Birds of America by Mary McCarthy
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Birds of America is a witty and tender Bildungsroman. The reader will like Peter and his family and the other migratory birds he meets along his flyway, some of them his friends. They are seen by Mary McCarthy with a warm, though hardly moist, eye.
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In Paradise – her first novel since she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature – Toni Morrison gives us a bravura performance. As the book begins deep in Oklahoma early one morning in 1976, nine men from Ruby (pop. 360), in defense of “the one all black town worth the pain,” assault the nearby Convent and the women in it. From the town’s ancestral origins in 1890 to the fateful day of the assault, Paradise tells the story of a people ever mindful of the relationship between their spectacular history and a void “Out There . . . where random and organized evil erupted when and where it chose.” Richly imagined and elegantly composed, Paradise weaves a powerful mystery.
Taking us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the present, The Kite Runner is the unforgettable, beautifully told story of the friendship between two young boys growing up n Kabul. Rasided in the same household and sharing the same wet nurse, Amir and Hassan nonetheless grow up in different worlds: Amir is the son of a prominent and wealthy man, while Hassan, the son of Amir’s father’s servent, is a Hazara, member of a shunned ethnic minority. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them. When the Soviets invade and Amir and his father flee the country of a new life in California, Amir thinks that he has escaped his past. And yet he cannot leave the memory of Hassan behind him. The Kite Runner is a novel about friendship, betrayal, and the price of loyalty. It is about the bonds between fathers and sons, and the power of fathers over sons – their love, their sacrifices, and their lies. Written against a backdrop of history that has not been told in fiction before, The Kite Runner describes the rich culture and beauty of a land in the process of being destroyed. But with the devestation, Khaled Hosseini also gives us hope: through the novel’s faith in power of reading and storytelling, and in the possibilities he shows for redemption.
Meet Dolores Price. She’s thirteen, wise-mouthed but wounded. Beached like a whale in front of her bedroom TV, she spends the next few years nourishing herself with the chocolate, crisps and Pepsi her anxious mother supplies. When she finally rolls into young womanhood at 257 pounds, Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she’s determined to rise to the occasion and give herself one more chance before really going belly up. In his extraordinary coming-of-age odyssey, Wally Lamb invites us to hitch an incredible ride on a journey of love, pain, and renewal with the most heartbreakingly comical heroine to come along in years. At once a fragile girl and a hard-edged cynic, so tough to love yet so inimitably loveable, Dolores is as poignantly real as our own imperfections.
A pilot calls into the control tower to request an emergency landing. Following a mystery incident, the plane’s cabin is virtually destroyed, ninety-four passengers are injured and three are dead. Investigating this fatal accident for the airline, Casey Singleton must find out the truth before the multi-million dollar business goes bust in the face of a huge media backlash. Further lives are at stake and it seems everyone is against her – even her own colleagues – and everyone has something to hide. Airframe is a fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled thriller from the master of high-concept storytelling.