The Secret Lives of People in Love, By Simon Van Booy
Simon Van Booy has been hailed as one of the most exciting and talented short-story writers in Anglo-American fiction. This magnificent collection brings together twenty-four stories by a writer of unparalleled lyricism, generosity and emotional power. Set in a range of locations, from Cornwall, Wales, and New York to Paris and Rome, these stark and beautiful stories are a perfect synthesis of intensity and atmosphere. Love, loss, isolation and the power of memory are Van Booy’s themes; and in spare, economical prose he writes about the difficult choices we make in order to retain our humanity, and about the redemptive power of love in a violent world.
A Gift from Bob, By James Bowen
From the day James rescued a street cat abandoned in the hallway of his sheltered accommodation, they began a friendship which has transformed both their lives and, through the bestselling books A Street Cat Named Bob and The World According To Bob, has touched millions around the world. In this new story from their journey together, James looks back at the last winter holidays they spent scraping out a living on the streets and how Bob helped him through one of his toughest times – providing strength, friendship and inspiration.
Walking Home My Family, and Other Rambles, By Clare Balding
A wonderful ramble sharing Clare Balding’s new found love of walking since her debut in BBC Radio Ramblings. Having caught the bug, she’s walked hundreds of miles, got to know the countryside, and induced family and friends to accompany her. There are plenty of anecdotes and stories woven into her narrative, a pleasing mix of travel and autobiography bound to be every bit as popular as her debut My Animals and Other Family.
One Hundred Years of Solitude, By Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Nobel prize winner Márquez takes us on a magic carpet ride through Colombia’s turbulent past in this dazzling, classic novel. Fact is mixed with fantasy in a saga that spans many generations of the Buendía family and plays out in the mythical town of Macondo. In this enthralling and highly comic romp through history, as seen through the eyes of a single family, civil war rages, lives are lost, hearts break and dreams shatter. The looping chronology, along with generations of Buendías sharing names and characteristics, keeps readers on their toes.
In the Country of Men, By Hisham Matar
Matar’s debut novel reflects the brutality of Gaddafi’s Libya through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy as he struggles to make sense of his father’s disappearance and the terror it induces in the adults around him. That’s not all the boy has to deal with. His mother is becoming dependent on the illicit “medicine” supplied by the baker; she’s burning the books his father loves; and his best friend’s father is on television begging for his life. All this leaves him in a state of “quiet panic”. Matar’s own father disappeared into Gaddafi’s jails in 1990, and his whereabouts remain unknown.
The Santa Klaus Murder, By Mavis Doriel Hay
The Santa Klaus Murder is a classic country-house mystery. Aunt Mildred declared that no good could come of the Melbury family Christmas gatherings at their country residence, Flaxmere. So when Sir Osmond Melbury, the family patriarch, is discovered – by a guest dressed as Santa Klaus – with a bullet in his head on Christmas Day, the festivities are plunged into chaos. Nearly every member of the party stands to reap some sort of benefit from Sir Osmond’s death, but Santa Klaus, the one person who seems to have had every opportunity to fire the shot, has no apparent motive.
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