The Piano Teacher, the most famous novel of Elfriede Jelinek, who was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Literature, is a shocking, searing, aching portrait of a woman bound between a repressive society and her darkest desires.
Erika Kohut is a piano teacher at the prestigious and formal Vienna Conservatory, who still lives with her domineering and possessive mother. Her life appears to be a seamless tissue of boredom, but Erika, a quiet thirty-eight-year-old, secretly visits Turkish peep shows at night to watch live sex shows and sadomasochistic films. Meanwhile, a handsome, self-absorbed, seventeen-year-old student has become enamored with Erika and sets out to seduce her. She resists him at first, but then the dark passions roiling under the piano teacher’s subdued exterior explode in a release of sexual perversity, suppressed violence, and human degradation.
Celebrated throughout Europe for the intensity and frankness of her writings and awarded the Heinrich Böll Prize for her outstanding contribution to German letters, Elfriede Jelinek is one of the most original and controversial writers in the world today.
Neil Gaiman - Stardust
In the sleepy English countryside of decades past, there is a town that has stood on a jut of granite for six hundred years. And immediately to the east stands a high stone wall, for which the village is named. Here in the town of Wall, Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester. One crisp October night, as they watch, a star falls from the sky, and Victoria promises to marry Tristran if he'll retrieve that star and bring it back for her. It is this promise that sends Tristran through the only gap in the wall, across the meadow, and into the most unforgettable adventure of his life.
Don DeLillo - Underworld
Nick Shay and Klara Sax knew each other once, intimately, and they meet again in the American desert. He is trying to outdistance the crucial events of his early life; she is an artist who has made a blood struggle for independence. Underworld is a story of men and women together and apart, seen in deep, clear detail and in stadium-sized panoramas, shadowed throughout by the overarching conflict of the Cold War. It is a novel that accepts every challenge of these extraordinary times — Don DeLillo's greatest and most powerful work of fiction.
Orhan Pamuk - Istanbul
A shimmering evocation, by turns intimate and panoramic, of one of the world’s great cities, by its foremost writer. Orhan Pamuk was born in Istanbul and still lives in the family apartment building where his mother first held him in her arms. His portrait of his city is thus also a self-portrait, refracted by memory and the melancholy–or hüzün– that all Istanbullus share: the sadness that comes of living amid the ruins of a lost empire. With cinematic fluidity, Pamuk moves from his glamorous, unhappy parents to the gorgeous, decrepit mansions overlooking the Bosphorus; from the dawning of his self-consciousness to the writers and painters–both Turkish and foreign–who would shape his consciousness of his city. Like Joyce’s Dublin and Borges’ Buenos Aires, Pamuk’s Istanbul is a triumphant encounter of place and sensibility, beautifully written and immensely moving.
Cecelia Ahern - A Place Called Here
Since Sandy Shortt’s childhood classmate disappeared twenty years ago, Sandy has been obsessed with missing things. Finding becomes her goal- whether it’s the sock that vanished in the washing machine, the car keys she misplaced or the graver issue of finding the people who vanish from their lives. Sandy dedicates her life to finding these missing people, offering devastated families a flicker of hope. Jack Ruttle is one of those desperate people. It’s been a year since his brother Donal vanished into thin air. Thinking Sandy Shortt could well be the answer to his prayers, he embarks on a quest to find her. But when Sandy goes missing too, she stumbles upon the place - and people - she’s been looking for all her life. A world away from her loved ones and the home she ran from for so long, Sandy soon resorts to her old habit again, searching. Though this time, she is desperately trying to find her way home…
Paul Auster - Man in the Dark
Seventy-two-year-old August Brill is recovering from a car accident. Plagued by insomnia, he tries to push back thoughts of things he would prefer to forget - his wife’s recent death and the horrific murder of his granddaughter’s boyfriend, Titus - by telling himself stories. He imagines a parallel world in which America is not at war with Iraq but with itself. In this other America the twin towers did not fall, and the 2000 election results led to secession, as state after state pulled away from the union, and a bloody civil war ensued. Brill gradually opens up to his granddaughter, recounting the story of his marriage and confronting the grim reality of Titus’s death. Man in the Dark is a novel of our time, a book that forces us to confront the blackness of night whilst also celebrating the existence of ordinary joys in a brutal world.
Jay Asher - Thirteen Reasons Why
Clay Jenkins returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers 13 cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list. Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.
Dan Brown - The Da Vinci Code
Harvard professor Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call while on business in Paris: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been brutally murdered inside the museum. Alongside the body, police have found a series of baffling codes. As Langdon and a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, begin to sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to find a trail that leads to the works of Leonardo Da Vinci - and suggests the answer to a mystery that stretches deep into the vault of history. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine code and quickly assemble the pieces of the puzzle, a stunning historical truth will be lost forever...
Lisa De Jong - Living with Regret
I had my whole life mapped out. Perfect guy. Perfect friends. Everything was exactly the way I wanted it. That was until that night--the one I can’t remember. It’s all my fault, and now the memories are all I have left of him. Of us. My guilt drowns me until Sam Shea steps back into my life and helps me to the surface. He slowly opens my heart and crawls deep inside before I even realize what’s happening. I know I don’t deserve him. While I’m trying to get used to my new life, pieces of that night slowly start to come back to me. Lies and secrets shatter everything I thought I knew. Maybe I’m not the only one living with regret.
Cecelia Ahern - If You Could See Me Now
"There's more than a touch of fairytale about Cecelia Ahern's novels... thanks to a liberal sprinkling of magic." _Glamour_ What if love was right there in front of you - you just couldn't see it? Elizabeth Egan is too busy for friends. As a reluctant mother to her sister Saoirse's young son Luke and with her own business to run, every precious moment is made to count. But with Saoirse crashing in and out of their lives, leaving both her sister and her son reeling, Luke and Elizabeth are desperately in need of some magic. Enter Ivan. Wild, spontaneous and always looking for adventure, in no time at all Ivan has changed Elizabeth in ways she could never have imagined. But is Ivan too good to be true? Has Elizabeth opened her heart only to risk it being broken again? As for Ivan, he thought he was there to help Luke not Elizabeth - or himself.... "Enchanting and unexpected" You "A gem" Heat Reviews PRAISE FOR Cecelia Ahern: "There's more than a touch of fairytale about Cecelia Ahern's novels... thanks to a liberal sprinkling of magic... A must for die-hard romantics." _Glamour_
Terry Goodkind - Naked Empire
""You knew they were there, didn't you?" Kahlan asked in a hushed tone as she leaned closer." "Against the darkening sky, she could just make out the shapes of three black-tipped races taking to wing, beginning their nightly hunt. That was why he'd stopped. That was what he'd been watching as the rest of them waited in uneasy silence." ""Yes," Richard said. He gestured over his shoulder without turning to look. "There are two more, back there."" "Kahlan briefly scanned the dark jumble of rock, but she didn't see any others." "Lightly grasping the silver pommel with two fingers, Richard lifted his sword a few inches, checking that it was clear in its scabbard. A last fleeting glimmer of amber light played across his golden cape as he let the sword drop back in place. In the gathering gloom of dusk, his familiar tall, powerful contour seemed as if it were no more than an apparition made of shadows." "Just then, two more of the huge birds shot by right overhead. One, wings stretched wide, let out a piercing scream as it banked into a tight gliding turn, circling once more in assessment of the five people below before stroking its powerful wings to catch its departing comrades in their swift journey west." This night they would find ample food.
Kazuo Ishiguro - Never Let Me Go
From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day comes a devastating new novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss. As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special–and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. Suspenseful, moving, beautifully atmospheric, Never Let Me Go is another classic by the author of The Remains of the Day.
Sergei Lukyanenko - The Night Watch
Walking the streets of Moscow, indistinguishable from the rest of its population, are the Others. Possessors of supernatural powers and capable of entering the Twilight, a shadowy world that exists in parallel to our own, each Other owes allegiance either to the Dark or the Light. The Night Watch, first book in the Night Watch Trilogy, follows Anton, a young Other owing allegiance to the Light. As a Night Watch agent he must patrol the streets and metro of the city, protecting ordinary people from the vampires and magicians of the Dark. When he comes across Svetlana, a young woman under a powerful curse, and saves an unfledged Other, Egor, from vampires, he becomes involved in events that threaten the uneasy truce, and the whole city...
Carlos Ruiz Zafón - The Shadow of the Wind
Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'cemetery of lost books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out LA SOMBRA DEL VIENTO by Julian Carax. But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from LA SOMBRA DEL VIENTO, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax's work in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind. A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love, and the places that obsession can lead.
Christopher Paolini - Brisingr (angol)
Following the colossal battle against the Empire's warriors, Eragon and Saphira narrowly escaped with their lives. But more awaits the Rider and his dragon, as Eragon finds himself bound by promises he may not be able to keep, including his oath to cousin Roran to help rescue his beloved Katrina. When unrest claims the rebels and danger strikes, Eragon must make choices that take him across the Empire and beyond, choices that may lead to unimagined sacrifice. Conflict, action, adventure and one devastating death await readers as Eragon battles on behalf of the Varden while Galbatorix ruthlessly attempts to crush and twist him to his own purposes. Can he become a leader who can unite the rebel forces and defeat the King?
Khaled Hosseini - The Kite Runner
Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the approval of his father and resolves to win the local kite-fighting tournament, to prove that he has the makings of a man. His loyal friend Hassan promises to help him - for he always helps Amir - but this is 1970s Afghanistan and Hassan is merely a low-caste servant who is jeered at in the street, although Amir still feels jealous of his natural courage and the place he holds in his father's heart. But neither of the boys could foresee what would happen to Hassan on the afternoon of the tournament, which was to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return, to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption.
Yann Martel - The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios
This memorable debut, originally published in 1993, was hailed for its power and elegance on both sides of the Atlantic. Ranging from the last hours of a condemned man, to the imaginary life of an AIDS patient, to the first performance of a bizarre new symphony, these tales are moving and thought-provoking, as inventive in form as they are timeless in content. They display the startling mix of dazzle and depth that have made Martel an international phenomenon.
Sarah Dessen - Someone Like You
Predictable Halley and Scarlett, her feisty defender, have been best friends since grade school. Growing up like sisters, they've shared everything except a bedroomAdreams, clothes, classes, and Friday nights. Then boys step into their teen lives. Scarlett's romance the summer before junior year has serious consequences when Michael dies in a motorcycle accident and she's left carrying his child. Halley's close relationship with her psychologist mother is fractured as the girl's friendship with secretive, irresponsible Macon Faulkner deepens into romance. To top things off, Grandma Halley is dying. Halley and her classmates experiment with drugs, alcohol, and sex, and experience family problems. Asking questions and making choices, Halley confronts her fears and learns to make her own decisions on her way to adulthood. Dessen deals accurately, sensitively, and smoothly with growing up in suburbia. Halley and Scarlett's friendship resonates with affection and honesty, and the predictable but necessary separation of mothers and daughters is portrayed with tender acuity. Experiences and conversations avoid falling into clich?; all of the characters are fully developed and worth getting to know.
Salman Rushdie - The Enchantress of Florence
A tall, yellow-haired young European traveler calling himself 'Mogor dell'Amore', the Mughal of Love, arrives at the court of the real Grand Mughal, the Emperor Akbar, with a tale to tell that begins to obsess the whole imperial capital. The stranger claims to be the child of a lost Mughal princess, the youngest sister of Akbar's grandfather Babar: Qara Koz, 'Lady Black Eyes', a great beauty believed to possess powers of enchantment and sorcery, who is taken captive first by an Uzbek warlord, then by the Shah of Persia, and finally becomes the lover of a certain Argalia, a Florentine soldier of fortune, commander of the armies of the Ottoman Sultan.When Argalia returns home with his Mughal mistress the city is mesmerized by her presence, and much trouble ensues. The "Enchantress of Florence" is the story of a woman attempting to command her own destiny in a man's world. It brings together two cities that barely know each other - the hedonistic Mughal capital, in which the brilliant emperor wrestles daily with questions of belief, desire and the treachery of sons, and the equally sensual Florentine world of powerful courtesans, humanist philosophy and inhuman torture, where Argalia's boyhood friend 'il Machia' - Niccolo Machiavelli - is learning, the hard way, about the true brutality of power. These two worlds, so far apart, turn out to be uncannily alike, and the enchantments of women hold sway over them both. But is Mogor's story true? And if so, then what happened to the lost princess? And if he's a liar, must he die?
Philippa Gregory - The Other Boleyn Girl
Mary Boleyn catches the eye of Henry VIII when she is a girl of just fourteen. But her joy is cut short when she discovers that she is a pawn in her family's plots. When the capricious king's interest warnes, Mary is ordered to pass on her knowledge of how to please him to her friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Anne soon becomes irresistible to Henry, and Mary must resign herself to being the other Boleyn girl. But beyond the court is a man who dares to challenge the power of her family to offer Mary a life of freedom and passion. If only she has the courage to break away - before the Boleyn enemies turn on the Boleyn girls... (Harper, 2011)