Holiday Recommendations from Our Staff

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak, Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky

Doctor Zhivago—a novel almost everyone has heard of, and almost no one has read—as now transported into a lively and vital English version for the first time—is a revelation. Not the political critique the Soviet Union feared and the West hoped in the depths of Cold War madness, nor the cloying love story Hollywood concocted, this is a strikingly original novel that defies categorization. Poetic, enigmatic, stirring, despairing, thoughtful, thought provoking, sweet, acerbic, inimical to posturing and delusion, Doctor Zhivago will haunt and taunt you long after you’ve turned the last page. This fine translation makes it clear that Pasternak deserves a place beside Tolstoy and Dostoevsky in the firmament of great Russian writers. If there was ever such thing as a must-read novel, this is it. –Peter

 

The Sherlockian by Graham Moore
“The game’s afoot!” Two parallel narratives: one recounting Arthur Conan Doyle’s hunt for a serial killer in Victorian London, the other following a present day investigation into the murder of a renowned Doyle expert, entwine into a rollicking and fun adventure. Mr. Moore certainly knows his Holmes and crafts his story along the lines of a Baker Street investigation. This is certainly the perfect gift for any Holmes enthusiast or anyone who likes a good, smart murder mystery. “‘Excellent!’ I cried. ‘Elementary’ said he.” –Jamil

 

Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie (2010 Holiday Gazette)

Twelve-year-old Luka (younger brother of Haroun), along with his dog named Bear and his bear named Dog, must go on a quest in “the magic world” to save his storyteller father, who has fallen into a deep sleep. Luka is on a quest to steal “the fire of life” and save his father from certain death. As Luka makes his way in the magic world, he comes face-to-face with friendly and not-so-friendly mythical characters and creatures. This is an adventure story full of wonders and derring-do, told with Rushdie’s characteristic playfulness and wit. –Greg

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