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The Best Books Ever Written

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These are five of the books that I have most enjoyed, that have inspired me, and to which I return again and again. They are perhaps not the greatest classics, nor the biggest best sellers, but each, in its own way, has made me laugh, made me think, or made me work.

Wrinkle in Time

This is Book 1 of the Time Quintet Series It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger. "Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I'll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract." A tesseract (in case the reader doesn't know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L'Engle's unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg's father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem. A Wrinkle in Time is the winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal.

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The Enchanted April

The charming, slyly comic novel of romantic longing and transformation that inspired the Oscar-nominated film Four very different women, looking to escape dreary London for the sunshine of Italy, take up an offer advertised in the Times for a small medieval Italian Castle on the shores of the Mediterranean to be let furnished for the month of April. As each blossoms in the warmth of the Italian spring, quite unexpected changes occur. An immediate bestseller upon its first publication, in 1922, The Enchanted April set off a craze for tourism to the Italian Riviera that continues today. Published here to coincide with a contemporary retelling, Enchanted August by Brenda Bowen, it s a witty ensemble piece and the perfect romantic rediscovery for fans of Jess Walter s Beautiful Ruins and Elizabeth Gilbert s Eat, Pray, Love as well as of Downton Abbey and the hit movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust theseries to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-datetranslations by award-winning translators."

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The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy

First a legendary radio series, then a bestselling book, now a blockbuser movie, the immensely successful Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy needs no introduction. Reissued to coincide with the film's release, this hardback omnibus edition include all five parts of the trilogy, incorporating for the first time, Mostly Harmless, along with a guide to the guide and essential notes on how to leave the planet. This single hardback edition is indispensable for any would-be galactic traveller and for old and new fans of Douglas Adams, Doctor Who and bestselling science fiction books.

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Jennifer Government

In Max Barry's twisted, hilarious and terrifying vision of the near future, the world is run by giant corporations and employees take the last names of the companies they work for. It's a globalised, ultra-capitalist free market paradise!Hack Nike is a lowly merchandising officer who's not very good at negotiating his salary. So when John Nike and John Nike, executives from the promised land of Marketing, offer him a contract, he signs without reading it. Unfortunately, Hack's new contract involves shooting teenagers to build up street cred for Nike's new line of $2,500 trainers. Hack goes to the police - but they assume that he's asking for a subcontracting deal and lease the assassination to the more experienced NRA.Enter Jennifer Government, a tough-talking agent with a barcode tattoo under her eye and a personal problem with John Nike (the boss of the other John Nike). And a gun. Hack is about to find out what it really means to mess with market forces.

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Soulless

Alexia Tarabotti, now Lady Maccon, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears - leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria. But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her into the backwaters of ugly waistcoats, Scotland, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only A soulless can. She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it. ***Also available as a manga adaptation***

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