Readings Recommends: Fiction

Zone One

Zone One

Colson Whitehead

A pandemic has devastated the planet, sorting humanity into two types: the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead. Now the plague is receding, and Americans are busy rebuilding civilisation under orders from...

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Micro

Micro

Michael Crichton, Richard Preston

An instant classic in the vein of Jurassic Park, this boundary-pushing novel has all the hallmarks of Michael Crichton's greatest adventures with its combination of pulse-pounding thrills, cutting-edge technology, and...

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Stone Arabia

Stone Arabia

Dana Spiotta

Stone Arabia, Dana Spiotta's moving and intrepid third novel, is about family, obsession, memory, and the urge to create - in isolation, at the margins of our winner-take-all culture.

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The Tragedy of Arthur

The Tragedy of Arthur

Arthur Phillips

A 'lost' Shakespeare play unearthed by highly acclaimed novelist Arthur Phillips

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Jane Austen Made Me Do it: Original Stories Inspired by Literature's Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart

Jane Austen Made Me Do it: Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart

Laurel Ann Nattress

A Ballantine Books Trade Paperback original --T.p. verso.

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Domestic Violets

Domestic Violets

Matthew Norman

In the vein of Jonathan Tropper and Tom Perrotta comes DOMESTIC VIOLETS, Matthew Norman's darkly comic family drama about love, loss, and ambition.

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We Bought a Zoo (Film Tie-in): the Amazing True Story of a Broken-down Zoo, and the 200 Animals That Changed a Family Forever

We Bought a Zoo (Film Tie-in): the Amazing True Story of a Broken-down Zoo, and the 200 Animals That Changed a Family Forever

Benjamin Mee

A film tie-in edition to 20th Century Fox's film adaptation of the heart-warming international bestseller starring Scarlett Johansson and Matt Damon and directed by Oscar-winning director Cameron Crowe.

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The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul

The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul

Deborah Rodriguez

The internationally bestselling novel about a little cafe in Kabul, and the five extraordinary women who meet there - as if Maeve Binchy had written The Kite Runner

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The Breakers

The Breakers

Claudie Gallay, Alison Anderson

Chosen by Le Monde and by readers of Elle as their Novel of the Year - a beautiful, resonant novel set on Normandy's coastline.

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For Love Alone

For Love Alone

Christina Stead

Set in Sydney and London in the 1930s, 'For Love Alone' is the story of Teresa Hawkins, an intelligent, ardent young woman, and her search for the ideal passion of love.

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Solace

Solace

Belinda McKeon

Belinda McKeon is a startling new talent in the great Irish mould, and Solace is a work to be admired equally for its spare, intense lyricism as for its range, understanding, and deeply compassionate portrayal of life as it is...

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 Special price Read reviewThe Cat's Table

The Cat’s Table

Michael Ondaatje

In the early 1950s, an eleven-year-old boy boards a huge liner bound for England - a 'castle that was to cross the sea'. As the ship makes its way across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal, into the Mediterranean, the boys...

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Breaking Away

Breaking Away

Anna Gavalda, Alison Anderson

On the car journey to a family wedding, Garance reflects on how adult life, with its disappointments and responsibilities, has not always gone to plan for herself or her three siblings.

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 Read reviewA Visit from the Goon Squad

A Visit from the Goon Squad

Jennifer Egan, James Gurbutt

A novel that circles the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. It is about the interplay of time and music, about survival, about the...

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Waiting for Robert Capa

Waiting for Robert Capa

Susana Fortes

A gorgeously written, ENGLISH PATIENT-style novel about the real-life romance between the war photographers Robert Capa and Gerda Taro during the Spanish Civil War. Already optioned to be the next film by Michael Mann (PUBLIC...

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 Read reviewForecast: Turbulence

Forecast: Turbulence

Janette Turner Hospital

FORECAST TURBULENCE is a breathtaking and exquisitely lyrical collection of nine short stories and one memoir piece from internationally acclaimed Australian author Janette Turner Hospital. Featuring a compelling and enigmatic...

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The Year of the Hare

The Year of the Hare

Arto Paasilinna, Herbert Lomas

The international bestseller. A novel of one man's existential journey away from his life and in to the wild. With a hare. Vatanen is a journalist in Finland. The car he is riding in accidentally hits a young wild hare. The...

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 Special price Read reviewThe Stranger's Child

The Stranger’s Child

Alan Hollinghurst

In the late summer of 1913 the aristocratic young poet Cecil Valance comes to stay at 'Two Acres', the home of his close Cambridge friend George Sawle. The weekend will be one of excitements and confusions for all the Sawles, but...

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The Book of Human Skin

The Book of Human Skin

Michelle Lovric

This is going to be a little uncomfortable...

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To be Sung Underwater

To be Sung Underwater

Tom McNeal

* A riveting and heartbreaking love story about what which happen when you revisit the road not taken

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I Don't Know How She Does It

I Don’t Know How She Does It

Allison Pearson

Meet Kate Reddy, fund manager and mother of two. Factor in a manipulative nanny, an Australian boss who looks at Kate's breasts as if they're on special offer, a long-suffering husband, her in-laws, two needy children and an...

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 Special priceWith My Body

With My Body

Nikki Gemmell

With My Body, and addresses the question of what is intimacy and whether it is ever truly possible to know another person. It is at once a manifesto of married mothers everywhere and a highly personal story of one woman's sexual...

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 Read reviewInfrared

Infrared

Nancy Huston

From Nancy Huston - the Orange Prize shortlisted author of Fault Lines - comes Infrared: a smart and provocative novel of sexual intimacy and desire.

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The Honey Thief

The Honey Thief

Najaf Mazari, Robert Hillman

This extraordinary book, derived from the long oral tradition of storytelling in Afghanistan, presents a mesmerizing portrait of a people who triumph with intelligence and humor over the oppressions of political dictators and an...

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 Read reviewHouse of Sticks

House of Sticks

Peggy Frew

Bonnie, never domestically inclined, has given up her life as a musician to become a stay-at-home mother to three small children. She tells herself she has no regrets, but sometimes the isolation and endless drudgery are...

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 Read reviewHinterland

Hinterland

Caroline Brothers

An exquisite, unsettling novel about refugees and what it is to be underage, homeless and invisible in a foreign land

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The Story of Beautiful Girl

The Story of Beautiful Girl

Rachel Simon

On a stormy night in small-town America, a couple, desperate and soaked to the skin, knock on a stranger's door. When Martha, a retired schoolteacher living a safe and conventional life, answers their knock, her world changes...

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When We Have Wings

When We Have Wings

Claire Corbett

The dream of being able to fly is now physical reality but only the rich and powerful can afford the surgery, drugs, and gene manipulation to become fliers. Peri, a poor girl from the regions, will sacrifice anything to get her...

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A Decline in Prophets

A Decline in Prophets

Sulari Gentill

On a 1930s luxury liner, the murders begin and once again Rowland Sinclair is unwittingly at the centre of them all.

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 Read reviewThe Book of Lies

The Book of Lies

Mary Horlock

Guernsey, 1985. Fifteen-year-old Catherine Rozier has a secret she can no longer keep to herself. It's about the night her best friend fell from the cliffs. Twenty years earlier, Charlie Rozier stands at the edge of the same...

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 Read reviewThe Amateur Science of Love

The Amateur Science of Love

Craig Sherborne

Colin dreams of escaping his parents' New Zealand farm for a grand stage career. He makes it to London and a disastrous audition before meeting Tilda; beautiful Tilda, older, an artist; who brings his future with her. A heady...

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 Read reviewRiver of Smoke

River of Smoke

Amitav Ghosh

The sequel to the bestselling, Booker-shortlisted, Sea of Poppies

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 Read reviewThe Good Muslim

The Good Muslim

Tahmima Anam

In a remote Bangladeshi village, a telegram brings life-changing news to Maya Haque's door. Eight years before, a brutal war tore Maya's country and her family apart. Now it is time to return home. She arrives to find that...

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 Special priceThe Colour of Tea

The Colour of Tea

Hannah Tunnicliffe

Lost among the gaudy, busy streets of Macau, Grace's life is slowly unravelling. Her marriage to Pete, her Australian husband, is fraying and her dreams of having a family seem hopeless. With the heralding of a new year she...

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Shooting the Fox

Shooting the Fox

Marion Halligan

Shooting the Fox is brimming with surprising characters - the virgin and the pornographer, the adulterer, the translator, the defecting diplomat - and the inconveniences of modernity. In the end, though, it is a...

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 Special priceA Conspiracy of Friends: A Corduroy Mansions Novel

A Conspiracy of Friends: A Corduroy Mansions Novel

Alexander McCall Smith

The third novel in McCall's acclaimed series about the colourful inhabitants of Corduroy Mansions, Pimlico. This installment follows the adventures of Oedipus Snark, the nasty Liberal Democrat and his mother Berthea who is writing...

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 Read reviewLove in the Years of Lunacy

Love in the Years of Lunacy

Mandy Sayer

Sydney, 1942. Pearl is 18 beautiful and impetuous. She plays saxophone in an all-girl jazz band at the Trocadero. On one such evening black GI and jazz legend James Washington blows into her life, and nothing is ever the same...

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 Read reviewThe Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead

The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead

Paul Elwork

Emily and Michael Stewart are precocious 13-year-old twins. Emily has an odd physical tic: she secretly cracks a joint in her ankle and the sound appears to burst through the stillness of midair. They gather neighbourhood kids to...

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The Crossing

The Crossing

B. Michael Radburn

Traumatised by the disappearance of his daughter Claire, Taylor Bridges' marriage breaks down, and he exiles himself to Glorys Crossing in Tasmania. Struggling with the guilt of Claire's disappearance, Taylor is a chronic...

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 Read reviewThe Ottoman Motel

The Ottoman Motel

Christopher Currie

Simon and his parents arrive in the town of Reception and check into the Ottoman Motel. Then, while Simon is asleep, his parents disappear. Are they lost? Has something terrible happened to them? Have they simply driven away? All...

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 Read reviewBig Girl Small

Big Girl Small

Rachel DeWoskin

Everybody needs a friend like Judy. She is whip-smart, hilarious, and her story is so real. She's a wonderful singer, full of big dreams for a big future and she's a dwarf. But why is she hiding out in a seedy motel on the edge of...

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Letty Fox: Her Luck

Letty Fox: Her Luck

Christina Stead, Carmen Callil

Letty Fox tells her story as a self-styled woman in New York's world of passion, love and sexual bargaining. As a bright, uninhibited daughter of a middle class couple who believes the world is her oyster, Letty Fox tells it all -...

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 Read reviewI Hate Martin Amis Et Al

I Hate Martin Amis Et Al

Peter Barry

It is 1995. Milan Zorec, an aspiring yet rejected novelist, travels from England to Bosnia to join the Serbian forces as a sniper in Sarajevo, in the final months of the longest siege in history.

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 Read reviewThe Book of Rachael

The Book of Rachael

Leslie Cannold

A young man is travelling the countryside around the Sea of Galilee preaching a message of love and justice. The preacher, Joshua of Nazareth, had a sister. Rachael falls in love with Joshua's friend, Judah of Iscariot. Then a...

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 Read reviewLittle People: A Novel

Little People: A Novel

Jane Sullivan

In 1870 the celebrated midget General Tom Thumb and his troupe are touring Australia. While in Melbourne, Tom Thumb is rescued from the Yarra River by an impoverished governess, Mary Ann. She is hired by the troupe, but soon...

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 Read reviewBearings

Bearings

Leah Swann

Bearings is about challenging the course of our lives as well as keeping a foothold during unpredictable times.Leah Swann burrows deep into the souls of her characters to reveal universal complexities, frailties and strengths....

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 Read reviewSnake

Snake

Kate Jennings

My life is about to begin. This is the only thought in Irene's head the day she marries a War veteran. But Irene is restless and rebellious, bored by her life as a farmer's wife. As they raise children and crops and dream of other...

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Paris Dreaming

Paris Dreaming

Anita Heiss

Libby is on a man-fast: no more romance, no more cheating men, no more heartbreak. But when fate takes Libby to work in Paris at the Musee du Quai Branly, she's suddenly thrown out of her comfort zone and into a city full of...

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Jamrach's Menagerie

Jamrach’s Menagerie

Carol Birch

London, 1857: After surviving an encounter with an escaped tiger, nine-year-old Jaffy stumbles into a job for its owner, the wild animal collector, Mr Jamrach. Commissioned by Jamrach to find and collect a sea dragon, Jaf joins a...

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The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted

The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted

Bridget Asher

Brokenhearted, mourning the loss of her husband, Heidi travels with Abbott, her 8-year-old son, and Charlotte, her niece, to spend the summer repairing their family home in a small village in the south of France. There, thousands...

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 Special price Read reviewThe Paris Wife

The Paris Wife

Paula McLain

*A heart-wrenching story of ambition and betrayal that captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his first wife Hadley

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 Read reviewThe Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

Philip Pullman

In this ingenious and spellbinding retelling of the life of Jesus, Philip Pullman reimagines the most influential story ever told. Charged with mystery, compassion and great power, it says something new about who Jesus was and...

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The Anatomy of a Moment

The Anatomy of a Moment

Javier Cercas

Translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean The new novel by the bestselling author of Soldiers of Salamis (1 million copies worldwide) has sold more than 160,000 copies in hardback in Spain since publication in 2009.

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 Read reviewMr. Rosenblum's List: Or Friendly Guidance for the Aspiring Englishman

Mr. Rosenblum’s List: Or Friendly Guidance for the Aspiring Englishman

Natasha Solomons

A charming novel about an irrepressible man, his long-suffering wife and a Very English dream.

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Rosie

Rosie

Anne Lamott

A year ago Rosie's dad died; but this young girl, wild of hair, smart of mouth and with an open heart, is busy embracing the world. Unfortunately her mother, Elizabeth, is finding the business of living much more difficult. Rosie...

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The Siege

The Siege

Helen Dunmore

Leningrad, September 1941. Hitler orders the German forces to surround the city at the start of the most dangerous, desperate winter in its history. For two pairs of lovers - Anna and Andrei, Anna's novelist father and banned...

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Nazi Literature in the Americas

Nazi Literature in the Americas

Roberto Bolano

Lucid, insane, deadly serious, wildly playful, biblomaniacal, and perversely imaginative' Nicole Krauss

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 Special priceDesert Fish

Desert Fish

Cherise Saywell

Gilly lives in a drought-ridden small town in 1970s Australia. She's left school but hasn't found a job, it's always hot and life seems a little pointless. Then Pete arrives. Gilly can't help but fall in love with him and one...

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 Read reviewBlack Glass

Black Glass

Meg Mundell

Sisters Tally and Grace have always dreamed of moving to the city. Yet neither of them ever expected to be living there broke, homeless and alone as happens when they become separated after an accident. The city, dominated by...

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 Read reviewDream of Ding Village

Dream of Ding Village

Yan Lianke, Cindy Carter

The life and death of an entire community is told by a dead boy. His story reveals the moral vacuum at the heart of Communist-capitalist China. During a blood-contamination scandal in Henan province, villagers sell their blood,...

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 Read reviewBlue Skies

Blue Skies

Helen Hodgman

A young wife and mother watches a clock that seems forever stuck at three-in-the-afternoon. Her husband didn't come home last night. She lives for Tuesdays and Thursdays, when she can escape to a less humdrum life. Jonathan, man...

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 Read reviewBright and Distant Shores

Bright and Distant Shores

Dominic Smith

Chicago First Equitable is to construct the world's tallest building and its president, Hale Gray, hits upon a way to make it an enduring landmark: to establish on the roof an exhibition of real-life 'savages'. Caught up in this...

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 Read reviewAngelica: A Novel

Angelica: A Novel

Arthur Phillips

When Constance married Joseph Barton she believed she had found her ultimate husband and protector. But after three miscarriages and the troubled birth of their daughter, Angelica, Constance begins to fear his intentions. Sensing...

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 Read reviewOne Foot in Eden

One Foot in Eden

Ron Rash

The year is 1951 and Holland Winchester, the local thug and a war veteran, has gone missing from his small, backwater South Carolina town. The local sheriff, Will Alexander, has a gut feeling Holland's been murdered but the...

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Swamplandia!

Swamplandia!

Karen Russell

The Bigtree alligator wrestling dynasty is in decline, and Swamplandia!, its island home and gator-wrestling theme park, is swiftly being encroached upon by a competitor. To save her family, Ava must journey on her own to a...

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 Read reviewFive Bells

Five Bells

Gail Jones

Four adults converge on Circular Quay, site of the iconic Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Crowds of tourists mix with the locals, enjoying the glorious surroundings and the play of light on water. But each of the four...

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 Read reviewCaribou Island

Caribou Island

David Vann

Gary, driven by thirty years of diverted plans, and Irene are trying to rebuild their life together. Across the water on the mainland, Irene and Gary's grown daughter, Rhoda is starting her own life. She fantasizes about the...

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The Indignities

The Indignities

Graeme Aitken

The Indignities by Graeme Aitken - the glittering sequel to Vanity Fierce (Random House 1986)In Vanity Fierce,Stephen Spear went to extreme lengths to snare his man.In this comic sequel, Stephen ingeniously bypasses his landmark...

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 Read reviewCrime

Crime

Ferdinand von Schirach

Crime is a collection of true crime stories told by one of Germany's most prominent defense lawyers. Some of the cases are strange, some bewildering and others heartbreaking, but all are told with genuine concern for those who...

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Yearn: Tales of Lust and Longing

Yearn: Tales of Lust and Longing

Tobsha Learner

A collection of nine sensual, witty and mystical stories marking Tobsha Learner's return to the short story format, and exploring the universal experiences of obsession, romantic encounters and secret regrets. In Yearn, the line...

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 Read reviewThe Lover's Dictionary

The Lover’s Dictionary

David Levithan

Told as a series of dictionary entries, The Lover's Dictionary is an intimate portrait of a relationship in all its guises; a compelling, deeply romantic story of two people loving each other: passionately, imperfectly. Through...

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 Special priceTablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East

Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East

Reza Aslan

A Words Without Borders Anthology Remarkable ... a triumph ... connects us at the level of our humanity, no matter where we may be from. -Los Angeles Times

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 Read reviewMr. Peanut

Mr. Peanut

Adam Ross

David Pepin has loved his wife since the moment they met, and he can't imagine living without her - yet he obsessively contemplates her demise. Soon she's dead, and he's both deeply distraught and the prime suspect. The detectives...

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 Read reviewJeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi

Geoff Dyer

Jeff Atman is in Venice to cover the opening of the Biennale. He's expecting to see a load of art, go to a lot of parties. He's not expecting to meet the spellbinding Laura, who will completely transform his few days in the city....

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Claudia's Big Break

Claudia’s Big Break

Lisa Heidke

Claudia Taylor's life is a mess. Her latest disaster? An ill-advised fling. In an attempt to get some perspective on her life, Claudia jets off to glorious Santorini with friends Tara and Sophie. But it's not long before they're...

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