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September 2015 NewGen Book of the Month. Rebecca Stead loves to set her readers puzzles: there are huge mysteries in her award-winning novels When You Reach Me and Liar and Spy and her new book, Goodbye Stranger also poses questions. Central character Bridge was very nearly killed by a car aged 8, and has never forgotten one of the nurses telling her that ‘you must have been put on this earth for a reason’ – the question what that reason might be circles in her head thereafter. At the time of the book’s action, Bridge is 12 and starting seventh grade, year 7 as we know it, a year that marks a real transition from childhood to the beginning of adulthood. She navigates it cautiously, even reluctantly, in contrast to her long-time best friends Tab and Em who seem more than ready to become young adults. In other plotlines, Bridge’s new friend Sherm tries to work out why his grandfather left his grandmother after fifty years of happy marriage, and – another mystery – which character, unnamed until the very end, is bunking off school in shame after betraying a friend’s trust? Full of ideas, insight and real depth, this beautifully told story examines love and friendship in all their forms, and asks us all to think about who we are. ~ Andrea Reece
September 2015 NewGen Book of the Month. Award- winning Jenny Downham launched her career with Before I Die. The story of a young girl facing death, it showed a bold author who could write sensitively about a subject that could easily be sensationalised. In Unbecoming she adopts a similarly direct approach to coping with dementia, the breakdown of marriage and discovering adolescent sexuality as faced collectively and individually by three generations of women in a family. When Katie’s grandmother, whom she has always been told is dead, turns out to be alive and coming to live with them, it begins the discovery of secrets that changes everything in her life. Katie’s grandmother Mary has dementia; she is gradually loosing memories from her past. And yet, looking after her while her mother works, Katie finds that the memories that Mary retains help her to unlock secrets from her mother’s past while also liberating her own feelings and enabling her to speak truthfully at last. An ambitious story that is told across a time span of fifty years, Unbecoming swoops in and out of the lives of the three women reflecting both their enormous differences and their inextricable bonds. Mary’s dementia and increasing confusion is painful but Jenny Downham is touching in her account of it; the effect of it on Katie is optimistic but not unconvincing. ~ Julia Eccleshare “Unbecoming is an astonishing feat of storytelling, a life-affirming book about identity and desire and learning to honour your own stories. It’s searingly honest and completely unputdownable.” - David Fickling
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. A challenging British dystopia in which, in a near post economic catastrophe Lewes, a small British town in the South Downs, is ruled by the Process, an impenetrable algorithm whch closely controls people's lives in an Orwell-like fashion. Enter a manufactured soldier from World War One whose role is both a catalyst and destructive in unravelling the true nature of the appointed local Bailiff, his wife and other's lives. Both bucolic and an oppressive love story set against the background of an enigmatic dictatorship of sorts, this tale of reality askew is also a powerful meditation on the nature of war, the misuse of technology and the grit and determination of the common man. Thoughtful, at times frustrating but well worth the final reward, and stylically elegant, a different kind of science fiction. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
The enthralling new Sunday Times bestselling gothic novel from the author of THE WINTER GHOSTS, CITADEL and LABYRINTH. The clock strikes twelve. Beneath the wind and the remorseless tolling of the bell, no one can hear the scream ...1912. A Sussex churchyard. Villagers gather on the night when the ghosts of those who will not survive the coming year are thought to walk. And in the shadows, a woman lies dead. As the flood waters rise, Connie Gifford is marooned in a decaying house with her increasingly tormented father. He drinks to escape the past, but an accident has robbed her of her most significant childhood memories. Until the disturbance at the church awakens fragments of those vanished years ...
Chosen as a Richard and Judy Book Club selection Autumn 2015. Shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award 2015. US author Swanson confirms the promise of his excellent debut The Girl with a Clock for a Heart with an oustanding suspense tale that will be vying for awards by the end of the year. Beginning, Highsmith and Hitchcock-style, with two strangers meeting on a plane and, jokingly plotting the murder of an unfaithful wife, this quickly veers into deeply dark territory with heartstopping twists you just don't see coming and the wicked portrait of an anti-heroine with a soul of glass and a surfeit of concealed evil, the likes of which you will be both seduced and appalled by, and a memorable creation in the annals of villainy to put alongside Amy of GONE GIRL fame. To say this is gripping is an understatement, a perfect thriller that will haunt your nights and days forever, and the sort of novel that renews your love for crime fiction. Maxim Jakubowski's February 2015 Book of the Month. Sarah Broadhurst's view... A dual-voiced psychological thriller jumping between Ted and Lily. Ted’s wife is being unfaithful and he dreams of killing her and her lover. Lily is happy to do it for him. They met at Heathrow when their flight was delayed, drunk perhaps a tad too much and then opened up their hearts. We, the reader, learn that Lily, aged 9, believed the next-door neighbour had sexual desires for her. Aged 14 (a few sections later) she kills him and drops his body down the disused well. Jump to Ted’s domestic problems and Lily’s thirst for blood returns. This is fast-paced, cinematic stuff. Will she, won’t she, can she get away with it and what will happen next? Truly suspenseful and chilling stuff.
The team behind Mollie Makes magazine have brought together all their favourite knit designers to share their tips, stories and beautiful projects. Knitting may seem complicated, but in fact there are just two stitches you need to learn. Once you have mastered knit and purl, you can knit pretty much anything. This is a vibrantly colourful book, primarily focusing on beginners, with patterns in the first section, followed by handy techniques in the second. The 18 projects range from phone covers to Christmas tree decorations. The techniques are really helpful, and includes a section on correcting mistakes. The bright and cheerful How to Knit would make a great present for craft lovers. ~ Liz Robinson
40 Sonnets is the new collection by Don Paterson, a rich and accomplished work from one of the foremost poets writing in English today. This new collection from Don Paterson, his first since the Forward prize-winning Rain in 2009, is a series of forty sonnets. Some take a more traditional form, some are highly experimental, but what these poems share is a lyrical intelligence and musical gift that has been visible in his work since his first book of poems, Nil Nil, in 2009. Addressed to children, friends and enemies, the living and the dead, musicians, poets and dogs, these poems display an ambition in their scope and tonal range matched by the breadth of their concerns. Here, voices call home from the blackout and the airlock, the storm cave and the seance, the coalshed, the war, the ringroad, the forest and the sea. These are voices frustrated by distance, by shot glass and bar rail, by the dark, leaving the 'sound that fades up from the hiss, / like a glass some random downdraught had set ringing, / now full of its only note, its lonely call ...'
Fate sets two English girls, Hope and Emily, on parallel journeys more than a hundred years apart. Both find freedom and love in the wild mountains of Montana, but what they don't know is that their stories are inextricably entwined.
Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2016. A rich oligarch's path crosses the path of a disillusioned bookseller through whose voice his story, and that of the beautiful woman married to another whom he loves, is told all the way to its bitter conclusion. If the plot sounds familiar, it is of course a new iteration of THE GREAT GATSBY set in a contemporary London where money is everything. Knowing that, the novel is still a delight, a tale of intrigue, rare books, skullduggery, ambition, and romantic to the core even when it deviates freely from the F. Scott Fitzgerald template. It is also a portrait of the new, glittering London that surrounds us and how it is being transformed by the influx of the foreign rich, a territory that few until now have tackled. An eternal, melancholy story which never fails to tug at the heartstrings. ~ Maxim Jakubowski Maxim Jakubowski July 2015 Highly Recommended.
One of the year's major new literary offerings, Jonathan Franzen's PURITY doesn't disappoint, if alone by sheer weight of pages and buzzing ideas. And with a palette of suspense twists and almost thriller like plot turns, it harks back in part to his debut novel THE TWENTY-SEVENTH CITY as he again subverts the tropes of the mystery genre to make further savage dissections of our world of disfunctional families, fractured societies and the unreliability of the press and the political establishment. Pip Tyler is just an ordinary young girl, sort of lost, averagely pretty and saddled with humongous student debt. She knows her real name is Purity but is unaware who her father is, and has, as a result, a strained relationship with her mother. The questions begin to pile up when she is hired as an intern at Andreas Wolf's Sunlight Project; he is a world-famous provocateur now exiled in Bolivia. Why is he interested in her? A corruscating survey of ethics, art, environmentalism and the corrupting power of money and fame, Franzen's meticulously detailed doorstep of a novel effortlessly pulls you into its torrential wake and hammers you into submission: complex, comedic, doctoral, but always intensely readable. ~ Maxim Jakubowski One of our Books of the Year 2015. September 2015 Book of the Month. Click below to watch Jonathan Franzen read from Purity as part of the Re4dings from 4th Estate Books.
October 2015 Debut of the Month. Terms is a surprisingly powerful little book, it really does pack a mighty punch. James finishes university in the mid 90’s and takes a trip both physically and in memory back to his unconventional school days. Within a few pages it is clear that there is an intriguing and provocative tale waiting to be discovered. Ben Lyle builds the story slowly, shaping the school boy James who is fascinated by the newly arrived teacher who rules with discipline. The story flits between the past and present, the adult James is still sitting on the edge of intimacy, affection and understanding. As the terms at the school pass, suspicion and premonition start to twist together into apprehension for what is to come. The simple style balances on a razor sharp edge with an uncomfortable, complicated truth, ensuring Terms is a convincing and compelling debut. ~ Liz Robinson A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'Terms is both funny and dark. James is wonderful child narrator in the style of Adrian Mole, who says things you wish you had the courage to say. At times you feel the story is going to a place you don’t want it to go, and author, Ben Lyle, handles this side wonderfully. A reader from one of our book groups said: “The overtones black – the revenge deadly.” - Yvonne Barlow, editor, Hookline Books
A return to the hot south beckons in this new episode of Kiki Sullivan’s moreish series, a sultry mix of romance and voodoo. Eveny Cheval has just come to terms with the knowledge that she is the latest in a long line of powerful voodoo queens, but there are more revelations to come: her father’s side of the family are practitioners of a different but equally powerful type of magic. Eveny’s heritage makes her very special, but it also puts her in real danger. Luckily she has the gorgeous Caleb there to protect her – or will her friendship with the equally attractive Bram knock things off balance? It’s seductive reading and once again, there’s a twist to surprise readers and leave them panting for more. ~ Andrea Reece
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eBooks have at last come of age and although you have been able to see if an eBook is available on a title by title basis on Lovereading for a while now, we also wanted to create a special section which features all of our eBook recommended reads.
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