Winter 2018 TBR|Festive and White|

I usually don’t have a seasonal TBR, but there are a couple of books I would like to read before the year ends and hence I decided to make a note of it. Coincidentally, most of these books are either set in Winters, are festive, or have a white cover (I have a lot of that :P)

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  • If on a Winter’s Night A Traveller by Italo Calvino

Italo Calvino’s masterpiece combines a love story and a detective story into an exhilarating allegory of reading, in which the reader of the book becomes the book’s central character.
Based on a witty analogy between the reader’s desire to finish the story and the lover’s desire to consummate his or her passion, If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller is the tale of two bemused readers whose attempts to reach the end of the same book, If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller by Italo Calvino, of course, are constantly and comically frustrated. In between chasing missing chapters of the book, the hapless readers tangle with an international conspiracy, a rogue translator, an elusive novelist, a disintegrating publishing house, and several oppressive governments. The result is a literary labyrinth of storylines that interrupt one another – an Arabian Nights of the postmodern age.

  • Tenth of December by George Saunders

In the taut opening, “Victory Lab,” a boy witnesses the attempted abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice: Does he ignore what he sees, or override years of smothering advice from his parents and act? In “Home,” a combat-damaged soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the world he left with the one to which he has returned. And in the title story, a stunning meditation on imagination, memory, and loss, a middle-aged cancer patient walks into the woods to commit suicide, only to encounter a troubled young boy who, over the course of a fateful morning, gives the dying man a final chance to recall who he really is. A hapless, deluded owner of an antique store; two mothers struggling to do the right thing; a teenage girl whose idealism is challenged by a brutal brush with reality; a man tormented by a series of pharmaceutical experiments that force him to lust, to love, to kill—the unforgettable characters that populate the pages of Tenth of December are vividly and lovingly infused with Saunders’ signature blend of exuberant prose, deep humanity, and stylistic innovation.

Writing brilliantly and profoundly about class, sex, love, loss, work, despair, and war, Saunders cuts to the core of the contemporary experience. These stories take on the big questions and explore the fault lines of our own morality, delving into the questions of what makes us good and what makes us human.

Unsettling, insightful, and hilarious, the stories in Tenth of December—through their manic energy, their focus on what is redeemable in human beings, and their generosity of spirit—not only entertain and delight; they fulfill Chekhov’s dictum that art should “prepare us for tenderness.”

  • The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more?

In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage — Allomancy, a magic of the metals.

  • Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer by Cyrus Mistry

At the very edge of its many interlocking worlds, the city of Bombay conceals a near invisible community of Parsi corpse bearers, whose job it is to carry bodies of the deceased to the Towers of Silence. Segregated and shunned from society, often wretchedly poor, theirs is a lot that nobody would willingly espouse. Yet thats exactly what Phiroze Elchidana, son of a revered Parsi priest, does when he falls in love with Sepideh, the daughter of an aging corpse bearer…

Derived from a true story, Cyrus Mistry’s extraordinary new novel is a moving account of tragic love that, at the same time, brings to vivid and unforgettable life the degradation experienced by those who inhabit the unforgiving margins of history.

  • The White Book by Han Kang

Writing while on a residency in Warsaw, a city palpably scarred by the violence of the past, the narrator finds herself haunted by the story of her older sister, who died a mere two hours after birth. A fragmented exploration of white things – the swaddling bands that were also her shroud, the breast milk she did not live to drink, the blank page on which the narrator herself attempts to reconstruct the story – unfolds in a powerfully poetic distillation.

As she walks the unfamiliar, snow-streaked streets, lined by buildings formerly obliterated in the Second World War, their identities blur and overlap as the narrator wonders, ‘Can I give this life to you?’. The White Book is a book like no other. It is a meditation on a color, on the tenacity and fragility of the human spirit, and our attempts to graft new life from the ashes of destruction.

This is both the most autobiographical and the most experimental book to date from South Korean master Han Kang.

  • Year One by Nora Roberts

It began on New Year’s Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed–and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.

Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river–or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.

  • Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts

They look like an everyday family living an ordinary life. But beyond the edges of this peaceful farm, unimaginable forces of light and dark have been unleashed.

Fallon Swift, approaching her thirteenth birthday, barely knows the world that existed before—the city where her parents lived, now in ruins and reclaimed by nature since the Doom sickened and killed billions. Traveling anywhere is a danger, as vicious gangs of Raiders and fanatics called Purity Warriors search for their next victim. Those like Fallon, in possession of gifts, are hunted—and the time is coming when her true nature, her identity as The One, can no longer be hidden.

In a mysterious shelter in the forest, her training is about to begin under the guidance of Mallick, whose skills have been honed over centuries. She will learn the old ways of healing; study and spar; encounter faeries and elves and shifters; and find powers within herself she never imagined. And when the time is right, she will take up the sword, and fight. For until she grows into the woman she was born to be, the world outside will never be whole again.

  • Lies by Alethea Romig

The twisted and intriguing storytelling that you loved in Consequences and Infidelity continues with an all-new alpha anti-hero in the dark romance series Web of Sin, by New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig.
I am…
That’s no longer an easy statement.
Who am I?
Since Sterling Sparrow, a man so handsome he takes my breath away and so infuriating he pushes me in ways I’ve never known, came barreling into my life like a category five hurricane, I can’t even finish that simple statement.
In twenty-six years I’ve lived three lives—been three different people.
Renee. Kennedy. And now, Araneae.
They say that I was named after the spider to make me resilient.
Sparrow would then be a bird.
Birds eat spiders.
I prefer to consider myself a cat. It ups my chance of surviving the world I’m now living.
Maybe that’s only wishful thinking because according to Sterling, my number of lives is running out.
There are people who want to harm me, to learn the secrets they claim that I possess.
The only person to offer me protection is Sterling Sparrow.
Can I trust a man who willingly put me in the sight of danger?
What is real?
What are lies?
Have you been Aleatha’d?

  • Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerry Maniscalco

In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco’s haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

  • The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods by Samuel J. Halpin

This is the story of a sleepy town called Suds. A place where stories fill the air of children who keep turning grey and disappearing without a trace…

Poppy and Erasmus are certain there’s something peculiar going on in Suds, and they’re determined to unravel its secrets. But when they discover the answers might lie in the darkening and twisting woods, can they find the courage to creep inside and solve this riddling mystery?

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