Born in Dickens, Los Angeles, the narrator of The Sellout spent his childhood as the subject in his father's racially charged psychological studies. He is told that his father's memoir will solve their financial woes. But when his father is killed, he discovers there never was a memoir. Fuelled by despair, he sets out to right this wrong with the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is an immensely powerful and heartbreaking novel of brotherly love and the limits of human endurance. When four graduates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success and pride.
"Loved it at first, then hated it."
The new audiobook from number one best-selling author Jodi Picoult, with the biggest of themes: birth, death, and responsibility. When a newborn baby dies after a routine hospital procedure, there is no doubt about who will be held responsible: the nurse who had been banned from looking after him by his father. What the nurse, her lawyer and the father of the child cannot know is how this death will irrevocably change all of their lives, in ways both expected and not.
Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and true identity, how they shape us and how we can survive them. Moving from Northwest London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time. Two brown girls dream of being dancers - but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe or makes a person truly free.
In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnúsdóttir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men. Agnes is sent to wait out the months leading up to her execution on the farm of district officer Jón Jónsson, his wife, and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoid contact with Agnes. As the year progresses and the hardships of rural life force everyone to work side by side, the family’s attitude to Agnes starts to change - until one winter night.
"Well researched and very believable"
Big Brother is watching you.... 1984 is the year in which it happens. The world is divided into three superstates. In Oceania, the Party’s power is absolute. Every action, word, gesture and thought is monitored under the watchful eye of Big Brother and the Thought Police. In the Ministry of Truth, the Party’s department for propaganda, Winston Smith’s job is to edit the past. Over time, the impulse to escape the machine and live independently takes hold of him and he embarks on a secret and forbidden love affair.
At the heart of Joseph Heller's best-selling novel, first published in 1961, is a satirical indictment of military madness and stupidity, and the desire of the ordinary man to survive it.
It is 1964: Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening uninvited, where he notices a heart-stoppingly beautiful woman. When Bert kisses Beverly Keating, his host's wife, he sets in motion the joining of two families. In 1988, Franny Keating, now 24, meets one of her idols, the famous author Leon Posen. After telling him about her family, she unwittingly relinquishes control over their story.
"Beautifully constructed story of a blended family"
Nutshell is a classic story of murder and deceit, told by a narrator with a perspective and voice unlike any in recent literature. A bravura performance, it is the finest recent work from a true master. To be bound in a nutshell, see the world in two inches of ivory, in a grain of sand. Why not, when all of literature, all of art, of human endeavour, is just a speck in the universe of possible things?
"Very enjoyable Ian McEwan"
Recipient of the 1966 Tanizaki Prize, it has been called Endo's supreme achievement" and "one of the twentieth century's finest novels". Considered controversial ever since its first publication, it tackles the thorniest religious issues of belief and faith head on. A novel of historical fiction, it is the story of a Jesuit missionary sent to seventeenth century Japan, who endured persecution that followed the defeat of the Shimabara Rebellion.
This is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. Over the course of three weeks in present-day Washington, DC, three sons watch their parents' marriage falter and their family home fall apart. Meanwhile, a larger catastrophe is engulfing another part of the world: a massive earthquake devastates the Middle East, sparking a pan-Arab invasion of Israel. With global upheaval in the background and domestic collapse in the foreground, Jonathan Safran Foer asks us: what is the true meaning of home?
"What a wonderful technician"
A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the Pursuit of Happiness in America set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are.
Two rural families flee to the city and find themselves sharing a great, breathing, shuddering joint called Cloudstreet, where they begin their lives from scratch. For 20 years they roister and rankle, laugh and curse until the roof over their heads becomes a home for their hearts.
Why we think it’s a great listen: Never before has an author’s narration of his fiction been so important to fully grasping the book’s impact and global implications. Taking us from Afghanistan in the final days of its monarchy to the present, The Kite Runner is the unforgettable story of the friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them.
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. All the slaves lead a hellish existence, but Cora has it worse than most; she is an outcast even among her fellow Africans, and she is approaching womanhood, where it is clear even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a slave recently arrived from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they take the perilous decision to escape to the North.
It is 1866 and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.
"Best audiobook in ages"
Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. Aibileen is a black maid raising her 17th white child. Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is the sassiest woman in Mississippi: a wonderful cook with a gossip's tongue. Graduate Skeeter returns from college with ambitions, but her mother will not be happy until she's married. Although world's apart, Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny's lives converge over a clandestine project that will change the town of Jackson forever.
"Fascinating peep into a fascinating time in USA"
In this 1962 classic, a novelistic exploration of modern crime and punishment, Alex is the 15-year-old leader of his gang of "droogs" thriving in the ultraviolent future as prophetically imagined by Burgess. Speaking a bizarre Russian-derived slang, Alex and his friends freely pillage and slash their way across a nightmarish urban landscape until Alex is captured by the judicial arm of the state. He then becomes their prized guinea pig in a scientific program to completely "redeem" him for society.
"completely sublime from beginning to end"
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early 40s, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.
Six strangers from across the world converge on the tropical island of Bali to attend a course designed to help them face their fears.
Friendships and romance blossom as the participants are put through a series of challenges designed to test, but fun in the sun suddenly transforms into something far more serious when the unthinkable happens.... Shocking, powerful and utterly gripping, Fearless takes you to the edge and makes you look down.
The complete set of five novellas from Nick Earls. Gotham tells of the encounter between music journalist Jeff Foster and 'boy pharaoh' Na$ti Boi. Venice is about love and the tensions that pull us apart. Vancouver is the story Paul would tell if he were living in plague times - a story that comforts, a story that wards off evil. Juneau captures an acutely observed moment in which we see the universe. NoHo is about living in the shadows of the famous.
A mother and her two young children rent a battered old RV (optimistically christened the Chateau) and embark upon a journey through the Alaskan wilderness. At first their trip feels like a vacation: they spot wild animals and build bonfires. But as they travel deeper into the forest, dodging wildfires and eccentric locals, we learn more of the events that forced them to escape their old lives in search of something redemptive out at the very edge of civilization.
A public library in California where none of the books have ever been published is full of romantic possibilities. But when the librarian and his girlfriend must travel to Tijuana, the Kingdom of Fire and Water, they experience a series of strange encounters.
Abraham Koyfman is a widower of nine months. He works from home selling subliminal self-help tapes for a questionable doctor he found in an ad in the back of a magazine. His meager retirement is enough now that he's alone and Abraham is ready to quit his job - a task proving to be difficult due to the company's tactics. The combination of grief and the lack of empathy from his adult children have him ready to quit life, also.
Please note: this is a summary, analysis and review of the book and not the original book. This summary contains important people, character analysis, and analysis of the themes and author's style.
For decades the painting was believed to be lost. But just as mysteriously as it disappeared, it reappears, an anonymous donation to a gallery in Sydney. The art world is stunned, but so are the three men who loved the woman in the painting - the woman on the stairs. One by one they track her down to an isolated cottage in Australia. Here they must try to untangle the lies and betrayals of their shared past - but time is running out.
Old Bell Falls is a tale set in a small town in another time, when life's tasks might have been more forthright, but people behaved just about the way they do now. Two founding families, living together in industry, harmony, and friendship, are divided in a season of despair, when grief turns warm hearts cold. As time passes neighbor judges neighbor, in a feud whose source has been forgotten. Foolish traditions pass down the generations, from parents to children, who learn to be heedlessly cruel.
Shortly after her 13th birthday, Ritva is sent away to Seili, an island in the far north of Finland. A former leper colony, Seili is now home to 'hopeless cases' - women the doctors call mad. But Ritva knows she doesn't belong there. As biting winter follows biting winter, she longs to be near to her sister and wonders why her father ever allowed her to be taken to this desolate place. Hope arrives in the form of Martta, a headstrong girl who becomes Ritva's only friend.
There's a specter floating above the pews at afternoon mass. Father Montgovery has no idea why the ghostly presence has followed him around for years, but when a longtime parishioner asks for help in getting his drug-addicted daughter clean, Father Montgovery must do his best to ignore the phantom and shift his focus to the physical and sometimes harrowing world.
Polly always finds refuge in painting. But when the beautiful landscapes of the Maine island where she spends her summers leave her uninspired, she questions the life she's been living for the past 30 years. Will the reappearance of an old, seemingly successful friend be the spark Polly needs to get back on track, or will it derail her even further?
Belfast, 1939, and Martha’s daughters are beginning to make their way in the world. Irene, the eldest, is on the lookout for a new job and romance. Pat is sensitive and thoughtful, and dreams of life beyond the Ulster Linen Works. Peggy, hot-headed and glamorous, loves her job in Mr Goldstein's music shop on Royal Avenue. Sheila, the youngest, wants to stay on at school, but her family desperately needs another wage. Although they lead very different lives, they share a passion for singing and join a troupe of entertainers.
Helena Standish knows that a good marriage would enhance her father’s social status. The wealthy and enigmatic Oliver Faraday is considered an ideal match, so why does Helena have faint misgivings? Nicholas Carstairs has little patience with frivolous pleasure-seekers or an upper class that closes ranks against outsiders. Why then is he entranced by the lovely 'girl in the window' - a debutante who would appear to be both of those things?
1905. Rosie Belsfield feels as if her life has ended when she is rejected from Ellis Island and put back on the next boat back to England. But fate gives her a second chance when she befriends Lady Rosalind, a pregnant widow on her way to the home of her late husband's father, the wealthy Sir Ralph Tregowan. Having boarded the ship with one identity, fate decrees that Rosie leave it with another.... As Rosie arrives in Cornwall as 'Rosalind', she must fend for herself amongst a new and bitterly resentful family.