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September 2014

Fiction

The Corners of the Globe - By Robert Goddard

corners of the globeSpring, 1919. James 'Max' Maxted, former Great War flying ace, returns to the trail of murder and treachery he set out on in The Ways of the World. He left Paris after avenging the murder of his father, Sir Henry Maxted, convinced the only man who knows about the mysterious events leading up to Sir Henry's death is elusive German spymaster, Fritz Lemmer. To find out more, he enlists in Lemmer's network under false colours and is despatched to the Orkney Isles, where the German High Seas Fleet has been interned in Scapa Flow. His mission: to recover a document secreted aboard one of the German battleships. But the information it contains is so explosive Max is forced to break cover and embark on a desperate and dangerous race south, pursued by men happy to kill him to recover the document. The breathless chase will take Max from the far north of Scotland to London and on to Paris, where the world's governments are still bartering over the spoils in the aftermath of the Great War. The stakes could not be higher. It is life and death for all concerned.

The Beekeeper's  Daughter - By Santa Montefiore

beekeeperEngland, 1932 - Grace Hamblin is growing up in a rural idyll. The beekeeper's daughter, she knows her place and her future that is until her father dies and leaves her alone. Alone, that is, except for one man who she just can't shake from her thought. Massachusetts, 1973 - Grace's daughter Trixie Valentine is in love with an unsuitable boy. He's wild and romantic, and in a band that might be going somewhere. But when tragedy strikes and he has to go home to England, he promises to come back to Trixie one day, if only she will wait for him. Both mother and daughter are searching for love and happiness, unaware of the secrets that bind them. To find what they are longing for they must confront the secrets of the past, and unravel the lies told long ago.

 

The Keeper - By Marguerite Poland

keeperWhen lighthouse keeper Hannes Harker is posted to a remote island with his young wife, he discovers something long-hidden in the tower that causes him to lose his footing and fall. Seriously injured, Hannes is evacuated to hospital and nursed back to health by Sister Rika, to whom he haltingly tells the story of his life: of his mother’s mysterious death, of his wild young wife, Aletta, and of the desolate island inhabited only by the lighthouse keepers and guano workers – two communities confined together, yet rigidly separated in one of the bleakest places on earth. With the arrival of a figure from Aletta’s past, her own secrets erupt into the present, just as the simmering tensions and injustices endured for so long by the guano workers erupt into a single, shocking act of violence.

 

Adultery - By Paulo Coelho

adulteryLinda knows she's lucky. Yet every morning when she opens her eyes to a so-called new day, she feels like closing them again. Her friends recommend medication. But Linda wants to feel more, not less. And so she embarks on an adventure as unexpected as it is daring, and which reawakens a side of her that she respectable wife, loving mother, ambitious journalist thought had disappeared. Even she can't predict what will happen next.

 

 

The Kings Curse - BY Philippa Gregory

kings curseRegarded as yet another threat to the volatile King Henry VII’s claim to the throne, Margaret Pole, cousin to Elizabeth of York and daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, is married off to a steady and kind Lancaster supporter Sir Richard Pole. For his loyalty, Sir Richard is entrusted with the governorship of Wales, but Margaret’s contented daily life is changed forever with the arrival of Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon. Margaret soon becomes a trusted advisor and friend to the honeymooning couple, hiding her own royal connections in service to the Tudors. After the sudden death of Prince Arthur, Katherine leaves for London a widow, and fulfils her deathbed promise to her husband by marrying his brother, Henry VIII. Margaret’s world is turned upside down by the surprising summons to court, where she becomes the chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine. But this charmed life of the wealthiest and “holiest” woman in England lasts only until the rise of Anne Boleyn, and the dramatic deterioration of the Tudor court. Margaret has to choose whether her allegiance is to the increasingly tyrannical king, or to her beloved queen; to the religion she loves or the theology which serves the new masters. Caught between the old world and the new, Margaret Pole has to find her own way as she carries the knowledge of an old curse on all the Tudors.

The HUnchback Missionary - By Elsa Joubert

hunchbackAt a prayer meeting on a cold Rotterdam night, the young clerk Aart Anthonij van der Lingen a pale, sickly, hunchbacked ‘fish from the North’ – is held in the charismatic Reverend Johannes Kicherer’s thrall. Lured by Kicherer’s passion, he leaves his grey and loveless life to land at the Cape of Good Hope as a lay missionary in 1800. But when the Missionary Society draws lots to determine where to send the new arrivals, Van der Lingen is sent east and Kicherer north. The hunchback missionary must make his own way in a place that, on the surface, God has forsaken – until, as the pitiless landscape and the blank faces of his would-be congregants strip Van der Lingen incrementally of his pride, he learns that he has nothing to give to the Africa that is ultimately his salvation. Based on historical figures drawn from the Cape Town Church Archives, The Hunchback Missionary by Elsa Joubert, world-renowned author of The Long Journey of Poppie Nongena, is a sweeping narrative of vanity and humility, of the sacred and the profane, of how Europe’s rampant strides across newly colonised Africa led to the abyss from which a continent still struggles, today, to retreat.

The Bone Clocks - By David Mitchell

boneFollowing a scalding row with her mother, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: a sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as “the radio people,” Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life. For Holly has caught the attention of a cabal of dangerous mystics and their enemies. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family irrevocably scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly’s life, affecting all the people Holly love even the ones who are not yet born. A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence, a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting from occupied Iraq, a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list all have a part to play in this surreal, invisible war on the margins of our world. From the medieval Swiss Alps to the nineteenth-century Australian bush, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Manhattan townhouse in the near future, their stories come together in moments of everyday grace and extraordinary wonder.

Non-Fiction

A Man of Good Hope - By Jonny Steinberg

good hopeIn January 1991, when civil war came to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, two-thirds of the city’s population fled. Among them was eight-year-old Asad Abdullahi. His mother murdered by a militiaman, his father somewhere in hiding, he was swept into the great wartime migration that scattered the Somali people throughout sub-Saharan Africa and the world. Serially betrayed by the people who promised to care for him, Asad lived his childhood at a sceptical remove from the adult world, his relation to others wary and tactical.By the time he had reached the cusp of adulthood, Asad had honed an array of wily talents. At the age of seventeen, in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, he made good as a street hustler. He also courted the famously beautiful Foosiya and, to the astonishment of his peers, married her. Buoyed by success in work and in love, Asad put $1 200 into his pocket and made his way down the length of the African continent to Johannesburg, South Africa. And so began a shocking adventure in a country richer and more violent than he could possibly have imagined.

Zulu Warriors - By John Laband

zuluToward the end of the nineteenth century, the British embarked on a concerted series of campaigns in South Africa. Within three years they waged five wars against African states with the intent of destroying their military might and political independence and unifying southern Africa under imperial control. This is the first work to tell the story of this cluster of conflicts as a single whole and to narrate the experiences of the militarily outmatched African societies. Deftly fusing the widely differing European and African perspectives on events, John Laband details the fateful decisions of individual leaders and generals and explores why many Africans chose to join the British and colonial forces. The Xhosa, Zulu, and other African military cultures are brought to vivid life, showing how varying notions of warrior honour and manliness influenced the outcomes for African fighting men and their societies.

 

Arrogance of Power - By Xolela Mangcu

arroganceXolela Mangcu has earned a reputation as one of the most vibrant and engaging public voices in South Africa. This selection of his best columns, published locally and internationally over the past two decades, is vivid, polemical and poignant. It records the initial excitement - and growing disillusionment about the ANC in government, and the leadership meltdown at the heart of the South African crisis. Placing South Africa in an African context, Mangcu examines political transitions and the limits to the politics of patronage in post-colonial societies. He also casts rare light on the relationship between black intellectuals and South Africa's black-led government.

 

A Spy Among Friends - By Ben Macintyre

a spyKim Philby was the most notorious British defector and Soviet mole in history. Agent, double agent, traitor and enigma, he betrayed every secret of Allied operations to the Russians in the early years of the Cold War. Philby's two closest friends in the intelligence world, Nicholas Elliott of MI6 and James Jesus Angleton, the CIA intelligence chief, thought they knew Philby better than anyone, and then discovered they had not known him at all. This is a story of intimate duplicity; of loyalty, trust and treachery, class and conscience; of an ideological battle waged by men with cut-glass accents and well-made suits in the comfortable clubs and restaurants of London and Washington; of male friendships forged, and then systematically betrayed. With access to newly released MI5 files and previously unseen family papers, and with the cooperation of former officers of MI6 and the CIA, this definitive biography unlocks what is perhaps the last great secret of the Cold War.

Cathedral of the Wild - By Boyd Varty

cathedralBoyd Varty had an unconventional upbringing. He grew up on Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa, a place where man and nature strive for balance, where perils exist alongside wonders. Founded more than eighty years ago as a hunting ground, Londolozi was transformed into a nature reserve beginning in 1973 by Varty’s father and uncle, visionaries of the restoration movement. But it wasn’t just a sanctuary for the animals it was also a place for ravaged land to flourish again and for the human spirit to be restored. When Nelson Mandela was released after twenty-seven years of imprisonment, he came to the reserve to recover. Cathedral of the Wild is Varty’s memoir of his life in this exquisite and vast refuge. At Londolozi, Varty gained the confidence that emerges from living in Africa. “We came out strong and largely unafraid of life with the full knowledge of its dangers.” It was there that young Boyd and his equally adventurous sister learned to track animals, raised leopard and lion cubs, followed their larger-than-life uncle on his many adventures filming wildlife, and became one with the land

Cooked in the Karoo - By Justin Bonello

karooIn this latest culinary adventure, Justin Bonello and his crew go on a two-year journey into South Africas backyard to rediscover the pulse of the Karoo.Kicking up dust across the semi-desert, Justin is dependent on the legendary hospitality of the people who live there. His mission is simple: to walk in their shoes, to cook with them and to tell the stories of the thirsty land. Catch a glimpse of things you won’t expect in this arid landscape - from the wide-open spaces and endless starry nights to the extraordinary and rare characters that are the heart and soul of this thirsty land. Experience their incredible hospitality, witness their daily struggle to survive and taste the delicious dishes rooted in the kitchens of yesteryear. Cooked in the Karoo will make you want to pack up your car and travel into this painted landscape a space where you will rediscover the importance of sometimes just sitting in silence and reconnecting with the essential things in life: good food and creating dust-covered memories with great friends.

The Culinary Adventures of a Travelling Cook - By Natasha Barnes

travellingThe rediscovery of an aerogram from Sri Lanka with a carefully inscribed recipe is what led to The Culinary Adventures of a Travelling Cook, a collection of uncomplicated recipes – both gourmet and every day. Written by cook and artist Natasha Barnes from her numerous trips locally and abroad, this book shares many humorous accounts of her travels across the globe. Her experiences are relived through the foods she encountered and enjoyed in countries as diverse as the USA, Vietnam, Argentina, Ethiopia and Burma.

 

 

 

 

 

Children Fiction 0 - 5

The Last Chocolate Cookie - By Jamie Rix

last cookieJack is excited when he saw that there is one cookie left at the dining table but his mother won't let him have it until he has offered to share it with everyone. So Jack embarks on an adventure to try share the last cookie..

 

Children Fiction 9 - 12

Mr Lemoncello's Library - By Grabenstein

lemonKyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative game maker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library. Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high.

 

 

Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light - By Derek Landy

dying lightThe War of the Sanctuaries has been won, but it was not without its casualties. Following the loss of Valkyrie Cain, Skulduggery Pleasant must use any and all means to track down and stop Darquesse before she turns the world into a charred, lifeless cinder. And so he draws together a team of soldiers, monster hunters, killers, criminals, and Valkyrie’s own murderous reflection. The war may be over, but the final battle is about to begin. And not everyone gets out of here alive.

 

 

 

           Teen Fiction

Earthquake - By Aprilynne Pike

earthquake

Tavia Michaels has discovered that she’s an Earthbound a fallen goddess with the power to remake the Earth and that a rival faction of Earthbounds, the Reduciata, has created a virus that is literally wiping swaths of the planet out of existence. Tavia is captured and imprisoned before she can act on this information, along with her eternal lover, Logan. Huddled in a claustrophobic cell, they lose track of the days, their attempts to escape proving as ephemeral as Tavia’s newly gestating powers. But then Tavia and Logan are mysteriously rescued. They’re brought to the underground headquarters of the Curatoria, another group of Earthbounds that Tavia doesn’t fully trust. There, she’s told that she can save the Earth before it disappears. She agrees. Tavia quickly realizes that she isn’t like other Earthbound, and as her abilities continue to awaken, they begin to threaten her centuries-long relationship with Logan. When Benson Tavia’s former best friend and romantic interest appears at Curatoria headquarters, Tavia will again have to make a choice about who to be with even as she tries to stop the virus that is destroying the world and uncover the truth about the two Earthbound organizations that have her tangled up in their webs.

Published in Newsletter Archive