Everything I Never Told You – An Excerpt

“When she’d kissed him, she had surprised herself. It had been such an impulse – the way she sometimes reached out to catch a stray leaf on the wind, or jumped a puddle on a rainy day – something done without thinking or resisting, something pointless and harmless. She had never done anything like that…

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Twilight in Delhi: An Excerpt

The cat had been thrown in the by-lane, and when Mir Nihal went out in the evening he saw that she was not dead after all. She had licked the water from the gutter and had come back to life. So does life inflict wounds on men, thought Mir Nihal, and looking grey for some…

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A Song of Achilles – An Excerpt

“I will go,” he said. “I will go to Troy.” The rosy gleam of his lip, the fevered green of his eyes. There was not a line anywhere on his face, nothing creased or graying; all crisp. He was spring, golden and bright. Envious death would drink his blood, and grow young again. He was…

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Writers remember everything…especially the hurts. Strip a writer to the buff, point to the scars, and he’ll tell you the story of each small one. From the big ones you get novels. A little talent is a nice thing to have if you want to be a writer, but the only real requirement is the…

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1984: An Excerpt

It struck him that in moments of crisis one is never fighting against an external enemy, but always against one’s own body… On the battlefield, in the torture chamber, on a sinking ship, the issues that you are fighting for are always forgotten, because the body swells up until it fills the universe, and even…

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The Book Thief: An Excerpt

“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race—that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the…

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The Master and Margarita: Excerpt

The tongue can conceal the truth, but the eyes never! You’re asked an unexpected question, you don’t even flinch, it takes just a second to get yourself under control, you know just what you have to say to hide the truth, and you speak very convincingly, and nothing in your face twitches to give you…

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A Room of One’s Own : An Excerpt

“It would have been extremely odd, even upon this showing, had one of them suddenly written the plays of Shakespeare, I concluded, and I thought of that old gentleman, who is dead now, but was a bishop, I think, who declared that it was impossible for any woman, past, present, or to come, to have…

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Serious Men – An Excerpt

‘I am sorry,’ Acharya said, ‘I could not see you last night.’ ‘There is some progress with the cryosampler,’ she said, and gave him a print-out of an email. And that was how she was in the days that followed. Something in her was dead. He could see it in her eyes. The way she…

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz – An Excerpt

Baretski begins to tease Lale about the note and how he must have lost his touch with the ladies. Lale ignores his teasing, asks him if he’s read any good books lately. ‘Books? I don’t read books,’ Baretski mutters. ‘You should.’ ‘Why? What good are books?’ ‘You can learn a lot from them, and girls…

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David Copperfield – An Excerpt

I don’t remember who was there, except Dora. I have not the least idea what we had for dinner, besides Dora. My impression is, that I dined off Dora, entirely, and sent away half-a-dozen plates untouched. I sat next to her. I talked to her. She had the most delightful little voice, the gayest little…

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The Last Mughal: An Excerpt

I have now divided my time between London and Delhi for over twenty years, and the Indian capital remains my favourite city. Above all it is the city’s relationship with its past which continues to intrigue me: of the great cities of the world, only Rome, Istanbul and Cairo can even begin to rival Delhi…

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A Man called Ove – An Excerpt

Ove was, well, Ove was Ove. Something the people around her also kept telling Sonja. He’d been a grumpy old man since he started elementary school, they insisted. And she could have someone so much better. Maybe he didn’t write her poems or serenade her with songs or come home with expensive gifts. But he…

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In Arabian Nights: An Excerpt

“People think I am a writer,’ he would say, ‘and when they think that they are missing the point. I write things down but the writing is just a tool. It’s nothing more than ink arranged over a surface of wood pulp. If they had real insight, they would see that I am really a…

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The Godfather: An Excerpt

“For the second time he saw Michael Corleone’s face freeze into a mask that resembled uncannily the Don’s. “Tom, don’t let anybody kid you. It’s all personal, every bit of business. Every piece of shit every man has to eat every day of his life is personal. They call it business. OK. But it’s personal…

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The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared: An Excerpt

You might think he could have made up his mind earlier, and been man enough to tell others of his decision. But Allan Karlsson had never been given to pondering things too long. So the idea had barely taken hold in the old man’s head before he opened the window of his room on the…

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Anna Karenina: An Excerpt

A footman stood opening the carriage door. The hall porter stood holding open the great door of the house. Anna Arkadyevna, with her quick little hand, was unfastening the lace of her sleeve, caught in the hook of her fur cloak, and with bent head listening to the words Vronsky murmured as he escorted her…

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Kohinoor: The History of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond: An Excerpt

On 16 May, after fifty-seven catastrophic days in Delhi, Nader Shah finally left the city, carrying with him the accumulated wealth of eight generations of imperial Mughal conquest. The greatest of all his winnings was the Peacock Throne, in which was still embedded both the Koh-i-Noor and the Timur Ruby. The loot was loaded on…

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Ham on Rye: An Excerpt

I read all the books by D. H. And they led to others. To H. D., the poetess. And Huxley, the youngest of the Huxleys, Lawrence’s friend. It all came rushing at me. One book led to the next. Dos Passos came along. Not too good, really, but good enough. His trilogy, about the U.S.A., took…

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Love among the Chickens: An Excerpt

The sight of the table, when at length we filed into the dining room, sent a chill through me. It was a meal for the very young or the very hungry. The uncompromising coldness and solidity of the viands was enough to appall a man conscious that his digestion needed humouring. A huge cheese faced…

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We Have Always Lived in the Castle – An Excerpt

I knew my way in the darkness or in the light. I thought once how good it was that I had straightened my hiding place and freshened it, so it would now be pleasant for Constance. I would cover her with leaves, like children in a story, and keep her safe and warm. Perhaps I…

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