New Books March 2016

Fiction

The Mark and the Void by Paul Murray
While marooned at his banking job in the bewilderingly damp and insular realm known as Ireland, Claude Martingale is approached by a down-on-his-luck author, Paul, looking for his next great subject. Claude finds that his life gets steadily more exciting under Paul’s fictionalizing influence; he even falls in love with a beautiful waitress. But Paul’s plan is not what it seems and neither is Claude’s employer, the Investment Bank of Torabundo, which swells through dodgy takeovers and derivatives trading until you can probably guess how that shakes out.

Yuki Chan in Bronte Country by Mick Jackson
Yukiko tragically lost her mother ten years ago. After visiting her sister in London, she goes on the run, and heads for Haworth, West Yorkshire, the last place her mother visited before her death. Against a cold, winter, Yorkshire landscape, Yuki has to tackle the mystery of her mother’s death, her burgeoning friendship with a local girl, the allure of the Brontes and her own sister’s wrath.

The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
A brief novelised account of the life of the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich.  1936: Shostakovich, just thirty, fears for his livelihood and his life. Stalin, hitherto a distant figure, has taken a sudden interest in his work and denounced his latest opera.  For years to come he will be held fast under the thumb of despotism: made to represent Soviet values at a cultural conference in New York City, forced into joining the Party, and compelled, constantly, to weigh appeasing those in power against the integrity of his music.

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
Lucy’s mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters.

Non-Fiction

Reclaming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle
Renowned media scholar Sherry Turkle investigates how a flight from conversation undermines our relationships, creativity, and productivity—and why reclaiming face-to-face conversation can help us regain lost ground.

The Secret War: Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939-1945 by Max Hastings
Packed with insight and terrific spy stories, this masterly book looks at the secret war on a global basis, bringing together the British, American, German, Russian and Japanese histories. It examines the espionage and intelligence machines of all sides in World War II, and the impact of spies, code-breakers and partisan operations on events.

Rendezvous at the Russian Tea Rooms by Paul Willetts
Set in blacked-out London during the ominous lull before the Blitz, this true story centres on Tyler Kent, a debonair encryption specialist at the US Embassy – who also happens to be a Soviet mole. He becomes romantically entangled with Anna Wolkoff, a Russian fashion designer and Nazi spy. Together they steal the coded telegrams between President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill: if revealed, these messages would change the outcome of the war. The brilliant but eccentric British spymaster Maxwell Knight infiltrates the glamorous circle of fascist conspirators gathering in the Russian Tea Rooms, just a stone’s throw from South Kensington tube station.

The New Yorker Book of the 50’s: Story of a Decade Edited by Henry Finder
A look back at the 1950s chronicles the tensions and innovations that lay behind the decade’s more placid surface during a time of prosperity and contradiction.

The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World by Andrea Wulf
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is the great lost scientist: more things are named after him than anyone else. His colourful adventures read like something out of a Boy’s Own story.  Taking us on a fantastic voyage in his footsteps – racing across anthrax-infected Russia or mapping tropical rivers alive with crocodiles – Andrea Wulf shows why his life and ideas remain so important today. Humboldt predicted human-induced climate change as early as 1800, and ‘The Invention of Nature’ traces his ideas as they go on to revolutionize and shape science, conservation, nature writing, politics, art and the theory of evolution.

The Travellers’s Year: 365 Days of Travel Writing in Diaries, Journals & Letters by Travis Elborough & Nick Rennison
An anthology of extracts from diaries, journals and letters, two or three for each day of the year, on the subject of travel and exploration. The extracts convey men and women’s experiences of travel and discovery from the sixteenth to the early twenty-first centuries, with an emphasis on the period 1750-1950, the classic era of both European exploration and diary-writing. The authors of the pieces range from famous explorers such as Captains Cook and Scott to modern travel writers journeying through the contemporary world, from people who pushed back the boundaries of geographical knowledge to people who wrote about what they did on their summer holidays.

Mystery / Thriller

All Dressed in White by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke
In present-day New York City, Laurie Moran realizes a missing bride is the perfect cold case for her investigative television series, Under Suspicion. She and her team set out to recreate the night of the disappearance at the Florida resort, hoping to shed new light on the mystery as the series has done in past episodes. Laurie and Under Suspicion host Alex Buckley quickly realize everyone has a theory about why Amanda vanished into thin air. One thing is certain: whoever was behind Amanda’s disappearance plans to keep the truth hidden “until death do they part.

She Who was No More by Pierre Boileau & Thomas Narcejac
Every Saturday evening, travelling salesman Ferdinand Ravinel returns to his wife, Mireille, who waits patiently for him at home. But Ferdinand has another lover, Lucienne, an ambitious doctor, and together the adulterers have devised a murderous plan. Drugging Mireille, the pair drown her in a bathtub, but in the morning, before the “accidental” death can be discovered, the corpse is gone-so begins the unraveling of Ferdinand’s plot, and his sanity.

Death Trap by Dreda Say Mitchell
Teenager Nikki Bell is the only witness to the brutal murder of two members of her family and their cleaner. But the murder isn’t a one-off. It’s part of a bigger, more violent attack planned on affluent families in the area and now Nikki, as the only living witness, is a dangerous threat to the well-orchestrated scheme. As the net draws tighter around the killers, DI Rio Wray must do whatever it takes to keep Nikki alive.

The Mulberry Bush by Charles McCarry
Falling in love with a famous Argentinean revolutionary’s daughter who he hopes will further his ambition to exact revenge against the handlers who ended his father’s career years earlier, a maverick spy is caught in a web of deceit with ties to the Cold War.

Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin
Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke is investigating a death during a robbery when a note is found indicating it may not have been a random attack. When a local gangster receives an identical message, Clarke decides that her old adversary John Rebus may be able to help.

Young Adult

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah’s voice recounting the events leading up to her death.

I Will Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Jude and her brother, Noah, are incredibly close twins. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude surfs and cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and divisive ways. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Cassie Sullivan, the survivor of an alien invasion, must rescue her young brother from the enemy with help from a boy who may be one of them.

Children’s Books

When I’m Feeling Series: Happy, Sad, Lonely and Jealous by Trace Moroney
This series of books is a great way to start conversations about emotions with your preschooler.

Peppa Pig: The Story of Prince George by Mandy Archer
Mummy Pig tells Peppa and George the bedtime story of a brave prince who saves a princess from a dragon.

Four Books of Thea Stilton and the Thea sisters by Geronimo Stilton
The “Thea Sisters” are five students at Mouseford Academy who want to become journalists just like their idol and mentor, Thea Stilton. Follow the Thea Sisters’ adventures in these graphic novels.

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
In winning a medal she is no longer there to receive, a tight-lipped little Polish girl teaches her classmates a lesson.