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January 2018 Non-Fiction Book of the Month Gustav Milne gives us an overarching view of the known facts about Human evolution, showing how our outer “shells” mask a very hunter-gatherer interior. We may show Urban cool to the world but our instincts, our brains, our guts all remain in the past, often ill-adapted to cope with modern life. This factor is so often ignored, and this book acts as a timely reminder that mental illness, addictions - even our behaviour can be caused by our ill-adaption. There are ways to cope – and knowing the whys and wherefores is a good place to start, Uncivilised Genes introduces the reader to the vast array of history, research and knowledge that deals with our culture and how best we can deal with urban life - even how it can deal better with us. Like for Like Reading The Human Zoo: A Zoologist’s Study of the Urban Animal by Desmond Morris Fat Chance: The Hidden Truth about Sugar, Obesity and Disease by Robert Lustig
Tells the personal story of one political activist helping Labour progress from its 1997 landslide to the unassailable position it enjoys today. A sequel to the best-selling Things Can Only Get Better, this book is suitable for everyone who could use a good laugh after Brexit, Boris and Trump. Along the way, he stood for Parliament against Theresa May but failed to step into her shoes; he was dropped from Tony and Cherie's Christmas card list after he revealed he always sent their card on to a friend from the SWP; and he campaigned for a new non-selective inner-city state school, then realised this meant he had to send his kids to a non-selective inner-city state school.
In a Nutshell: Rolling waves of romance in the Californian sun Feel-good fiction at its best: moving, life-affirming, with a heart of sunshiney gold. Movie-loving, vintage-wearing Bailey has found her perfect boyfriend, but with Alex being a West Coast guy and her stuck in Washington with her mom, they’ve never actually met. But life has a habit of dealing unexpected cards, like Bailey moving to out west to California to live with her dad, where she deploys all her detective skills to track down Alex while working a summer job at The Cavern Palace museum. It’s here she meets swaggering surf dude, Porter. While Bailey has Porter down as her arch nemesis, he has an electrifying effect on her, and she’s soon up to her neck in all kinds of conflict. I was a huge fan of the author’s Night Owls, and this confirms her talent for creating protagonists I’d love to meet in real life - outsiders set on pursuing their passions, young women (like Bailey) who scoot around on Vespas with leopard skin seats. With its cast of cool characters, oceans of authenticity, and a wow, pow, wallop of an ending, this YA riff on the ‘You’ve Got Mail’ movie is the perfect summer read. ~ Joanne Owen
In the late 1800s, left on the steps of a workhouse as a new born, named Sunday to mark the day and subjected to a hard and often cruel childhood, our heroine, as a teenager, catches the eye of the workhouse master. This enrages matron who has designs on the master herself. Jealousy is indeed an evil monster as Sunday will discover. Forced to flee she encounters tragedy and pain, little happiness but then, as this fast-paced, absorbing read should, light and love will shine through for her. It’s predictable and glorious fun, the perfect ingredients for a long, relaxing read and an obvious Mother’s Day gift. Fans of this genre will love it. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
It's no secret that behind the Chance pseudonym stands mystery writer Lauren Henderson, and this background explains why her tremulous bonkbusters move along with such tremendous pace and verve. Set on a luxury plane bound for California, this highly tongue in cheek (and elsewhere) romantic thriller takes to the first class air with a frenzied cast of outrageous celebrity characters, staff and parasitical hanger ons and the incongruous humour and sexiness of the situations never falters. Jilly Cooper and Jackie Collins are reborn for the 21st century with an added thick gloss of humour and provocative cheek with its suspenseful tale of a stalker set loose on a flight of crazies and luvvies and all the jolly sexual mayhem that ensues. A laugh a page! ~ Maxim Jakubowski
A series? By Simon Kernick? Yes please! Two faces, who were unknown to each other in previous books, join forces in this powerful, fast moving and intoxicating tale. Trouble starts to hunt Ray Mason down after he promises a grieving couple justice, he tells his own story over five days in a no-nonsense direct style. The two main characters are a wonderfully maverick pair, yet their moral compass, while occasionally directionally challenged, remains steadfast. Simon Kernick piles on the tension as he sets events in motion, each link tightens and burns with energy. A vivid, striking hit of complete escapism, ‘The Bone Field’ is an action-packed and mind-gripping start to a new series that promises to deliver in spades. ~ Liz Robinson January 2017 Book of the Month.
Someone wants to destroy you...A second death shocks Scarpetta to her core. Because analysis of the body shows a material that doesn't exist on earth. And it's clear that someone, or something, is coming for her, and is hell-bent on creating chaos...
THE MAN ON THE CASE No one was ever convicted of her murder. But now, forensic expert Enzo Macleod is reviewing this stone-cold case - the toughest of those he has been challenged to solve. THE SKELETON IN THE CLOSET Yet when Enzo finds a flaw in the original evidence surrounding Lucie's murder, he opens a Pandora's box that not only raises old ghosts but endangers his entire family.
August 2017 Debut of the Month Provocative and stimulating, this debut crime thriller set in Canada, slams with impact. Two detectives begin an investigation into the death of a man who may have been involved in the Srebrenica massacre during the Bosnian war in 1995. Ausma Zehanat Khan holds a PhD in International Human Rights Law with a research specialisation in military intervention and war crimes in the Balkans, her experience and knowledge sets the tone of the novel as she takes fact and blends in fiction. It did take me a little time to settle into the story, and I appreciated the setting of the background of the Canadian police unit and politics. Each chapter is headed by a compelling, sometimes heartbreaking quotation which is explained in the notes. The story slowly grows and gathers pace, creating an intricate, intriguing moving jigsaw of pieces. The most striking part of the story for me, was when the past began to speak, I found myself flinching and yet I couldn't turn away. ‘The Unquiet Dead’ is quite simply, as fascinating as it is a challenging read. ~ Liz Robinson
August 2017 Book of the Month THEN - She was fifteen, her mother's golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone. NOW - it's been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter. And then one day a stranger called Floyd walks into a cafe and sweeps Laurel off her feet...
August 2017 Debut of the Month A provocative tale that creeps over skin and worms its way into thoughts. A knock at the door one night reveals Cat’s husband has an 11 year old daughter Cat knew nothing about, then Ruby moves in, and Cat finds her hackles and suspicions rising. Cat tells her own tale, revealing intimate snapshots of history, of thoughts, of feelings. Mel McGrath sets events in motion that encouraged my mind to flinch with uncertainty, I wondered, I doubted, I suspected. I was sucked in whole, and simply didn't want to stop reading as the story span to an all consuming end. ‘Give Me The Child’ is a stimulating, powerful, entirely captivating and deliciously entertaining read. ~ Liz Robinson
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Reluctant 1950s spy George Mueller whom we first encountered in the impressive An Honorable Man, is posted to pre-Castro Cuba to investigate the possibility that an old friend, Toby Graham, a friendly CIA agent with whom he worked opposing the KGB back in Europe in earlier times, might have turned unexpectedly rogue and is now manipulating the passage of arms to the rebels that were intended for the Batista regime they are at war with, despite the obvious sympathies at the top of the Washington establishment food chain for the dictator. Unveiling layers of corruption across the board, this is a recognizable take of deceit at the highest level, of compromised ideals and ethics and warring American official agencies set against a lovely evocation of Havana on the eve of the revolution and the turmoil both action-wise and sentimental the protagonists have to steadfastedly beat their way through. A worthy follow-up indeed. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
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