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March 2016 Newsletter

FICTION

 

 

The Girl Who Came BackThe Girl Who Came Back by Susan Lewis

When Jules Bright hears a knock on the door, the last person she expects to find is a detective bringing her the news she's feared for the last three years.

Amelia Quentin is being released from prison.

Jules' life is very different now to the one she'd known before Amelia shattered it completely. Knowing the girl is coming back she needs to decide what to do. Friends and family gather round, fearing for Jules' safety.

They know that justice was never served; every one of them wants to make the Quentin girl pay.

The question is, what will Jules do; and which of them - her or Amelia - has the most to fear?

 

 

 

 

Orphan XOrphan X by G Hurwitz

'Do you need my help? It was always the first question he asked. They called him when they had nowhere else to turn.

As a boy he was chosen, then taken from the orphanage he called home. Raised and trained as part of a top secret programme he was sent to the worst places in the world to do the things his government denied any knowledge of. Then he broke with the programme, using everything he'd learned to disappear.

He wanted to help the desperate and deserving. But now someone's on his tail. Someone who has issues with his past. Someone who knows he was once known simply as Orphan X.

 

 

 

 

Brotherhood in DeathThe Brotherhood in Death by JD Robb

JUSTICE IS SERVED.

Edward Mira is a powerful man, with a lot of enemies. But when the former senator is violently abducted, Lieutenant Eve Dallas suspects his kidnap is more personal than political. Someone is seeking justice; the bloodier the better.

Edward's cousin Dennis was injured during the abduction - and that makes things very personal for Eve and her husband Roarke. Dennis is a beloved friend, married to NYPSD's top profiler Charlotte Mira.

But as Eve delves deeper into the case, dark secrets emerge that could tear the family apart. Edward Mira has friends in high places - and they all seem to be hiding something. As her investigation takes a shocking turn, Eve finds that not all victims are innocent, and that some bonds are forged not in friendship, but in blood.

 

 

At the Waters EdgeAt the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

SHORTLISTED FOR THE ROMANTIC NOVELISTS' ASSOCIATION HISTORICAL ROMANTIC NOVEL AWARD

A gripping and poignant love story set in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands at the end of the Second World War.

'the only fault I can find with this book is that I've already finished it' Jodi Picoult

'truly enthralling' Scotsman

'breath taking' Harper's Bazaar

1945. After disgracing themselves at a high society party, spoilt young Philadelphia socialites Maddie and Ellis Hyde are cut off from the family without a penny. Ellis decides their salvation will be to hunt down the Loch Ness Monster, a venture his father very publicly failed at. So, oblivious to WW2 raging around them, they make their way to the Scottish Highlands, where Maddie has to face reality and decide just who the real monsters are.

 

 

The BallroomThe Ballroom by Anna Hope

Where love is your only escape...1911: Inside an asylum at the edge of the Yorkshire moors, where men and women are kept apart by high walls and barred windows, there is a ballroom vast and beautiful. For one bright evening every week they come together and dance. When John and Ella meet, it is a dance that will change two lives forever. Set over the heatwave summer of 1911, the end of the Edwardian era, the Ballroom is a tale of unlikely love and dangerous obsession, of madness and sanity, and of who gets to decide which is which.

 

 

 

 

 

The ChoiceThe Choice by N Sparks

How far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?

Travis Parker has it all: a good job, loyal friends and his dream home in North Carolina. The last thing he's looking for is a serious relationship. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door.

Despite Travis's attempts to be friendly, the alluring redhead simply will not warm to him. But Travis feels compelled to get closer to her, leading them both down a road where they will face tough decisions, shocking revelations and devastating consequences.

 

 

 

 

 

PredatorPredator (Hector Cross 3) by Wilbur Smith

THEY MURDERED HIS WIFE.
THEY DESTROYED HIS FUTURE.
NOW THEY HAVE TO PAY.

Two men are responsible for the death of Hector Cross’ wife and only one is left alive: Johnny Congo – psychopath, extortionist, murderer, and the bane of Cross’s life. He caught him before and let him go. Now, Hector wants him dead. So does the US government.

Congo is locked up on Death Row in the most secure prison in the free world, counting down the days until his execution. He’s got two weeks. He wants out. He’s escaped before and knows he can again, and with whizz kid D’Shonn Brown enlisted, he might just have a chance.

Cross, still licking his wounds from his last bruising encounter with Congo, is back and ready for work. In the middle of the rough Atlantic stands oil supertanker Bannock A. Terrorist activity in the area has triggered panic and there’s only one person they can trust to protect her.

What is promised as a cakewalk turns out to be much more, a mission that will test Cross to his emotional and physical limits. But a life spent in the SAS and private security has left Cross hard-wired for pain and as he is thrown into the bull pit once more, he will not stop until he has snared his prey.

Hector Cross is Predator.

 

 

NON-FICTION

 

 

Into the Magic ShopInto the Magic Shop by Dr JR Doty

The day that 12-year-old James Doty walked in to his local magic shop is the day that changed his life. Once the neglected son of an alcoholic father and a mother with chronic depression, he has gone on to become a leading neurosurgeon, based at Stanford University. He credits Ruth for this incredible turnaround: the remarkable woman who devoted the summer to transforming his mind and opening his heart.

In this uplifting memoir, Jim explains the visualisation techniques Ruth taught him that gave him the self-esteem to imagine a new future for himself. He examines the science behind mindfulness and why the skills he learned - of focus and attention - now help him to think fast and keep calm in the operating theatre. And he shows us what is possible when you start to change your brain and your heart.

Into the Magic Shop imparts some powerful life lessons about how to live better, and inspires us to believe that we all have inside us the capacity to change our own destiny.

 

Trail BlazerTrail Blazer: My Life as an Ultra-distance Trail Runner by R Sandes

What does it take to run a six-day race through the world’s harshest deserts? Or 100 miles in a single day at altitudes that would leave you breathless just walking? More than that, though: what is it like to win these races?

South Africa s ultra-trail-running superstar Ryan Sandes has done just that.

Since bursting onto the international trail-running scene by winning the first multistage race he ever entered the brutal Gobi March Ryan has gone on to win various other multistage and single-day races around the globe.

Written with bestselling author and journalist Steve Smith, Trail Blazer My Life as an Ultra-distance Trail Runner recounts the life story of this intrepid sportsman, from his experiences as a rudderless party animal to becoming a world-class athlete, and includes details on his training regimes, race strategies and aspirations for future sporting endeavours. Sports enthusiasts will enjoy the adrenaline-inducing trials and tribulations of one of South Africa s most awe-inspiring athletes, while endurance-sport participants from beginners to aspirant pros will benefit from his insights and advice.

As Professor Tim Noakes says in the Foreword to this book: However much we might think we know and understand, there are some phenomena which now, and perhaps forever, we will never fully comprehend. We call such happenings enigmas. Or even miracles. Ryan Sandes is one such.'

 

Natural Born HeroesNatural Born Heroes by C McDougall

When Chris McDougall stumbled across the story of Churchill's 'dirty tricksters', a motley crew of English poets and academics who helped resist the Nazi invasion of Crete, he knew he was on the track of something special.

To beat the odds, the tricksters-starving, aging, outnumbered-tapped into an ancient style of fitness: the lost art of heroism. They listened to their instincts, replaced calories with stored bodily fat and used their fascia, the network of tissue which crisscrosses the body, to catapult themselves to superhuman strength and endurance.


Soon McDougall was in the middle of a modern fitness revolution taking place everywhere from Parisian parkour routes to state-of-the-art laboratories, and based on the know-how of Shanghai street-fighters and Wild West gunslingers.

Just as Born to Run got runners off the treadmill and into nature, Natural Born Heroes will inspire casual athletes to dump the gym membership for cross-training, mud runs and free-running. 

 

The First 20 HoursThe First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything Fast by J Kaufman

 

Josh Kaufman, bestselling author of The Personal MBA, is back with his new book, The First Twenty Hours, to teach readers how to learn anything... fast! 'Lots of books promise to change your life. This one actually will' -Seth Godin

 

Pick up any new skill in just 20 hours...

Want to learn to paint, play the piano, launch a business, fly a plane? Then pick up this book and set aside twenty hours to go from knowing nothing to performing like a pro. That's it

 

Josh Kaufman has developed this brilliant approach to mastering anything fast.

You'll learn how to:
• Focus energy on acquiring key skill sets
• Eliminate obstacles and discover critical tools
• Create rapid feedback loops
• Work against the clock to get better fast

With examples ranging from writing a web program to learning an instrument to picking up windsurfing, Kaufman shows how to break complexity into simple tasks, make the very best of your limited time and solve unexpected problems.

 

In The First 20 Hours you'll learn how to acquire any skill in record time - and have a lot of fun along the way.

'After reading this, you'll be ready to take on any number of skills and make progress on that big project you've been putting off for years' Chris Guillebeau, author of The $100 Startup 

 

Continental ShiftContinental Shift: A Journey into Africa’s Changing Fortunes by K Bloom and R Poplak

 

Africa is falling.

Africa is succeeding.

Africa is betraying its citizens.

Africa is a place of starvation, corruption, disease.

African economies are soaring faster than any on earth.

Africa is squandering its bountiful resources

Africa is a roadmap for global development.

Africa is turbulent.

Africa is stabilising.

Africa is doomed.

Africa is the future.

 

All of these pronouncements prove equally true and false, as South African journalists Richard Poplak and Kevin Bloom discover on their 9-year roadtrip through the paradoxical continent they call home.

 

From pillaged mines in Zimbabwe to the creation of an economic marketplace in Ethiopia; from Namibia’s middle class to the technological challenges facing Nollywood in the 21st Century; from China’s investment in Botswana to the rush for resources in the Congo; and from the birth of Africa’s newest country, South Sudan, to the worsening conflict in CAR, here are eight adventures on the trail of a new Africa.

 

Part detective story, part report from this economic frontier, Continental shift follows the money as it flows through Chinese coffers to international conglomerates, to heads of state, to ordinary African citizens, all of whom are intent on defining a metamorphosing continent. 

 

Im going to Ruin Their LivesI’m going to Ruin Their Lives by M Bennetts

 

In 2012, on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration for a controversial third term as president, mass protests ended in violent clashes between demonstrators and the police.

 

‘They ruined my big day, now I’m going to ruin their lives,’ Putin was alleged to have said.

 

Now Boris Nemtsov is dead, other key opposition leaders are either in prison or under house arrest and the Kremlin is using the situation in Ukraine to further its domestic aims, encouraging the rise of violent pro-Putin groups and labelling protesters ‘national traitors’. 

 

Journalist and long-time Moscow resident Marc Bennetts examines how Putin and his shadowy advisers crushed Russia’s brave new protest movement.

 

Featuring rare interviews with everyone from Nemtsov and other protest leaders to Kremlin insiders, Bennetts provides an unprecedented insight into the realities of politics on the ground. The result is a brilliant portrayal of the battle for Russia’s soul – one which continues to this day. 

 

The Struggle ContinuesThe Struggle Continues: 50 Years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe

 

David Coltart is one of the most prominent political and human rights figures in Zimbabwe. Born and schooled in Zimbabwe, he trained in law at the University of Cape Town, and has served as principal defence counsel for a wide range of Zimbabwean politicians who have fallen afoul of Robert Mugabe’s regime. Coltart also served as
the first legal secretary to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Zimbabwe’s primary opposition party.

In 2000, he was elected to Parliament and, following the creation of a ‘coalition’ government in September 2008, he was appointed Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, a position he held until August 2013

 

Over the years, Coltart has been threatened, detained, spuriously prosecuted and has survived several direct attempts on his life. As a young man, Coltart was urged by Robert Mugabe to return to Zimbabwe from South Africa, but he would become one of Mugabe’s favourite targets of vilification, branded a traitor to the state and
worthy of remaining in the country only as a resident of one of its prisons.

 

For three decades, Coltart has kept detailed notes and records of all his work, including a meticulous diary of Cabinet dealings, the source material for much of his book. It is set to be the most authoritative book to date of the last sixty years of Zimbabwe’s history: from the obstinate racism of Ian Smith that provoked Rhodesia’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Britain in 1965, to the civil war of the 1970s, the Gukurahundi genocide of the 1980s, Robert Mugabe’s war on white landowners, and the struggles waged by the MDC.

 

A key theme throughout the book is the role of political extremists who have consistently subverted Zimbabwe’s chances of realising its true potential.

 

 

CHILDREN

 

 

0-7 YEARS

 

 

Noahs ArkNoah’s Ark (Lift the Flap) by M Knudsen

The tale of Noah s ark, one of the most enduring stories of all time, is now available as a board book full of 30 fun flaps. Children will love flipping the pages, lifting the flaps, and finding their very favourite animals. From zebras and rabbits to elephants and dogs, this version of the treasured tale has something for everyone and is a perfect addition to any family s library.

 

Giraffe on a BicyleGiraffe on a Bicycle by J Woolf

Monkey has found a bicycle. Luckily giraffe knows how to ride it...sort of! But when a tentative tiger, three mischievous monkeys and a very flappy flamingo join in the fun, things start getting a little crowded. And with a whole host of other jungle animals keen to climb aboard, monkey and giraffe could be in for a very bumpy ride!

A vibrant, fresh and funny debut book, from an exciting new author-illustrator, Julia Woolf.

 

 

 

 

City RoosterCity Rooster by C Eicker-Harris

One night, Mr Doodle, the rooster, is woken up by the sounds of car hooters. When he discovers that the city is expanding rapidly – right up against the fence of the peaceful farm that is his home – he is very upset. He decides to leave the farm and look for another, quieter one. But Mr Doodle finds that he can't simply fly off and leave behind the life that he knows. Year after year, it's been his duty to wake all the animals and people on the farm, and it’s his responsibility to find someone to take over his job. So after many amusing and frustrating auditions, Mr Doodle finally finds the perfect replacement.

 

 

Kung Fu Panda 3Kung Fu Panda 3 by DreamWorks

Po is back and ready to take on an all-new opponent!

Long ago, Kai was banished to the Spirit Realm, but now he’s back. Can Po and the Furious Five stop him, or will Kai become the all-powerful Master of Chi?

 

 

 

 

 

8-12 YEARS 

 

 

Fizzlebert StumpFizzlebert Stump: The boy who did P.E. in his Pants

Going to school isn't very exciting, is it? Well for Fizzlebert Stump it's a whole new adventure! The next book in this hilarious series that is perfect for fans of Mr Gum.

Fizzlebert Stump lives in a circus. He is usually found training to be a strongman or being taught history by a magician or playing football with a sea lion, but not today. After being lost in the woods and mistaken for a very rude girl, here he is, at the back of the class confusing the teacher. Will anyone believe Fizz is telling the truth? Can he find his way back to the circus? Or will he be forced to sit up straight and pay attention forever?

A story of friendship, foolish grown-ups, mistaken identity and a very fortunate case of hay fever.

 

 

Gobbled by GhorksGobbled by Ghorks by RP Weston

Rumour has it that the Ghorks have taken Heppleworth's Food Factory hostage and threatened to make tasty treats of the creatures inside. When Jean-Remy receives a singing telegram from his long-lost sister, Eloise-Yvette, the creatures of the DENKi-3000 electronics factory must rush to the rescue. Elliot, Leslie and the creatures hurry to the neighbouring town of Simmersville, where the Food Festival is in full swing. When they finally come face-to-face with the Ghorks, Elliot and Leslie must make a near-impossible deal to save the creatures and fend off enemies.

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Box GirlThe Chocolate Box Girls: Fortune Cookie by Cathy Cassidy

After the amazing twist at the end of Sweet Honey, the sixth and final book in Cathy Cassidy's Chocolate Box Girls series follows Jake, the Tanberry sisters' newly discovered half-brother . . .

Jake Cooke has just had the surprise of his life. He's got four half-sisters that he never knew existed. When Jake's talent for trouble causes chaos at home, he runs away to meet his new family.

Life in a rundown flat in Chinatown is a far cry from Tanglewood, where the days are filled with beach parties and chocolate festivals. It's already starting to feel like home.

But Jake's about to realize he can only escape his future for so long. However far you go, you can't outrun destiny . . .

 

 

 

Looking Glass GirlLooking Glass Girl by Cathy Cassidy

Alice nearly didn't go to the sleepover. Why would Savvy, queen of the school, invite someone like her?

Now Alice is lying unconscious in a hospital bed.

Lost in a wonderland of dreams and half-formed memories, she's surrounded by voices - the doctor, her worried friends and Luke - whose kisses the night of the fall took her by surprise . . .

When the accident happened her world vanished - can Alice ever find her way back?

A wonderful modern-day reimagining of Lewis Carroll's timeless classic, an unforgettable tale of friendship and love from one of the UK's best-loved authors.

 

 

 

Arena 13Arena 13 by J. Delaney

The first book in the exhilarating new fantasy sequence from Joseph Delaney, the multi-million-selling author of The Spook's Apprentice.

Welcome to Arena 13. Here warriors fight. Death is never far away . . .

Leif has one ambition: to become the best fighter in the notorious Arena 13. Here, punters place wagers on which fighter will draw first blood. And in grudge matches, they bet on which fighter will die.

But the country is terrorized by the creature Hob, an evil being who delights in torturing its people, displaying his devastating power by challenging an Arena 13 combatant in a fight to the death whenever he chooses. And this is exactly what Leif wants . . .

For he knows Hob's crimes well. and at the heart of his ambition burns the desire for vengeance. Leif is going to take on the monster who destroyed his family. Even if it kills him.

 

 

 

TEENS 

 

 

All the Bright PlacesAll the Bright Places by J Niven

Theodore Finch wants to take his own life. I'm broken, and no one can fix it.

Violet Markey is devastated by her sister's death. In that instant we went plowing through the guardrail, my words died too.

They meet on the ledge of the school bell tower, and so their story begins.

It's only together they can be themselves . . .

I send a message to Violet: 'You are all the colours in one, at full brightness.'

You're so weird, Finch. But that's the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me.

But, as Violet's world grows, Finch's begins to shrink. How far will Violet go to save the boy she has come to love?

'All the Bright Places is a brave and beautiful love story. Violet and Finch hurt my heart, but I'm very glad I met them.' Jenny Downham, author of Before I Die

'I love every wise, tough, true, funny, heart-breaking word.' Newbery Medalist Karen Cushman

Please be advised that this novel explores themes and issues that may be disturbing or upsetting to some individuals. These include self-harm, mental illness and grief.

 

 

 

REVIEWS

 

 

 

KateLittle Legends: The Spell Thief

 

Jack and the Bean Stalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Repunzel and Hansel and Gretel all in one little book –
what more could a 7 to 10 year old ask for.

Jack sets out to prove that the new visitor to their town is not who he says he is. He tries swapping happy memories for spells but they  don’t seem to be doing the trick. If he doesn’t find out the truth soon he’s going to lose all his friends….

It’s easy to read, with short chapters which makes it a nice book to read together before bed.

So why not let your imagination run wild in “Tale Town” and see what Jack and his friends get up to 

- Kate 

 

KerryA Little Life 

 

Is quite a volume of reading. The change of focus from one characters life to another by chapter makes the page turning pleasant rather than a trudging experience. The book takes us through the lives of four university friends facing adulthood (post university in their late 30s) in New York City. One could label it as a coming of age novel exploring  the livelihoods and levels of existence of today's single adults. A consciousness of being that is heightened due to all the extra time one has to focus on oneself, the longer into adulthood a single life is adhered to. These friends learn about themselves and each other and come to realize that their friendship is anchored around Jude, the one who has had the most adverse childhood and fights an internal battle every day. They know they need to be there for him. Yanagihara weaves a story about human connections, humanity and the unpredictability of life through her brilliant prose. Shortlisted for The Man Booker Prize for 2015 and highly rated by the Good Reads website, A Little Life is well worth a read. 

- Kerry 

 

 

DustiThe High Mountains of Portugal

 

It's odd from the beginning with a story of a man who walks backwards as the result of his grief over losing his lover, his child and his father. Tomas becomes obsessed with an object he reads about in a priest’s journal, a cross. There are some very funny scenes as Tomas drives through the small towns in his uncle's automobile on his way to find the church in the high mountains that holds this cross he’s read about. Quirky but I liked this first part the best.

 

The second part is a bit confusing - A pathologist, talk of miracles and the bible and Jesus, and Agatha Christie and chimpanzees.

 

The third part is also about a grieving man and a journey.

 

Each section is set in rural Portugal and features a chimp at crucial points of the three stories.

 

Don’t try understanding the book, because you probably won’t. It’s very quirky, he writes lovely and is beautifully descriptive. If you are a Yann Martel fan you may like this book.

 

– Dusti-Leigh

 

 

Published in Newsletter Archive