JANUARY 18 - The Leopard by Tomasi Di Lampedusa
Set in the 1860s, The Leopard tells the spellbinding story of a decadent, dying Sicilian aristocracy threatened by the approaching forces of democracy and revolution. The dramatic sweep and richness of observation, the seamless intertwining of public and private worlds, and the grasp of human frailty imbue The Leopard with its particular melancholy beauty and power, and place it among the greatest historical novels of our time.
FEBRUARY 15 - A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozenki
In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying, but before she ends it all, Nao plans to document the life of her great-grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in a ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future. Full of Ozeki’s signature humour and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home. (~Goodreads)
MARCH 21 - Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lisutania by Erik Larson
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson is published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the luxury ocean liner Lusitania. It is a fiercely gripping historical non-fiction that sheds much light not only on its immediate subject but also on other relevant topics of the period such as World War I, Europe, America and the politics of the time. It is difficult to put down Dead Wake once you get started. As only he can, Larson's history comes alive through the pages of this captivating book.
APRIL 18 - The Death of Artemio Cruz by Carlos Fuentes
The violent society of Mexico in the 19th century produced the 1910 Revolution that laid the foundations for a modern nation after 1920. The revolution devoured its dreamers, as revolutions do, so that it was co-opted by the most violent, least idealistic types, who arranged Mexican society to their benefit. For the winners, as the century wore on, it seemed as if personal luxuries loomed far larger than social justice. For them, the ruthless grab for power turned out to be a successful gambit. Artemio Cruz is such a successful individual. Determined to let nothing stop his rise to the top, he took advantage of every chance brought to him by the tides of war and political intrigue. The backward-forward nature of the narrative, the wordy lyricism interspersed with terse action sequences, create a highly intellectual, cleverly-constructed novel. It encapsulates 70 turbulent years of Mexican history, from 1889 to 1959, and at the same time, is a poetical, psychological study of an individual that can have few peers in the realm of modern literature. Through a series of flashbacks Fuentes portrays an admirable hero of the Revolution and who he later became. Often an unattractive personality, Artemio Cruz proves complicated. Fuentes has written a masterpiece: one of the great novels of the 20th century for which he won the Nobel Prize.
MAY 16 - The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
Yun Ling Teoh, the scarred lone survivor of Japanese wartime camp now a supreme court judge during Malayan reconstruction seeks to build a Japanese garden to honor her sister who died in the war camp. She asks Aritomo, an exile, formerly gardener to the Emperor who lives in the Malayan Highlands, to build her one. He refuses but will take her on as an apprentice to restore his garden. Despite her hatred of the Japanese, she is intimately drawn to the gardener and his art. As they work, communist guerrilla war rages around them. But the Garden of Evening Mists remains a place of mystery. Who is Aritomo? How did Yun Ling survive the war camp? The secrets of this quiet novel unfold like the mists in the garden. Winner of Walter Scott prize for historical fiction and Man Asian prize.
JUNE 20 - I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
"I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday."" I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. When she was fifteen, she was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world."
SEPTEMBER 19 - All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris. When she is 6, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets. When the Germans occupy Paris, they flee to the Britanny coast. In Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up enchanted by a crude radio. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels to Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Winner of 2015 Pulitzer.
OCTOBER 17 - Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, the new novel from “Japan’s greatest living novelist,” finds Haruki Murakami straying from the mystical realism for which his postmodern novels are known, and returning to a simpler but deceptively thoughtful structure typical of his earlier work. This book sold over a million copies in its first week on sale in Japan, and seems likely to make a similarly large splash in the U.S. The story follows the plight of train station engineer Tsukuru Tazaki, who is suddenly exiled from a group of his four closest friends and must cope with his feelings of emptiness and inconsequence. With his characteristically sparse prose and eye for negative space in relationships, Murakami shows readers a man on a mission to find out where he went wrong.
NOVEMBER 21 - Euphoria by Lily King
In 1933, the anthropologist Margaret Mead took a field trip to the Sepik River in New Guinea with her second husband; they met and collaborated with the man who would become her third. King has taken the known details of that actual event and created this exquisite novel, her fourth, about the rewards and disappointments of intellectual ambition and physical desire. The result is an intelligent, sensual tale told with a suitable mix of precision and heat. Winner of the 2014 Kirkus Prize; Winner of the 2014 New England Book Award for Fiction; A Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.