Dubravka Ugrešić - Have A Nice Day
The fictional dictionary of a Croatian exile in the USA. In this book, American life and culture are seen through the eyes of a woman whose country is being destroyed by war; barbarism is seen through the comforting veil of Western obsessions. Escaping from a dreadful situation in Zagreb, Dubravka Ugresic finds herself living in Middletown, Connecticut. There she compiles a witty, sardonic dictionary of everyday American life shot through with absurdity and her awareness of the barbaric realities of Sarajevo and Dubrovnik. This book is a combination of diary, autobiography, travel book and fiction.
Donna Tartt - The Secret History
This novel is set on a small college campus in Vermont. Dissatisfied with the crass values of their fellow students, a small corps of undergraduates groups itself around a favored professor of classics, who nurtures both their sense of moral elevation and an insularity from conventional college life that ultimately proves fatal. Among Prof. Julian Morrow's followers are Henry Winter, a tall scion of a wealthy St. Louis family, the twins Charles and Camilla Macaulay, both intellectually gifted and eccentric only in their excessive mutual devotion; Francis Abernathy, a dandyish homosexual slowly awakening to his sexuality; and Edmund (Bunny) Corcoran, who becomes the group's victim.
Barbara Kingsolver - The Lacuna
Mexico, 1935. When young Harrison Shepherd takes a job in the house of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, he is an inadvertent witness to their revolutionary talk. Then a newly exiled Trotsky arrives in the house, and Shepherd is an obvious choice to become his secretary. Years later, Shepherd has become an international star. His fame brings the unwanted attentions of the American authorities and Shepherd's attempts at anonymity are futile as he is drawn into a conflict of historic proportions.
Chang-Rae Lee - Native Speaker
In Native Speaker, author Chang-rae Lee introduces readers to Henry Park. Park has spent his entire life trying to become a true American—a native speaker. But even as the essence of his adopted country continues to elude him, his Korean heritage seems to drift further and further away. Park's harsh Korean upbringing has taught him to hide his emotions, to remember everything he learns, and most of all to feel an overwhelming sense of alienation. In other words, it has shaped him as a natural spy. But the very attributes that help him to excel in his profession put a strain on his marriage to his American wife and stand in the way of his coming to terms with his young son's death. When he is assigned to spy on a rising Korean-American politician, his very identity is tested, and he must figure out who he is amid not only the conflicts within himself but also within the ethnic and political tensions of the New York City streets. Native Speaker is a story of cultural alienation. It is about fathers and sons, about the desire to connect with the world rather than stand apart from it, about loyalty and betrayal, about the alien in all of us and who we finally are.
Ken Follett - Edge of Eternity
EDGE OF ETERNITY is the sweeping, passionate conclusion to Ken Follett’s extraordinary historical epic, The Century Trilogy. Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families – American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh – as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution – and rock and roll. East German teacher Rebecca Hoffman discovers she’s been spied on by the Stasi for years and commits an impulsive act that will affect her family for the rest of their lives.…George Jakes, the child of a mixed-race couple, bypasses a corporate law career to join Robert F. Kennedy’s Justice Department, and finds himself in the middle not only of the seminal events of the civil rights battle, but a much more personal battle of his own.…Cameron Dewar, the grandson of a senator, jumps at the chance to do some official and unofficial espionage for a cause he believes in, only to discover that the world is a much more dangerous place than he’d imagined.…Dimka Dvorkin, a young aide to Nikita Khrushchev, becomes a prime agent both for good and for ill as the United States and the Soviet Union race to the brink of nuclear war, while his twin sister, Tania, carves out a role that will take her from Moscow to Cuba to Prague to Warsaw – and into history. As always with Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion. With the hand of a master, he brings us into a world we thought we knew but now will never seem the same again.
Esther Forbes - Johnny Tremain
Johnny Tremain, winner of the 1943 Newbery Medal, is one of the finest historical novels ever written for children. As compelling today as it was fifty years ago, to read this riveting novel is to live through the defining events leading up to the American Revolutionary War. Fourteen-year old Johnny Tremain, an apprentice silversmith with a bright future ahead of him, injures his hand in a tragic accident, forcing him to look for other work. In his new job as a horse-boy, riding for the patriotic newspaper, the Boston Observer, and as a messenger for the Sons of Liberty, he encounters John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Dr. Joseph Warren. Soon Johnny is involved in the pivotal events shaping the American Revolution from the Boston Tea Party to the first shots fired at Lexington. Powerful illustrations by American artist Michael McCurdy, bring to life Esther Forbes' quintessential novel of the American Revolution.
Lisa Jewell - Before I Met You
'Enchanting, intriguing, and completely unputdownable' Katie Fforde Having grown up on the quiet island of Guernsey, Betty Dean can't wait to start her new life in London. On a mission to find Clara Pickle - the mysterious beneficiary in her grandmother's will - she arrives in grungy, 1990s Soho, ready for whatever life has to throw at her. Or so she thinks... In 1920s bohemian London, Arlette - Betty's grandmother - is starting her new life in a time of post-war change. Beautiful and charismatic, Arlette is soon drawn into the hedonistic world of the Bright Young People. But less than two years later, tragedy strikes and she flees back to Guernsey for the rest of her life. As Betty searches for Clara, she is taken on a journey through Arlette's extraordinary time in London, uncovering a tale of love, loss and heartbreak. Will the secrets of Arlette's past help Betty on her path to happiness?
Kurt Vonnegut - Jailbird
Jailbird takes us into a fractured and comic, pure Vonnegut world of high crimes and misdemeanors in government...and in the heart. This wry tale follows bumbling bureaucrat Walter F. Starbuck from Harvard to the Nixon White House to the penitentary as Watergate's least known co-conspirator. But the humor turns dark when Vonnegut shines his spotlight on the cold hearts and calculated greed of the mighty, giving a razor-sharp edge to an unforgettable portrait of power and politics in our times.
Robyn Young - Brethren
On the eve of the last Crusade, in a time of conspiracy, passion and war, one young man discovers a secret order within the Knights Templar… When Will Campbell joins the most powerful organisation in Europe, the Order of the Knights Templar, he is drawn into a world of intrigue and danger. Apprenticed to the foul-tempered scholar Everard, he must try to make sense of many things: his own past, the dangerous mystery that surrounds Everard, and his feelings for Elwen, the strong-willed young woman whose path seems linked with his own. Charged with recovering a mysterious book stolen from the Order’s vaults, a book that holds the key to a secret group of men within the Temple, Will embarks on a quest that will send him racing through the filthy backstreets of Paris and London to the burning plains of Syria and Palestine. Meanwhile, a new star is rising in the East. A ruthless fighter and brilliant tactician, the former slave Baybars has become one of the greatest generals and rulers of his time. Haunted by his early life, he is driven by an unquenchable desire to free his people from the European invaders of his lands. These two stories come together during that extraordinary clash of civilisations known in the West as the Crusades. Christian Knight will be pitted against Muslim Warrior in an epic struggle, in which both sides have their share of greed, ambition and religious fanaticism, as well as courage, love and faith.
John Irving - The Water-Method Man
The main character of John Irving's second novel, written when the author was twenty-nine, is a perpetual graduate student with a birth defect in his urinary tract. Fred "Bogus" Trumper is a wayward knight-errant in the battle of the sexes and the pursuit of happiness. He also happens to have a complaint more serious than Portnoy´s. Yet he stubbornly clings to the notion that he´ll make something of his life, and is about to commit himself to a second marriage that bears remarkable resemblance to his first...
Alice Hoffman - The Dovekeepers
The lives of four sensuous, bold and remarkable women intersect in the year 70AD, in the desperate days of the siege of Masada, when supplies are dwindling and the Romans are drawing near. All are dovekeepers, and all are keepers of secrets - about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love. There is Yael, the assassin's daughter whose heartbreak leads to her true path in the ruins of the desert; Revka, the baker's wife who loses her dearest treasure on earth and yet finds the strength to protect her family; Aziza, the warrior's beloved who leads a secret life not even those closest to her could imagine; and Marit, beautiful witch of Moab, a woman as loyal as she is dangerous.
Stephen King - Pet Sematary
The road in front of Dr. Louis Creed's rural Maine home frequently claims the lives of neighborhood pets. Louis has recently moved from Chicago to Ludlow with his wife Rachel, their children and pet cat. Near their house, local children have created a cemetery for the dogs and cats killed by the steady stream of transports on the busy highway. Deeper in the woods lies another graveyard, an ancient Indian burial ground whose sinister properties Louis discovers when the family cat is killed.
David Benioff - City of Thieves
As wise and funny as it is thrilling and original - the story of two young men on an impossible adventure. A writer visits his retired grandparents in Florida to document their experience during the infamous siege of Leningrad. His grandmother won't talk about it, but his grandfather reluctantly consents. The result is the captivating odyssey of two young men trying to survive against desperate odds. Lev Beniov considers himself built for deprivation. He's small, smart, and insecure, a Jewish virgin too young for the army, who spends his nights working as a volunteer firefighter with friends from his building. When a dead German paratrooper lands in his street, Lev is caught looting the body and dragged to jail, fearing for his life. He shares his cell with the charismatic and grandiose Kolya, a handsome young soldier arrested on desertion charges. Instead of the standard bullet in the back of the head, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful colonel to use in his daughter's wedding cake. In a city cut off from all supplies and suffering unbelievable deprivation, Lev and Kolya embark on a hunt to find the impossible. A search that takes them through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and the devastated surrounding countryside creates an unlikely bond between this earnest, lust-filled teenager and an endearing lothario with the gifts of a conman. Set within the monumental events of history, _City of Thieves_ is an intimate coming-of-age tale with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.
Dan Wells - Partials
The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out. Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic in training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws threaten to launch what’s left of humanity into civil war, and she’s not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will discover that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them—connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there. Dan Wells, acclaimed author of I Am Not a Serial Killer, takes readers on a pulse-pounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question—one where our humanity is both our greatest liability and our only hope for survival.
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa - The Leopard
Set in the 1860s, The Leopard tells the spellbinding story of a decadent, dying Sicilian aristocracy threatened by the approaching forces of democracy and revolution. The dramatic sweep and richness of observation, the seamless intertwining of public and private worlds, and the grasp of human frailty imbue The Leopard with its particular melancholy beauty and power, and place it among the greatest historical novels of our time. Although Giuseppe di Lampedusa had long had the book in mind, he began writing it only in his late fifties; he died at age sixty, soon after the manuscript was rejected as unpublishable. In his introduction, Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi, Lampedusa's nephew, gives us a detailed history of the initial publication and the various editions that followed. And he includes passages Lampedusa wrote for the book that were omitted by the original Italian editors. Here, finally, is the definitive edition of this brilliant and timeless novel.
Nora Roberts - Love by Design
This trade paperback collection contains two editorially connected novels. LOVING JACK and BEST LAID PLANS, both out of print for almost 10 years. Loving Jack Somehow her own fictional brooding hero had turned up in person right under her own roof, and now all romance writer Jackie MacNamara had to do was convince stubborn Nathan Powell that happily-ever-after began at home – and in her arms . . . Best Laid Plans She was the sexiest thing in a hard hat that architect Cody Johnson had ever seen, but structural engineer Abra Wilson also had a will as strong as a steel girder – and just about as flexible. But Cody had plans for Abra that not even this spirited beauty could resist . . .
J. K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a Cloak of Invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny cupboard under the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in ten years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter.
Martin Luther King, Jr. - Letter from the Birmingham Jail
Martin Luther King, Jr. rarely had time to answer his critics. But on April 16, 1963, he was confined to the Birmingham jail, serving a sentence for participating in civil rights demonstrations. "Alone for days in the dull monotony of a narrow jail cell," King pondered a letter that fellow clergymen had published urging him to drop his campaign of nonviolent resistance and to leave the battle for racial equality to the courts. In response, King drafted his most extensive and forceful written statement against social injustice - a remarkable essay that focused the world's attention on Birmingham and spurred the famous March on Washington. Bristling with the energy and resonance of his great speeches, Letter from the Birmingham Jail is both a compelling defense of nonviolent demonstration and a rallying cry for an end to social discrimination that is just as powerful today as it was more than twenty years ago.
George Saunders - Pastoralia
Hailed by Thomas Pynchon as "graceful, dark, authentic, and funny," George Saunders now surpasses his New York Times Notable Book, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, with this bestselling collection of stories set against a warped, hilarious, and terrifyingly recognizable American landscape.
Rainbow Rowell - Eleanor & Park
"Bono met his wife in high school," Park says. "So did Jerry Lee Lewis," Eleanor answers. "I’m not kidding," he says. "You should be," she says, "we’re sixteen." "What about Romeo and Juliet?" "Shallow, confused, then dead." ''I love you," Park says. "Wherefore art thou," Eleanor answers. "I’m not kidding," he says. "You should be." Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.