San Francisco Public Library

Previous Selections 2014

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God's Hotel
by Dr. Sweet

San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital is the last almshouse in the country, a descendant of the Hôtel-Dieu (God’s Hotel) that cared for the sick in the Middle Ages. Ballet dancers and rock musicians, professors and thieves — “anyone who had fallen, or, often, leapt, onto hard times” and needed extended medical care — ended up there. Dr. Sweet ended up there herself, as a physician.

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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
by Robin Sloan
A gleeful and exhilarating tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, high-tech data visualization, young love, rollicking adventure, and the secret to eternal life—mostly set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstore.
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A Tale for the Time Being
by Ruth Ozeki
A brilliant, unforgettable novel from bestselling author Ruth Ozeki — shortlisted for the Booker Prize.
In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace — and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine.
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The Interestings
by Meg Wolitzer
The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge.
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What It Is Like to Go to War
by Karl Marlantes
In 1968, at the age of 23, Karl Marlantes was dropped into the highland jungle of Vietnam, an inexperienced lieutenant in command of a platoon of 40 Marines who would live or die by his decisions. Marlantes survived, but like many of his brothers in arms, he has spent the last 40 years dealing with his time at war.