Good Reading Magazine – September 2019

The September issue of Good Reading magazine is ready for you to enjoy through Blue Mountains Library!

 

New Fiction

Tidelands by Philippa Gregory
England 1648. A dangerous time for a woman to be different. Midsummer’s Eve, 1648, and England is in the grip of civil war between renegade King and rebellious Parliament. The struggle reaches every corner of the kingdom, even to the remote Tidelands – the marshy landscape of the south coast.

Alinor, a descendant of wise women crushed by poverty and superstition, waits in the graveyard  for a ghost who will declare her free from her abusive husband. Instead she meets James, a young man on the run, and shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marsh. In superstitious times, Alinor’s ambition and determination mark her out from her neighbours. This is the time of witch-mania, and Alinor, a woman without a husband, skilled with herbs, suddenly enriched, arouses envy in her rivals and fear among the villagers, who are ready to take lethal action into their own hands.

The Day the Lies Began by Kylie Kaden
It happened the day of the Moon Festival. It could have been left behind, they all could have moved on with their lives. But secrets have a habit of rising to the surface, especially in small towns.

With its salt-stung houses and tight community, Lago Point is the scene of postcards, not crime scenes. Wife and mother Abbi, town cop Blake, schoolteacher Hannah and local doctor Will are caught in their own tangled webs of deceit. Sometimes doing wrong can feel completely right.

When the truth washes in, so do the judgements: victim, or vigilante, who will forgive, who will betray? Not all relationships survive. Nor do all residents.

Hollow Earth by John Kinsella
Fascinated by caves and digging holes since childhood, Manfred discovers a path through to another realm via a Neolithic copper mine at Mount Gabriel in Schull, Ireland. The world of Hollow Earth, while no Utopia, is a sophisticated civilisation. Its genderless inhabitants are respectful of their environment, religious and cultural differences are accommodated without engendering hate or suspicion. Yet Ari and Zest accompany Manfred back to the surface world.

So begins an extraordinary adventure in which the three wander the Earth like Virgil’s Aeneas, Ari and Zest seeking re-entry to their own world. The Hollow Earthers are shocked at the cruelty and lies of the surface world, the dieback spreading through the forests. Yet they are seduced by the world’s temptations.

The Godmother by Hannelore Cayre

Meet Patience Portefeux, 53, an underpaid French-Arabic translator who specialises in police phone taps. Widowed after the sudden death of her husband, Patience is wedged between the costs of raising her daughters and the nursing home fees for her ageing mother. Happening upon an especially revealing set of wiretaps ahead of all other authorities, Patience makes a life-altering decision that sees her intervening in – and infiltrating – the machinations of a massive drug deal. She thus embarks on an entirely new career path: Patience becomes ‘the Godmother’.

The Logic Loop by Robert Robertson & Iain McDowell

This book is the system code that artificial intelligence compiled itself; to electronically emulate individual consciousness, for robots. It has been translated into the human basic language, as a tribute to our ancestors. R.ROBERTSON – 3284 A.D.

You can borrow Good Reading from the library or access the digital subscription right here, right now, with your library card.

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Booker Prize Short List 2019

Another year, another change to the Booker Prize name! Man Group has ceased its eighteen year association with the prize, and the new sponsors, Crankstart, have not added their name, leaving us with the much more manageable Booker Prize.

The short list has been announced, so get your skates on and reserve them all through Blue Mountains Library. There are only six, so you know you can do it! The winner for 2019 award will be announced on October 14.

The Testaments  by Margaret Atwood

When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead. With The Testaments, the wait is over.

Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story more than 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.

Ducks, Newburyport  Lucy Ellmann

LATTICING one cherry pie after another, an Ohio housewife tries to bridge the gaps between reality and the torrent of meaningless info that is the United States of America. She worries about her children, her dead parents, African elephants, the bedroom rituals of “happy couples”, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and how to hatch an abandoned wood pigeon egg. Is there some trick to surviving survivalists? School shootings? Medical debts? Franks ’n’ beans?

A scorching indictment of America’s barbarity, past and present, and a lament for the way we are sleepwalking into environmental disaster, Ducks, Newburyport is a heresy, a wonder—and a revolution in the novel.

Girl, Woman, Other Bernardine Evaristo

Teeming with energy, humour and heart, a love song to black Britain told by twelve very different women.

Teeming with life and crackling with energy, told through many distinctive voices, this novel follows the lives of twelve very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years. Joyfully polyphonic and sparklingly contemporary, Girl, Woman, Other is a gloriously new kind of history, a novel of our times: celebratory, ever-dynamic and utterly irresistible.

An Orchestra of Minorities Chigozie Obioma

A contemporary twist on the Odyssey, An Orchestra of Minorities is narrated by the chi, or spirit of a young poultry farmer named Chinonso. His life is set off course when he sees a woman who is about to jump off a bridge. Horrified by her recklessness, he hurls two of his prized chickens off the bridge. The woman, Ndali, is stopped in her tracks. Chinonso and Ndali fall in love but she is from an educated and wealthy family. When her family objects to the union on the grounds that he is not her social equal, he sells most of his possessions to attend college in Cyprus. But when he arrives in Cyprus, he discovers that he has been utterly duped by the young Nigerian who has made the arrangements for him. Penniless, homeless, we watch as he gets further and further away from his dream and from home.

Quichotte Salman Rushdie

Quichotte, a travelling salesman obsessed with TV, is on a quest for love. Unfortunately, his daily diet of reality TV, sitcoms, films, soaps, comedies and dramas has distorted his ability to separate fantasy from reality. He wishes an imaginary son into existence, while obsessively writing love letters to a celebrity he knows only through his TV.

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World  Elif Shafak

In the first minute following her death, Tequila Leila’s consciousness began to ebb, slowly and steadily, like a tide receding from the shore. Her brain cells, having run out of blood, were now completely deprived of oxygen. But they did not shut down. Not right away…’ Our brains stay active for ten minutes after our heart stops beating. For Tequila Leila, each minute brings with it a new memory- growing up with her father and his two wives in a grand old house in a quiet Turkish town; watching the women gossip and wax their legs while the men went to mosque; sneaking cigarettes and Western magazines on her way home from school; running away to Istanbul to escape an unwelcome marriage; falling in love with a student who seeks shelter from a riot in the brothel where she works. Most importantly, each memory reminds Leila of the five friends she met along the way – the friends who are now desperately trying to find her.

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Carolyn’s Books of the Month – September

Best Read: The huntress by Kate Quinn

On the icy edge of Soviet Russia, bold and reckless Nina Markova joins the infamous Night Witches – an all-female bomber regiment – wreaking havoc on Hitler’s eastern front. But when she is downed behind enemy lines and thrown across the path of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, Nina must use all her wits to survive. British war correspondent Ian Graham has witnessed the horrors of war from Omaha Beach to the Nuremburg Trials. He abandons journalism after the war to become a Nazi hunter, yet one target eludes him: the Huntress. Fierce, disciplined Ian must join forces with reckless, cocksure Nina, the only witness to escape the Huntress alive. In post-war Boston, seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride is delighted when her long-widowed father brings home a fiancee. But Jordan grows increasingly disquieted by the soft-spoken German widow who seems to be hiding something. Delving into her new stepmother’s past, Jordan slowly realises that a Nazi killer may be hiding in plain sight.

Crime: Apple of my eye by Claire Allan

Just how far is a mother willing to go? When a mysterious note arrives for seven months pregnant nurse Eliana Hughes, she begins to doubt every aspect of her life – from her mixed feelings about motherhood to her marriage to Martin, who has become distant in recent months. As the person behind the note escalates their campaign to out Eli’s husband as a cheat, she finds herself unable to trust even her own instincts, and as pressure builds, she makes a mistake that jeopardises her entire future. Elsewhere, someone is watching. Someone who desperately wants a baby to call their own and will go to any lengths to become a mother – and stay a mother…

Australian Author:  Nature of the lion by T.M.Clark

After relocating to South Africa on the heels of scandal five years ago, Chloe and her invalid father, Mike, once wealthy Zimbabwean landowners, now have little. Away at university, Chloe has had to rely on her father’s best friend Enoch and his son Xo to watch over Mike. When a violent confrontation puts Chloe in danger, Enoch steps in to help – with inadvertent fatal results. With increasing pressure from a right-wing group on the police to charge Enoch, this mismatched family have no choice but to flee back to Zimbabwe. But crossing the border will be dangerous and near impossible with their route taking them amid warring dissident armies and landmines, and their every footstep is stalked by a shadowy ring of hunters – whose trophies are taken from more than animals… Only with help from Nick, formerly a soldier under Mike’s command, now a professional game ranger, will the fugitives have a chance of making it home. But Nick has long struggled to come to terms with his fellow soldiers’ choices before their unit was abandoned. Will his past demons put them all at risk?

General: The girl they left behind by Roxanne Veletzos

Inspired by a true story, this haunting tale of love and survival spans two decades of war and revolution, from war-torn Romania in 1941 to New York in 1960. On a freezing night in January 1941, a little Jewish girl is found on the steps of an apartment building in Bucharest. With Romania recently allied with the Nazis, the Jewish population is in grave danger, undergoing increasingly violent persecution. The girl is placed in an orphanage and eventually adopted by a wealthy childless couple who name her Natalia. As she assimilates into her new life, she all but forgets the parents who were forced to leave her behind. They are even further from her mind when Romania falls under Soviet occupation. Yet, as Natalia comes of age in a bleak and hopeless world, traces of her identity pierce the surface of her everyday life, leading gradually to a discovery that will change her destiny.

Thriller: Never tell by Lisa Gardner

One death might be an accident. Two deaths could be murder. A man is shot dead in his own home, and his pregnant wife Evie is found with a gun in her hands. Sixteen years ago, Evie had also shot her own father. That killing was ruled accidental, but Detective Warren doesn’t believe in coincidences.

Thriller: We can see you by Simon Kernick

You have it all. Success, a beautiful home, a happy family. Until, in a heartbeat, it’s gone. We’ve kidnapped your daughter, and we know everything about you. Including the dark secrets from your past you thought were forgotten. We tell you not to contact the police – and that we’ll know if you do. Because we can see you. And now you know this is no ordinary abduction. It’s worse. Within hours you’re on the run, with only one thought in your head: That you will stop at nothing to get your daughter back. Even murder…

Saga/Romance: The chaperone by Laura Moriarity

The glamour of 1920’s New York, the lure of theBroadway lights and a trip that changes the lives of two women forever. On a summer’s day in 1922 Cora Carlisle boards a train from Wichita, Kansas, to New York City, leaving behind a marriage that’s not as perfect as it seems and a past that she buried long ago.

EAudio Books

The Cry by Helen FitzGerald (Borrowbox)

On a gruelling flight from Glasgow to Australia, Joanna copes with what most mothers dread: a newborn that will not stop crying. Ill herself, Joanna tries to soothe baby Noah to no avail, and to the consternation of her fellow passengers. Alistair is finally able to settle his son, but not too long before they have to disembark and begin a long drive to Melbourne.

When Noah mysteriously disappears after the couple stops along a lonely roadside, the criminal inquiry becomes a white-hot, global media sensation. As the focus on them intensifies, lies, rumour and innuendo spread, and Joanna and Alistair slowly begin to turn on each other. Someone is hiding the truth. But will knowing the truth bring Noah back?

Filled with stunning twists and all-too-realistic scenes from a relationship in crisis, The Cry offers gripping suspense and emotional drama that will keep you guessing all the way to its shocking finish.

Eight Lives by Susan Hurley (rbDigital)

A brilliant young doctor is dead … and someone has to take the blame. Former refugee David Tran becomes the Golden Boy of Australian medical research and invents a drug that could transform immunology. Eight volunteers are recruited for the first human trial, a crucial step on the path to global fame for David and windfall gains for his investors. But when David dies in baffling circumstances, motives are put under the microscope. With its origins in a real-life drug trial that ended in tragedy, Eight Lives is told through the eyes of five key characters: Rosa, David’s lab assistant; Miles, his childhood friend; Abigail, his girlfriend; Natalie, his sister; and Foxy, ‘fixer’ to the high society – all who played a role in David’s downfall. “A powerful and pacy thriller that had me hooked until the very end.” CHRISTIAN WHITE, author of The Nowhere Child. “So many conversations will be started by this breakneck medical thriller. A big debut from a huge literary talent”. JP POMARE, author of Call Me Evie.

 

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What Library Staff are Reading – August

Reading, Berthe Morisot 1873

I am still working my way through the Outlander Series – up to Book 3 Voyager by Diana Gabaldon.  I am just about to start watching the first series on DVD…whisk me back to 17th Century Scotland! 3 stars

http://www.dianagabaldon.com/books/outlander-series/

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo – while I loved this book – the language and stories are page turning.  What I did not enjoy was the disjointed stories.  I would advise people to read each story individually rather than how they have been arranged by the author.  It is only the last chapter that brings the stories together.  I was frustrated that I was getting into the story and then it would switch women…3 stars

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42201100-three-women

Who doesn’t love a good Marian Keyes story.  I finally got around to reading The Mystery of Mercy Close.  I loved it and did not want it to end.  I wanted to spend more time with the Walsh family.  4 stars.

https://www.mariankeyes.com/books/the-mystery-of-mercy-close/

Call me Evie by JP Pomare – this is a dark read.  I had my heart in my mouth the whole time trying to work out what was going on.  4 stars

https://www.hachette.com.au/jp-pomare/call-me-evie-the-bestselling-debut-thriller-of-2019

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo – I haven’t finished this book yet but it is very compelling. The author started by wanting to write a book about men’s sexual desire but found the interviews so repetitive and boring she thought she’d see if women’s desire was any more interesting. It turns out she found it so interesting she spent almost a decade immersing herself in the lives of real American women, even moving to where they lived and recoding thousands of hours of interviews. Of all the women she ‘investigated’ only 3 finally gave her permission to publish the intimate details of their lives. The content of this book does not make for easy reading but the writing style does. Taddeo brings the three women to life, exploring the complexity and fragility of female desire. 4/5

Land before avocado by Richard Glover is an excellent read especially if you read the audiobook.

The five: the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold – for once the title lives up to its claim.  Here Hallie Rubenhold goes in to a lot of detail of the lives of each of the women killed by ‘Jack the Ripper’ in London in 1888 – Elizabeth Stride, Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly.  Ms Rubenhold’s research is impressive.  4 stars

Among the wolves of court: the untold story of Thomas and George Boleyn by Lauren Mackay – unlike our example above, this one didn’t quite live up to the subtitle’s claim.  While there is a lot of material about Thomas Boleyn and his diplomatic endeavours, there is little on George Boleyn and he makes just a brief appearance every so often. 2.5 stars

Melmoth: a novel by Sarah Perry – a ghost story of sorts told through fairy tale and letters.  Not my usual cup of tea but I gave it 3.5 stars

Black Saturday: not the end of the story by Peg Fraser – Peg Fraser took oral histories from survivors of the 2009 Black Friday fires in Strathewen, Victoria. Ms Fraser is a curator for Museum Victoria and began each chapter with an object from the museum’s collection. 3.5 stars

Cold as the grave by James Oswald – more in the Inspector Tony McLean series set in Edinburgh.  The mystery this time surrounds young women who are being trafficked. Gripping stuff as always. 4 stars

Allegra in three parts by Suzanne Daniel – Allegra is 11 and lives with her fearsome grandmother, Matilde.  Next door lives her other grandmother, Joy, whose disposition matches her name.  And out the back lives her father, Rick.  Sadly for Allegra the three adults in her life don’t get on.  Of course the reason for this animosity is eventually revealed.  3 stars

When the dogs don’t bark: a forensic scientist’s search for the truth by Angela Gallop – not a patch on Professor Dame Sue Black’s memoir about forensic anthropology.  Maddeningly Ms Gallop keeps starting stories she doesn’t know the end of.  Not well-written and too frustrating. 2 stars

Grief is the thing with feathers by Max Porter – found in a kind of free street library in Newcastle on a weekend away.  This is a beautiful story of a father and his two sons who are reeling after the sudden death of their wife and mother. 5 stars

Mary Tudor: England’s first queen by Anna Whitelock – quite a dense, academic book about Mary I of England.  Not for beginners of Tudor history.  It made me wish someone would write a play/film/series in which Mary is portrayed more sympathetically than her ‘Bloody Mary’ reputation usually allows.  3.5 stars

I listened via the RBDigital app to Thirty thousand bottles of wine and a pig called Helga: a not-so-perfect tree change by Todd Alexander, read by Josh Brennan – Todd and his partner Jeff leave life in Sydney and take on a farm in the Hunter Valley where they encounter wine-making, olive-pressing, B&B running, goats, chooks and pigs.  Josh Brennan’s voice was lovely and the story amusing. 4 stars

And I’m currently flicking between reading 1984 by George Orwell and The day of the triffids by John Wyndham.  Book group reads, I would have told you I had to read both of these novels for school but haven’t found anything I recognise in either of them yet!  I’m also listening on the BorrowBox app to The Merry-go-round in the sea by Randolph Stow, again for book group.  So far a very sweet story.

15 or so years behind the zeitgeist I have just read Stasiland by Anna Funder. It made quite a good dip in-dip out book. 3/5

I also read Lanny by Max Porter. Do you ever find something on the hold shelves for you that you have absolutely no memory of ever hearing of, let alone expressing an interest in? this was one of those for me. It has made it on to the Booker longlist, so perhaps I read a review. It has a ghost and fantasy sticker on the spine, but it is not genre fiction. It is weird, but also very short, so who cares. A green man listens in on a small English town, and creates a bit of mischief along the way.  It took a while to get over the Word Art parts of the book, but then I decided that they could and should be skimmed over. The climax of the story was definitely  too odd for me (a brief scene of the green man as game show host in the town hall), but the rest was ok, if you can handle the poetic writing. 3/5.

 

What do our scores mean?

1 star – I hated it / Don’t bother / It felt more like homework than reading for pleasure
2 stars – I didn’t like it / Not for me but worth trying / This book needed something different to make me like it
3 stars – I liked it / Recommended / This book was good. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad.
4 stars – I really liked it / One of the best books I’ve read this year / I’m glad I read it
5 stars – I loved it / One of the best books I’ve ever read / I will probably read it again

 

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Good Reading Magazine – August 2019

The August issue of Good Reading magazine is ready for you to enjoy through Blue Mountains Library!

 

New Fiction Reviews

Salt by Bruce Pascoe

Bruce Pascoe has been described as a ‘living national treasure’ and his work as ‘revelatory’. This volume of his best and most celebrated stories and essays, collected here for the first time, ranges across his long career, and explores his enduring fascination with Australia’s landscape, culture, land management and history.

Featuring new and previously unpublished fiction alongside his most revered and thought-provoking nonfiction – including extracts from his modern classic Dark Emu – this collection is perfect for Pascoe fans and new readers alike. It’s time all Australians saw the range and depth of this most marvellous of local writers

Misconception by Rebecca Freeborn

An emotionally charged novel about love, loss, and what it means to be a mother. Ali and Tom are the perfect couple. They both have successful careers and are still madly in love after ten years. But when they are told their unborn baby has died, their picture-perfect life is shattered. Faced with an empty room, the prospect of catching up with friends and returning to work, Ali feels her control over the reality she wanted slipping further and further away. But when Ali’s irresponsible mother re-enters her life, Ali discovers secrets from a past she’d forgotten ever existed. Can Ali find a way to move forward without letting go of her memories?

The Returns by Philip Salom

Elizabeth posts a ‘room for rent’ notice in Trevor’s bookshop and is caught off-guard when Trevor answers the ad himself. She expected a young student, not a middle-aged bookseller whose marriage has fallen apart. But Trevor is attracted to Elizabeth’s house because of the empty shed in her backyard, the perfect space for him to revive the artistic career he abandoned years earlier. The face-blind, EH Holden-driving Elizabeth is a solitary and feisty book editor, and she accepts him, on probation.

The Returns is a story about the eccentricities, failings and small triumphs that humans are capable of, a novel that pokes fun at literary and artistic pretensions, while celebrating the expansiveness of art, kindness and friendship.

The Kowloon Kid by Phil Brown
Phil Brown’s life begins in small town Australia – Maitland to be precise – but in 1963 his father Ted hankers to return to the Hong Kong of his childhood and to cash in on a construction boom in the burgeoning colony.

Combining recent visits to Hong Kong, where the author explores his childhood touchstones of the Kowloon Cricket Club, the beach at Shek O, the Peninsula Hotel and the bustling lanes of Kowloon, with an affectionate yet truly honest portrait of family, self and the 1960s The Kowloon Kid is an intimate and tender gem.

Falling by Drew Turney

The thoroughfares of a city are its cultural bloodstream, so when the chorus of 70,000 tons of metal and concrete rings out and an iconic bridge shudders, tears itself apart and crashes into the harbour it spans, it takes over 600 terrified commuters and tourists with it. Dale Milling is one of the lucky ones. 20 years after his catastrophic injuries, modern technology has given him a new lease on life. But when it’s finally time to go back to the place he barely escaped with his life, it awakens a cyclone of terror and Dale’s peace is shattered.

Plastic: Past, Present and Future  by Eun-ju Kim 

The world consumes over 300 million tonnes of plastic each year. But when did we start using plastic? And why? Where does all the plastic waste go?

Journey through the life cycle of plastic – how plastics are produced, the many uses of plastics throughout the last century, how our plastic use has spiralled out of control, and what we can do about it.

 

You can borrow Good Reading from the library or access the digital subscription right here, right now, with your library card.

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Carolyn’s Books of the Month – August

 

Best Read: The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff

1946, Manhattan. One morning while passing through Grand Central Terminal on her way to work, Grace Healey finds an abandoned suitcase tucked beneath a bench. Unable to resist her own curiosity, Grace opens the suitcase, where she discovers a dozen photographs – each of a different woman. In a moment of impulse, Grace takes the photographs and quickly leaves the station.Grace soon learns that the suitcase belonged to a woman named Eleanor Trigg, leader of a network of female secret agents who were deployed out of London during the war. Twelve of these women were sent to Occupied Europe as couriers and radio operators to aid the resistance, but they never returned home, their fates a mystery. Setting out to learn the truth behind the women in the photographs, Grace finds herself drawn to a young mother turned agent named Marie, whose daring mission overseas reveals a remarkable story of friendship, valor and betrayal. Inspired by true events, Pam Jenoff shines a light on the incredible heroics of the brave women of the war and weaves a mesmerizing tale of courage, sisterhood and the great strength of women to survive in the hardest of circumstances.

Crime: The Lucky Ones by Tiffany Reisz

They called themselves “the lucky ones.” They were seven children either orphaned or abandoned by their parents and chosen by legendary philanthropist and brain surgeon Dr. Vincent Capello to live in The Dragon, his almost magical beach house on the Oregon Coast. Allison was the youngest of the lucky ones living an idyllic life with her newfound family … until the night she almost died, and was then whisked away from the house and her adopted family forever. Now, thirteen years later, Allison receives a letter from Roland, Dr. Capello’s oldest son, warning her that their father is ill and in his final days. Allison determines she must go home again and confront the ghosts of her past. She’s determined to find out what really happened that fateful night–was it an accident or, as she’s always suspected, did one of her beloved family members try to kill her? But digging into the past can reveal horrific truths, and when Allison pieces together the story of her life, she learns the terrible secret at the heart of the family she once loved but never really knew.

Australian Author:  Man at the Window by Robert Jeffreys

When a boarding master at an exclusive boys’ school is shot dead, it is deemed accidental. A lazy and usually drunk detective is sent to write up the report. Cardilini unexpectedly does not cooperate, as he becomes riled by the privileged arrogance of those at the school. He used to have instincts. Perhaps he should follow them now… With no real evidence he declares the shooting a murder and puts himself on a collision course with the powerful and elite of Perth. As he peels back layers, the school’s dark secrets being to emerge. But is his dogged pursuit of justice helpful or harmful to those most affected by the man’s death? Man at the Window is the first in the Detective Cardilini series, set in 1960s Western Australia.

General: The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason

Vienna, 1914. Lucius is a twenty-two-year-old medical student when World War One explodes across Europe. Enraptured by romantic tales of battlefield surgery, he enlists, expecting a position at a well-organized field hospital. But when he arrives, at a commandeered church tucked away high in a remote valley of the Carpathian Mountains, he finds a freezing outpost ravaged by typhus. The other doctors have fled, and only a single, mysterious nurse named Sister Margarete remains. But Lucius has never lifted a surgeon’s scalpel. And as the war rages across the winter landscape, he finds himself falling in love with the woman from whom he must learn a brutal, makeshift medicine. Then one day, an unconscious soldier is brought in from the snow, his uniform stuffed with strange drawings. He seems beyond rescue, until Lucius makes a fateful decision that will change the lives of doctor, patient and nurse forever.

Thriller: Don’t You Cry by Cass Green

When Nina almost dies during a disastrous blind date, her life is saved by a waitress called Angel. But later that evening, Nina is surprised by a knock on the door. It’s Angel – and she’s pointing a gun at her. Minutes later, Angel’s younger brother Lucas turns up, covered in blood shielding a stolen newborn baby in his arms. Nina is about to endure the longest night of her life – a night that will be filled with terror and lead her to take risks she would never have believed herself capable of…

Thriller: Fear of Falling by Cath Staincliffe

Lydia and Bel have been best friends for years, from wild teenage days all the way through to motherhood. Bel becomes pregnant by accident and has a fraught relationship with daughter Freya, while Lydia and love-of-her-life Mac, after failed fertility treatment, choose to adopt. Gorgeous toddler Chloe challenges them more than either of them had ever expected and as a teenager her behaviour escalates increasingly out of control, pushing their marriage, and Lydia and Bel’s relationship, to breaking point.

Saga/Romance: Stella and Margie by Glenna Thomson

Stella and her mother-in-law Margie are two very different women. Stella is kind, compassionate and just a little chaotic. Margie is prickly, demanding and a stickler for convention. Stella has exciting dreams for the future. Margie has only bitter memories of the past. When Margie needs help recovering from a major operation, Stella offers her a place to stay. With no other options, Margie returns to the family farm where for decades, until Stella’s arrival, she was the one in charge. As the dry summer turns to a beautiful autumn, the two women gradually form an unlikely bond, as the ambitions, secrets, and tragedies that have shaped their lives are slowly uncovered.

 

EAudio Books

The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan (Borrowbox)

Being brilliant has never been this dangerous …

When Dr Emma Sweeney stumbles across the victim of a hit-and-run outside Galway University late one evening, she calls her partner, Detective Cormac Reilly, bringing him to the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him.

A security card in the dead woman’s pocket identifies her as Carline Darcy, a gifted student and heir apparent to Irish pharmaceutical giant Darcy Therapeutics. The multi-billion-dollar company, founded by her grandfather, sponsors university research facilities and has funded Emma’s own ground-breaking work. The inquiry into Carline’s death promises to be high profile and high pressure.

As Cormac investigates, evidence mounts that the death is linked to a Darcy laboratory and, increasingly, to Emma herself. Cormac’s running of the case comes under scrutiny, and he is forced to question his own objectivity. Could his loyalty to Emma have led him to overlook evidence? Has it made him a liability?

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (rbDigital)

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal for lunch and buys the same two bottles of vodka every weekend. Nothing is missing from her life… Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted. But surely any change is better than… fine?

 

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eAudio of the Month – Diary of a bookseller by Shaun Bythell

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