The world might be in the throes of a global recession but when an author on the brink of despair, an enigmatic musician, a supermodel and a Satanic sect meet with the cream of Italian high society at the home of a Roman property tycoon, the world outside the mansion’s walls is soon forgotten.
There’s going to be one hell of a party. And you’ve got a VIP ticket.
Gail Carriger - Blameless
Quitting her husband's house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season. Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London's vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead. While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires -- and they're armed with pesto.
Niccolò Ammaniti - As God Commands
"From Niccolò Ammaniti comes a novel set in industrial Italy, where a father and son contend with a hostile world, and their own inner demons." "The economically depressed village of Varrano, where Cristiano Zena lives with his hard-drinking, out-of-work father, Rino, is a world away from the picturesque towns of travel brochure Italy. So when Rino and his cronies come up with a plan to reverse their fortunes, Cristiano wonders if maybe their lives are poised for deliverance after all. But the plan goes horribly awry; on a night of apocalyptic weather, each person will act in a way that has irreversible consequences for themselves and others, and Cristiano will find his life changed forever, and not in the way he hoped." As God Commands is a story of life at the crossroads of hope and despair.
Italo Calvino - Invisible Cities
In "Invisible Cities" Marco Polo conjures up cities of magical times for his host, the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan, but gradually it becomes clear that he is actually describing one city: Venice. As Gore Vidal wrote 'of all tasks, describing the contents of a book is the most difficult and in the case of a marvelous invention like "Invisible Cities", perfectly irrelevant'.
Alessandro Baricco - City (angol)
The author of the international bestseller Silk now delivers a ravishing and wildly inventive novel about friendship, genius and its discontents, and the redemptive power of narrative. Somewhere in America lives a brilliant boy named Gould, an intellectual guided missile aimed at the Nobel Prize. His only companions are an imaginary giant and an imaginary mute. Improbably—and yet with impeccable logic--he falls into the care of Shatzy Shell, a young woman whose life up till that point has been equally devoid of human connection . Theirs is a relationship of stories and of stories within stories: of Gould’s evolving saga of an underdog boxer and the violent Western that Shatzy has been dictating into a tape recorder since the age of six. Out of these stories, Alessandro Baricco creates a masterpiece of metaphysical pulp fiction that recalls both Scheherazade and Italo Calvino. By turns exhilarating and deeply moving, City is irresistible.
Alessandro Baricco - Ocean Sea
With Silk, his first novel to appear in English, Alessandro Baricco immediately proved himself to be a magical storyteller. With Ocean Sea, he has been acclaimed as the successor to Italo Calvino, and a major voice in modern literature. In Ocean Sea, Alessandro Baricco presents a hypnotizing postmodern fable of human malady--psychological, existential, erotic--and the sea as a means of deliverance. At the Almayer Inn, a remote shoreline hotel, an artist dips his brush in a cup of ocean water to paint a portrait of the sea. A scientist pens love letters to a woman he has yet to meet. An adulteress searches for relief from her proclivity to fall in love. And a sixteen-year-old girl seeks a cure from a mysterious condition which science has failed to remedy. When these people meet, their fates begin to interact as if by design. Enter a mighty tempest and a ghostly mariner with a thirst for vengeance, and the Inn becomes a place where destiny and desire battle for the upper hand. Playful, provocative, and ultimately profound, Ocean Sea is a novel of striking originality and wisdom.
Alessandro Baricco - Emmaus (angol)
The secular and the pious. The rich and the poor. Those with “a capacity for destiny” and those who “cannot afford it.” Emmaus is a world of stark contrasts, one in which four young men—all from proud, struggling families, and all lusting after Andre, a hyper- sexual woman—are goaded from adolescence to manhood in a torrent of exploits and crises, sexual awakenings and morbid depressions, naivety and fatalism. A brilliant portrait of the perils and uncertainties of youth and faith, Emmaus is a remarkable novel from one of the very best writers in Europe.
Niccolò Ammaniti - Me and You
From internationally best-selling author Niccolò Ammaniti, comes a funny, tragic, gut-punch of a novel, charting how an unlikely alliance between two outsiders blows open one family’s secrets. Lorenzo Cumi is a fourteen-year-old misfit. To quell the anxiety of his concerned, socially conscious parents, he tells them he’s been invited on an exclusive ski vacation with the popular kids. On the morning of the trip, Lorenzo demands that his mother drop him off before they arrive at the train station, insisting that his status will be compromised if he shows up accompanied by his mother. Reluctantly, she agrees, and as soon as she is safely out of the vicinity, he turns around and makes his way back to his neighborhood, to put his real plan in motion: for one blessed week, Lorenzo will retreat to a forgotten cellar in his family’s apartment building, where he will live in perfect isolation, keeping the adult world at bay. But when his estranged half-sister, Olivia, shows up in the cellar unexpectedly, his idyll is shattered, and the two become locked in a battle of wills—forced to confront the very demons they are each struggling to escape.
Joss Stirling - Seeking Crystal
Sparks will fly . . . Passion will ignite . . . Crystal Brook has always been the dud Savant in her family; paranormal powers just aren't her thing. Dropping out of school with a clutch of 'E' grades and no future, she lives in the shadow of her high-flying sister Diamond. On a trip to Denver, a chance encounter with the dashing Benedict brothers leaves Diamond head over heels in love and engaged to be married. Crystal, on the other hand, is unimpressed by their charms . . . in fact no boy can annoy her as much as Xav Benedict! Back in Venice, their families assemble for Diamond's wedding and a powerful enemy seizes the opportunity to attack. Crystal and Xav must join forces to save their loved-ones, unlocking a secret that, until now, has lain deeply buried . . .
Conn Iggulden - The Field of Swords
With his acclaimed Emperor novels, author Conn Iggulden brings a dazzling world to life–the rich, complex world of ancient Rome as seen through the eyes of one extraordinary man: Julius Caesar. Now Iggulden returns to the story of Julius Caesar and a realm that stretches from the sands of North Africa to the coast of Britain. Against this magnificent backdrop, Caesar, his first victories under his belt and a series of key alliances in place, makes his move toward power and glory–and commands his famous legions on one of history’s bloodiest and most daring military campaigns. It is the heart of the first century B.C. For Julius Caesar, the time has come to enter the treacherous political battleground that has become Rome. Having proved his valor in the slaves’ revolt, Caesar is strengthened by the love and vision of a beautiful older woman, and by the sword of his loyal friend, Marcus Brutus. And when he is appointed to a new position of power, Caesar manages to do what none of the other great figures of his time could: capture the hearts of the Roman people themselves. Crushing a rebellion, bringing order to the teeming city, Caesar then makes the move that will change history. He leaves Rome for the foothills of the Alps. And with an army made in his own image, he begins a daring charge through Gaul, across the English Channel, and to the wilds of tribal Britain. Here, in a series of cataclysmic clashes, the legend of Julius Caesar will be forged. And while Caesar and Brutus pit their lives–and those of their men–against the armies of the wilderness, their political adversaries in Rome grow at once more fearful and more formidable. So when the fighting at the dominion’s edge is over, the greatest danger to Julius Caesar will await him on the Tiber–with a man who wants Rome himself. From the clash of armies to the heat of a woman’s seduction, from the thunder of battle to the orgies of pleasure and plunder that follow in a warrior’s wake, Emperor: The Field of Swords captures in riveting detail a world being shaped by a brilliant civilization. And in this extraordinary novel, the fate of Rome is being driven by the ambitions of a single man. A man with an unmatched genius for power.
Alessandro Baricco - Novecento (angol)
The story was made into The Legend of 1900, a 1998 film starring Tim Roth. Told through the eyes of Novecento’s (the greatest pianist who ever played on the ocean) best friend, trumpeter Tim Tooney, Baricco’s virile text echoes heroic fables and great myths, whilst winking at the beautiful and terrible minutiae that makes up life.
Paolo Giordano - The Solitude of Prime Numbers
A prime number is inherently a solitary thing: it can only be divided by itself, or by one; it never truly fits with another. Alice and Mattia also move on their own axes, alone with their personal tragedies. As a child Alice's overbearing father drove her first to a terrible skiing accident, and then to anorexia. When she meets Mattia she recognises a kindred spirit, and Mattia reveals to Alice his terrible secret: that as a boy he abandoned his mentally-disabled twin sister in a park to go to a party, and when he returned, she was nowhere to be found. These two irreversible episodes mark Alice and Mattia's lives for ever, and as they grow into adulthood their destinies seem irrevocably intertwined. But then a chance sighting of a woman who could be Mattia's sister forces a lifetime of secret emotion to the surface. A meditation on loneliness and love, The Solitude of Prime Numbers asks, can we ever truly be whole when we’re in love with another?
Scott Heim - We Disappear
The body of a teenage boy is discovered in a Kansas field. The murder haunts Donna—a recent widow battling cancer—calling forth troubling details from long-suppressed memories of her past. Hoping to discover more about "disappeared" people, she turns to her son, Scott, who is fighting demons of his own. Addicted to methamphetamines and sleeping pills, Scott is barely holding on—though the chance to help his mother in her strange and desperate search holds out a slim promise of some small salvation. But what he finds is a boy named Otis handcuffed in a secret basement room, and the questions that arise seem too disturbing even to contemplate. With his mother's health rapidly deteriorating, he must surrender to his own obsession, and unravel Otis's unsettling connections to other missing teens . . . and, ultimately, to Scott himself.
Terry Pratchett - Raising Steam
It's all change for Moist von Lipwig, swindler, conman, and (naturally) head of the Royal Bank and Post Office. A steaming, clanging new invention, driven by Dick Simnel, the man with t'flat cap and t'sliding rule, is drawing astonished crowds - including a few particularly keen young men armed with notepads and very sensible rainwear - and suddenly it's a matter of national importance that the trains run on time. Moist does not enjoy hard work. His ...vital input at the bank and post office consists mainly of words, which are not that heavy. Or greasy. And it certainly doesn't involve rickety bridges, runaway cheeses or a fat controller with knuckledusters. What he does enjoy is being alive, which may not be a perk of running the new railway. Because, of course, some people have Objections, and they'll go to extremes to stop locomotion in its tracks.
Lauren Barnholdt - Two-way Street
This is Jordan and Courtney, totally in love. Sure, they were an unlikely high school couple. But they clicked; it worked. They're even going to the same college, and driving cross-country together for orientation. Then Jordan dumps Courtney -- for a girl he met on the Internet. It's too late to change plans, so the road trip is on. Courtney's heartbroken, but figures she can tough it out for a few days. La la la -- this is Courtney pretending not to care. But in a strange twist, Jordan cares. A lot. Turns out, he's got a secret or two that he's not telling Courtney. And it has everything to do with why they broke up, why they can't get back together, and how, in spite of it all, this couple is destined for each other.
Junot Diaz - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Areader might at first be surprised by how many chapters of a book entitled The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao are devoted not to its sci fi–and–fantasy-gobbling nerd-hero but to his sister, his mother and his grandfather. However, Junot Diaz's dark and exuberant first novel makes a compelling case for the multiperspectival view of a life, wherein an individual cannot be known or understood in isolation from the history of his family and his nation.Oscar being a first-generation Dominican-American, the nation in question is really two nations. And Dominicans in this novel being explicitly of mixed Taíno, African and Spanish descent, the very ideas of nationhood and nationality are thoughtfully, subtly complicated. The various nationalities and generations are subtended by the recurring motif of fukú, the Curse and Doom of the New World, whose midwife and... victim was a historical personage Diaz will only call the Admiral, in deference to the belief that uttering his name brings bad luck (hint: he arrived in the New World in 1492 and his initials are CC). By the prologue's end, it's clear that this story of one poor guy's cursed life will also be the story of how 500 years of historical and familial bad luck shape the destiny of its fat, sad, smart, lovable and short-lived protagonist. The book's pervasive sense of doom is offset by a rich and playful prose that embodies its theme of multiple nations, cultures and languages, often shifting in a single sentence from English to Spanish, from Victorian formality to Negropolitan vernacular, from Homeric epithet to dirty bilingual insult. Even the presumed reader shape-shifts in the estimation of its in-your-face narrator, who addresses us variously as folks, you folks, conspiracy-minded-fools, Negro, Nigger and plataneros. So while Diaz assumes in his reader the same considerable degree of multicultural erudition he himself possesses—offering no gloss on his many un-italicized Spanish words and expressions (thus beautifully dramatizing how linguistic borders, like national ones, are porous), or on his plethora of genre and canonical literary allusions—he does helpfully footnote aspects of Dominican history, especially those concerning the bloody 30-year reign of President Rafael Leónidas Trujillo. The later Oscar chapters lack the linguistic brio of the others, and there are exposition-clogged passages that read like summaries of a longer narrative, but mostly this fierce, funny, tragic book is just what a reader would have hoped for in a novel by Junot Diaz.
Jodi Picoult - Handle with Care
Charlotte and Sean O'Keefe's daughter, Willow, was born with brittle bone disease, a condition that requires Charlotte to act as full-time caregiver and has strained their emotional and financial limits. Willow's teenaged half-sister, Amelia, suffers as well, overshadowed by Willow's needs and lost in her own adolescent turmoil. When Charlotte decides to sue for wrongful birth in order to obtain a settlement to ensure Willow's future, the already strained family begins to implode. Not only is the defendant Charlotte's longtime friend, but the case requires Charlotte and Sean to claim that had they known of Willow's condition, they would have terminated the pregnancy, a statement that strikes at the core of their faith and family.
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.
Richard A. Knaak - The Well of Eternity
Many months have passed since the cataclysmic Battle of Mount Hyjal, where the demonic Burning Legion was banished from Azeroth forever. But now, a mysterious energy rift within the mountains of Kalimdor propels three former warriors into the distant past -- a time long before orcs, humans or even high elves roamed the land. A time when the Dark Titan Sargeras, and his demon pawns persuaded Queen Azshara and her Highborne to cleanse Azeroth of its lesser races. A time when the Dragon Aspects were at the height of their power -- unaware that one of their own would soon usher in an age of darkness that would engulf the world of...War Craft. In the first chapter of this epic trilogy, the outcome of the historic War of the Ancients is forever altered by the arrival of three time-lost heroes: Krasus, the dragon mage whose great power and memories of the ancient conflict have inexplicably diminished; the human wizard Rhonin, whose thoughts are divided between his family and the seductive source of his now-growing power; and Broxigar, a weathered orc veteran who seeks a glorious death in combat. But unless these unlikely allies can convince the demigod, Cenarius, and the untrusting night elves of their queen's treachery, the burning Legion's gateway into Azeroth will open anew. And this time -- the struggles of the past may well spill over into the future...
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.
Austin Grossman - You
A NOVEL OF MYSTERY, VIDEOGAMES, AND THE PEOPLE WHO CREATE THEM, BY THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF SOON I WILL BE INVINCIBLE. When Russell joins Black Arts games, brainchild of two visionary designers who were once his closest friends, he reunites with an eccentric crew of nerds hacking the frontiers of both technology and entertainment. In part, he's finally given up chasing the conventional path that has always seemed just out of reach. But mostly, he needs to know what happened to Simon, the strangest and most gifted friend he ever lost, who died under mysterious circumstances soon after Black Arts' breakout hit. Then Black Arts' revolutionary next-gen game is threatened by a mysterious software glitch, and Russell finds himself in a race to save his job, Black Arts' legacy, and the people he has grown to care about. The bug is the first clue in a mystery leading back twenty years, through real and virtual worlds, corporate boardrooms and high school computer camp, to a secret that changed a friendship and the history of gaming. The deeper Russell digs, the more dangerous the glitch appears--and soon, Russell comes to realize there's much more is at stake than just one software company's bottom line. Austin Grossman's debut novel Soon I Will Invincible announced the arrival of a singular, genre-defying talent "sure to please fans of Lethem and Chabon" (Playboy). With YOU, Grossman offers his most daring and most personal novel yet-a thrilling, hilarious, authentic portrait of the world of professional game makers; and the story of how learning to play can save your life.