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February Newsletter 2015

FICTION

The Seven Sisters - By Lucinda Riley

sevenMaia D'Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, 'Atlantis' - a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva - having been told that their beloved father, the elusive billionaire they call Pa Salt, has died. Maia and her sisters were all adopted by him as babies and, discovering he has already been buried at sea, each of them is handed a tantalising clue to their true heritage - a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of where her story began ...Eighty years earlier, in the Belle Epoque of Rio, 1927, Izabela Bonifacio's father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is working on a statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to complete his vision. Izabela - passionate and longing to see the world - convinces her father to allow her to accompany him and his family to Europe before she is married.

The Sudden Light - By Garth Stein

untitled 2This novel centres on four generations of a once terribly wealthy and influential timber family who have fallen from grace; a mysterious yet majestic mansion, crumbling slowy into the bluff overlooking Puget Sound in Seattle; a love affair so powerful it reaches across the planes of existence; and a young man who simply wants his parents to once again experience the moment they fell in love, hoping that if can feel that emotion again, maybe they won't get divorced after all.

 

 

Closer Than You Think - By Karen Rose

closerDeacon Novak has returned home. The experienced FBI Agent knows that his move to Cincinnati's Major Crime Enforcement Squad will be challenging, but the greater challenge will be saving his younger brother before he becomes the kind of criminal Deacon is chasing.Faith Corcoran has escaped her identity. Being a therapist to victims of sex crimes was rewarding, but her work with their offenders has jeopardized her life. Her move represents a chance to build a new life in the empty old house her grandmother has left her.What Faith doesn't know is that a killer has made the house his playground, taking girls into the basement and murdering them. And now Faith is about disturb his fun.With a murderer focused on her, Faith is going to have to put her trust in Deacon if she's going to survive. Because this killer is always closer than she thinks....

A Vision of Fire - By Gillian Anderson

visionThe first in a series, A Vision of Fire is the thrilling science fiction debut of actress Gillian Anderson, best known for her role as Scully on The X-Files with David Duchovny, and for The Fall. Renowned child psychologist Caitlin O'Hara is a single mum trying to juggle her job, her son, and a lacklustre love life. Her world is suddenly upturned when Maanik, the daughter of India's ambassador to the United Nations, starts having violent visions. Maanik's parents are sure that her fits have something to do with the recent assassination attempt on her father - a shooting that has escalated nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan to dangerous levels - but when children start having similar outbursts around the world, Caitlin begins to think that there's a stranger force at work.
With Asia on the cusp of nuclear war, Caitlin must race across the globe and uncover the supernatural links between these seemingly unrelated cases in order to save her patient - and perhaps the world.

Lamentation - By C.J Sansom

untitled5Summer, 1546. King Henry VIII is slowly, painfully dying. His Protestant and Catholic councillors are engaged in a final and decisive power struggle; whoever wins will control the government of Henry's successor, eight-year-old Prince Edward. As heretics are hunted across London, and the radical Protestant Anne Askew is burned at the stake, the Catholic party focus their attack on Henry's sixth wife, Matthew Shardlake's old mentor, Queen Catherine Parr. Shardlake, still haunted by events aboard the warship Mary Rose the year before, is working on the Cotterstoke Will case, a savage dispute between rival siblings. Then, unexpectedly, he is summoned to Whitehall Palace and asked for help by his old patron, the now beleaguered and desperate Queen. For Catherine Parr has a secret. She has written a confessional book, Lamentation of a Sinner, so radically Protestant that if it came to the King's attention it could bring both her and her sympathizers crashing down. But, although the book was kept secret and hidden inside a locked chest in the Queen's private chamber, it has - inexplicably - vanished. Only one page has been found, clutched in the hand of a murdered London printer.

The Escape - By David Baldacci

untitled6Military CID investigator John Puller has returned from his latest case to learn that his brother, Robert, once a major in the United States Air Force and an expert in nuclear weaponry and cyber-security, has escaped from the Army's most secure prison. Preliminary investigations show that Robert - convicted of treason - may have had help in his breakout. Now he's on the run, and he's the military's number one target. John Puller has a dilemma. Which comes first: loyalty to his country, or to his brother? Blood is thicker than water, but Robert has state secrets which certain people will kill for. John does not know for sure the true nature of Robert's crimes, nor if he's even guilty. It quickly becomes clear, however, that his brother's responsibilities were powerful and far-reaching. With the help of US intelligence officer Veronica Knox, both brothers move closer to the truth from their opposing directions. As the case begins to force John Puller into a place he thought he'd never be - on the other side of the law - even his skills as an investigator, and his strength as a warrior, might not be enough to save him. Or his brother.

Havana Storm - By Clive Cussler

havanaWhile investigating a toxic outbreak in the Caribbean Sea that may ultimately threaten the United States, Pitt unwittingly becomes involved in something even more dangerous - a post-Castro power struggle for the control of Cuba. Meanwhile, Pitt's children, marine engineer Dirk and oceanographer Summer, are on an investigation of their own, chasing an Aztec stone that may reveal the whereabouts of a vast historical Aztec treasure. The problem is, that stone was believed to have been destroyed on the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor in 1898, which brings the pair both to Cuba as well - and squarely into harm's way. Pitt father, son and daughter have been in desperate situations before ... but perhaps never quite as dire as the one facing them now.

 

NON - FICTION

Dictionary of Southern African Place Names - By Peter Raper

untitledThe Dictionary of Southern African Place Names – now in its 4th edition – helps you sort your Komkhulu from your Kommetjie with the most comprehensive glossary of Southern African towns, villages, railway stations, mountains, rivers and beaches. The 9 000 short entries incorporate data from sources dating as far back as 1486, encapsulating the linguistic and cultural heritage of all the peoples of the subcontinent, past and present.In this highly readable book the expert authors take you on a fascinating journey of the highways and byways of Southern Africa. Whether you are a motorist, an adventurer or merely an armchair traveller, this book has a multitude of facts and details that will amuse and interest you.This is much more than a reference book – it gives an insight into what shapes a place and its people through our heroes, events, beliefs, values, fears and aspirations.

The White Nile Diaries - By John Hopkins

untitled2"Where was it taking us? In or out of society? I had no fixed address now, didn't want one, didn't need one." It all began at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station, New York, in 1961. Two Princeton graduates, John Hopkins and Joe McPhillips, have returned from Peru, where they dreamed of buying a coffee plantation in the jungle. Not ready to return to a life of work, marriage, and mortgages, they are tempted by a mysterious letter from Kenya. Hatching a plan to ride a motorbike across North Africa, they buy a sleek, white R50 BMW and paint her name—’The White Nile'—on the fuel tank, in honor of the route they plan to follow. In clear, elegant prose, Hopkins describes deadly salt deserts and fig-laden oases, disappeared travelers and the funerals of young Tunisians killed in the battle for independence. He conjures up the ghosts of ancient Rome in Leptis Magna and of Homer's Lotus Eaters in Djerba. They encounter armed vigilantes in the Tunisian desert and outrun Libyan border patrols, barely escaping with their lives. They climb the pyramids of Giza at dawn and ride the 'Desert Express' across the wastelands of the Nubian Desert, but their final adventure, at Sam Small's Impala Ranch, is perhaps the most surreal of all.

Drinking with Ghosts - By Michael Schmidt

drinking with ghostsDrinking with Ghosts: Revisiting Apartheid's Dirty War is a fascinating exploration of the dark corners of South Africa's past by a veteran journalist. Michael Schmidt's revelations move from South Africa's nuclear programme under apartheid to the problems of today's deeply unequal society, tracing the threads of secrecy, privilege and the violence that is needed to maintain it. The book is also a testament to Schmidt's career as a journalist: his dedicated and uncompromising quest to uncover the truth of what he finds shines through on every page.

 

 

The Warrior Women of Islam - By Remke Kruk

islamColloquial Arabic storytelling is most commonly associated with the Arabian Nights. But few people are aware of a much larger corpus of narrative texts known as popular epic. These heroic romantic tales, originating in the Middle Ages, form vast cycles of adventure stories whose most remarkable feature is their portrayal of powerful and memorable women. Wildly appreciated by medieval audiences, and spread by professional storytellers throughout the cities of the Muslim world, this material was printed and reprinted over the centuries and remains a vital part of Arab culture. Yet virtually none is available in translation, and so remains almost unknown to a non-Arab public. Remke Kruk at last makes these neglected romances available to a Western audience. She recounts the story of Princess Dhat al-Himma, brave and undefeated leader of the Muslim army in its wars against the Byzantines; of Ghamra, brought up as a boy to become a fearless leader of men; and of Qannasa, an infidel, raiding from her mountain fortress to capture and seduce her enemies before putting them pitilessly to the sword. The Warrior Women of Islam puts a bold new complexion on gender roles and the wider perception of women in the Middle East.

Louise van Gaal - By Maarten Meijer

louiseSo who is Louis van Gaal? An inflexible ex-PE teacher who only knows how to act like a dictator, or a soccer visionary that has made him one of the greatest ever European managers? Wherever he has gone, van Gaal has been accused of being a domineering disciplinarian and a control freak. He is certainly, by his own admission, a man who leaves nothing to chance. A disciple in the 1970s of Rinus Michels’ Total Football philosophy, he is a fascinating contradiction—an ultra-individualist utterly devoted to the collective effort. He believes in the team over the individual, in always having a plan, and a team prepared to follow that plan. Van Gaal led the young Ajax team he molded to Champions League glory in 1995, went on to win titles across Europe with Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar, and Bayern Munich, and is currently in his second stint as national coach of Holland. It is a career that has never been short on color and drama—from fallouts with players to rants at the media wherever he has managed. Dutch soccer commentator Maarten Meijer’s has written the definitive biography of van Gaal—both the man and his methods. It offers the best psychological insight so far—from his earliest roots to his greatest triumphs—into the man given the task of returning the glory days to Manchester United.

Johnny Cash - By Robert Hilburn

johnnyIn this, the definitive biography of an American legend, Robert Hilburn conveys the unvarnished truth about a musical superstar. Johnny Cash's extraordinary career stretched from his days at Sun Records with Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis to the remarkable creative last hurrah, at age 69, that resulted in the brave, moving "Hurt" video. As music critic for the Los Angeles Times, Hilburn knew Cash throughout his life: he was the only music journalist at the legendary Folsom Prison concert in 1968, and he interviewed both Cash and his wife June Carter just months before their deaths. Drawing upon a trove of never-before-seen material from the singer's inner circle, Hilburn creates an utterly compelling, deeply human portrait of a towering figure in country music, a seminal influence in rock, and an icon of American popular culture. Hilburn's reporting shows the astonishing highs and deep lows that marked the journey of a man of great faith and humbling addiction who throughout his life strove to use his music to lift people's spirits.

 

CHILDREN'S FICTION

8 - 12 Years

Violet Mackerel's Pocket Protest - By Anna Branford

violetViolet and Rose have shared their best secrets under the big oak tree in Clover Park. And they have found some very good small things there too. So when Johnson’s Tree Services stomps in and posts a sign that says PUBLIC NOTICE–TREE REMOVAL, they know that they must do something to stop them. When their first protest washes away in the rain, Violet and Rose feel discouraged. But then they realize that the sort of people who care most about small things, like birds not having nests and people not having a place to collect acorns, might also be the sort of people who notice very small protests. And that gives them a quite brilliant idea, one that just might save their tree, on behalf of all the small things—and small people—who love it.

 

 

The Secret Zoo: Raids and Rescues

secret zooThe Secret Zoo is an incredible world hidden beneath the regular Clarksville Zoo, where animals and humans peacefully coexist as equals. It is full of marvels. But even in the Secret Zoo, there are dangers . . . and forbidden places. When the scouts' friends are held in the off-limits sector—a never-ending maze of aquariums—Noah, Megan, Richie, and Ella must be at their most courageous. This page-turning mystery and adventure is perfect for reluctant readers!

 

 

 

TEEN FICTION

Heart of Dread - By Melissa De La Cruz

frozenA city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. At the heart of it, Natasha Kestal is looking for a way out. Like many, she's heard of a mythical land where the sun still shines and the waters flow. A place where she won't be hunted by those who know her darkest secret. Until Nat gets to the blue, she will never be safe. Not even from the boy entrusted with her life and her heart.

 

 

 

Atlantia - By Ally Condie

atlantiaRio dreams of leaving the underwater city of Atlantia and living in the world Above. But all Rio's hopes for the future are shattered when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected choice, leaving Rio stranded Below. Atlantia is crumbling. Guided by an unlikely mentor, Rio begins to ask treacherous questions about her destiny, her home and the corrupted system that governs the Divide between land and sea. Her life - and the fate of her city - depends on Rio listening to the voices of the past, and her willingness to speak the forgotten truth.

Published in Newsletter Archive