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A list of books read by the CDSS book club.

I joined a couple of years ago and have enjoyed the experience. It's been a great way to stumble upon different books that I probably would have overlooked otherwise. Quite a few have surprised me and I feel that it has helped me move away from a tendency to prejudge and reject new things before giving them a chance.

I hope to write reviews for each of the books over time (I may have to re-read a couple to jog my memory).

The Catcher in the Rye

Anyone who has read J.D. Salinger's New Yorker stories ? particularly A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut, The Laughing Man, and For Esme ? With Love and Squalor, will not be surprised by the fact that his first novel is fully of children. The hero-narrator of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.

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The Song of Achilles

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper - despite the displeasure of Achilles's mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

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Bring Up the Bodies

By 1535 Thomas Cromwell is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome. But Henry's actions have forced England into dangerous isolation, and Anne has failed to bear a son to secure the Tudor line. When Henry visits Wolf Hall, Cromwell watches as he falls in love with the silent, plain Jane Seymour and sees what is at stake: not just the king s pleasure, but the safety of the nation. As he eases a way through the sexual politics of the court, he must negotiate a truth that will satisfy Henry and secure his own career. But neither minister nor king will emerge undamaged from the bloody theatre of Anne's final days. In "Bring up the Bodies", sequel to the Man Booker Prize-winning Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in "English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn".

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The Sense of an Ending

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. They all swore to stay friends for life.

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Bittersweet

From author of THE THORN BIRDS, one of the biggest-selling books of all time, comes this epic saga of love, betrayal and redemption in 1920s Australia. The four Latimer sisters are famous throughout New South Wales for their beauty, wit, ambition and sisterly love. They thought that would never change. But then they left home to train as nurses, swapping the feather beds of their father's townhouse for the spartan bunks of nursing accommodation. And now, as the Depression casts its shadow across Australia, they must confront their own secret desires as the world changes around them. Will the sisters find the independence they crave? Or is life - like love - always bittersweet?

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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Published for the first time in flipback - the new, portable, stylish format that's taken Europe by storm.Genteel society ladies who compare notes on their husbands' suicides. A hilariously foul-mouthed black drag queen. A voodoo priestess who works her roots in the graveyard at midnight. A morose inventor who owns a bottle of poison powerful enough to kill everyone in town. A prominent antiques dealer who hangs a Nazi flag from his window to disrupt the shooting of a movie. And a redneck gigolo whose conquests describe him as a 'walking streak of sex'.These are some of the real residents of Savannah, Georgia, a city whose eccentric mores are unerringly observed - and whose dirty linen is gleefully aired - in this utterly irresistible book. At once a true-crime murder story and a hugely entertaining and deliciously perverse travelogue, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is as bracing and intoxicating as half-a-dozen mint juleps.

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The Girl on the Train

The #1 New York Times Bestseller, USA Today Book of the Year, now a major motion picture starring Emily Blunt. The debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives. “Nothing is more addicting than The Girl on the Train.”—Vanity Fair “The Girl on the Train has more fun with unreliable narration than any chiller since Gone Girl. . . . [It] is liable to draw a large, bedazzled readership.”—The New York Times “Marries movie noir with novelistic trickery. . . hang on tight. You'll be surprised by what horrors lurk around the bend.”—USA Today “Like its train, the story blasts through the stagnation of these lives in suburban London and the reader cannot help but turn pages.”—The Boston Globe “Gone Girl fans will devour this psychological thriller.”—People EVERY DAY THE SAME Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. UNTIL TODAY And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

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Bonkers

Jennifer Saunders' comic creations have brought joy to millions. From Comic Strip to Comic Relief, from Bolly-swilling Edina in Ab Fab to her takes on Madonna or Mamma Mia, her characters are household names.But it's Jennifer herself who has a place in all our hearts. This is her funny, moving and frankly bonkers memoir, filled with laughter, friends and occasional heartache - but never misery.BONKERS is full of riotous adventures: accidentally enrolling on a teacher training course with a young Dawn French, bluffing her way to each BBC series, shooting Lulu, trading wild faxes with Joanna Lumley, touring India with Ruby Wax and Goldie Hawn.There's cancer, too, when she becomes 'Brave Jen'. But her biggest battle is with the bane of her life: the Laws of Procrastination. As she admits, 'There has never been a Plan. Everything has been fairly random, happened by accident or just fallen into place. I'm off now, to do some sweeping...'Prepare to chuckle, whoop, and go BONKERS.

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