Audiobooks of the Month

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The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse

Author: Fran Dorricott Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2022

A newly renovated lighthouse on a remote island provides a perfect atmospheric setting for any crime novel. Fran Dorricott's vivid, creepy descriptions certainly set the scene in The Lighthouse, when a group of six old friends hold a reunion weekend. There's a strong sense of isolation and abandonment, particularly with the worsening weather. Group dynamics are shattered as the tension builds, and the characters' linked pasts create unease and distrust. Meanwhile, something or someone on the island wants to stay hidden - and wants them to leave - bringing a supernatural/horror element to the plot, too. This is a slowburning, character-driven thriller told from different character's viewpoints, culminating in a dramatic life-changing ending that will leave none of them untouched. The Lighthouse is an ideal read for fans of spooky locked-room mysteries. 

Audiobooks of the Month
We Are All Birds of Uganda

We Are All Birds of Uganda

Author: Hafsa Zayyan Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/01/2022

'You can't stop birds from flying, can you, Sameer? They go where they will...' 1960s UGANDA. Hasan is struggling to run his family business following the sudden death of his wife. Just as he begins to see a way forward, a new regime seizes power, and a wave of rising prejudice threatens to sweep away everything he has built. Present-day LONDON. Sameer, a young high-flying lawyer, senses an emptiness in what he thought was the life of his dreams. Called back to his family home by an unexpected tragedy, Sameer begins to find the missing pieces of himself not in his future plans, but in a past he never knew. Moving between two continents and several generations over a troubled century, We Are All Birds of Uganda is a multi-layered, moving and immensely resonant novel of love, loss, and what it means to find home. It is the first work of fiction by Hafsa Zayyan, co-winner of the inaugural #Merky Books New Writers' Prize, and one of the most exciting young novelists of today. 

Books of the Month
Unsettled Ground

Unsettled Ground

Author: Claire Fuller Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/01/2022

What if the life you have always known is taken from you in an instant? What would you do to get it back? Twins Jeanie and Julius have always been different from other people. At 51 years old, they still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation and poverty. Inside the walls of their old cottage they make music, and in the garden they grow (and sometimes kill) everything they need for sustenance. But when Dot dies suddenly, threats to their livelihood start raining down. Jeanie and Julius would do anything to preserve their small sanctuary against the perils of the outside world, even as their mother's secrets begin to unravel, putting everything they thought they knew about their lives at stake. Unsettled Ground is a heart-stopping novel of betrayal and resilience, love and survival. It is a portrait of life on the fringes of society that explores with dazzling emotional power how we can build our lives on broken foundations, and spin light from darkness. 

Star Books
Luster

Luster

Author: Raven Leilani Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/01/2022

This newcomer is one to watch, it feels like she could be one of the greats, an author we’ll still be talking about in decades to come. It’s a sharp, dark, hard look at life yet funny and oh so tender too. Set in New York, it’s the story of 23 year old Edie who lives in a dingy flatshare. She’s brutal, not kind, and mean-spirited even: “I almost lose a seat to a woman who gets on at Union Square, but luckily her pregnancy slows her down” but you root for her, respect her honesty, her openness, her lack of self-pity, her unsentimental nature.  She’s not had it easy: her mother committed suicide, she has trouble making friends, men lose interest in her when she talks. At night, she flits from one sexual conquest to her next hook up, is an editorial assistant in a publishing house by day and is messing it up big time. Then she meets Eric. He’s married. He’s 40. He’s white. He has an adopted black daughter who’s only ten years younger than Edie. As Edie becomes entangled in this family life the book explores themes of race, class, gender, sex, depression and loneliness. And I was transfixed. Read this book! I can’t wait to see what Leilani does next.

Audiobooks of the Month
The Night She Disappeared

The Night She Disappeared

Author: Lisa Jewell Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/12/2021

"Mum, there's some people here from college, they asked me back to theirs. Just for an hour or so. Is that OK?" Midsummer 2017: teenage mum Tallulah heads out on a date, leaving her baby son at home with her mother, Kim. At 11pm she sends her mum a text message. At 4.30am Kim awakens to discover that Tallulah has not come home. Friends tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a pool party at a house in the woods nearby called Dark Place. Tallulah never returns. 2018: walking in the woods behind the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started as a head-teacher, Sophie sees a sign nailed to a fence. A sign that says: DIG HERE . . .

Audiobooks of the Month
Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone

Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone

Author: Diana Gabaldon Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/11/2021

The author of the Sunday Times bestselling Outlander series returns with the newest novel in the epic tale. Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall were torn apart by the Jacobite Rising of 1745, and it took them twenty years to find each other again. Now the American Revolution threatens to do the same. It is 1779 and Claire and Jamie are at last reunited with their daughter, Brianna, her husband, Roger, and their children on Fraser's Ridge. Having the family together is a dream the Frasers had thought impossible. Yet even in the North Carolina backcountry, the effects of war are being felt. Tensions in the Colonies are great and local feelings run hot enough to boil Hell's tea-kettle. Jamie knows loyalties among his own tenants are split and the war is on his doorstep. It's only a matter of time before the shooting starts. Not so far away, young William Ransom is still coming to terms with the discovery of his true father's identity - and thus his own. Lord John Grey also has reconciliations to make and dangers to meet . . . on his son's behalf, and his own. Meanwhile, the Southern Colonies blaze, and the Revolution creeps ever closer to Fraser's Ridge. And Claire, the physician, wonders how much of the blood to be spilt will belong to those she loves.

Audiobooks of the Month
The Eye of the World

The Eye of the World

Author: Robert Jordan Format: Audiobook Release Date: 16/11/2021

The Wheel of Time is now an original series on Prime Video, starring Rosamund Pike as Moiraine! This program is read by narrator Rosamund Pike, star of the hit Prime Video original series. The Eye of the World, the first novel in Robert Jordan's #1 New York Times bestselling epic fantasy series, The Wheel of Time®, follows Moiraine Damodred as she arrives in Emond's Field on a quest to find the one prophesized to stand against The Dark One. The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow. When a vicious band of half-men, half beasts invade the Two Rivers seeking their master's enemy, Moiraine persuades Rand al'Thor and his friends to leave their home and enter a larger unimaginable world filled with dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light. Since its debut in 1990, The Wheel of Time® has captivated millions of readers around the globe with its scope, originality, and compelling characters. The last six books in series were all instant #1 New York Times bestsellers, and The Eye of the World was named one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read.

Audiobooks of the Month
Never

Never

Author: Ken Follett Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/11/2021

In Follett’s first contemporary thriller for more than a decade, he imagines the unimaginable, a cat and mouse game of brinkmanship between nuclear powers.  Expertly researched and brilliantly crafted, this 800 page epic is unputdownable. It’s a cover-to-cover action-packed mammoth tale of weaving multiple interrelated story lines, with captivating characters and intriguing plots with tension, terror, heartache, love, betrayal.  US President Pauline Green fights at home and abroad to prevent nuclear disaster as the book moves from Defcon 5, the lowest state of readiness, to Defcon 1, the brink of war. We follow the incredible work of Abdul Haddad, a spy working undercover with jihadis in Chad. Nearby, a beautiful young widow Kiah and her son Naji want to leave the shrinking shores of Lake Chad, escape their fate and travel illegally to Europe, no matter how terrifying the journey is with human traffickers. We fall for Tamara Levit a CIA operative attached to the American embassy in N’Djamena and her French counterpart Tab Sadoul, an attaché at the European Union Mission who are following the trail of a powerful group of drug-smuggling terrorists. In China, we support the machinations of Chinese spymaster Kai Chang, an ambitious senior government official battling against the old guard. Covert operations, terrorist activities, arms dealers, drug smugglers, human traffickers, government coups, military skirmishes – it has it all. And Ken Follett delivers it with aplomb. Hold on to your seats, it’s a bumpy rollercoaster ride!  

Audiobooks of the Month
Will

Will

Author: Will Smith, Mark Manson Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/11/2021

One of the most dynamic and globally recognized entertainment forces of our time opens up fully about his life, in a brave and inspiring book that traces his learning curve to a place where outer success, inner happiness, and human connection are aligned. Along the way, Will tells the story in full of one of the most amazing rides through the worlds of music and film that anyone has ever had. Will Smith's transformation from a fearful child in a tense West Philadelphia home to one of the biggest rap stars of his era and then one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood history, with a string of box office successes that will likely never be broken, is an epic tale of inner transformation and outer triumph, and Will tells it astonishingly well. But it's only half the story. Will Smith thought, with good reason, that he had won at life: not only was his own success unparalleled, his whole family was at the pinnacle of the entertainment world. Only they didn't see it that way: they felt more like star performers in his circus, a seven-days-a-week job they hadn't signed up for. It turned out Will Smith's education wasn't nearly over. This memoir is the product of a profound journey of self-knowledge, a reckoning with all that your will can get you and all that it can leave behind. Written with the help of Mark Manson, author of the multi-million-copy bestseller The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Will is the story of how one exceptional man mastered his own emotions, written in a way that can help everyone else do the same. Few of us will know the pressure of performing on the world's biggest stages for the highest of stakes, but we can all understand that the fuel that works for one stage of our journey might have to be changed if we want to make it all the way home. The combination of genuine wisdom of universal value and a life story that is preposterously entertaining, even astonishing, puts Will the book, like its author, in a category by itself.

Audiobooks of the Month
Flora's Travelling Christmas Shop

Flora's Travelling Christmas Shop

Author: Rebecca Raisin Format: Audiobook Release Date: 28/10/2021

'Tis the season for mulled wine, mince pies, and magic under the mistletoe... Flora loves Christmas more than anything else in the world, so she's gutted when her Scrooge-alike boss fires her from Deck the Halls Christmas emporium. But now she finally has a chance to follow her dreams - and what better place to start than the home of Christmas? Before she can say 'sleigh bells', Flora's on her way to Lapland in a campervan-cum-Christmas-shop. She can't wait to spend her days drinking hot chocolate and taking reindeer-drawn carriage rides, but something Flora didn't expect was meeting Connor, a Norse god of a man who makes her heart flutter and snowflakes swirl in her stomach. There's just one problem: Connor hates Christmas. Can Flora convince Connor of the joys of Christmas - and will she find a festive romance along the way? The perfect Christmas romance for fans of Debbie Johnson, Holly Martin and Jenny Colgan.

Audiobooks of the Month
The Christmas Escape

The Christmas Escape

Author: Sarah Morgan Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/10/2021

Sarah Morgan’s trademark lightness of touch and romantic warmth are on full Christmas window display in this Lapland-set story of female friendship, and letting down your guard to find (or reaffirm) love in all its forms. The Christmas Escape features a literal escape through a family and friends fleeing to Lapland for Christmas, but it’s metaphoric too, in that most of the characters have been hiding truths about themselves. This novel tells the story of their respective journeys to happiness through honesty in a romantic snowy setting backlit by the northern lights. Christy has her heart set on enjoying the perfect Christmas in Lapland with her husband Seb, five-year-old daughter Holly, and best friend Alix. It’s a big emotional trip for her too, for they’ll be staying with her estranged aunt, and she has a whole lot of questions about why her aunt was cast from the family bosom all those years ago. But as the big trip (and big day) looms ever-closer, Christy has big concerns about her marriage, and things aren’t quite right between her and Alix either. When Christy delays her flight to try to get to the source of her and Seb’s problems, Alix accompanies Holly to Lapland with her one-time lover and now-time nemesis, ruggedly handsome Arctic explorer and academic Zac. As the story stomps on through the snowy Lapland landscape, Zac becomes a mouthpiece for life advice: “There is an element of risk involved in everything worth having”, soon reiterated by “You’re only scared of the things that are important. The things that really matter”.  Meanwhile, Seb brings Christy to self-realisation as she tries to repair her relationship with Alix. With lots of recaps of characters’ quandaries and fears in the manner of TV shows (almost like “previously on The Christmas Escape…” montages), the characters are 100% transparent to the reader, even when they’re hiding the truth from each other, which also makes it something of a scream-at-the-TV kind of read - “tell the truth! Admit you fancy him! Admit you were wrong!”, and so on, until things come together in a satisfying seasonal hug.

Audiobooks of the Month
Under the Whispering Door

Under the Whispering Door

Author: TJ Klune Format: Audiobook Release Date: 28/10/2021

Witty, haunting, and kind, Under the Whispering Door is a gift for troubled times. TJ Klune brings us a warm hug of a story about a man who spent his life at the office - and his afterlife building a home. From the author of joyous New York Times bestseller The House in the Cerulean Sea. Welcome to Charon’s Crossing. The tea is hot, the scones are fresh and the dead are just passing through. When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own sparsely-attended funeral, Wallace is outraged. But he begins to suspect she’s right, and he is in fact dead. Then when Hugo, owner of a most peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace reluctantly accepts the truth. Yet even in death, he refuses to abandon his life – even though Wallace spent all of it working, correcting colleagues and hectoring employees. He’d had no time for frivolities like fun and friends. But as Wallace drinks tea with Hugo and talks to his customers, he wonders if he was missing something. The feeling grows as he shares jokes with the resident ghost, manifests embarrassing footwear and notices the stars. So when he’s given one week to pass through the door to the other side, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in just seven days. Fans of A Man Called Ove and The Good Place will fall for this queer love story by TJ Klune.

Audiobooks of the Month