Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line: Deepa Anappara

When children start to go missing from a basti (slum) near Mumbai, three nine-year-olds from the basti decide to investigate. Jai watches crime shows on TV and fancies himself as Sherlock Holmes or Byomkesh Bakshi, a fictional Bengali detective. Pari is a bright girl, and although Jai designates her as his assistant, she tends to …

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Men without Women: Haruki Murakami

Translated from Japanese by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goosen “Here's what hurst the most," Kafuku said. "I didn't truly understand her—or at least some crucial part of her. And it may well end that way now that she's dead and gone. Like a small, locked safe lying at the bottom of the ocean. It hurts …

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The Shadow of the Wind: Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Translated from Spanish by Lucia Graves “This is a place of mystery, Daniel, a sanctuary. Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs …

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Girl, Woman, Other: Bernadine Evaristo

A gay artist, an adopted child, a transgender woman, a successful lawyer, an old woman finding she has more in common with her transgender granddaughter than with her straight children…these are just some of the voices you hear in Bernadine Evaristo’s book, which in narrated in turn by 12 British women of colour. Amma is …

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The Bickford Fuse: Andrey Kurkov

Translated from Russian by Boris Dralyuk This is a strange, dreamlike book. Four men are on journeys across the Soviet Union that make no sense, in a landscape where the laws of physics don’t seem to exist anymore. The journeys start sometime around the end of the Second World War and last for decades. The …

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The Heart’s Invisible Furies: John Boyne

The book begins in Ireland in the 1940s: The Catholic Church is all-powerful, and anything outside the norm is not only frowned upon but punished. For example, having a child outside marriage, as Catherine Goggin, a pregnant teenager in an Irish village finds out. She is exposed by the priest and banished from the village. …

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Celestial Objects: Jokha Alharthi

Translated from Arabic by Marilyn Booth Celestial Objects is a novel by Omani writer Jokha Alharthi that won the Man Booker International Prize in 2019. This makes it unusual—there aren’t a lot of books by Omani writers translated into English, and this is the first novel written originally in Arabic to win the prize. The …

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Good Omens: Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

This delightfully subversive look at the Apocalypse and everything that went before is one of my favourite books. Aziraphale, an angel, and Crowley, a demon, have been living on Earth since the beginning. Crowley, who starts out as the serpent in the Garden of Eden but has taken on human form, has “dark hair and …

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