Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa
By Joseph Farrell
Almost every adult and child is familiar with his Treasure Island, but few know that Robert Louis Stevenson lived out his last years on an equally remote island, which was squabbled over by colonial powers much as Captain Flint's treasure was contested by the mongrel crew of the Hispaniola.In 1890 Stevenson settled in Upolu, an island in Samoa, after two years sailing round the South Pacific. He was given a Samoan name and became a fierce critic of the interference of Germany, Britain and the U.S.A. in Samoan affairs - a stance that earned him Oscar Wilde's sneers, and brought him into conflict with the Colonial Office, who regarded him as a menace and even threatened him with expulsion from the island.Joseph Farrell's pioneering study of Stevenson's twilight years stands apart from previous biographies by giving as much weight to the Samoa and the Samoans - their culture, their manners, their history - as to the life and work of the man himself. For it is only by examining the full complexity of Samoa and the political situation it faced as the nineteenth century gave way to the twentieth, that Stevenson's lasting and generous contribution to its cause can be appreciated.
By Dulce Maria Cardoso
Everyone has gone away... We too should no longer be here.Luanda, 1975. The Angolan War of Independence has been raging for at least a decade, but with the collapse of the Salazar dictatorship, defeat for the Portuguese is now in sight. Thousands of settlers are fleeing back to Portugal to escape the brutality of the Angolan rebels.Rui is fifteen years old. He has lived in Luanda all his life and has never even visited the far-away homeland - although he has heard many stories. But now his family are finally accepting that they too must return, and Rui is filled with a mixture of excitement and dread at the prospect. But just as they are leaving for the airport, his father is taken away by the rebels, and the family must leave without him.Not knowing if the father is alive or dead - or if they will ever find out what has become of him, Rui, his mother and sister try to rebuild their lives in their new home. This turns out to be a five star hotel in a quiet, seaside suburb of Lisbon, where returnee families are crammed into luxurious rooms by the dozen. These palatial surroundings are a cruel contrast with the reality of returnee life. The hotel becomes a curious form of purgatory as the families wait to discover what will become of them - ever conscious of the fact that they are hardly welcome back in their homeland. Rui has his own personal struggle with his new life: growing up, dropping out of school, facing discrimination, and the ever-present worry over his mother's deteriorating health and his father's fate.And then one night Rui's father returns from the dead.Translated from the Portuguese by Ángel Gurría-Quintana
By Andrew Caldecott, Sasha Laika
'Intricate and crisp, witty and solemn: a book with special and dangerous properties' Hilary Mantel'Baroque, Byzantine and beautiful - not to mention bold' M.R. Carey'Compelling ... the love child of Gormenghast and Hogwarts' the GuardianRotherweird is twisted, arcane murder-mystery with shades of Hope Mirrlees, Ben Aaronovitch, Mervyn Peake and Edward Gorey at their disturbing best.The town of Rotherweird stands alone - there are no guidebooks, despite the fascinating and diverse architectural styles cramming the narrow streets, the avant garde science and offbeat customs. Cast adrift from the rest of England by Elizabeth I, Rotherweird's independence is subject to one disturbing condition: nobody, but nobody, studies the town or its history.For beneath the enchanting surface lurks a secret so dark that it must never be rediscovered, still less reused.But secrets have a way of leaking out.Two inquisitive outsiders have arrived: Jonah Oblong, to teach modern history at Rotherweird School (nothing local and nothing before 1800), and the sinister billionaire Sir Veronal Slickstone, who has somehow got permission to renovate the town's long-derelict Manor House.Slickstone and Oblong, though driven by conflicting motives, both strive to connect past and present, until they and their allies are drawn into a race against time - and each other. The consequences will be lethal and apocalyptic.Welcome to Rotherweird!
Religion in Minutes
By Marcus Weeks
Learn about the religions of the world - in minutes. What are the differences between Sunni and Shi'a, Catholic and Protestant, Buddhism and Confucianism? Who were Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, and what did they really preach? Why are the concepts of karma, jihad and nirvana so important? And what do the religions of the world say about life, death and how we should act? Answering these and many other critical questions, this book explains the histories, key texts, prophets and essential teachings of the ancient and modern religions and their offshoots, including: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Greek, Roman and Norse mythologies, indigenous traditional religions, Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Daoism, Confucianism, Shinto, Catholicism, Protestantism, Anglicanism, Baptists, Methodists, Puritans, Mormons, Sufism, Hasidism, Scientology, Baha'I, New pagans and many more, as well as considering their common themes and the future of religion.Clear, concise and with 200 iconic images, Religion in Minutes is the fastest, fullest way to understand the beliefs that shape the world around us.
The Reading Group: Summer Holiday! (Book 5)
By Della Parker
This is Part 5 of a fabulous, feel-good new series! Perfect for fans of The Lemon Tree Cafe and The Vets at Hope Green.Wedding bells are ringing . . . but who's the blushing bride? The Reading Group leave Little Sanderton behind for a sun-soaked summer holiday! But will vacay drama be the undoing of this close-knit circle of friends? This summer the Reading Group is tackling The Great Gatsby . . . and attending the party to end all parties!Meet the Reading Group: six women in the seaside village of Little Sanderton come together every month to share their love of reading. No topic is off-limits: books, family, love and loss . . . and don't forget the glass of red!
The Reading Group: April (Book 4)
By Della Parker
This is Part 4 of a fabulous, feel-good new series! Perfect for fans of The Lemon Tree Cafe and The Vets at Hope Green.Serena, the ambitious young Headmistress of Poppins Private School, has just begun reading Jane Eyre alongside her friends in the Reading Group. She would never admit it out loud, but she's half hoping that reality might once again echo fiction. Will she perhaps meet her own Mr Rochester? That doesn't stop her from being slightly alarmed when her secretary arranges an appointment with one Mr Winchester, the handsome father of a troubled pupil in the midst of a messy divorce. But when the line between work and pleasure begins to blur, and troubles in her own family come to a head, Serena is left wondering if being a romantic heroine is all it's cracked up to be...Meet the Reading Group: five women in the seaside village of Little Sanderton come together every month to share their love of reading. No topic is off-limits: books, family, love and loss . . . and don't forget the glass of red!
By Antonin Varenne
Burma, 1852. Arthur Bowman, a sergeant in the East India Company, is sent on a secret mission during the Second Anglo-Burmese War. But the expedition is foiled - his men are captured and tortured. Throughout their ordeal, a single word becomes Bowman's mantra, a word that will stiffen their powers of endurance in the face of unimaginable suffering: "Survive". But for all that, only a handful escape with their lives.Some years later in London, battling his ghosts through a haze of alcohol and opium, Bowman discovers a mutilated corpse in a sewer. The victim appears to have been subjected to the same torments as Bowman endured in the Burmese jungle. And the word "Survive" has been daubed in blood by the body's side. Persuaded that the culprit is one of the men who shared his captivity, Bowman resolves to hunt him down.From the Burmese jungle to the slums of London to the conquest of the Wild West, Antonin Varenne takes us on a thrilling journey full of sound and unabated fury, reviving the lapsed tradition of the great writers of boundless adventure. Sergeant Bowman belongs to that breed of heroes who inhabit the imaginations of Conrad, Kipling, Stevenson . . . Lost soldiers who have plunged into the heart of darkness and will cross the globe in search of vengeance and redemption.Translated from the French by Sam Taylor
The Revelations of Carey Ravine
By Debra Daley
A beautiful historical mystery for fans of Sarah Waters, Amitav Ghosh's The Sea of Poppies, and Jamaica Inn.London in the 1770s is bursting with opportunity. It's a city fuelled by new ideas and new money, where everything is for sale - including entrée into the ruling class. Making their way in this buccaneering society are Carey Ravine, a spirited young woman of enigmatic background, and her husband, the charming, endlessly enterprising Oliver Nash. Carey and Nash share a historic connection to India and a desperate ambition to better themselves. But as Nash's plans draw them into a restless association of gamblers and secret societies, Carey begins to question what's really hidden behind the seedy glamour of their lives. Her unease grows with the appearance of a mysterious man whose appearance unearths a troubling secret from the past. Carey finds herself forced to investigate the truth behind the stranger's claims - and to confront her own illusions about herself.
The Reading Group: March (Book 3)
By Della Parker
This is Part 3 of a fabulous, feel-good new series! Perfect for fans of The Lemon Tree Cafe and The Vets at Hope Green.Jojo has felt ruined for romance ever since her husband and love of her life, Big Al, left on an around-the-world trek to 'find himself' and never came back. Then her colleague Daniel asks her on a date. He's conscientious, sincere and serious - everything Big Al wasn't - and Jojo begins to think they might have a real future together. But a romantic dinner date in his pristinely impressive home reveals his pad to be a practical mausoleum to his troubled past . . . causing Jojo to wonder if her new man's heart is really ready to move on. Meet the Reading Group: six women in the seaside village of Little Sanderton come together every month to share their love of reading. No topic is off-limits: books, family, love and loss . . . and don't forget the glass of red! This month the Reading Group is devouring Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, and wondering if fiction really does mirror real life . . .
The Reading Group: December
By Della Parker
The Reading Group: January (Book 1)
By Della Parker
This is Part 1 of a fabulous, feel-good new series! Perfect for fans of The Lemon Tree Cafe and The Vets at Hope Green.Anne-Marie has always considered herself a bit of a matchmaker - never mind that she's only got one real success under her belt. And this year she's determined to up her game: Little Sanderton's singles could certainly benefit from her expertise! But while Anne Marie thinks she knows what's best for everyone else, her own life couldn't be less of a fairytale romance. Between looking after her cranky father and running her own business, she doesn't have time for a relationship. Her friends in the Reading Group know better though: after all, love can be found in the most unexpected of places . . .Meet the Reading Group: six women in the seaside village of Little Sanderton come together every month to share their love of reading. No topic is off-limits: books, family, love and loss . . . and don't forget the glass of red. This January the Reading Group is tackling Jane Austen's Emma . . . but who's got time for fiction when romance is in the air?
The Reading Group: February (Book 2)
By Della Parker
This is Part 2 of a fabulous, feel-good new series! Perfect for fans of The Lemon Tree Cafe and The Vets at Hope Green.Kate has tried to be a good wife to her husband Anton. Ever since he got demoted at work - answering to a woman no less - Anton simply hasn't been the same. Kate wants to help, but as the months pass and Anton pulls away from her both emotionally and physically, Kate can't help but feel a bit abandoned. Then Kate means Bob: the handsome, blue-eyed carpenter that Anton has hired to refurbish their kitchen. Kate instantly feels a powerful physical connection between them . . . but dare she risk her marriage for a man she barely knows?Meet the Reading Group: six women in the seaside village of Little Sanderton come together every month to share their love of reading. No topic is off-limits: books, family, love and loss . . . and don't forget the glass of red. This month the Reading Group is enjoying Lady Chatterley's Lover . . . and trying not to giggle too much at the naughty parts!
By Jaan Kross
The first part in an epic historical trilogy - The Estonian answer to Wolf Hall - by the nation's greatest modern writer Jaan Kross's trilogy dramatises the life of the renowned Livonian Chronicler Balthasar Russow, whose greatest work described the effects of the Livonian War on the peasantry of what is now Estonia. Like Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell, Russow is a diamond in the rough, a thoroughly modern man in an Early Modern world, rising from humble origins to greatness through wit and learning alone. As Livonia is used as a political football by the warring powers of Russia, Sweden, Poland and Lithuania, he continues to climb the greasy pole of power and influence. Even as a boy, Russow has the happy knack of being in the right place and saying the right thing at the right time. He is equally at home acting as friend and confidante to his ambitious patron and as champion for his humble rural relatives. Can anything halt his vertiginous rise? Like most young men he is prey to temptations of the flesh . . .
A Room Full of Bones
By Elly Griffiths
WINNER OF THE 2016 CWA DAGGER IN THE LIBRARY. Halloween night, and the dead are closer than ever for Dr Ruth Galloway. She is used to long-dead bodies, but a fresh corpse in the middle of a museum is a new challenge. The fourth beguiling Dr Ruth Galloway mystery.'A wonderfully rich mix of ancient and contemporary' GuardianIt is Halloween in King's Lynn, and forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway is attending a strange event at the local history museum - the opening of a coffin containing the bones of a medieval bishop. But then Ruth finds the body of the museum's curator lying beside the coffin. Soon the museum's wealthy owner lies dead in his stables too. These two deaths could be from natural causes but DCI Harry Nelson isn't convinced, and it is only a matter of time before Ruth and Nelson cross paths once more. When threatening letters come to light, events take an even more sinister turn. But as Ruth's friends become involved, where will her loyalties lie? As her convictions are tested, she and Nelson must discover how Aboriginal skulls, drug smuggling and the Aboriginal ritual of The Dreaming may hold the answer to these deaths - and be the key to their own survival.
By Stephanie Saulter
The gillungs - genetically modified, waterbreathing humans - are thriving. They've pioneered new aquatic industries, and their high-efficiency quantum battery technology coupled to tidal turbines in the Thames estuary looks set to revolutionise the energy industry. But as demand grows, so does fear of what their newfound power might mean.Then a biohazard scare at Sinkat, their London headquarters, fuels the opposition and threatens to derail the gillungs' progress. Was it an accident born of overconfidence, or was it sabotage?DS Sharon Varsi has her suspicions, and Gabriel sees parallels in the propaganda war he's trying to manage: politicians and big business have stakes in this game too. And now there is a new threat: Zavcka Klist is out of prison. With powerful new followers and nothing to lose, she's out to reclaim everything they took from her.
The Real X-Men
By Robert Lyman
The thrilling and true story of the development and operational deployment of human torpedoes - 'Chariots' - and 'X-craft' midget submarines in British naval service during WWII, and of the extraordinary men who crewed these dangerous vessels. The commando frogmen who rode the Chariots and operated as divers from the X-craft were the forerunners of today's Special Boat Service, the SBS. Their aim was to attach an explosive charge underneath an enemy ship to destroy the vessel. Their hope was to return to their submarine unscathed. The Real X-Men tells the story of the sacrifice and heroism of the individual men, many of them little more than teenagers, who volunteered for this dangerous duty and who crewed both the Chariots and the X-craft without knowing the full extent of the risks entailed, nor indeed the very small chances they had of coming back alive.
By Naomi Foyle
Astra Ordott is in exile. Evicted from Is-Land for a crime she cannot regret, she has found work in an ancient fortress in Non-Land: headquarters of the Council of New Continents, the global body charged with providing humanitarian aid to the inhabitants of this toxic refugee camp. Recovering from a disorienting course of Memory Pacification Treatment, Astra struggles to focus on her overriding goals - to find her Code father and avenge the death of her Shelter mother, Hokma. But can the CONC compound director, the ambiguous Major Thames, protect her from the hawk-eyed attentions of her old enemies? And who in this world of competing agendas can she trust? The deeper Astra ventures into this new world, the more she realises her true quest may be to find herself.
By Steffen Jacobsen
On a warm Autumn afternoon, Tivoli Gardens - Denmark's largest amusement park - is devastated by a terrorist attack. 1,241 people are killed. The unknown bomber is blown to bits; the security forces have no leads. One year later, the nation is still reeling, and those behind the attack are still at large. Amidst the increasingly frustrated police force, Superintendent Lene Jensen is suffering the effects of tragedy closer to home. Everyone is aware the terrorists may soon strike again. Then Lene receives a strange call. A young desperate Muslim woman needs her help, but by the time Lene reaches her she's already dead - supposedly suicide. Already suspicious, Lene's initial investigations suggest that the woman was unknowingly part of a secret services research project. Silenced by her superiors, Lene turns to her old ally Michael Sander to dig deeper. But with even her allies increasingly adamant her actions are a risk to national security, Lene begins to understand that finding the truth might be the most dangerous thing of all.
By Ingrid Carlberg
An Honorary Citizen of the U.S.A., and designated as one of the Righteous among the Nations by Israel, Raoul Wallenberg's heroism in Budapest at the height of the Holocaust saved countless lives, and ultimately cost him his own.A series of unlikely coincidences led to the appointment of Wallenberg, by trade a poultry importer, as Sweden's Special Envoy to Budapest in 1944. With remarkable bravery, Wallenberg created a system of protective passports, and sheltered thousands of desperate Jews in buildings he claimed were Swedish libraries and research institutes.As the war drew to a close, his invaluable work almost complete, Wallenberg voluntarily went to meet with the Soviet troops who were relieving the city. Arrested as a spy, Wallenberg disappeared into the depths of the Soviet system, never to be seen again.For this seminal biography, Ingrid Carlberg has carried out unprecedented research into all elements of Wallenberg's life, narrating with vigour and insight the story of a heroic life, and navigating with wisdom and sensitivity the truth about his disappearance and death.Translated from the Swedish by Ebba Segerberg
The Road to Rangoon
By Lucy Cruickshanks
In 1980s Burma, the British ambassador's son goes missing.Discovered in the north of the country, Michael Atwood is in imminent danger, trapped between sides fighting a bitter civil war and with no way of getting back to Rangoon. His best hope of salvation is to trust Thuza, a ruby smuggler who offers to help him escape.Beautiful and deeply scarred, Thuza has spent her entire life in a frontier town between rebel and government forces, never choosing a side but trying to make a living from both. For Thuza, the ambassador's son is her ticket out of poverty. For Than, an ambitious military officer, exploiting those caught up in the war offers an opportunity for promotion and distinction.But as all three learn to their cost, in this exotic, enigmatic and savage country, everyone has a price.This is a tale of ambition, salvation and hope that confirms Lucy Cruickshanks as a master storyteller.