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Book of the Week

Milk of Paradise by Lucy Inglis

Image for Milk of Paradise : A History of Opium

Poppy tears, opium, heroin, fentanyl: humankind has been in thrall to the `Milk of Paradise' for millennia. The latex of papaver somniferum is a bringer of sleep, of pleasurable lethargy, of relief from pain - and hugely addictive. A commodity without rival, it is renewable, easy to extract, transport and refine, and subject to an insatiable global demand. No other substance in the world is as simple to produce or as profitable. It is the basis of a gargantuan industry built upon a shady underworld, but ultimately it is a farm-gate material that lives many lives before it reaches the branded blister packet, the intravenous drip or the scorched and filthy spoon. Many of us will end our lives dependent on it. In Milk of Paradise, acclaimed cultural historian Lucy Inglis takes readers on an epic journey from ancient Mesopotamia to modern America and Afghanistan, from Sanskrit to pop, from poppy tears to smack, from morphine to today's synthetic opiates. It is a tale of addiction, trade, crime, sex, war, literature, medicine and, above all, money. And, as this ambitious, wide-ranging and compelling account vividly shows, the history of opium is our history and it speaks to us of who we are.


Book at Bedtime

Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor

Image for Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont : A Virago Modern Classic

A humorous and compassionate look at friendship between an old woman and a young man. On a rainy Sunday in January, the recently widowed Mrs Palfrey arrives at the Claremont Hotel where she will spend her remaining days. Her fellow residents are magnificently eccentric and endlessly curious, living off crumbs of affection and snippets of gossip. Together, upper lips stiffened, they fight off their twin enemies: boredom and the Grim Reaper. Then one day Mrs Palfrey strikes up an unlikely friendship with an impoverished young writer, Ludo, who sees her as inspiration for his novel.

Women's Prize for Fiction 

Image for Home Fire : SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018

Kamila Shamsie has won the 2018 Women's Prize for Fiction for her seventh novel Home Fire.

She said: "Home Fire is about identity, conflicting loyalties, love and politics. And it sustains mastery of its themes and its form.

The novel is essentially a reworking of Antigone by Sophocles. Isma is free. After years spent raising her twin siblings in the wake of their mother's death, she is finally studying in America, resuming a dream long deferred. But she can't stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London - or their brother, Parvaiz, who's disappeared in pursuit of his own dream: to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew. Then Eamonn enters the sisters' lives. Handsome and privileged, he inhabits a London worlds away from theirs. As the son of a powerful British Muslim politician, Eamonn has his own birthright to live up to - or defy. Is he to be a chance at love? The means of Parvaiz's salvation? Two families' fates are inextricably, devastatingly entwined in this searing novel that asks: what sacrifices will we make in the name of love?A contemporary reimagining of Sophocles' Antigone, 

These are the books that were most popular with our customers last week......

Image for Little Fires Everywhere : The New York Times Top Ten Bestseller

1. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

2. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

3. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

4. Mythos by Stephen Fry

5. Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls

6. Factfulness by Hans Rosling

7. Beautiful Animals by Lawrence Osbourne

8. The Last Hours by Minette Walters

9. Pebbles on the Beach by Clarence Ellis

10. London Rules by Mick Herron

If you would like to read any of these books, please send us a message from our contacts page, and we will reserve a copy for you.

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

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When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman's severed leg.Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible - and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them...A fiendishly clever mystery with unexpected twists around every corner, Career of Evil is also a gripping story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives. You will not be able to put this book down.

Previous events

We have a regular programme of events, and in particular we love to support local authors. Here are a few of the books we have launched recently. If you are interested in finding out more, keep an eye on  'Forthcoming Events'  on our Home Page, or add your name to our mailing list and we will keep you posted that way.

Book Groups

What are local bookgroups reading?

If you're looking for ideas, you might be inspired by some of the books our local Book Groups are reading....

Autumn by Ali Smith

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'In a country apparently divided against itself, a writer such as Smith is more valuable than a whole parliament of politicians' Financial Times

'Undoubtedly Smith at her best. Puckish, yet elegant; angry, but comforting' The Times

'A beautiful, poignant symphony of memories, dreams and transient realities... The first post-Brexit novel' Guardian

A breathtakingly inventive new novel from the Man Booker-shortlisted and Baileys Prize-winning author of How to be both.

Daniel is a century old. Elisabeth, born in 1984, has her eye on the future. The United Kingdom is in pieces, divided by a historic once-in-a-generation summer.Love is won, love is lost. Hope is hand in hand with hopelessness. The seasons roll round, as ever . . .

'Terrific, extraordinary, playful... There is an awful lot to lift the soul' Daily Mail

'Bold and brilliant' Observer


Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore

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It is 1792 and Europe is seized by political turmoil and violence.

Lizzie Fawkes has grown up in Radical circles where each step of the French Revolution is followed with eager idealism. But she has recently married John Diner Tredevant, a property developer who is heavily invested in Bristol's housing boom, and he has everything to lose from social upheaval and the prospect of war.

Diner believes that Lizzie's independent, questioning spirit must be coerced and subdued.

She belongs to him: law and custom confirm it, and she must live as he wants. But as Diner's passion for Lizzie darkens, she soon finds herself dangerously alone.


The Girls by Emma Cline

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If you're lost, they'll find you... Evie Boyd is fourteen and desperate to be noticed. It's the summer of 1969 and restless, empty days stretch ahead of her. Until she sees them. The girls. Hair long and uncombed, jewelry catching the sun. And at their centre, Suzanne, black-haired and beautiful. If not for Suzanne, she might not have gone. But, intoxicated by her and the life she promises, Evie follows the girls back to the decaying ranch where they live. Was there a warning? A sign of what was coming? Or did Evie know already that there was no way back?

`A coming-of-age tale like no other ... the book of the summer' Grazia

Fiction

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh

Image for Thirteen : The serial killer isn't on trial. He's on the jury

'To your knowledge, is there anything that would preclude you from serving on this jury?'

Murder wasn't the hard part. It was just the start of the game. Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He's done it before. But this is the big one. This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.

But there's someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn't the man on trial.

Kane knows time is running out - he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered.


Mythos by Stephen Fry

Image for Mythos : The Greek Myths Retold

No one loves and quarrels, desires and deceives as boldly or brilliantly as Greek gods and goddesses.

In Stephen Fry's vivid retelling we gaze in wonder as wise Athena is born from the cracking open of the great head of Zeus and follow doomed Persephone into the dark and lonely realm of the Underworld. We shiver when Pandora opens her jar of evil torments and watch with joy as the legendary love affair between Eros and Psyche unfolds.

Mythos captures these extraodinary myths for our modern age - in all their dazzling and deeply human relevance.


Smile by Roddy Doyle

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Just moved into a new apartment, alone for the first time in years, Victor Forde goes every evening to Donnelly's pub for a pint, a slow one. One evening his drink is interrupted. A man in shorts and a pink shirt brings over his pint and sits down. He seems to know Victor's name and to remember him from school. Says his name is Fitzpatrick. Victor dislikes him on sight, dislikes too the memories that Fitzpatrick stirs up of five years being taught by the Christian Brothers.He prompts other memories too - of Rachel, his beautiful wife who became a celebrity, and of Victor's own small claim to fame, as the man who says the unsayable on the radio. But it's the memories of school, and of one particular Brother, that he cannot control - and which eventually threaten to destroy his sanity.


The House of Spies by Daniel Silva

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Four months after the deadliest attack on the American homeland since 9/11, terrorists leave a trail of carnage through London's West End. The attack is a brilliant feat of planning and secrecy, except for a single thread. The thread leads legendary spy, art restorer, and assassin Gabriel Allon and his team to the south of France and the doorstep of Jean-Luc Martel and Olivia Watson. A beautiful former fashion model, Olivia pretends not to know that the true source of Martel's enormous wealth is drugs. And Martel, likewise, turns a blind eye to the fact he is doing business with a man whose objective is the very destruction of the West. Together, under Gabriel's skilled hand, they will become an unlikely pair of heroes in the global war on terrorism.


The Red-Haired Woman by Orhan Pamuk

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On the outskirts of a town thirty miles from Istanbul, a master well-digger and his young apprentice are hired to find water on a barren plain.

As they struggle in the summer heat, excavating metre by metre, the two will develop a father/son bond that neither has known before.

But in the nearby town, where they spend their evenings, the boy will find an irresistible diversion.

The Red-Haired Woman, an alluring member of a travelling theatre group, catches his eye, and she seems as fascinated by him as he is by her.

But in his distraction a horrible accident occurs, and he will spend his life unaware of the outcome, or who the Red-Haired Woman was, until many years later.


Nucleus by Rory Clements

Image for Nucleus : the gripping spy thriller for fans of ROBERT HARRIS

From the award-winning Sunday Times bestselling author of CORPUS The eve of war: a secret so deadly, nothing and no one is safe June 1939. England is partying like there is no tomorrow, gas masks at the ready. In Cambridge the May Balls are played out with a frantic intensity - but the good times won't last... In Europe, the Nazis have invaded Czechoslovakia, and in Germany the persecution of the Jews is now so widespread that desperate Jewish parents send their children to safety in Britain aboard the Kindertransport. Closer to home, the IRA's S-Plan bombing campaign has resulted in more than 100 terrorist outrages around England. But perhaps the most far-reaching event of all goes largely unreported: in Germany, Otto Hahn has produced the first man-made fission and an atomic device is now a very real possibility. The Nazis set up the Uranverein group of physicists: its task is to build a superbomb. The German High Command is aware that British and US scientists are working on similar line. Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory is where the atom was split in 1932. Might the Cambridge men now win the race for a nuclear bomb? Hitler's generals need to be sure they know all the Cavendish's secrets. Only then will it be safe for Germany to wage war. When one of the Cavendish's finest brains is murdered, Professor Tom Wilde is once more drawn into an intrigue from which there seems no escape. In a conspiracy that stretches from Cambridge to Berlin and from Washington DC to the west coast of Ireland, he faces deadly forces that threaten the fate of the world


100 Poems by Seamus Heaney

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Seamus Heaney had the idea to form a personal selection of poems from across the entire arc of his writing life, small yet comprehensive enough to serve as an introduction for all comers. He never managed to do this himself, and no other edition exists which has such a broad range, drawing from first to last of his prize-winning collections. But now, finally, the project has been returned to, resulting in an intimate gathering of poems chosen and introduced by the Heaney family. In 100 Poems, readers will enjoy the most loved and celebrated poems, as well as discovering new favourites. It is a singular and welcoming anthology, reaching out far and wide, now and for years to come.


Dunbar by Edward St Aubyn

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From the author of the Patrick Melrose novels, now a major Sky Atlantic television series starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Henry Dunbar, the once all-powerful head of a global media corporation, is not having a good day. In his dotage he handed over care of the corporation to his two eldest daughters, Abby and Megan. But relations quickly soured, leaving him to doubt the wisdom of past decisions. Now imprisoned in a care home in the Lake District with only a demented alcoholic comedian as company, Dunbar starts planning his escape. As he flees into the hills, his family is hot on his heels. Who will find him first, his beloved youngest daughter, Florence, or the tigresses Abby and Megan, so keen to divest him of his estate?


Mrs Osmond by John Banville

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Having fled Rome and a stultifying marriage, Isabel Osmond is in London, brooding on the recent disclosure of her husband's shocking, years-long betrayal of her. What should she do now, and which way should she turn, in the emotional labyrinth where she has been trapped for so long? Reawakened by grief and the knowledge of having been grievously wronged, she determines to resume her youthful quest for freedom and independence. Soon Isabel must return to Italy and confront her husband, and seek to break his powerful hold on her.


East of Hounslow by Khurrum Rahman

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Meet Jay. Small-time dealer. Accidental jihadist. The one man who can save us all?

Javid - call him Jay - is a dope dealer living in West London. He goes to mosque on Friday, and he's just bought his pride and joy - a BMW.

He lives with his mum, and life seems sweet. But his world is about to turn upside-down. Because MI5 have been watching him, and they think he's just the man they need for a delicate mission. One thing's for sure: now he's a long way East of Hounslow, Jay's life will never be the same again.

With the edgy humour of Four Lions and the pulse-racing tension of Nomad, East of Hounslow is the first in a series of thrillers starring Jay Qasim.


An Unremarkable Body by Elisa Lodato

Image for An Unremarkable Body : A stunning literary debut with a twist

When Katharine is found dead at the foot of her stairs, it is the mystery of her life that consumes her daughter, Laura. The medical examiner's report, in which precious parts of Katharine's body are weighed and categorised, motivates Laura to write her own version of events. But as she delves deeper into Katharine's past, she is forced to confront a new version of the woman she knew only as her mother. A woman silenced by her own mother and wronged by her husband. A woman who lived in the shadows but whose secrets are now coming to light.

'A haunting debut about grief, loss and motherhood' The Pool

'This novel pulls you in and will have you racing to reach the end' Good Housekeeping 


The Arsenal Stadium Mystery by Leonard Gribble

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The 1939 Arsenal side is firing on all cylinders and celebrating a string of victories.

They appear unstoppable, but the Trojans - a side of amateurs who are on a winning streak of their own - may be about to silence the Gunners.

Moments into the second half the whistle blows, but not for a goal or penalty.

One of the Trojans has collapsed on the pitch.

By the end of the day, he is dead.

Gribble's unique mystery, featuring the actual Arsenal squad of 1939, sends Inspector Anthony Slade into the world of professional football to investigate a case of deadly foul play on and off the pitch.


Long Way from Home by Peter Carey

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Irene Bobs loves fast driving.

Her husband is the best car salesman in rural south eastern Australia.

Together they embark upon the Redex Trial, a brutal car race around the continent, over roads no car can ever quite survive.

Set during the 1950s in the dying embers of the British Empire, A Long Way from Home is a thrilling high-speed story, illuminating a country's relationship with its own ancient culture, and the love made and hurt caused along the way.


So Much Life Left Over by Louis de Bernieres

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A sweeping, heartbreaking novel following Daniel in his troubled marriage with Rosie as they navigate the unsettled time between the World Wars. Rosie and Daniel have moved to Ceylon with their little daughter to start a new life at the dawn of the 1920s, attempting to put the trauma of the First World War behind them, and to rekindle a marriage that gets colder every day. However, even in the lush plantation hills it is hard for them to escape the ties of home and the yearning for fulfilment that threatens their marriage.

Back in England, Rosie's three sisters are dealing with different challenges in their searches for family, purpose and happiness. These are precarious times, and they find themselves using unconventional means to achieve their desires. Around them the world is changing, and when Daniel finds himself in Germany he witnesses events taking a dark and forbidding turn. By turns humorous and tragic, gripping and touching, So Much Life Left Over follows a cast of unique and captivating characters as they navigate the extraordinary interwar years both in England and abroad.


The Last Hours by Minette Walters

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England, 1348: as the Black Death spreads through the country, people start to die by the thousands.

In Dorset, young Lady Anne takes control of her lands, with her trusted steward, Thaddeus, at her side. Compassionate and resourceful, she decides to quarantine the estate against the terrifying pestilence, bringing some two hundred serfs inside the moated walls.

But in such a confined space, conflicts soon arise. Ignorant of the world outside, Lady Anne's people wrestle with the terrible uncertainty of their futures. Fearing starvation but fearing the disease even more, who amongst them has the courage to leave the security of the walls?

And how safe is anyone when a dreadful event threatens the uneasy status quo...?


The Rooster Bar by John Grisham

Image for The Rooster Bar : The New York Times Number One Bestseller

They dreamed of changing the world.

Instead they're facing a mountain of debt and no hope of a future.

Mark, Todd and Zola are starting to realise it's not even worth graduating from law school. They're better off hanging out at The Rooster Bar, plotting how to dodge the loan sharks. But maybe there's another way. Maybe they know enough about the law to pass as lawyers.

Because it turns out the crooked hedge fund billionaire who owns their law school also runs the bank that arranged their student loans.

And it's time justice was served.

Even if it means taking on the FBI to do it .


The Ministry or Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

Image for The Ministry of Utmost Happiness : `The Literary Read of the Summer' - Time

At magic hour; when the sun has gone but the light has not, armies of flying foxes unhinge themselves from the Banyan trees in the old graveyard and drift across the city like smoke . . .

So begins The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Arundhati Roy's incredible follow-up to The God of Small Things.

We meet Anjum, who used to be Aftab, who runs a guesthouse in an Old Delhi graveyard and gathers around her the lost, the broken and the cast out.

We meet Tilo, an architect, who, although she is loved by three men, lives in a 'country of her own skin'.

When Tilo claims an abandoned baby as her own, her destiny and that of Anjum become entangled as a tale that sweeps across the years and a teeming continent takes flight . . .


A Legacy of Spies by John le Carre

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Peter Guillam, former disciple of George Smiley in the British Secret Service, has long retired to Brittany when a letter arrives, summoning him to London.

The reason?

Cold War ghosts have come back to haunt him.

Intelligence operations that were once the toast of the Service are to be dissected by a generation with no memory of the Berlin Wall.

Somebody must pay for innocent blood spilt in the name of the greater good .


The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth by William Boyd

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A philandering art dealer tries to give up casual love affairs - seeking only passionate kisses as a substitute.

A man recounts his personal history through the things he has stolen from others throughout his life.

A couple chart the journey of their five year relationship backwards, from awkward reunion to lovelorn first encounter.

And, at the heart of the book, a 24-year old young woman, Bethany Mellmoth, embarks on a year-long journey of wishful and tentative self-discovery.

The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth depicts the random encounters that bring the past bubbling to the surface; the impulsive decisions that irrevocably shape a life; and the endless hesitations and loss-of-nerve that wickedly complicate it. These funny, surprising and moving stories are a resounding confirmation of Boyd's powers as one of our most original and compelling storytellers.


Munich by Robert Harris

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MUNICH, SEPTEMBER 1938

Hitler is determined to start a war. Chamberlain is desperate to preserve the peace.

They will meet in a city which forever afterwards will be notorious for what is about to take place. As Chamberlain's plane judders over the channel and the Fuhrer's train steams south, two young men travel with their leaders.

Former friends from a more peaceful time, they are now on opposing sides. As Britain's darkest hour approaches, the fate of millions could depend on them - and the secrets they're hiding.

Spying. Betrayal. Murder.

Is any price too high for peace?


After the Party by Cressida Connolly

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'Had it not been for my weakness, someone who is now dead could still be alive. That is what I believed and consequently lived with every day in prison.'It is the summer of 1938 and Phyllis Forrester has returned to England after years abroad. Moving into her sister's grand country house, she soon finds herself entangled in a new world of idealistic beliefs and seemingly innocent friendships. Fevered talk of another war infiltrates their small, privileged circle, giving way to a thrilling solution: a great and charismatic leader, who will restore England to its former glory. At a party hosted by her new friends, Phyllis lets down her guard for a single moment, with devastating consequences. Years later, Phyllis, alone and embittered, recounts the dramatic events which led to her imprisonment and changed the course of her life forever. Powerful, poignant, and exquisitely observed, After the Party is an illuminating portrait of a dark period of British history which we are yet to fully acknowledge.


24 Stories: of Hope for the Survivors of the Grenfell Tower Fire, collected by Kathy Burke

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On the night of 14 June 2017, a fire engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London, killing at least 72 people and injuring many more. An entire community was destroyed. For many people affected by this tragedy, the psychological scars may never heal. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that affects many people who have endured traumatic events, leaving them unable to move on from life-changing tragedies. In the immediate aftermath of the fire, the focus was rightly placed on providing food, shelter and health care for those left homeless - but it is important that we don't lose sight of the psychological impact this fire will have had on its survivors. 24 Stories is an anthology of short stories, written on themes of community and hope, by a mix of the UK's best established writers and previously unpublished authors, whose pieces were chosen by Kathy Burke from over 250 entries. Contributors include: Irvine Welsh, A. L. Kennedy, Meera Syal, John Niven, Pauline Melville, Daisy Buchanan, Christopher Brookmyre, Zoe Venditozzi, Nina Stibbe, Mike Gayle, Murray Lachlan Young, Barney Farmer.


Beautiful Animals by Lawrence Osborne

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During a white-hot summer on the idyllic Greek island of Hydra, two girls fall into one another's lives to devastating effect. When Samantha, a young, impressionable American, meets Naomi, a Brit with a taste for danger, their relationship quickly takes on a special intensity. Amid the sun, sea and high society of island life, their imaginations are sparked when one day they find a young Arab man, Faoud, washed up on shore, a casualty of the crisis raging across the Aegean. But when their seemingly simple plan to help the stranger goes wrong, all must face the horrific consequences they have set in motion. Beautiful Animals exposes the dark heart of friendship, and shows just how often the road to hell is paved with the best of intentions.


The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

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Former President Bill Clinton and global thriller master James Patterson have joined forces to create the most anticipated book of 2018.

The President is Missing.

Amid an international crisis, the impossible has happened.

A sitting U.S. President has disappeared.

What follows is the most dramatic three days any president has ever faced - and maybe the most dramatic three days in American history.

And it could all really happen.

Full of details only a president could know, Bill Clinton and James Patterson have written the most authentic - and gripping - presidential thriller ever.


The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst

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In October 1940, the handsome young David Sparsholt arrives in Oxford. A keen athlete and oarsman, he at first seems unaware of the effect he has on others - particularly on the lonely and romantic Evert Dax, son of a celebrated novelist and destined to become a writer himself. While the Blitz rages in London, Oxford exists at a strange remove: an ephemeral, uncertain place, in which nightly blackouts conceal secret liaisons. Over the course of one momentous term, David and Evert forge an unlikely friendship that will colour their lives for decades to come . . . Alan Hollinghurst's masterly new novel evokes the intimate relationships of a group of friends bound together by art, literature and love across three generations. It explores the social and sexual revolutions of the most pivotal years of the past century, whose life-changing consequences are still being played out to this day. Richly observed, disarmingly witty and emotionally charged, The Sparsholt Affair is an unmissable achievement from one of our finest writers.


Forever and a Day by Anthony Horowitz

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A spy is dead. A legend is born. This is how it all began.

The explosive prequel to Casino Royale, from bestselling author Anthony Horowitz.

M laid down his pipe and stared at it tetchily. 'We have no choice. We're just going to bring forward this other chap you've been preparing. But you didn't tell me his name.' 'It's Bond, sir,' the Chief of Staff replied. 'James Bond.' The sea keeps its secrets. But not this time. One body. Three bullets. 007 floats in the waters of Marseille, killed by an unknown hand. It's time for a new agent to step up.

Time for a new weapon in the war against organised crime. It's time for James Bond to earn his licence to kill.

This is the story of the birth of a legend, in the brutal underworld of the French Riviera.


New Boy by Tracy Chevalier

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From the bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Last Runaway.

Arriving at his fourth school in six years, diplomat's son Osei knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day - so he's lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can't stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players - teachers and pupils alike - will never be the same again.

The tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970s suburban Washington schoolyard in Tracy Chevalier's powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal.


The Outsider by Stephen King

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When an eleven-year-old boy is found murdered in a town park, reliable eyewitnesses undeniably point to the town's popular Little League coach, Terry Maitland, as the culprit. DNA evidence and fingerprints confirm the crime was committed by this well-loved family man. Horrified by the brutal killing, Detective Ralph Anderson, whose own son was once coached by Maitland, orders the suspect to be arrested in a public spectacle. But Maitland has an alibi. And further research confirms he was indeed out of town that day. As Anderson and the District Attorney trace the clues, the investigation expands from Ohio to Texas. And as horrifying answers begin to emerge, so King's propulsive story of almost unbearable suspense kicks into high gear. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy but there is one rock-hard fact, as unassailable as gravity: a man cannot be in two places at the same time. Can he?


Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

  Image for Little Fires Everywhere : The New York Times Top Ten Bestseller

Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down. In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned - from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren - an enigmatic artist and single mother- who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. When old family friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town - and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at an unexpected and devastating cost...


Wake by Gillian Allnut

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When Gillian Allnutt was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, Carol Ann Duffy wrote that her work `has always been in conversation with the natural world and the spiritual life'.

Her latest collection, wake, shows the two beginning to meld into one: to speak for, even as, one another. As her title signals, these are poems about looking back, keeping watch over the dying and death of an old world and the ways of being human in that world; but also forward, waiting for the new world and being ready to awaken to it when it comes.

There are, as always in her work, many displaced people.

No one here is fully at home in the world.

These are turbulent times - individually and collectively - and the poems here reflect that. And yet the poems are more `among' than `about' people: speaking out of the horde, and the hoard, of humanity as a whole.


The Awkward Age by Francesca Segal

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What does it take to be a family?

Julia has fallen deeply, unexpectedly in love.

James is her second chance, and everything she never knew she wanted.

It's perfect but for two things: their children.

Julia's beloved daughter Gwen loathes James and James's son Nathan takes pleasure in antagonising his new stepsister.

Uniting two households is never easy, but the teenagers' unexpected actions will eventually threaten everyone's hard-won happiness.


The Burning Chamber by Kate Mosse

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Bringing sixteenth-century Languedoc vividly to life, Kate Mosse's The Burning Chambers is a gripping story of love and betrayal, mysteries and secrets; of war and adventure, conspiracies and divided loyalties . . . Carcassonne 1562: Nineteen-year-old Minou Joubert receives an anonymous letter at her father's bookshop. Sealed with a distinctive family crest, it contains just five words: SHE KNOWS THAT YOU LIVE. But before Minou can decipher the mysterious message, a chance encounter with a young Huguenot convert, Piet Reydon, changes her destiny forever. For Piet has a dangerous mission of his own, and he will need Minou's help if he is to get out of La Cite alive. Toulouse: As the religious divide deepens in the Midi, and old friends become enemies, Minou and Piet both find themselves trapped in Toulouse, facing new dangers as sectarian tensions ignite across the city, the battle-lines are drawn in blood and the conspiracy darkens further. Meanwhile, as a long-hidden document threatens to resurface, the mistress of Puivert is obsessed with uncovering its secret and strengthening her power .


The Librarian by Salley Vickers

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A charmingly subversive novel about a library in 1950s England, by the acclaimed author of The Cleaner of ChartresSylvia Blackwell, a young woman in her twenties, moves to East Mole, a quaint market town in middle England, to start a new job as a children's librarian.

But the apparently pleasant town is not all it seems.

Sylvia falls in love with an older man - but it's her connection to his precocious young daughter and her neighbours' son which will change her life and put them, the library and her job under threat.

How does the library alter the young children's lives and how do the children fare as a result of the books Sylvia introduces them to?


Property: A Collection by Lionel Shriver

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First ever story collection from the inimitable Lionel Shriver.

This landmark publication, the first collection of stories from a master of the form, explores the idea of "property" in both senses of the word: real estate, and stuff.

These sharp, brilliantly imaginative pieces illustrate how our possessions act as proxies for ourselves, and how tussles over ownership articulate the power dynamics of our relationships.

In Shriver's world, we may possess people and objects and places, but in turn they possess us.


Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner

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Second literary thriller from bestselling author of Missing, Presumed.

A brutal murder.

A detective with no one left to trust.

A young man murdered. A city banker bleeds to death yards from a Cambridgeshire police headquarters. A detective out of her depth.

DI Manon Bradshaw's world is turned upside down when the victim turns out to be closer to her than she could have guessed.

Who Should she believe?

When even her trusted colleagues turn their backs on her, it's time to contemplate the unthinkable: are those she holds dear capable of murder?


The Party by Elzabeth Day

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Martin Gilmour and Ben Fitzmaurice have been best friends for 25 years, since their days together at Burtonbury School. They are an unlikely pair: the scholarship boy with the wrong accent and clothes, and the dazzlingly popular, wealthy young aristocrat. But Martin knows no one else can understand the bond they share - and no one else could have kept Ben's secret for over two decades. At Ben's 40th birthday party, the cream of the British establishment gathers in a haze of champagne, drugs and glamour. Amid the politicians, the celebrities, the old money and the newly rich, Martin once again feels that pang of not quite belonging. His wife Lucy has her reservations, too. There is something unnerving in the air. But Ben wouldn't do anything to damage their friendship. Would he?


The Murder of my Aunt by Richard Hull

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'I should be very much happier if she were dead.'

Edward Powell lives with his Aunt Mildred in the Welsh town of Lywll.

His aunt thinks Lywll an idyllic place to live, but Edward loathes the countryside - and thinks the company even worse.

In fact, Edward has decided to murder his aunt.

A darkly humorous depiction of fraught family ties, The Murder of My Aunt was first published in 1934.


Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo

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Yejide is hoping for a miracle, for a child.

It is all her husband wants, all her mother-in-law wants, and she has tried everything.

But when her relatives insist upon a new wife, it is too much for Yejide to bear.

Unravelling against the social and political turbulence of 1980s Nigeria, Stay With Me is a story of the fragility of married love, the undoing of family, the power of grief, and the all-consuming bonds of motherhood.

It is a tale about the desperate attempts we make to save ourselves, and those we love, from heartbreak.


House of Names by Colm Toibin

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They cut her hair before they dragged her to the place of sacrifice. Her mouth was gagged to stop her cursing her father, her cowardly, two-tongued father. Nonetheless, they heard her muffled screams.'On the day of his daughter's wedding, Agamemnon orders her sacrifice. His daughter is led to her death, and Agamemnon leads his army into battle, where he is rewarded with glorious victory. Three years later, he returns home and his murderous action has set the entire family - mother, brother, sister - on a path of intimate violence, as they enter a world of hushed commands and soundless journeys through the palace's dungeons and bedchambers. As his wife seeks his death, his daughter, Electra, is the silent observer to the family's game of innocence while his son, Orestes, is sent into bewildering, frightening exile where survival is far from certain. Out of their desolating loss, Electra and Orestes must find a way to right these wrongs of the past even if it means committing themselves to a terrible, barbarous act.House of Names is a story of intense longing and shocking betrayal. It is a work of great beauty, and daring, from one of our finest living writers.


Happiness by Aminatta Forna

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Waterloo Bridge, London. Two strangers collide. Attila, a Ghanaian psychiatrist, and Jean, an American studying the habits of urban foxes. From this chance encounter in the midst of the rush of a great city, numerous moments of connections span out and interweave, bringing disparate lives together. Attila has arrived in London with two tasks: to deliver a keynote speech on trauma and to check up on the daughter of friends, his `niece', Ama, who hasn't called home in a while. It soon emerges that she has been swept up in an immigration crackdown - and now her young son Tano is missing. When, by chance, Attila bumps into Jean again, she joins him in his search for Tano, mobilizing into action the network she has built up, mainly from the many West African immigrants working London's myriad streets, of volunteer fox-spotters: security guards, hotel doormen, traffic wardens. All unite to help and as the search continues, a deepening friendship between Attila and Jean unfolds. In this delicate yet powerful novel of loves lost and new, of past griefs and of the hidden side of a multicultural metropolis, Aminatta Forna asks us to consider the values of the society we live in, our co-existence with one another and all living creatures - and the true nature of happiness.


The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

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From the author of the world-wide bestseller, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: ' A beautiful novel, a tonic for the soul and a complete joy to read.' - Joanna Cannon, author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep.

1988. Frank owns a music shop. It is jam-packed with records of every speed, size and genre. Classical, jazz, punk - as long as it's vinyl he sells it. Day after day Frank finds his customers the music they need. Then into his life walks Ilse Brauchmann. Ilse asks Frank to teach her about music. His instinct is to turn and run. And yet he is drawn to this strangely still, mysterious woman with her pea-green coat and her eyes as black as vinyl.

But Ilse is not what she seems.

And Frank has old wounds that threaten to re-open and a past he will never leave behind .


Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

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Frances is twenty-one years old, cool-headed and observant.

A student in Dublin and an aspiring writer, at night she performs spoken word with her best friend Bobbi, who used to be her girlfriend.

When they are interviewed and then befriended by Melissa, a well-known journalist who is married to Nick, an actor, they enter a world of beautiful houses, raucous dinner parties and holidays in Provence, beginning a complex menage-a-quatre.

But when Frances and Nick get unexpectedly closer, the sharply witty and emotion-averse Frances is forced to honestly confront her own vulnerabilities for the first time.


The Incendium Plot by A D Swanston

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England, 1572. A powder keg of rumour, fanaticism, treachery and dissent. All it would take is a single spark . . . In the England of Elizabeth I, the fear of plague, invasion and the threat of insurrection are constant. As the Earl of Leicester's chief intelligencer, lawyer Dr Christopher Radcliff is tasked with investigating rumours of treachery at home and the ever-present papist threat from abroad. And with heresy and religious unrest simmering beneath the surface of a country on the brink, Radcliff is under pressure to get results. Then two brutal and seemingly motiveless killings point alert Radcliff to the whisper of a new plot against the queen. There are precious few clues and it seems that all he and his network of agents have to go on is a single word: incendium. But what does it mean - and who lies behind it? Christopher Radcliff must find out before it's too late . .


Defectors by Joseph Kanon

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Some secrets should never be told. Moscow, 1961: With the launch of Sputnik, the Soviet Union's international prestige is at an all-time high.

And the most notorious of the defectors to the Soviet Union, former CIA agent Frank Weeks, is about to publish his memoirs. What he reveals will send shock waves through the West. Weeks' defection in the early 1950s shook Washington to its core - and forced the resignation of his brother, Simon, from the State Department. Simon, now a publisher in New York, is given the opportunity to read and publish his brother's memoir.

He knows the US government will never approve the publication of what is clearly intended as KGB propaganda. Yet the offer is irresistible: it will finally give him the chance to learn why his brother chose to betray his country.But what he discovers in Moscow is far more shocking than he ever imagined ...


Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

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An extraordinary story of love and hope from the bestselling, Man Booker-shortlisted author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

This is Nadia. She is fiercely independent with an excellent sense of humour and a love of smoking alone on her balcony late at night.

This is Saeed. He is sweet and shy and kind to strangers. He also has a balcony but he uses his for star-gazing.

This is their story: a love story, but also a story about how we live now and how we might live tomorrow. Saeed and Nadia are falling in love, and their city is falling apart. Here is a world in crisis and two human beings travelling through it.

Exit West is a heartfelt and radical act of hope - a novel to restore your faith in humanity and in the power of imagination.


The History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

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How far would you go to belong? Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents in an ex-commune beside a lake in the beautiful, austere backwoods of northern Minnesota. The other girls at school call Linda 'Freak',or 'Commie'. Her parents mostly leave her to her own devices, whilst the other inhabitants have grown up and moved on. So when the perfect family - mother, father and their little boy, Paul - move into the cabin across the lake, Linda insinuates her way into their orbit. She begins to babysit Paul and feels welcome, that she finally has a place to belong. Yet something isn't right. Drawn into secrets she doesn't understand, Linda must make a choice. But how can a girl with no real knowledge of the world understand what the consequences will be?


Bad Romance by Emily Hill

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Tales from the happily never after!.

At a wedding, one woman's revenge comes in the shape of her heavily pregnant belly.

As a career girl attempts to climb the ladder she slides down into ever more grotesque flatshares.

A single woman who always attends parties alone realises that the truth might not always be the best answer.

And one Londoner learns her most important lesson since moving to the city - never act friendly towards a stranger.

Bad Romance is dark, hilarious and moving by turn as Emily Hill's acid wit gives life to the women whose tales never normally make it into the storybooks.


Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

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An unforgettable cast of small-town characters copes with love and loss from the No. 1 New York Times bestselling and Man Booker long-listed author of My Name is Lucy Barton Recalling Olive Kitteridge in its richness, structure, and complexity, Anything Is Possible explores the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others. Anything is Possible tells the story of the inhabitants of rural, dusty Amgash, Illinois, the hometown of Lucy Barton, a successful New York writer who finally returns, after seventeen years of absence, to visit the siblings she left behind. Reverberating with the deep bonds of family, and the hope that comes with reconciliation, Anything Is Possible again underscores Elizabeth Strout's place as one of America's most respected and cherished authors.


The Girl Before by J P Delaney

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Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection . . . but can you pay the price?

Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules.

After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there - and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before.

As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma's past and Jane's present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.


Camino Island by John Grisham

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Someone is about to make a killing . . .The most daring and devastating heist in literary history targets a high security vault located deep beneath Princeton University.

Valued at $25 million (though some would say priceless) the five manuscripts of F Scott Fitzgerald's only novels are amongst the most valuable in the world.

After an initial flurry of arrests, both they and the ruthless gang of thieves who took them have vanished without trace.

Now it falls to struggling writer Mercer Mann to crack a case that has thwarted the FBI's finest minds.


A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

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On 21 June 1922, Count Alexander Rostov - recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt - is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol.

Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the Count has been sentenced to house arrest indefinitely.

But instead of his usual suite, he must now live in an attic room while Russia undergoes decades of tumultuous upheaval.

Can a life without luxury be the richest of all?


How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

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I am old. That is the first thing to tell you. The thing you are least likely to believe. If you saw me you would probably think I was about forty, but you would be very wrong.' Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he's been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot, and now craves an ordinary life. Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom has the perfect cover - working as a history teacher at a London comprehensive. Here he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he'd never witnessed them first-hand. He can try to tame the past that is fast catching up with him. The only thing Tom must not do is fall in love. How to Stop Time is a wild and bittersweet story about losing and finding yourself, about the certainty of change and about the lifetimes it can take to really learn how to live.


Inside the Wave by Helen Dunmore

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To be alive is to be inside the wave, always travelling until it breaks and is gone. These poems are concerned with the borderline between the living and the dead - the underworld and the human living world - and the exquisitely intense being of both. They possess a spare, eloquent lyricism as they explore the bliss and anguish of the voyage. Inside the Wave is Helen Dunmore's first new poetry book since The Malarkey (2012), whose title-poem won the National Poetry Competition. Her other books include Glad of These Times (2007), and Out of the Blue: Poems 1975-2001 (2001), a comprehensive selection drawing on seven previous collections. Her final poem, 'Hold out your arms', written shortly before her death and not included in the first printing of Inside the Wave, has now been added to the reprint.


Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

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Reservoir 13 tells the story of many lives haunted by one family's loss. Midwinter in the early years of this century. A teenage girl on holiday has gone missing in the hills at the heart of England. The villagers are called up to join the search, fanning out across the moors as the police set up roadblocks and a crowd of news reporters descends on their usually quiet home. Meanwhile, there is work that must still be done: cows milked, fences repaired, stone cut, pints poured, beds made, sermons written, a pantomime rehearsed. The search for the missing girl goes on, but so does everyday life. As it must. An extraordinary novel of cumulative power and grace, Reservoir 13 explores the rhythms of the natural world and the repeated human gift for violence, unfolding over thirteen years as the aftershocks of a stranger's tragedy refuse to subside.


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

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Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive - but not how to live Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted - while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she's avoided all her life. Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than... fine?


Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty

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Midwinter Break is a work of extraordinary emotional precision and sympathy, about coming to terms - to an honest reckoning - with love and the loss of love, with memory and pain...this is a novel of great ambition by an artist at the height of his powers' Colm ToibinA retired couple, Gerry and Stella Gilmore, fly to Amsterdam for a midwinter break. A holiday to refresh the senses, to see the sights and to generally take stock of what remains of their lives. But amongst the wintry streets and icy canals we see their relationship fracturing beneath the surface. And when memories re-emerge of a troubled time in their native Ireland things begin to fall apart. As their midwinter break comes to an end, we understand how far apart they are - and can only watch as they struggle to save themselves.


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