkeeper searching for his long-lost love, an army veteran turned fledgling novelist, a movie producer and his idealistic assistant. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor on the set of “Cleopatra”
even make an appearance. An intriguing meditation on fate, “Beautiful Ruins” is an epic tale told by a master storyteller.
1. "The Chaperone" by Laura Moriarty
2. "Nothing Daunted" by Dorothy Wickenden
3. "The Yard" by Alex Grecian
4. "Lifeboat" by Charlotte Rogan
5. "Daddies" by Janet Frank
6. "Eight Wonders of Kansas" by Marci Penner
7. "Fifty Shades of Grey" by E.L. James
8. "Porch Lights" by Dorothea Benton Frank
9. "Radiating Like a Stone" edited by Myrne Roe
10. "Rurally Screwed" by Jessie Knadler
Source: Watermark Books & Cafe