Learn More About the 2010 One Read Finalists

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman AlexieJunior is a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Born with a variety of medical problems, he is picked on by everyone but his best friend. Determined to receive a good education, Junior leaves the “rez” to attend an all-white school in the neighboring farm town where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Despite being condemned as a traitor to his people and enduring great tragedies, Junior attacks life with wit and humor and discovers a great strength inside himself that he never knew existed. Inspired by his own experiences growing up, award-winning author Sherman Alexie chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one unlucky boy trying to rise above the life everyone expects him to live.

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Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon

Await Your Reply by Dan ChaonThe lives of three strangers interconnect in unforeseen ways–and with unexpected consequences–in acclaimed author Dan Chaon‘s gripping novel. Miles Cheshire is longing to get on with his life, but he can’t stop searching for his troubled twin brother, Hayden, who has been missing for ten years. Lucy Lattimore sneaks away from the small town of Pompey, Ohio, with her charismatic former history teacher, arriving in Nebraska, in the middle of nowhere, to figure out the next move on their path to a new life. Ryan Schuyler, who has recently learned some shocking news, walks off the Northwestern University campus, hops on a bus, and breaks loose from his existence, which suddenly seems abstract and tenuous. "Await Your Reply" is a literary masterwork with the momentum of a thriller, an unforgettable novel in which pasts are invented and reinvented and the future is both seductively uncharted and perilously unmoored.

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Stoner by John Williams

Stoner by John WilliamsThis rediscovered classic novel traces the life of William Stoner, born at the end of the nineteenth century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the University of Missouri to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar’s life. As the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments: marriage into a "proper" family estranges him from his parents; his career is stymied; his wife and daughter turn coldly away from him; a transforming experience of new love ends under threat of scandal. Driven ever deeper within himself, Stoner rediscovers the stoic silence of his forebears and confronts an essential solitude. John Williams’ luminous and deeply moving novel is a work of quiet perfection. William Stoner emerges from it not only as an archetypal American, but as an unlikely existential hero, standing, like a figure in a painting by Edward Hopper, in stark relief against an unforgiving world.

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