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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.

Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

The aging writer Kilgore Trout finds to his horror that a Midwest car dealer is taking his fiction as truth. What follows is murderously funny satire, as Vonnegut looks at war, sex, racism, success, politics, and pollution in America and reminds us how to see the truth.

Brian's Return by Gary Paulsen

Brian Robeson survived alone in the wilderness by finding solutions to extraordinary challenges. But now that's he's back in civilization, he can't find a way to make sense of high school life. He feels disconnected, more isolated than he did alone in the North. The only answer is to return-to "go back in"-for only in the wilderness can Brian discover his true path in life, and where...

Conversations with Myself by Nelson Mandela

Mandela is one of the most inspiring and iconic figures of our age. Now, after a lifetime of recording thoughts and events, hardships and victories, he has opened his personal archive, which offers unprecedented insight into his remarkable life. From letters written in the darkest hours of his twenty-seven years of imprisonment to the draft of an unfinished sequel to Long Walk to...

Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov

A masterful tale set in post-Soviet Kiev that's both darkly-funny and ominous... In the widely hailed prequel to Penguin Lost, aspiring writer Viktor Zolotaryov leads a down-and-out life in poverty-and-violence-wracked Kiev - he's out of work and his only friend is a penguin, Misha, that he rescued when the local zoo started getting rid of animals. Even more nerve-wracking: a local...

Double Cross by Ben Macintyre

Macintyre returns with the untold story of the grand final deception of the war and of the extraordinary spies who achieved it. On June 6, 1944, 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy and suffered an astonishingly low rate of casualties. D-Day was a stunning military accomplishment, but it was also a masterpiece of trickery. Operation Fortitude, which protected and...

Falling Women by Ellen Herbert

Short stories about families in turmoil and children in peril, from a homeless mother forced to put her son in foster care to a suburban mother afraid of passing her water phobia to her son. Braxton, North Carolina is the where in these stories, an imaginary coastal town adjacent to Camp Corregidor, a stopover for recruits on their way to Vietnam and later to Iraq. Braxton is the...

Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana's quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey...

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

The story of the vulnerable yet strong Katsa, a smart, beautiful teenager who lives in a world where selected people are given a Grace, a special talent that can be anything from dancing to swimming. Katsa's is killing. As the king's niece, she is forced to use her extreme skills as his thug. Along the way, Katsa must learn to decipher the true nature of her Grace... and how to put...

Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk

Haunted is a novel made up of twenty-three horrifying, hilarious, and stomach-churning stories. They're told by people who have answered an ad for a writer's retreat and unwittingly joined a "Survivor"-like scenario where the host withholds heat, power, and food. As the storytellers grow more desperate, their tales become more extreme, and they ruthlessly plot to make themselves the...

HMS Resolute by Elizabeth Matthews

How did a ship involved in a failed search for a lost explorer alter the course of history and become the symbol of Anglo-American friendship? Sent into the Arctic to find Franklin in 1852, HMS Resolute was abandoned; then salvaged by an American whaler, who brought her home on Christmas Eve 1855. When Britain and America were on the brink of their 3rd war, she became the focus of...

In the South Seas by Robert Louis Stevenson

The first experience can never be repeated. The first love, the first sunrise, the first South Sea island, are memories apart and touched a virginity of sense. On the 28th of July 1888 the moon was an hour down by four in the morning. In the east a radiating center of brightness told of the day; and beneath, on the skyline, the morning bank was already building, black as ink. We have...

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...

Shoggoths in Bloom by Elizabeth Bear

novelette about a black college professor who is doing research on an ancient and little known sea creature, the shoggoth (a creature gleaned from H. P. Lovecraft's work), off the coast of Maine. The story is set in 1938, against the backdrop of intensifying terror in Nazi Germany and a looming world war.

Songbook by Nick Hornby

Songs, songwriters, and why and how they get under our skin... Songbook is Hornby's labor of love. A shrewd, funny, and completely unique collection of musings on pop music, why it's good, what makes us listen and love it, and the ways in which it attaches itself to our lives - all with the beat of a perfectly mastered mix tape.

Sophomore Campaign by Frank Nappi

It's 1949 and eighteen-year-old pitching phenom Mickey Tussler is back with the rejuvenated minor league Brewers in the sequel to The Legend of Mickey Tussler (the basis for the television movie A Mile in His Shoes). Despite Mickey's proclamation that he will never play baseball again after last season's violent conclusion, his manager - and now surrogate father - Arthur Murphy...

Switch Bitch by Roald Dahl

These four stories are, by turns, funny, bawdy, touching, and outrageous. They are for lovers of tales that combine the macabre and the erotic with intriguing twists of plot.

The Downhill Lie by Carl Hiaasen

Ever wonder how to retrieve a sunken golf cart from a snake-infested lake? Or which club in your bag is best suited for combat against a horde of rats? An hilarious confessional about returning to the fairways after a thirty-two-year absence, is definitely the book for you.

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 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 Mysterious Mr. Quin by Agatha Christie

All 12 stories contained in this collection feature a most unusual mystery-solving team: the mercurial Mr. Quin uses carefully worded questions and observations to provide Mr. Satterthwaite - a bachelor in his sixties - with the insight needed to solve the case.

The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee

A tale of love and betrayal set in war-torn Hong Kong. In 1942, Englishman Will Truesdale falls headlong into a passionate relationship with Trudy Liang, a beautiful Eurasian socialite. But their affair is soon threatened by the invasion of the Japanese as World War II overwhelms their part of the world. Ten years later, Claire Pendleton comes to Hong Kong to work as a piano teacher...

The Traitor by Guy Walters

There was something powerful about it, something magnetic. He had witnessed the effect of such uniforms in the newsreels; now he was about to wear one. But this SS uniform - the uniform proudly worn by so many maniacs and murderers - bore a Union Jack... It was an insult to King and Country. In November 1943 the Nazis capture British secret agent John Lockhart while he is on a...

Too Late the Phalarope by Alan Paton

Racial segregation is odious in concept, impossible in application. To prove it, Paton tells us the story of Pieter, a white policeman, who has an affair with a native girl. He is betrayed and reported, and thus brings shame on himself and his family.

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...