XX—A Novel, Graphic: Rian Hughes

Published by Picador “...the Signal might already have the ability to manipulate its environment in subtle ways. In minds, where it can be thought, an idea can finally find some kind of expression. It can influence the behaviour of the person who thinks it. It can inspire people to spread the idea. We become missionaries …

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The Night Circus: Eric Morgenstern

Published by Harvill Secker “The circus arrives without warning. “No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.” And just as suddenly as it appeared, it is gone. Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves, or the Circus of Dreams. …

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Ghost Stories: M.R. James

Published by Penguin and Oxford University Press “I was conscious of a most horrible smell of mould and of a cold kind of face pressed against my own...”The Treasure of Abbot Thomas M.R. James is one of the best—if not the best—ghost story writer in the English language. Born in 1862, he went on to …

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1Q84: Haruki Murakami

Translated from Japanese by Jay Rubin and Philip GabrielPublished by Vintage Prepare to walk into Haruki Murakami’s strange world. You can slip through the thin barrier between this world and an alternate one simply by taking an emergency exit off a highway or ghost-writing a particular book. Things are just a bit off in this …

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The Haunting of Hill House: Shirley Jackson

“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more.” This is our introduction …

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Piranesi: Susanna Clarke

“When the Moon rose in the Third Northern Hall I went to the Ninth Vestibule to witness the joining of the three Tides. This is something that happens once every eight years.” This is how the book begins. The narrator lives in a vast labyrinth of halls filled with statues. There is an ocean in …

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Black Panther, Red Wolf: Marlon James

 “The child is dead. There is nothing left to know.” This is how the book starts. It feels like a spoiler, because the crux of the story is that a man, known only as Tracker, has been paid to look for a boy. He isn’t sure who the boy really is—he gets a different story …

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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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The Sultanpur Chronicles—Shadowed City: Achala Upendran

Welcome to a world of magic, flying carpets and rakshasas[1]! Before I go any further, full disclosure: Achala Upendran is a friend. This is her first novel. Sultanpur is a vast empire, ranging from mountainous Firozia to the cities of Dastakar. It is home to humans, djinns and other beings. Peace has come after a …

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Frankenstein in Baghdad: Ahmed Sadaawi

Translated from Arabic by Jonathan Wright Ahmed Sadaawi takes the story of Frankenstein and transposes it to Baghdad in the early 2000s, in the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq. Bombs go off regularly on the streets and people die every day. But not all of them get a decent burial—bits of bodies lie …

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