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Best Sellers of 2016

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    You'll Grow Out of it

    Jessi Klein is not a girl's girl, or a woman's woman. Raised in Greenwich Village by parents who didn't notice if she wore the same pair of pants for months on end, she later learned that there were some essential lessons in femininity she'd been missing: how to get your butt to look like two round tennis balls (barre class); how to wait patiently for an engagement (get drunk by yourself at Logan Airport); and how to get over an ex in the age of Google (use the World Wide Web to discover everything about his new girlfriend). In this funny and incisive collection of essays, Klein explores her awkward childhood and attempts to unravel the mysteries of modern womanhood, with results that are both hilarious and relatable.

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    Hillbilly Elegy

    A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER Waterstones nonfiction Book of the Month (June) A Time Magazine Top 10 Nonfiction Book of 2016 SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE `The political book of the year' Sunday Times `You will not read a more important book about America this year' Economist Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis-that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck. The Vance family story begins hopefully in post-war America. J. D.'s grandparents were "dirt poor and in love," and moved north from Kentucky's Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance's grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history. A deeply moving memoir with its share of humour and vividly colourful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

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    The Underground Railroad

    From prize-winning, bestselling author Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom. Like the protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey—hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.

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    Commonwealth

    'Dazzling ... The combination of lightness, warmth and remarkable incisiveness creates a novel that is life-affirming and compulsively readable' Sunday Times It is 1964: Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited and notices a heart stoppingly beautiful woman. When he kisses Beverly Keating, his host's wife, he sets in motion the joining of two families, whose shared fate will be defined on a day seven years later. In 1988, Franny Keating, now twenty-four, is working as a cocktail waitress in Chicago. When she meets the famous author Leon Posen one night at the bar, and tells him about her family, she unwittingly relinquishes control over their story...

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    The Girls

    ** The Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller ** ** The New York Times Top Ten Bestseller ** The UK's best selling hardback debut novel of 2016 Selected as a Book of the Year 2016 in the Evening Standard, Observer and The Times California. The summer of 1969. In the dying days of a floundering counter-culture a young girl is unwittingly caught up in unthinkable violence, and a decision made at this moment, on the cusp of adulthood, will shape her life.... 'This book will break your heart and blow your mind.' Lena Dunham Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed. In the summer of 1969, empty days stretch out under the California sun. The smell of honeysuckle thickens the air and the sidewalks radiate heat. Until she sees them. The snatch of cold laughter. Hair, long and uncombed. Dirty dresses skimming the tops of thighs. Cheap rings like a second set of knuckles. The girls. And at the centre, Russell. Russell and the ranch, down a long dirt track and deep in the hills. Incense and clumsily strummed chords. Rumours of sex, frenzied gatherings, teen runaways. Was there a warning, a sign of things to come? Or is Evie already too enthralled by the girls to see that her life is about to be changed forever?

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    The Sun Is Also a Star

    The New York Times Bestseller! The dazzling new novel from Nicola Yoon, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything, will have you falling in love with Natasha and Daniel as they fall in love with each other! Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story. Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us. The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

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