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March 2013 Newsletter

Book hunting is the new egg hunt this Easter – treat yourself to a basket full!

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The Childhood of Jesus by J.M. Coetzee

image001 The mysterious new masterpiece from J.M. Coetzee.

After crossing oceans, a man and a boy arrive in a new land. Here they are each assigned a name and an age, and held in a camp in the desert while they learn Spanish, the language of their new country. As Simon and David they make their way to the relocation centre in the city of Novilla, where officialdom treats them politely but not necessarily helpfully.

Simon finds a job in a grain wharf. The work is unfamiliar and backbreaking, but he soon warms to his stevedore comrades, who during breaks conduct philosophical dialogues on the dignity of labour, and generally take him to their hearts. Now he must set about his task of locating the boy’s mother. Though like everyone else who arrives in this new country he seems to be washed clean of all traces of memory, he is convinced he will know her when he sees her. And indeed, while walking with the boy in the countryside Simon catches sight of a woman he is certain is the mother, and persuades her to assume the role. David’s new mother comes to realise that he is an exceptional child, a bright, dreamy boy with highly unusual ideas about the world. But the school authorities detect a rebellious streak in him and insist he be sent to a special school far away. His mother refuses to yield him up, and it is Simon who must drive the car as the trio flees across the mountains.

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The Last Quarter of the Moon by Chi Zijian

image002 In this sweeping epic, full of love and loss, a woman from one of the last remote reindeer-herding tribes of north-eastern China tells the story of her family and the last century of her country's history. ‘A long-time confidante of the rain and snow, I am ninety years old. The rain and snow have weathered me, and I too have weathered them’. At the end of the twentieth-century an old woman sits among the birch trees and thinks back over her life, her loves, and the joys and tragedies that have befallen her family and her people. She is a member of the Evenki tribe who wander the remote forests of north-eastern China with their herds of reindeer, living in close sympathy with nature at its most beautiful and cruel. An idyllic childhood playing by the river ends with her father’s death and the growing realisation that her mother’s and uncle’s relationship is not as simple as she thought. Then, in the 1930s, the intimate, secluded world of the tribe is shattered when the Japanese army invades China. The Evenki cannot avoid being pulled into the brutal conflict which marks the first step towards the end of their isolation…

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The Chef by Martin Suter

image003 As the financial crisis tightens its grip on Europe, the gilded world of Zurich's leading restaurant, Chez Huwyler, seems immune to plunging stock markets and collapsing banks. But behind the scenes, even the rarefied world of haute cuisine is feeling the bite and so Maravan - a Tamil dishwasher and undiscovered culinary genius - and Andrea - a stunningly beautiful waitress - find themselves out of a job and needing to find another way to survive. After Maravan seduces Andrea by cooking her a dinner that fuses the aphrodisiac recipes of his ancestors with the necromancy of molecular gastronomy, Andrea hits upon a business idea: romantic catering for couples. But even culinary magic can't ward off recession and when their new company begins to struggle, they are forced to enter into a much more unsavoury business, plunging them deep into an underworld where murder and sex feed otherwise unquenchable thirsts...

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Karretjiemense

image004 Vyftien jaar lank kruip Muis al weg. En noudat die Karoo so droog is, wil haar man Kapok hul donkiekarretjie in Leeu-Gamka se rigting draai – die één plek wat Muis nooit weer wil sien nie, want dit is hier waar die wrede Miskiet vir haar wag om haar terug te kry. Klein Witpop is opgewonde. Dalk kan sy nou televisie kyk en skool toe gaan. Haar broer Fansie hoop daar sal meer kos vir hom en hul babasussie Sponsie wees. Maar die duiwel is los in Leeu-Gamka en hulle moet desperaat vlug op hul karretjie. Sonder dokumente wat wys jy bestaan, kan die polisie jou nie veel help nie.

In Carol Campbell se senutergende roman word die onsigbare en nomadiese karretjiemense van die Groot-Karoo op spanningsvolle wyse op die voorgrond geplaas.

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Calculated in Death by J.D. Robb

image005 On the steps outside an empty office in New York's financial district, a woman lies dead. It's a bitterly cold winter and her coat and other items are missing, which initially seems to point to a mugging gone wrong, but Lt Eve Dallas soon discovers that the body was dumped at the newly-renovated property. Now she has to find out why. Marta Dickenson was an auditor, so Eve has a host of suspects among those who were under her scrutiny, not ruling out the fact Marta's sister-in-law is a famous judge. With the financial wizardry of Eve's husband Roarke at her disposal and the faithful Peabody by her side - when not distracted by the upcoming premiere they're all to attend - Eve starts the process of shifting through the motives of some powerful people to catch a killer...

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A French Affair by Katie Fforde

image006 Gina and Sally Makepiece have inherited a stall in the French House – an antiques centre nestled in the heart of the English countryside. Gina is determined to drag the French House and its grumpy owner into the twenty-first century. Bearing all the attributes of a modern-day Mr Rochester, Matthew Ballinger is less than happy with the whirlwind that has arrived on his doorstep.

The last thing either of them want is to fall in love. But will a trip to France change their minds?

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Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Jill Mansell

image007 Dexter Yates loves his fun, care-free London life; he has money, looks and girlfriends galore. But everything changes overnight when his sister dies, leaving him in charge of her eight-month-old daughter Delphi. How is he ever going to cope? Comic-strip artist Molly Hayes lives in the beautiful Cotswold village of Briarwood. When it comes to relationships, she has a history of choosing all the wrong men. Leaving the city behind, Dex moves to Briarwood - a much better place to work on his parenting skills - and he and Molly become neighbours. There's an undeniable connection between them. But if Dexter's going to adapt, he first has a lot to learn about Molly, about other people's secrets...and about himself.

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The Imagined Child by Jo-Anne Richards

image008 Odette leaves Johannesburg to make a new start in Nagelaten, a small Free State town. A writer for a popular TV soap, she appears to be searching for a less complicated life. But others think she’s escaping – to a place where she knows no one and won’t have to share her secrets. Life in Nagelaten isn’t as simple as it seems. The town also holds secrets. Why do people insist there’s no crime, all evidence to the contrary? Who is the strange outcast, whom she feels sorry for, yet doesn’t quite trust? And why will no one tell her his story? Odette is caught up in two deaths – a baby in the United Kingdom whom her troubled daughter, Mandy, is suspected of killing, and a brutal farm murder. Both cause her ordered life to unravel, while a new friendship forces her to question the silences of Nagelaten. Events edge her towards the most courageous act of her life: facing the truth in order to save herself and her daughter. In this taut psychological mystery, Jo-Anne Richards’s trademark lyrical style is combined with tight suspense that will keep you guessing until the last page

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The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier

image009 When modest Quaker Honor Bright sails from Bristol with her sister, she is fleeing heartache for a new life in America, far from home. But tragedy leaves her alone and vulnerable, torn between two worlds and dependent on the kindness of strangers. Life in 1850s Ohio is precarious and unsentimental. The sun is too hot, the thunderstorms too violent, the snow too deep. The roads are spattered with mud and spit. The woods are home to skunks and porcupines and raccoons. They also shelter slaves escaping north to freedom. Should Honor hide runaways from the ruthless men who hunt them down? The Quaker community she has joined may oppose slavery in principle, but does it have the courage to help her defy the law? As she struggles to find her place and her voice, Honor must decide what she is willing to risk for her beliefs. Set in the tangled forests and sunlit cornfields of Ohio, Tracy Chevalier’s vivid novel is the story of bad men and spirited women, surprising marriages and unlikely friendships, and the remarkable power of defiance.

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The Betrayal of Trust by Susan Hill

image010 Heavy rain falls on Lafferton, flooding the cathedral town and causing a landslip out on the moors. As the rain water slowly drains away, a shallow grave - and a skeleton - are revealed. It doesn't take long to identify the remains as those of missing teenager, Harriet Lowther, who was last seen sixteen years ago. But a cold case isn't a priority for a police force already struggling with staff shortages and cuts: if Detective Inspector Simon Serrailler is to solve the case, he will have to do it alone. Meanwhile, his sister, Dr Cat Deerbon, is fighting for funding to prevent the closure of the local hospice that offers respite to so many of her patients.

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Best Kept Secret by Jeffrey Archer

image011 The third novel in Jeffrey Archer’s compelling saga, the Clifton Chronicles

1945. The vote in the House of Lords as to who should inherit the Barrington family fortune has ended in a tie. The Lord Chancellor’s deciding vote will cast a long shadow on the lives of Harry Clifton and Giles Barrington. Harry returns to America to promote his latest novel, while his beloved Emma goes in search of the little girl who was found abandoned in her father’s office on the night he was killed. When the General Election is called, Giles Barrington has to defend his seat in the House of Commons and is horrified to discover who the Conservatives select to stand against him. But it is Sebastian Clifton, Harry and Emma’s son, who ultimately influences his uncle’s fate. In 1957, Sebastian wins a scholarship to Cambridge, and a new generation of the Clifton family march onto the page. After Sebastian is expelled from school, he unwittingly becomes caught up in an international art fraud involving a Rodin statue that is worth far more than the sum it raises at auction. Does he become a millionaire? Does he go to Cambridge? Is his life in danger?

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Non Fiction

Just About Everything a Manager Needs to Know in South Africa by N Flanagan & J Finger

image012 This book distils just about everything relating to successful management practice into practical and immediately accessible ‘how-tos’, providing answers to all your management problems and questions in straight forward language with the minimum of fuss.

You no longer have to separate the practical ideas from entangling management jargon and theory – the authors have done all that for you. Over 200 topics appear as double-page spreads, and each is cross-referenced and presented as a step-by-step solution to management problems and issues.

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Band-Aid for a Broken Leg by Damien Brown

image001 Damien Brown thinks he's ready when he arrives for his first posting with Medecins Sans Frontieres in Africa. But the town he's sent to is an isolated outpost of mud huts, surrounded by landmines; the hospital, for which he's to be the only doctor, is filled with malnourished children and conditions he's never seen; and the health workers - Angolan war veterans twice his age who speak no English - walk out on him following an altercation on his first shift. In the months that follow, Damien confronts these challenges all the while dealing with the social absurdities of living with only three other volunteers for company. The medical calamities pile up - leopard attacks, landmine explosions, performing surgery using tools cleaned on the fire - but as Damien's friendships with the local people evolve, his passion for the work grows. Written with great warmth and empathy, Band-Aid for a Broken Leg is a compassionate, deeply honest and often humorous account of life on the medical frontline in Angola, Mozambique and South Sudan. It is also a moving testimony to the work done by medical humanitarian groups.

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Iron War by Matt Fitzgerald

image001 For over a decade, Dave Scott and Mark Allen were locked in one of the fiercest rivalries sport has ever known. The men, who seemed able to force their bodies into achieving the impossible, dominated the nascent sport of triathlon, continually pushing each other to ever-greater feats of athleticism and endurance. On October 14 1989 the battle between Scott and Allen reached its peak at the 13th Hawaii Ironman, when the pair raced the 140.6-mile event side by side, for eight straight hours at breakneck speed. The eventual winner's margin of victory was a scant 58 seconds. In a profound psychological portrait of these two men, and a gripping exploration of the aching gap between triumph and defeat, Iron War tells triathlon's greatest ever story.

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Freedom Rider 10 000km by Mountain Bike Across South Africa by Kevin Davie

image001 Freedom Rider is an adventure in extreme endurance sport, as well as an inquiry into the unique story of our fascinating country. When journalist Kevin Davie started riding his mountain bike in remote, wide-open South African spaces he found himself on a 10 000 km journey that tested his courage and determination through blizzards, lightning and hail storms as well as forty degree heat, forging new trails through rocky and mountainous terrain.

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Amateurs in Eden by Joanna Hodgkin

image001 Nancy Durrell was a woman famous for her silences. Anaïs Nin said 'I think often of Nancy's most eloquent silences, Nancy talking with her fingers, her hair, her cheeks, a wonderful gift. Music again.' As the first wife Lawrence Durrell, author of The Alexandria Quartet, it is perhaps surprising that she is an unknown entity, a constant presence in the biographies of Durrell and others in the Bloomsbury set, yet always a shadowy figure, beautiful and enigmatic. But who was the woman who was with Durrell during the most important years of his development as a writer? Joanna Hodgkin decides to retrace her mother's fascinating story: the escape from her toxic and mysterious family; the years in bohemian literary London and Paris in the 1930s; marriage to Durrell and their discovery of the 'Eden' of pre-war Corfu and her desperate struggle to survive in Palestine alone with a small child as the British Mandate collapsed. Amateurs in Eden is a fascinating biography of a literary marriage and of an unusual woman struggling to live an independent life.

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I’m Your Man by Leonard Cohen

image001 The genius behind such classic songs as Suzanne, Bird on the Wire and Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen has been one of the most important and influential songwriters of our time, a man of spirituality, emotion, and intelligence whose work has explored the definitive issues of human life - sex, religion, power, meaning, love.

Yet before he even began recording, Cohen was an accomplished literary figure whose poetry and novels brought him considerable recognition. His dual careers in music and literature have transformed one another, his songs revealing a literary quality rare in the world of popular music, and his poetry and prose informed by a rich musicality. I'm Your Man explores the facets of Cohen's life - from his early childhood in Montreal, to his entrée into the worlds of literature and music, his immersion in Jewish culture, obsession with Christian imagery, and deep commitment to Buddhist detachment - including the five years he spent at a monastery outside of Los Angeles and his ordainment as a Rinzai Zen Buddhist Monk.

Sylvie Simmons draws on Cohen's private archives and a wealth of interviews with many of his closest associates, colleagues, and other artists whose work he has inspired, as well as professors, Buddhist monks and rabbis, to share stories and details never before revealed, and correct mistakes propounded in previous works. Unlike other biographies, I'm Your Man gives equal time to Cohen's poetry and prose and balances his intellectual and religious sides. The result is this deeply insightful, well-rounded portrait of an artist whose reach, vision, and incredible talent has had a profound impact on multiple generations and who continues to create magic today.

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500 Crochet Blocks

image018With a wide variety of styles ranging from traditional to completely new, 500 Crochet Blocks is a remarkable reference for any crocheter and includes patterns for beginner as well as advanced crafters. Each pattern is presented with clear step-by-step instructions and a colour photograph. The blocks may be mixed and matched to suit any style.

Crochet blocks are a perfect carry-along activity: just grab the book, some yarn and a hook. You don’t even need a ruler as the size of the book (15-cm square) is the size of each completed block! The individual squares can be sewn or crocheted together to make a variety of garments and décor items.

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Children

0-6

The Three Billy Goats Gruff by M Finch & R Arenson

image019 The three billy goats gruff are hungry for the sweet green grass on the other side of the stream. To get there, they must pass the big hairy troll who lives underneath the bridge and wants to eat them for dinner. Will the billy goats reach the safe side before the hungry troll makes them his next meal? Brought playfully to life by the rich collage illustrations of Roberta Arenson, this lively retelling of a much loved fable will delight children as they cheer on three sprightly billy goats who refuse to let anything stand in their way.

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Doodlepedia Animal Antics

image020 Once you've taken out your pens and pencils, you won't want to put Doodlepedia Animal Antics down. Add your own drawings and scribbles to the amazing animal designs and images, and learn about each creature as you doodle. Each subject is brought to life with original photography and images on every page. Doodlepedia Animal Antics is a fact-packed drawing and colouring book, perfect for animal-mad artists, so use your imagination and get doodling!

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6-9 years

Little Manfred by Michael Morpurgo

image021 In the Imperial War Museum is a wooden Dachshund, carved by a German prisoner of war for the children of the British family with which he stayed after the fighting ended. This is the story of how it got there. When the Bismarck sinks, one of the only German survivors is taken on board a British ship as a prisoner of war. Sent to live with a host family, Walter must adapt to a new way of life, in the heart of an enemy country. Gradually, though, he finds a friend in ten-year-old Grace. So when the time finally comes to go back to Germany, it’s an emotional parting, with Walter leaving Grace with only a carved wooden dog to remember him by. The question is, will Walter and Grace ever meet again? In 1966, with the World Cup coming to Britain, that opportunity may just have come along.

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The Smug Pug by Anna Wilson

image022 There's a new kid in Crumbly-under-Edge. Smug the pug is clever, funny and full of surprises. And his owner, Tallulah Foghorn, is just as fantastic. PIppa Peppercorn has fallen head over heels for the devastating duo. Dash the dachshund, on the other paw, is not sure. He thinks Smug lives up to his name, and Tallulah is nuttier than one of Mrs Fudge's fruitcakes...

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9-12 years

The Amelia Jane Collection by Enid Blyton

image023Naughty Amelia Jane is back in this bind up of three classic storybooks by Enid Blyton: Naughty Amelia Jane, Amelia Jane is Naughty Again and Amelia Jane Gets Into Trouble. In these hilarious stories, the terror of the toy cupboard, the rag doll Amelia Jane, has all sorts of exciting adventures. One thing's for sure- not many of the other toys get the better of Amelia Jane! First published between the 1930s and 1960s, these delightful stories have entertained generations of children, and are still just as popular today.

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Shiverton Hall by Emerald Fennell

image024 They slowed as they reached the gate; two stone columns, each with its own crumbling angel perched on top. The angels held up a rusty, wrought-iron arch that read, in curling, serpentine letters: SHIVERTON HALL. Arthur Bannister has been unexpectedly accepted into Shiverton Hall, which, as it turns out, is an incredibly spooky school, full of surprises. And it is just as well that Shiverton Hall has made its offer, because Arthur had a horrible time at his previous school, and was desperate to leave. Timely indeed. But Arthur has no time to worry about the strange coincidence. He is too busy trying to make head or tail of Shiverton Hall, dogged as it is by tales of curses and bad fortune. At least there are a few friendly faces: George, who shows him around; also Penny and Jake. But not all the faces are friendly. There are the bullying Forge triplets for starters. And then there is the acid tongue of the headmistress, Professor Long-Pitt, who seems to go out of her way to make Arthur's life a misery. Luckily Arthur has his new friends to cheer him up. Although there are some friends that you don't want to have at all, as Arthur is soon to find out.

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Teen

Shiver by Karen Robards

image025 Danny Pantrero was minutes away from dying when Sam found him. Bleeding badly from a gunshot wound, he’d been snatched from protective custody by a vicious gang of drug runners who would stop at nothing to see him dead. With his life on the line, Danny takes Sam hostage. Forcing her to help him, he tries to make her understand that now she’s a target for the killers, too. When they invade her house and threaten her son’s life, she finally understands: there’s no going back. She and four-year-old Tyler go on the run with Danny in a desperate effort to reach the authorities. In the face of harrowing danger, Sam has no choice but to trust Danny with her life—and, more importantly, her son’s. Against her will, she starts to fall for the once-menacing stranger and discovers a depth of passion she never imagined she could feel. But what Sam doesn’t know is that Danny has a secret that could destroy them all…

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Skylark by Meagan Spooner

image026 For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley waited for the day when her Resource would be harvested and she would finally be an adult. After the harvest she expected a small role in the regular, orderly operation of the City within the Wall. She expected to do her part to maintain the refuge for the last survivors of the Wars. She expected to be a tiny cog in the larger clockwork of the city. Lark did not expect to become the City's power supply. Her only choice is to escape; follow the birds into the wilderness beyond. Into the Iron Wood.

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