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Non-Linear Books

Non-Linear Books

By List Challenges

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About the list

Friendspire made this based on a list by List Challenges on 7 April 2021.

Reading is one of those hobbies that tends to stay with you for life. Sure, we might start reading children's books like Clifford The Big Red Dog, but as we get older, so too do the novels we read. It starts with a easy book, then it progresses to young adult novels, biographies, and classics. Reading takes us out of our everyday lives and stresses, and
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Sudden Death

2016 | Alvaro Enrigue

"Splendid" --New York Times "[A] novel without boundaries." --O, the Oprah Magazine "Mind-bending." --Wall Street Journal A daring, kaleidoscopic novel about the clash of empires and ideas, told through a tennis match in the sixteenth century between the radical Italian artist Caravaggio and the Spanish poet Francisco de Quevedo, played with a ball made from the hair of the beheaded Anne Boleyn. The poet and the painter battle it out in Rome before a crowd that includes Galileo, Mary Magdalene, and a generation of popes who would throw the world into flames. In England, Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII execute Anne Boleyn, and her crafty executioner transforms her legendary locks into those most-sought-after tennis balls. Across the ocean in Mexico, the last Aztec emperors play their own games, as the conquistador Hernán Cortés and his Mayan translator and lover, La Malinche, scheme and conquer, fight and f**k, not knowing that their domestic comedy will change the course of history. In a remote Mexican colony a bishop reads Thomas More's Utopia and thinks that it's a manual instead of a parody. And in today's New York City, a man searches for answers to impossible questions, for a book that is both an archive and an oracle. Álvaro Enrigue's mind-bending story features assassinations and executions, hallucinogenic mushrooms, bawdy criminals, carnal liaisons and papal schemes, artistic and religious revolutions, love and war. A blazingly original voice and a postmodern visionary, Enrigue tells the grand adventure of the dawn of the modern era, breaking down traditions and upending expectations, in this bold, powerful gut-punch of a novel. Game, set, match. "Sudden Death is the best kind of puzzle, its elements so esoteric and wildly funny that readers will race through the book, wondering how Álvaro Enrigue will be able to pull a novel out of such an astonishing ball of string. But Enrigue absolutely does; and with brilliance and clarity and emotional warmth all the more powerful for its surreptitiousness." --Lauren Groff, New York Times-bestselling author of Fates and Furies "Engrossing... rich with Latin and European history." --The New Yorker "[A] bawdy, often profane, sprawling, ambitious book that is as engaging as it is challenging." --Vogue

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All the Light We Cannot See

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2014 | Anthony Doerr

Rated by 104 people

*Winner of the Pulitzer Prize* A New York Times Book Review Top Ten Book* A National Book Award finalist * From Anthony Doerr, the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning author of Cloud Cuckoo Land, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel. In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge. Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).

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The God of Small Things

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1997 | Arundhati Roy

Rated by 12 people

"They all crossed into forbidden territory. They all tampered with the laws that lay down who should be loved and how. And how much. " The year is 1969. In the state of Kerala, on the southernmost tip of India, a skyblue Plymouth with chrome tailfins is stranded on the highway amid a Marxist workers' demonstration. Inside the car sit two-egg twins Rahel and Esthappen, and so begins their tale. . . . Armed only with the invincible innocence of children, they fashion a childhood for themselves in the shade of the wreck that is their family--their lonely, lovely mother, Ammu (who loves by night the man her children love by day), their blind grandmother, Mammachi (who plays Handel on her violin), their beloved uncle Chacko (Rhodes scholar, pickle baron, radical Marxist, bottom-pincher), their enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grandaunt), and the ghost of an imperial entomologist's moth (with unusually dense dorsal tufts). When their English cousin, Sophie Mol, and her mother, Margaret Kochamma, arrive on a Christmas visit, Esthappen and Rahel learn that Things Can Change in a Day. That lives can twist into new, ugly shapes, even cease forever, beside their river "graygreen."  With fish in it. With the sky and trees in it. And at night, the broken yellow moon in it. The brilliantly plotted story uncoils with an agonizing sense of foreboding and inevitability. Yet nothing prepares you for what lies at the heart of it. The God of Small Things takes on the Big Themes--Love. Madness. Hope. Infinite Joy. Here is a writer who dares to break the rules. To dislocate received rhythms and create the language she requires, a language that is at once classical and unprecedented. Arundhati Roy has given us a book that is anchored to anguish, but fueled by wit and magic.

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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

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2017 | Arundhati Roy

Rated by 3 people

2017 Man Booker Prize Longlist 2018 Women's Prize for Fiction Longlist The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is a dazzling new novel by the internationally celebrated author of The God of Small Things. It takes us on an intimate journey of many years across the Indian subcontinent—from the cramped neighborhoods of Old Dehli and the roads of the new city to the mountains and valleys of Kashmir and beyond, where war is peace and peace is war.       It is an aching love story and a decisive remonstration, a story told in a whisper, in a shout, through unsentimental tears and sometimes with a bitter laugh. Each of its characters is indelibly, tenderly rendered. Its heroes are people who have been broken by the world they live in and then rescued, patched together by acts of love—and by hope.       The tale begins with Anjum—who used to be Aftab—unrolling a threadbare Persian carpet in a city graveyard she calls home. We encounter the odd, unforgettable Tilo and the men who loved her—including Musa, sweetheart and ex-sweetheart, lover and ex-lover; their fates are as entwined as their arms used to be and always will be. We meet Tilo's landlord, a former suitor, now an intelligence officer posted to Kabul. And then we meet the two Miss Jebeens: the first a child born in Srinagar and buried in its overcrowded Martyrs' Graveyard; the second found at midnight, abandoned on a concrete sidewalk in the heart of New Delhi.       As this ravishing, deeply humane novel braids these richly complex lives together, it reinvents what a novel can do and can be. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness demonstrates on every page the miracle of Arundhati Roy's storytelling gifts.

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Recursion

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2019 | Blake Crouch

Rated by 44 people

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - From the bestselling author of Dark Matter and the Wayward Pines trilogy comes a relentless thriller about time, identity, and memory--his most mind-boggling, irresistible work to date, and the inspiration for Shondaland's upcoming Netflix film. "Gloriously twisting . . . a heady campfire tale of a novel."--The New York Times Book Review NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Time - NPR - BookRiot Reality is broken. At first, it looks like a disease. An epidemic that spreads through no known means, driving its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. But the force that's sweeping the world is no pathogen. It's just the first shock wave, unleashed by a stunning discovery--and what's in jeopardy is not our minds but the very fabric of time itself. In New York City, Detective Barry Sutton is closing in on the truth--and in a remote laboratory, neuroscientist Helena Smith is unaware that she alone holds the key to this mystery . . . and the tools for fighting back. Together, Barry and Helena will have to confront their enemy--before they, and the world, are trapped in a loop of ever-growing chaos. Praise for Recursion "An action-packed, brilliantly unique ride that had me up late and shirking responsibilities until I had devoured the last page . . . a fantastic read."--Andy Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian "Another profound science-fiction thriller. Crouch masterfully blends science and intrigue into the experience of what it means to be deeply human."--Newsweek "Definitely not one to forget when you're packing for vacation . . . [Crouch] breathes fresh life into matters with a mix of heart, intelligence, and philosophical musings."--Entertainment Weekly "A trippy journey down memory lane . . . [Crouch's] intelligence is an able match for the challenge he's set of overcoming the structure of time itself."--Time "Wildly entertaining . . . another winning novel from an author at the top of his game."--AV Club

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