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Holiday Reading List - October Leaves

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    The Tsar of Love and Techno

    From the author of National Book Award longlist selection and New York Times bestseller A Constellation of Vital Phenomena come these dazzling, poignant and lyrical interwoven stories about family, sacrifice, the legacy of war and the redemptive power of art. This stunning, exquisitely written collection introduces a cast of remarkable characters whose lives intersect in ways both life-affirming and heartbreaking. A 1930s Soviet censor painstakingly corrects offending photographs, deep underneath Leningrad, bewitched by the image of a disgraced prima ballerina. A chorus of women recount their stories and those of their grandmothers, former gulag prisoners who settled their Siberian mining town. Two pairs of brothers share a fierce, protective love. Young men across the former USSR face violence at home and in the military. And great sacrifices are made in the name of an oil landscape unremarkable except for the almost incomprehensibly peaceful past it depicts. In stunning prose, with rich character portraits and a sense of history reverberating into the present, The Tsar of Love and Techno is a captivating work from one of our greatest new talents.

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    Mothering Sunday

    ***LONGLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE*** From the Booker-winning author of Last Orders and Waterland comes a long-awaited new novel - `Mothering Sunday is bathed in light; and even when tragedy strikes, it blazes irresistibly... Swift's small fiction feels like a masterpiece' Guardian It is March 30th 1924. It is Mothering Sunday. How will Jane Fairchild, orphan and housemaid, occupy her time when she has no mother to visit? How, shaped by the events of this never to be forgotten day, will her future unfold? Beginning with an intimate assignation and opening to embrace decades, Mothering Sunday has at its heart both the story of a life and the life that stories can magically contain. Constantly surprising, joyously sensual and deeply moving, it is Graham Swift at his thrilling best. `Mothering Sunday is a powerful, philosophical and exquisitely observed novel about the lives we lead, and the parallel lives - the parallel stories - we can never know ... It may just be Swift's best novel yet' Observer

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    Transit

    In the wake of family collapse, a writer and her two young sons move to London. The process of upheaval is the catalyst for a number of transitions - personal, moral, artistic, practical - as she endeavours to construct a new reality for herself and her children. In the city she is made to confront aspects of living she has, until now, avoided, and to consider questions of vulnerability and power, death and renewal, in what becomes her struggle to reattach herself to, and believe in, life. Filtered through the impersonal gaze of its keenly intelligent protagonist, Transit sees Rachel Cusk delve deeper into the themes first raised in her critically acclaimed Outline, and offers up a penetrating and moving reflection on childhood and fate, the value of suffering, the moral problems of personal responsibility and the mystery of change. In this precise, short and yet epic cycle of novels, Cusk manages to describe the most elemental experiences, the liminal qualities of life, through a narrative near-silence that draws language towards it. She captures with unsettling restraint and honesty the longing to both inhabit and flee one's life and the wrenching ambivalence animating our desire to feel real.

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    Philosophy: The Basics

    'Philosophy: The Basics deservedly remains the most recommended introduction to philosophy on the market. Warburton is patient, accurate and, above all, clear. There is no better short introduction to philosophy.' - Stephen Law, author of The Philosophy Gym Philosophy: The Basics gently eases the reader into the world of philosophy. Each chapter considers a key area of philosophy, explaining and exploring the basic ideas and themes including: * Can you prove God exists? * How do we know right from wrong? * What are the limits of free speech? * Do you know how science works? * Is your mind different from your body? * Can you define art? * How should we treat non-human animals? For the fifth edition of this best-selling book, Nigel Warburton has added an entirely new chapter on animals, revised others and brought the further reading sections up to date. If you've ever asked 'what is philosophy?', or wondered whether the world is really the way you think it is, this is the book for you.

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