Purity is a big novel that will support the existing view that one of our finest novelists is Jonathan Franzen.

The title character, Purity (Pip) Tyler, is a young woman of our time, a recent college graduate with no serious job prospects and a heap of debt. She becomes increasingly disturbed by not knowing who her father is, and signs up for an internship with The Sunlight Project, an internet outfit whose mission is to expose all sorts of secrets, because she thinks that TSP also might help locate her father.

The group is run by Andreas Wolf, who was born in Cold War East Germany, and his family relationships might seem to make Pip’s look like the Cleavers, but hers are not at all simple, either.

Psychological, political, and sexual constructs are formed by both state and personal dramas, and how they unravel forms a story with the sort of meaning one hopes for but does not often find in the modern novel.

Purity by Jonathan Franzen (Farrar Straus Giroux) Recommended by RH at Square Books Oxford MS

A kids' book that the world needs to read, Ms. Bixby's Last Day is an affirmation of the immeasurable difference that the Good Ones can make in a life.

Told in alternating chapters by Steve, Brand, and Topher, it is a story about friendship, the power of a teacher, and the challenge of facing grief with strength and hope.

With touches of humor, each boy reveals elements of himself and Ms. Bixby's imprint, as the trio responds to her illness. A perfect choice for fans of Rob Buyea's Because of Mr. Terupt, this book will spur you to profess and practice the doing of good things and to leave your footprint on the paths of those with whom you are making the journey of life.

For readers age 11 and up.

Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson (Walden Pond) Recommended by Cindy at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC