Novel Destinations: Around the World with Books

The Black Minutes

Martin Solares

Literary Fiction

Set in the fictional oil port of Paracuan, Mexican author Solares's debut deftly treads a risky tightrope between police procedural and surreal fantasy. Someone kills young journalist Bernardo Blanco while he's investigating a 20-year-old case involving the serial torture-murders of young girls, violations so horrifying that they sicken even hardened cops. Solares unflinchingly follows both detective Ramon Cabrera, who's assigned to Blanco's murd...


Caryl Ferey

Thriller, Mystery

Readers should be prepared for graphic scenes of shocking violence in Ferey's hard-hitting procedural, which won France's Grand Prix for Best Crime Novel. Ali Neuman, the chief of the Cape Town police crime unit, investigates the murder of 18-year-old Nicole Wiese, found one morning in the South African city's botanical gardens with her skull crushed in. Since the victim's father was a member of the Springboks rugby team that won the world champi...

A Dry White Season

Andre Brink

Multicultural Fiction, Literary Fiction

As startling and powerful as when first published more than two decades ago, Andr Brink's classic novel, A Dry White Season , is an unflinching and unforgettable look at racial intolerance, the human condition, and the heavy price of morality. Ben Du Toit is a white schoolteacher in suburban Johannesburg in a dark time of intolerance and state-sanctioned apartheid. A simple, apolitical man, he believes in the essential fairness of the South Afric...

Silence of the Grave

Arnaldur Indridason


"Now Iceland has its own Mankell. " ---Holger Kreitling, Die Welt (Germany) Last year Jar City introduced international crime-writing sensation Arnaldur Indridason to rave reviews and a rousing welcome from American thriller fans. And now, Silence of the Grave, the next in this stunning series haswon the coveted Golden Dagger Award. Presented by the British Crime Writers' Association, previous winners of this award include John Le Carre, Minette ...

The Boat

Lothar-Gunther Buchheim

Literary Fiction

Writer and art collector Lothar-Günther Buchheim studied at the Academies of Art in Dresden and Munich before becoming a reporter in the German navy during World War II. He was stationed aboard the U-96 in 1941 and took part in submarine operations in the Atlantic Ocean and Straits of Gibraltar. He photographed and wrote about his experience for propaganda purposes, but in 1973 he wrote the novel Das Boot or The Boat, which carried an underl...

Smilla’s Sense of Snow

Peter Hoeg

Literary Fiction

The title of this quiet, absorbing suspense novel by a Danish author only suggests the intriguing story it tells. After young Isaiah Christiansen falls from a snow-covered roof in present-day Copenhagen, something about his lone rooftop tracks--and the fact that the boy had a fear of heights--obsesses Smilla Qaavigaaq Jaspersen, a woman who had befriended him. Smilla is 37, unmarried, and, like Isaiah, part of Denmark's small Eskimo/Greenlander c...

Sun Storm

Asa Larsson

Thriller, Literary Fiction

On the floor of a church in northern Sweden, the body of a man lies mutilated and defiled-and in the night sky, the aurora borealis dances as the snow begins to fall....So begins Åsa Larsson's spellbinding thriller, winner of Sweden's Best First Crime Novel Award and an international literary sensation. Rebecka Martinsson is heading home to Kiruna, the town she'd left in disgrace years before. A Stockholm attorney, Rebecka has a good reason...

A beautiful place to die : a novel

Malla Nunn.

Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

Screenwriter Nunn draws on her true-life experience growing up in Africa to create this darkly romantic crime novel set in 1950s apartheid South Africa. Detective Emmanuel Cooper is caught up in a time and place where racial tensions and the raw hunger for power make for dangerous times.

Summertime : fiction

J.M. Coetzee.

Literary Fiction

Shortlisted for the 2009 Man Booker Prize A brilliant new work of fiction from the Nobel Prize-winning author of Disgrace and Diary of a Bad Year A young English biographer is researching a book about the late South African writer John Coetzee, focusing on Coetzee in his thirties, at a time when he was living in a rundown cottage in the Cape Town suburbs with his widowed father-a time, the biographer is convinced, when Coetzee was finding himself...

Out of Africa ; and, Shadows on the grass

Isak Dinesen.

Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

Set in Africa, it is the story of Dinesen's years in Africa--together with Shadows on the Grass. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.

A long way gone : memoirs of a boy soldier

Ishmael Beah.


My new friends have begun to suspect I haven't told them the full story of my life. "Why did you leave Sierra Leone?" "Because there is a war." "You mean, you saw people running around with guns and shooting each other?" "Yes, all the time." "Cool." I smile a little. "You should tell us about it sometime." "Yes, sometime." This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice...

Brothers : a novel

Da Chen.

Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

At the height of China's Cultural Revolution a powerful general fathered two sons. Tan was born to the general's wife and into a life of comfort and luxury. His half brother, Shento, was born to the general's mistress, who threw herself off a cliff in the mountains of Balan only moments after delivering her child. Growing up, each remained ignorant of the other's existence. In Beijing, Tan enjoyed the best schools, the finest clothes, and the pre...

Please look after mom : a novel

Kyung-sook Shin ; translated from the Korean by Chi-Young Kim.

Literary Fiction

A million-plus-copy best seller in South Korea and poised to become an international sensation - Please Look After Mom is the stunning, deeply moving story of a family's search for their mother, and of the desires, heartaches, and secrets they discover she harbored within. On a family visit to the city, Mom is right behind her husband when the train pulls out of Seoul Station without her, and she is lost, possibly forever. As her children argue o...

Family planning : a novel

Karan Mahajan.

Literary Fiction

Rakesh Ahuja, a Government Minister in New Delhi, is beset by problems: thirteen children and another on the way; a wife who mourns the loss of her favorite TV star; and a teenaged son with some really strong opinions about family planning.To make matters worse, looming over this comical farrago are secrets-both personal and political-that threaten to push the Ahuja household into disastrous turmoil. Following father and son as they blunder their...

The bad girl

Mario Vargas Llosa. Transl. from the Spanish by Edith Grossman.

Literary Fiction

Ricardo Somocurcio is in love with a bad girl. He loves her as a teenager known as "Lily" in Lima in 1950, when she arrives one summer out of the blue, claiming to be from Chile but vanishing the moment her claim is exposed as fiction. He loves her next in Paris, where she appears as the enchanting "Comrade Arlette," an activist en route to Cuba, and becomes his lover, albeit n icy, remote one who denies knowing anything about the ily of years go...

In the time of the butterflies : [fiction]

Julia Alvarez.

Literary Fiction

Set during the waning days of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republica in 1960, this extraordinary novel tells the story the Mirabal sisters, three young wives and mothers who are assassinated after visiting their jailed husbands.

Zorro : the legend begins

Isabel Allende ; translated from the Spanish by Margaret Sayers Peden.

Literary Fiction

Born in southern California late in the eighteenth century, he is a child of two worlds.

The old gringo

by Carlos Fuentes ; translated by Margaret Sayers Peden.

Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction

In The Old Gringo, Carlos Fuentes brings the Mexico of 1916 uncannily to life. This novel is wise book, full of toughness and humanity and is without question one of the finest works of modern Latin American fiction.

The name of the rose

Umberto Eco ; translated from the Italian by William Weaver.

Historical Fiction, Detective, Mystery

In 1327, Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Bakersville arrives to investigate. His delicate mission is overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths that take place in the same number of days, and Brother William must turn detective to sort things out.

Un amico italiano : eat, pray, love in Rome

Luca Spaghetti ; translated by Antony Shugaar.

Travel, Biography, Nonfiction

When Spaghetti (yes, that's his real name) was asked to show a writer named Elizabeth Gilbert ("Eat, Pray, Love") around Rome, he had no idea how his life was about to change.

Good evening Mrs. Craven : the wartime stories of Mollie Panter-Downes

Mollie Panter-Downes ; with a new preface by Gregory Lestage.

Historical Fiction

#x1C;Boldly published, beautifully designed, dazzlingly written. . . . Profound as Katherine Mansfield, restrained as Jane Austen, sharp as Dorothy Parker.#x1D;-Felipe Fernández-Armesto, The Independent For fifty years, Mollie Panter-Downes#x19; name was associated with The New Yorker . She wrote a regular column (#x1C;Letter from London#x1D;), book reviews, and over thirty short stories about English domestic life during World War Two. Tw...

The olive tree : a personal journey through Mediterranean olive groves

Carol Drinkwater.

Travel, Nonfiction, Biography

Troubled by challenges her own South of France farm is experiencing--attack by a virulent pest and the premature ripening of the trees' fruits--Carol realizes new approaches to farming are becoming essential. Traditional customs have been set aside while the use of excessive chemicals is putting crop harvests at risk. Changing patterns within the world's climate demand urgent action. Carol's quest takes her south through Spain, Morocco, Algeria, ...

Death's dark abyss

Massimo Carlotto ; translated from the Italian by Lawrence Venuti.


"A narrative voice that is cold, heartless, but, in a creepy way, fascinating."- The New York Times  A riveting drama of guilt, revenge, and justice, Massimo Carlotto's Death's Dark Abyss tells the story of two men and the savage crime that binds them. During a robbery, Raffaello Beggiato takes a young woman and her child hostage and later murders them. Beggiato is arrested, tried, and sentenced to life. The victims' father and husband, Silv...

Sleeping arrangements

Madeleine Wickham.

Chick Lit, Romance

The "New York Times"-bestselling author of "Cocktails for Three" and the author of the internationally bestselling Sophie Kinsella novels delivers a fabulous story of two families united by secrets and surprises.

The good earth

Pearl S. Buck ; supplementary material written by Stephanie Reents ; series edited by Cynthia Brantley Johnson.

Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

ENDURING LITERATURE ILLUMINATED BY PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIP - A poignant tale about the life and labors of a Chinese farmer during the sweeping reign of the country¹s last emperor.EACH ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES:• A concise introduction that gives readers important background information• A chronology of the author's life and work• A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context• An outlin...

Things fall apart

Chinua Achebe.

Multicultural Fiction, Literary Fiction

Achebe's first novel portrays the collision of African and European cultures in people's lives. Okonkwo, a great man in Igbo traditional society, cannot adapt to the profound changes brought about by British colonial rule. Yet, as in classic tragedy, Okonkwo's downfall results from his own character as well as from external forces.

Suite Francais

Irene Nemirovsky

Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, History

Starred Review. Celebrated in pre-WWII France for her bestselling fiction, the Jewish Russian-born Némirovsky was shipped to Auschwitz in the summer of 1942, months after this long-lost masterwork was composed. Némirovsky, a convert to Catholicism, began a planned five-novel cycle as Nazi forces overran northern France in 1940. This gripping "suite," collecting the first two unpolished but wondrously literary sections of a work cut ...

The food of love

Anthony Capella.

In the spirit of "Like Water for Chocolate" and "Chocolat," Capella's delicious first novel, tempts readers to devour it at one sitting and confirms that fine food and romance are a winning combination.

A thousand days in Venice : an unexpected romance

by Marlena de Blasi.


He saw her across the Piazza San Marco and fell in love from afar. When he sees her again in a Venice cafe a year later, he knows it is fate. He knows little English; and she, a divorced American chef, speaks only food-based Italian. Marlena thinks she is incapable of intimacy, that her heart has lost its capacity for romantic love. But within months of their first meeting, she has packed up her house in St. Louis to marry Fernando, "the stranger...