Book of the Moment - Our book of the moment is a title that we are offering at a discount. It is usually chosen because one of us has loved the book and wants to promote it so everyone can share the pleasure..
FIRE BED & BONE
By Hernrietta Branford
The year is 1381. Unrest is spreading like the plague.
England's peasants are tired of endless hardship and injustice, and rebellion is in the air. This brings dramatic and violent upheaval to the lives of families like Rufus, Comfort and their children - and to their faithful hunting hound, the narrator of this unforgettable tale.
Although this is aimed at children, I think everyone should read it. Acurate in it's historical context this book is a beautifully written fable. It has stayed with me - powerful, thrilling and unplifting this is ultimately a story of hope and fear. Millie
By Elizabeth Day
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, amid the politicians, the celebrities, the old money and the newly rich, Martin once again feels that pang of not quite belonging. There is something unnerving in the air.
This is a great read, a fast-paced play of power, wealth and it's consequences. Smart and thrilling this is unputdownable! Millie
THIS IS GOING TO HURT: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor
By Adam Kay
Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you. Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay's This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line.
I have never laughed out loud so much at a book before - witty, hilarious, thought-provoking and important. Easy to read, interesting and sad at times, I urge everyone to read this especially anyone who values our NHS.
by Kamila Shamsie
A contemporary reworking of Sophocles Antigone, Home Fire tells the story of siblings Isma, Aneeka and her twin brother Parvaiz who sets out to fulfil the dark legacy of his jihadist father.
'A powerful exploration of the clash between society, family and faith in the modern world" Guardian
"Home Fire is a literary tragedy, a political and psychological thriller with one of the most memorable final scenes I have read in years. This will take your breath away" Millie
HOW TO STOP TIME
by Matt Haig
Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old history teacher, but he's been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen it all. As long as he keeps changing his identity he can stay one step ahead of his past - and stay alive.
'We loved this novel. Not only is it a dazzling adventure spanning centuries but also a tale of mystery, love and loss and most wonderfully a commentary on the human condition. It is with charm and imagination that this book reminds us to live in the present, to appreciate moments in time and enjoy existence.'
by Dave Goulson
In fact this offer includes the author's previous two books, "A Sting in the Tale" and "A Buzz in the Meadow" (published by Vintage).
Fabulous nature writing - warm, witty and thought-provoking. Beautifully written and with a passion for his subject that is totally engaging, Goulson's writing takes the reader on an adventure celebrating the beauty of the natural world while highlighting the need to protect it.
Don't pass by this author!
The History of Bees
by Maja Lunde
England 1851—William is a biologist and seed merchant searching for fame.
United States 2007—George is a beekeeper fighting an uphill battle with modern farming.
China 2098—Tao paints pollen onto fruit trees in search of the bees that have long gone but when her son is taken away she sets out on a journey to find out what happened to him.
In the spirit of Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go, this dazzling and ambitious literary debut follows three generations of beekeepers from the past, present, and future, weaving a spellbinding story of their relationship to the bees - and to their children and one another - against the backdrop of an urgent, global crisis.
Published by Simon and Schuster
by Bella Bathurst
In 1997, Bella Bathurst began to go deaf. Within a few months, she had lost half her hearing, and the rest was slipping away. She wasn't just missing punchlines, she was missing most of the conversation - and all of the jokes.
For the next twelve years deafness shaped her life, until, in 2009, everything changed again. Sound draws on this extraordinary experience, exploring what it is like to lose your hearing and - as Bella eventually did - to get it back, and what that teaches you about listening and silence, music and noise. She investigates the science behind deafness, hearing loss among musicians, soldiers and factory workers, sign language, and what the deaf know about these subjects that the hearing don't.
If sight gives us the world, then hearing - or our ability to listen - gives us each other. But, as this engaging and intelligent examination reveals, our relationship with sound is both personal and far, far more complex than we might expect.
The Mandibles (A Family 20129 - 2047)
by Lionel Shriver
It is 2029. The dollar has crashed and The Mandibles have been counting on a sizable fortune filtering down when their 97-year-old patriarch dies.
"Shriver's intelligence, humour and imagination makes this book an unsettling and fascinating read. I was hooked from the start and sucked into the characters' lives. Is this a glimpse of what may be to come for America?" Millie
Fingers in The Sparkle Jar
by Chris Packham
An introverted, unusual young boy, isolated by his obsessions and a loner at school, Chris Packham only felt himself in the fields and woods around his suburban home. But when he stole a young Kestrel from its nest, he was about to embark on a friendship that would teach him what it meant to love, and that would change him forever.
"This is an extraordinary piece of writing - Packham slowly builts a picture of his young self through different narratives and voices, creating a layered view of himself and his dysfunctional childhood. It is a good read, both interesting and moving." Chris
All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
RRP £8.99 Published by Fourth Estate
A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
In this deeply moving novel, the stories of Marie-Laure and Wener illuminate the ways, against all odds, that people try to be good to one another.
"This book is utterly absorbing, beautifully written and enthralling. Fate, love and history together create this breathless story surrounded by stunning imagery. One to remember!" Millie
Not Forgetting The Whale
by John Ironmonger
A man who'd given up hope and the village that gave it back to him. When a young man washes up, naked, on the sands of St Piran in Cornwall, he is quickly rescued by the villagers. From the retired village doctor and the beachcomber, to the priest's flirtatious wife and the romantic novelist, they take this lost soul into their midst. But what the villagers don't know is that Joe Haak is a city analyst who has fled London, fearing he may - inadvertently - have caused a global financial collapse.
But is the end of the world really nigh? And what of the whale that lurks in the bay? Intimate, funny and heart-warming, Not Forgetting the Whale is a story about community, the best and worst in our nature, and the search for a place to call home. "Light-hearted but thought-provoking, a really good read". Chris
Published by Orion
Go Set A Watchman
by Harper Lee
Set two decades after the masterpiece that is ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ Scout returns home from New York to visit her father. It captures her transition out of the illusions of the past and forces her to revisit old memories. It challenges her values and assumptions and forces her to look more closely at those dearest to her.
“This novel will test your capacity for forgiveness and understanding. It is a far more morally complex story that sees the South fearful of a rapidly changing society. The reality of the characters comes alive; it exposes their flaws and challenges assumptions. I found it was like revisiting and reminiscing with old friends, it was utterly absorbing, fascinating and a powerful read.” Millie
Published by Heinemann in hardback
by Kirsty Logan
North lives on a circus boat and dances with her beloved bear while the rest of the crew trade dazzling and death-defying feats for food. As penance for a terrible mistake Callanish works as a gracekeeper, tending the graves of those who die at sea. Loneliness has become a way of life for North and Callanish until a storm offshore brings change to both their lives and offers hope for an unexpected future.
Among some of the most beautiful storytelling, this novel will appeal to fans of Angela Carter, Eowyn Ivey and Erin Morgenstern. An enchanting and encapsulating story of a floating circus and two young women in search of a home, it has s haunting narrative that drowns in the emotion and poetic beauty of this book. Brimming with original imagination this debut will delight readers of the world.” (Millie)
We all loved it! Published in hardback Harvill Secker
by Andrew O'Hagan
RRP £17.99 hardback
In the words of Elizabeth Day in the Observer: “The Illuminations is a book at once both tender and ambitious. In the writing of it, O’Hagan has cast a shimmering light on love and memory, life and loss and on the secrets we keep from those closest to us, sometimes even from ourselves.”
Can’t put it better ourselves… Quite simply, a beautifully crafted novel and a masterpiece.
Published by Faber and Faber
by Mary Costello
RRP £12.99 (hardback)
Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel category, this is a beautiful piece of fiction. It tells the story of Tess, a shy child growing up in the west of Ireland in the 1940s and her move to, and subsequent life in, New York.
"Joyous and heart-breaking, restrained but sweeping, this is a profoundly moving story that charts one woman's quest for belonging amid the dazzle and tumult of America's greatest city."
Published by Canongate
by Quintin Jardine
This is a new departure for crime writer Quintin Jardine who has turned his hand to historical fiction in Mathew’s Tale - and written a gripping saga.
Mathew’s Tale is set in Lanarkshire - in Carluke in fact, which was but a tiny village in the early nineteenth century, and is where Jardine’s family is from. Starting during the Napoleonic Wars it takes us on into the early years of the industrial revolution, and all the changes it brought to communities in that part of the county.
There's murder, and revenge, and unrequited love all bundled into a roaring good story. I couldn’t put it down! Chris
Published by Headline, October 2014
The Art of Racing in the Rain
by Garth Stein
RRP £7.99 ow 10% off
It was published in 2009, so not new on the scene, but Chris finally read it after being nagged by her sister to do so, and loved it so much it's our book of the moment.
Published by HarperCollins
The Four Marys: A Quarter of Contemporary Folk Tales
by Jean Rafferty
In this quartet of provocative novellas Jean Rafferty explores the complexities of motherhood through a modern retelling of traditional folk tales and myths.
“As usual, I was a sucker for a great cover, but the book lived up to the promise of its cover. Engrossing, thought-provoking, moving and disturbing are all words to describe these stories, but they are also a thoroughly good read, well imagined and beautifully told” Chris
Published by Saraband
Counting Sheep: A Celebration of the Pastoral History of Britain
by Phillip Walling
A story of wool and money and history, of merchants and farmers and shepherds. Sheep are a thread that runs through the history of the British countryside and this book tells their story.
With his eye for the idiosyncratic the author meets some of the sixty native breeds of sheep that thrive in Britain and, through anecdote and fact, weaves a fascinating picture of the way sheep have influenced our culture and indeed the very fabric of society through the ages.
Published by Profile Books
RRP £8.99A beautifully written, haunting tale of guilt, myth and redemption set in a small community on the rugged coast of Caithness at Scotland’s furthest edge.
“The brooding cover does not do the novel justice - it is full of light. The sense of place is extraordinary, the language beautiful and the characters quirky and beguiling. A thoroughly good read.” Chris
Unfortunately this book is no longer available
Fair Helen by Andrew Greig
£16.99 hardback Published by Quercus
Fair Helen is a novel inspired by the border ballad “Fair Helen of Kirkconnel Lea”. Set in the dying days of border reiving, it is a tale of family and loyalty, of deceit and lies, of murder and foul deeds, of passion and doomed love.
Like most of the old ballads, the ballad of “Fair Helen” is only a shadow of the historical event, handed down in the oral tradition, sung again and again, passed down through the generations. Andrew Greig takes the bones of the ballad, and with beautiful prose and a compelling narrative explodes the myth into a full-bodied story.
“I could hear the song resonating through the prose, and I loved the voice of narrator Harry Langton... couldn’t put it down!” (Chris)
Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
This is a twisting tale about a musty old bookshop with endless shelves and high ladders, whose regular customers only seem to borrow old encoded books. Employee Clay and his friends set out to unravel the mystery and discover 500 year old puzzle involving the cloaked members of the Fellowship of the Unbroken Spine. The old meets the new, printing presses and the internet.
“I shouldn’t have liked this book. Firstly, it is modern American fiction and it is about computers and cyber geeks….. BUT.… this is so different and such fun that just writing about it makes me want to start reading it all over again…” Sue
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
Paperback £7.99. Also available in a beautiful spineless hardback at £20.00
Published by Canongate
“Hi! My name is Nao, and I am a time being. Do you know what a time being is? Well, if you give me a moment, I will tell you.…”
Weaving across continents and decades, and exploring the relationship between reader and writer, fact and fiction, A Tale for the Time Being is an extraordinary novel about our shared humanity and the search for home.
The Ingredients of Love by Nicholas Barreau
published by Quercus
Paris and all its magic...
Add a restaurant, a mysterious book, a romantic meeting, a secret... This is a charming, intelligent and entertaining novel and a perfect light read.
Sue says it’s the equivalent of a chocolate éclair, or a pain au chocolat—light and delicious, and very Parisian. ... And there are recipes included at the end.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Published by Hodder
Described by the Guardian as ‘remarkable and beautifully written...' The opening volume of a truly original trilogy, this book was recommended by our neighbours at Plaisir, who loved it and are now reading the second volume.
Not my usual genre but I raced through this magical tale of the double life of Karou, a seventeen year old art student in Prague who is also an errand-girl for Brimstone, one of the chimera who are the closest thing she has to a family.
A war is raging between angels and chimera and after meeting a warrior angel, Karou must decide not only which side she is on but whether to choose the safety of her human life or the war ravaged world which may hold the answers she has always sought. SK
The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry
Hardback £10 Translated from the French by Sian Reynolds
Published by Maclehose Press
One morning a librarian finds a reader who has been locked in overnight. She begins to talk to him, a one-way conversation full of sharp insight and quiet outrage.
A quirky original diatribe, funny and insightful, against snobbish senior colleagues, an ungrateful and ignorant public and the strictures of the Dewey Decimal System, and in defence of libraries and the art of reading. A delightful divertissement for the discerning bookworm...
The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
Published by Hesperus
Sitting quietly in his room in an old people’s home, Allan Karlsson is waiting for a party he doesn’t want to begin. His one-hundredth birthday party to be precise. The mayor will be there. The press will be there. But, as it turns out…. Allan will not be there.
Escaping (in his slippers) through his bedroom window, into the flowerbed, Allan makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, Allan’s earlier life is revealed. A life in which - remarkably - he played a key role behind the scenes in some of the momentous events of the twentieth century.