NEW BOOKS FOR FEBRUARY 2020
NIGHTINGALE by Marina Kemp
Marguerite Demers is twenty-four when she leaves Paris for the sleepy southern village of Saint-Sulpice, to take up a job as a live-in nurse. Her charge is Jerome Lanvier, once one of the most powerful men in the village, and now dying alone in his large and secluded house, surrounded by rambling gardens. Manipulative and tyrannical, Jerome has scared away all his previous nurses.
It’s not long before the villagers have formed opinions of Marguerite. Brigitte Brochon, pillar of the community and local busybody, finds her arrogant and mysterious and is desperate to find a reason to have her fired. Glamorous outsider Suki Lacourse sees Marguerite as an ally in a sea of small-minded provincialism. Local farmer Henri Brochon, husband of Brigitte, feels concern for her and wants to protect her from the villagers’ intrusive gossip and speculation – but Henri has a secret of his own that would intrigue and disturb his neighbours just as much as the truth about Marguerite, if only they knew …
Set among the lush fields and quiet olive groves of southern France, and written in clear prose of crystalline beauty, Nightingale is a masterful, moving novel about death, sexuality, compassion, prejudice and freedom.
SCRUBLANDS by Chris Hammer
A powerful, compelling, vividly written Australian crime novel, perfect for fans of Peter May and Jane Harper
WILDING by Isabella Tree
In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the ‘Knepp experiment’, a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope. Forced to accept that intensive farming on the heavy clay of their land at Knepp was economically unsustainable, Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell made a spectacular leap of faith: they decided to step back and let nature take over. Thanks to the introduction of free-roaming cattle, ponies, pigs and deer – proxies of the large animals that once roamed Britain – the 3,500 acre project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife numbers and diversity in little over a decade. Extremely rare species, including turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons, lesser spotted woodpeckers and purple emperor butterflies, are now breeding at Knepp, and populations of other species are rocketing. The Burrells’ degraded agricultural land has become a functioning ecosystem again, heaving with life – all by itself.
SAYING YES TO LIFE by Ruth Vallerio
Saying Yes to Life lifts our focus from natural, everyday concerns to issues that are having an impact on millions of lives around the world. As people made in the image of God, we are entrusted to look after what he has created: to share in God’s joy and ingenuity in making a difference for good. Ruth Valerio imaginatively draws on the Days of Creation (Genesis 1) as she relates themes of light, water, land, the seasons, other creatures, humankind, Sabbath rest and resurrection hope to matters of environmental, ethical and social concern. Foundational to Saying Yes to Life is what it means to be human and, in particular, to be a follower of Jesus. Voices from around the world are heard throughout, and each chapter ends with discussion questions and a prayer to aid action and contemplation.
THE LOVE CHILD by Rachel Hore
When nineteen-year-old Alice Copeman becomes pregnant, she is forced by her father and stepmother to give up the baby. She simply cannot be allowed to bring shame upon her family. But all Alice can think about is the small, kitten-like child she gave away, and she mourns the father, a young soldier, so beloved, who will never have the chance to know his daughter. Edith and Philip Burns, a childless couple, yearn for a child of their own. When they secretly adopt a baby girl, Irene, their life together must surely be complete. Irene grows up knowing that she is different from other children, but no one will tell her the full truth. Putting hopes of marriage and children behind her, Alice embarks upon a pioneering medical career, striving to make her way in a male-dominated world. Meanwhile, Irene struggles to define her own life, eventually leaving her Suffolk home to find work in London.
THE PIANIST OF YARMOUK by Aeham Ahmad
One morning in war-torn Damascus, a starving man drags a piano into a rubbled street. Everything he once knew has been destroyed by war. Amidst ruin and despair, he begins to play. He plays of love and hope, he plays for his family and his fellow Syrians. He plays even though he could be killed for doing so. As word of his defiance spreads around the world, he becomes a beacon of hope and even resistance. Yet he fears for his wife and children – the more he plays, the more he and his family are endangered until, finally, he must make a terrible choice . . .
A LONG PETAL OF THE SEA by Isabel Allende
Victor Dalmau is a young doctor when he is caught up in the Spanish Civil War, a tragedy that leaves his life – and the fate of his country – forever changed. Together with his sister-in-law, the pianist Roser, he is forced out of his beloved Barcelona and into exile. When opportunity to seek refuge arises, they board a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda to Chile, the promised ‘long petal of sea and wine and snow’. There, they find themselves enmeshed in a rich web of characters who come together in love and tragedy over the course of four generations, destined to witness the battle between freedom and repression as it plays out across the world
NEW BOOKS FOR JANUARY 2020
ALL THE RAGE by Cara Hunter
History doesn’t repeat itself. Does it? A distressed teenage girl is found on the outskirts of Oxford. The story she tells is terrifying: grabbed off the street, a plastic bag forced over her head, then driven somewhere remote and subjected to an assault. DI Adam Fawley is doing the best he can to investigate, but the teenager refuses to press charges. All he can do is try to ignore the sickening feeling he’s seen something like this before…But when another girl goes missing, Fawley knows his time is running out
BLOOD ORANGE by Harriet Tyce
Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.
Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.
I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.
Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.
I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.
But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….
WHY WOMEN READ FICTION by Helen Young
Ian McEwan once said, ‘When women stop reading, the novel will be dead.’ This book explains how precious fiction is to contemporary women readers, and how they draw on it to tell the stories of their lives. Female readers are key to the future of fiction and―as parents, teachers, and librarians―the glue for a literate society. Women treasure the chance to read alone, but have also gregariously shared reading experiences and memories with mothers, daughters, grandchildren, and female friends. For so many, reading novels and short stories enables them to escape and to spread their wings intellectually and emotionally.
THE SUN SISTER by Lucinda Riley
To the outside world, Electra D’Aplièse seems to be the woman with everything: as one of the world’s top models, she is beautiful, rich and famous.Yet beneath the veneer, Electra’s already tenuous control over her state of mind has been rocked by the death of her father, Pa Salt, the elusive billionaire who adopted his six daughters from across the globe. Struggling to cope, she turns to alcohol and drugs. As those around her fear for her health, Electra receives a letter from a complete stranger who claims to be her grandmother . . . In 1939, Cecily Huntley-Morgan arrives in Kenya from New York to nurse a broken heart. Staying with her godmother, a member of the infamous Happy Valley set, on the shores of beautiful Lake Naivasha, she meets Bill Forsythe, a notorious bachelor and cattle farmer with close connections to the proud Maasai tribe. But after a shocking discovery and with war looming, Cecily has few options. Moving up into the Wanjohi Valley, she is isolated and alone. Until she meets a young woman in the woods and makes her a promise that will change the course of her life for ever.
BRUTAL by Mandasue Heller
When Frank Peter’s wife Maureen dies, he feels that his once-idyllic life on the Yorkshire Moors is over. And with a daughter emigrating to Australia and a son who has his own marital problems, Frank feels resigned to a life of loneliness. Then one night he finds a frightened young woman hiding at the back of his farmhouse. She explains that her name is Irena and was brought to this country by a man who promised her the world and then forced her into prostitution. Frank offers her a bed for the night but it’s the middle of winter, and when heavy snowfall prevents her from leaving the next day, he’s forced to extend the invitation. But the longer Irena stays, the easier it gets for the men she’s trying to escape from to find her. People-trafficking could just be the tip of the iceberg, and Frank has no idea what these people are really capable of
DEEPLIGHT by Frances Hardinge
The gods of the Myriad were as real as the coastlines and currents, and as merciless as the winds and whirlpools. Then one day they rose up and tore each other apart, killing many hundreds of islanders and changing the Myriad forever. On the jumbled streets of the Island of Lady’s Crave live Hark and his best friend Jelt. They are scavengers: living off their wits, diving for relics of the gods, desperate for anything they can sell. But now there is something stirring beneath the waves, calling to someone brave enough to retrieve it. Something valuable. Something dangerous.Nothing is quite as it seems, and when the waves try to claim Jelt, Hark will do anything to save him. Even if it means compromising not just who Jelt is, but what he is . .
ELEVATION by Stephen King
In the small town of Castle Rock word gets around quickly. That’s why Scott Carey only confides in his friend Doctor Bob Ellis about his strange condition. Every day he’s losing weight – but without looking any different. Meanwhile a new couple, Deirdre and Missy, owners of a ‘fine dining experience’ in town, have moved in next door. Scott is not happy that their dogs keep fouling on his lawn. But as the town prepares for its annual Thanksgiving 12K run, Scott starts to understand the prejudices his neighbours face. Soon, they forge a friendship which may just help him through his mysterious affliction…
SILVER by Chris Hammer
A HOMECOMING MARRED BY BLOOD
Journalist Martin Scarsden returns to Port Silver to make a fresh start with his partner Mandy. But he arrives to find his childhood friend murdered – and Mandy is the prime suspect. Desperate to clear her name, Martin goes searching for the truth. A TERRIBLE CRIME
The media descends on the coastal town, compelled by a story that has it all: sex, drugs, celebrity, and religion. Martin is chasing the biggest scoop of his career, and the most personal. A PAST HE CAN’T ESCAPE
As Martin draws closer to a killer, the secrets of his traumatic childhood come to the surface, and he must decide what is more important – the story or his family…
THE SPHINX: THE LIFE OF THE DUCHESS OF MARLBOROUGH by Hugo Vickers
Born in Paris to American parents in 1881, Gladys emerged from a traumatic childhood – her father having shot her mother’s lover dead when Gladys was only eleven – to captivate and inspire some of the greatest literary and artistic names of the Belle Epoque. Marcel Proust wrote of her, ‘I never saw a girl with such beauty, such magnificent intelligence, such goodness and charm.’ Berenson considered marrying her, Rodin and Monet befriended her, Boldini painted her and Epstein sculpted her. She inspired love from diverse Dukes and Princes, and the interest of women such as the Comtesse Greffulhe and Gertrude Stein. In 1921, when Gladys was forty, she achieved the wish she had held since the age of fourteen to marry the 9th Duke of Marlborough, then freshly divorced from fellow American Consuelo Vanderbilt. Gladys’s circle now included Lady Ottoline Morrell, Lytton Strachey and Winston Churchill, who described her as ‘a strange, glittering being’. But life at Blenheim was not a success: when the Duke evicted her in 1933, the only remaining signs of Gladys were two sphinxes bearing her features on the west terraces and mysterious blue eyes in the grand portico. She became a recluse, and the wax injections she’d had to straighten her nose when she was 22 had by now ravaged her beauty. Gladys was to spend her last years in the psycho-geriatric ward of a mental hospital, where she was discovered by a young Hugo Vickers.
HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS by Carole Matthews
Thirty-eight years old, she lives on the twenty-five-acre Hope Farm in Buckinghamshire, surrounded by (mostly) four-legged friends and rolling hills. There’s Anthony the anti-social sheep, Tina Turner the alpaca with attitude, and the definitely-not-miniature pig, Teacup. Molly runs the farm as an alternative school for kids who haven’t thrived in mainstream education. It’s full on, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. So when the well-groomed Shelby Dacre turns up at Hope Farm asking to enrol his son Lucas, Molly isn’t fazed. But Lucas is distant and soon Molly realises he might be more of a handful than she anticipated. And then there’s the added problem that his dad is distractingly handsome. Molly has her beloved farm to think of – could letting Lucas and Shelby in be a terrible mistake, or the start of something wonderful?
THE STARLESS SEA by Erin Morganstern
When Zachary Rawlins stumbles across a strange book hidden in his university library it leads him on a quest unlike any other. Its pages entrance him with their tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities and nameless acolytes, but they also contain something impossible: a recollection from his own childhood. Determined to solve the puzzle of the book, Zachary follows the clues he finds on the cover – a bee, a key and a sword. They guide him to a masquerade ball, to a dangerous secret club, and finally through a magical doorway created by the fierce and mysterious Mirabel. This door leads to a subterranean labyrinth filled with stories, hidden far beneath the surface of the earth.
SNOWED IN AT THE PRACTICE by Penny Parkes
Dr Holly Graham is finding life with two sets of twins exhausting. Even with husband Dr Taffy Jones and devoted friend Elsie by her side, she is completely outnumbered. Making the transition back to work will be no easy feat but a regular slot on Radio Larkford as their on-air doctor might be the perfect stepping stone, until an unexpected job offer changes everything. Dr Alice Walker’s new canine clinic at Larkford Surgery with Coco, her assistance dog, has been a storming success. If only shipping her best friend, Dr Tilly Grainger, in from South America to cover for Holly had been such a smooth transition. It seems that Tilly isn’t finding life in the peaceful Cotswolds valley as rewarding as she’d hoped, and she is causing chaos …
MIDDLE ENGLAND by Jonathan Coe
The country is changing and, up and down the land, cracks are appearing – within families and between generations. In the Midlands Benjamin Trotter tries to help his aged father navigate a Britain that seems to have forgotten he exists, while in London his friend Doug doesn’t understand why his teenage daughter is eternally enraged. Meanwhile, newlyweds Sophie and Ian can find nothing to agree on except the fact that their marriage is on the rocks . . .
NEW BOOKS FOR DECEMBER 2019
UP IN THE ATTIC by Pam Ayres
The brand new collection of verse from the nation’s favourite poet, Pam Ayres. With the same magic that has enchanted her fans for more than four decades, Pam’s new collection is by turns hilarious, reflective and profound. From the dubious joy of being an exhausted, panic-stricken hostess in ‘The Dinner Party’ or feelings of unease about pub tableware in ‘Don’t Put My Dinner on the Slate!’, to a poignant reflection of war in ‘Down the Line’and the bittersweet nostalgia of ‘Up in the Attic’, this new collection will tickle and move readers in equal measure.
18th ABDUCTION by James Patterson
The novel focuses on two distinct storylines – that of Lindsay and the three missing teachers, and that of Joe and Anna Sotovina, the Bosnian woman he stumbled over after she’d discovered Petrovic was living in the same town as her. Why is this important, you may ask? Well, Petrovic destroyed Anna’s family and tried his best to destroy her. It soon becomes apparent that the two ‘cases’ and linked and the novel moves at a pace that keeps you on the edge of your seat as you wonder if Lindsay and Rich will find the missing teachers in time and whether Anna will end up at Petrovic’s mercy once more.
MELMOTH by Sarah Perry
One winter night in Prague, Helen Franklin meets her friend Karel on the street. Agitated and enthralled, he tells her he has come into possession of a mysterious old manuscript, filled with personal testimonies that take them from 17th-century England to wartime Czechoslovakia, the tropical streets of Manila, and 1920s Turkey. All of them tell of being followed by a tall, silent woman in black, bearing an unforgettable message.
Helen reads its contents with intrigue, but everything in her life is about to change.
WOMEN AT HITLERS TABLE by Rosella Postorino
East Prussia, 1943. Hitler hides away in the Wolfsshanze – his hidden headquarters. The tide is turning in the war and his enemies circle ever closer.
Ten women are chosen. Ten women to taste his food and protect him from poison. Twenty-six-year-old Rosa has lost everything to this war. Her parents are dead. Her husband is fighting on the front line. Alone and scared, she faces the SS with nothing but the knowledge every bite might be her last.
THE WHISPER MAN by Alex North
Still devastated after the loss of his wife, Tom Kennedy and his young son Jake move to the sleepy village of Featherbank, looking for a much-needed fresh start. But Featherbank has a dark past. Fifteen years ago, a twisted serial killer abducted and murdered five young boys. Until he was finally caught, the killer was known as ‘The Whisper Man’. Of course, an old crime need not trouble Tom and Jake as they try to settle in to their new home. Except that now another boy has gone missing. And then Jake begins acting strangely.
THE WEDDING GUEST by Johnathon Kellerman
When a horrified bridesmaid finds the body of a young woman at a wedding reception, it makes the bride and groom’s choice of a Saints and Sinners theme all the more macabre. There are no means of identification and nobody knows the victim. The bride is convinced someone is trying to sabotage her big day. The groom is sure it’s a dreadful mistake. It’s up to brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware and LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis to uncover the truth. They have a hundred guests to question, and a strong suspicion that the motive for murder is personal…
OUT OF SIGHT by James Patterson
After a harrowing tour in Afghanistan, intelligence officer Amy Cornwall is eager to return home to her husband and their young daughter. But as soon as she steps into the house, she knows that something is terribly wrong.
HER FAMILY IS MISSING
The kidnappers leave a message: if she wants to see her husband and daughter alive again, Amy must complete a near impossible task…and she has 48 hours to do it.
SHE’LL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO BRING THEM HOME
Alone, afraid and officially AWOL, Amy will sacrifice everything to find her family – her career, her reputation, maybe even her own life…
POSTSCRIPT by Celia Aherne
It’s been seven years since Holly Kennedy’s husband died – six since she read his final letter, urging Holly to find the courage to forge a new life.She’s proud of all the ways in which she has grown and evolved. But when a group inspired by Gerry’s letters, calling themselves the PS, I Love You Club, approaches Holly asking for help, she finds herself drawn back into a world that she worked so hard to leave behind. Reluctantly, Holly begins a relationship with the club, even as their friendship threatens to destroy the peace she believes she has achieved. As each of these people calls upon Holly to help them leave something meaningful behind for their loved ones, Holly will embark on a remarkable journey – one that will challenge her to ask whether embracing the future means betraying the past, and what it means to love someone forever…
A MRS MIRACLE CHRISTMAS by Debbie MACOMBER (no cover)
Laurel McCullough is in desperate need of help. Her beloved grandmother has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and the baby she and her husband Zach have longed for now seems like an impossible dream. So when Mrs Miracle appears at the door, Laurel couldn’t be more relieved. She invites the nurse into her life and it’s not long before they become firm friends. When her grandmother’s condition begins to improve, and as Laurel and Zach continue their desperate quest for a child, Laurel soon realises that there is more to Mrs Miracle than meets the eye.
WAKENHYRST by Michelle Paver (no cover)
In Edwardian Suffolk, a manor house stands alone in a lost corner of the Fens: a glinting wilderness of water whose whispering reeds guard ancient secrets. Maud is a lonely child growing up without a mother, ruled by her repressive father.When he finds a painted medieval devil in a graveyard, unhallowed forces are awakened. Maud’s battle has begun. She must survive a world haunted by witchcraft, the age-old legends of her beloved fen – and the even more nightmarish demons of her father’s past. Spanning five centuries, Wakenhyrst is a darkly gothic thriller about murderous obsession and one girl’s longing to fly free by the bestselling author of Dark Matter and Thin Air. Wakenhyrst is an outstanding new piece of story-telling, a tale of mystery and imagination laced with terror. It is a masterwork in the modern gothic tradition that ranges from Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker to Neil Gaiman and Sarah Perry.
A GOOD GIRLS GUIDE TO MURDER by Holy Jackson
The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it. But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the crime, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth . . . ?
UNDER OCCUPATION by Alan Furst
Occupied Paris, 1942.
In the dark, treacherous city, the German occupying forces are everywhere-and so are French resistance fighters, working secretly to defeat Hitler. Just before he dies, a man being chased by the Gestapo hands off a strange-looking document to the unsuspecting novelist Paul Ricard. It looks like a blueprint of a part for a military weapon – one that might have important information for the Allied forces – and Ricard realizes he must try to get it into the hands of members of the resistance network. As he finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into anti-German efforts, Ricard travels deep into enemy territory and along the escape routes of underground resistance safe houses, spying on Nazi maneuvers. And when he meets the mysterious and beautiful Leila, a professional spy, they begin to work together to get crucial information out of France and into the hands of the Allied forces in London.
STARVE ACRE by Andrew Michael Hurley
The worst thing possible has happened. Richard and Juliette Willoughby’s son, Ewan, has died suddenly at the age of five. Starve Acre, their house by the moors, was to be full of life, but is now a haunted place. Juliette, convinced Ewan still lives there in some form, seeks the help of the Beacons, a seemingly benevolent group of occultists. Richard, to try and keep the boy out of his mind, has turned his attention to the field opposite the house, where he patiently digs the barren dirt in search of a legendary oak tree. Starve Acre is a devastating new novel by the author of the prize-winning bestseller The Loney. It is a novel about the way in which grief splits the world in two and how, in searching for hope, we can so easily unearth horror.
A LITLE HATRED by Joe Abercombe
The chimneys of industry rise over Adua and the world seethes with new opportunities. But old scores run deep as ever. On the blood-soaked borders of Angland, Leo dan Brock struggles to win fame on the battlefield, and defeat the marauding armies of Stour Nightfall. He hopes for help from the crown. But King Jezal’s son, the feckless Prince Orso, is a man who specialises in disappointments. Savine dan Glokta – socialite, investor, and daughter of the most feared man in the Union – plans to claw her way to the top of the slag-heap of society by any means necessary. But the slums boil over with a rage that all the money in the world cannot control. The age of the machine dawns, but the age of magic refuses to die. With the help of the mad hillwoman Isern-i-Phail, Rikke struggles to control the blessing, or the curse, of the Long Eye. Glimpsing the future is one thing, but with the guiding hand of the First of the Magi still pulling the strings, changing it will be quite another . . .
NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro
In one of the most acclaimed novels of recent years, Kazuo Ishiguro imagines the lives of a group of students growing up in a darkly skewed version of contemporary England. Narrated by Kathy, now thirty-one, Never Let Me Go dramatises her attempts to come to terms with her childhood at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham School and with the fate that has always awaited her and her closest friends in the wider world. A story of love, friendship and memory, Never Let Me Go is charged throughout with a sense of the fragility of life.
PURPLE HIBISCUS by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
The limits of fifteen-year-old Kambili’s world are defined by the high walls of her family estate and the dictates of her fanatically religious father. Her life is regulated by schedules: prayer, sleep, study, prayer. When Nigeria is shaken by a military coup, Kambili’s father, involved mysteriously in the political crisis, sends her to live with her aunt. In this house, noisy and full of laughter, she discovers life and love – and a terrible, bruising secret deep within her family. This extraordinary debut novel from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’, is about the blurred lines between the old gods and the new, childhood and adulthood, love and hatred – the grey spaces in which truths are revealed and real life is lived.
THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX by Maggie O’Farrell
Edinburgh in the 1930s. The Lennox family is having trouble with its youngest daughter. Esme is outspoken, unconventional, and repeatedly embarrasses them in polite society. Something will have to be done. Years later, a young woman named Iris Lockhart receives a letter informing her that she has a great-aunt in a psychiatric unit who is about to be released. Iris has never heard of Esme Lennox and the one person who should know more, her grandmother Kitty, seems unable to answer Iris’s questions. What could Esme have done to warrant a lifetime in an institution? And how is it possible for a person to be so completely erased from a family’s history?
THE LITTLE STRANGER by Sarah Waters
In a dusty post-war summer in rural Warwickshire, a doctor is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, its owners – mother, son and daughter – struggling to keep pace. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life? Little does Dr Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his
THE RISE AND FALL OF BECKY SHARP by Sarra Manning
Becky Sharp has big dreams and no connections. Determined to swap the gutters of Soho for the glamorous, exclusive world behind the velvet rope, Becky will do anything to achieve fame, riches and status. Whether it’s seducing society’s most eligible bachelors, or befriending silly debutantes and rich old ladies, Becky Sharp is destined for great things. Because it might be tough at the top but it’s worse at the bottom. From London to Paris and beyond, Becky Sharp is going places – so get the hell out of her way…
SOUR; THE MAGICAL ELEMENT THAT TRANSFORMS COOKING by Mark Diancano
From cheese to vinegar, throughout the centuries we have deliberately let – and even encouraged – food to go sour to enhance its flavour. Now, sour foods have never been more fashionable, with the spotlight falling on foodstuffs as disparate as Belgian sour beer and Korean kimchi. But what is it that makes sourness such an enticing, complex element of the eating experience? And what are the best ways to harness sour flavours in your own kitchen? Sour offers a series of invitations to the modern cook, to learn the life-enhancing skills behind the everyday transformations that hold the key to this most enduring taste. Award-winning food writer Mark Diacono sets out to demystify the sour world, and explore why everyone’s extolling the virtues of kombucha and fermenting for their digestive health. By grappling with gooseberries and turning his hand to sourdough, experimenting with ultra-cool shrub cocktails, and making his own yoghurt, kefir and pickles, Mark tells the story of what makes things sour, and offers recipes that maximise the transformative power of this amazing taste. From sumac-roasted duck and kombucha mayonnaise to roasted plums with labneh and cherry sour cream clafoutis, it is time to let a little (or a lot) of sour into your life.
THE FOX AND THE HORSE by Charlie Mackesy
Enter the world of Charlie’s four unlikely friends, discover their story and their most important life lessons. The conversations of the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse have been shared thousands of times online, recreated in school art classes, hung on hospital walls and turned into tattoos. In Charlie’s first book, you will find his most-loved illustrations and some new ones too.
NEW BOOKS FOR NOVEMBER 2019
THE BODY: A GUIDE FOR OCCUPANTS by Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson sets off to explore the human body, how it functions and its remarkable ability to heal itself. Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories The Body: A Guide for Occupants is a brilliant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological make up.
A wonderful successor to A Short History of Nearly Everything, this new book is an instant classic. It will have you marvelling at the form you occupy, and celebrating the genius of your existence, time and time again.
ME by Elton John
Christened Reginald Dwight, he was a shy boy with Buddy Holly glasses who grew up in the London suburb of Pinner and dreamed of becoming a pop star. By the age of twenty-three, he was performing his first gig in America, facing an astonished audience in his bright yellow dungarees, a star-spangled T-shirt and boots with wings. Elton John had arrived and the music world would never be the same again. His life has been full of drama, from the early rejection of his work with songwriting partner Bernie Taupin to spinning out of control as a chart-topping superstar; from half-heartedly trying to drown himself in his LA swimming pool to disco-dancing with the Queen; from friendships with John Lennon, Freddie Mercury and George Michael to setting up his AIDS Foundation. All the while, Elton was hiding a drug addiction that would grip him for over a decade. In Me Elton also writes powerfully about getting clean and changing his life, about finding love with David Furnish and becoming a father. In a voice that is warm, humble and open, this is Elton on his music and his relationships, his passions and his mistakes. This is a story that will stay with you, by a living legend.
CHERNOBYL: HISTORY OF A TRAGEDY by Serhii Plokhy
On 26 April 1986 at 1.23am a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Soviet Ukraine exploded. While the authorities scrambled to understand what was occurring, workers, engineers, firefighters and those living in the area were abandoned to their fate. The blast put the world on the brink of nuclear annihilation, contaminating over half of Europe with radioactive fallout.In Chernobyl, award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy draws on recently opened archives to recreate these events in all their drama. A moment by moment account of the heroes, perpetrators and victims of a tragedy, Chernobyl is the first full account of a gripping, unforgettable Cold War story. ‘A compelling history of the 1986 disaster and its aftermath . . . plunges the reader into the sweaty, nervous tension of the Chernobyl control room on that fateful night when human frailty and design flaws combined to such devastating effect’ Daniel Beer, Guardian
EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT LOVE by Dolly Alderton
Award-winning journalist Dolly Alderton survived her twenties (just about) and in Everything I Know About Love, she gives an unflinching account of the bad dates and squalid flat-shares, the heartaches and humiliations, and most importantly, the unbreakable female friendships that helped her to hold it all together. Glittering with wit, heart and humour, this is a book to press into the hands of every woman who has ever been there or is about to find themselves taking that first step towards the rest of their lives.
THE HISTORY OF THE SAS by Chris Ryan
Tasked with storming mountain strongholds in the desert. Trained to hunt down the world’s most wanted terrorists. This is the extraordinary story of 22 SAS. The history of the modern SAS is one of the great successes of post-war Britain. Since it was revived in 1950 to combat Communist insurgents, the Regiment has gone from strength to strength, fighting covert wars in Oman, Borneo, Northern Ireland, the Falklands, the Persian Gulf and beyond. In the process, it has become one of the most indispensable, and at times controversial, units in the British army Today, the SAS is regarded as the world’s leading Special Forces unit, renowned for its demanding Selection course and its relentless ability to adapt to the changing nature of warfare. More than anything else, however, it is the determination and ingenuity of the SAS soldiers that has made the Regiment what it is today. Drawing on his extensive network of contacts and his own experiences, Chris Ryan tells the story of the men on the ground. From the earliest patrols in the Malayan jungle, through to the storming of the Iranian Embassy, the daring raids behind enemy lines in the Gulf War, and up-to-minute missions to capture or kill notorious terrorists – this is the gripping, no-holds-barred account of Regiment operations. Above all, it is a story of elite soldiers fighting, and triumphing, against seemingly impossible odds.
I WILL MISS YOU TOMORROW by Heine Bakkied
Fresh out of prison and a stint in a psychiatric hospital, disgraced ex-policeman Thorkild Aske only wants to lose himself in drugged dreams of his beloved Frei. Wild, unknowable Frei. The woman he loved. The woman he has lost forever. Yet when Frei’s young cousin goes missing off the Norwegian coast and Thorkild is called in by the family to help find him, dead or alive, Thorkild cannot refuse. He owes them this.Tormented by his past, Thorkild soon finds himself deep in treacherous waters. He’s lost his reputation – will he now lose his life?
THE SALT PATH by Raynor Winn
Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home is taken away and they lose their livelihood. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall. Carrying only the essentials for survival on their backs, they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea and sky. Yet through every step, every encounter and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable journey. The Salt Path is an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world. Ultimately, it is a portrayal of home, and how it can be lost, rebuilt and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways.
WESTWIND by Ian Rankin
After his friend suspects something strange going on at the launch facility where they both work – and then goes missing – Martin Hepton doesn’t believe the official line of “long-term sick leave”… Refusing to stop asking questions, he leaves his old life behind, aware that someone is shadowing his every move. The only hope he has is his ex-girlfriend Jill Watson – the only journalist who will believe his story. But neither of them can believe the puzzle they’re piecing together – or just how shocking the secret is that everybody wants to stay hidden…
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN by Angela Kelly
When Angela Kelly and The Queen are together, laughter echoes through the corridors of Buckingham Palace. Angela has worked with The Queen and walked the corridors of the Royal Household for twenty-five years, initially as Her Majesty’s Senior Dresser and then latterly as Her Majesty’s Personal Advisor, Curator, Wardrobe and In-house Designer. As the first person in history to hold this title, she shares a uniquely close working relationship with The Queen. In The Other Side of the Coin, The Queen has personally given Angela her blessing to share their extraordinary bond with the world. Whether it’s preparing for a formal occasion or brightening Her Majesty’s day with a playful joke, Angela’s priority is to serve and support. Sharing never-before-seen photographs – many from Angela’s own private collection – and charming anecdotes of their time spent together, this revealing book provides memorable insights into what it’s like to work closely with The Queen, to curate her wardrobe and to discover a true and lasting connection along the way.
TWAS THE NIGHTSHIFT BEFORE CHRISTMAS by Adam Kay
Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat . . . but 1.4 million NHS staff are heading off to work. In this perfect present for anyone who has ever set foot in a hospital, Adam Kay delves back into his diaries for a hilarious, horrifying and sometimes heartbreaking peek behind the blue curtain at Christmastime.Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas is a love letter to all those who spend their festive season on the front line, removing babies and baubles from the various places they get stuck, at the most wonderful time of the year.
THE CHRISTMAS PARTY by Karen Swan
When Declan Lorne, the last remaining knight in Ireland, dies suddenly, an ancient title passes with him. But his estate on Ireland’s rugged south-west coast is left to his three daughters. The two eldest, Ottie and Pip, inherit in line with expectations, but to everyone’s surprise – and dismay – it is the errant baby of the family, Willow, who gets the castle. Why her? Something unknown – something terrible – made her turn her back on her family three years earlier, escaping to Dublin and vowing never to return. So when Willow quickly announces she is selling up, her revenge seems sweet and the once-close sisters are pushed to breaking point: in desperation, Pip risks everything to secure her own future, and Ottie makes a decision that will ruin lives. It’s each woman for herself.
THE IRISHMAN by Charles Brandt
The Irishman is an epic saga of organised crime in post-war America told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran, a hustler and hitman who worked for legendary crime boss Russell Bufalino alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th Century. Spanning decades, Sheeran’s story chronicles one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history, the disappearance of legendary union boss Jimmy Hoffa, and it offers a monumental journey through the hidden corridors of organized crime: its inner workings, rivalries and connections to mainstream politics. Sheeran would rise to a position of such prominence that in a RICO suit against The Commission of La Cosa Nostra, the US Government would name him as one of only two non-Italians in conspiracy with the Commission. Sheeran is listed alongside the likes of Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano and Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno. In the course of nearly five years of recorded interviews, Sheeran confessed to Charles Brandt that he handled more than twenty-five hits for the mob, and Brandt turned Sheeran’s story into a page-turning true crime classic.
THE CONTENDER by William Mann
The most influential movie actor of his era, Marlon Brando changed the way other actors perceived their craft. His approach was natural, honest, and deeply personal, resulting in performances―most notably in A Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront―that are without parallel. Brando was heralded as the American Hamlet―the Yank who surpassed British stage royalty Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, and Ralph Richardson as the standard of greatness in the mid-twentieth century. Brando’s impact on American culture matches his professional significance; he both challenged and codified our ideas of masculinity and sexuality. Brando was also one of the first stars to use his fame as a platform to address social, political, and moral issues, courageously calling out America’s deeply rooted racism.
DANCING BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON by Giles Brandreth
Poetry is officially good for you. Not only does it enhance literacy in the young, but learning poetry by heart is the one truly pleasurable thing you can do to improve memory, boost brain power, extend your vocabulary and beat cognitive decline as time goes by. In Dancing by the Light of the Moon, Gyles Brandreth shares over 250 poems to read, relish and recite, as well as his advice on how to learn poetry by heart, and the benefits of doing so.Whether you are nine, nineteen or ninety, the poems and advice in this book provide the most enjoyable, moving and inspiring way to ensure a lifetime of dancing by the light of the moon – one joyous poem at a time . . .
BIG SKY by Kate Atkinson
Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village in North Yorkshire, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son Nathan and ageing Labrador Dido, both at the discretion of his former partner Julia. It’s a picturesque setting, but there’s something darker lurking behind the scenes.
Jackson’s current job, gathering proof of an unfaithful husband for his suspicious wife, seems straightforward, but a chance encounter with a desperate man on a crumbling cliff leads him into a sinister network―and back into the path of someone from his past. Old secrets and new lies intersect in this breathtaking new novel, both sharply funny and achingly sad, by one of the most dazzling and surprising writers at work today.
HOLLYWOOD WANTS TO KILL YOU by Michael Brooks
Asteroids, killer sharks, nuclear bombs, viruses, deadly robots, climate change, the apocalypse – why is Hollywood so obsessed with death and the end of the world? And how seriously should we take the dystopian visions of our favourite films?
With wit, intelligence and irreverence, Rick Edwards and Dr Michael Brooks explore the science of death and mass destruction through some of our best-loved Hollywood blockbusters. From Armageddon and Dr Strangelove to The Terminator and Contagion, they investigate everything from astrophysics to AI, with hilarious and captivating consequences. Packed with illustrations, fascinating facts and numerous spoilers, Hollywood Wants to Kill You is the perfect way into the science of our inevitable demise.
A WEDDING IN DECEMBER by Sarah Morgan
First to arrive are the bride’s parents, Maggie and Nick. Their daughter’s marriage is a milestone they are determined to celebrate wholeheartedly, but they are hiding a huge secret about their own: they are on the brink of divorce. After living apart for the last six months, the last thing they need is to be trapped together in an irresistibly romantic winter wonderland. Rosie’s older sister Katie is also dreading the wedding. Worried that impulsive, sweet-hearted Rosie is making a mistake, Katie is determined to save her sister from herself. If only the irritatingly good-looking best man, Jordan, would stop interfering with her plans…Bride-to-be Rosie loves her fiance but is having serious second thoughts. Except everyone has arrived – how can she tell them she’s not sure? As the big day gets closer, and emotions run even higher, this is one White family Christmas none of them will ever forget.