The Haunting of Hill House - by Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill House - by Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson is a fictional thriller that follows Eleanor Vance, a thirty two year old woman ruinously navigating some major life changes (though her life to this point has been unusually depressing), as she is gradually permeated by the malicious assemblage of a house believed by some to be “haunted”. Invited to the house by Dr. John Montague because of her interactions with a poltergeist in her childhood (and her resilience to it), Eleanor explores the vertigo-inducing estate with a small cast of characters as her sanity is slowly and inconspicuously eroded.

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The Immortalists - by Chloe Benjamin

The Immortalists - by Chloe Benjamin

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin is a fictional novel that follows the lives of four siblings spanning multiple decades as they move around the United States and cope with the burden of knowing exactly the dates when they will die. The dates were foretold to them individually as children by a gypsy woman in New York and the knowledge and belief in her predictions continuously guides their decisions into adulthood. The question then becomes, did the gypsy really prophesize their deaths or did their deaths come about on those dates because they believed in her predictions and subconsciously engineered the events to come true?

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Time Travel: A History - by James Gleick

Time Travel: A History - by James Gleick

Time Travel: A History by James Gleick is a nonfictional account of the development of literature and culture around the concept of Time Travel. Gleick lays out a comprehensive network of ideas strung together by poets, philosophers and physicists starting with The Time Traveller by H.G. Wells, which seems to have been the first written account of the concept. If you think this sounds like dry reading, you would be wrong.

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Fifteen Dogs - by Andre Alexis

Fifteen Dogs - by Andre Alexis

Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis is a fictional novel that uses a modernized mixture of Greek mythological figures and Canadian society to spin a sort of allegory to explore the nature of human consciousness. The novel follows the lives of fifteen dogs who have been granted human consciousness and language for one year by the gods Hermes and Apollo on a drunken wager. The wager is found to be an ambiguous one: will the dogs be as unhappy as humans are?

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Sharp Objects - by Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects - by Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn is a dramatic fictional novel that follows the protagonist, Camille Preaker, a newspaper journalist, as she reintroduces herself to the town of her tumultuous childhood to report on the murders of two young girls. American Civil War history, small-town politics, family dynamics, and psychological trauma are woven into a storyline that is unpredictable to the end.

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By Chance Alone - by Max Eisen

By Chance Alone - by Max Eisen

By Chance Alone is a personal memoir by Max Eisen that tells his story of growing up in a modest and happy Jewish community in Czechoslovakia, but then his home and belongings are taken away and they are taken to the concentration camps in Auschwitz. Systematically and without conscience his family is separated and killed by the Nazis, and finally his humanity eroded until he is left with just his bones and skin, which also became degraded and diseased. Each sentence in this book is carefully crafted and placed with the gravity of a lifetime in each word.

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The Architects are Here - by Michael Winter

The Architects are Here - by Michael Winter

Unlike the times that I have been to Newfoundland, you can actually inderstand what people are saying to each other in this book. Whether it's having a time zone that is off by half an hour, or weather that never makes up its mind, there are many reasons that Newfoundland makes for an interesting backdrop. Though, I do understand why the characters in this book make a habit of consistently leaving the island.

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Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World - by Haruki Murakami

Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World - by Haruki Murakami

Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami is a surrealist, fictional stroll through the ideas of consciousness and reality. There are two main plots that follow the same protagonist – who isn’t named – along alternate phases of his existence, or consciousness. Bizarre, dream-like scenes are criss-crossed by unexpected items such as Librarians and Unicorns.

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essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less - by Greg McKeown

essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less - by Greg McKeown

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less is a nonfiction, self-help book that takes goal/objective related decision-making processes from the business world to everyday life. McKeown breaks down concepts for eliminating trivial decisions into four main steps that all conveniently begin with the letter “E”.

In this book, McKeown lays out a framework for proactively exercising Essentialism (like Minimalism?) as a continuous and mindful lifestyle. He presents the idea of being as careful and thrifty with our time as we would be with our money. No doubt, our time is more valuable than money and we all have an equal amount each day.

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