Will just simply skip the preliminaries and share to you my latest book haul which is, by the way, comprised mostly of classics and award-winning works. Happy reading! How about you fellow reader? What books have you bought in February? Share it in the comment box so that I can take a peek as well.

william-golding-rites-of-passage-first-edition-1980-vintage-hardback-fiction-book-12307-pTitle: Rites of Passage
Author: William Golding
Publisher: Faber and Faber Limited
Publishing Date: 1981
No. of Pages: 278

Synopsis: “An ancient ship of the line converted to general purposes is making her way from the South of England to Australia. She carries a few guns, some cargo, some animals, some seamen, some soldiers, some emigrants and a few ladies and gentlemen. There is a clergyman of the Church of England. There is Wilmot Brocklebank, lithographer, marine artist and portrait painter. There is a young army officer.

Representing the higher echelons of administration is young Mr Talbot, setting out with utmost confidence towards a distinguished career. But the voyage teaches him some unexpected things. It affords him more opportunities for observing the ceremonies that mark a progress through life – more chances for a mixture of acute observation and sheer misjudgement – than he could possibly record in his journal; though, for his godfather’s entertainment, he tries his best. Though Talbot is mistaken in Deverel, instructed by Mr Summers, seduced by Miss Brocklebank, and shocked by Miss Granham, he finds it unnecessary in the event to keep an eye on Mr Prettiman. But it is a sadder and more responsible man who learns from the Reverend Robert James Colley what a bitter taste there is to remorse when it is unavailing.”

y648 (2)Title: 4:50 From Paddington
Author: Agatha Christie
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publishing Date: 2011
No. of Pages: 271

Synopsis: “For an instant the two trains ran together, side by side. In that frozen moment, Elspeth witnessed a murder. Helplessly, she stared out of her carriage window as a man remorselessly tightened his grip around a woman’s throat. The body crumpled. Then the other train drew away.

But who, apart from Miss Marple, would take her story seriously? After all, there were no suspects, no other witnesses… and no corpse.”

y648 (3)Title: The Labors of Hercules
Author: Agatha Christie
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publishing Date: 2011
No. of Pages: 314

Synopsis: “In appearance, Hercule Poirot hardly resembled an ancient Greek hero. Yet – reasoned the detective – like Hercules he had been responsible for ridding society of some of its most unpleasant monsters.

So, in the period leading up to his retirement, Poirot makes up his mind to accept just twelve more cases: his self-imposed “Labors.” Each would go down in the annals of crime as a heroic feat of deduction.”

ThegatheringanneenrightTitle: The Gathering
Author: Anne Enright
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Publishing Date: 2007
No. of Pages: 261

Synopsis: “The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan gather in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother Liam. It wasn’t the drink that killed him – although that certainly helped – it was what happened to him as a boy in his grandmother’s house, in the winter of 1968. His sister Veronica was there then, as she is now: keeping the dead man company, just for another while.”

9780812985405Title: Lincoln in the Bardo
Author: George Saunders
Publisher: Random House
Publishing Date: 2017
No. of Pages: 343

Synopsis: “February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willlie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.”

71A-GXbrwRLTitle: The Silmarillion
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Publisher: George Allen & Unwin (Publishers) Ltd
Publishing Date: 1977
No. of Pages: 304

Synopsis: “Tolkien considered The Silmarillion his most important work, and though published last and posthumously, this great collection of tales and legends clearly sets the stage for all his other works. For this is the story of the creation of the world and the happenings of the First Age. This is the ancient drama to which characters in The Lord of The Rings look back, and in whose events some of them, such as Elrond and Galadriel =, took part. The three Silmarils were jewels created by Feanor, most gifted of the Elves. Within them was imprisoned the Light of the Two Trees of Valinor before the Trees themselves were destroyed by Morgoth, the first Dark Lord. Thereafter the unsullied Light of Valinor lived on only in the Silmarils; but they were seized by Morgoth and set in his crown, guarded in the impenetrable fortress of Angband in the north of Middle-earth. The Silmarillion is the history of the rebellion of Feanor and his kindred against the gods, their exile from Valinor and return to Middle-earth, and their war, hopeless despite all their heroism, against the great Enemy.”

91F+zaV1cSLTitle: Slaughterhouse-Five
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
Publisher: Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence
Publishing Date: March 1994
No. of Pages: 205

Synopsis: “A fourth-generation German-American now living in easy circumstances on Cape Cod (and smoking too much), who, as an American infantry scout hors de combat, as a prisoner of war, witnessed the fire-bombing of Dresden, Germany, “the Florence of the Elbe,” a long time ago, and survived to tell the tale. This is a novel somewhat in the telegraphic schizophrenic manner of tales of the Planet Tralfamadore , where the flying saucers come from. Peace.”

9781590177716Title: The Door
Author: Magda Szabo
Translator: Len Rix
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Publishing Date: 2007
No. of Pages: 262

Synopsis: The Door is an unsettling exploration of the relationship between two very different women. Magda is a writer, educated, married to an academic, public-spirited, with an on-again-off-again relationship to Hungary’s Communist authorities. Emergence is a peasant, illiterate, impassive, abrupt, seemingly ageless. She lives alone in a house that no one else may enter, not even her closes relatives. She is Magda’s housekeeper and she has taken control over Magda’s household, becoming indispensable to her. And Emerence, in her way, has come to depend on Magda. They share a kind of love – at least until Magda’s long-sought success as a writer leads to a devastating revelation.”

916WRCwm5jLTitle: Some Prefer Nettles
Author: Junichiro Tanizaki
Translator: Edward G. Seidenstricker
Publisher: Vintage International
Publishing Date: October 1995
No. of Pages: 202

Synopsis: “It is the 1920s in Tokyo, and Kaname and his wife Misako are trapped in a parody of a progressive Western marriage. No longer attracted to each other, they have long since stopped sleeping together and Kaname has sanctioned his wife’s liaisons with another man. But at the heart of their arrangement lies a sadness that impels Kaname to take refuge in the past, in the serene rituals of the classical puppet theater – and in a growing fixation with his father-in-law’s mistress. Some Prefer Nettles is an ethereally suggestive, psychologically complex exploration of the crisis every culture faces as it hurtles headfirst into modernity.”

“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