This is the second part of my 2018 first quarter book haul. To check the first part, click here.

“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was.” – Ernest Hemingway

theseaTitle: The Sea
Author: John Banville
Publisher: Picador
Publishing Date: 2005
No. of Pages: 264
Synopsis: “When art historian Max Morden returns to the seaside village where he once spent a childhood holiday, he is both escaping from a recent loss and confronting a distant trauma.

The Grace family had appeared that long-ago summer as if from another world. Mr. and Mrs. Grace, with their worldly ease and candour, were unlike any adults he had met before. But it was his contemporaries, the Grace twins (silent, expressionless Myles, and fiery, seductively poised and forthright Chloe), who most fascinated Max. He grew to know them intricately, even intimately, and what ensued would haunt him for the rest of his years and shape everything that was to follow.”

41PwGneE-ML._SX319_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Villette
Author: Charlotte Bronte
Publisher: Wordsworth Classics
Publishing Date: 1993
No. of Pages: 462
Synopsis: “Based on Charlotte Bronte’s personal experience as a teacher in Brussels, Villette is a moving tale of repressed feelings and subjection to cruel circumstance and position, borne with heroic fortitude.

Rising above the frustrations of confinement within a rigid social order, it is also a story of a woman’s right to love and be loved.”

 

0b7684343109620055e2aa8055bb53cf--willa-cather-book-reviewsTitle: O Pioneers!
Author: Willa Cather
Publisher: Book-of-the-Month Club, Inc.
Publishing Date: 1995
No. of Pages: 309
Synopsis: “One of the most important American writers of the twentieth century, Willa Cather mined her childhood experiences on the Nebraska plains and her later love for the Southwest to create timeless tales of romance, tragedy, and spiritual seeking. The author of 12 novels and nearly 60 short stories, Cather won a Pulitzer Prize in 1922. In her second novel, O Pioneers!, Cather discovered the subject matter – the frontier life she knew as a young girl – and the spare but evocative style that would tap her full potential as a writer. Published in 1913, the novel tells of Alexandra Bergson, a Swedish immigrant who, in her early 20s, loses both her mother and father and is thrust into the role of surrogate parent to her three brothers. Alexandra’s success with the family farm enables her to send her brother Emil to college, but the family is challenged once more by his tragic love affair with a married woman. And as vital as any of the book’s characters are the Nebraska plains themselves as depicted by Cather – raw, unforgiving, and breathtakingly beautiful.”

e50ac42151918bcd4229ae753ecc1aa4Title: Death Comes for the Archbishop
Author: Willa Cather
Publisher: Book-of-the-Month Club, Inc.
Publishing Date: 1995
No. of Pages: 303
Synopsis: “Considered by many to be Cather’s greatest work, Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927) is an experimental novel based on the real-life experiences of two French missionaries in New Mexico. In Cather’s hand they become the aged, withdrawn bishop Jean Marie Latour and his practical and hopeful vicar Joseph Vaillant, who struggle together to bring Old World religion to the New World by building a cathedral in the desert Southwest. As always, Cather makes her landscape – the arid New Mexican plains – a palpable character in the story, and she shows an early empathy with the Navajo and Hopi nations’ reverence for unspoiled nature.”

md22621069917Title: My Antonia
Author: Willa Cather
Publisher: Book-of-the-Month Club, Inc.
Publishing Date: 1995
No. of Pages: 419
Synopsis: “Her fourth novel, My Antonia (1918), which she thought “the best thing I’ve ever done,” is set in pioneer-era Nebraska and is a story of contrasts – most noticeably the contrast between Antonia Shimerda, the destitute child of Bohemian immigrants, and Jim Burden, a native Virginian who, after being orphaned at the age of ten, is sent to live with his grandparents in Nebraska. The novel traces the parallel lives of Jim and Antonia – Jim (said to be modeled in Cather herself) goes to Harvard, becomes a traveling businessman, and returns to Nebraska infrequently; Antonia elopes with a shiftless railway conductor, comes home disgraced, and finds happiness with Anton Cuzak, a gentle farmer, like Alexandra Bergson of O Pioneers! – and like the land they both call home – Antonia comes to embody unshakeable simplicity and integrity.”

md22656469875Title: The Sea, The Sea
Author: Iris Murdoch
Publisher: Vintage
Publishing Date: 1999
No. of Pages: 502
Synopsis: “The sea: turbulent and leaden; transparent and opaque; magician and mother.

When Charles Arrowby, over sixty, a demi-god of the theatre – director, playwright and actor – retires from his glittering London world in order to ‘abjure magic and become a hermit,’ it is to be the sea that he turns. He hopes at least to escape from ‘the women’ – but unexpectedly meets one whom he loved long ago. His Buddhist cousin, James also arrives. He is menaced by a monster from the deep. Charles finds his ‘solitude’ peopled by the drama of his own fantasies and obsessions.”

28703Title: Cosmopolis
Author: Don Delilio
Publisher: Picador
Publishing Date: 2004
No. of Pages: 209
Synopsis: “It’s a stunningly eventful day in the life of Eric Packer, a multi-billionaire who owns a forty-eight-room apartment and a decommissioned nuclear bomber and who has recently married the heiress of a vast European fortune. Sitting in his stretch limousine as it moves across the middle of Manhattan, he finds the city at a virtual standstill because the President is visiting, a rapper’s funeral is proceeding through town, and a violent protest is being staged in Times Square by anti-globalist groups.

Eric’s bodyguards are worried that he is a target and indeed, he is – although the danger, as it turns out, is not from protesters or political assassins but from an anonymous man who lives in an abandoned building.”

of-mice-and-menTitle: Of Mice and Men
Author: John Steinbeck
Publisher: Pearson Longman Limited
Publishing Date: 2011
No. of Pages: 118
Synopsis: Of Mice and Men is a poignant tale of the extraordinary friendship between two itinerant workers in the harsh depression years of 1930s America. George and his large, simple-minded friend Lennie share a dream that one day they will have some land of their own. But when the two men find work on a ranch in California’s Salinas Valley, their dream is tested to the limit.”

 

imagesTitle: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publishing Date: 2012
No. of Pages: 213
Synopsis: The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. The world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. Of sex, drugs, and the rocky horror picture show. Of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.”

 

sfdsTitle: The Cider House Rules
Author: John Irving
Publisher: Black Swan
Publishing Date: 1995
No. of Pages: 719
Synopsis: “Set among the apple orchards of rural Maine, it is a perverse world in which Homer Wells’ odyssey begins. As the oldest unadopted offspring at St/. Cloud’s orphanage, he learns about the skill which, in one way or another, help young and not-so-young women, from Wilbur Larch, the orphanage’s founder, a man of rare compassion and with an addiction to ether.

Dr. Larch loves all his orphans, especially Homer Wells. It is Homer’s story we follow, from his early apprenticeship in the orphanage surgery, to his adult life running a cider-making factory and his strange relationship with the wife of his closest friend.”

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”
― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

And there ends my 2018 first quarter book haul. I can’t wait to take on them one by one. I am hoping that I’ll be able to get my hands on them this year. But with over 150 books on my unread list, that is going to be a tall order. 🙂

How about you reader, what books did you acquire in the first three months of the year? You can share it in the comment box.

Happy reading!

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