The President's Gardens
By Muhsin Al-Ramli
One Hundred Years of Solitude meets The Kite Runner in Saddam Hussein's Iraq. "A contemporary tragedy of epic proportions. No author is better placed than Muhsin Al-Ramli, already a star in the Arabic literary scene, to tell this story. I read it in one sitting". Hassan Blasim, winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for The Iraqi Christ. On the third day of Ramadan, the village wakes to find the severed heads of nine of its sons stacked in banana crates by the bus stop.One of them belonged to one of the most wanted men in Iraq, known to his friends as Ibrahim the Fated.How did this good and humble man earn the enmity of so many? What did he do to deserve such a death?The answer lies in his lifelong friendship with Abdullah Kafka and Tariq the Befuddled, who each have their own remarkable stories to tell.It lies on the scarred, irradiated battlefields of the Gulf War and in the ashes of a revolution strangled in its cradle.It lies in the steadfast love of his wife and the festering scorn of his daughter.And, above all, it lies behind the locked gates of The President's Gardens, buried alongside the countless victims of a pitiless reign of terror.Translated from the Arabic by Luke Leafgren
The Quarryman's Wife
By Elizabeth Gill
'Elizabeth Gill is a born storyteller' Trisha AshleyWhen hope is lost, can she rebuild her home?After her daughter Arabella passes away, leaving a poor, motherless child in her wake, Nell Almond doesn't think her life can get any worse. But then tragedy strikes a second time and she finds herself widowed, with her husband's quarry to manage.But it's baby Frederick, her grandson, who troubles her most. Being cared for by one of the local families, he lives in hand-me-down clothes in a cramped and unrefined home. Nell desperately wants him to return to his rightful place, as heir to the quarry, but should she put all her hopes in one child? From the bestselling author of Miss Appleby's Academy and Nobody's Child comes the next book in the beloved Weardale Sagas, continuing the story begun in The Guardian Angel.
What Lies Within
By Annabelle Thorpe
An intense, claustrophobic psychological novel about the dark side of expat life, and what being out of your comfort zone can do to you, set in the vibrant souks and ancient riads of MarrakechA unique friendship, built on a lieFreya, Paul and Hamad. Three friends from two different worlds; a seemingly unshakeable bond, suddenly under threat.A move that would change all their lives.The trio have stayed close since university despite Freya and Paul's marriage and Hamad's wealthy lifestyle - so different from their own. Then an incredible job offer from Hamad sees Paul and Freya move to Morocco.A city where nothing is as it seemsMarrakech soon proves a perplexing place to live. Instead of reinvigorating their marriage, Freya finds the move is driving them apart. Revelations about their shared past force her to acknowledge that neither Paul nor Hamad is quite the man she thought. When a shocking crime is committed, Freya finds herself cast adrift in the dark corners of a bewildering city, unsure who to trust or to believe.
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.
Three Days and a Life
By Pierre Lemaitre
Antoine is twelve years old. His parents are divorced and he lives with his mother in Beauval, a small, backwater town surrounded by forests, where everyone knows everyone's business, and nothing much ever happens. But in the last days of 1999, a series of events unfolds, culminating in the shocking vanishing without trace of a young child. The adults of the town are at a loss to explain the disappearance, but for Antoine, it all begins with the violent death of his neighbour's dog. From that one brutal act, his fate and the fate of his neighbour's six year old son are bound forever.In the years following Rémi's disappearance, Antoine wrestles with the role his actions played. As a seemingly inescapable net begins to tighten, breaking free from the suffocating environs of Beauval becomes a gnawing obsession. But how far does he have to run, and how long will it take before his past catches up with him again?Translated from the French by Frank Wynne
Greeks Bearing Gifts
By Philip Kerr
Bernie Gunther returns in the thirteenth book in the Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling series, perfect for fans of John le Carre and Robert Harris.'One of the greatest anti-heroes ever written' LEE CHILD'One of the greatest master story-tellers in English' ALAN FURST1957, Munich. Bernie Gunther's latest move in a long string of varied careers sees him working for an insurance company. It makes a kind of sense: both cops and insurance companies have a vested interest in figuring out when people are lying to them, and Bernie has a lifetime of experience to call on.Sent to Athens to investigate a claim from a fellow German for a ship that has sunk, Bernie takes an instant dislike to the claimant. When he discovers the ship in question once belonged to a Greek Jew deported to Auschwitz, he is convinced the sinking was no accident but an avenging arson attack. Then the claimant is found dead, shot through both eyes. It's a win for Bernie's employers at least: no one to pay out to even if the claim is genuine. But who is behind the murder, and why?Strong-armed into helping the Greek police with their investigation, Bernie is once again drawn inexorably back to the dark history of the Second World War, and the deportation of the Jews of Salonika - now Thessaloniki. As Europe seems ready to move on to a more united future with Germany as a partner rather than an enemy, at least one person in Greece is ready neither to forgive nor forget. And, deep down, Bernie thinks they may have a point.
Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different
By Ben Brooks, Quinton Winter
Daniel Radcliffe, Galileo Galilei, Nelson Mandela, Louis Armstrong, Grayson Perry, Louis Braille, Lionel Messi, King George VI, Jamie Oliver... all dared to be different.'This book can save lives. This book can change lives. This book can help to bring forth another generation of boys who dare to be different.' Benjamin ZephaniahPrince charming, dragon slayer, mischievous prankster... More often than not, these are the role-models boys encounter in the books they read at home and at school. As a boy, there is an assumption that you will conform to a stereotypical idea of masculinity.But what if you're the introvert kind? What if you prefer to pick up a book rather than a sword? What if you want to cry when you're feeling sad or angry? What if you like the idea of wearing a dress?There is an ongoing crisis with regards to young men and mental health, with unhelpful gender stereotypes contributing to this malaise. Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different offers a welcome alternative narrative. It is an extraordinary compilation of 100 stories of famous and not-so-famous men from the past to the present day, every single one of them a rule-breaker and innovator in his own way, and all going on to achieve amazing things. Entries include Frank Ocean, Salvador Dalí, Rimbaud, Beethoven, Barack Obama, Stormzy, Ai Weiwei and Jesse Owens - different sorts of heroes from all walks of life and from all over the world.A beautiful and transporting book packed with stories of adventure and wonderment, it will appeal to those who need the courage to reject peer pressure and go against the grain. It is the must-have book for all those boys who worry about stuff and all those parents who worry about their boys who worry about stuff. It will educate and entertain, while also encourage and inspire.
A Handful of Happiness
By Massimo Vacchetta
The heart-warming story of how a tiny hedgehog helped one man find hope. 'Could you look after it for a couple of days? . . .' So begins the extraordinary friendship between veterinarian Massimo, who is at a low spot in his life, and a tiny, orphaned hedgehog. Only a few days old, covered with soft, white quills and mewling quietly, this little creature will turn around his life forever. Through the sheer force of Ninna's personality - curious, playful, affectionate - and the sudden, unexpected paternal protectiveness he feels nursing her back to health, Massimo reconnects with the world - and finally begins to feel like home. But as Ninna wakes from her first hibernation, she grows up, like any teenager, longing for freedom. A creature of the wild, she craves the free range of the woods beyond Massimo's house. Massimo must accept that Ninna is ready to move on . . . but one little hedgehog saved and released into her natural habitat is a new beginning for Massimo: setting up a sanctuary for the injured, orphaned, fragile - but with a will to live so strong it is truly contagious.A Handful of Happiness is their funny and life-affirming story - a celebration of our favourite prickly wildlife creature, which will make you laugh and cry. Perfect for animal lovers and fans of A Streetcat Named Bob, Arthur, Finding Gobi and Monty Don's Nigel.
Vernon Subutex One
By Virginie Despentes
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL 2018WHO IS VERNON SUBUTEX?An urban legend.A fall from grace.The mirror who reflects us all.Vernon Subutex was once the proprietor of Revolver, an infamous music shop in Bastille. His legend spread throughout Paris. But by the 2000s his shop is struggling. With his savings gone, his unemployment benefit cut, and the friend who had been covering his rent suddenly dead, Vernon Subutex finds himself down and out on the Paris streets.He has one final card up his sleeve. Even as he holds out his hand to beg for the first time, a throwaway comment he once made on Facebook is taking the internet by storm. Vernon does not realise this, but the word is out: Vernon Subutex has in his possession the last filmed recordings of Alex Bleach, the famous musician and Vernon's benefactor, who has only just died of a drug overdose. A crowd of people from record producers to online trolls and porn stars are now on Vernon's trail.Translated from the French by Frank Wynne
The Italian Teacher
By Tom Rachman
'Deft characterisation, buoyant wit and imaginative richness' Evening Standard'Masterful . . . slick, entertaining' Guardian 'Funny poignant, occassionally breathtaking' Financial TimesRome, 1955The artists are gathering together for a photograph. In one of Rome's historic villas, a party glitters with socialites and patrons. Bear Bavinsky, creator of vast, masculine, meaty canvases, is their god. He is at the centre of the picture. His wife, Natalie, edges out of the shot.From the side of the room watches little Pinch - their son. At five years old he loves Bear almost as much as he fears him. After Bear abandons their family, Pinch will still worship him, while Natalie faces her own wars with the art world. Trying to live up to his father's name - one of the twentieth century's fiercest and most controversial painters - Pinch never quite succeeds. Yet by the end of a career of twists and compromises, he enacts an unexpected rebellion that will leave forever his mark upon the Bear Bavinsky legacy.What makes an artist? In The Italian Teacher, Tom Rachman displays a nuanced understanding of art and its demons. Moreover, in Pinch he achieves a portrait of vulnerability and frustrated talent that - with his signature humour and humanity - challenges the very idea of greatness.
Without a Word
By Kate McQuaile
I was there when it happened. I watched her disappear...'POWERFUL' - Amazon Reviewer 'ABSORBING' - Karen Perry'INCREDIBLE' - Amazon Reviewer'ELEGANT' - Sunday Mirror'GRIPPING' - Amazon Reviewer'ACCOMPLISHED' - Sunday Times'TANTALIZING' - Amazon Reviewer'COMPELLING' - Candis'INTRIGUING' - Amazon Reviewer'TWISTY' - Good Housekeeping'FAST-PACED' - Prima'ADDICTIVE' - Sunday Mirror'Everything you want in a thriller' - Emma Flint, author of Little DeathsAN EMOTIONAL AND ADDICTIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMA FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED NOVEL WHAT SHE NEVER TOLD MELillian had phoned telling her to get Skype up and running. 'I have so much to tell you.' Then, the knock on the door. 'Sorry Orla, I'd better see who it is' she said. Orla waited. Seconds became minutes. She didn't know how long she waited before she realised that something terrible had happened.For more than a decade, Lillian's disappearance has remained unsolved, and Orla has found it impossible to move on. Then she receives an unexpected visit from Ned Moynihan, the detective who led the original investigation into her friend's vanishing. Moynihan has been receiving anonymous notes accusing him of having failed to investigate the case properly. He assumes the notes are coming from Orla, yet Orla knows nothing of these letters. Is somebody trying to tell them the truth about what really happened to Lillian that night?
The Love Factory
By Elaine Proctor
You can control want, but desire controls youWhen literary writer Anna falls on hard times, she tries her hand at erotic fiction to make money, and faces an uncomfortable truth. Though she's a wife and mother of two, her stories fail to fly because she's never experienced true sexual desire. Even her Sicilian grandmother - wearer of diamante sunglasses and knock-off Louis Vuitton - knows more than she does about real passion. Anna turns to her friends for inspiration. As secrets and desires are revealed, she discovers more about the people close to her than she ever knew. When one of them suggests she borrow an alter ego to banish her inhibitions, a new world opens up, and The Love Factory - a group of writers penning ever more successful sexy stories - is born. Yet Anna knows that she can't rely on borrowed passion and an alter ego forever. For her tales to truly sizzle, she needs to find a true love of her own.
By Stephanie Saulter
They were created to save humanity. Now they must fight to save themselves. The complete Evolution series by Stephanie Saulter.For years the human race suffered from a deadly Syndrome, but when a cure was found - in the form of genetically engineered human beings, gems - the line between survival and ethics was radically altered. Now the gems are fighting for their freedom, from the oppression of the companies that created them, and against the norms who see them as slaves. And a conference at which Dr Eli Walker has been commissioned to present his findings on the gems is the key to that freedom. But with the gemtech companies fighting to keep the gems enslaved, and the horrifying godgangs determined to rid the earth of these 'unholy' creations, the gems are up against forces that may just be too powerful to oppose.'Some books are good, some books are even great. This one is important' - SF Signal on Binary