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Book of the Week!

Until We Win

by Linda Newbery

until we win

A hundred years ago, women didn’t have the vote. When Lizzy Frost becomes involved with the fledgling Suffragette movement, it expands her horizons in ways she never could have imagined. From time spent in prison for the cause, to new relationships with fellow campaigners, Lizzy’s struggle for votes for women sets her heart on fire.
Until We Win is available in the LRC

15/10/2018

 

Rebecca

by Daphne du Maurier

rebecca

‘Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .’

Working as a lady’s companion our unnamed heroine’s outlook is bleak until, on a trip to the south of France, she meets a handsome widower whose proposal takes her by surprise. She accepts but, whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. The memory of his beloved wife Rebecca is forever kept alive at Manderley, her tragic death haunting the house.

An international bestseller that has never gone out of print, Rebecca is the disturbing and suspenseful story of a young woman consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity.

Rebecca is available in the LRC

01/10/2018

Mythago Wood

by Robert Holdstock

mythago wood

Deep within the wildwood lies a place of myth and mystery, from which few return, and none remain unchanged.
Ryhope Wood may look like a three-mile-square fenced-in wood in rural Herefordshire on the outside, but inside, it is a primeval, intricate labyrinth of trees, impossibly huge, unforgettable . . . and stronger than time itself.
Stephen Huxley has already lost his father to the mysteries of Ryhope Wood. On his return from the Second World War, he finds his brother, Christopher, is also in thrall to the mysterious wood, wherein lies a realm where mythic archetypes grow flesh and blood, where love and beauty haunt your dreams, and in promises of freedom lies the sanctuary of insanity . . .

Mythago Wood is available in the LRC

24/09/2018

 

Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride and Prejudice by Natasha Farrant

lydia

A spirited, witty and fresh reimagining of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice! Lydia is the youngest Bennet sister and she’s sick of country life – instead of sewing and reading, she longs for adventure. When a red-coated garrison arrives in Merryton, Lydia’s life turns upside down. As she falls for dashing Wickham, she’s swept into a whirlwind social circle and deposited in a seaside town, Brighton. Sea-bathing, promenades and scandal await – and a pair of intriguing siblings. Can Lydia find out what she really wants – and can she get it?
Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride and Prejudice is available in the LRC

18/06/2018

 

Tales of Beauty and Cruelty by Kate Petty and Caroline Castle

tales of beauty and cruelty

2005 is the bicentenary of Hans Christian Andersen’s birth. His stories have timeless themes – love, death, coming to terms with all that life offers.

This collection of ten stories weaves those essential themes of beauty and cruelty into contemporary takes on life. “The Steadfast Tin Solder” becomes “The Flames of Love”, “The Ugly Duckling” is retold as “Swan” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, retold as “The King of Cool”, has new relevance as the story of a boy obsessed with branded clothing. All are memorable for the shock value of many of Andersen’s most painful images: the shards of a broken mirror; the piercing of a broken heart.

“The Swineherd” (“Princess), “The Snow Queen” (“The Shattered Mirror”), “The Wild Swans”(“The Wild Swanns”), “The Princess and the Pea” (“Mother Knows Best”), “The Little Match Girl” (“A Little Flame”), “The Ugly Duckling” (“Swan) and “The Little Mermaid” (“Coming Up for Air”) are all also recast for the 21st century.
Tales of Beauty and Cruelty is available in the LRC

11/06/2018

 

One Day by David Nicholls

one day

Twenty years, two people, ONE DAY. The multi-million copy bestseller that captures the experiences of a generation.

‘I can imagine you at forty,’ she said, a hint of malice in her voice. ‘I can picture it right now.’

He smiled without opening his eyes. ‘Go on then.’

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?

One Day is available in the LRC

04/06/2018

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

the reader

The Reader is a brief tale about sex, love, reading and shame in post-war Germany. Michael Berg is 15 when he begins a long, obsessive affair with Hanna, an enigmatic older woman. He never learns very much about her and when she disappears one day, he expects never to see her again.

But, to his horror, he does. Hanna is a defendant in a trial related to Germany’s Nazi past and it soon becomes clear that she is guilty of an unspeakable crime. As Michael follows the trial, he struggles with an overwhelming question: what should his generation do with its knowledge of the Holocaust?

“We should not believe we can comprehend the incomprehensible, we may not compare the incomparable… Should we only fall silent in revulsion, shame, and guilt? To what purpose?”

The Reader is available in the LRC

21/05/2018

 

Norwegian Wood by Murakami

norwegian wood

When he hears her favourite Beatles song, Norwegian Wood, Toru Watanabe recalls his first love Naoko – the girlfriend of his best friend Kizuki. Immediately he is transported back almost twenty years to his student days in Tokyo, adrift in a world of uneasy friendships, casual sex, passion, loss and desire – to a time when an impetuous young woman called Midori marches into his life and he has to choose between the future and the past.

Norwegian Wood is a coming of age tale set primarily in 1969/70, the time of Murakami’s own university years. The political upheavals and student strikes of the period form the backdrop of the novel, but the focus remains on the young Watanabe’s love affairs, the pain (and pleasure) of growing up and all its attendant losses, obsessions and crises.

Norwegian Wood  is available in the LRC

14/05/2018

 

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

tender is the night

Written by the greatest chronicler of the Jazz Age, Tender Is the Night examines the lives of a circle of American expatriates on the Cote d’Azur. Fitzgerald’s fourth novel, it is a cool dissection of glamour, wealth, addiction, mental instability and marital breakdown. The book examines elegance, class and taste, and the competitive destructiveness of intimate human relationships. A ‘sultry dream of a book’, sensual and strange.

Tender is the Night is available in the LRC

08/05/2018

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

miniaturist

On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she 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 . . .

Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall?

Beautiful, intoxicating and filled with heart-pounding suspense, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.

The Miniaturist is available in the LRC

30/04/2018

 

The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

bone sparrow

This is a beautiful, vivid and deeply moving story about a refugee boy who has spent his entire life living in a detention centre. This novel reminds us all of the importance of freedom, hope, and the power of a story to speak for anyone who’s ever struggled to find a safe home. Born in a refugee camp, all Subhi knows of the world is that he’s at least 19 fence diamonds high, the nice Jackets never stay long, and at night he dreams that the sea finds its way to his tent, bringing with it unusual treasures. And one day it brings him Jimmie. Carrying a notebook that she’s unable to read and wearing a sparrow made out of bone around her neck – both talismans of her family’s past and the mother she’s lost – Jimmie strikes up an unlikely friendship with Subhi beyond the fence. As he reads aloud the tale of how Jimmie’s family came to be, both children discover the importance of their own stories in writing their futures.

The Bone Sparrow is available in the LRC

23/04/2018

The Chimes by Anna Smaill

the chimes

Welcome back from the Easter Break! This week’s Book of the Week is The Chimes by Anna Smaill!

A boy stands on the roadside on his way to London, alone in the rain.

No memories, beyond what he can hold in his hands at any given moment.

No directions, as written words have long since been forbidden.

No parents – just a melody that tugs at him, a thread to follow. A song that says if he can just get to the capital, he may find some answers about what happened to them. The world around Simon sings, each movement a pulse of rhythm, each object weaving its own melody,   music ringing in every drop of air.

Welcome to the world of The Chimes. Here, life is orchestrated by a vast musical instrument that renders people unable to form new    memories. The past is a mystery, each new day feels the same as the last, and before is blasphemy. But slowly, inexplicably, Simon is       beginning to remember. He emerges from sleep each morning with a pricking feeling, and sense there is something he urgently has to do. In the city Simon meets Lucien, who has a gift for hearing, some secrets of his own, and a theory about the danger lurking in Simon’s past.

A stunning debut composed of memory, music, love and freedom, The Chimes pulls you into a world that will captivate, enthral and inspire.

The Chimes is available in the LRC

16/04/2018

 

The Quiet Girl by Peter Høeg

quiet girl

Set in Denmark in the here and now, The Quiet Girl centres around Kaspar Krone, a world-renowned circus clown with a deep love for the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, and an even deeper gambling debt. Wanted for tax evasion and on the verge of extradition, Krone is drafted into the service of a mysterious order of nuns who promise him reprieve from the international authorities in return for his help safeguarding a group of children with mystical abilities.

When one of the children goes missing a year later, Krone sets off to find the young girl and bring her back, making a shocking series of discoveries along the way about her identity and the true intentions of his young wards.

The Quiet Girl is available in the LRC

26/03/2018

 

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

a thousand splendid suns

Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed. Nearly two decades later, a friendship grows between Mariam and a local teenager, Laila, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. When the Taliban take over, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, and lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is available in the LRC

19/03/2018

 

Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter

angela carter nights at the circus

Is Sophie Fevvers, toast of Europe’s capitals, part swan…or all fake?

Courted by the Prince of Wales and painted by Toulouse-Lautrec, she is an aerialiste extraordinaire and star of Colonel Kearney’s circus. She is also part woman, part swan. Jack Walser, an American journalist, is on a quest to discover the truth behind her identity. Dazzled by his love for her, and desperate for the scoop of a lifetime, Walser has no choice but to join the circus on its magical tour through turn-of-the-nineteenth-century London, St Petersburg and Siberia.

Nights at the Circus is available in the LRC

12/03/2018

The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

by Jonas Jonasson

THE-HUNDRED-YEAR-OLD-MAN

Sitting quietly in his room in an old people’s home, Allan Karlsson is waiting for a party he doesn’t want to begin. His one-hundredth birthday party to be precise. The Mayor will be there. The press will be there. But, as it turns out, Allan will not . . .

Escaping (in his slippers) through his bedroom window, into the flowerbed, Allan makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, Allan’s earlier life is revealed. A life in which – remarkably – he played a key role behind the scenes in some of the momentous events of the twentieth century.

The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared  is available in the LRC

05/03/2018

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

goldfinch

Aged thirteen, 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 the thing that most 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 Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling power. Combining unforgettably vivid characters and thrilling suspense, it is a beautiful, addictive triumph – a sweeping story of loss and obsession, of survival and self-invention, of the    deepest mysteries of love, identity and fate.

The Goldfinch is available in the LRC

19/02/2018

 

The Behaviour of Moths by Poppy Adams

behaviour of moths

From her lookout on the first floor, Ginny watches and waits for her younger sister to return to the crumbling mansion that was once their idyllic childhood home. Vivien has not set foot in the house since she left, forty-seven years ago; Ginny, the reclusive moth expert, has rarely ventured outside it.

But with Vivien’s arrival, dark, unspoken secrets surface. Told in Ginny’s unforgettable voice, this debut novel tells a disquieting story of two sisters and the ties that bind – sometimes a little too tightly.

The Behaviour of Moths is available in the LRC

05/02/2018

 

Tupac Shakur: The Rose that Grew from Concrete by Tupac Shakur

tupak

His talent was unbounded, a raw force that commanded attention and respect.
His death was tragic – a violent homage to the power of his voice.
His legacy is indomitable – remaining vibrant and alive.

Here now, are Tupac Shakur’s most honest and intimate thoughts conveyed through the pure art of poetry – a mirror into his enigmatic life and its many contradictions.

Written in his own hand at the age of nineteen, they embrace his spirit, his energy and his ultimate message of hope. These poems, which Tupac wrote from the heart, will encourage people to take the first steps necessary to see his literary importance, as well as have us acknowledge the life struggles of black men.

There is no better way to get inside the mind of an artist than to examine his artistic expressions: sharing his sensitivity, insight, revolutionary mind, fears, passions, and sense of humour, Tupac’s stature and recognition as a rapper is clear and unequivocal. The Rose that Grew from Concrete confirms his place amongst the best writers and poets of his generation.

Tupac Shakur: The Rose That Grew From Concrete is available in the LRC

29/01/2018

 

The Last King of Scotland by Giles Foden

king of scotland

In an incredible twist of fate, a Scottish doctor on a Ugandan medical mission becomes irreversibly entangled with one of the world’s most barbaric figures: Idi Amin. Impressed by Dr. Garrigan’s brazen attitude in a moment of   crisis, the newly self-appointed Ugandan President Amin hand picks him as his personal physician and closest   confidante. Though Garrigan is at first flattered and fascinated by his new position, he soon awakens to Amin’s savagery – and his own complicity in it. Horror and betrayal ensue as Garrigan tries to right his wrongs and escape Uganda alive.

The Last King of Scotland is available in the LRC

22/01/2018

 

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

riversoflondon

My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (and as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit – we do paperwork so real coppers don’t have to – and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluable, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England.

Now I’m a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden … and there’s something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair.

The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it’s falling to me to bring order out of chaos – or die trying.

Rivers of London is available in the LRC

15/01/2018

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

13 reasons why

You can’t stop the future. You can’t rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen comes home from school to find outside his front door a mysterious box with his name on it. Inside he discovers a series of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and crush. Only, she committed suicide two weeks earlier. On the first tape, Hannah explains that there are 13 reasons why she did what she did – and Clay is one of them. If he listens, Clay will find out how he got onto the list – what he hears will change his life forever.

Perfect for fans of The Fault In Our Stars and All the Bright Places.

Thirteen Reasons Why is available in the LRC

08/01/2018

The Great Gatbsy by F. Scott Fitzgerald

great gatsby

Considered to be one of the great American novels and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s finest work,, The Great Gatsby is a consummate summary of the “roaring twenties”, and a devastating expose of the “Jazz Age”.
Through the narration of Nick Carraway, the reader is taken into the superficially glittering world of the    mansions which lined the Long Island shore in the 1920s, to encounter Nick’s cousin Daisy, her brash but wealthy husband Tom Buchanan, Jay Gatsby and the mystery that surrounds him.

The Great Gatsby is available in the LRC

11/12/2017

 

The Master and the Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

master margarita

“But would you kindly ponder this question: What would your good do if  evil didn’t exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows  disappeared? After all, shadows are cast by things and people. Here is the   shadow of my sword. But shadows also come from trees and living beings.
Do you want to strip the earth of all trees and living things just because  of your fantasy of enjoying naked light? You’re  stupid.” 

The devil makes a personal appearance in Moscow accompanied by various demons, including a naked girl and a huge black cat. When he leaves, the asylums are full and the forces of law and order in disarray. Only the Master, a man devoted to truth, and Margarita, the woman he loves, can resist the devil’s onslaught.
The Master and Margarita is available in the LRC

04/12/2017

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

book theif

HERE IS A SMALL FACT – YOU ARE GOING TO DIE
1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.
SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION – THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH
It’s a small story, about: a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.
ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW – DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES

The Book Thief is available in the LRC

27/11/2017

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

cloud atlas

Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies . . .”

Six interlocking lives – one amazing adventure. In a narrative that circles the globe and reaches from the 19th century to a post-apocalyptic future, Cloud Atlas erases the boundaries of time, genre and language to offer an enthralling vision of humanity’s will to power, and where it will lead us.

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2004, Winner of the Richard & Judy Best Read of the Year

Cloud Atlas is available in the LRC

20/11/2017

American Gods by Neil Gaiman 

american gods

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.
But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him    tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and a rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.
Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. Soon Shadow learns that the past never dies…and that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing – an epic war for the very soul of America – and that he is standing squarely in its path.

“Mystery, satire, sex, horror, poetic prose — American Gods uses all these to keep the reader turning the pages.” –Michael Dirda, The   Washington Post

American Gods is available in the LRC

13/11/2017

V For Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

v for vendetta

“Good evening London. It’s nine o’clock and this is the voice of fate…”

Moore’s dark graphic novel tells a powerful story about loss of freedom and individuality, V for Vendetta takes place in a   totalitarian England following a devastating war that changed the face of the planet. In a world without political freedom, personal freedom and precious little faith in anything comes a mysterious man in a white porcelain mask who fights political oppressors through terrorism and seemingly absurd acts. It’s a gripping tale of the blurred lines between ideological good and evil.

V for Vendetta is available in the LRC

06/11/2017

 

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

edge of everything

Every day, Zoe struggles to keep going. The cruel winter took her father’s life and left her angry and broken hearted. As she carries her little brother through a snowstorm that could kill him in minutes, her only thought is finding shelter. The cabin beyond the woods is far from the place of safety she hoped it would be, but it is there that she meets a man whose muscular body, marked with strange and primitive tattoos, hints at an extraordinary story. He has the power to light up the lake, and with it, Zoe’s world.

Zoe calls the stranger X. He is a bounty hunter, tormented by the evils of his victims, which course through his veins. X has never known anything but hate, until he meets Zoe. She shows him what a heart is really for and, if they can find a way to be together, just maybe, his pain can help Zoe forget her own.

The Edge of Everything is available in the LRC

30/10/2017

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

white teeth

Zadie Smith’s White Teeth is a classic international bestseller and an unforgettable portrait of London.

One of the most talked about fictional debuts ever, White Teeth is a funny, generous, big-hearted novel, adored by critics and readers alike. Dealing – among many other things – with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, one brown mouse, and the tricky way the past has of coming back and biting you on the ankle, it is a life-affirming, riotous must-read of a book.
White Teeth is available in the LRC

16/10/2017

Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach

thanks for trouble2

Was this story written about me?”
I shrugged.
“Yes or no?”
I shrugged again, finally earning a little scowl, which somehow made the girl even more pretty.
“It’s very rude not to answer simple questions,” she said.
I gestured for my journal, but she still wouldn’t give it to me. So I took out my pen and wrote on my palm.
I can’t, I wrote. Then, in tiny letters below it: Now don’t you feel like a jerk?

Parker Sante hasn’t spoken a word in five years. While his classmates plan for bright futures, he skips school to hang out in hotels, killing time by watching the guests. But when he meets a silver-haired girl named Zelda Toth, a girl who claims to be quite a bit older than she looks, he’ll discover there just might be a few things left worth living for. From the celebrated author of We All Looked Up comes a unique story of first and last loves.
Thanks for the Trouble is available in the LRC

09/10/2017

Girl Up by Laura Batescover

“They told you you need to be thin and beautiful.

They told you to wear longer skirts, avoid going out late at night and move in groups – never accept drinks from a stranger, and wear shoes you can run in more easily than heels. They told you to wear just enough make-up to look presentable but not enough to be a slut; to dress to flatter your apple, pear, hourglass figure, but not to be too tarty. They warned you that if you try to be strong, or take control, you’ll be shrill, bossy, a ballbreaker. Of course it’s fine for the boys, but you should know your place. They told you ‘beauty is on the inside’, but you knew they didn’t really mean it. Well screw that. I’m here to tell you something else.”

Hilarious, jaunty and bold, GIRL UP exposes the truth about the pressures surrounding body image, the false representations in media, the complexities of a sex and relationships, the trials of social media and all the other lies they told us.

 

Girl Up is available in the LRC

02/10/2017

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