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I've made a list of five books I'm desperate to read.

    Christ'S Entry into Brussels

    It is announced that Jesus Christ is to visit Belgium in a few weeks time, on its national day, the 21st of July. Coincidentally, our narrator's mother dies and his marriage ends. Feeling very low, and fluctuating between resentment, irony and cynicism, he reports on the events and on the behaviour of his compatriots. The authorities squabble about how to receive Christ. They find an eleven-year-old girl in the asylum seekers' centre to act as Christ's Aramaic interpreter (Arabic, Aramaic, it's practically the same, right?). Neighbours resolve ancient feuds and communities gather together to confess and forgive en masse, no matter the depravity of the crime. As the date draws near, the whole city brightens up - there's never been a nicer time to have a Second Coming. This new novel by Dimitri Verhulst resembles a quirky pamphlet and a moral fable. The narrator considers himself part of the 'lost generation', which has no illusions about the state of the world - both in absurd Belgium and in the distressingly imperfect world beyond. He puts a finger on the symptomatic fever blisters of contemporary society, of the so-called 'malcontent mass'. With his bizarre imaginings, harsh criticisms and stylistic verve, he exposes an embarrassing reality, which often makes you laugh conspiratorially, and then cry.

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    A Closed and Common Orbit

    SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 HUGO AWARD AND THE ARTHUR C CLARKE AWARD 'Chambers is simply an exceptional talent' Tor.com **Winner of the 2017 Prix Julia-Verlanger**The stand-alone sequel to the award-winning The Long Way to a Small, Angry PlanetLovelace was once merely a ship's artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in an new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has to start over in a synthetic body, in a world where her kind are illegal. She's never felt so alone.But she's not alone, not really. Pepper, one of the engineers who risked life and limb to reinstall Lovelace, is determined to help her adjust to her new world. Because Pepper knows a thing or two about starting over.Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that, huge as the galaxy may be, it's anything but empty. PRAISE FOR THE WAYFARERS'Never less than deeply involving' DAILY MAIL'Explores the quieter side of sci-fi while still wowing us with daring leaps of imagination' iBOOKS'So much fun to read' HEAT'Warm, engaging, properly science-fictional, A Closed and Common Orbit is a very likable novel indeed'GUARDIAN'The most fun that I've had with a novel in a long, long time' iO9

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    Now is the Time

    In this gripping novel, Melvyn Bragg brings an extraordinary episode in English history to fresh, urgent life.At the end of May 1381, the fourteen-year-old King of England had reason to be fearful: the plague had returned, the royal coffers were empty and a draconian poll tax was being widely evaded. Yet Richard, bolstered by his powerful, admired mother, felt secure in his God-given right to reign. But within two weeks, the unthinkable happened: a vast force of common people invaded London, led by a former soldier, Walter Tyler, and the radical preacher John Ball, demanding freedom, equality and the complete uprooting of the Church and state. And for three intense, violent days, it looked as if they would sweep all before them.Now is the Time depicts the events of the Peasants' Revolt on both a grand and intimate scale, vividly portraying its central figures and telling an archetypal tale of an epic struggle between the powerful and the apparently powerless.

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