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The Appointment
The Appointment by Herta Müller (1980s)
Herta Muller places her book somewhere in the 70s or 80s in communist Romania,and her main character details her appointments with major Albu for interrogation after she places a note in a suit meant for Italy asking "Marry me" in an attempt to escape the regime. Most of the story takes place on a tram with first person narration and flashbacks. Very Kafkaese. -- Added by Lmclevine on 03/03/2014

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The Death of the Adversary
The Death of the Adversary by Hans Keilson (1940s)
This was written partially while the author was in hiding during World War Two, and really does have the immediacy of a person in the moment. The adversary of the book, B, can be read as a thinly veiled hitler or other nazi leader, and the narrator as a young man whose life has been destroyed by the aims of the war. It's an unusual book and quite surprising. -- Added by Lmclevine on 03/03/2014

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The Painted Veil
The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham (1920s)
This is an excellent book set in a British colony in China which deals with a young, unfaithful wife of a disillusioned bacteriologist, and how her sense of importance and entitlement brings destruction on them both. -- Added by Lmclevine on 02/26/2014

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The Goldfinch
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (2000s)
This is one of the best books I've come across in years. It has everything, the vagaries of chance, the love of culture, unintentional art theft, unrequited love and Russian mobsters. It pulls themes from its literary ancestors such as "The Idiot", and from the visual and musical world. The author's description of many scenes, such the atmosphere of an expectant football crowd or the rich detail of an antique restoration are beautifully conceived. Extraordinary book. -- Added by Lmclevine on 02/09/2014

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The Obituary Writer: A Novel
The Obituary Writer: A Novel by Ann Hood (1910s)
This novel covers the lives of two women from different eras, the 1910s and the 1960s, and how they handle grief and move past it. Some of the writing seems uneven, but the segments about the writers eleven year waiting period and postponed bereavement are quite good. -- Added by Lmclevine on 01/17/2014

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Speaking from Among the Bones
Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley (1950s)
An excellent Flavia DeLuce mystery, this series seems to getting better and more developed with each book. The eleven year old sleuth is both hilarious and a little alarming. Speaking from among the Bones is my favorite of the series, it truly befuddles the reader until the end. -- Added by Lmclevine on 01/17/2014

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