Survey at the bottom.
Dona Barbara by Romulo Gallegos
Rómulo Gallegos is best known for being Venezuela’s first democratically elected president. But in his native land he is equally famous as a writer responsible for one of Venezuela’s literary treasures, the novel Doña Barbara. Published in 1929 and all but forgotten by Anglophone readers, Doña Barbara is one of the first examples of magical realism, laying the groundwork for later authors such as Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa.
Following the epic struggle between two cousins for an estate in Venezuela, Doña Barbara is an examination of the conflict between town and country, violence and intellect, male and female. Doña Barbara is a beautiful and mysterious woman—rumored to be a witch—with a ferocious power over men. When her cousin Santos Luzardo returns to the plains in order to reclaim his land and cattle, he reluctantly faces off against Doña Barbara, and their battle becomes simultaneously one of violence and seduction. All of the action is set against the stunning backdrop of the Venezuelan prairie, described in loving detail. Gallegos’s plains are filled with dangerous ranchers, intrepid cowboys, and damsels in distress, all broadly and vividly drawn. A masterful novel with an important role in the inception of magical realism, Doña Barbara is a suspenseful tale that blends fantasy, adventure, and romance.
The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars by Dava Sobel
In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or “human computers,” to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. At the outset this group included the wives, sisters, and daughters of the resident astronomers, but soon the female corps included graduates of the new women's colleges—Vassar, Wellesley, and Smith. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the ladies turned from computation to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates.
The “glass universe” of half a million plates that Harvard amassed over the ensuing decades—through the generous support of Mrs. Anna Palmer Draper, the widow of a pioneer in stellar photography—enabled the women to make extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim. They helped discern what stars were made of, divided the stars into meaningful categories for further research, and found a way to measure distances across space by starlight. Their ranks included Williamina Fleming, a Scottish woman originally hired as a maid who went on to identify ten novae and more than three hundred variable stars; Annie Jump Cannon, who designed a stellar classification system that was adopted by astronomers the world over and is still in use; and Dr. Cecilia Helena Payne, who in 1956 became the first ever woman professor of astronomy at Harvard—and Harvard’s first female department chair.
Elegantly written and enriched by excerpts from letters, diaries, and memoirs, The Glass Universe is the hidden history of the women whose contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe.
The Miracles of the Namiya General Store by Keigo Higashino
When three delinquents hole up in an abandoned general store after their most recent robbery, to their great surprise, a letter drops through the mail slot in the store's shutter. This seemingly simple request for advice sets the trio on a journey of discovery as, over the course of a single night, they step into the role of the kindhearted former shopkeeper who devoted his waning years to offering thoughtful counsel to his correspondents. Through the lens of time, they share insight with those seeking guidance, and by morning, none of their lives will ever be the same
Discovering Scarfolk by Richard Littler
"Scarfolk is a town in north-west England that did not progress beyond 1979. The entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum. In Scarfolk children must not be seen OR heard, and everyone has to be in bed by 8 p.m. because they are perpetually running a slight fever..."
Part-comedy, part-horror, part-satire, Discovering Scarfolk is the surreal account of a family trapped in the town. Through public information posters, news reports, books, tourist brochures and other ephermera, we learn about the darker side of childhood, school and society in Scarfolk.
A massive cult hit online, Scarfolk re-creates with shiver-inducing accuracy and humour our most nightmarish childhood memories.
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE RE-READ.
Midnight Sun - Stephenie Meyer
Because it's always a good idea to hear how an abuser feels about the things they did. I mean, what if Edward Cullen feels like HE was the one wronged??
"I don’t know how everyone else is coping, but right now books are my main solace and happiest escape. Personally, I would be nothing but delighted if one of my favorite authors announced something new for me to read. (No pressure, Laini Taylor.) So, I hope this announcement gave you some pleasure and something fun to look forward to."
The City We Became - N.K. Jemisin
URBAN FANTASY (!!!!!)
The Neighborhood by Mario Vargas Llosa
When a high-profile businessman is blackmailed by a notorious magazine editor, his comfortable life is threatened by the salacious exposé. While attempting to field the scandal, the businessman's wife, seeking comfort, begins a secret affair with the wife of his best friend. Then the editor is found murdered, and the two couples have no choice but to descend into the murkiest depths of Peruvian society, while the magazine's staff embarks on its greatest revelation yet . .