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Clicking on a book cover will search for the book in the catalog. If it is not part of our collection, you may request it by clicking on the Can't Find It link. An icon indicates if the book is chosen by a panelist as one of the year's best.

All the Land to Hold Us
By Rick Bass. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. $25.00.
Top Pick
What possible sustenance can a love sick young geologist, a despairing woman whose marriage withered 30 years earlier, and a one-legged treasure hunter take from the forbidding West Texas desert? Itís a place where passions bleed out and dreams come to die, where only the toxic greed for artifacts, salt and oil survive. But, ďa strange and powerful landscape summons strange and powerful happenings,Ē according the author, so even though the searing heat can roast an elephant and the quicksand of the deadly drifting salt flats are dotted with the skeletons of luckless adventurers, the possibility of redemption persists at the place where their stories intersect. In this lyrical tour de force, Bass, the winner of multiple awards for both fiction and nonfiction, creates a desert dreamscape somewhere beyond the edge of reason, where the improbable meets the surreal and the surreal bumps up against the truly bizarre, and populates it with characters as vivid as their extraordinary setting is starkly unforgettable. []

Angel Baby
By Richard Lange. Mulholland Books. 304 pp. $26.00.
Lange keeps readers perched on the edges of their seats in this jet-propelled thriller that follows a cartel boss's wife on her desperate flight from Tijuana to escape an abusive marriage and reunite with her child in L.A. Razer-sharp writing, breathless pacing, rich characters, and intricate storytelling from shifting viewpoints make for a wild ride across the Southern California desert. []

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