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My Holiday Reading List

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Carolynn Henning found this witty
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Books I'd love to read!

    All My Puny Sorrows

    This book is short listed for the Folio Prize 2015. It is short listed for the Wellcome Book Prize 2015 Sunday Times Top Choice Summer Read. Elf and Yoli are two smart, loving sisters. Elf is a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, happily married: she wants to die. Yoli is divorced, broke, sleeping with the wrong men: she desperately wants to keep her older sister alive. When Elf's latest suicide attempt leaves her hospitalised weeks before her highly anticipated world tour, Yoli is forced to confront the impossible question of whether it is better to let a loved one go. Miriam Toews' All My Puny Sorrows, at once tender and unquiet, offers a profound reflection on the limits of love, and the sometimes unimaginable challenges we experience when childhood becomes a new country of adult commitments and responsibilities. "The novel she has written - so exquisitely that you'll want to savour every word - reads as if it has been wrenched from her heart." (Christina Patterson, Sunday Times). "[Miriam Toews] has produced a masterly book of such precise dignity. It is, also against all the odds, at times a desperately humorous novel." (Daily Mail). "Toews takes her place alongside Alice Munro, Robertson Davies, Margaret Atwood and Mordicai Richler as the loveliest quintet of Canadian writing." (Los Angeles Times).

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    The Orphan Master's Son

    This book is the Winner Of The Pulitzer Prize For Fiction 2013. "You know you are in the hands of someone who can tell a story...fantastic." (Zadie Smith). Pak Jun Do knows he is special. He knows he must be the son of the master of the orphanage, not some kid dumped by his parents - it was obvious from the way his father singled him out for beatings. He knows he is special when he is picked as a spy and kidnapper for his country, the glorious Democratic Republic of North Korea. He knows he must find his true love, Sun Moon, the greatest opera star who ever lived, before it's too late. He knows he's not like the other prisoners in the camp. He's going to get out soon. Definitely.

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    In A Good Light

    Without even noticing, thirty-four-year-old Esther Fairchild has become a prisoner of routine. Living with her adored brother, Christian, she divides her time between illustrating children's books, nightly shifts as a waitress, weekly visits to her father and fortnightly meetings with her married lover. Then one day she encounters a face in the crowd which jolts her out of her mundane existence and makes her question both her life and the past that has helped to shape it. Memories she had long chosen to forget begin to resurface. Memories of an eccentric childhood in a large and shabby house, where the children were left to fend for themselves within the loose boundaries of their parents' unorthodox values. A chaotic existence peopled by a rich collection of feckless 'guests'. And into this shambolic world came Donovan - regularly deposited by his unreliable mother - and Penny, Christian's girlfriend and Esther's idol. Until tragedy struck and shattered their joint existence. But now, it seems, their lives are about to become intertwined once more . . .

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    The Red Tent

    'My name means nothing to you. My memory is dust. This is not your fault or mine. The chain connecting mother to daughter was broken and the word passed to the keeping of men, who had no way of knowing. That is why I became a footnote, my story a brief detour between the well-known history of my father Jacob, and the celebrated chronicle of Joseph, my brother.'Lost to the history by the chronicles of men, here at last is the dazzling story of Dinah, Jacob's only daughter in the Book of Genesis. Moving panoramically from Mesopotamia to Canaan to Egypt, The Red Tent is robustly narrated by Dinah, from her upbringing by the four wives of Jacob, to her growth into one of the most influential women of her time.Seeking to preserve not only her own remarkable experiences but those of a long-ago era of womanhood left largely undocumented by the original male scribes and later Biblical scholars, Dinah breaks a male silence that has lasted for centuries, revealing the ancient origins of many contemporary religious practices and sexual politics. The result is a beautiful, thought-provoking novel.

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