Kenzaburō Ōe - A Personal Matter
Oe’s most important novel, A Personal Matter, has been called by The New York Times “close to a perfect novel.” In A Personal Matter, Oe has chosen a difficult, complex though universal subject: how does one face and react to the birth of an abnormal child? Bird, the protagonist, is a young man of 27 with antisocial tendencies who more than once in his life, when confronted with a critical problem, has “cast himself adrift on a sea of whisky like a besotted Robinson Crusoe.” But he has never faced a crisis as personal or grave as the prospect of life imprisonment in the cage of his newborn infant-monster. Should he keep it? Dare he kill it? Before he makes his final decision, Bird’s entire past seems to rise up before him, revealing itself to be a nightmare of self-deceit. The relentless honesty with which Oe portrays his hero — or antihero — makes Bird one of the most unforgettable characters in recent fiction.
J. M. Coetzee - Diary of a Bad Year
A new work of fiction by the Nobel Prize–winning author of Disgrace In this brilliant new work of fiction, J. M. Coetzee once again breaks new literary ground with a book that is, in the words of its main character, “a response to the present in which I find myself.” Diary of a Bad Year takes on the world of politics—a new topic for Coetzee—and explores the role of the writer in our times with an extraordinary moral compass. At the center of the book is “Señor C,” an aging author who has been asked to write his thoughts on the state of the world by his German publisher. These thoughts, called “Strong Opinions,” address a wide range of subjects and include a scathing indictment of Bush, Cheney, and Blair, as well as a witheringly honest examination of everything from Machiavelli and the current state of the university to music, literature, and intelligent design, offering unexpected perceptions and insightful arguments along the way. Meanwhile, someone new enters the writer’s life: Anya, the beautiful young woman whom he hires to type his manuscript. The relationship that develops between Señor C and Anya has a profound effect on both of them. It also changes the course of Anya’s relationship with Alan, the successful, swaggering man whom she lives with—and who has designs on Señor C’s bank account. Through these characters, Coetzee creates an ingenious literary game that will enthrall readers and surprise them with its emotional power. Bold, funny, and sad, as well as intellectually clever and satisfying, Diary of a Bad Year is a journey into the mind and heart of one of the world’s most acclaimed and accomplished writers.
J. M. Coetzee - Disgrace
Booker prize winning novels do not get much better than this effort by the modern master of the understatement, J M Coetzee. Whilst seemingly a story about the disgraceful behaviour of an ageing academic, Disgrace is also a novel that is not reluctant to delve into the politics of post-apartheid South Africa. As with all other Coetzee novels, the stylish prose is sumptuous and glistening with meaning. It is undoubtedly one of Coetzee's finest novels and a must read for anyone interested in great literature.
J. M. Coetzee - Summertime
South African Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee's forays into postmodernism haven't always been entirely convincing but Summertime, the third instalment of his 'fictionalised memoir' trilogy, is an impressively audacious piece of writing in which he imagines he is dead. An English biographer who never met Coetzee visits five people who were significant in his subject's life between 1972 and 1977, when Coetzee was establishing himself as a writer. The transcripts of those interviews make up the bulk of the book - and few of the reminescences are positive, about Coetzee's dispassionate exercise in taking himself apart is certainly a thought-provoking approach to a memoir, thogh how much is true (and whether he really thinks people would describe him so disparagingly) is impossible to ascertain. Having Coetzee, in the guise of an interviewee, analyse his own early work also seems indulgent. But there is a relentlessly inwuisitive aspect to this experiment that is quite gripping. (Siobhan Murphy)
J. M. Coetzee - Dusklands
A novel which combines the stories of an 18th-century Boer frontiersman and a 20th-century specialist in psychological warfare. Both are in the business of pushing back the frontiers of knowledge and are dealers in death. From the author of IN THE HEART OF THE COUNTRY and MASTER OF PETERSBURG. First published in 1982.
J. M. Coetzee - The Lives of Animals
"Coetzee stirs our imaginations by confronting us with an articulate, intelligent, aging, and increasingly alienated novelist who cannot help but be exasperated with her fellow human beings, many of them academics, who are unnecessarily cruel to animals, and apparently (but not admittedly) committed to cruelty. The story urges us to reconceive our devotion to reason as a universal value."--From the introduction by Amy Gutmann The idea of human cruelty to animals so consumes novelist Elizabeth Costello in her later years that she can no longer look another person in the eye: humans, especially meat-eating ones, seem to her to be conspirators in a crime of stupefying magnitude taking place on farms and in slaughterhouses, factories, and laboratories across the world. Costello's son, a physics professor, admires her literary achievements, but dreads his mother's lecturing on animal rights at the college where he teaches. His colleagues resist her argument that human reason is overrated and that the inability to reason does not diminish the value of life; his wife denounces his mother's vegetarianism as a form of moral superiority. At the dinner that follows her first lecture, the guests confront Costello with a range of sympathetic and skeptical reactions to issues of animal rights, touching on broad philosophical, anthropological, and religious perspectives. Painfully for her son, Elizabeth Costello seems offensive and flaky, but--dare he admit it?--strangely on target. Here the internationally renowned writer J. M. Coetzee uses fiction to present a powerfully moving discussion of animal rights in all their complexity. He draws us into Elizabeth Costello's own sense of mortality, her compassion for animals, and her alienation from humans, even from her own family. In his fable, presented as a Tanner Lecture sponsored by the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, Coetzee immerses us in a drama reflecting the real-life situation at hand: a writer delivering a lecture on an emotionally charged issue at a prestigious university. Literature, philosophy, performance, and deep human conviction--Coetzee brings all these elements into play. As in the story of Elizabeth Costello, the Tanner Lecture is followed by responses treating the reader to a variety of perspectives, delivered by leading thinkers in different fields. Coetzee's text is accompanied by an introduction by political philosopher Amy Gutmann and responsive essays by religion scholar Wendy Doniger, primatologist Barbara Smuts, literary theorist Marjorie Garber, and moral philosopher Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation. Together the lecture-fable and the essays explore the palpable social consequences of uncompromising moral conflict and confrontation.
J. M. Coetzee - Slow Man
. M. Coetzee , one of the greatest living writers in the English language, has crafted a deeply moving tale of love and mortality in his new book, Slow Man. When photographer Paul Rayment loses his leg in a bicycle accident, he is forced to reexamine how he has lived his life. Through Paul’s story, Coetzee addresses questions that define us all: What does it mean to do good? What in our lives is ultimately meaningful? How do we define the place we call "home"? In his clear and uncompromising voice, Coetzee struggles with these issues and offers a story that will dazzle the reader on every page.
Isuna Hasekura - Spice & Wolf 1
The life of a traveling merchant is a lonely one, a fact with which Kraft Lawrence is well acquainted. Wandering from town to town with just his horse, cart, and whatever wares have come his way, the peddler has pretty well settled into his routine — that is, until the night Lawrence finds a wolf goddess asleep in his cart. Taking the form of a fetching girl with wolf ears and a tail, Holo has wearied of tending to harvests in the countryside and strikes up a bargain with the merchant to lend him the cunning of “Holo the Wisewolf” to increase his profits in exchange for taking her along on his travels. What kind of businessman could turn down such an offer? Lawrence soon learns, though, that having an ancient goddess as a traveling companion can be a bit of a mixed blessing. Will this wolf girl turn out to be too wild to tame?
Isuna Hasekura - Spice & Wolf 2
Following his good fortune in Pazzio, Lawrence is confident that he is on the path to realizing his dream of becoming a town merchant. One ill-informed business decision, though, leaves him teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and ruin! With no assets to his name — other than the cunning of his fetching traveling companion, Holo the Wisewolf — Lawrence may need to resort to illicit means to put his affairs in order. With all of the merchant’s plans hinging on one beautiful young shepherdess — for whose vocation Holo holds no affection — Lawrence’s prospects, both personal and professional, are looking grim!
Isuna Hasekura - Spice & Wolf 3
Having narrowly escaped financial ruin, Lawrence turns his attention to helping Holo find her ancient homeland in the North. But how long can a traveling merchant afford to wander the countryside looking for a village that he suspects may have ceased to exist long ago? When a rival merchant sets his sights on Lawrence’s beautiful companion, though, can Lawrence truly be confident that Holo will remain by his side? Has the time come when Lawrence must ask himself whether his relationship with the Wisewolf is business or pleasure?
Isuna Hasekura - Spice & Wolf 4
Continuing their journey north, Lawrence and Holo stop in the village of Tereo in hopes of finding a local abbey where they might uncover more information regarding the fate of Holo’s ancient home, Yoitsu. Soon after their arrival, though, the companions are caught up in a local dispute between Tereo and the neighboring town of Enberch that could cost Lawrence and Holo both their fortunes and their lives! With the Wisewolf’s help, can Lawrence devise a way to save an entire town from ruin — and his skin and that of his traveling companion in the process?
Isuna Hasekura - Spice & Wolf 5
Arriving in the town of Lenos, Lawrence and Holo take a respite from their travels north — but a true businessman never rests! It isn’t long before an opportunity for profit presents itself to Lawrence, one that could fulfill his dreams of owning his own establishment. But as always, the promise of great reward carries great risk — and risk is never greater than when one plans to use a wisewolf as collateral! As Lawrence and Holo feel the ties binding them stretched thin, has the time come for the pair to go their separate ways?
Ken Follett - The Pillars of the Earth
"Follett risks all and comes out a clear winner," extolled Publishers Weekly on the release of The Pillars of the Earth. A departure for the bestselling thriller writer, the historical epic stunned readers and critics alike with its ambitious scope and gripping humanity. Today, it is a beloved favorite of countless readers, standing as a testament to Follett's unassailable command of the written word and to his universal appeal. A spellbinding epic set in twelfth-century England, The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known... of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect-a man divided in his soul... of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame... and of a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother.
Diane Haeger - The Ruby Ring
Rome, 1520. The Eternal City is in mourning. Raphael Sanzio, beloved painter and national hero, has died suddenly at the height of his fame. His body lies in state at the splendid marble Pantheon. At the nearby convent of Sant’Apollonia, a young woman comes to the Mother Superior, seeking refuge. She is Margherita Luti, a baker’s daughter from a humble neighborhood on the Tiber, now an outcast from Roman society, persecuted by powerful enemies within the Vatican. Margherita was Raphael’s beloved and appeared as the Madonna in many of his paintings. Theirs was a love for the ages. But now that Raphael is gone, the convent is her only hope of finding an honest and peaceful life. The Mother Superior agrees to admit Margherita to their order. But first, she must give up the ruby ring she wears on her left hand, the ring she had worn in Raphael’s scandalous nude “engagement portrait.” The ring has a storied past, and it must be returned to the Church or Margherita will be cast out into the streets. Behind the quiet walls of the convent, Margherita makes her decision . . . and remembers her life with Raphael—and the love and torment—embodied in that one precious jewel. In The Ruby Ring, Diane Haeger brings to life a love affair so passionate that it remains undimmed by time. Set in the sumptuous world of the Italian Renaissance, it’s the story of the clergymen, artists, rakes, and noblemen who made Raphael and Margherita’s world the most dynamic and decadent era in European history.
Ismeretlen szerző - The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval Europe
This richly illustrated book is the most authoritative account of life in medieval Europe between the fall of the Roman Empire and the coming of the Renaissance. Full coverage is given to all aspects of life in a thousand-year period which saw the creation of western civilization: from the empires and kingdoms of Charlemagne, the Byzantines, and the Hundred Years War, to the ideals of the Crusades; the building of great cathedrals and the social catastrophe of the Black Death; the cultural worlds of chivalric knights, popular festivals, and new art forms. The chapters show the movement of the centre of gravity in European life from the Mediterranean to the north; and the authors explore the contrast between Byzantine and Renaissance cultures in the south and the new, complex political and social structures of north-west Europe, which by 1300 had the most advanced civilization the world had ever seen
Robyn Young - Crusade
The second volume in the internationally bestselling Brethren trilogy, Crusade is gripping historical fiction that “grows more relevant by the day” (Raymond Khoury, bestselling author of The Last Templar) An international bestseller, Crusade is a fast-paced medieval adventure portraying the rising tide of political pressures that led East and West to war in the 13th century. After years of bloodshed, peace finally reigns in the Middle East, in part due to the efforts of Will Campbell and a mysterious group known as the Brethren. However, a cabal of ruthless Western merchants aims to reignite war in the Holy Land, while Prince Edward—once a trusted member of the Brethren—has made a promise to the pope: he will take the Cross to Jerusalem and lead a new crusade. To survive the escalating conflict and protect his family, Will must harness all his knowledge and courage.
William Faulkner - The Sound and the Fury
A novel which describes the dissolution of the once aristocratic Compson family in the American South, told through the eyes of three of its members. In different ways they prove unable to deal with either the responsibility of the past or the imperatives of the present.
Rumiko Takahashi - InuYasha 1.
Legend becomes reality... Kagome was always just a typical Japanese high school girl. Sure, her grandfather is obsessed with ancient myths, the family house is crammed with mystical talismans, and everything around her seems to have a legend attached to it, but none of it ever mattered to Kagome until one day. .girl crosses time to meet boy . One amazing day, a hideous, otherworldly creature literally pulls her out of her own world and into Japan's ancient past, where it seems that more than a few of those dusty old legends are true, and her destiny is linked to one legendary creature in particular. .and together, they begin a journey of mystery and adventure. Is Kagome really the reincarnation of a village priestess who died long ago? What of the mysterious creature, the doglike half-demon Inu-Yasha, who that very same priestess imprisoned? And even more importantly, what of the Shikon Jewel, the "Jewel of Four Souls", that seems to link their fates together?
Ernest Hemingway - For Whom the Bell Tolls
One of the greatest novels which our troubled age will produce. _Observer_ High in the pine forests of the Spanish Sierra, a guerrilla band prepares to blow up a vital bridge. Robert Jordan, a young American volunteer, ahs been sent to handle the dynamiting. There, in the mountains, he finds the dangers and the intense comradeship of war. And there he discovers Maria, a young woman who has escaped from Franco's rebels. For Whom the Bell Tolls is Hemingway's finest novel, a passionate evocation of the pride and the tragedy of the Civil War that tore Spain apart. The best book Hemingway has written. _New York Times_