'Rabbit at Rest' by John Updike

Standing amid the tan, excited post-Christmas crowd at the Southwest Florida Reginal Airport, Rabbit Angstrom has a funny feeling that what he has come to meet, what's floating in unseen about to land, is not his son Nelson and daughter-in-law Pru and their two children, but something more ominous and intimately his: his own death shaped vaguely like an airplane.

'Everyman' by Philip Roth

Around the grave inthe rundown cemetery were a few of his  former advertising colleagues from New York, who recalled his energy and originality and told his daughter, Nancy, what a pleasure it had been to work with him.

'Provinces of Night' by Wiliam Gay

The dozer took the first cut out of the claybank below Hixson's old place promptly at seven o'clock and by nine the sun was well up in an absolutely cloudless sky and it hung over the ragged earth like a malediction.

'The Goldfinch' by Donna Tartt

While I was still in Amsterdam, I dreamed about my mother for the first time in years. I'd been shut up in my hotel for more than a week, afraid to telephone anybody or go out; and my heart scrambled and floundered at even the most innocent noises: elevator bell, rattle of the minibar cart, even church clocks tolling the hour.