4 Books to read January 2020

http://www.youtube.com (Şebnem İşigüzel)

1.”The abode of tears” (by Şebnem İşigüzel) – is a novel by Turkish author Şebnem İşigüzel. The background is interwoven with historical events. This is a novel about love, understanding and compassion. This is also the story of the fatal consequences that life’s mistakes bring with them. The plot of the novel is set at the time of the weakening of the Ottoman Empire. With the impressive main character and the story of her destiny, it can be read as a parallel to the present time.


Istanbul 1876 Sultan Abdul Hamid ascends the throne. The mother sends her 17-year-old daughter to Bujukad, one of the Princes’ Islands in Istanbul, to secretly give birth to an illegitimate child and thus save the family’s reputation. The mansion, which the mother names “The abode of tears” for a young girl, could become a prison. However, soon after her arrival, she meets a self-denying young man who is exiled like her because of his political views. In the background interwoven with historical events, The abode of tears is a novel about love, understanding and compassion, but also the fatal consequences that life’s mistakes bring with them. Although set at a time of weakening Ottoman Empire, the novel with a striking protagonist and a story of her fate can also be read as a parallel to the present time.

Şebnem İşigüzel was born in 1973. Her first book, Hanene ay dogacak (The Future Looks Bright), won the prestigious Yunus Nadi Literature Award for published collections of short stories in 1993. She has gone on to write eight novels and two more short story collections. The Girl in the Tree, published in Turkey in 2016, is her first novel to be translated into English.


2.”The Lying Life of Adults” (by Elena Ferrante) – the novel aroused great interest. As expected, it captures the attention of the readership.

A powrful new novel set in a divided Naples. “There’s no doubt [the publication of The Lying Life of Adults] will be the literary event of the year.”—Elle Magazine 

Giovanna’s pretty face is changing, turning ugly, at least so her father thinks. Giovanna, he says, looks more like her Aunt Vittoria every day. But can it be true? Is she really changing? Is she turning into her Aunt Vittoria, a woman she hardly knows but whom her mother and father clearly despise? Surely there is a mirror somewhere in which she can see herself as she truly is.Giovanna is searching for her reflection in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves from one to the other in search of the truth, but neither city seems to offer answers or escape.Named one of 2016’s most influential people by TIME Magazine and frequently touted as a future Nobel Prize-winner, Elena Ferrante has become one of the world’s most read and beloved writers. With this new novel about the transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, Ferrante proves once again that she deserves her many accolades. In The Lying Life of Adults, readers will discover another gripping, highly addictive, and totally unforgettable Neapolitan story.

3.”Zuleykha opens her eyes” (by Guzel Jakhina) – is a novel by Russian writer Guzel Jakhina. The story follows the fate of the title heroine and her maturation in Siberia. It is based on real events.

Guzel Yakhina’s debut novel Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes is an enjoyable and smooth novel, unpretentious mainstream historical fiction that covers a lot of cultural, ethnic, religious, and sociopolitical issues.

The novel begins in 1930 in a Tatar village, from which a kulak woman Zuleikha is quickly sent into exile after her husband is murdered by communists. Zuleikha’s own life — after seeing her husband killed, after a horrendous train trip to a spot on the Angara River where her group of exiles will settle, and after a difficult first winter that kills many — settles into a new routine with characters nothing like her village neighbors. The characters are many but distinct, and they include a rather dotty doctor, an artist who paints on the sly, and urbane city dwellers who remember past European travels, as well as Ignatov, Zuleikha’s husband’s killer. Ignatov is persuaded to remain in the settlement, as its commandant, and he stays because of his own political issues back in Kazan. Most important, there is Zuleikha’s son Yuzuf, born in the settlement, who develops an interest for art and learns to paint.

Yakhina’s writing is simple, albeit sprinkled with Tatar words (there’s a glossary). Yakhina herself has said that the novel is about how Zuleikha wakes up, opens her eyes to the world, and finds happiness, albeit a bitter one. Another is, again, Yakhina’s ability to use a simple structure and language to tell her story, all as she plants details that will have meaning later in the book.

Guzel Yakhina´s novel hits directly in the heart. It’s a powerful praise for love and tenderness in hell.

Ludmila Ulitskaya

There’s something that Guzel Yakhina succeeded to transmit with an amazing, sharp exactness: women’s attitude towards love. Not towards a subject of love, but towards love itself.

Anna Narinskaya, literary critic

Columba palumbus

TV Mini Series (2020).

A screen version of the best-selling novel by Guzel Yakhina. The year is 1930. In a small Tartar village, a woman named Zuleikha watches as her husband is murdered by communists. Zuleikha herself is sent into exile, enduring a horrendous train journey to a remote spot on the Angara River in Siberia. Conditions in the camp are tough, and many of her group do not survive the first difficult winter. As she gradually settles into a routine, Zuleikha starts to get to know her companions. The eclectic group includes a rather dotty doctor, an artist who paints on the sly, and Ignatov, Zuleikha’s husband’s killer.

4. „The Silent Patient“ (by Alex Michaelides)- is the bestseller from The New York Times.


“An unforgettable―and Hollywood-bound―new thriller… A mix of Hitchcockian suspense, Agatha Christie plotting, and Greek tragedy.”
Entertainment Weekly

The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband―and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive.

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations―a search for the truth that threatens to consume him.

4.„City of Girls“ (by Elizabeth Gilbert)-is the newest novel from Elizabeth Gilbert. AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

From the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and The Signature of All Things, a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don’t have to be a good girl to be a good person.

“A spellbinding novel about love, freedom, and finding your own happiness.” – PopSugar

“Intimate and richly sensual, razzle-dazzle with a hint of danger.” –USA Today

“Pairs well with a cocktail…or two.” –TheSkimm

“Life is both fleeting and dangerous, and there is no point in denying yourself pleasure, or being anything other than what you are.”
Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love.

In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves – and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest.Now eighty-nine years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life – and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it. “At some point in a woman’s life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time,” she muses. “After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is.” Written with a powerful wisdom about human desire and connection, City of Girls is a love story like no other.





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