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April 2013 Newsletter

The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan

image001I was to stand trial for my life. I was twenty-two years old. I had been married for ten weeks and a widow for six. It is 1914 and Europe is on the brink of war. When a magnificent ocean liner suffers a mysterious explosion en route to New York City, Henry Winter manages to secure a place in a lifeboat for his new wife Grace. But the survivors quickly realize the boat is over capacity and could sink at any moment. For any to live, some must die. Over the course of three perilous weeks, the passengers on the lifeboat plot, scheme, gossip and console one another while sitting inches apart. Their deepest beliefs are tested to the limit as they begin to discover what they will do in order to survive.

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Indiscretion by Charles Dubow

image002Harry and Madeleine Winslow are a devoted couple, blessed with talent, money and charm. One summer, at their cottage in East Hampton, they meet Claire and cannot help but be enchanted by her youth, intelligence and disarming naivety. Claire falls eagerly into the Winslows′ welcoming orbit. But over the course of the summer, reverence transforms into dangerous desire. By Labor Day, it is no longer enough to just be one of their hangers-on...

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The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

image003Chicago,1931. A strange house gives serial-killer Harper the power to travel through time; to hunt and kill his ‘shining girls’. They’re bright young women full of spark – until he cuts it out of them, leaving clues from different times behind to taunt fate. Kirby, the 90s girl, survives his attack and turns the hunt around. Tracing Harper’s bloody trail of victims – from a glowing dancer in the 30s to a tough welder in the 40s and a bombshell architect in the 50s – Kirby is running out of time trying to solve an impossible mystery. And Harper is heading towards her once again.

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In Diamond Square by Mercè Rodoreda

image004Barcelona, early 1930s: Natalia, a pretty shop-girl from the working-class quarter of Gracia, is hesitant when a stranger asks her to dance at the fiesta in Diamond Square. But Joe is charming and forceful, and she takes his hand. They marry and soon have two children; for Natalia it is an awakening, both good and bad. When Joe decides to breed pigeons, the birds delight his son and daughter - and infuriate his wife. Then the Spanish Civil War erupts, and lays waste to the city and to their simple existence. Natalia remains in Barcelona, struggling to feed her family, while Joe goes to fight the fascists, and one by one his beloved birds fly away. A highly acclaimed classic that has been translated into more than twenty languages, In Diamond Square is the moving, vivid and powerful story of a woman caught up in a convulsive period of history.

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Forgive Me by Lesley Pearse

Cheltenham, 1991.

image005When Eva Patterson returns home from work one day, a devastating scene awaits her. Her mother, Flora, lies dead in the bath. Beside her is a note saying only: 'Forgive Me'.

Until then, Eva always believed her family's life would be comfortable and secure - but Flora's suicide changes everything. And when Eva discovers that in her will Flora left her an artist's studio in London, she realises how little she knows about her mother's past.

When Eva visits the now derelict studio, she is shocked to find out that her mother was once a successful artist back in the 1960s. A chance encounter leads her to Phil, who agrees to help her restore the studio, as well as offering her the advice and friendship Eva so badly needs.

In the studio attic she finds a collection of Flora's paintings and old diaries, which Eva believes were purposely left for her to find. Searching for answers, Eva encounters a psychic who mysteriously warns her to beware of a 'sleeping serpent', which she soon discovers refers to a shocking crime in Flora's past. Will discovering the truth destroy Eva's belief in everything she holds dear? And will Phil stand by Eva even when her journey leads her and those she loves into certain danger?

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The Accidental Husband by Jane Green

image006Maggie and Sylvie are perfect strangers: two very different women, living very different lives on opposite coasts. But they share more in common than they could ever imagine. Both women have beautiful children on the verge of flying the nest, the home they worked hard to build and always longed for, and a handsome and devoted husband they can't believe belongs to them. Both women think their lives are seamlessly secure, but they couldn't be more wrong...For each is about to discover a secret that will shake their world to the very core, throwing into doubt everything they ever thought they knew, and bringing Maggie and Sylvie together in the most unexpected way.

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Never Let Go by Gareth Crocker

image007As he presses a revolver to his head, Reece Cole sees his little daughter’s handprints on the windowpane. One last, painful reminder of her all too short life. But then he notices something about the handprints that defies belief. Something that verges on the impossible.

He spends the next few days frantically trying to make sense of what is happening. Then a stranger stops at his gate with a small grey envelope. Inside is a single white card, inscribed with six breathtaking words: I can bring your daughter back.

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The Lost Boy by Camilla Lackberg

image008Mats Sverin was Fjallbacka’s financial director on a regeneration project worth millions. When he is found murdered, Detective Patrik Hedstrom must find answers. It seems Mats was a man who everybody liked yet nobody really knew – a man with something to hide…

Is it just a coincidence that his high school sweetheart, Nathalie, has returned to the area? What does she know about who Mats really was?

However, Nathalie has her own secret. Something has made her and her five-year-old son flee to their remote family home on the ‘Ghost Isle’. And that is where she’ll stay and shield her son from the evils of the world. But, as the murder investigation draws a blank, the police have to dig deeper – and before long, everyone’s lives will be dragged into the light …

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Child of Vengeance by David Kirk

image009A bold and vivid historical epic of feudal Japan, based on the real-life exploits of the legendary samurai Musashi Miyamoto.

Japan in the late 16th century was a land in turmoil. Lords of the great clans schemed against each other, served by aristocratic samurai bound to them by a rigid code of honor. Bennosuke is a high-born but lonely teenager living in his ancestral village. His mother died when he was a young boy, and his powerful warrior father Munisai has abandoned him for a life of service to his Lord, Shinmei. Bennosuke has been raised by his uncle Dorinbo, a Buddhist monk who urges the boy to forgo the violence of the samurai and embrace the contemplative life. But Bennosuke worships his absent father, and when Munisai returns, gravely injured, Bennosuke is forced to confront truths about his family's history and his own place in it. These revelations soon guide him down the samurai's path—awash with blood, bravery, and vengeance. His journey will culminate in the epochal battle of Sekigahara—in which Bennosuke will first proclaim his name as Mushashi Miyamoto. This rich and absorbing epic explores the complexities of one young man's quest while capturing a crucial turning point in Japanese history with visceral mastery, sharp psychological insight and tremendous narrative momentum.

Non-Fiction

At the Fireside by Roger Webster

image010Roger Webster published his first volume of At the Fireside stories in 2001. It became an overnight bestseller and he went on to write three more books filled with magnificent stories from southern African.

Now, ten years later, Roger Webster is back with another, all new volume of fireside tales of people and events that have shaped our remarkable country. The author brings to life anecdotes from our country’s past, either forgotten or, perhaps, left untold as a result of political prejudice, These are tales of courage and failure, honour and greed, hope and despair, unexpected and extraordinary achievements but, ultimately, stories of real people.

'In the good old African tradition of storytelling, Roger has an eye for the unexpected angle, a nose for the story behind the story. His passion and love for stories from our past have touched tens of thousands of people through his books, his radio talks, his conversations with groups and individuals.

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Angels of Mercy by Chris Schoeman

image011After the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War, hundreds of women left their countries for South Africa, some in search of adventure, others with a genuine desire to help the victims of war. They came from all over the world – from Britain and its colonies, and from pro-Boer countries in Europe. But, whatever their origins, they all came to live and work under harsh conditions that were foreign to them.

Angels of Mercy tells the story of twelve of these brave women. Hailing from England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, some worked as nurses on the frontline, while others came to teach Boer children in the concentration camps.

Based on personal diaries and letters, as well as other wartime sources, this fascinating and inspiring book tells of their trials and tribulations as they dealt with the dangers of war, the extremes of the environment, and the sad eyes of the dying men under their care.

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The Accidental Ambassador by Tony Leon

image012The Accidental Ambassador follows on from the successful Tony Leon autobiography, On the Contrary: Leading the Opposition in a Democratic South Africa (2008) to showcase Leon’s wit and sense of humour as he takes the reader on the journey of his retirement from active political life and into public service as the South African ambassador to Argentina. From Leon’s ‘Job Interview’ with Jacob Zuma in Tuynhuis in 2008, to his immersion in governmental bureaucracy and a three-week crash course on ‘How to be an Ambassador’ to the strange stance and contradictions of South African foreign policy and life in Argentina, he shares with the reader his entertaining experiences of cultural immersion, comical anecdotes and political reflection. It provides great insight into the behind-the-scenes life of an ambassador.

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The Big Fight by Sugar Ray Leonard

image013“To be legendary you got to have heart...” Ray's heart was bigger than all the rest' Muhammad Ali

Sugar Ray Leonrad was one of the greatest boxers ever. An artist and a showman he was always willing to take the difficult fight: his gruelling encounters with Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler have become legendary. Ray's autobiography takes you into the ring - with the mind games, brutality and euphoria. But, outside of the ring, Ray's biggest opponent was himself. From early domestic violence and sexual abuse to a blur of fame, sex, greed, drink and drug addiction at the height of his career that cost him so much, The Big Fight is a remarkable portrait of the rise, fall and final redemption of a true fighter in every sense

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Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google? By William Poundstone

image014You are shrunk to the height of a ten-pence piece and thrown in a blender. The blades start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do? If you want to work at Google, or any of the world's top employers, you'll need to have a convincing answer to this and countless other tricky puzzles. Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google? reveals the new extreme interview questions in the post-crash, hypercompetitive job-market and uncovers the extraordinary lengths the best companies will go to find the right staff. William Poundstone guides readers through the surprising solutions to over a hundred of the most challenging conundrums actually used in interviews, as well as covering the importance of creative thinking, what your Facebook page says about you, and much more.

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Richer than Buffett

image015To succeed as a day trader you need to be re-educated, your mindset needs re-adjusting. In every conceivable way.

Over 95% of day traders lose money in their first year of operation. But those who persevere into the second year of trading, having gone through harsh (but valuable) lessons, tend to love the excitement of being self-employed in an industry that can turn funds into millions.

I have seen many traders succeed, but even more fail and give up in the first three months of trading. Make no mistake, this is not a career for everybody and those who believe that they will make billions without encountering problems will quickly find their hard-earned cash turning to cents. Of course, some new traders do get lucky. The rest get wiped out. Why do so many new traders wipe out their capital in a short time? The answer is rather simple. If you start a business without the right information and foundation, financial trouble will follow. Most day traders simply don’t know what they’re doing. Usually, the reason comes down to a lack of understanding …

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Fat Chance by Dr Robert Lustig

image016Sugar is addictive, toxic and everywhere. Find out how your sweet tooth might be nibbling you to death in this straight-talking exposé. ‘Fat Chance’, documents the science and the politics that has led to the pandemic of metabolic syndrome – which results in conditions like obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Dr Robert Lustig exposes how changes in the food industry and in our wider environment have affected our collective metabolisms and our waistlines, and he shows how industry and political forces, motivated by greed, don’t want things to change. To help us lose weight and recover our health, Lustig presents personal strategies to readjust the key hormones that regulate hunger and reward and suggests societal strategies to improve the health of the next generation. Discover how every calorie is different and that cutting out sugar is not just about making us thin – it’s about making us healthier, happier and smarter.

Children

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Always and Forever by Debi Gliori & Alan Durant

image017An endearing story that introduces children to death. When Fox dies the rest of his family are absolutely distraught. How will Mole, Otter and Hare go on without their beloved friend? But, months later, Squirrel reminds them all of how funny Fox used to be, and they realise that Fox is still there in their hearts and memories.

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Oz The Complete Collection by L Frank Baum

image018In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her faithful dog, Toto, find themselves far from home in a strange land called Oz after their Kansas house is swept away by a cyclone. Here they meet the Munchkins and join the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion on an unforgettable journey to the Emerald City, where the all-powerful Wizard of Oz lives. Can he help Dorothy return home?

In The Marvellous Land of Oz, a young boy named Tip escapes from a witch and sets out to explore land of Oz. Along the way, he meets the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman, as well as some new friends like Jack Pumpkinhead and the Wooden Sawhorse. Eventually, Tip's journey takes him to the Emerald City where he realizes that his life will be changed forever.

In Ozma of Oz, Dorothy is sailing to Australia when a huge storm washes her overboard. She only survives by clinging to a chicken crate. Eventually she and a yellow hen named Billina wash up on the magic shore of Ev where they meet the mechanical man Tik Tok. But Dorothy and Billina are taken prisoner by the evil Nome King who has captured the royal family of Ev. Only Ozma of Oz can save them, but will she be in time?

Vintage Classics Collection

image019Step into a world of stories...

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Discover the most magical place anyone could imagine with Mary Lennox and a very helpful robin!

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Follow Alice down the rabbit-hole into Wonderland where nothing but out-of-the-way things happen...

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Meet the March sisters - Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy - and join them through hard times, joyful scrapes and wild adventures.

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The Early Years at Malory Towers by Enid Blyton

image020A fantastic bumper volume of classic stories from a much-loved author. Darrell Rivers is off to a new boarding school, Malory Towers in Cornwall. But will she fit in there? And what adventures will she have? These first three books chronicle Darrell and her friends' first years at the school- three years of mischief, mayhem and midnight feasts! These timeless stories of the famous girls' school are in Blyton's hugely popular and successful style.

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Teen

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

image021A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray. Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever. As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army? Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

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Demon’s Watch by Conrad Mason

image022'We're the Demon's Watch, son. Protectors of Port Fayt. Scourge of all sea scum. Don't tell me you've never heard of us?' Half-goblin boy Joseph Grubb lives in Fayt, a bustling trading port where elves, trolls, fairies and humans live side by side. Fed up of working at the Legless Mermaid tavern, Grubb dreams of escape - until a whirlwind encounter with a smuggler plunges him into Fayt's criminal underworld. There he meets the Demon's Watch and learns of their mission to save the port from a mysterious and deadly threat. Can Grubb and his new allies uncover the dark plot in time, or will they end up as fish food in Harry's Shark Pit?

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