Olivia Yee is only five years old when Kwan, her older sister from China, comes to live with the family and turns her life upside down, bombarding her day and night with ghostly stories of strange ancestors from the world of Yin. Olivia just wants to lead a normal American life. For the next thirty years, Olivia endures visits from Kwan and her ghosts, who appear in the living world to offer advice on everything from restaurants to Olivia’s failed marriage. But just when she cannot bear it any more, the revelations of a tragic family secret finally open her mind to the startling truths hidden in Kwan’s unorthodox vision of the world.
J. D. Salinger - The Catcher in the Rye
Ever since it was first published in 1951, this novel has been the coming-of-age story against which all others are judged. Read and cherished by generations, the story of Holden Caulfield is truly one of America's literary treasures. Salinger's classic coming-of-age story portrays one young man's funny and poignant experiences with life, love, and sex.
Tibor Fischer - The Collector Collector
The Collector Collector takes a conventional boy-meets-girl story and turns it into a brilliant comic romp. The hero of Tibor Fischer's tale is an antique bowl that comes into the possession of a lovelorn, young London art appraiser named Rosa. Rosa's bowl is no ordinary piece of clay, however: it is a ceramic sage, an urn of uncommon erudition that has witnessed all of history's major convulsions--revolutions, famines, massacres, wars--and has survived more than four hundred breakages and three thousand thefts. By investing his bowl with soul, Fischer give us a hilarious, mantel- eye view of depravity and redemption, sex and lust, burglary and archaeology. "A writer gifted with a formidable imagination" (The Washington Post Book World), Fischer takes us on a thrilling ride from the primitive societies of prehistory to the equally primitive society of present-day London.
Dan Brown - The Lost Symbol
The most anticipated publication of the decade, The Lost Symbol is the stunning new thriller featuring Robert Langdon. Six years in the writing, it is Dan Brown's extraordinary sequel to his internationally bestselling Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code. Nothing is ever what it first appears in a Dan Brown novel. Set over a breathtaking 12 hour time span, the book's narrative takes the reader on an exhilarating journey through a masterful and unexpected landscape as Professor of Symbology, Robert Langdon, is once again called into action.
Anthony Capella - The Various Flavours Of Coffee
It was a cup of coffee that changed Robert Wallis’s life --- and a cup of very bad coffee at that. The impoverished poet is sitting in a London coffeehouse contemplating an uncertain future when he meets Samuel Pinker. The owner of Castle Coffee offers Wallace the very last thing a struggling young artiste in fin de siècle England could possibly want: a job. But the job Wallis accepts --- employing his palate and talent for words to compose a “vocabulary of coffee” based on its many subtle and elusive flavors --- is only the beginning of an extraordinary adventure in which Wallis will experience the dizzying heights of desire and the excruciating pain of loss. As Wallis finds himself falling hopelessly in love with his coworker, Pinker’s spirited suffragette daughter Emily, both will discover that you cannot awaken one set of senses without affecting all the others. Their love is tested when Wallis is dispatched on a journey to North Africa in search of the legendary Arab mocca. As he travels to coffee’s fabled birthplace --- and learns the fiercely guarded secrets of the trade --- Wallis meets Fikre, the defiant, seductive slave of a powerful coffee merchant, who serves him in the traditional Abyssinian coffee ceremony. And when Fikre dares to slip Wallis a single coffee bean, the mysteries of coffee and forbidden passion intermingle…and combine to change history and fate.
Thomas Pynchon - Bleeding Edge
It is 2001 in New York City, in the lull between the collapse of the dot-com boom and the terrible events of September 11th. Silicon Alley is a ghost town, Web 1.0 is having adolescent angst, Google has yet to IPO, Microsoft is still considered the Evil Empire. There may not be quite as much money around as there was at the height of the tech bubble, but there’s no shortage of swindlers looking to grab a piece of what’s left. Maxine Tarnow is running a nice little fraud investigation business on the Upper West Side, chasing down different kinds of small-scale con artists. She used to be legally certified but her license got pulled a while back, which has actually turned out to be a blessing because now she can follow her own code of ethics—carry a Beretta, do business with sleazebags, hack into people’s bank accounts—without having too much guilt about any of it. Otherwise, just your average working mom—two boys in elementary school, an off-and-on situation with her sort of semi-ex-husband Horst, life as normal as it ever gets in the neighborhood—till Maxine starts looking into the finances of a computer-security firm and its billionaire geek CEO, whereupon things begin rapidly to jam onto the subway and head downtown. She soon finds herself mixed up with a drug runner in an art deco motorboat, a professional nose obsessed with Hitler’s aftershave, a neoliberal enforcer with footwear issues, plus elements of the Russian mob and various bloggers, hackers, code monkeys, and entrepreneurs, some of whom begin to show up mysteriously dead. Foul play, of course. With occasional excursions into the DeepWeb and out to Long Island, Thomas Pynchon, channeling his inner Jewish mother, brings us a historical romance of New York in the early days of the internet, not that distant in calendar time but galactically remote from where we’ve journeyed to since. Will perpetrators be revealed, forget about brought to justice? Will Maxine have to take the handgun out of her purse? Will she and Horst get back together? Will Jerry Seinfeld make an unscheduled guest appearance? Will accounts secular and karmic be brought into balance? Hey. Who wants to know?
Halldór Kiljan Laxness - Iceland's Bell
Sometimes grim, sometimes uproarious, and always captivating, _Iceland’s Bell_ by Nobel Laureate Halldór Laxness is at once an updating of the traditional Icelandic saga and a caustic social satire. At the close of the 17th century, Iceland is an oppressed Danish colony, suffering under extreme poverty, famine, and plague. A farmer and accused cord-thief named Jon Hreggvidsson makes a bawdy joke about the Danish king and soon after finds himself a fugitive charged with the murder of the king’s hangman. In the years that follow, the hapless but resilient rogue Hreggvidsson becomes a pawn entangled in political and personal conflicts playing out on a far grander scale. Chief among these is the star-crossed love affair between Snaefridur, known as “Iceland’s Sun,” a beautiful, headstrong young noblewoman, and Arnas Arnaeus, the king’s antiquarian, an aristocrat whose worldly manner conceals a fierce devotion to his downtrodden countrymen. As their personal struggle plays itself out on an international stage, _Iceland’s Bell_ creates a Dickensian canvas of heroism and venality, violence and tragedy, charged with narrative enchantment on every page.
José Saramago - The Cave
Cipriano Algor, an elderly potter, lives with his daughter Marta and her husband Marçal in a small village on the outskirts of The Center, an imposing complex of shops, apartments, and offices to which Cipriano delivers his pots and jugs every month. On one such trip, he is told not to make any more deliveries. Unwilling to give up his craft, Cipriano tries his hand at making ceramic dolls. Astonishingly, The Center places an order for hundreds, and Cipriano and Marta set to work-until the order is cancelled and the three have to move from the village into The Center. When mysterious sounds of digging emerge from beneath their apartment, Cipriano and Marçal investigate, and what they find transforms the family's life. Filled with the depth, humor, and the extraordinary philosophical richness that marks each of Saramago's novels, The Cave is one of the essential books of our time.
Lawrence Block - The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling
Bernie Rhodenbarr has gone legit -- almost -- as the new owner of a used bookstore in New York's Greenwich Village. Of course, dusty old tomes don't always turn a profit, so to make ends meet, Bernie's forced, on occasion, to indulge in his previous occupation: burglary. Besides which, he likes it. Now a collector is offering Bernie an opportunity to combine his twin passions by stealing a very rare and very bad book-length poem from a rich man's library. The heist goes off without a hitch. The delivery of the ill-gotten volume, however, is a different story. Drugged by the client's female go-between, Bernie wakes up in her apartment to find the book gone, the lady dead, a smoking gun in his hand, and the cops at the door. And suddenly he's got to extricate himself from a rather sticky real-life murder mystery and find a killer -- before he's booked for Murder One.
Paul Auster - In the Country of Last Things
Here is the story of Anna Blume, a woman who has come to an unnamed city in search of her brother. Her notebook recounts her quest in this cruel modern landscape, and through her anguished narrative, Auster presents a frightening vision of the future.
Agatha Christie - They Do it with Mirrors
“They said it was an accident, but I think it was just temper!” Ruth Van Rydock – They Do it With Mirrors After a death threat, murder, and attempted poisoning, Ruth Van Rydock is so concerned for her sister’s safety that she invites her old friend Miss Jane Marple to visit them at their sprawling mansion home that they run as a rehabilitation school for boys; clearly a dangerous place to be even under normal circumstances. Can Miss Marple solve the case before Carrie-Louise is killed?
Anthony Capella - The Food of Love
In Anthony Capella's delicious debut novel, Laura, a twentysomething American, is on her first trip to Italy. She's completely enamored of the art, beauty, and, of course, food that Rome has to offer. Soon she's enamored of the handsome and charming Tommaso, who tells her he's a chef at the famed Templi restaurant and begins to woo her with his gastronomic creations. But Tommaso hasen't been entirely truthful he's really just a waiter. The master chef behind the tantalizing meals is Tommaso's talented but shy friend Bruno, who loves laura from afar. Thus begins a classic comedy of errors full of the culinary magic and the sensual stmosphere of Italy. The result is a romantic comedy in the tradition of Cyrano de Bergerac and Roxanne that tempts readers to devour it in one sitting. Evoking the sights, smells and flavors of Italy in sensuous prose, this lively book also features recipes for readers to create (or just dream about) Bruno's food of amore.
Tony Parsons - Starting Over
This is the story of how we grow old - how we give up the dreams of youth for something better - and how many chances we have to get it right. George Bailey has been given the gift we all dream of - the chance to live his life again. After suffering a heart attack at the age of 42, George is given the heart of a 19-year-old - and suddenly everything changes... He is a friend to his teenage son and daughter - and not a stern Home Secretary, monitoring their every move. He makes love to his wife all night long - instead of from midnight until about five past. And suddenly he wants to change the world, just as soon as he shakes off his hangover. But George Bailey discovers that being young again is not all it is cracked up to be - and what he actually wants more than anything in the universe is to have his old life back.
Michael Palin - Hemingway's Chair
Martin Sproale is an assistant postmaster obsessed with Ernest Hemingway. Martin lives in a small English village, where he studies his hero and putters about harmlessly--until an ambitious outsider, Nick Marshall, is appointed postmaster instead of Martin. Slick and self-assured, Nick steals Martin's girlfriend and decides to modernize the friendly local office by firing dedicated but elderly employees and privatizing the business. Suddenly, gentle Martin is faced with a choice: meedly accept defeat as he always has, or fight for what he believes in, as his hero, Hemingway, would. Filled with Michael Palin's trademark wit and good humor, this novel is for anyone who has ever dreamed of triumphing over the technocrats and backstabbers of the world. Hilarious, touching, and ultimately inspirational, _Hemingway's Chair_ will make readers stand up and cheer.
Agatha Christie - Postern of Fate
Now in their seventies, Tommy and Tuppence move to a quiet English village, looking forward to a peaceful retirement. But, as they soon discover, their rambling old house holds secrets. Who is Mary Jordan? And why has someone left a code message in an old book about her 'unnatural' death? Once more, ingenuity and insight are called for as they are drawn into old mysteries and new dangers.
Paul Auster - Mr. Vertigo (angol)
Paul Auster's dazzling, picaresque novel is the story of one Walter Claireborne Rawley, renowned nationwide as "Walt the Wonder Boy." It is the late 1920's, the era of Babe Ruth, Charles Lindbergh, and Al Capone, and Walt is a Saint Louis orphan rescued frm the streets by the mysterious Hungarian Master Yehudi, who teaches Walt to walk on air. The vaudeville act that results from Walt's marvelous new abiltiy takes them across a vast and vibrant country, where they meet and fall prey to sinners, thieves, and villains, from the Kansas Ku Klux Klan to the Chicago mob. Walt's rise to fame and fortune mirrors America's own coming of age, and his resilience, like that of the nation, is challenged over and over again. Mr. Vertigo is a bravura celebration of a raucous age, an ambitious and enduringly brilliant tale of trial and triumph.
Lawrence Block - The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza
Bookselling burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr doesn't generally get philosophical about his criminal career. He's good at it, it's addictively exciting—and it pays a whole lot better than pushing old tomes. He steals therefore he is, period. He might well ponder, however, the deeper meaning of events at the luxurious Chelsea brownstone of Herb and Wanda Colcannon, which is apparently burgled three times on the night Bernie breaks in: once before his visit and once after. Fortunately he still manages to lift some fair jewelry and an extremely valuable coin. Unfortunately burglar or burglars number three leave Herb unconscious and Wanda dead . . . and the cops think Rhodenbarr dunnit. There's no time to get all existential about it—especially after the coin vanishes and the fence fencing it meets with a most severe end. But Bernie is going to have to do some deep thinking to find a way out of this homicidal conundrum.
Jamie McGuire - Walking Disaster
Beautiful Disaster told in Travis point of view. How much is too much to love? Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder. In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. Just when he thought he was invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees. Every story has two sides. In Jamie McGuire's New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster Abby had her say. Now it's time to see the story through Travis's eyes.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Purple Hibiscus
A haunting tale of an Africa and an adolescence undergoing tremendous changes by a talented young Nigerian writer. The limits of fifteen-year-old Kambili's world are defined by the high walls of her family estate and the dictates of her repressive and fanatically religious father. Her life is regulated by schedules: prayer, sleep, study, and more prayer. When Nigeria begins to fall apart during a military coup, Kambili's father, involved mysteriously in the political crisis, sends Kambili and her brother away to live with their aunt. In this house, full of energy and laughter, she discovers life and love - and a terrible, bruising secret deep within her family. Centring on the promise of freedom and the pain and exhilaration of adolescence, _Purple Hibiscus_ is the extraordinary debut of a remarkable new talent. Longlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize Shortlisted for the 2004 Orange Prize
Helen Fielding - Cause Celeb
Disillusioned by her glitzy life in London and her desirable but cruel TV-presenter boyfriend, Rosie Richardson chucks it all in and spends four years running a refugee camp in Africa. Then famine strikes in a nearby province and an influx of starving refugees threatens to overwhelm the camp. Frustrated by the cautious response of the aid agencies, Rosie decides on a drastic short-term solution. She returns to London, breaks back into the celebrity circuit and brings the celebs out to Africa for a star-studded TV emergency appeal.