Deliver Us From Evil. David Baldacci. Pan Macmillan, 2010 (first published in the USA in 2010).
This book is a follow-up to The Whole Truth, a best-selling suspense novel. Six month after a very old man died and his past secrets were revealed, Shaw, the operative from The Whole Truth, witnesses the murder of a mysterious man. He escapes by a hair's breadth from an incident himself and, with a new partner, begins to realise that there has to be another organisation at work that rivals his own in secrecy. Journalist Katie James, who is working on a story of international importance, has meanwhile been smuggled, unconscious, to an undisclosed destination. Katie and Shaw re-unite against a secretive enemy and lead the reader around the world at breakneck pace.
The Mayor of Casterbridge. Thomas Hardy. Oxford World’s Classics. Reissued 2008.
The main hero of this classic novel of English literature, Michael Henchard, is an out-of-work hay-trusser who gets drunk at a local fair and impulsively sells his wife Susan and baby daughter. Eighteen years later Susan and her daughter seek him out, only to discover that he has become the most prominent man in Casterbridge. He attempts to make amends for his past misdeeds but his unchanged impulsiveness clouds both his relationships and his fortune in business. The life-story of a modern-day tragic hero has been successfully televised.
This edition is the only critically-established text of the novel, based on a comprehensive study of the manuscript and Hardy’s extensive revisions.
Infidel. My Life. Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Pocket Books Ltd, 2008.
In this memoir, the internationally renowned author of The Caged Virgin tells her life story, from her traditional Muslim childhood in Somalia to her intellectual awakening in the Netherlands, to her life under armed guard in the West.
Hirsi Ali, now a politician and champion of free speech, burst into international the headlines following the murder of Theo van Gogh by an Islamist who threatened she would be the next. Hirsi Ali was raised in a strict Muslim family, survived civil war, female circumcision, brutal beatings, adolescence as a devout believer, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, and life in four countries under dictatorships. She escaped from a forced marriage and sought asylum in the Netherlands where she has fought for the rights of Muslim women and the reform of Islam. Under constant threat, she refuses to be silenced.
Concise Oxford English Dictionary; 11th Edition, revised 2008. Oxford Dictionaries.
Its excellent coverage of essential English vocabulary and clear, accessible style make this revised edition of the Compact Oxford English Dictionary of current English ideal for general everyday use. Usage notes on tricky aspects of English help distinguish between commonly confused words, as well as giving advice on grammar. The Effective English section in the centre of the dictionary is packed with advice on how to use English in a variety of situations, such as writing CVs or letters of complaint.
This revised edition has been completely redesigned and now contains even more practical help with correspondence.
The Finkler Question. Howard Jacobson. Bloomsbury, 2010.
The Finkler Question won the Man Booker Prize for 2010. Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular BBC worker, and Sam Finkler, a Jewish philosopher, writer and television personality, are old school friends. They've never quite lost touch with each other - or with their former teacher, Libor Sevick, a Czechoslovakian always more concerned with the wider world than with exam results. Now they dine at Libor's central London apartment. It's a sweetly painful evening of reminiscence in which all three remove themselves to a time before they had loved and lost; a time before they had fathered children, before they had prized anything greatly enough to fear the loss of it. And it's that very evening that Treslove is attacked. After this, his whole sense of who and what he is will slowly and ineluctably change.
This column is a selection by The Slovak Spectator of English-language books recently released in Slovakia; it does not represent an endorsement of any of the books selected. The column is prepared in cooperation with the Oxford Bookshop Bratislava, located at Laurinská 9.
18. Apr 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff