One Night In Winter by Simon Sebag Montefiore
Moscow, 1945: As Stalin and his courtiers celebrate victory over Hitler, shots ring out. On a nearby bridge, a teenage boy and girl lie dead.
This is no ordinary tragedy and these are no ordinary teenagers, but the children of Russia’s most important leaders who attend the most exclusive school in Moscow.
Is it murder? A suicide pact? Or a conspiracy against the state?
Directed by Stalin himself, an investigation begins as children are arrested and forced to testify against their friends – and their parents. This terrifying witch-hunt soon unveils illicit love affairs and family secrets in a hidden world where the smallest mistakes will be punished with death.
Based on a true story and featuring real-life historical characters, this heartbreaking novel of passion, intrigue and betrayal takes you inside 1940s Russia with such thrilling authenticity that you know you’re in the hands of a master storyteller.
Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
A New York Times bestseller, Mr Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore is an entirely charming and lovable first novel of mysterious books and dusty bookshops; it is a witty and delightful love-letter to both the old book world and the new.
Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, coupled with sheer curiosity, has landed him a new job working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, instead they simply borrow impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with the gnomic Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he's embarked on a complex analysis of the customers' behaviour and roped his friends into helping to figure out just what's going on. But once they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, it turns out the secrets extend far outside the walls of the bookstore...
Panorama by Pieter-Dirk Uys
In 1987, Sibi M Akhale is allowed to visit her dying father in the maximum security prison of Robben Island.
The daughter of banned parents, Sibi, comes face to face with two suspicious and frightened white school teachers resident on the island. It will prove to be a life-changing experience for all of them. Over two decades later Sibi returns to the Island - now a World Heritage Site - with her two born-free sons. It is an attempt at closure for her, an adventure for her boys, and for the reader a remarkable journey back from the dark past. Panorama celebrates the people who through their shared passion for a beloved country managed to communicate and even laugh with each other in spite of fear, guilt and prejudice.
This story about South Africa's yesterday and today is inspired by Pieter-Dirk Uys' internationally acclaimed play, Panorama.
Orchard of Lost Souls by Nadifa Mohamed
It is 1988 and Hargeisa waits. Whispers of revolution travel on the dry winds but still the dictatorship remains secure. Soon, and through the eyes of three women, we will see Somalia fall. Nine-year-old Deqo has left the vast refugee camp she was born in, lured to the city by the promise of her first pair of shoes. Kawsar, a solitary widow, is trapped in her little house with its garden clawed from the desert, confined to her bed after a savage beating in the local police station. Filsan, a young female soldier, has moved from Mogadishu to suppress the rebellion growing in the north. And as the country is unravelled by a civil war that will shock the world, the fates of the three women are twisted irrevocably together. Intimate, frank, brimming with beauty and fierce love, The Orchard of Lost Souls is an unforgettable account of ordinary lives lived in extraordinary times.
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.
It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.
The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.
Malarky by Anakana Schofield
Our Woman refuses to be sunk by what life is about to serve her. She's just caught her son Jimmy in the barn with another man. She's been accosted by Red the Twit, who claims to have done the unmentionable with her husband. And now her son's gone and joined the only group that will have him: an army division on its way to Afghanistan. Setting aside her prim and proper ways, Our Woman promptly embarks on an odyssey of her own - one that forces her to look grief in the eye and come face-to-face with the mad agony of longing.
The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman
In this utterly charming debut—perfect for fans of Cecelia Ahern’s P.S., I Love You and Allison Winn Scotch’s Time of My Life—one woman sets out to complete her old list of childhood goals, and finds that her lifelong dreams lead her down a path she never expects.
1. Go to Paris
2. Have a baby, maybe two
3. Fall in love
Brett Bohlinger seems to have it all: a plum job, a spacious loft, an irresistibly handsome boyfriend. All in all, a charmed life. That is, until her beloved mother passes away, leaving behind a will with one big stipulation: In order to receive her inheritance, Brett must first complete the life list of goals she’d written when she was a naïve girl of fourteen. Grief-stricken, Brett can barely make sense of her mother’s decision—her childhood dreams don’t resemble her ambitions at age thirty-four in the slightest. Some seem impossible. How can she possibly have a relationship with a father who died seven years ago? Other goals (Be an awesome teacher!) would require her to reinvent her entire future. As Brett reluctantly embarks on a perplexing journey in search of her adolescent dreams, one thing becomes clear. Sometimes life’s sweetest gifts can be found in the most unexpected places.
The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell
Meet the Bird Family
All four children have an idyllic childhood: a picture-book cottage in a country village, a warm, cosy kitchen filled with love and laughter, sun-drenched afternoons in a rambling garden.
But one Easter weekend a tragedy strikes the Bird family that is so devastating that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear them apart.
The years pass and the children become adults and begin to develop their own quite separate lives. Soon it's almost as though they've never been a family at all.
But not quite.
Because something has happened that will call them home, back to the house they grew up in - and to what really happened that Easter weekend all those years ago.
Vicious Circle by Wilbur Smith
The new thriller from the bestselling author Wilbur Smith
When Hector Cross’s new life is overturned, he immediately recognizes the ruthless hand of an enemy he has faced many times before: a terrorist group has re-emerged – like a deadly scorpion from beneath its rock.
Determined to fight back, Hector draws together a team of his most loyal friends from his former life in Cross Bow Security, a company originally contracted to protect his beloved wife, Hazel Bannock, and her company, the Bannock Oil Corp. They travel to the remotest Middle East, to hunt down those who pursue him and his loved ones.
For Hazel and Hector have a child, a precious daughter, who he will go to the ends of the earth to protect. And brutal figures from the Bannock family’s past – thought long-gone – are returning, with an agenda so sinister that Hector realizes he is facing a new breed of enemy. One whose shifting attack and dark, shocking secrets take Hector to the heart of Africa and to series of crimes so shocking they demand revenge.
Bones of the Lost by Kathy Reichs
#1 New York Times bestselling author and producer of the Fox hit series Bones, Kathy Reichs returns with an unforgettable new novel featuring forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan, whose examination of a mysterious hit-and-run victim triggers an investigation into human trafficking.
When Charlotte police discover the body of a teenage girl along a desolate stretch of two-lane highway, Temperance Brennan fears the worst. The girl’s body shows signs of foul play. Inside her purse, police find an airline club card bearing the name of prominent local businessman John-Henry Story, who died in a horrific fire months earlier. How did Story and the girl know each other? Was she an illegal immigrant turning tricks? Was she murdered? Was he?
Tempe must also examine a bundle of Peruvian dog mummies confiscated by U.S. Customs. A Desert Storm veteran named Dominick Rockett stands accused of smuggling the objects into the country. Could there be some connection between the trafficking of antiquities and the trafficking of humans?
As the complications pile on, Tempe must also grapple with personal turmoil. Her daughter, Katy, grieving the death of her boyfriend in Afghanistan, impulsively enlists in the army. Meanwhile, Katy’s father, Pete, is growing frustrated by Tempe’s reluctance to finalize their divorce. As pressure mounts from all corners, Tempe soon finds herself at the centre of a conspiracy that extends all the way from South America to Afghanistan and right to the centre of Charlotte.
The White Princess by Phillipa Gregory
The haunting story of the mother of the Tudors, Elizabeth of York, wife to Henry VII. Beautiful eldest daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville - the White Queen- the young princess Elizabeth faces a conflict of loyalties between the red rose and the white.
Forced into marriage with Henry VII, she must reconcile her slowly growing love for him with her loyalty to the House of York, and choose between her mother's rebellion and her husband's tyranny. Then she has to meet the Pretender,whose claim denies the House of Tudor itself.
The Dark Legacy of Shannara: Witch Wraith by Terry Brooks
For centuries the Four Lands enjoyed freedom from its demon-haunted past, protected by magic-enhanced borders from the dark dimension known as the Forbidding and the evil imprisoned there.
But now the ancient wards have begun to erode – and generations of bloodthirsty, monstrous creatures, fuelled by rage thousands of years in the making, are poised to seek revenge.
Young Elf Arling Elessedil possesses the enchanted means to close the breach. But when she falls into the hands of the Federation's diabolical Prime Minister, her efforts may be doomed. Only her determined sister, Aphen, who bears the Elf stones and commands their magic, has any hope of saving Arling from the hideous fate her captor has in store.
Carte Blanche by Jessica Pitchford
Twenty-five years on, the familiar Carte Blanche melody has become an institution, announcing the end of the week end and the start of an hour that resists the mundane and stimulates debate. What’s become a Sunday night ritual began in a make-shift studio with a small team of firebrands, led by an arrogant, fearless talent, a showman with scant respect for the conventions of the time: Bill Faure was the most dynamic director of his day, a visionary who shared his passionate love of television with the world. He set the stage for what has become South Africa’s longest running investigative current affairs show and the most valuable real estate in broadcasting.
Faure passed the baton on to an extraordinary generation of journalists that created a vault of diverse memories, brought into homes across the country and into Africa, stories of delight and daring, cheek and chutzpah, heartbreak and heroism, of the weird and wacky. It’s said that his spirit still guides Carte Blanche into shaking complacency and bringing to the screen a social and ecological conscience, be it the cruelty meted out to the Tuli elephants, the selfless courage of Sally Trench, or blast off with Mark Shuttleworth.
It’s enabled us all to chase car thieves across our borders, catch out rogue mechanics and find out what security guards and plumbers do and don’t do in our homes. It’s brought to our screens a host of unforgettable characters from the transsexuals of Beaufort West to the shady directors of Aurora.
“Carte Blanche celebrating 25 years” dips into an era of quality journalism through the eyes of the producers and presenters who have so effectively measured the national mood and recognized defining moments. It’s a show that has become part of our landscape and promises to survive another quarter of a century.
South African Battles by Tim Couzens
South African Battles describes 36 battles spread over five centuries. These are not the well-trodden battlefields of standard histories, but generally lesser-known ones. Some were of critical importance, while some were infinitely curious. Who, for instance, has heard of the battles of Nakob, Middelpos, Mome Gorge or Mushroom Valley? Who knows about the four black women that Bartolomeu Dias brought with him on his pioneering voyage of exploration? Who knows that there was a significant battle in what is now the Kruger National Park in 1725? Who knows about the military episode where not a shot was fired but which brought South Africa into the Great War? Who knows that Germany once invaded South Africa?
Written in a light, humorous and personal style, each chapter is self-contained, like a short story. They can be read one a night, and mulled over next day with the promise of further enjoyment to come. South African Battles is an ideal bedside book, as well as an engaging travel companion. But there is also a twist in the tale at the end. Caveat lector, or lectrix!
The Great Escaper by Simon Pearson
Roger Bushell was 'Big X', mastermind of the mass breakout from Stalag Luft III in March 1944, immortalised in the Hollywood film The Great Escape.
Very little was known about Bushell until 2011, when his family donated his private papers - a treasure trove of letters, photographs and diaries - to the Imperial War Museum. Through exclusive access to this material - as well as fascinating new research from other sources - Simon Pearson, Chief Night Editor of The Times, has now written the first biography of this iconic figure.
Born in South Africa in 1910, Roger Bushell was the son of a British mining engineer. By the age of 29, this charismatic character who spoke nine languages had become a London barrister with a reputation for successfully defending those much less fortunate than him. He was also renowned as an international ski champion and fighter pilot with a string of glamorous girlfriends.
On 23 May, 1940, his Spitfire was shot down during a dogfight over Boulogne after destroying two German fighters. From then on his life was governed by an unquenchable desire to escape from Occupied Europe.
Over the next four years he made three escapes, coming within 100 yards of the Swiss border during his first attempt. His second escape took him to Prague where he was sheltered by the Czech resistance for eight months before he was captured. The three months of savage interrogation in Berlin by the Gestapo that followed made him even more determined. Prisoner or not, he would do his utmost to fight the Nazis. His third (and last escape) destabilised the Nazi leadership and captured the imagination of the world.
He died on 29 March 1944, murdered on the explicit instructions of Adolf Hitler.
Simon Pearson's revealing biography is a vivid account of war and love, triumph and tragedy - one man's attempt to challenge remorseless tyranny in the face of impossible odds.
i-Tjieng by Koos Kombuis
Dit is die eerste Afrikaanse verwerking van die antieke Chinese ‘I Ching’, of ‘Boek van Veranderinge’. Hierdie orakel is gebaseer op 64 heksagramme (kombinasies van deurlopende en onderbroke strepe) wat die raadpleger lei tot beter begrip en die wyse weg. I-Tjieng word wyd in die Weste gebruik, waar dit gesien word as ‘n uitdrukking van wat Carl Jung die kollektiewe onbewuste noem. Dit gee elke mens dus toegang tot sy eie versteekte, innerlike wysheid, wat op sy beurt ingeskakel is by die groter geheel van menslike ervaring.
Hierdie uitgawe is ‘n vertaling, aanpassing en verduideliking van die i-Tjieng-stelsel, kostelik geïllustreer deur Koos Kombuis se tekeninge. I-Tjieng dra die toepaslike subtitel ‘’n GPS vir verdwaalde siele’, en is in ‘n moderne idioom en in eenvoudige taal geskryf. Net reg vir die hedendaagse Afrikaanssprekende wat verdwaal in ‘n verdwaalde land voel, en wat na wysheid en begrip soek.
Springbok Factory by Liz McGregor
Thousands of young boys dream of playing for their country. Few will don the green and gold despite prodigious amounts of talent, passion and dedication. So, what does it take to make it as a Bok? Imagine for a moment that the Springbok set-up is a factory where the player is the 'finished product' coming off the assembly line. Liz McGregor takes the reader to the heart of the matter through a number of interviews with the likes of Jean de Villiers, the du Plessis brothers Jannie and Bismarck and Coach Heyneke Meyer. She also speaks to some of those behind the scenes: the team doctor and physio, the logistics manager, the wives and girlfriends. And of course the 'investors' - Louis von Zeuner from Absa and Imtiaz Patel from SuperSport - who are ultimately so influential on the game and the players who play it.
McGregor opens a door into The Springbok Factory and finds answers that are as fascinating as they are complex. You can have all the talent and drive in the world, but it's a long road to make it into - and survive - the Springbok Factory. Early development: Childhood is outsourced to parents, coaches and schools. It's nature and nurture. The boss: The South African Rugby Union calls the shots, making the key appointments. The investor: ABSA, as chief sponsor, keeps the machines oiled. The managers: Head coaches and team managers determine strategy and selection. The maintenance department: How to survive and recover from the calamitous injuries; eating right, training right. Marketing: SuperSport and the SARU brand manager. Grievance procedures: The anonymous interview with a Black Bok. The support team: The wives and girlfriends who lend emotional support, and occasionally distract the players! The ultimate test: It's on to the field for the ultimate test under the glare of the television lights.
Jacques Kallis by Ali Bacher and David Williams
South Africa has produced more great cricket all-rounders than any other country, and Jacques Kallis and 12 Other Great South African All-Rounders, a first on these remarkable players, is based on records, articles and interviews with living players as well as archival research of early players.
Over a hundred years ago, there was Jimmy Sinclair, the first man to score a century and take six wickets in an innings in a test match. More recently was the brilliant era of Eddie Barlow, Tiger Lance, Mike Procter and Clive Rice, as well as Tony Greig and Basil D’Oliveira, South Africans who played for England. A great tradition was established for the modern era: since re-admission in 1992 there has been Brian McMillan, Shaun Pollock, Lance Klusener and, the greatest of them all, Jacques Kallis. Jacques Kallis and 12 Other Great South African All-Rounders is about the 13 men each of whom were worth two or three players in one, worth their place as batsmen or bowlers, adored by the fans, and capable of changing a game with either of their skills.
The Pacemen by Drew Forrest
No one who follows cricket can fail to be fascinated by the prodigious figure, part gargoyle, part avenging angel, of the express pace bowler.’
In The Pacemen, Drew Forrest celebrates the elite of South Africa’s fast bowlers, from the tragic ‘Krom’ Hendricks in the late 19th century to the trailblazing Vernon Philander in the 21st, providing a snapshot of their social and playing backgrounds and their characters.
Here, in chronologically arranged sketches, is South Africa’s rich and varied pace tradition: the fast bowler as the express-pace warrior-champion, in the awe-inspiring figures of Neil Adcock, Peter Pollock, Mike Procter, Allan Donald and Dale Steyn; the masters of swing and seam, in the style of Norman Gordon, Vince van der Bijl, Stephen Jefferies, Fanie de Villiers and Shaun Pollock; and the impact bowlers and partnership-breakers, such as JJ Kotze, Jacques Kallis and Brian MacMillan.
Also placed under the spotlight are the casualties of the fast bowling world, including Lindsay Tuckett and Lance Klusener, who briefly flared and faded, their careers curtailed by injury and overbowling. Others fell victim to South Africa’s political turbulence, forced by racialised sport to the margins or into exile, in the manner of Eric Petersen and Dik Abed, or condemned, like Clive Rice and Garth le Roux, to forfeit dazzling test careers to the international sanctions of the 1980s.
The Pacemen is a rejoinder to those who seek to efface from the record the great players of the pre-1992 era, black and white. It argues for a player-centred perspective, rather than one driven by the struggle politics of a bygone era, and shows how the fast bowlers of the present owe a large debt to those of the past.
Save with Jamie by Jamie Oliver
Jamie gets the nation cooking clever, shopping smart and wasting less with his new cookbook, Save with Jamie. This year, I've got the message loud and clear that as everyone comes under bigger and bigger financial pressure, they want help to cook tasty, nutritious food on a budget, so this book was born completely out of public demand. Save with Jamie draws on knowledge and cooking skills to help you make better choices, showing you how to buy economically and efficiently, get the most out of your ingredients, save time and prevent food waste. And there's no compromise - I'm talking big flavours, comfort food that makes you happy, and colourful, optimistic dishes.
Our biggest luxury is knowledge, whether times are hard or not, so get kitchen smart and smash the recession. Jamie Oliver started cooking at his parents' pub, The Cricketers, in Clavering, Essex, at the age of eight. His television and publishing career began in 1999 with The Naked Chef series. Since then he has set up Fifteen restaurant in London, changed school dinners in the UK and revolutionized home cooking. His charity, The Jamie Oliver Foundation, seeks to improve people's lives through food. He writes for publications in the UK and around the world, including his own Jamie Magazine. Jamie lives in London and Essex with his wife Jools and their children.
Veld to Fork by Gordon Wright
If you're one of the (many) people whose heart skips a beat when gazing at iconic pictures of the Karoo, or you find yourself longing for the lifestyle of a bygone, gentler time and place, Veld to fork is sure to find the road straight to your soul. Showcasing the food of a timeless and achingly beautiful landscape, this cookbook is so much more than a mere book of recipes. Each photograph tells a story, whether it is of the delicious dish in question, the spectacular scenics, quaint towns or gritty but welcoming locals. Graaff-Reinet-based chef and guesthouse owner Gordon Wright combines tradition, culinary flair and the freshest of local ingredients to present 82 mouth-watering dishes for every occasion. Naturally an array of meat dishes take pride of place but they are equally matched by soups, side dishes and desserts that will leave you day-dreaming for more, days after you've enjoyed them. Not forgetting the preserves and baked goods for which the region is equally famed.
Little Mouse's Big Book of Beasts by Emily Gravett
Little Mouse has found a new book, and this time it's full of scary creatures. Undaunted, he bravely sets about removing or altering all the scariest bits: cosy mittens to cover the lion's claws, ruby lips to replace the shark's teeth -- and he even pole vaults out of the way of the bear! Full of flaps, jokes and Emily Gravett's trademark wit, with a brilliantly satisfying ending, this is a worthy successor to Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears.
Make your own Model: My Zoo by E Giggenbach
Every part of this innovative model book, including the cover, can be used to create a play-zoo with over 40 separate models and a wide range of animals! From the inspired mind of Ellen Giggenbach, My Zoo is a fun and interactive book. Will the visitors to the zoo get to see the dolphin show, buy and ice cream and help find a lost baby penguin? Children will have hours of fun building the models to ensure they do!
Marvellouse Maths by Jonathan Litton
An interactive, engaging and exciting exploration of maths, from the invention of zero to the geometry of a donut! Clear, humorous text, bright illustrations and interactive novelties help explain topics including numbers, geometry, probability, transformations and statistics. The focus is on making maths accessible and exciting, so each topic has an investigation for young numbersmiths to try at home.
The Children's Madiba: The Life Story Of Nelson Mandela by Sean Fraser
This is the story of how a young Xhosa herdboy, growing up among the green hills of the Eastern Cape, became the first black president of South Africa. As he studied and became a lawyer in Johannesburg, Nelson Mandela saw more and more how unfair the laws of the country were to black people, and how they suffered because of it. And the worst of it was, they had no power to set it right because black people were not allowed to vote for a government of their choice. So Tata Mandela decided to give all his time and strength to fight the government's big plan called apartheid. Apartheid meant that black and white people were kept apart and that the best of everything was for white people only. Soon, his actions got him into trouble, and he was locked up for 27 years. But when he got out of there, everything had changed, and he was made the first-ever president of all the people of the land, black and white. He became a hero for all in South Africa and the world over, and this book tells his story.
The Taming of the Tights by Louise Rennison
The tights run wild and free in the hilarious new novel from the Queen of Comedy! Tallulah Casey is putting all thoughts of wild boy Cain behind her. He is literally an animal in trousers...oo-er. Not like nice boy Charlie (who she's totally not thinking about either). The Tree Sisters are chasing those golden slippers of applause at Performing Arts College but Dr Lightowler seems hell-bent on spoiling everything for Tallulah. And with all her mates loved up, can Tallulah resist the call of her wild boy?
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
Do you possess a winning combination of theoretical knowledge, practical skills and raw intelligence?
Do you have what it takes to lead others?
Are you willing to crush those who stand in your way?
Every year, the United Commonwealth invites top graduates from each colony to participate in The Testing. Successful candidates will go on to the University and help the government work to rebuild our war-stricken world. This process is not optional. Disclaimer: The United Commonwealth is not responsible for candidates' psychological or physical heath during The Testing.
The Bomber Dog by Megan Rix
The Bomber Dog is a gripping and heart-warming story for 9+ readers about a brave puppy who joins the paratroopers during the Second World War and becomes a heroic war dog. Perfect for fans of Michael Morpurgo's War Horse and Lauren St John. Grey is just a puppy when he arrives at the War Dog Training school. Nathan, his trainer, is a brave young soldier. Wolf is a war dog who's seen it all. Grey and Nathan soon become inseparable. Until the day a parachute jump goes tragically wrong. As the Second World War rages, Grey faces his most important mission yet: to find his best friend. With Wolf at his side, he must journey across France and behind enemy lines. His path is fraught with danger. Can he reach Nathan before it's too late?