Read-Alikes for ‘Stella Maris’ by Cormac McCarthy | LibraryReads

Stella Maris by Cormac McCarthy is the top holds title of the week. LibraryReads and Library Journal offer read-alikes for patrons waiting to read this buzziest book.

Stella Maris by Cormac McCarthy (Knopf) is the top holds title of the week. LibraryReads and Library Journal offer read-alikes for patrons waiting to read this buzziest book.

National treasure McCarthy returns with a two-volume work being released over two months. In The Passenger, opening in 1980 Mississippi, a salvage diver now fears the water’s depths and a conspiracy he doesn’t understand, wishing he were dead yet not at peace with God. In Stella Maris, Alicia Western, a 20-year-old doctoral candidate in mathematics at the University of Chicago, checks into a hospital in 1972 Wisconsin after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and wonders at our insistence on shared experience, shot through with the beauties of physics and philosophy, while fearing for a brother beyond her reach.—Barbara Hoffert; Literary High Fliers: Fiction Previews, Oct. 2022, Pt. 2 | Prepub Alert

The Kept by James Scott (Harper; LJ starred review)

Appeared on the January 2014 LibraryReads list

“Scott has written a haunting novel about two characters who are tormented by regret and guilt and who do all the wrong things to find redemption. Beautiful writing and unforgettable characters mark this first novel that has been compared to the work of Cormac McCarthy and Michael Ondaatje.”—Alison Kastner, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens (Seventh Street)

Appeared on the October 2014 LibraryReads list

“In this well-crafted debut novel, Joe Talbert has finally left home, but not without guilt over leaving his autistic brother in the care of his unreliable mother. A college assignment gets the young man entangled in a cold case, racing to clear the name of a Vietnam veteran. Characters with layers of suppressed memories and emotions only add to the suspenseful plot.”—Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library,Elm Grove, WI 

Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri (Knopf; LJ starred review)

Scholar, writer, professor, lover, friend: the first-person narrator of this slim but never slight volume deeply observes others while contemplating her own life over the course of four seasons. For 10 years she has been a fixture in her neighborhood, eating daily at the same trattoria, swimming at the same pool, and shopping in the same markets. She embraces solitude, taking comfort in routine, yet her musings overflow with life. Each vignette, only three or four pages long, feels like a beautifully wrapped gift, whether sharing her thoughts about her fearful, withholding mother or noting how much she resembles the father who introduced her to the joys of theater. She confesses to a mild flirtation with a friend’s husband and to an outsize envy of a younger woman who boldly pushes against the constraints that held her own generation in check. Then, having accepted a year long fellowship abroad, she prepares her apartment for sublet, stripping it of all outward traces of the self she has laid bare before us. VERDICT The Pulitzer Prize–winning Lahiri (Interpreter of Maladies) brilliantly elevates the quotidian to the sublime in this gorgeous stream-of-consciousness window into the interior life of an accomplished woman. Written in Italian and translated by Lahiri herself; with special appeal to readers of Rachel Cusk’s “Outline” trilogy.—Sally Bissell

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