The Classics


Title: Midnight’s Children
Author: Salman Rushdie
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publishing Date: 1991
No. of Pages: 533
Accolades: 1981 Man Booker Prize Winner
Synopsis: “Born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, at the precise moment of India’s independence, the infant Saleem Sinai is celebrated in the press and welcomed by Prime Minister Nehru himself. But this coincidence of birth has consequences Saleem is not prepared for: telepathic powers that connect him with 1,000 other “midnight’s children” – all born in the initial hour of India’s independence – and an uncanny sense of smell that allows him to sniff out dangers other can’t perceive. Inextricably linked to his nation, Saleem’s biography is a whirlwind of disasters and triumphs that mirror the course of modern India at its most impossible and glorious.”

Title: Tender is the Night
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Publisher: Arcturus Publishing
Publishing Date: 2016
No. of Pages: 302
Synopsis: “The French Riviera of the md-1920s is the new playground for rich Americans, among them elegant heiress Nicole Warren and her husband, ambitious psychiatrist Dick Diver. The Divers’ renowned hospitality brings celebrities and socialites flocking to their villa, but when a starlet called Rosemary Hoyt finds her way into their charmed circle the consequences are devastating.

Naive and inexperienced, Rosemary sparks the decline in a relationship already destabilized by a dark secret and undermined by destructive illusions.”

 Title: The Bell Jar
Author: Sylvia Plath
Publisher: Faber and Faber Limited
Publishing Date: 1966
No. of Pages: 234
Synopsis: Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.”

The Literary Heavyweights

Title: The War of the End of the World
Author: Mario Vargas Llosa
Translator: Helen R. Lane
Publisher: Picador
Publishing Date: August 2008
No. of Pages: 533
Synopsis: “Deep within the remote backhands of nineteenth-century Brazil lies Canudos, home to all the damned of the earth: prostitutes, bandits, beggars, and every kind of outcast. It is a place where history and civilization have been wiped away. There is no money, no taxation, no marriage, no census. Canudos is a cauldron for the revolutionary spirit in its purest form, a state with all the potential for a true, libertarian paradise – and one the Brazilian government is determined to crush at any cost.”

Title: After Dark
Author: Haruki Murakami
Translator: Jay Rubin
Publisher: Vintage Books
Publishing Date: April 2008
No. of Pages: 244
Synopsis: “A sleek, gripping novel of encounters set in Tokyo during the spooky hours between midnight and dawn, by an internationally renowned literary phenomenon.”

Title: The Sympathizer
Author: Viet Thanh Nguyen
Publisher: Grove Press
Publishing Date: 2015
No. of Pages: 382
Accolades: 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Synopsis: “The winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as five other awards, The Sympathizer is the breakthrough novel of the year. With the pace and suspense of a thriller and prose that has been compared to Graham Greene and Saul Bellow, The Sympathizer is a sweeping epic of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a “man of two minds,” a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who arranges to come to America after the fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam. The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping espionage novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship.

Young Adult Fiction

Title: Sad Girls
Author: Lang Leav
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publishing Date: 2017
No. of Pages: 362
Synopsis: “School is almost out for Audrey, but the panic attacks are just beginning.

Because Audrey told a lie and now her classmate, Ana, is dead.

Just as her world begins to spin out of control, Audrey meets the enigmatic Rad – the boy who could turn it all around. But will their ill-timed romance drive her closer to the edge?”

P.S. Want to know my thoughts about Lang Leav’s first venture into the world of prose? Click here.

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Publisher: Razor Bill
Publishing Date: 2007
No. of Pages: 288
Synopsis: “Clay Jensen doesn’t want anything to do with the tapes Hannah Baker made. Hannah is dead. Her secrets should be buried with her.

Then Hannah’s voice tells Clay that is name is on her tapes – and that he is, in some way, responsible for her death.

All through the night, Clay keeps listening. He follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his small town…

… and what he discovers changes his life forever.”

Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publishing Date: 2011
No. of Pages: 205
Accolades: 2012 Carnegie Medal
Synopsis: “The monster showed up after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting, the one from the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, something ancient, something wild. And it wants the truth.”