For anyone who wants something to read during downtime, on the beach, or just sitting alone snuggled under a comfortable throw, check out these fiction titles in English.

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In this debut novel, Bill VanPatten deftly combines contemporary narrative with ancient mythology. Jake Hewitt, on the lam from a state trooper in Lubbock, Texas, comes across an old man on the back roads of West Texas. The old man claims to be Poseidon, Ruler of all the Seas. A scoffing Jake offers the old man a ride, only to have his own life turned upside down by this mysterious man who weaves a tale of gods, love, and revenge. At the novel's climax, the two men are confronted with a life-altering decision. Just how far is a person willing to go for a friend?

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As a monster dust storm descends up Lubbock in conservative West Texas, this collection of stories takes us behind closed doors to reveal secrets and hidden desires of ten people. A teenage patient in a clinic describes how he got his idea for suicide from watching Rachael Ray. A woman finds photos on her husband’s iPad that changes her life forever. A young man experiences a repressed memory of an indiscretion from his senior year of high school. A Latina takes revenge on an unfaithful spouse. Two Mormon kids sit outside the local temple in silence, waiting to be taken away. These and other episodes make up one day in Lubbock—where “churches stick of our neighborhoods like prairie dog mounds and ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ is a way of life for everyone."

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In this collection of nine stories based in Chicago, VanPatten deftly captures the pain and hope that is the human existence. From all walks of life and from different times, the characters confront life-altering events and learn what it means to make choices. The Whisper of Clouds promises to both haunt and intrigue you.