Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

Brave New World - Aldous HuxleyBrave New World
Aldous Huxley

Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress…

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Thornfield Hall – Jane Stubbs

Thornfield Hall - Jane StubbsThornfield Hall
Jane Stubbs

The Rochesters are very good at keeping secrets…

Thornfield Hall, 1821. Alice Fairfax takes up her role as housekeeper of the estate. But when Mr Rochester presents her with a woman who is to be hidden on the third floor, she finds herself responsible for much more than the house. This is the story Jane Eyre never knew – a narrative played out on the third floor and beneath the stairs, as the servants kept their master’s secret safe and sound.

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Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

Birdsong - Sebastian FaulksBirdsong
Sebastian Faulks

A novel of overwhelming emotional power, Birdsong is a story of love, death, sex and survival.

Stephen Wraysford, a young Englishman, arrives in Amiens in northern France in 1910 to stay with the Azaire family, and falls in love with unhappily married Isabelle. But, with the world on the brink of war, the relationship falters, and Stephen volunteers to fight on the Western Front. His love for Isabelle forever engraved on his heart, he experiences the unprecedented horrors of that conflict – from which neither he nor any reader of this book can emerge unchanged.

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The Stall of Second Chances – Dana Bate

The Stall of Second Chances - Dana BateThe Stall of Second Chances
Dana Bate

Sydney Strauss is obsessed with food.

Not just with eating it – though she loves that too – but with writing about it as an aspiring cookery reporter. But food journalism jobs are more coveted than cupcakes, and so Sydney is stuck working for one of TV’s biggest egomaniacs – until she’s left scrambling for shifts at the local farmers’ market.

Selling muffins at the Wild Yeast Bakery is hardly going to make her the next Nigella. But soon Sydney is writing the market’s weekly newsletter, and her quirky stories gain attention from a prominent food columnist. After years of being left on the shelf, she’s even dating again. And then Sydney gets a shot at the story, one that could either make her career or burn it to a cinder – along with her relationship and her reputation…

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A Place for Us – Harriet Evans

A Place for Us - Harriet EvansA Place for Us
Harriet Evans

When Martha, a wife and mother of three, sits down one late summer’s morning to write out the invitations to her eightieth birthday celebration, she knows that what she is planning to reveal at the party could ruin the idyllic life she and her husband David have spent over fifty years building…

But she has to let her family know what she and David have sacrificed. She can’t live a lie any more.

The invitation goes out far and wide, calling her three children and their families back home to Winterfold, their rambling house in the heart of the English countryside. They are Bill, the doctor; Florence, the eccentric academic; and Daisy, the child who never fit in. As the story unfolds, each character reveals the secrets, joys, and tragedies they are wrestling with through the confines of the family. What will happen when Martha finally tells the truth?

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Blacklands – Belinda Bauer

Blacklands - Belinda BauerBlacklands
Belinda Bauer

Twelve-year-old Steven Lamb digs holes on Exmoor, hoping to find a body. Every day after school, while his classmates swap football stickers, Steven goes digging to lay to rest the ghost of the uncle he never knew, who disappeared aged eleven and is assumed to have fallen victim to the notorious serial killer Arnold Avery.

Only Steven’s Nan is not convinced her son is dead. She still waits for him to come home, standing bitter guard at the front window while her family fragments around her. Steven is determined to heal the widening cracks between them before it’s too late. And if that means presenting his grandmother with the bones of her murdered son, he’ll do it.

So the boy takes the next logical step, carefully crafting a letter to Arnold Avery in prison. And there begins a dangerous cat-and-mouse game between a desperate child and a bored serial killer.

A game that will have more terrifying consequences than Steven could ever imagine…

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44 Scotland Street – Alexander McCall Smith

44 Scotland Street - Alexander McCall Smith44 Scotland Street
Alexander McCall Smith

The residents and neighbours of 44 Scotland Street and the city of Edinburgh come to vivid life in these gently satirical, wonderfully perceptive serial novels, featuring six-year-old Bertie, a remarkably precocious boy — just ask his mother.

Welcome to 44 Scotland Street, home to some of Edinburgh’s most colorful characters. There’s Pat, a twenty-year-old who has recently moved into a flat with Bruce, an athletic young man with a keen awareness of his own appearance. Their neighbor, Domenica, is an eccentric and insightful widow. In the flat below are Irene and her appealing son Bertie, who is the victim of his mother’s desire for him to learn the saxophone and italian – all at the tender age of five.

Love triangles, a lost painting, intriguing new friends, and an encounter with a famous Scottish crime writer are just a few of the ingredients that add to this delightful and witty portrait of Edinburgh society, which was first published as a serial in The Scotsman newspaper.

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I Will Marry George Clooney (By Christmas) – Tracey Bloom

I Will Marry George Clooney (By Christmas) - Tracey BloomI Will Marry George Clooney (By Christmas)
Tracey Bloom

There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only answer is to marry George Clooney.

Slogging her guts out in a chicken factory, whilst single-handedly bringing up a teenager who hates her, is far from the life that 36-year-old Michelle had planned. But marrying the most eligible man on the planet by Christmas could change all that, couldn’t it?

Sometimes your only option is to dream the impossible – because you never know where it might take you…

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