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The New York Times: 10 Best Books of 2014


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All the Light We Cannot See
All the Light We Cannot See

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With brisk chapters and sumptuous language, Doerr’s second novel follows two characters whose paths will intersect in the waning days of World War II: an orphaned engineering prodigy recruited into the Nazi ranks, and a blind French girl who joins the Resistance. Tackling questions of survival, endurance and moral obligations during wartime, the book is as precise and artful and ingenious as the puzzle boxes the heroine’s locksmith father builds for her. Impressively, it is also a vastly entertaining feat of storytelling.

 

DEPT. OF SPECULATION
Dept. of Speculation

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Offill’s slender and cannily paced novel, her second, assembles fragments, observations, meditations and different points of view to chart the course of a troubled marriage. Wry and devastating in equal measure, the novel is a cracked mirror that throws light in every direction — on music and literature; science and philosophy; marriage and motherhood and infidelity; and especially love and the grueling rigors of domestic life. Part elegy and part primal scream, it’s a profound and unexpectedly buoyant performance.

 

Euphoria: A Novel
Euphoria

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In 1933, the anthropologist Margaret Mead took a field trip to the Sepik River in New Guinea with her second husband; they met and collaborated with the man who would become her third. King has taken the known details of that actual event and created this exquisite novel, her fourth, about the rewards and disappointments of intellectual ambition and physical desire. The result is an intelligent, sensual tale told with a suitable mix of precision and heat.

 

Family Life
Family Life: A Novel

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Sharma’s austere but moving novel tells the semi-autobiographical story of a family that immigrates from India to Queens, and has just begun to build a new life when the elder son suffers severe brain damage in a swimming pool accident. Deeply unnerving and gorgeously tender, the book chronicles how grief renders the parents unable to cherish and raise their other son; love, it suggests, becomes warped and jagged and even seemingly vanishes in the midst of mourning.

 

Redeployment
Redeployment

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In this brilliant debut story collection, Klay — a former Marine who served in Iraq — shows what happens when young, heavily armed Americans collide with a fractured and deeply foreign country few of them even remotely understand. Iraq comes across not merely as a theater of war but as a laboratory for the human condition in extremis. The collection is hilarious, biting, whipsawing and sad: the best thing written so far on what the war did to people’s souls.

 

On Immunity: An Inoculation
On Immunity: An Inoculation

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In this spellbinding blend of memoir, science journalism and literary criticism, Biss unpacks what the fear of vaccines tells us about larger anxieties involving purity, contamination and interdependency. Deeply researched and anchored in Biss’s own experiences as a new mother, this ferociously intelligent book is itself an inoculation against bad science and superstition, and a reminder that we owe one another our lives.

 

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

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Kolbert reports from the front lines of the violent collision between civilization and our planet’s ecosystem — from the Great Barrier Reef to her own backyard — in this, her third, book. Traveling to some of the world’s remotest corners, she examines how man-made climate change threatens to eliminate 20 to 50 percent of all living species on earth within this century. This is environmental writing at its most rigorous and richly detailed — and as riveting as any thriller.

 

THIRTEEN DAYS IN SEPTEMBER: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David
THIRTEEN DAYS IN SEPTEMBER: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David

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In 1978, over 13 days at Camp David, Anwar Sadat, Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter hammered out a peace agreement between Israel and Egypt that remains the most profound diplomatic achievement to emerge from the Mideast conflict. In a fascinating account of the talks, Wright combines history, politics and, most of all, a gripping drama of three clashing personalities into a tale of constant plot twists and dark humor. He reminds us that Carter’s visionary idealism and doggedness represented an act of surpassing political courage.

FICTION
# Title Runtime
1 All the Light We Cannot See 16 h 02 min
2 Dept. of Speculation 03 h 10 min
3 Euphoria 06 h 52 min
4 Family Life 05 h 46 min
5 Redeployment 07 h 46 min
NON FICTION
# Title Runtime
1 Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Comic Book
2 On Immunity: An Inoculation 06 h 23 min
3 Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life Audio not Published
4 The Sixth Extinction 09 h 59 min
5 Thirteen Days in September 11 h 56 min

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– So there’s only 8 instead of 10, you liar!
– Sorry…I’ll compensate. (Do I sound like a Masochist?)

Merry Christmas~
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