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Books to read

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Some books on my to-read pile.

Nobody Is Ever Missing

Without telling her family, Elyria takes a one-way flight to New Zealand, abruptly leaving her stable life in Manhattan, her home, her career and her loving husband. As the people she has left behind scramble to figure out what has happened to her, Elyria embarks on a hitchhiker's odyssey, testing fate by travelling in the cars of overly kind women and deeply strange men, tacitly being swept into the lives of strangers, and sleeping in fields, forests, and public parks. As she journeys from Wellington to Picton, Takaka, Kaikoura and onwards she asks herself, what is it that I am missing? How can a person be missing?

The beguiled movie tie-in

Wounded and near death, a young Union Army corporal is found in the woods of Virginia during the height of the Civil War and brought to the nearby Miss Martha Farnsworth Seminary for Young Ladies. Almost immediately he sets about beguiling the three women and five teenage girls stranded in this outpost of Southern gentility, eliciting their love and fear, pity and infatuation, and pitting them against one another in a bid for his freedom. But as the women are revealed for what they really are, a sense of ominous foreboding closes in on the soldier, and the question becomes: Just who is the beguiled?

Dissident Gardens

A father's nervous breakdown during a visit to a theme park; a political prisoner confined to a hole in a busy New York street; a haunted 'blog'...Welcome to Lethem-land, which can be discovered only by visiting - a place where the uncanny can be found lurking in the mundane, where humour and poignancy work in harmony, and a modern master of American letters entertains and dazzles us once again, as only he can.

The Association of Small Bombs

One of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of 2016 A New York Times Notable Book of 2016 On a hot May day in 1996 a car bomb detonates in a Delhi marketplace. Just a `small' bomb, but it is fatal for two Khurana school boys. Their friend Mansoor survives the blast bearing the physical and psychological effects of the bomb. After a failed stint at university in America, Mansoor returns to Delhi, where he becomes entangled with the mysterious and charismatic Ayub, a fearless young activist. Yet Mansoor isn't the only one damaged by the bomb. Mr and Mrs Khurana are trapped in labyrinthine legal battles, desperate for justice to appease their grief. Young bomb maker Shockie, striving for the future independence of his Kashmiri homeland, is also in Delhi that day, and afterwards will be inextricably linked to the blast. Humane and clear-eyed in equal measure, The Association of Small Bombs tackles the most urgent issue of today with astonishing empathy. Karan Mahajan writes about the effects of terrorism on victims and perpetrators alike, proving himself to be one of the most provocative and dynamic novelists of his generation.

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