The Last Debutante
By Lesley Lokko
A captivating family drama about sisters and long-held secrets spanning from the 1930s to the present day, perfect for fans of Downton Abbey. 1936, Chalfont Hall, Dorset. As the dressmaker puts the last pins in her dress, thirteen-year-old Kit is wondering why she has to go through the charade of seeing her sister Lily presented at Court. With her waves of auburn hair and her piercing green eyes, Kit knows that her sister's place on the social scene is guaranteed regardless of her dress, and as the door to a life of parties and eligible young men opens for Lily, Kit must make do with tiptoeing around the gallery of Chalfont, eavesdropping on the conversations of the grown-ups. But the arrival of a German visitor one evening soon sets in motion a chain of events that none of the family could have anticipated. Years later, the aftershock of events will be felt by a new generation . . .
The Left Hand of Darkness
By Ursula K. LeGuin
Genly Ai is an ethnologist observing the people of the planet Gethen, a world perpetually in winter. The people there are androgynous, normally neuter, but they can become male ot female at the peak of their sexual cycle. They seem to Genly Ai alien, unsophisticated and confusing. But he is drawn into the complex politics of the planet and, during a long, tortuous journey across the ice with a politician who has fallen from favour and has been outcast, he loses his professional detachment and reaches a painful understanding of the true nature of Gethenians and, in a moving and memorable sequence, even finds love...
Love And Mr Lewisham
By H.G. Wells
Mr Lewisham, a young and highly ambitious schoolmaster, falls in love with Ethel Henderson, a young lady visiting his Sussex village. When Ethel returns to London they promise to keep in touch but as time passes their letters go astray. A few years later, we are re-introduced to Mr Lewisham, now a student at the Normal School of Science in London. Having searched in vain for Ethel, his life revolves around study and a flirtation with fellow student Alice. But just as things are all set with Alice, he runs into Ethel at a séance he has attended out of curiosity. There he realises that Ethel is the niece of a charlatan 'medium', and closely involved in his dealings. His memories of their time in Sussex wrestle in his mind with his feelings of disgust for all things spiritual, as his love for Ethel forces him to reconsider his political and scientific beliefs.
Lights Out Liverpool
By Maureen Lee
Number One bestseller Maureen Lee's first novel of the hugely popular Pearl Street series.As Britain stands alone against a monstrous enemy, the inhabitants of Pearl Street, in Liverpool, face hardship and heartbreak with courage and humour.The war touches each of them in a different way: for Annie Poulson, a widow, it means never-ending worry when her twin boys are called up and sent to France; Sheila Reilly's husband, Cal, faces the terror of U-Boat attacks; Eileen Costello is liberated from a bitter, loveless marriage when her husband is sent to Egypt and she goes to work in a munitions factory - and falls in love. And Jessica Fleming, down on her luck, is forced to return to the street she'd hoped never to see again.
London Bone and Other Stories
By Michael Moorcock
Mysterious fossils found deep under London's streets create a whole new 'heritage' industry - but what does selling London's history mean for the city? In these remarkable stories Moorcock explores the parts of London most of us will never see, and creates a patchwork of tales which build up to a portrait of the whole city.
The Letters of Ivor Punch
By Colin MacIntyre
All islands have their secrets. This one has more than most.When Fingal McMillan rows out into the Atlantic never to return, his grandson Alexander is left with questions. What really happened to Alexander's mother? Was his grandfather trying to reach The Looming, a rock of local myth? And why have mysterious words appeared on the cliff by the bay?Alexander is not the only local boy whose origins are clouded by mystery - a mystery which stretches back to Victorian times, when a pioneering travel writer alighted on Scottish shores. But will the island give up its secrets? Or will Ivor Punch - the man who links the past to the present - take them to the grave?
The Lost World
By Arthur Conan Doyle
'Suddenly out of the darkness, out of the night, there swooped something with a swish like an aeroplane. The whole group of us were covered for an instant by a canopy of leathery wings, and I had a momentary vision of a long, snake-like neck, a fierce, red, greedy eye, and a great snapping beak, filled, to my amazement, with little, gleaming teeth.'Desperate for adventure, journalist Ed Malone joins a scientific expedition to the South American jungle led by the larger than life figure of Professor Challenger. But you should be careful what you wish for. After climbing to the summit of a mysterious plateau in the Amazon rainforest the explorers find themselves trapped in a world lost in time, inhabited by carnivorous dinosaurs, giant fish-lizards and murderous ape-men.Arthur Conan Doyle's thrilling tale of adventure and crypto-zoology became a template for an industry of creature features that came in its wake.
The Lilac Bus
By Maeve Binchy, Kate Binchy
Every Friday night, the same seven Dublin workers meet to travel home in Tom Fitzgerald's lilac-coloured minibus. Each of them needs to return regularly to Rathdoon: Nancy Morris, a real 'Miss Mouse', is known for her meanness and has to escape her flatmate's carping; Dee Burke is engrossed in her affair; Kev Kennedy has a side to his character hidden even from his family; Celis Ryan has to face her mother making a drunken exhibition of herself - and Tom has his reasons.'Touching, gossipy and as warming as a feather bed' Sunday TelegraphRead by Kate Binchy(p) 2010 Audible Ltd
By Maeve Binchy, Kate Binchy
A delectable collection of 22 short stories centred around people travelling on the London Underground.We meet a young couple travelling nervously to Seven Sisters for their first wife-swapping party; there's Annie's Pimlico Hotel, which is only open for specially-chosen guests; Rita, the mysterious temp, who lives in Notting Hill Gate; and Sophie, who runs a handbag shop at Marble Arch. All the stories have in common Maeve Binchy's delicious humour and warmth.Read by Kate Binchy(p) 1987 Audible Ltd
Light a Penny Candle
By Maeve Binchy, Kate Binchy
As a child, Elizabeth was sent from her war-torn, rather loveless home in London to stay with a big, boisterous family in a small town in Ireland. There she meets Aisling, and begins what becomes a long-lasting friendship.Over the next 20 years, Aisling and Elizabeth's paths will cross and re-cross. As they face their loves, their marriages, and their disappointments, they realise that not all problems will be solved, nor all wishes granted by lighting a penny candle.Read by Kate Binchy(p) 2000 Audible Ltd
By Valerie Mendes
In the tradition of THE FORSYTE SAGA, a sweeping historical novel that spans three generations, telling the dark secrets of a family torn apart.Larkswood House. The very name suggests birdsong, peace and elegance. It is home to the Hamilton children - Edward, Cynthia and Harriet - who enjoy the freedom and excitement of privilege. But in the glorious summer of 1896, with absent parents and a departed governess, disaster strikes the family, leaving it cruelly divided.More than 40 years later, on the eve of the Second World War, Louisa Hamilton, newly presented at court but struck down with glandular fever, is sent to Larkswood to recuperate. There, for the first time, she meets her grandfather, Edward, home after decades in India.But as Louisa begins to fall under the spell of Larkswood, she realises it holds the key to the mystery that shattered her family two generations before. Will she find the courage to unravel the dark secrets of the past? And can Larkswood ever become home to happiness again?
By Rainbow Rowell
The captivating, quirky and heartwarming new novel from the bestselling author of ELEANOR & PARK.Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it's been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and he still loves her - but that almost seems besides the point now. Two days before they're supposed to visit Neal's family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells him that she can't go. She's a TV writer, and something's come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her - he is always a little upset with her - but she doesn't expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she's finally done it. If she's ruined everything.That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It's not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she's been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts...Is that what she's supposed to do?Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?
The List of my Desires
By Gregoire Delacourt
Money can buy you freedom. But what about happiness?When Jocelyne looks at herself in the mirror, she sees a middle-aged, married woman who runs a dressmaking shop in a small provincial French town and lives a very ordinary existence. But what happened to all those dreams she had when she was 17?Then she wins millions on the lottery and has the chance to change her life for ever. So why does she find herself reluctant to accept the money? To help her decide what to do, she begins to compile a list of her heart's desires, never suspecting for one moment that the decision might be taken out of her hands ...
Little White Lies
By Lesley Lokko
The glorious novel from the bestselling Lesley Lokko; an epic tale of three women whose lives interweave over decades.In a beachfront mansion in Martha's Vineyard, Annick and Rebecca relax, safe in the knowledge that their young children are in the care of life-long friend Tash. But by the end of the afternoon, one of the children will have vanished...Annick, daughter of an actress and an assassinated president, has spent her life running from the truth of her family's wealth. Rebecca has always done the right thing. Perfect daughter. Perfect wife. Perfect mother. She's beginning to wonder if she'll ever get chance to live for herself. And Tash, free from the poverty of her heritage, has the world at her feet. So why is she struggling to keep a grip on her life?This is the sweeping story of three very different women; their pasts, their secrets, and their friendship.
By Benjamin Svetkey
A tale of heartbreak and Hollywood, perfect for fans of David Nicholls and Nick Hornby, from a leading US entertainment journalist.'It was a preposterously glamorous gig, the sort of jet-setting occupation a shallow Matthew McConaughey character might have in a cheesy romantic comedy - until McConaughey's character falls in love in the second act and learns the greater bliss of settling down with a regular girl like Kate Hudson. Only I was stuck in my second act. The way things were going, I'd end up as Matthew McConaughey for the rest of my life, and nobody wants that.'Max Lerner has it all figured out. He's got the girl - his childhood sweetheart Samantha. He's got the job - reporter for a national magazine. Life is sweet. Until his aspiring actress girlfriend leaves him for his childhood hero, Johnny Mars. Can Max win her back by throwing himself into the world of celebrities, hangers on and wannabes? Or will he get more of an education than he bargained for? Uproariously funny and exquisitely poignant, LEADING MAN will take you back to your first love, your first heartbreak and the first time your heroes let you down.
The Last Tycoon
By F. Scott Fitzgerald
A mesmerising and lavish story of Hollywood's Golden Age from the author of The Great Gatsby.1930s Hollywood. The depression has receded, the studios are booming, and the glitz and glamour are bewitching. But for Cecilia Brady, this is just life. That is, until she meets Monroe Stahr...Stahr is at the centre of it all. A genius production chief in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Cecilia is mesmerised. But Stahr's attentions are caught elsewhere - in the arms of a mysterious woman - and Cecilia watches as a passionate but doomed love affair unfolds.Little by little, Stahr loses his grasp on this fickle world. Fighting with his writers and declaring war on the Union bosses, he is saved from tragedy only by Fitzgerald's own death.Although THE LAST TYCOON will forever remain unfinished, it is a work of unrivalled potential, exposing a Hollywood we no longer know. One of stars in ascension, and the great picture men in free fall.
Light Shining in the Forest
By Paul Torday
From the author of SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN, a dark tale about a failing politician and the search for two missing children. Includes Reading Group Notes.Norman Stokoe has just been appointed Children's Czar by the new government. He sells his flat and moves up north to take up the position. However before his first salary cheque has even hit his bank account, new priorities are set for the government department for which he works. The Children's Czar network is put on hold but it is too late to reverse the decision to employ Norman. So he is given a P.A. and a spacious office in a new business park on the banks of the Tyne.He settles down in his new leather chair behind his new desk, to wait for the green light to begin his mission. The green light never comes. What does happen is that two children go missing. As Children's Czar, surely this case should fall within his remit, but Norman has built a career on doing nothing, on stamping pieces of paper with 'send to the relevant department'. Now, faced with a campaigning journalist and a distraught mother, he is forced to become involved. The search will take him to dark places and will make him ask questions about the system he is supposed to uphold.
A Little Bit of Summer
By Ella Griffin
The stories of three women's lives are tied together as they grapple with the thorny issue of love.Ciara spends her third wedding anniversary alone, wondering if she will ever mend her broken heart.Seven years into a relationship, Katy isn't looking for someone - until he appears.Lara, still getting over a broken marriage, is trying not to fall for a much younger man...For a bouquet of sunshine, romance - and surprises - pick A LITTLE BIT OF SUMMER. The perfect holiday read.
The Last Crusaders: Blood Red Sea
By William Napier
Two unlikely English heroes are swept up in an epic and bloody sea battle that will change history. PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED AS CLASH OF EMPIRES: THE RED SEA.1571. Chained to a slave galley in the heart of the Mediterranean, it seems that English adventurers Ingoldsby and Hodge might have finally run out of luck. But as former Knights of St John, they've survived worse, and while the men around them drop dead at their oars, they're determined to escape. By a miracle of fate, they find their way back to dry land and freedom - but unable to return home. With the Ottoman Empire set on strangling the crusading Christian power before it can take root, hostilities between East and West - Muslim and Christian - are vicious and deadly. And as the sun rises on one day in October, five hours of bloodshed will change the course of history. Once again, the two Englishmen find themselves living on borrowed time...PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED AS CLASH OF EMPIRES: THE RED SEA
By Andrew Pyper
'THE SHINING mixed with THE SIXTH SENSE...truly scary' MaximIn a small lakeside town, a teacher is accused of murdering two teenaged girls. Lawyer Bartholomew Crane assumes it's an open and shut case - after all, no girls' bodies have ever been found and there is little evidence against the teacher. But the deeper he digs into the past, the more unnerved he becomes.Strange visions haunt his imagination; telephones ring in the dead of night; the gargoyles above his hotel's entrance seem to be watching him. And sometimes, out of the corner of his eye, he can see two identically dressed girls following wherever he goes...