The Thursday Murder Club: Richard Osman

If you’re looking for a light read with a bit of murder thrown in, then look no further. Richard Osman has written a delightful whodunit, set in an upscale retirement village in the UK. Septuagenarians Joyce, Elizabeth, Ibrahim and Ron live at Coopers Chase, a retirement village. They form the Thursday Murder Club. The club …

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Black Water Lilies: Michel Bussi

Translated from French by Shaun Whiteside Giverny: a beautiful, picturesque village in France, known for its most famous resident, the impressionist painter Claude Monet, who is famous for his paintings of water lilies. Artists and tourists flock to the village to see the beautiful gardens that Monet painted. But death appears in even the most …

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The Shadow King: Maaza Mengiste

“The newspapers say that the [Italian] soldiers marched to Axum and took the city without a single shot being fired. … They claim that…Adua was finally, proudly, taken by the Italians on 5 October 1935 and the tiny, nondescript village welcomed the invaders with bowed heads and ululations. “This is the way it has been …

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A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth: Daniel Mason

This is an intriguing collection of short stories, many of them set in the 1800s. A doctor finds himself blanking out regularly. The seizure is heralded by the smell of chestnuts. When he comes to, he finds that, instead of passing out, he had carried on with what he had been doing but with no …

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Tyll: Daniel Kehlmann

Translated from German by Ross Benjamin The jester or trickster is a ubiquitous figure, popping up in mythologies, literature, street theatre, and in playing cards and tarot. He (it’s almost always a man) is an entertainer, mentally and physically agile, and able to speak truth to power. He lives by his wits and is a …

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Please Look After Mom: Kyong-Sook Shin

Review by Susanne Karine Gjønnes South Korea has gone through an unprecedented journey from a developing country to one of the world's largest economies in only a few decades. This transformation has led to generations growing up and living completely different realities and lives. Please Look After Mom shows these disparities through vivid, emotional stories, …

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Rebecca: Daphne du Maurier

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” That one sentence is so evocative of this book, partly thanks to the 1940 Hitchcock film with Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier. There is something haunting about Rebecca—both the book and the title character. Rebecca is narrated by a young woman, whose name we never learn: …

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Wife of the Gods: Kwei Quartey

Set in Ghana, this is the first in a series featuring Detective Inspector Darko Dawson.  Gladys Mensah is found dead in the forest near Ketanu. Her body, seemingly untouched, is discovered by Efia, a trokosi or a “wife of the gods”. In reality, Efia is one of the wives of Togbe Adzima, the local priest. …

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Fly Already: Etgar Keret

Translated from Hebrew by Sondra Silverston, Nathan Englander, Jessica Cohen, Miriam Shlesinger and Yardenne Greenspan A child encourages a man to jump off the top of a building, believing that the man is a superhero and will fly. A man keeps the compacted wreck of a car in his living room. A goldfish comes down …

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