The Book of Strange New Things
This story begins with Peter, a devoted man of faith, as he is called to the mission of a lifetime, one that takes him galaxies away from his wife, Bea. Peter becomes immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment, overseen by an enigmatic corporation known only as USIC. His work introduces him to a seemingly friendly population struggling with a dangerous illness and hungry for Peter’s teachings—his Bible is their “book of strange new things.” But Peter is rattled when Bea’s letters from home become increasingly desperate: typhoons and earthquakes are devastating whole countries, and governments are crumbling. Bea’s faith, once the guiding light of their lives, begins to falter.
Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful 13-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story and survive this homecoming.
The Night Circus
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences.
On June 6, 1944, 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy and suffered an astonishingly low rate of casualties. A stunning military accomplishment, it was also a masterpiece of trickery. Operation Fortitude, which protected and enabled the invasion, and the Double Cross system, which specialized in turning German spies into double agents, tricked the Nazis into believing that the Allied attacks would come in Calais and Norway rather than Normandy. It was the most sophisticated and successful deception operation ever carried out, ensuring Allied victory at the most pivotal point in the war. This epic event has never before been told from the perspective of the key individuals in the Double Cross system, until now.
Using a restricted FBI database, genetic researcher Jeanie Ferrami has located identical twins born to different mothers. Frightened by her bizarre discovery, she is determined to discover the truth at any cost—until she finds herself at the center of a scandal that could ruin her career. To fight the charges, Jeannie plunges into a maze of hidden evidence. With growing horror, she uncovers a cynical, far-reaching conspiracy involving disturbing genetic experiments and some of the most powerful men in America—men who will kill to keep their secrets concealed.
Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and lush wilds spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class. Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies, even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
The Kite Runner
Afghanistan, 1975: 12-year-old Amir is desperate to win the local kite-fighting tournament, and his loyal friend Hassan promises to help him. But neither of the boys can foresee what will happen to Hassan that afternoon, an event that will shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and his family is forced to flee to America, Amir realizes that one day he must return to Afghanistan under Taliban rule to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption.
We Were Liars
Generations of the Sinclair family are summering on their private island. As the adults drink, argue, and vie for the biggest chunk of the family fortune, Cadence, her two cousins, and close friend Gat experience drama on their own. A mysterious accident leaves Cadence in constant pain and confusion. Lost among her dysfunctional family, she falls hard for Gat and spends two years trying to piece together what happened that horrible summer. The ending is an amazing twist that will leave you with goosebumps.
The Bone Clocks
Following a terrible fight with her mother over her boyfriend, 15-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her family and her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: a sensitive child, Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family irrevocably scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly’s life, affecting all the people she loves—even the ones not yet born.
2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas
Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed 9-year-old and aspiring jazz singer. Still mourning the recent death of her mother, and caring for her grief-stricken father, Madeleine doggedly searches for Philadelphia’s legendary jazz club The Cat’s Pajamas, where she’s determined to make her on-stage debut. That same day, her fifth grade teacher Sarina Greene is nervously looking forward to a dinner party that will reunite her with an old high school crush. And across town at The Cat’s Pajamas, club owner Lorca discovers that his beloved haunt may have to close forever, unless someone can find a way to quickly raise the $30,000 that would save it. Together, Madeleine, Sarina, and Lorca will discover life’s endless possibilities over the course of one magical night—which, yes, means one sleepless night for you.
We know you’ve been there. It’s late at night, you have to get up early in the morning, you know you should put down your book and turn out the light but you Just. Can’t. Stop. Reading. It’s delicious torture, isn’t it? Books you can’t put down. Maybe it’s a thriller that keeps you turning the pages because you have to know what happens next. Or maybe it’s a book that creates an out-of-body experience and you don’t even notice the passage of time. You look at the clock and it’s 10 p.m., and the next time you raise your eyes from the page it’s well past midnight, and you tell yourself, “Just to the end of this chapter…” Here are a few books that kept us reading way past our bedtime.
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