Top 10 books to read in 2021
Books are one of the greatest legacies of humanity
American writer, famous for the dystopia "Fahrenheit 451", the series of short stories "The Martian Chronicles" and the partially autobiographical novel "Dandelion Wine". Bradbury created more than eight hundred literary works, including several novels and novellas, hundreds of short stories, dozens of plays, a number of articles, notes and poems.
Gnomon Bullyville. This is a world in which everyone is watched. This is a world in which democracy has achieved absolute transparency. Every action is recorded, every word is recorded, and the System has access to the thoughts and memories of its citizens - all in the name of the safest society in history. Diana Hunter is a dissident living outside the network in a society where the network is everything. And when she is detained on suspicion of terrorism, Hunter dies during interrogation. But in this world, people do not die of someone else's will, the System does not make mistakes, and there is something incomprehensible in the reports of Hunter's death ...
Gone by Lisa Gardner. When eighth grader Bart Rangely is granted a "mercy" scholarship to an elite private school after his father is killed in the North Tower, doors should have opened. Instead, he is terrorized and bullied by his own mentor. So begins the worst year of his life.
Gone by Lisa Gardner
Flights by Olga Tokarchuk. A terrifying woman-in-jeopardy plot propels Gardner's latest thriller, in which child advocate and PI Lorraine "Rainie" Conner's fate hangs in the balance. Rainie, a recovering alcoholic with a painful past (who previously appeared in Gardner's The Third Victim, The Next Accident and The Killing Hour) is kidnapped from her parked car one night in coastal Oregon. The key players converge on the town of Bakersville to solve the mystery of her disappearance: Rainie's husband, Quincy, a semiretired FBI profiler whose anguish over Rainie undercuts his high-level experience with kidnappers; Quincy's daughter, Kimberley, a rising star in the FBI who flies in from Atlanta; Oregon State Police Sgt. Det. Carlton Kincaid; local sheriff Shelly Atkins; and abrasive federal agent Candi Rodriguez, who specializes in hostage negotiation. Gardner suspensefully intercuts the complicated maneuvering of this bickering team with graphic scenes of Rainie bravely struggling with her violent, sadistic captor.
Flights by Olga Tokarchuk
Circus by Claire Battershill. Flights is a series of imaginative and mesmerising meditations on travel in all its forms, not only the philosophy and meaning of travel, but also fascinating anecdotes that take us out of ourselves, and back to ourselves. Olga Tokarczuk brilliantly connects travel with spellbinding anecdotes about anatomy, about life and death, about the very nature of humankind. Thrilling characters and stories abound: the Russian sect who escape the devil by remaining constantly in motion; the anatomist Verheyen who writes letters to his amputated leg; the story of Chopin’s heart as it makes its journey from Paris to Warsaw, stored in a tightly sealed jar beneath his sister’s skirt; the quest of a Polish woman who emigrated to New Zealand as a teen but must now return in order to poison her terminally ill high-school sweetheart…
You will never read anything like this extraordinary, utterly original, mind-expanding book. Many consider Tokarczuk to be the most important Polish writer of her generation and Flights is one of those rare books that seems to conjure life itself out of the air. Olga Tokarczuk is one of Poland’s best and most beloved authors. In 2015 she received the Brueckepreis and the prestigious annual literary award from Poland’s Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, as well as Poland’s highest literary honor, the Nike, and the Nike Readers’ Prize. Tokarczuk also received a Nike in 2009 for Flights. She is the author of eight novels and two short story collections, and has been translated into a dozen languages. Jennifer Croft is the recipient of Fulbright, PEN, MacDowell and National Endowment for the Arts grants and fellowships, as well as the Michael Henry Heim Prize for Translation. She holds a PhD from Northwestern University and an MFA from the University of Iowa.
Circus by Claire Battershill
Autofac by Philip Kindred Dick. A dazzling collection of award-winning stories with the emotional punch, sharp wit, and disarming charm of Rebecca Lee, Karen Russell, Neil Smith, and Jessica Grant. Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls! Step right up and prepare to be dazzled by this delightful debut from Claire Battershill, winner of the CBC Literary Award, co-winner of the Canadian Authors Association's Emerging Writer Award, and finalist for the inaugural PEN International/New Voices Award. As they transport us from a crowded airport departure lounge to the stillness of the British Museum, and from the spectacle of the Winter Olympics to the modesty of a local Miniatureland, these radiant stories explore the often surprising things we're willing to do for love and human connection.
Autofac by Philip Kindred Dick
Tension hung over the three waiting men. They smoked, paced back and forth, kicked aimlessly at weeds growing by the side of the road. A hot noonday sun glared down on brown fields, rows of neat plastic houses, the distant line of mountains to the west.
"Almost time," Earl Ferine said, knotting his skinny hands together. "It varies according to the load, a half second for every additional pound."
Bitterly, Morrison answered, "You've got it plotted? You're as bad as it is. Let's pretend it just happens to be late."
The third man said nothing. O'Neill was visiting from another settlement; he didn't know Ferine and Morrison well enough to argue with them. Instead, he crouched down and arranged the papers clipped to his aluminum check-board. In the blazing sun, O'Neill's arms were tanned, furry, glistening with sweat. Wiry, with tangled gray hair, horn-rimmed glasses, he was older than the other two. He wore slacks, a sports shirt and crepe-soled shoes. Between his fingers, his fountain pen glittered, metallic and efficient.
Skeleton by Ray Bradbury
It was past time for him to see the doctor again. Mr. Harris turned palely in at the stair well, and on his way up the flight saw Dr. Burleigh's name gilded over a pointing arrow. Would Dr. Burleigh sigh when he walked in? After all, this would make the tenth trip so far this year. But Burleigh shouldn't complain; he was paid for the examinations!
The nurse looked Mr. Harris over and smiled, a bit amusedly, as she tiptoed to the glazed glass door, opened it, and put her head in. Harris thought he heard her say, «Guess who's here, Doctor.» And didn't the doctor's voice reply, faintly, «Oh, my God, _again?_» Harris swallowed uneasily.
Sucker Bet by James Swain
The Human Edge by Gordon Dickson. A hardened ex-cop, Tony Valentine now nabs hustlers who rob casinos, and the Micanopy Indian Reservation Casino in South Florida desperately needs his expertise. A blackjack dealer has rigged a game, dealt a player eighty-four winning hands in a row, and then disappeared.But the missing dealer is part of an even bigger, far deadlier scheme. Valentines trail leads him to Rico Blanco, a ruthless gangster who once worked for John Gotti; his shady, elusive partner-in-crime, Victor Marks; and a bombshell named Candy Hart, a hooker with dreams of lovea combination tailor-made to double-cross. It appears they have a con going down involving a cocky, filthy-rich Brit and his millions of dollars. Valentines challenge: to figure out how all the pieces of the seamy puzzle fit together . . . before his luck runs out and his life goes bust.
The Human Edge by Gordon Dickson
Skylark by Dezho Kostolani. A master of science fiction examines what happens when powerful aliens meet puny humans—with results ranging from chilling to utterly hilarious. Getting along in the Universe can be tricky, but those monkey-boys and girls from Earth can get pretty feisty themselves when the situation calls for it. And if you bet on the side of the mighty alien armadas that have conquered half the galaxy, you might end up losing, as you've overlooked the winning human edge….
Skylark by Dezho Kostolani
. The set-up of Skylark is fairly well smathered in the book description and elsewhere that I won't be plot-spoiling to tell you that the eponymous character is an un-handsome daughter. We never learn her real name, just that nickname - Skylark - which her parents...