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The Top 6 Books of This Year

posted by Nesa

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e are not short of genres that everyone love to read – at least we hope so. We tried to collect what is worth reading among the books published in 2016.

So let’s have a look at the list:


6. Swing Time, Zadie Smith

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adie Smith’s upcoming novel is about „two brown girls”, according to the author. It’s the tale of bi-racial dancers who grow up together in a poor London district but diverge in adulthood in the 1990s. Where one follows her dream of turning professional, the other becomes a personal assistant of a pop star.

„It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early 20s, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either”, says publisher Hamish Hamilton, which describes the novel as „dazzlingly energetic and deeply human”.

Performing a reading of two chapters of the book at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Smith said the idea of conspiracy – which she sees as „a symbol of a yearning for knowledge” in the absence of a formal educational structure – is an underlying theme throughout the novel. Out on 15 November 2016.

 

 


5. The Noise of Time, Julian Barnes

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n his first novel after The Sense of an Ending, which won the Man Booker Prize in 2011, Julian Barnes recounts the life of Dmitri Shostakovich, the famed Soviet composer who struggled all his life with the Communist Party’s absolute rule over his music – in a decade, he went from a celebrated cultural icon to being officially denounced for being too „Western”.

Barnes has written an ambitious book, says The Independent (read their article here), while The Guardian describes it as a „complex meditation on the power, limitations and likely endurance of art”.

 


4. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond

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n this heartbreaking account of the failed American dream, Harvard University sociologist Matthew Desmond moves to the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to chronicle eight families who have been evicted from their homes.

One of those is Arleen, a single mother with two sons who somehow survives on just $20 a month that she has left over after paying rent – and is evicted days before Christmas. „There used to be a moratorium on eviction at Christmas in America”, says The Guardian.

„They did away with that in 1991. A landlord convinced the Civil Liberties Union that the practice was unfair because it privileged a religious celebration over profit.” The New York Times says the burden of this „astonishing” book is to show how the world these people inhabit is „indeed hell, or as close an approximation as you are likely to find in 21st-century America”.

The newspaper says Desmond is far more than a university professor, describing him as a journalist who has set a new standard in reporting on poverty. But writing in his journal, Desmond reflected on his time living in the city:

„I feel dirty, collecting these stories and hardships like so many trophies.”

 


3. The High Mountains of Portugal, Yann Martel

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his is Yann Martel’s fourth novel and it already has everyone buzzing. It’s not hard to understand why – he won the 2002 Man Booker Prize for his breakthrough title Life of Pi, which became a Hollywood film.

Starting in Lisbon in 1904, The High Mountains of Portugal tells the story of a young man called Tomas who finds an old journal hinting at a deep secret.

The book weaves three different stories into a road-trip across four centuries and two continents, exploring themes of love, loss, and heartbreak along the way. It could turn out to be a serious awards contender – even those who weren’t pleased with Martel’s last book, Beatrice and Virgil, are putting this on their must-read lists.

 


2. Forty Rooms, Olga Grushin

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he third offering from critically acclaimed Russian writer Olga Grushin is divided into 40 scenes which take place in the 40 rooms that helped shape the protagonist, from being the daughter of Moscow intelligentsia and a bohemian poet to a suburban American housewife frustrated by her lack of artistic success.

There is one main question at the heart of her story, says the Washington Post: Can a woman be an artist and happy? „But, Grushin suggests, that choice is never simple or readily made. Sometimes, life chooses for you.” Grushin ultimately succeeds in drawing the story toward an unexpectedly moving end, the newspaper concludes.

„It challenges the reader to reflect on her own history; to come up with the labels that contribute to her own identity – writer, sister, for example – and to name the rooms in which she has come to her own realizations,” says the New York Times.

„This is a text that rewards re-reading and demands engagement,” the newspaper adds. „There is no redemption story to relax into here and no easy answers.”

 


1. Zero K, Don DeLillo

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new DeLillo novel always sets the heart aflutter,” says The Observer’s Alex Preston, who describes this latest offering as „icy, mordant and dazzling”.

Zero K follows the story of Jeffrey Lockhart and his father, Ross, whose young wife is dying. Ross, a billionaire businessman, is a significant investor in a secretive, remote compound „where death is controlled and bodies are preserved until medical advances can restore individuals to improve lives”.

In a teaser excerpt, DeLillo writes: „We are born without choosing to be. Should we have to die in the same manner? Isn’t it a human glory to refuse to accept a certain fate?”

The US author is best known for his novels Underworld and White Noise, but has tackled a wide variety of subjects in more recent works, including the September 11 terrorist attacks, science fiction, and football.

The heartbreaking story of Zero K is „among DeLillo’s finest work”, says Publisher’s Weekly. The BBC agrees, calling it „audacious, heartfelt, elegantly shaped and filled with provocative obsessions.”

 


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hank you for reading our article about the top six books of this years, we hope that you enjoyed. Keep on reading us, you won’t be disappointed. We try our best to satisfy your curiosity.

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