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What I want to read in 2017

JenC
By JenC

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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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    The Outrun

    THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLERWINNER OF THE 2017 PEN ACKERLEY PRIZEWINNER OF THE 2016 WAINWRIGHT PRIZESHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 ONDAATJE PRIZESHORTLISTED FOR THE 2016 WELLCOME PRIZEAt the age of thirty, Amy Liptrot finds herself washed up back home on Orkney. Standing unstable on the island, she tries to come to terms with the addiction that has swallowed the last decade of her life. As she spends her mornings swimming in the bracingly cold sea, her days tracking Orkney's wildlife, and her nights searching the sky for the Merry Dancers, Amy discovers how the wild can restore life and renew hope.

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    If I Could Tell You Just One Thing...

    Adventures in advice with some of the world's most remarkable people.President Bill Clinton, Clare Balding, Stephen Fry, Dame Judi Dench, James Corden, Margaret Atwood, Sir David Attenborough, Annie Lennox, Andy Murray, Joanna Lumley, Anthony Bourdain, Marina Abramovic, Sir Richard Branson, Sandi Toksvig, Jude Law, Nicola Sturgeon, Harry Belafonte, Olivia Colman, Simon Cowell, Martha Lane-Fox, Mario Testino, Esther Perel, Bear Grylls, Diana Athill, Mike Bloomberg, Ruby Wax, Alain de Botton, Jo Malone, Heston Blumenthal, Ruthie Rogers, Nitin Sawhney, Katie Piper, Richard Curtis, Shami Chakrabarti, and Michael McIntyre are just some of the many inspiring people who appear in Richard Reed's fascinating book.In each case Richard asked them to share with him some of their hard-earned wisdom and insights into life and how to make the most of it.If I Could Tell You Just One Thing... is not only packed with great advice but is also an enormously entertaining, brilliantly written and stunningly designed book. Each of the encounters is complemented by a pen and ink portrait by the award-winning British artist, Samuel Kerr. The resulting book is a treasure trove for readers of all ages and interests and a perfect gift book for just about anyone.

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    The Sellout

    A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty's The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality―the black Chinese restaurant. Born in the "agrarian ghetto" of Dickens―on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles―the narrator of The Sellout resigns himself to the fate of lower-middle-class Californians: "I'd die in the same bedroom I'd grown up in, looking up at the cracks in the stucco ceiling that've been there since '68 quake." Raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, he spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe that his father's pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family's financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realizes there never was a memoir. All that's left is the bill for a drive-thru funeral. Fueled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town's most famous resident―the last surviving Little Rascal, Hominy Jenkins―he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.

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    His Bloody Project

    SHORTLISTED for the MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2016. WINNER of the SALTIRE SOCIETY FICTION BOOK of the YEAR 2016. The year is 1869. A brutal triple murder in a remote community in the Scottish Highlands leads to the arrest of a young man by the name of Roderick Macrae. A memoir written by the accused makes it clear that he is guilty, but it falls to the country's finest legal and psychiatric minds to uncover what drove him to commit such merciless acts of violence. Was he mad? Only the persuasive powers of his advocate stand between Macrae and the gallows. Graeme Macrae Burnet tells an irresistible and original story about the provisional nature of truth, even when the facts seem clear. His Bloody Project is a mesmerising literary thriller set in an unforgiving landscape where the exercise of power is arbitrary.

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