Encounters With Strangers

Here’s a truth if there has ever been one: there are strangers all around us. And like you and me, they have stories of their own with timelines and characters of their own. In just one conversation, there exists a sheer infinity of possibilities. The possibility of timelines merging, cringing, or rejecting one another. Strangers present conditions for more than conversations, and for collaboration. In these books you’ll find an array of protagonists having their own timelines altered by their encounters with strangers. For better or for worse, embracing the otherness of strangers always lends itself to more interesting stories. 

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The Ballad of Black Tom

Flipping the script on a notoriously racist story by H.P. Lovecraft, LaValle writes about what ensues when a street hustler named Charles Thomas encounters the reclusive millionaire, Robert Suydam, by chance. Being convinced by Suydam to perform magic tricks at his exclusive party, Tommy joins. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby.

The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty

In Vendela Vida’s taut and mesmerizing novel of ideas, a woman travels to Casablanca, Morocco, on mysterious business. While checking into her hotel, the woman is robbed of her wallet and passport–all her money and identification. Though the police investigate, the woman senses an undercurrent of complicity between the hotel staff and the authorities–she knows she’ll never recover her possessions. Stripped of her identity, she feels burdened by the crime yet strangely liberated by her sudden freedom to be anyone she chooses. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.

The Door

“The Door” explores a disconcerting relationship between an educated, married writer, Magda, and her illiterate, lonely housekeeper, Emerence. Moving into a new home and needing a housekeeper, she encounters and hires Emerence not knowing what will ensue.  You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.

The Enchanted April

The four women at the center of “The Enchanted April” are alike only in their dissatisfaction with their everyday lives. They find each other–and the castle of their dreams–through a classified ad in a London newspaper one rainy February afternoon. The ladies expect a pleasant holiday, but they don’t anticipate that the month they spend in Portofino will reintroduce them to their true natures and reacquaint them with joy. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Changez is living an immigrant’s dream of America. At the top of his class at Princeton, he is snapped up by the elite “valuation” firm of Underwood Samson. He thrives on the energy of New York, and his infatuation with elegant, beautiful Erica promises entry into Manhattan society at the same exalted level once occupied by his own family back in Lahore. But in the wake of September 11, Changez finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned, and his budding relationship with Erica eclipsed by the reawakened ghosts of her past. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Hoopla, as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby or as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.