By Joe Hill
Nobody knew where the virus came from. FOX News said it had been set loose by ISIS, using spores that had been invented by the Russians in the 1980s. MSNBC said sources indicated it might've been created by engineers at Halliburton and stolen by culty Christian types fixated on the Book of Revelation. CNN reported both sides. And while every TV station debated the cause, the world burnt.Pregnant school nurse, HARPER GRAYSON, has seen lots of people burn on TV, but the first person she saw burn for real was in the playground behind her school. But when she realises she has become infected, she is determined to find a way to survive - at least long enough to see her child born. No matter what is left of the world for them to live in.With the epic scope of THE PASSAGE and the emotional impact of THE ROAD, this is one woman's story of survival at the end of the world.
A Few of the Girls
By Maeve Binchy
'The Irish do love telling stories, and we are suspicious of people who don't have long, complicated conversations. There used to be a rule in etiquette books that you should invite four talkers and four listeners to a dinner party. That doesn't work in Ireland, because nobody knows four listeners' Maeve Binchy Maeve Binchy's bestselling novels not only tell wonderful stories, they also give an insight in to how Ireland has changed over the decades, and how people remain the same: they still fall in love, sometimes unsuitably; they still have hopes and dreams; they have deep, long-standing friendships, and some that fall apart. From her earliest writing to her most recent, Maeve's work has included wonderfully nostalgic pieces and also sharp, often witty writing which is insightful and topical. But at the heart of all Maeve's fiction are the people and their relationships with each other. A FEW OF THE GIRLS is a glorious collection of the very best of her writing, full of the warmth, charm and humour that has always been an essential part of all of Maeve's writing.
Farewell to Burracombe
By Lilian Harry
The day that Hilary and David have been waiting for has finally arrived and as the church bells ring out for the arrival of the bride, everyone's fingers are crossed for the day to go without a hitch. The festivities set the tone for the year ahead and there's more love in the air in Burracombe as planning continues for both Dottie and Joe's and Frances and James's nuptials. There's nothing like a wedding to bring the village together.Times are changing in Burracombe and as young and old embark on new adventures it's time to say goodbye. But with friends like these, a goodbye is rarely for ever, so instead we'll say a very fond farewell.Return to Burracombe in Lilian's next book, A Child in Burracombe, a prequel to the series that will show you where it all began...
The Funeral Party
By Ludmila Ulitskaya
In a small apartment in New York, in the sweltering mid-summer heat, a group of Russian émigrés gather around the sickbed of an artist named Alik. Nina, his wife, is desperate for Alik to be baptised; Irina, his ex-lover, a circus acrobat turned lawyer, quietly pays the bills; elderly Maria dispenses magical herbs; and Maika, Irina's fifteen-year-old daughter, prepares to lose the only man to make her laugh. As the visitors fuss and reminisce over Alik, in a corner of the crowded room the television shows the uprising outside the White House in Moscow and the tanks closing in on the city . . .
The Fair Fight
By Anna Freeman
I sat before my tambour hoop but I did not sew. I thought of split lips, flying teeth and red blood on white linen.Born in a Bristol brothel at the end of the eighteenth century, Ruth Webber, her toe upon the scratch, is ready to face all comers.Lady Charlotte Sinclair, scarred with small pox and bullied by her boorish brother, is on the verge of smashing the bonds of convention that have held her for so long.George Bowden, without inheritance or title, is prepared to do whatever it takes to make his way in the world.Let the fight begin . . .
The Flower Arrangement
By Ella Griffin
Golden peonies bowing their heads beneath blue delphinium bells. Delicate pink anemones threaded between freckled green orchids. Soft apricot roses woven together with velvety purple irises.Every bouquet tells a story.And every story begins at Blossom & Grow, a tiny jewel-like flower shop in the heart of Dublin. Here, among the buckets of fragrant blooms, beneath the flickering candles and lanterns, Lara works her magic. Translating feelings into flower arrangements that change hearts and lives.But what about her own heart? Has she really healed since she lost her chance to be a mother? What will happen when her own story takes a sudden turn?Can the flowers that heal the customers work their magic on the florist?Drawing together a delightful cast of characters, Ella Griffin brings her warmth, wit and wisdom to a captivating tale woven around a Dublin florist.
By Abigail Tarttelin
'My name is Flick and these are my images of my disconnected life, my forgettable weeks and unforgettable weekends. I am one of the disaffected youth.'Stranded in his home town by a lack of education, cash and anything better to do, Will Flicker, a.k.a. 'Flick', muses on whether Pepsi is better than Coke, the Art of the Right Amount of Stoned and why Rainbow, the new girl in town, is just so much hotter than the losers and users he counts as friends.But when a dangerous figure from the past threatens his future with Rainbow, Flick finds himself torn between the ties that bind him to his old life and the freedom that she represents.
By Maeve Binchy, Kate Binchy
'FIREFLY SUMMER is warm, humorous, sad and happy. Reading it is a joy' Irish Independent In the summer of 1962, an American millionaire arrives in a small, sleepy Irish town with far-reaching consequences.For the children of the Ryan family, the long hot summers are usually spent playing in the ruins of a large, abandoned house. But when the American, Patrick O'Neill, buys the ruins, dreams are made and broken and secrets which should never be revealed are betrayed.Firefly Summer tells interlocking stories of love lost and won during four fateful years in the life of a close-knit Irish community.Read by Kate Binchy(p) 1987 Audible Ltd
The Food of Love Cookery School
By Nicky Pellegrino
In the sun-drenched Sicilian hills, four women learn the lessons of a lifetime at the Food of Love Cookery School.In a remote Sicilian mountain town, four women arrive at a cookery school, each at a turning point in their lives.Moll is a foodie and an exhausted working mum on the holiday of a lifetime. Tricia, a top London lawyer is taking a break from the demands of her job and her family. Valerie, consumed by grief following the death of her partner, is trying to figure out how to live a life without him. And recently divorced Poppy has come to Sicily to learn about the place that her grandfather was born before emigrating to Australia.Luca Amore runs the school, using the recipes passed down to him by generations of Amore women. He expects this course to be much like all the others - but as sparks fly, friendships are made and secrets are shared. And for each of them nothing will ever be the same.
By Geoffrey Household
A brilliant story of espionage and disguise from the original master of spy fiction.Claudio Howerd-Wolferstan is neither a communist nor a spy. Yet he breaks into a top-security Government hostel to retrieve the family treasure. With a spot secured on the wanted lists of both the British police and Russian communist leaders, he is forced to run from a charge of high treason. A master of disguise, he bluffs his way out of many a dangerous situation and outwits his pursuers. But how long can his luck last?The speed of Claudio's transformations from Spanish sailor to chimney-sweep, from elephant trainer to Indian guitarist give the chase a comical breathlessness. It is easy to understand why FELLOW PASSENGER is one of Household's own favourites.
The Friends of Eddie Coyle
By George V. Higgins
'The best crime novel ever written' - Elmore LeonardWhen small-time gunrunner Eddie Coyle is convicted on a felony, he's looking at three years in the pen - that is, unless he sells out one of his big-fish clients to the DA. But which of the many hoods, gunmen and executioners he calls his friends should he send up river?Set on the mean streets of Boston and told almost entirely in crackling dialogue by a vivid cast of cops and lowlifes, The Friends of Eddie Coyle set a standard for authentically gritty crime fiction that has never been bettered.
By Maeve Binchy
A fantastic Maeve Binchy - written specially for the World Book Day Quick Reads promotion.Dee loves her children very much, but now they are all grown up, shouldn't they leave home?Rosie moved out when she got married, but it didn't work out, so now she is back with her parents. Helen is a teacher, and doesn't earn enough for a place of her own. Anthony writes songs, and is just waiting for the day when someone will pay him for them. Until then, all three are happy at home. It doesn't cost them anything, and surely their parents like having a full house?When a crisis occurs, Dee decides things have to change for the whole family...whether they like it or not.
Famous Last Words
By Annie Sanders
From the bestselling authors of GOODBYE, JIMMY CHOO comes a touching and bittersweet novel about one woman's attempt to let go of her worst fears - and live the life she's always dreamed of.Lucy Streeter has never been a risk-taker - as a single mother with a struggling business, she's never felt brave enough. Her life is one of unfulfilled ambitions and missed opportunities as she spends her days making divine, flamboyant clothes that express all the passion she hides from the world.Until one evening when an enigmatic fortune-teller informs Lucy that her future is far from rosy - in fact, she doesn't have one! Naturally Lucy doesn't believe him, but once his other prophecies come scarily true, she starts to wonder if he could be right. His prediction pushes Lucy to throw caution to the wind. So begins a riotous race against the clock as Lucy tries to squeeze a lifetime of fulfilment into a handful of days. She faces her demons, confronts those who have annoyed her and finally risks the thing she's guarded most - her heart. But will she actually live to regret it...?
By Katharine McMahon
The secrets and tragedies of a family's past, and the far-reaching effects on succeeding generations of women...The women in Helena Mayrick's family have always led secretive and tragic lives, and when Helena's comfortable marriage is devastated by her husband's violent death, it seems that she, too, is locked into the cycle.Helena is invited to research a book on her grandfather, H. Donaldson, the celebrated Edwardian photographer. At first she is reluctant to immerse herself in family history, particularly as Donaldson's relationship with her grandmother, Ruth, is shrouded in mystery and turmoil.But gradually, as the story of enigmatic Ruth and the elusive, passionate Donaldson unfolds, Helena finds that the past, like the present, was shaped by cruel dilemmas and the demands of love...
The Foreign Correspondent
By Alan Furst
The next great page-turner from the master of the noir spy novel.By 1939, thousands of Italian intellectuals, teachers and lawyers, journalists and scientists, had fled Mussolini's fascist government and found refuge in Paris. There, amidst the poverty and difficulty of émigré life, they joined the Italian resistance, founding an underground press that smuggled news and encouragement back to their lost homeland. In Paris, in the winter of 1939, a murder/suicide at a lovers' hotel hits the tabloid press. But this is not a romantic tragedy, it is the work of OVRA, Mussolini's fascist secret police, and meant to eliminate the editor of Liberazione, a clandestine newspaper published by Italian émigrés. Carlo Weisz, who has fled from Trieste and found work as a foreign correspondent for the Reuters bureau, becomes the new editor.Weisz is, at that moment, in Spain, reporting on the tragic end of the Spanish civil war, but, as soon as he returns to Paris, he is pursued by the French Surete, by agents of OVRA, and by officers of the British Secret Intelligence Service. In the desperate politics of Europe on the edge of war, a foreign correspondent is a pawn, worth surveillance, or blackmail, or murder.The Foreign Correspondent is the story of Carlo Weisz and a handful of anti-fascists -- the army officer known as Colonel Ferrara, who fights for a lost cause in Spain, Arturo Salamone, the shrewd leader of a resistance group in Paris, and the woman who becomes the love of his Weisz's life, herself involved in a doomed resistance underground in Berlin, at the heart of Hitler's Nazi empire.
By Rob Grant
Rob Grant's new novel is a revelation. After INCOMPETENCE we would all have expected a killingly funny satire. And in its satire of our obsession with body image, of how the media makes us what we are FAT is certainly that.But in its depiction of Grenville, a fat man at his wits end with the need to be thin; of Hayleigh, a teenage girl obsessed with her terror of being fat and of Jeremy, the self-absorbed, self-adoring 'conceptualist' employed to promote the government's new 'Fat Farms' Rob Grant has given us, yes a very, very funny book, but also an immensely moving and personal novel about how we all feel about our bodies.As Grenville deals with the humilation and daily indignity of being fat, as Hayleigh struggles to deal with her anorexia and as Jeremy comes to terms with the dangerous lies at the centre of the government's new health regime FAT takes us on a hilarious and thought-provoking journey through our all-consuming obession with fat.This is a hilariously moving, movingly hilarious novel and marks a massive step-change in Rob Grant's growth as a writer. Here is a hugely commerical new voice in mainstream, high concept, high in poly-saturates, commercial fiction. It's also safe to say that with this new novel, he's writing about what he knows ...
From the Place in the Valley Deep in the Forest
By Mitch Cullin
A collection of truly brilliant short stories, each depicting the deeply personal experience of a universal or historical event. Momentous fiction from the best American writer of his generation.A group of housewives smoke cigars and play cards whilst a tornado approaches a west Texas town. An Asian-American medic bicycles through the Vietnam countryside with her husband and son and returns to the spot where she once held dying soldiers. Or a young rockabilly aficionado prepares for a date in a Ukranian village close to Chenobyl. The words of Beatles songs sung in a Cambodian work camp.Cullin's ability is to miraculously create moments of true pathos which distill important human experience into a single hair-raising image. I can honestly say they are the best stories I have ever read, they are chillingly good and I have utter conviction that this is a great writer.
The French Executioner
By C.C. Humphreys
Irresistible adventure story based on the real-life figure of Jean Rombaud, who beheaded Anne Boleyn.It is 1536, and the expert swordsman, Jean Rombaud, has been brought over from France by Henry VIII to behead his wife, Anne Boleyn. But on the eve of her execution Rombaud swears a vow to the ill-fated queen - to bury her six-fingered hand, symbol of her rumoured witchery, at a sacred crossroads. Yet in a Europe ravaged by religious war, the hand of this infamous Protestant icon is so powerful a relic that many will kill for it... From a battle between slave galleys to a black mass in a dungeon, through the hallucinations of St Anthony's Fire to the fortress of an apocalyptic Messiah, Jean seeks to honour his vow.
Fishing The Sloe-Black River
By Colum McCann
Stunning collection of short stories from the prize-winning author of DANCERAn ageing nun is tracked to ground by her sister; a garrulous beautician must lay out the corpse of a loved one. These are eloquent tales of exile and displacement, of characters always in search of a way back home or of a way to leave it. Mischievous, assured and versatile, Colum McCann's collection of short stories marks him out as one of our best contemporary writers.
Flights of Love
By Bernhard Schlink
'Perfectly crafted, intricate and haunting stories' from the bestselling author of THE READER.A mesmeric collection of stories about love. In his characteristically unsentimental, elegant and spare prose, Schlink unveils characters and relationships haunted by betrayal and guilt, in situations where self-examination is inescapable. FLIGHTS OF LOVE consists of seven stories, all of them weaving around the idea of love - why people are drawn to it and why some run away. Schlink shows us in turn love as desire, love as confusion, love as a quick affair, love as a drastic life-changing rebellion, love as a force of habit, love as self-betrayal. The cumulative effect is a book which uses effortlessly beguiling language to examine the universal human desire to find a lasting loving relationship, however thwarted that desire ultimately is.