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Concentration

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A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde

Like many of Wilde's plays the main theme is the secrets of the upper-classes: Lord Illingworth discovering that the young man he has employed as a secretary is in fact his illegitimate son, a situation similar to the central plot of Lady Windermere's Fan. Secrets would also affect the characters of The Importance of Being Earnest.

Damned by Chuck Palahniuk

The daughter of a narcissistic film star and a billionaire, Madison is abandoned at her Swiss boarding school over Christmas, while her parents are off touting their new projects and adopting more orphans. She dies over the holiday of a mari­juana overdose - and the next thing she knows, she's in Hell. Madison shares her cell with a motley crew of young sinners that is almost too...

Doc Savage: The Silver Pyramid by Dennis O'Neil

Pulp fiction hero Doc Savage - one of the major inspirations for the creation of Superman - stars in this fast-paced tale featuring early work by comics superstars Adam Kubert and Andy Kubert. Doc, and his band of assistants, are introduced in the modern era as retired heroes - and now, on the eve of an alien invasion triggered by a gang of would-be world conquerors, only Doc...

Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot stood on the clifftop. Here, many years earlier, there had been a fatal accident. This was followed by the grisly discovery of two bodies - a husband and wife who had been shot dead. But who had killed whom? Was it a suicide pact? A crime of passion? Or cold-blooded murder? Poirot delves into the past and discovers that "old sins leave long shadows."

Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut

Galápagos takes the reader back one million years, to A.D. 1986. A simple vacation cruise suddenly becomes an evolutionary journey. Thanks to an apocalypse, a small group of survivors stranded on the Galápagos Islands are about to become the progenitors of a brave, new, and totally different human race. In this inimitable novel, America's master satirist looks at our world and...

Ice Bird by David Lewis

Lewis and his small yacht set sail from Sydney, Australia, on a search for high adventure. The voyage, full of drama, emotion, and pain, takes place in the least hospitable and most fascinating part of the earth, the Antarctic. No one had ever sailed a yacht single-handed to Antarctica until Lewis' attempt. Along the way, he would not touch land for more than fourteen weeks, facing...

Lost Paradise by Kathy Marks

Pitcairn Island - remote and wild in the South Pacific, a place of towering cliffs and lashing surf - is home to descendants of Fletcher Christian and the Mutiny on the Bounty crew, who fled there with a group of Tahitian maidens after deposing their captain, William Bligh, and seizing his ship in 1789. Shrouded in myth, the island was idealized by outsiders, who considered it a...

Main-Travelled Roads by Hamlin Garland

Main-Travelled Roads contains eleven stories in this expanded and revised 1922 edition of an undisputed American classic. "Under the Lion's Paw" shows an honest, hard-working farmer victimized by a greedy landlord. Equally powerful is the semi-autobiographical "Up the Coolly," concerning a successful son who returns from the East to find his mother and brother trapped on a poor farm...

Matter by Iain M. Banks

In a world renowned even within a galaxy full of wonders, a crime within a war. For one man it means a desperate flight, and a search for the one - maybe two - people who could clear his name. For his brother it means a life lived under constant threat of treachery and murder. And for their sister, even without knowing the full truth, it means returning to a place she'd thought...

Miracles by C. S. Lewis

Lewis argues that before one can learn from the study of history whether or not any miracles have ever occurred, one must first settle the philosophical question of whether it is logically possible that miracles can occur in principle. He accuses modern historians and scientific thinkers, particularly secular Bible scholars, of begging the question against miracles, insisting that...

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

Welcome to Chromatacia, where the societal hierarchy is strictly regulated by one's limited color perception. And Eddie Russet wants to move up. But his plans to leverage his better-than-average red perception and marry into a powerful family are quickly upended. Juggling inviolable rules, sneaky Yellows, and a risky friendship with an intriguing Grey named Jane who shows Eddie that...

Snuff by Terry Pratchett

At long last, Lady Sybil has lured her husband, Sam Vimes, on a well-deserved holiday away from the crime and grime of Ankh-Morpork. But for the commander of the City Watch, a vacation in the country is anything but relaxing. The balls, the teas, the muck - not to mention all that fresh air and birdsong - are more than a bit taxing on a cynical city-born and -bred copper. Yet a...

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years - as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues - Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six...

The Borrowers by Mary Norton

The Borrowers live in the secret places of quiet old houses; behind the mantelpiece, inside the harpsichord, under the kitchen clock. They own nothing, borrow everything, and think that human beings were invented just to do the dirty work. Arrietty's father, Pod, was an expert Borrower. He could scale curtains using a hatpin, and bring back a doll's teacup without breaking it. Girls...

The Dog of the South by Charles Portis

Ray Midge is waiting for his credit card bill to arrive. His wife, Norma, has run off with her ex-husband, taking Ray's cards, shotgun and car. But from the receipts, Ray can track where they've gone. He takes off after them, as does an irritatingly tenacious bail bondsman, both following the romantic couple's spending as far as Mexico. There Ray meets Dr Reo Symes, the seemingly...

The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams

In the peaceful land of Osten Ard, the good king is dying-and a long-dreaded evil is about to be unleashed. Only Simon, a lowly castle scullion apprenticed to a secret order dedicated to halting the coming darkness, can solve the dangerous riddle that offers salvation to the land.

The Gunslinger - The Little Sisters of Eluria by Stephen King

Near death from an attack by Slow Mutants, Roland Deschain is taken in by a group of Sisters who specialize in anything but the healing arts. These hideous, corpse-like creatures known as the Little Sisters of Eluria have murder on their twisted minds. And in his current, wounded condition, there's almost nothing the last gunslinger can do to prevent their tender mercies from taking...

The Gypsy Piano Tuner by Janna Eliot

This is a collection of punchy short stories about various Romani people, well told and authentic. There is humour and pathos - a thoroughly good read.

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Jason has a problem. He doesn't remember anything before waking up on a school bus holding hands with a girl. Apparently she's his girlfriend Piper, his best friend is a kid named Leo, and they're all students in the Wilderness School, a boarding school for "bad kids." What he did to end up here, Jason has no idea - except that everything seems very wrong. Piper has a secret. Her...

The Master of Game by Edward of Norwich

The oldest and most important work on the chase in the English language. Based primarily on Gaston de Foix's Livre de chasse, originally composed in 1387, written by Norwich at his leisure between 1406 and 1413, mostly while being held prisoner for having treasonous designs against his cousin, Henry IV. While much of the book is almost an exact translation of de Foix, Edward added...

The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains." Thus begins Rousseau's influential 1762 work, in which he argues that all government is fundamentally flawed and that modern society is based on a system of inequality. The philosopher posits that a good government can justify its need for individual compromises and that promoting social settings in which people transcend their...

Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre

The title character is a fifteen-year-old boy who lives in a small town in the U.S. state of Texas. When his friend Jesus Navarro commits suicide after killing sixteen bullying schoolmates, suspicion falls on Vernon, who becomes something of a scapegoat in his small hometown of Martirio. Fearing the death penalty, he goes on the run to Mexico.

War Is Not Over When It's Over by Ann Jones

In 2007, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), which brings relief to countries in the wake of war, wanted to understand what really happened to women in post-conflict zones. Answers came through the point and click of digital cameras. On behalf of the IRC, Jones spent a year traveling through Africa, East Asia, and the Middle East, lending cameras to women who had no other means...

What Never Dies by Jules Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly

A love affair between a young man and an older noblewoman.

Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon

At once a deft parody of the American fame factory and a piercing portrait of young and old desire, this novel introduces two unforgettable characters: Grady Tripp, a former publishing prodigy now lost in a fog of pot and passion and stalled in the midst of his endless second book, and Grady's student, James Leer, a budding writer obsessed with Hollywood self-destruction and...

Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen

Samuel, 13, spends his days in the forest, hunting for food for his family. He has grown up on the frontier of a British colony, America. Far from any town, or news of the war against the King that American patriots have begun near Boston. But the war comes to them. British soldiers and Iroquois attack. Samuel's parents are taken away, prisoners. Samuel follows, hiding, moving...