February 13, 2006 12:00 PM

My Lucky Star by Joe Keenan The ex-Frasier writer and producer channels Niles’s and his brother’s sharp, urbane wit in this delirious Hollywood send-up about a closeted action star, his diva mom and a dysfunctional studio exec.

An Imperfect Lens by Anne Roiphe This vivid medical detective story is inspired by the cholera epidemic in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1883; love, death and mystery abound.

Girls of Tender Age by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith The author of the Poppy Rice mystery series writes a riveting memoir that encompasses the murder of a schoolmate by a pedophile and life with a brother who suffered from autism.

The Last of Her Kind by Sigrid Nunez In her fifth novel, Nunez tells the story of a friendship that begins in college and changes two women forever. A complex, well-told tale.

The Kindness of Strangers by Katrina Kittle A moving novel about the ways in which healing can occur after a child’s sexual abuse; Kittle’s clear prose gives a luminous quality to her story of thriving against the odds.

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