On an ill-fated art expedition of the Southern Shan State in Burma, eleven Americans leave their Floating Island Resort for a Christmas morning tour – and disappear. Through the twists of fate, curses, and just plain human error, they find themselves deep in the Burma jungle, where they encounter a tribe awaiting the return of the leader and the mythical book of wisdom that will protect them from the ravages and destruction of the Myanmar military regime.
Filled with Amy Tan’s signature ‘idiosyncratic, sympathetic characters, haunting images, historical complexity, significant contemporary themes, and suspenseful mystery’ (Los Angeles Times)
‘Saving Fish from Drowning’ seduces the reader with a facade of Buddhist illusions, magical tricks, and light comedy, even as the absurd and picaresque spiral into a gripping morality tale about the consequences of intentions – both good and bad – and of the shared responsibility that individuals must accept for the actions of others.
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.
Amy Tan - The Hundred Secret Senses
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.
Bill Bryson - Made in America
Bill Bryson turns away form the highways and byways of middle America, so hilariously depicted in his bestselling The Lost Continent, for a fast, exhilarating ride along the Route 66 of American language and popular culture. In Made in America, Bryson de-mythologizes his native land - explaining how a dusty desert hamlet with neither woods nor holly became Hollywood, how the Wild West wasn't won, why Americans say 'lootenant' and 'Toosday', how Americans were eating junk food long before the word itself was cooked up - as well as exposing the true origins of the G-string, the original $64,000 question and Dr Kellogg of cornflakes fame. Buy this book at once and have a nice day!
Amy Tan - The Bonesetter's Daughter
LuLing Young is now in her eighties, and finally beginning to feel the effects of old age. Trying to hold on to the evaporating past, she begins to write down all that she can remember of her life as a girl in China. Meanwhile, her daughter Ruth, a ghostwriter for authors of self-help books, is losing the ability to speak up for herself in front of the man she lives with. LuLing can only look on, helpless: her prickly relationship with her daughter does not make it easy to discuss such matters. In turn, Ruth has begun to suspect that something is wrong with her mother: she says so many confusing and contradictory things. Ruth decides to move in with her ailing mother, and while tending to her discovers the story LuLing wrote in Chinese, of her tumultuous life growing up in a remote mountain village known as Immortal Heart. LuLing tells of the secrets passed along by her mute nursemaid, Precious Auntie; of a cave where dragon bones are mined and where Peking Man was discovered; of the crumbling ravine known as the End of the World, where Precious Auntie's bones lie, and of the curse that LuLing believes she released through betrayal. Like layers of sediment being removed, each page unfolds into an even greater mystery: Who was Precious Auntie, whose suicide changed the path of LuLing's life? Set in contemporary San Francisco and pre-war China, The Bonesetter's Daughter is an excavation of the human spirit. With great warmth and humour, Amy Tan gives us a mesmerising story of a mother and daughter discovering together that what they share in their bones through history and heredity is priceless beyond measure.
Anita Desai - Baumgartner's Bombay
Hugo Baumgartner narrowly escapes the Nazis by fleeing to Calcutta. There he is imprisoned alongside dedicated Nazis by indifferent Anglo-Indian authorities. PW found the book "occasionally irritating in its appropriation of history for its own purposes," but noted: "Desai's artful control of her narrative's agenda results in a compelling fiction."
Haruki Murakami - The Elephant Vanishes
The Elephant Vanishes is a collection of short stories by Japanese author Haruki Murakami. The stories were written between 1983 and 1990, and the collection's first English publication was in 1993. Stylistically and thematically, the collection aligns with Murakami's previous work. The stories mesh normality with surrealism, and focus on painful issues involving loss, destruction, confusion and loneliness. The title for the book is derived from the final story in the collection.
Amy Tan - The Joy Luck Club
From the wealthy homes of pre-Revolutionary China to downtown San Francisco, this is the story of four mothers and their first-generation Chinese-American daughters; two generations of women struggling to come to terms with their cultural identity.
Kate Morton - The Forgotten Garden
A lost child: On the eve of the First World War, a little girl is found abandoned on a ship to Australia. A mysterious woman called the Authoress had promised to look after her - but has disappeared without a trace. A terrible secret: On the night of her twenty-first birthday, Nell Andrews learns a secret that will change her life forever. Decades later, she embarks upon a search for the truth that leads her to the windswept Cornish coast and the strange and beautiful Blackhurst Manor, once owned by the aristocratic Mountrachet family.A mysterious inheritance: On Nell's death, her granddaughter, Cassandra, comes into an unexpected inheritance. Cliff Cottage and its forgotten garden are notorious amongst the Cornish locals for the secrets they hold - secrets about the doomed Mountrachet family and their ward Eliza Makepeace, a writer of dark Victorian fairytales. It is here that Cassandra will finally uncover the truth about the family, and solve the century-old mystery of a little girl lost.
Haruki Murakami - A Wild Sheep Chase
Wild Sheep Chase is one of Murakami's most fantastical novels. An advertising executive, infatuated with a girl who possesses the most perfect ears, is sent on a search for the sheep with a star on its back. This catapults him into a weird adventure to find the sheep in the wilds of Hokkaido, Japan's northern island. There are strange stories, strange encounters. A Wild Sheep Chase is an early Murakami work, but its remarkable and individual voice makes it one of the most compelling and funny of his books. Superbly read by Rupert Degas with an edge of Raymond Chandler.
Thomas Pynchon - Gravity's Rainbow
Winner of the 1973 National Book Award, Gravity's Rainbow is a postmodern epic, a work as exhaustively significant to the second half of the twentieth century as Joyce's Ulysses was to the first. Its sprawling, encyclopedic narrative and penetrating analysis of the impact of technology on society make it an intellectual tour de force.
Joseph Conrad - Lord Jim (Oxford Bookworms)
A hundred years ago a seaman's life was full of danger, but Jim, the first mate on board the Patna, is not afraid of danger. He is young, strong, confident of his bravery. He dreams of great adventures - and the chance to show the world what a hero he is. But the sea is no place for dreamers. When the chance comes, on a calm moonlit night in the Indian Ocean, Jim fails the test, and his world falls to pieces around him. He disappears into the jungles of south-east Asia, searching for a way to prove himself, once and for all ... About the Author Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) was born into a Polish family who lived in the Ukraine. At the age of sixteen he went to sea, and later joined the British Merchant Navy, becoming a Master Mariner and a British citizen in 1886. After twenty years at sea, he came to live in England, where he wrote many famous novels, including Lord Jim, Nostromo, Heart of Darkness, and The Secret Agent.
Ian Caldwell - Dustin Thomason - The Rule of Four
Princeton. Good Friday, 1999. On the eve of graduation, two students are a hairsbreadth from solving the mysteries of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, a Renaissance text that has baffled scholars for centuries. Famous for its hypnotic power over those who study it, the five-hundred-year-old Hypnerotomachia may finally reveal its secrets--to Tom Sullivan, whose father was obsessed with the book, and Paul Harris, whose future depends on it. As the deadline looms, research has stalled--until a vital clue is unearthed: a long-lost diary that may prove to be the key to deciphering the ancient text. But when a longtime student of the book is murdered just hours later, a chilling cycle of deaths and revelations begins--one that will force Tom and Paul, with their two roommates, into a fiery drama spun from a book whose power and meaning have long been misunderstood....
Kingsley Amis - Lucky Jim
Kingsley Amis has written a marvelously funny novel describing the attempts of England's postwar generation to break from that country's traditional class structure. When it appeared in England, LUCKY JIM provoked a heated controversy in which everyone took sides. Even W. Somerset Maugham reviewed the book, happily with great favor: "Mr. Kingsley Amis is so talented, his observations so keen, that you cannot fail to be convinced that the young men he so brilliantly describes truly represent the classes with which his novel is concerned."
Don DeLillo - Americana
At twenty-eight, David Bell is the American dream come true. He has fought his way to the top, surviving office purges and scandals to become a top television executive. David’s world is made up of the images that flicker across America’s screens, the fantasies that enthrall America’s imagination. And then the dream – and the dream-making – become a nightmare. At the height of success, David sets out to rediscover reality. Camera in hand, he journeys across the country in a mad and moving attempt to capture, to impose, a pattern on his own, and America’s, past, present, and future.
Toni Morrison - Beloved
In this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of 1988, Toni Morrison frees herself from the bonds of traditional narrative and establishes an independent style, just as her characters have freed themselves from the horrors of slavery and escaped from Kentucky to Ohio. Revealing the story of Sethe and her family as they survive the brutality of the farm, only to encounter torments even more punishing than whippings after they escape, Morrison presents scenes in a seemingly random order, each scene revealing some aspect of life for Sethe, her boys, her dead baby Beloved, and the new baby Denver, both in the past and in the present. Moving back and forth, around, and inside out through Sethe's recollections, she gradually reveals Sethe's story to the reader, its horror increasing as the reader makes the connections which turn disconnected scenes into a powerful and harrowing chronology.
Haruki Murakami - 1Q84 (angol)
The final part of Murakami's gripping, sensational mystery story At the close of Book Two of 1Q84, Aomame and Tengo found themselves in perilous situations, threatened and confused. As 1Q84 accelerates towards its conclusion, both are pursued by persons and forces they do not know and cannot understand. As they begin to decipher more about the strange world into which they have slipped, so they sense their destinies converging. What they cannot know is whether they will find one another before they are themselves found. Inspired by George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1Q84 is a magnificent and fully-imagined work of fiction - both a thriller and a moving love-story . It is a world from which the reader emerges stunned and altered. Book Three of 1Q84 is the final volume of Murakami's magnum opus. In Japan, Books One and Two were published on the same day with Book Three following a year later. All three books were received with huge excitement and became instant bestsellers. The UK publication reflects the pattern of the original publication with Books One and Two being released in one volume and Book Three following in a separate edition.
Gustave Flaubert - Madame Bovary (Penguin Readers)
Emma Bovary is married to the reliable but uninteresting Charles. She is bored and finds passion in a series of affairs. This exciting life demands more money than Charles can give her. Soon Emma’s dream lead to her destruction.
Tina Fey - Bossypants
Tina Fey’s new book Bossypants is short, messy, and impossibly funny (an apt description of the comedian herself). From her humble roots growing up in Pennsylvania to her days doing amateur improv in Chicago to her early sketches on Saturday Night Live, Fey gives us a fascinating glimpse behind the curtain of modern comedy with equal doses of wit, candor, and self-deprecation. Some of the funniest chapters feature the differences between male and female comedy writers ("men urinate in cups"), her cruise ship honeymoon ("it’s very Poseidon Adventure"), and advice about breastfeeding ("I had an obligation to my child to pretend to try"). But the chaos of Fey’s life is best detailed when she’s dividing her efforts equally between rehearsing her Sarah Palin impression, trying to get Oprah to appear on 30 Rock, and planning her daughter’s Peter Pan-themed birthday. Bossypants gets to the heart of why Tina Fey remains universally adored: she embodies the hectic, too-many-things-to-juggle lifestyle we all have, but instead of complaining about it, she can just laugh it off.
Edgar Allan Poe - The Black Cat and Other Stories (Penguin Readers)
Four short stories of murder and mystery. Edgar Allan Poe wrote about terrible people who lead strange lives. If you have a black cat yourself, watch out! Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 1849) - the master of the macabre - is one of the best-known writers of horror stories in the English language.
Janet Hardy-Gould - Henry VIII and his Six Wives (Oxford Bookworms)
There were six of them - three Katherines, two Annes, and a Jane. One of them was the King's wife for twenty-four years, another for only a year and a half. One died, two were divorced, and two were beheaded. It was a dangerous, uncertain life. After the King's death in 1547, his sixth wife finds a box of old letters - one from each of the first five wives. They are sad, angry, frightened letters. They tell the story of what it was like to be the wife of Henry VIII of England.