Christmas and New Year’s Eve are almost here. We have searched for the perfect Christmas tree, and now we are making reservations for the place where we are going to spend the last night of this year. Between all this fuss with the holidays, we are sure that you have time to read a good book. For those who are addicted to this wonderful habit, reading, this will be in handy and maybe you will be happy to read our shared books.
#1 Funny Girl – Nick Hornby
Kindle Edition: $22.01 Hardcover: $20.48 Paperback: $8.50
It is the swinging 60s and the nation is mesmerized by unlikely comedy star Sophie Straw, the former Blackpool beauty queen who just wants to make people laugh. Behind the scenes, the cast and crew, are having the time of their lives. But when the script begins to get a bit too close to home, and life starts imitating art, they all face a choice. Keep on going or change the channel?
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#2 Love and other Unknown Variables – Shannon Lee Alexander
Kindle Edition: $7.99 Hardcover: $13.89
Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he will graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswered questions. He is that smart. But Charlie’s future blurs the moment he reaches out to touch the tattoo on a beautiful girl’s neck.
#3 Mr. Mee – Andrew Crumey
In this inventive and affecting novel, an octogenarian book collector named Mr. Mee discovers the Internet with life-changing results. Told in turns from the point of view of the endearing, utterly guileless Mr. Mee, two eighteenth-century French philosophers, and a middle-aged university professor, Andrew Crumey’s book concerns the creation and mysterious disappearance of Rosier’s Encyclopedia, a potentially explosive text written more than 200 years ago that purportedly disproves the existence of the universe.
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#4 Filth – Irvine Welsh
Kindle Edition: $11.80 Paperback: $13.13
With the festive season almost upon him, Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson is winding down at work and gearing up socially – kicking off Christmas with a week of sex and drugs in Amsterdam. There are irritating flies in the ointment, though, including a missing wife, a nagging cocaine habit, a dramatic deterioration in his genital health, a string of increasingly demanding extra-marital affairs. The last thing he needs is a messy murder to solve. Still it will mean plenty of overtime, a chance to stitch up some colleagues and finally clinch the promotion he craves for. But as Bruce spirals through the lower reaches of degradation and evil, he encounters opposition – in the form of truth and ethical conscience – from the most unexpected quarter of all: his anus. In Bruce Robertson, Welsh has created one of the most corrupt, misanthropic characters in contemporary fiction, and has written a dark, disturbing and very funny novel about sleaze, power, and the abuse of everything. At last, a novel that lives up to its name.
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#5 How I Became Stupid – Martin Page
Kindle Edition: $11.99 Paperback: $12.35
Ignorance is bliss, or so hopes Antoine, the lead character in Martin Page’s stinging satire, How I Became Stupid, a modern day Candide with a Darwin Award like sensibility. A twenty-five-year-old Aramaic scholar, Antoine has had it with being brilliant and deeply self-aware in today’s culture. So tortured is he by the depth of his perception and understanding of himself and the world around him that he vows to denounce his intelligence by any means necessary in order to become stupid enough to be a happy, functioning member of society. What follows is a dark and hilarious odyssey as Antoine tries everything from alcoholism to stock-trading in order to lighten the burden of his brain on his soul.
#6 These Broken Stars – Amie Kaufman
Hardcover Edition: $11.55 Paperback: $9.18
Icarus is a big spaceship which travels through hyperspace at an incredible speed. Icarus explodes, and Lilac Laroux (daughter of the richest man from the universe) and Tarven Merendsen (a war hero at only 18 years old) are the only survivors.
An escape pod leads them on a deserted planet, where they find a strange form of life called “whisperers beings“, subject to a damning secret experiment, initiated by Lilac’s father. What happens next is just too amazing to be told here. (happy reading!)
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#7 The Body Electric – Beth Revis
Kindle Edition: $4.99
Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift — the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother — to help others relive their happy memories. The future world is at peace. But not all is at it seems. Someone’s altered her memory. So who can she trust?
#8 The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
Kindle Edition: $10.04 Hardcover: $12.95 Paperback: $8.52
Liesel Meminger is a Book Thief, living with a foster family in Germany during World War Two. Torn from everything she’s known, her foster father shows her the power of words as the two of them share late night reading sessions of The Grave Digger’s Handbook. Her love of books ties her to others, including the mayor’s wife and Max, the Jew the family hides in the basement.
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#9 Sophie’s Choice – William Styron
Kindle Edition: $2.47 Library Binding: $21.93 Paperback: $13.60
In Sophie’s Choice, William Styron does a masterful job of telling a horrific tale in a bearable way. Sophie is a Polish Christian who survived 18 months in Auschwitz before the camp was liberated by the Allies. Of course her story is heartbreaking, but Styron unfolds the tale in a way that allows the reader to take it all in without being crushed by the sadness of it.
#10 Adultery – Paulo Coelho
Kindle Edition: £4.72 Hardcover: £10.49 Paperback: £7.99
Although the title indicates it is about adultery, I feel it is more about the “no man’s land of mid-life”. The voice of the protagonist – a successful journalist in her mid thirties – slips between apathy, desperation and flashes of wisdom. Sometimes, we feel the voice of Coelho himself, rather than that of the protagonist. Some of the internal monologues about existence and the meaning of life dispersed with quotes from the Bible and other sources seemed more appropriate to a wiser person. However, I have found the quotes useful and the description of the condition the woman finds herself in – depressed and apathetic despite her successful life – pretty accurate.
#11 Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes
Paperback: $8.55 Kindle: $7.90 Hardcover: $13.55
This is a wonderful and highly original novel about a mentally challenged man named Charlie who wanted to be smart. One day, his wish was granted. A group of scientists selected him for an experimental operation which would to raise his intelligence to genius level. Suddenly, Charlie found himself transformed, and life, as he knew it, changed.
I really hope that you will enjoy these books that I have shared and that the hints, altogether with the short summaries of the books will be helpful for you.