Meet Balram Halwai, the ‘White Tiger’: Servant, Philosopher, Entrepreneur, Murderer. Winner of the 2008 Man Booker Prize, this blazingly savage and brilliant novel shows us the underbelly of India.
Judith ALLNATT, The Moon Field 10 copies
1914 in the Cumbrian Fells. George Farrell is a young postman about to deliver a letter that will change his life. He has fallen for the beautiful Miss Violet at the Manor House and when she lets slip the contents of the letter George is heartbroken and flees, joining the patriotic rush to war.
Jenn ASHWORTH, Cold Light 18 copies
Teenage friendship, love and lust. Murder, betrayal and regret. Intense, dark and brooding, I like this gloomy, sinister and blackly funny book very much.
Like Ashworth’s previous books, a little bleak, a little disturbing. But also savagely funny, gripping and a fascinating insight to the inner lives of the Mormon Family.
Each anthology in the Staying Alive trilogy has 500 poems to touch the heart, stir the mind and fire the spirit. These books have been enormously popular with readers, especially as gift books and bedside companions. The poems -by writers from many parts of the world -have emotional power, intellectual edge and playful wit.
Summer at the Edinburgh Festival: and people queuing for a lunchtime show witness a road-rage incident - a near homicidal attack which changes the lives of everyone involved. Jackson Brodie is also an innocent bystander, until he becomes a murder suspect...
Linwood Barclay, critically acclaimed author of No Time for Goodbye, brings terror closer than ever before in a thriller where murder strikes in the place we feel safest of all. Promise Falls isn't the kind of community where a family is shot to death in their own home. But that is exactly what happened to the Langleys one sweltering summer night, and no one in this small upstate New York town is more shocked than their next-door neighbors, Jim and Ellen Cutter. They visited for the occasional barbecue and their son, Derek, was friends with the Langleys' boy, Adam; but how well did they really know their neighbours?
I wasn’t sure whether to put this in fiction or non-fiction as I couldn’t work out whether it was true or not, it is however a fantastic story of one very famous Arthur and an utterly obscure George who grown up worlds apart in late 19th-century Britain but who are brought together by a sequence of events, which made sensational headlines at the time as The Great Wyrley Outrages.
As a child, Robin Bayley was enchanted by his grandmother's stories of Mexican adventures: of bandits, wild jungle journeys, hidden bags of silver and a narrow escape from the bloody Mexican Revolution. But Robin sensed there was more to these stories than anyone knew, and so he set out to follow in the footsteps of his great-grandfather.
Maeve BINCHY, Full House 14 copies
Dee loves her children very much, but now they are all grown up shouldn’t they be leaving home?
No one is born deserving anything - you only deserve what you achieve by yourself. Drawing from this, John's philosophy is based on the idea that success is about deciding what you want, working out what is important to you and then going out to grab it. The beauty of this approach is that we can all achieve whatever we want; we just need to go after it.
Sarah BLAKE, The Postmistress 21 copies 1 LP
It is 1940, and bombs fall nightly on London.In the thick of the chaos is young American radio reporter Frankie Bard. She huddles close to terrified strangers in underground shelters, and later broadcasts stories about survivors in rubble-strewn streets. But for her listeners, the war is far from home
Stephen BOOTH, Blood on the Tongue 6 copies 1 e bk 1 CD 'The sun had dropped over the edge of Irontongue Hill so that the snow-covered moor was in shadow … but Marie Tennent would never see the dawn.'Marie's was not the only body lying undiscovered under the Peak District snow that January morning – nor the first. In 1945, the wreckage of a bomber was found on the Hill, full of dead crewmen. The missing pilot was declared responsible, but why would a decorated hero desert? The only other survivor refuses to talk. A young Canadian woman has arrived to uncover the truth – the pilot was her grandfather. DC Ben Cooper is intrigued. Perhaps he can help?
Stephen BOOTH, Dancing With the Virgins 6 copies 1 LP 1 e bk In a remote part of the Peak District stand the Nine Virgins, a ring of stones overshadowed by a dark legend. Now, as winter closes in, a tenth figure is added to the circle - the body of Jenny Weston is discovered, her limbs arranged so she appears to be dancing. This might only be the beginning
Stephen BOOTH, Black Dog 4 copies 1 e bk
When smart, sexy teenager Laura Vernon goes missing one long, hot summer in the Peak District, local police mount a full-scale search operation. But it's retired lead miner Harry Dickinson who finally discovers Laura's body, and he seems bent on obstructing their investigation
When Jo pretends to be asleep as her husband leaves for work the morning after an argument, she doesn't realise how deeply she will come to regret the opportunity to say goodbye. By nightfall, her life has changed irrevocably. David has disappeared and there doesn't seem to be any trace of him.
It is 1861, the first year of the American Civil War. March leaves his beloved wife and daughters to fight for the Northern forces. Alone in a country ripped apart by violence and hatred, he sees things that shake his very soul. The as yet untold story of what Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth’s father experienced when he left his ‘little women’ behind!
Moving from Vienna to London's West End, the battlefields of France and hotel rooms in Geneva, 'Waiting for Sunrise' is a feverish and mesmerising journey into the human psyche, a beautifully observed portrait of wartime Europe, a plot-twisting thriller and a literary tour de force.
much you love someone, you can't understand them.
Ian used to think that his life had been disappointingly easy, compared to the pioneers. He had a happy marriage, four children, a satisfactory job and, for just over a year, he has served the church in his role as Bishop of the local congregation, an enormous responsibility.
And then Issy died.
Now his wife, Claire, won't get out of their dead daughter's bottom bunk and she won't speak. Claire doesn't want a blessing or a sympathy card and she's got nothing to say to the Lord. She just wants to be left alone to be sad.
In The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan introduces his most famous hero, Richard Hannay, who, despite claiming to be an "ordinary fellow", is caught up in the dramatic race against a plot to devastate the British war effort. Hannay is hunted across the Scottish moors by police and a pitiless enemy in the corridors of Whitehall and, finally, at the site of the mysterious 39 steps.
After the death of her parents, Mary is brought back from India as a forlorn and unwanted child, to live in her uncle's great lonely house on the moors. Then one day she discovers the key to a secret garden and, like magic, her life begins to brighten in so many ways.
Jessie BURTON, The Miniaturist 18 copies 1LP
1686, eighteen-year-old Nella knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways.
Angela CARTER, The Bloody Chamber 9 copies
Short stories giving a modern twist to some favourite fairy stories. They include "The Company of Wolves", on which the film of the same name was based.
With this, his first collection, Carver breathed new life into the short story. In the pared-down style that became his hallmark, Carver showed how humour and tragedy dwell in the hearts of ordinary people.
William Marshal’s prowess and loyalty as a knight in the English royal household has been rewarded by marriage to Isabelle de Clare – heiress and beauty. However their idyllic life is shatter when King Richard dies and he is succeeded by horrid King John who takes their sons hostage and steals their lands. Intriguing, enjoyable and historical.
Former military cop Jack Reacher makes it all the way from
snowbound South Dakota to his destination in northeastern Virginia, near
Washington, D.C.: the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. The old stone
building is the closest thing to a home he ever had.
Reacher is there to meet - in person - the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner, so far just a warm, intriguing voice on the phone. But it isn't Turner behind the CO's desk. And Reacher is hit with two pieces of shocking news, one with serious criminal consequences, and one too personal to even think about. When threatened, you can run or fight.
Beatrice COLIN, The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite 13 Copies 1 LP
The illegitimate, orphaned daughter of a cabaret dancer, Lilly’s early life is one of reinvention. Transformed from maid to warbride via nightclub girl and finally glamorous motion picture starlet in the heart of decadent, tantalizing Berlin.
From the author of the bestselling Sharpe books the first of series depicting the story of Arthur. It tells of a man who, with a small band of warriors bound to him by loyalty and love, struggled to keep civilization alive in a barbaric world.
When Cora is savagely murdered with a hatchet, the extraordinary remark she made the previous day at her brother Richard's funeral, suddenly takes on a chilling significance.
Forced into a brutal concentration camp during a great war, Brodeck returns to his village at the war's end and takes up his old job of writing reports for a governmental bureau. One day a stranger comes to live in the village. His odd manner and habits arouse suspicions: His speech is formal, he takes long, solitary walks, and although he is unfailingly friendly and polite, he reveals nothing about himself. When the stranger produces drawings of the village and its inhabitants that are both unflattering and insightful, the villagers murder him. The authorities who witnessed the killing tell Brodeck to write a report that is essentially a whitewash of the incident.
"Vengeance is Mine, Inc" is a short story by Roald Dahl. It was first published in the 1980 collection More Tales of the Unexpected
Here, in Roald Dahl's first collection of his world famous dark and sinister adult stories.
Through vendettas and desperate quests, bitter memories and sordid fantasies, Roald Dahl's stories portray the strange and unexpected, sending a shiver down the spine...
With The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt pays homage to the classic Western, transforming it into an unforgettable comic tour de force. Filled with a remarkable cast of characters-losers, cheaters, and ne'er-do-wells from all stripes of life-and told by a complex and compelling narrator, it is a violent, lustful odyssey through the underworld of the 1850s frontier that beautifully captures the humor, melancholy, and grit of the Old West and two brothers bound by blood, violence, and love.
When Mattie Gokey is given a bundle of letters to burn she fully intends to execute the wishes of the giver, Grace Brown. When Grace Brown is found drowned the next day in Big Moose Lake, Mattie finds that it is not as easy to burn those letters as she had thought. And, as she reads, a riveting story emerges - not only Grace Brown's story but also Mattie's hopes and ambitions.
Jack is five. He lives with his Ma. They live in a single, locked room. They don’t have the key. But this isn’t just any misery memoire, Jack and Ma’s story is interesting, intelligent and powerfully emotional.
Sarah DUNANT, Sacred Hearts 18 copies 1 LP 1 CD
Santa Catarina, a convent near Venice, is home to over one hundred women in 1567. But with powerful forces for change raging outside the convent, and with the world of the women within threatened by a new arrival, passions, hysteria, and conflict will come to threaten their very survival.
Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again...
In 1939 in the small, rural community of Augusta Falls, Georgia, 12-year-old Joseph Vaughan learns of the brutal assault and murder of a young girl, the first in a series of killings that will plague the community over the next decade. Joseph and his friends are determined to protect the town from the evil in their midst and they form "the Guardians" to watch over the community. But the murderer evades them and they watch helplessly as one child after another is taken. Even when the killings cease, a shadow of fear follows Joseph and, 50 years later, he must confront the nightmare.
Set in Flanders in June 1917, Ben Elton’s first historical thriller tells the tale of a British officer shot dead, killed not by German fire, but while recuperating from shell shock well behind the lines. Despite protesting his innocence a young English soldier is charged with his murder. Douglas Kingsley is a conscientious objector, previously a detective with the London police, now imprisoned for his beliefs. He is released and sent to France to secure a conviction.
When Arthur Hayman, an unsuccessful screenwriter turned children's book author, is accidentally hit by a cement truck in London, his dying moments are spent with a passing American tourist, Laurie Clow, who is fated to bring posthumous fame to his obscure series, The Hayseed Chronicles, and the enigmatic and sinister Mr. Toppit who is at the center of the books. While Arthur doesn't live to reap the benefits of his books' success, his legacy falls to his widow, Martha, and their children - the fragile Rachel, and Luke, reluctantly immortalized as the fictional Luke Hayseed, hero of his father's books.
The bestselling author of 'Snobs' and Oscar-winning writer of the screenplay for 'Gosford Park' returns with the story of a wealthy man who embarks on a quest to find an heir to his fortune. Damian Baxter is dying. He doesn't think he has any children, but then a letter from an old girlfriend leads him to think otherwise.
Jasper FFORDE, The Eyre Affair 27 Copies 1 CD
There is another 1985, somewhere in the could-have-been, where the Crimean war still rages, dodos are regenerated in home-cloning kits and everyone is deeply disappointed by the ending of 'Jane Eyre'. In this world there are no jet-liners or computers, but there are policemen who can travel across time, a Welsh republic, a great interest in all things literary - and a woman called Thursday Next.
‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.’ An extraordinary portrait of one man’s descent into mental illness. A brave and groundbreaking novel from one of the most exciting new voices in fiction.
Is this the supreme American Novel? Is Gatsby a hero or villain? Like the Beatles sang, Money can buy me happiness but money can’t buy me love.
Susan FLETCHER, Eve Green 20 copies
Following the loss of her mother, eight-year-old Evie is sent to a new life in rural Wales. With a sense of being lied to she sets out to discover her family's dark secret - unaware that there is yet more darkness to come with the sinister disappearance of local girl Rosemary Hughes.
Nick Dunne wakes on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary to find his wife Amy has suddenly disappeared. The police suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren't made by him. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick's beautiful wife?
Gost is surrounded by mountains and fields of wild flowers. The summer sun burns. The winter brings freezing winds. Beyond the boundaries of the town an old house which has lain empty for years is showing signs of life. One of the windows, glass darkened with dirt, today stands open, and the lively chatter of English voices carries across the fallow fields. Laura and her teenage children have arrived. A short distance away lies the hut of Duro Kolak who lives alone with his two hunting dogs. As he helps Laura with repairs to the old house, they uncover a mosaic beneath the ruined plaster and, in the rising heat of summer, painstakingly restore it. But Gost is not all it seems; conflicts long past still suppurate beneath the scars.
Karen Joy FOWLER, The Jane Austen book club 17 copies 1 LP 1 e bk 1 CD In California’s Sacramento valley six people meet once a month to discuss Jane Austen’s novels. Over the six months they meet marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable…
Karen Joy FOWLER, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves 21 Copies 1 e bk
Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone - vanished from her life. There's something unique about Rosemary's sister, Fern. And it was this decision, made by her parents, to give Rosemary a sister like no other that began all of Rosemary's trouble.
Julia FRANCK, The Blind Side of the Heart 17 Copies
Amid the chaos of civilians fleeing west in a provincial German railway station in 1945 Helene has brought her seven-year-old son. Having survived with him through the horrors and deprivations of the war years, she abandons him on the station platform and never returns.
This is a tale of hope, loneliness and love, and of a life lived in terrible times. It is a great family novel, a powerful portrayal of an era, and the story of a fascinating woman.
'Queen's Gambit', is a riveting account of Katherine Parr, the Tudor queen who married four men and outlived three of them - including Henry VIII. Widowed for the second time aged thirty-one, Katherine is obliged to return to court but, suspicious of the aging Henry and those who surround him, she does so with reluctance. Nevertheless when she finds herself caught up in a passionate affair with the dashing and seductive Thomas Seymour, she believes she might finally be able to marry for love. But her presence at court has attracted the attentions of another.
Rosemary's young, just at college, and she's decided not to tell anyone a thing about her family. So we're not going to tell you too much either: you'll have to find out for yourselves. Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone - vanished from her life. There's something unique about Rosemary's sister, Fern. So now she's telling her story: full of hilarious asides and brilliantly spiky lines, it's a looping narrative that begins towards the end, and then goes back to the beginning. Twice.
Dawn French is one of the greatest comedy actresses of our time, with a career that has spanned nearly three decades, encompassing a vat and brilliant array of characters. Here she describes the journey that would eventually establish her as a, perhaps unlikely, but nevertheless genuine, national treasure.
From the author of 'The Spies of Warsaw' comes another spy novel set in the Second World War. This time, the action takes place in the countryside of Macedonian Greece. Our lead characters are a British travel writer and a police official in Salonika.
When troubled artist Rachel Kelly dies, painting obsessively in her attic studio in Penzance, her saintly husband and children have more than the usual mess to clear up. She leaves behind an extraordinary and acclaimed body of work-but she also leaves a legacy of secrets and emotional damage that will take months to unravel.
Set in Victorian London, following the fortunes of Eve, the Lion-Faced Girl and Abel, the Flayed Man. Cast out by Victorian society, Eve and Abel find succour from an unlikely source. They soar to fame as star performers in Professor Josiah Arroner’s Palace of Curiosities. And there begins a journey that will entwine their fates forever A magical realism delight.
Elizabeth GASKELL, Ruth 1 copy
Elizabeth GASKELL, Mary Barton 1 copy
Elizabeth GASKELL, Wives and Daughters 1 copy
The beautiful woman appears to be just another corpse in the morgue. But when medical examiner Maura Isles looks down at the body, she gets the fright of her life. The corpse opens its eyes. Very much alive, the woman is rushed to the hospital, where she murders a security guard and seizes hostages, one of whom is the heavily pregnant homicide detective Jane Rizzoli. A twisting, terrifying tale.
Ruth and her husband move into a dilapidated old vicarage on a stunning island in the Outer Hebrides and set about turning the unloved house into a family home. Ruth's much-needed stability is threatened when they discover the remains of a baby buried beneath the house, its legs fused together into one limb - a mermaid child...
45 year old bipolar women are rarely cast as romantic heroines, but Rose Leonard is such in this haunting and beautiful novel set on the remote island of Uist. A worthy almost winner (it came second) of the 2008 Pure Passion prize for romantic fiction.
'The Red Queen' tells the story of the child-bride of Edmund Tudor who, although widowed in her early teens, uses her determination of character and wily plotting to infiltrate the house of York to ultimately ensure that her only son, Henry Tudor, triumphs as King of England
The tumult and intrigue of The Wars of the Roses are brought vividly to life with the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen. A woman who won the love of a king and ascended to royalty by virtue of her beauty, Elizabeth fought tenaciously for the success of her family - her daughter who would one day unite the warring dynasties, and her two sons whose eventual fate has confounded historians for centuries: the Princes in the Tower.
At 57, George is settling down to retirement. Then his daughter announces she is getting remarried, to Ray. Her family is not pleased, and her mother is a bit put out by all the wedding planning, which gets in the way of her love affair with her husband's former collegue. Unnoticed in the uproar, George begins to lose his mind
A novel of love, loss and the art of tattooing. Opening on the windswept front of Edwardian Morecambe Bay, Cy begins as apprentice to master tattooist Eliot Riley. Circumstances take him to America, where he sets up his own tattoo business on the infamous Coney Island boardwalk. In this carnival environment of roller-coasters and freak shows, Cy becomes obsessed with Grace, a mysterious circus performer.
Her husband David was meant to be looking after their two-week-old daughter. But when Alice Fancourt walks into the nursery, her terrifying ordeal begins, for Alice insists the baby in the cot is a stranger she's never seen before. With an increasingly hostile and menacing David swearing she must either be mad or lying, how can Alice make the police believe her before it's too late?
Scotland, 1863. In an attempt to escape her not-so-innocent past, Bessy Buckley takes a job as a maid in a big house outside Edinburgh working for the beautiful Arabella. Bessy is intrigued by her new employer, but puzzled by her increasingly strange requests and her insistence that Bessy keep a journal of her most intimate thoughts. And it seems that Arabella has a few secrets of her own.
Paris, January 1895. Army officer Georges Picquart witnesses a convicted spy, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, being humiliated in front of 20,000 spectators baying 'Death to the Jew!' The officer is promoted and put in command of shadowy intelligence unit, the Statistical Section. The spy is shipped off to a lifetime of solitary confinement on Devil's Island and his case seems closed forever. But gradually Picquart comes to believe there is something rotten at the heart of the Statistical Section.
Robert HARRIS, Imperium 4 copies 1 LP
Of all the great figures of the Roman era, none was more fascinating or attractive than Marcus Cicero. Written by the author of 'Pompeii', this book tells the story of Cicero's rise to power, from radical young lawyer to first citizen of Rome, competing with men, such as Pompey, Caesar, Crassus and Cato.
It's Jake's birthday. He has lost his wife, his son is in prison and he is about to lose his past. Jake has Alzheimer's. As the disease takes hold of him, the key events of his life shift, and what until recently seemed solid fact melts into surreal imaginings. Is his daughter alive or long dead? And why exactly is his son in prison?
Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. 'Jess and Jason', she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she's only watched from afar. Now they'll see: she's much more than just the girl on the train.
Shirley HAZZARD, The Great Fire 14 copies 1 CD
The fire is the Second World War. In war-torn Asia and stricken Europe, men and women must reinvent their lives and expectations, and learn to dream again. Some will fulfil their destinies, others will falter. A brave and brilliant soldier finds that survival and worldly achievement are not enough. A young girl living in Occupied Japan and tending her dying brother, falls in love and in the process discovers herself.
When Sheba arrives Barbara senses that she will be different from the rest of her staff-room colleagues. Sure enough, Sheba starts an affair with a pupil and is caught. When all the dust settles and Sheba's life falls apart, Barbara is there for her.
Picking up at the point in time where 'The Swimming-Pool Library' left off. Nick Guest has moved into the attic room of the Feddens: Gerald, a Tory MP, his wife Rachel and their children Toby and Catherine. The troubled Catherine soon becomes Nick's friend and uneasy responsibility.
Richard a solitary and reclusive share trader sees no one except his trainer, housekeeper and nutritionist until one day an inexplicable pain lands him in hospital where he befriends Anhil, the owner of a doughnut shop and, with his diet sabotaged by sugary baked goods, Richards dramatic emotional thaw begins
It’s hard to jump when you’ve got an audience queuing impatiently behind you. Possibly the funniest book about suicide finds 4 strangers on top of a tower block on New Years Eve, but is the unlikely friendship they forge a good enough reason to carry on living?
Khaled HOSSEINI, A Thousand Splendid Suns 25 copies 1 LP 1 CD
'A Thousand Splendid Suns' is a chronicle of Afghan history, and a deeply moving story of family, friendship, and the salvation to be found in love.
Trevor HOYLE, Down the Figure 7: A Fictional Memoir 12 copies
One of Britain's favourite cult authors presents a part-memoir novel about the secret world of childhood, set during the early 1950s. Gangs of feral youth, inflamed by the exploits of Hollywood tough guys, fed on Movietone News and the tales of dads and uncles who served in the forces, are still fighting the Nazzies and the Nips - and each other - in the bits of wasteland between the houses and streets.
First published in 1975 and having since become a cult classic: a chillingly detailed world, where teenagers prowl rainy fluorescent-lit streets dressed as their Clockwork Orange anti-heroes, with a backdrop provided by Ford Cortinas, Players No.6, the factory, and the relentless struggle to maintain hope. Now with a new, fascinating afterword to this long out of print and much sought after book.
Set in the near future, this title is a satire of Thatcherite Britain and the North-South divide - a Britain without U-turns - obdurate and unyielding.
Five women and one city in a heartwarming story of life, love and war. Belfast 1939: Martha Goulding's world is shattered by a sudden death and the outbreak of war that leaves her family facing an uncertain future.
Catherine Ryan Hyde, Chasing Windmills 8 copies 1 LP
Sebastian has never been to school and has never hung out with other kids. He rides the subway at night to escape his father's strict parenting. Maria, mother to two children, has just lost her job. Afraid to confess to her violent boyfriend, she resorts to riding the subway when he thinks she's at work. One night they make eye contact.
Alaska, the 1920s. Jack and Mabel have staked everything on a fresh start in a remote homestead, but the wilderness is a stark place, and Mabel is haunted by the baby she lost many years before. When a little girl appears mysteriously on their land, each is filled with wonder, but also foreboding: is she what she seems, and can they find room in their hearts for her?
Erica JAMES, The Queen of New Beginnings 10 copies 1 LP 1 e bk 1 CD
Alice Shoemaker goes to great lengths to avoid telling the truth about herself and her past. But that proves difficult when she agrees to help out the strange and obnoxiously rude man who is staying at Cuckoo House and clearly has something to hide.
As relevant today as it was when it was published in 1897. Maisie is the six-year-old child of a divorced couple; used as a pawn by them, she is an observer in their subsequent remarriages and divorces, becoming wise beyond her years and struggling to retain her innocence.
When Commander Dalgliesh is persuaded to visit the Dupayne, a private museum on the edge of Hampstead Heath, he has no idea that he will return a week later under very different circumstances. One of the family trustees has been horribly murdered and Dalgliesh is called in to investigate.
P.D. James, Death Comes to Pemberley 10 copies LP 1 CD
P.D. James masterfully recreates the world of 'Pride and Prejudice', and combines it with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly crafted detective story.
Two women are brutally attacked, and both victims' shoes are stolen by their assailant. Detective Superintendent Roy Grace realizes these assaults closely resemble a strange series of crimes committed years ago. He must figure out if this new perpetrator is a copycat, or if the "Shoe Man" has returned to pick up where he left off.
Combe Island off the Cornish coast has a bloodstained history of piracy and cruelty but now, privately owned, it offers respite to over-stressed VIP’s, but the peace of Combe is violated when one of the distinguished visitors is bizarrely murdered and Dalgliesh is called away from his own troubles to solve this rather big one.
A vivid, magical novel about the seemingly endless summers of discovery. An elderly artist and her six year old granddaughter while away the summer together, on a tiny island in the Gulf of Finland, their solitude disturbed only by migrating birds, sudden storms and an occasional passing boat.
Drawn from youth and older age, and spanning most of the twentieth century, this newly
translated selection provides a thrilling showcase of the great Finnish writer’s prose, scattered
with insights and home truths.
Hal Treherne is a soldier on the brink of a brilliant career: impatient to see action, his other commitment in life is to his beloved wife, Clara. Hal is transferred to Cyprus in the heat of an emergency to defend the colony. Clara shares Hal's sense of duty and honour; she knows she must settle down, make the best of things, smile. But action changes Hal, and the atrocities he is drawn into take him not only further from Clara but himself, too.
On being released from prison one summer’s day in 1957, Lewis Aldridge waits to meet the girl with whom he endured a stifling childhood in a country recovering from the ravages of the 2nd World War. Menacing and beautiful, this is a devastating portrait of transgression and redemption
Grace Lisa Vandenburg has obsessive-compulsive disorder. She counts everything, because numbers hold the world together. Seamus Joseph O'Relly thinks she might be better off without the counting. Funny, headstrong and contrary, Grace isn't a victim, but she's not well either. And now she's about to fall in love
In a summer of biblical heat and destructive wines, Garielle Fox’s main concern is to rebuild her career as a psychologist after a shattering Car Accident. Be when she is assigned to Bethany Krall – violent, matricidal and insistent that she can forsee natural disasters she is drawn into an intense apocalyptic puzzle.
The Heretic’s Daughter is a story of family love, courage and betrayal set at the time of the Salem Witch Trials.
Jackie KAY, Trumpet 7 copies 1 LP 1 ebk
Joss Moody has died and the jazz world is in mourning. But in death, Joss can no longer guard the secret he kept all his life, and Colman, his son, must confront the truth: the man he believed to be his father was, in fact, a woman.
Meet Rachel Walsh. She has a pair of size 8 feet and such a fondness for recreational drugs that her family has forked out the cash for a spell in Cloisters - Dublin's answer to the Betty Ford Clinic. She's only agreed to her incarceration because she's heard that rehab is wall-to-wall jacuzzis, gymnasiums and rock stars going tepid turkey - and it's about time she had a holiday...
Sue Monk KIDD, The Secret Life of Bees 6 copies
Lily has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was four years old. Now fourteen, she yearns for forgiveness and a mother’s love. When her only friend, a black servant, is beaten, the two become fugitives from justice, and end up following a trail left by Lily’s mother.
Sue Monk KIDD, The Invention of Wings 9 copies
Sarah Grimke is the middle daughter. The one her mother calls difficult and her father calls remarkable. On Sarah’s eleventh birthday, Hettie “Handful” Grimke is taken from the slaves quarters she shares with her mother, wrapped in lavender ribbons and presented to Sarah as a gift. Sarah knows what she does next will unleash a world of trouble. She also knows she cannot accept. And so , indeed, the trouble begins.
Stephen KING, The Green Mile 6 copies
The Green Mile: those who walk it do not return, because at the end of that walk is the room in which sits Cold Mountain penitentiary's electric chair. In 1932 the newest resident on death row is John Coffey, a giant black man convicted of the brutal murder of two little girls. But nothing is as it seems with John Coffey, and around him unfolds a bizarre and horrifying story
Nova Kumalisi would do anything for her closest friend, Mal Wacken. She owes him her life. So, when he asked her to be the surrogate mother for him and his wife, in spite of her fears about how it would alter their friendship, Nova agreed.
Based on the legend of Vlad the Impaler, this is the story of a young girl who discovers an ancient and disturbing book in her father's library, one which will lead to terrible loss and tragedy, as well as uncovering Dracula's resting place.
14 year old Alma is trying to find a cure for her mother’s loneliness. She believes the answer can be found in an old book her mother is lovingly translating. Across New York, an old man is dreaming of the lost love that 60 years ago inspired him to write a book.
The residents of Pepys Road, London - all receive an anonymous postcard one day with a simple message: we want what you have. Who is behind it? What do they want? As the mystery of the postcards deepens, the world around Pepys Road is turned upside down by the financial crash and all of its residents' lives change beyond recognition over the course of the next year.
DH LAWRENCE, Sons and Lovers 0 copies 1 LP 1 CD
The Bury Reading Group were appalled when I confessed I had never read any DH Lawrence and they prescribed this semi-autobiographical masterpiece as the perfect introduction. Well worth reading, if you haven’t yet, or revisiting, if you knew it a long time ago.
When Joanie Littler moves back home to look after her mother, she quickly falls for their stylish neighbour Susan, who has an admirable lounge but never invites Joanie to her patio parties. Finding herself with just her cat Edith Piaf for company, our heroine invents a new lover. 'Freddy' will provide hilarious material for Joanie's proposed comedy act and her passport back into the world of couples.
'Swimming Home' is a subversive page-turner, a merciless gaze at the insidiuos harm that depression can have on apparently stable, well-turned-out people. Set in a summer villa, the story is tautly structured, taking place over a week in which a group of beautiful, flawed tourists in the French Riviera come loose at the seams.
Oskar is a 12 year old boy living with his mother on a dreary housing estate at the city's edge. He dreams about his absentee father, gets bullied at school, and wets himself when he's frightened. Eli is the young girl who moves in next door. She doesn't go to school and never leaves the flat by day. In very different ways, they are both victims. Which is why, against the odds, they become friends.
In 'Stranded' McDermid uses the short-story form to probe not only the motivations of the criminal underworld but also the nature of crime itself, all the time playing with crime-writing and pushing the form to its limits.
On a cold, quiet day between Christmas and the New Year, a man's body is found in an abandoned apartment. His friends look on, but they're dead, too. Their bodies found in squats and sheds and alleyways across the city. Victims of a bad batch of heroin, they're in the shadows, a chorus keeping vigil as the hours pass.
1854: the Crimean War grinds on: and, in defiance of Florence Nightingale, Rosa Barr - young, headstrong and beautiful - travels to Balaklava, determined to be a nurse.
For Mariella Lingwood, Rosa's cousin, the war is contained in the pages of her scrapbook and in the letters she receives from Rosa and Henry, her fiancé, a celebrated surgeon who has also volunteered to work within the shadow of the guns.
Rosa’s letters stop and Henry falls ill and Mariella travels to Italy to be with him.
Alain MABANCKOU, Broken Glass 16 copies
The history of Credit Gone West, a squalid Congolese bar, is related by one of its most loyal customers, Broken Glass, who has been commissioned by its owner to set down an account of the characters who frequent it. Broken Glass himself is a disgraced alcoholic school teacher with a love of French language and literature which he has largely failed to communicate to his pupils but which he displays in the pages of his notebook. The notebook is also a farewell to the bar and to his fellow drinkers. After writing the final words, Broken Glass will go down to the River Tchinouka and throw himself into its murky waters, where his lamented mother also drowned.
It is Midsummer's Eve. Three young friends meet in a wood
to act out an elaborate masque. But, unknown to them, they are being watched.
Each is killed by a single bullet.
Soon afterwards, one of Inspector Wallander's colleagues is found murdered. Is it the same killer, and what could the connection be? In this investigation Wallander is always, tantalisingly, one step behind.
Spiralling into an alcohol-fuelled depression after killing
a man in the line of duty, Inspector Kurt Wallander has made up his mind to quit
the police force for good.
When an old acquaintance seeks Wallander's help to investigate the suspicious circumstances in which his father has died, Kurt doesn't want to know.
One frozen January morning at 5am, Inspector Wallander responds to what he believes is a routine call out. When he reaches the isolated farmhouse he discovers a bloodbath.
Stopping to use a cash machine one evening, a man falls to the ground: dead. A taxi driver is brutally murdered by two teenage girls who demonstrate a complete lack of remorse. One girl escapes police custody and disappears without trace. Soon afterwards, a blackout covers half the country. When an engineer arrives at the malfunctioning power station, he makes a grisly discovery...
Midsummer approaches, and Inspector Kurt Wallander prepares for a holiday with the new woman in his life, hopeful that his wayward daughter and his ageing father will cope without him. But his restful summer plans are thrown into disarray when a teenage girl commits suicide before his eyes, and a former minister of justice is butchered in the first of a series of apparently motiveless murders.
Fifty-one years, nine months and four days have passed since Fermina Daza rebuffed the hopeless romantic, Florentino Ariza's, impassioned advances, and married Dr Juvenal Urbino instead; - during that half-century, Flornetino has fallen into the arms of many delighted women, but has loved none but Fermina.
Having sworn his eternal love to her, he lives for the day when he can court her again.
Then Fermina's husband is killed trying to retrieve his pet parrot from a mango tree...
Fate takes many forms. When Henry receives a letter from an elderly taxidermist, it poses a puzzle that he cannot resist. As he is pulled further into the world of this strange and calculating man, Henry becomes increasingly involved with the lives of a donkey and a howler monkey named Beatrice and Virgil.
Nuri is a young boy when his mother dies.
It seems that nothing will fill the emptiness that her strange death leaves behind in the Cairo apartment he shares with his father.
San Francisco, 1976. A naïve young secretary, fresh out of Cleveland, tumbles headlong into a brave new world of laundromat Lotharios, pot-growing landladies, cut throat debutantes, and Jockey Shorts dance contests. The saga that ensues is manic, romantic, tawdry, touching, and outrageous.
Set in mid-1970s India, A Fine Balance is a subtle and compelling narrative about four unlikely characters who come together in circumstances no one could have foreseen soon after the government declares a 'State of Internal Emergency'.
Panoramic yet humane, intensely political yet rich with local delight; and, above all, readable.
David MITCHELL, Cloud Atlas 21 copies 1 CD
A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850 and a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilization - these and the other narrators of 'Cloud Atlas' hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.
With America quietly gearing up for war in the Middle East, twenty-year-old Tassie Keltjin, a 'half-Jewish' farmer's daughter from the plains of the Midwest, has come to university - escaping her provincial home to encounter the complex world of culture and politics.
On the eve of the First World War, a little girl is found abandoned after a gruelling ocean voyage from England to Australia. All she can remember of the journey is that a mysterious woman she calls the Authoress had promised to look after her. But the Authoress has vanished without a trace.
1891. Seventeen-year-old Leonie Vernier abandons Paris for the sanctuary of her aunt’s isolated country house near Carcasonne, stumbling across a ruined sepulchre and a timeless mystery.
2007. Meredith Martin is researching a biography, but she becomes immersed in the story of a tragic love, a missing girl, a unique deck of tarot cards and the strange events of one cataclysmic night a century ago.
Kate MOSSE, The Winter Ghosts 10 Copies 1 LP
The Great War took much more than lives. It robbed a generation of friends, lovers and futures. In Freddie Watson's case, it took his beloved brother and his peace of mind. Some years later Freddie travels through the French Pyrenees - another region that has seen too much bloodshed over the years. During a snowstorm, his car spins off the mountain road. Shaken, he stumbles into the woods, emerging by a tiny village where he meets Fabrissa, a beautiful local woman, also mourning a lost generation…
Lou Clark knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick - what Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.
Irene NEMIROVSKY, Suite Francaise 33 copies
Set during the year that France fell to the Nazis, Suite Française falls into two parts. The first is a brilliant depiction of a group of Parisians as they flee the Nazi invasion; the second follows the inhabitants of a small rural community under occupation. Suite Française is a novel that teems with wonderful characters struggling with the new regime. However, amidst the mess of defeat, and all the hypocrisy and compromise, there is hope. True nobility and love exist, but often in surprising places
One night, George Duncan is woken by a noise in his garden. A great white crane has tumbled to earth, shot through its wing by an arrow. George helps the bird, and from the moment he watches it fly off, his life is transformed. The next day, a kind but enigmatic woman walks into George's shop. Suddenly a new world opens up for George. Wise, romantic, magical and funny.
David Nicholls brings to bear all the wit and intelligence that graced 'One Day' in this bittersweet book, which will delight his fans and bring him many new readers. It is a novel about love and family, husbands and wives, and parents and children.
This is the story of Henry and Clare, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was 36, and were married when Clare was 20 and Henry was 28. This is possible only because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with chrono-displacement-disorder.
Audrey NIFFENEGGER, Her Fearful Symmetry 16 copies & LP
Seemingly complete departure from her more well-known book, this book also deals with relationships, the process of grief, the transforming power of love, but no time-travelling this time, just Highgate Cemetery and some spooky twins.
15th July 1988. Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways.
So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that? And every year that follows? Twenty years, two people, ONE DAY.
In a small-town high school in Illinois in 1988, three misfit girls join forces with devastating consequences. They form the Bitch Goddesses, a take-no-prisoners gang of fierce teenage rebellion. They swear to stick together, whatever life throws at them, until one night when something terrible happens.
This is the touching story of Frank, a local TV news presenter. Beneath his awkwardly corny screen persona, Frank is haunted by disappearances - the mysterious hit and run that killed his predecessor, the demolition of his father's architecture and the unmarked passing of those who die alone in the city.
It's July 1976. In London, it hasn't rained for months, gardens are filled with aphids, water comes from a standpipe, and Robert Riordan tells his wife Gretta that he's going round the corner to buy a newspaper. He doesn't come back. A story of a dysfunctional but deeply loveable family reunited.
Adele PARKS, Whatever it Takes 6 copies
Eloise Hamilton is a Londoner born and bred, so it is a momentous day when she reluctantly agrees to uproot to Dartmouth, leaving behind her perfect world so her husband can finally live in his.
James PATTERSON, Witch and Wizard 27 copies & CD
Something different from this bestselling thriller writer. Patterson leaves behind the blood and gore for an exciting adventure written for reluctant younger readers.
Don’t let the fact it’s for children put you off.
Try something new and be thrilled.
Flora 717 is a sanitation bee, only fit to clean her orchard hive - living to accept, obey, and serve, she is prepared to sacrifice everything for her beloved holy mother, the Queen.
But Flora is not like other bees, she is removed from sanitation duty and is allowed to feed the newborns, before becoming a forager, collecting pollen on the wing. She also finds her way into the Queen's inner sanctum, where she discovers secrets both sublime and ominous.
Cheltenham, 1991. When Eva Patterson returns home from work one day, a devastating scene awaits her. Her mother, Flora, lies dead in the bath. Beside her is a note saying only: 'Forgive Me'. Until then, Eva always believed her family's life would be comfortable and secure - but Flora's suicide changes everything. And when Eva discovers that in her will Flora left her an artist's studio in London, she realises how little she knows about her mother's past.
1867, Canada: as winter tightens its grip on the isolated settlement of Dove River, a man is brutally murdered and a 17-year old boy disappears. Tracks leaving the dead man's cabin head north towards the forest and the tundra beyond. In the wake of such violence, people are drawn to the township - journalists, Hudson's Bay Company men, trappers, traders - but do they want to solve the crime or exploit it?
Sage Singer has a past that makes her want to hide from the world. Sleeping by day and working in a bakery by night, she kneads her emotion into the beautiful bread she bakes. But when she strikes up an unlikely friendship with Josef Weber, a quiet man old enough to be her grandfather, and respected pillar of the community, she feels that finally, she may have found someone she can open up to - until Josef tells her the evil secret he's kept for 60 years. Caught between Josef's search for redemption and her shattered illusions, Sage turns to her family history and her own life for answers. As she uncovers the truth from the darkest horrors of war, she must follow a twisting trail between betrayal and forgiveness, love and revenge. And ask herself the most difficult question she has ever faced - can murder ever be justice? Or mercy?
Vernon Gregory Little has secrets, but none of them - or so he assumes - have anything to do with the recent massacre of 16 students at his high school. Soon, the quirky backwater of Martirio, barbecue capital of Texas, is flooded with wannabe CNN hacks, eager for a scapegoat.
Contains information about Ramsbottom in the book.
To escape a lifetime of poverty, mercenary Sir Benedict Palmer agrees to one final, lucrative job: help King Henry II’s knights seize the traitor Archbishop Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. But what begins as a clandestine arrest ends in cold-blooded murder...
William de Worde is the accidental editor of the Discworld's first newspaper. Now he must cope with the traditional perils of a journalist's life - people who want him dead, a recovering vampire with a suicidal fascination for flash photography, some more people who want him dead in a different way and, worst of all, the man who keeps begging him to publish pictures of his humorously shaped potatoes.
Terry PRATCHETT, Night Watch 17 copies 1 LP
Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch had it all. But now he's back in his own rough, tough past. Living in the past is hard. Dying in the past is incredibly easy. But he must survive, because he has a job to do. He must track down a murderer, teach his younger self how to be a good copper and change the outcome of a bloody rebellion.
Mark Radcliffe’s first novel, Gabriel’s Angel, is a fiction that explores the complexities of group therapy and group dynamics within an entertaining – and at times very darkly funny – plot. A new initiative from Peter means that before entering heaven or hell everyone must first undergo group therapy. Gabriel is amongst the first to encounter this scheme along with the rest of his group. This book explores the notions of right and wrong and good and bad.
Mark A RADCLIFFE, Stranger Than Kindness 20 copies
It is 1989 and Community Care is about to reboot the industry of psychiatry. In a soon-to-be-closed asylum a bruised nurse, Adam Sands, is feeling less like a purveyor of kindness and more like a concentration camp guard with every passing drink. Years later, Adam has got used to the quiet life when his past finds him. Maybe this time he can do some good.
In a seaside town in Normandy around 1912 Genevieve is maid to a widowed bar owner, Madame Patin, and contentedly cooks, cleans, gardens and serves the customers alongside her. Until her growing beauty makes her a threat and she must leave.
Manhatten 1909. On the morning after Sigmund Freud arrives in New York on his first – and only – visit to the United States, a stunning debutant is found bound and strangled in her apartment. The following night another beautiful heiress is discovered tied to a chandelier, alive but vicious wounded and unable to speak or to recall her ordeal. Freud and his American disciple, Stratham Younger are enlisted to help her recover her memory and piece together the killer’s identity.
A dead man hangs from the portal of St Paul’s Chapel in Damascus. He was a Muslim officer — and he was murdered. But when Detective Barudi sets out to interrogate the man’s mysterious widow, the Secret Service takes the case away from him. Barudi continues to investigate and discovers the murderer’s motive: a blood feud between the Mushtak and Shahin clans, reaching back to the beginnings of the 20th century. And linked to it, a love story that can have no happy ending…
In this debut novel, Danny Scheinmann paints a dramatic portrait of two men sustaining their lives through the memory of love; two men whose hidden connections are revealed in a stunning climax that lives long in the heart.
For years Helen Knightly has given her life to others: to her haunted mother, to her enigmatic father, to her husband and now grown children. When she finally crosses a terrible boundary, her life comes rushing in at her in a way she never could have imagined.
Angelfield House stands abandoned and forgotten. It was once home to the March family - fascinating, manipulative Isabelle, brutal, dangerous Charlie, and the wild, untamed twins, Emmeline and Adeline. But the house hides a chilling secret which strikes at the very heart of each of them, tearing their lives apart... Now Margaret Lea is investigating Angelfield's past - and the mystery of the March family starts to unravel.
From the author of 'Ice Road', shortlisted for the Orange Prize, comes a love story that cuts across race and culture.
On a stormy night in small-town America, a couple knocks on a stranger's door. The couple are fugitives from The School for the Incurable and Feebleminded, a brutal institution where people with disabilities are shut away from the world. Desperate, they reveal the location of a newborn baby. But, moments later, the police bang on the door. Homan escapes into the darkness, Lynnie is captured. But just before she is returned to The School, bound and tied, she utters two words to Martha: "Hide her."
When Howard Belsey's oldest son Jerome falls for Victoria, the stunning daughter of the right-wing Monty Kipps, both families find themselves thrown together, enacting a cultural and personal war against each other.
Homage to Howards End…
What if you were revered as a saint when you didn t deserve it? What if the dying actions that earned you martyrdom were actually selfish? What if you were believed to be in heaven but you had no right to enter? Would you ever find your rest? When newly ordained Father Riccardo arrives in his rural parish in northern Italy, the lament of an apparently disembodied saint is only one of many worries. His own conscience gives him more concern as he wrestles with the discovery that he is gay and questions could he be in love.
Four bystanders at the wrong place at the wrong time witness the shocking shooting of a teenage boy, a moment that will change their lives for ever.
Not so much a ‘who dunnit’ but a ‘who saw it’. Good Manchester thriller.
Treasure Island is the ultimate pirate adventure story, replete with treasure and an unforgettable cast. Jim Hawkins, the boy at the centre of the action; Billy Bones, the pirate with the all important map; Captain Alexander Smollet, the stubborn yet loyal captain of the Hispaniola; Pew, a blind ex-pirate who dies when trampled by horses; and, of course, Long John Silver, the famous amputee…
Anthony Swofford's grandfather fought in WWII; his father fought in Vietnam; and he - a directionless, testosterone-battered teenager - became a scout/sniper in the marines and fought in the Gulf War. His account of that time is also part of a lineage - after Wilfred Owen, Norman Mailer, Michael Herr and Tim O'Brien, it brings the raw and searing tradition of soldiers' stories up to date.
Aged 13, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.
The unexpected arrival of her wilful teenage granddaughter Ruby, brings life and disorder to 82-year-old Iris’ old house in Cairo. An unlikely bond develops between them as Ruby helps Iris record her fading making memories of WW2 Cairo
Terminally ill Jane Tomlinson and her husband, Mike, have raised £1.4 million for cancer charities. In this book, they explain how they achieved that goal, and why Jane, who has a terminal cancer diagnosis, chose to put her long-suffering body through such difficult experiences.
Sue TOWNSEND, Number Ten 15 copies
PC Jack Sprat is the policeman who stands outside the door of 10 Downing Street. Five years ago, Edward Clare was voted into Number 10 after a landslide election result. But now, things are starting to go wrong. The love has gone. Edward worries about this. All he wants is for the people of Clare's Britain to like him, and for them to be happy. He enlists the help of Jack Sprat.
Joanna TROLLOPE, Brother and Sister 15 copies 1 LP 1 CD
Nathalie and David have been good and dutiful children to their parents, and now, grown-up, with their own families, they are still close to one another.
Except that they aren't brother and sister. They were both adopted when their parents found that they couldn't have children themselves and up until now it's never mattered. But suddenly, Nathalie discovers a deep need to trace her birth parents and is insisting that David makes the same journey.
They were six female friends, different in age and circumstances, but with one common need: the warmth and support of their Friday nights. It was a time to share secrets and fears, triumphs and tragedies and, above all, to feel safe in the company of women friends. But things never stay the same forever, especially when a man is introduced into the mix...
When Doug married Hailey - beautiful, smart and ten years older - he left his carefree Manhattan life to live in the suburbs with Hailey and her teenage son, Russ. Three years later, at 29, Doug has been a widower for twelve months and just wants to drown himself in self-pity and Jack Daniels. But his family has other ideas...
A mismatched marriage - and its consequences. Michael and Pauline seemed like the perfect couple - young, good-looking, made for each other. The moment she walked into his mother's grocery store in Baltimore, he was smitten. And in the heat of World War 2 fervour, they were hastily wed.
My brother, Shiva, and I came into the world in the late afternoon of the twentieth of September in the year of grace 1954. We took our first breaths in the thick air of Addis Ababa, capital city of Ethiopia. Bound by birth, we were driven apart by bitter betrayal. No surgeon can heal the wound that divides two brothers. Where silk and steel fail, story must succeed.
Sarah WATERS, The Night Watch 23 copies 1 LP 1 CD
This is the story of four Londoners - three women and a young man with a past. Kay, who drove an ambulance during the war and lived life at full throttle, now dresses in mannish clothes and wanders the streets, searching. Helen, clever, sweet, much-loved, who harbours a painful secret. Viv, glamour girl, is stubbornly, foolishly loyal, to her soldier lover. Duncan, an apparent innocent, has had his own demons to fight during the war. Their lives and their secrets connect in sometimes startling ways.
There came the splash of water and the rub of heels as Mrs Barber stepped into the tub. After that there was a silence, broken only by the occasional echoey plink of drips from the tap. Frances had been picturing her lodgers in purely mercenary terms - as something like two great waddling shillings. But this, she thought, was what it really meant to have paying guests: this odd, unintimate proximity, this rather peeled-back moment, where the only thing between herself and a naked Mrs Barber was a few feet of kitchen and a thin scullery door. An image sprang into her head: that round flesh, crimsoning in the heat.
In a dusty post-war summer in rural Warwickshire, a doctor is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life?
Memories define us: so what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?
Your name; your identity; your past; even the people you love - all forgotten overnight.
And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. Welcome to Christine’s life.
. Fay WELDON, The Spa Decameron 7 copies 1 CD
Ten high achieving ladies are gathered together in the week between Christmas and the New Year, at the expensive Castle Spa, seeking, through Botox, aromatherapy and general all round pampering, a new beginning to their lives.
The wicked stepmother is a classic figure of literature. However, reality is all too often the reverse, with stepchildren using all their cunning to do down daddy's wife in a no holds barred fight to the death. Being on the receiving end of that kind of attack is no fun at all, as the heroine in this novel can tell you.
Geoffrey Wellum was one of the youngest fighter pilots in the Battle of Britain. Enlisting in the RAF weeks before the outbreak of World War 2, he found himself fighting the Germans as a Spitfire pilot at just 18 years of age.
1966, Florida. Pepper Schuyler is the kind of woman society loves - a glamorous individual that men watch across crowded, smoky rooms, and women try to keep their husbands away from. But the legend of Pepper is far from the truth, and now she's in a fix that she can't see her way out of. Unmarried and pregnant with a famous senator's baby, she's fled Washington and is hiding on the Florida coast, waiting for the mysterious buyer of her only possession of value: a rare black 1936 Mercedes Roadster. Unknown to Pepper, this car was the only means of escape for a young French woman who drove for her life across Germany to the French border as Europe paused on the brink of the Second World War. As the startling provenance of this car comes to light - a Nazi husband, a Jewish lover, a flight from Europe, and a love so profound it transcends decades - two women must come together to face the past.
Donald Bailey is 16. He can't forget the trouble that happened when he was eight, when the police were called. His mother can't forget either and even leaving their home town doesn't help. Then Donald befriends Jake, who is eight years old and terrifyingly vulnerable.
Sarah WINMAN, When God was a Rabbit 11 copies
This novel is a mesmerising portrait of childhood and growing up; the loss of innocence, eccentricity and familial bonds. Stripped down to its bare bones, it's the story of the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.
Innovative in style, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a few days ride into the bizarre outposts of religious excess and human obsession.
1851, the Californian Gold Rush is in full swing and our narrator, Eli Sisters, hired killer, is accompanying his older brother Charlie on an eventful journey from Oregon to Sacramento, to track down and kill one Hermann Kermit Warm. Not a pretty novel but fresh & original writing
Nicholas is 12, living with his parents, when his father gives up his job and throws the household into disarray. Across the country, Isabel is sent to convent school but runs away. Isabel and Nicholas are made for each other, but how will they know?
Set in a Vermont boarding school for talented but psychologically fragile teens, the five students in Mrs Quenell’s English class are all damaged by trauma. They are assigned Sylvia Plath's novel THE BELL JAR, and find, through Plath’s life and poetry, the power of love and acceptance
Light-hearted looks at the perils of the good life in Spain and Italy
When Annie Hawes buys a hillside cottage in Italy for no more than the price of a dodgy second-hand car, a capable young Englishwomen becomes a surprisingly incapable Ligurian.
Chris STEWART, Driving over lemons: an optimist in Andalucia 9 copies & Cass
At 17 Chris Stewart retired as the drummer of Genesis and launched a career as a sheep shearer and travel writer. He has no regrets about this. Had he become a big-time rock star he might never have moved with his wife Ana to a remote mountain farm in Andalucia. Nor forged the friendship of a lifetime with his resourceful peasant neighbour Domingo... nor watched his baby daughter Chloe grow and thrive there...
It is said there are only two types of hero: the sophisticated Darcy and the dangerous Heathcliffe; go back to the archetypes with:
Emily BRONTE, Wuthering Heights 17 copies
A classic of rural misery and intolerance and the equally classic satire it inspired
Flora Poste has been expensively educated to do everything but earn her own living. When she is orphaned at 20, she decides her only option is to go and live with her relatives, the Starkadders, at Cold Comfort Farm. What relatives though. Flora feels it incumbent upon her to bring order into the chaos.
Mary WEBB, Precious bane 9 copies
Born at the time of Waterloo in the wild country of Shropshire, Prudence Sarn is a wild, passionate girl, cursed with a hare lip -- her 'precious bane'. Cursed for it, too, by the superstitious people amongst whom she lives. Prue loves two things: the remote countryside of her birth and, hopelessly, Kester Woodseaves, the weaver
Assorted titles from leading authors in the field of subtle suspense
The book itself (7 copies) plus two novels taking it as a starting point:
Jean RHYS, Wide Sargasso Sea 7 copies & Cass
Antoinette Cosway is a Creole heiress - product of an inbred, decadent, expatriate community - a sensitive girl at once beguiled and repelled by the lush Jamaican landscape. Soon after her marriage to Rochester rumours of madness in her family poison his mind against her.
Jasper FFORDE, The Eyre affair 7 copies & Cass
Literary detective Thursday Next is pursuing the world's most evil man, who has kidnapped Jane Eyre in a display of literary vandalism. She must also assist her time-travelling father, marry the man she loves and discover the truth about bananas.
Charles DICKENS , Great Expectations 11 Copies 1 e bk
Dickens’ classic tale of orphan Pip and his encounters with escaped convict Magwitch, beautiful Estella and the gloriously spiteful Miss Haversham. When Pip is given the means to become a gentleman, he has ‘great expectations’ but his past is not so easily left behind
Novels with a background of WWII and its consequences
Against the backdrop of the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940 a young pilot, Len Westbourne, falls for Stella Gardam, a radar operator. Both know their time together may be short.
Not a war story, but a story of a world where the allies were defeated. April, 1964. The naked body of an old man floats in a lake on the outskirts of Berlin. In one week it will be Adolph Hitler’s 75th birthday. A terrible conspiracy is about to unra
THE WORKS OF...
Black dog (6 copies); Blood on the tongue (7 copies & 2xCass); Dancing with the virgins (6 copies & Cass)
Atmospheric detective stories set in the Peak District featuring Ben Cooper and Diane Fry, two young police detectives with troubled private lives
(Loads of audio/LP available – check the catalogue)
Various stories from the best selling series about The Number One Ladies Detective agency
The Kurt Wallender mysteries
A selection of thrillers from this Swedish author.
Wallander is one of the very best fictional crime-busters and his investigations are perfectly judged to create a thrilling mood of growing tension culminating in a satisfying climax.
The Spa Decameron 7 Copies & CD
Ten high achieving ladies are gathered together in the week between Christmas and the New Year, at the expensive Castle Spa, seeking, through Botox, aromatherapy and general all round pampering, a new beginning to their lives.
The Stepmother's Diary 7 Copies & CD
The wicked stepmother is a classic figure of literature. However, reality is all too often the reverse, with stepchildren using all their cunning to do down daddy's wife in a no-holds-barred fight to the death. Being on the receiving end of that kind of attack is no fun at all, as the heroine in this novel can tell you.
Anchee MIN, Empress Orchid 21 Copies 1 LP
In the final days of the Chinese empire, Orchid, a beautiful 17-year-old from an aristocratic but impoverished family, is pushed into the maelstrom of politics when she is chosen to be a lower-ranking concubine of the emperor.
Lily is the daughter of a humble farmer, and to her family she is just another expensive mouth to feed. Then the local matchmaker delivers startling news: if Lily's feet are bound properly, they will be flawless. In feudal China, where a woman's eligibility is judged by the shape and size of her feet, this is extraordinary good luck. Lily now has the power to make a good marriage and change the fortunes of her family.
Qaisra SHARAZ, The Holy Woman 10 copies
Set in contemporary Pakistan, London and Egypt, Zarrie Bano is a glamorous 28 year-old daughter of a wealthy Muslim landowner, Habib Khan. When his only son is killed, Habib decides to make Zarri his heiress, resurrecting an ancient tradition which decrees that an heiress must remain celibate, becoming her clan's 'holy woman' - a nun.
Max ARTHUR, Forgotten voices of the Great War 12 copies
A landmark work, using unique Imperial War Museum archive material, in which the story of World War One is told in the words of the men and women who were actually there.
In 1935, a young mother wrote a letter to a magazine asking readers for help. At a time when a woman’s place was in the home, she was lonely and frustrated. The letter struck a chord with women all over the country and a secret magazine was born – the Cooperative Correspondence Club, or CCC. With startling honesty the women wrote about every aspect of their lives. None of them could have anticipated the friendships that would grow, nor that the magazine would last their lifetimes.
An intriguing mixture of genealogy, travelogue and Mexican history, this true story describes Bailey’s retracing his great-grandfather’s travels around Mexico. He portrays the bizarre, chaotic and joyously colourful culture through well-realised characters, beautifully depicted scenery, a love story and a surprise ending.
A joint biography of rival queens whose relationship was punctuated by murder and psychological and actual warfare.
Harriet Wilson, Cora Pearl, Sophia Baddeley, Elizabeth Armistead and Catherine Walters were women of very different personalities and talents. Spanning almost 200 years, their lives exemplify the existence of the courtesan.
A History of Proper English, it’s a lot more interesting than it sounds!
What is ‘proper’ English and how did we decide what is ‘proper’ anyway.
A fascinating and wholly readable book, especially if you don’t usually enjoy non-fiction.
An expose of the state of the food production industry in Britain. The author looks at some of the most popular foods we eat to show how the food industry causes ill health, environmental damage, urban blight, starving small-holders in Africa and Asia, and illegal labourers exploited in Britain.
Setting off from Ireland, Pete McCarthy takes us on a journey around the weird and wonderful Irish communities of the world. He recounts his adventures and escapades as, in Morocco he meets the head of Clan McCarthy, and then goes on to visit the renowned Irish peoples of New York. He journeys to the southern hemisphere and then back again to the United States before ending up in a small town called McCarthy in Alaska.
Sent to work as a nursemaid at the age of six, Sayo Masuda was sold to a geisha house at the age of 12. In accordance with tradition, she first worked as a servant while training in the arts of dance, song, shamisen and drum. In 1940, when she was 16, she made her debut as a geisha, but it was not the glamorous life the West imagines.
The autobiography of a well-known Parisian art critic who likes to spend nights in the singles clubs of Paris and in the Bois de Boulogne where she has sex with a succession of anonymous men. 'One of the most explicit books about sex ever written by a woman' Edmund White.
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer whose cancer cells became one of the most important tools in medicine. Rebecca Skloot takes the reader on an extraordinary journey in search of Henrietta's story.
The Apollo Moon Programme has been called the last optimistic act of the 20th Century. Between 1969 and 1972, 12 men made the longest and most eccentric of all journeys and all were indelibly marked by it. Andrew Smith interviews the 9 remaining Moonwalkers to learn how their lives, and ours, were changed by this surreal adventure for ever.
What would you find if you went back and reread all of your favourite books from 18 copies childhood? Francis Spufford discovers both delight and sadness, in this memoir. Re-reading and re-living these books, and investigating their literary origins and rich histories, he reveals what it was like to be an obsessive reader as a child.
Kate SUMMERSCALE, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or The murder at Road Hill House.
This true story has all the hallmarks of a classic gripping murder mystery. 13 copies & CD & LP
A body; a detective; a country house steeped in secrets and a whole family of suspects.
It is the original Victorian whodunnit.
A brutally honest account of life as a marine ('jarhead') in the first Gulf War.
Claire TOMALIN, Samuel Pepys: the unequalled self 16 copies
Through the famous diary years and beyond, to the death of his wife and the setting up of a new household. While using the diary as a source, the author goes beyond its narrative to the inner man, at the same time revealing life as a young man in Restoration London. Explored within are Pepys' relations with women, his fears and ambitions, his political shifts and his agonies and delights.