What are the top book recommendations for 'poetic and sensual'?

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#1

The year is 1861. Hervé Joncour is a French merchant of silkworms, who combs the known world for their gemlike eggs. Then circumstances compel him to travel farther, beyond the edge of the known, to a country legendary for the quality of its silk and... View details

Stay like that, I want to look at you, I looked at you so much but you weren't for me, now you are mine, don't come near me, please, stay as you are, we have one night for us, and I want to look at yo...
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#2

One of the BBC's '100 Novels that Shaped the World'

Jean Rhys's spell-binding novel Wide Sargasso Sea, inspired by Jane Eyre and winner the Royal Society of Literature Award is beautifully repackaged as part of the Penguin Essentials range.

'There is... View details

They say when trouble come close ranks, and so the white people did. But we were not in their ranks. The Jamaican ladies had never approved of my mother, ‘because she pretty like pretty self’ Christop...
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#3

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE

A modern masterpiece that "reminds us of the power of truth in the face of evil" ( People )-and can be read on its own or as a sequel to Margaret Atwood's classic, The Handmaid's Tale . ... View details

You have asked me to tell you what it was like for me when I was growing up within Gilead. You say it will be helpful, and I do wish to be helpful. I imagine you expect nothing but horrors, but the re...
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#4

'One of the great writers of our times.' Sunday Telegraph

Querelle, a young sailor at large in the port of Brest, is an object of illicit desire to his diary-keeping superior officer, Lieutenant Seblon. He is coveted, too, by a corrupt policeman, Mar... View details

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#5

Angela Carter was a storytelling sorceress, the literary godmother of Neil Gaiman, David Mitchell, Audrey Niffenegger, J. K. Rowling, Kelly Link, and other contemporary masters of supernatural fiction. In her masterpiece, The Bloody Chamber-which inc... View details

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#6

A poignant meditation on the nature of desire, and the enduring power of love, Gabriel García Márquez's Love in the Time of Cholera is translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman in Penguin Modern Classics.

Florentino Ariza is a hopeless romantic w... View details

IT WAS INEVITABLE: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love. Dr. Juvenal Urbino noticed it as soon as he entered the still darkened house where he had hurried on ...
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#7

An acclaimed bestseller and international sensation, Patrick Suskind's classic novel provokes a terrifying examination of what happens when one man's indulgence in his greatest passion-his sense of smell-leads to murder.

In the slums of eighteenth-c... View details

In eighteenth-century France there lived a man who was one of the most gifted and abominable personages in an era that knew no lack of gifted and abominable personages. His story will be told here. Hi...
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#8

Rural Wisconsin, 1909. In the bitter cold, Ralph Truitt, a successful businessman, stands alone on a train platform waiting for the woman who answered his newspaper advertisement for "a reliable wife." But when Catherine Land steps off the train from... View details

IT WAS BITTER COLD, the air electric with all that had not happened yet. The world stood stock still, four o’clock dead on. Nothing moved anywhere, not a body, not a bird; for a split second there was...
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#9

The most beguilingly seductive novel to date from the author of The Passion and Sexing the Cherry. Winterson chronicles the consuming affair between the narrator, who is given neither name nor gender, and the beloved, a complex and confused married w... View details

The grapes have withered on the vine. What should be plump and firm, resisting the touch to give itself in the mouth, is spongy and blistered. Not this year the pleasure of rolling blue grapes between...
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#10

Diane Ackerman's lusciously written grand tour of the realm of the senses includes conversations with an iceberg in Antarctica and a professional nose in New York, along with dissertations on kisses and tattoos, sadistic cuisine and the music played ... View details

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