Can't Put Down Books

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Post  on Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:34 pm

After major surgery a year ago, I filled my time reading fiction. Here were my favorites and I'll add more as I read.

First up:
The Road, by Cormac McCarthy



A great story of a father and son's post-apocalyptic survival.

Publisher description:

"In this post-apocalyptic novel, a father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. They sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food--and each other. This book boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love. It is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation."

A few of its reviews:

‘The first great masterpiece of the globally warmed generation. Here is an American classic which, at a stroke, makes McCarthy a contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature’ - Andrew O’Hagan

‘McCarthy conjures from this pitiless flight the miracle of unswerving humanity. Gripping beyond belief’  - Sunday Telegraph

‘One of the most shocking and harrowing but ultimately redemptive books I have read. It is an intensely intimate story. It is also a warning’ - Observer Books of the Year

‘So good that it will devour you. It is incandescent’  - Daily Telegraph

‘You will read on, absolutely convinced, thrilled, mesmerized. All the modern novel can do is done here’ - Guardian

‘A masterpiece that will soon be considered a classic’ - Herald


Awards:

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (2007), James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction (2006), The Quill Award for General Fiction (2007), Puddly Award for Fiction (2010), National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee for Fiction (2006), Believer Book Award (2006), The Rooster - The Morning News Tournament of Books (2007), Tähtivaeltaja Award (2009), Cena Akademie SFFH for Kniha roku (Book of the Year) (2008), Prix des libraires du Québec for Lauréats hors Québec (2009). (Source)
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Post  on Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:35 pm

Room, by Emma Donoghue



Loved it.

Authors description:

"Room is the story of a five-year-old called Jack, who lives in a single room with his Ma and has never been outside. When he turns five, he starts to ask questions, and his mother reveals to him that there is a world beyond the walls. Told entirely in Jack’s voice, Room is no horror story or tearjerker, but a celebration of resilience and the love between parent and child." (More)

Awards:

Man Booker Prize Nominee (2010), Orange Prize Nominee for Fiction Shortlist (2011), ALA Alex Award (2011), Indies Choice Book Award for Fiction (2011), Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Award for Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year (2010), Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Award for Fiction Book (2011), Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2014), Galaxy National Book Award for WHSmith Paperback of the Year (2011), Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book in Caribbean and Canada (2011), Trillium Book Award Nominee for English-language (2011), UC Book of the Year (2014), Eason Novel of the Year (2010), Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize (2010), Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award (2011), Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction, Nominee for Favorite Heroine (2010). (Source)
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Post  on Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:37 pm

Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman



Amazing. Like a modern day Alice in Wonderland. Why did it have to end!?

From the authors website:

"Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but demanding fiancee. Then one night he stumbles across a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her--and the life he knows vanishes like smoke.

Several hours later, the girl is gone too. And by the following morning Richard Mayhew has been erased from his world. His bank cards no longer work, taxi drivers won't stop for him, his landlord rents his apartment out to strangers. He has become invisible, and inexplicably consigned to a London of shadows and darkness a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere.

For this is the home of Door, the mysterious girl whom Richard rescued in the London Above. A personage of great power and nobility in this murky, candlelit realm, she is on a mission to discover the cause of her family's slaughter, and in doing so preserve this strange underworld kingdom from the malevolence that means to destroy it. And with nowhere else to turn, Richard Mayhew must now join the Lady Door's entourage in their determined--and possibly fatal--quest.

For the dread journey ever-downward--through bizarre anachronisms and dangerous incongruities, and into dusty corners of stalled time--is Richard's final hope, his last road back to a "real" world that is growing disturbingly less real by the minute."


Neverwhere won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Nominee for Adult Literature (1998), Prix Julia Verlanger (1999). (source)
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Post  on Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:38 pm

The Sea of Tranquility, by Kaja Millay



Quite beautiful. Recommended for young adults but I liked it. Written from two perspectives, each chapter is titled with the persons name (be aware of this).

From the back cover:

"Two and a half years after an unspeakable tragedy left her a shadow of the girl she once was, Nastya Kashnikov moves to a new town determined to keep her dark past hidden and hold everyone at a distance. But her plans only last so long before she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the one person as isolated as herself: Josh Bennett. Josh's story is no secret. Every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. When your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space. Everyone except Nastya who won't go away until she's insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But as the undeniable pull between them intensifies, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she's been hiding, or if he even wants to."

Awards:

School Library Journal Best Book of the Year (2013), ALA Alex Award (2014), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Young Adult Fiction (2012). (source)
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Post  on Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:40 pm

Tomorrow When The War Began, by John Marsden



Another young persons book I enjoyed. A group of teenagers camping in the Australian outback return home to find that nothing is quite the same.

Authors description:

"Somewhere out there Ellie and her friends are hiding. They're shocked, they're frightened, they're alone. Their world has changed, with the speed of a slamming door. They've got no weapons – except courage. They've got no help – except themselves. They've got nothing – except friendship."

Awards:

Canberra's Own Outstanding List (COOL) Awards for Section 3 Fiction for Older Readers - Joint Winner (1996), Books I Loved Best Yearly (BILBY) Awards for Older Readers (1998), West Australian Young Readers' Book Award (WAYRBA) for Older Readers (1995) (Source)
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Post  on Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:40 pm

A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini



The story of two woman married to one man in Afghanistan.

From its back cover:

"Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry the troubled and bitter Rasheed, who is thirty years her senior. Nearly two decades later, in a climate of growing unrest, tragedy strikes fifteen-year-old Laila, who must leave her home and join Mariam's unhappy household. Laila and Mariam are to find consolation in each other, their friendship to grow as deep as the bond between sisters, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter.

With the passing of time comes Taliban rule over Afghanistan, the streets of Kabul loud with the sound of gunfire and bombs, life a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear, the women's endurance tested beyond their worst imaginings. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism. In the end, it is love that triumphs over death and destruction.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is an unforgettable portrait of a wounded country and a deeply moving story of family and friendship. It is a beautiful, heart-wrenching story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely bond and an indestructible love."


Awards:

British Book Award for Best Read of the Year (2008), Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Adult Fiction (2008), Exclusive Books Boeke Prize Nominee (2007), California Book Award Silver Medal for Fiction (2007), Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2011). (Source)
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Post  on Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:41 pm

In The After, by Demitria Lunetta



Wow. Another young adults book I enjoyed.

From the authors website:

"Amy is watching TV when it happens, when the world is attacked by Them. These vile creatures are rapidly devouring mankind. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to escape—and even rescue “Baby,” a toddler left behind in the chaos. Marooned in Amy’s house, the girls do everything they can to survive—and avoid Them at all costs.

After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living in a former government research compound. While at first the colony seems like a dream with plenty of food, safety, and shelter, New Hope slowly reveals that it is far from ideal. And Amy soon realizes that unless things change, she’ll lose Baby—and much more.

Rebellious, courageous, and tender, this unforgettable duo will have you on the edge of your seat as you tear through the pulse-pounding narrow escapes and horrifying twists of fate in this thrilling debut from author Demitria Lunetta."


In The After is an ABA (American Booksellers Association) 2013 Best Book for Children and an Amazon Top Twenty Best Teen Book for 2013.
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