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Harrow libraries' recommended reads

Previous recommended reads

Adult fiction

Tidelands
Philippa Gregory
9781471172724
Midsummer's Eve, 1648, and England is in the grip of civil war between renegade King and rebellious Parliament. Alinor, a descendant of wise women, crushed by poverty and superstition, waits in the graveyard under the full moon for a ghost who will declare her free from her abusive husband. Instead she meets James, a young man on the run, and shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marsh, not knowing that she is leading disaster into the heart of her life. Suspected of possessing dark secrets in superstitious times, Alinor's ambition and determination mark her out from her neighbours. This is the time of witch-mania, and Alinor, a woman without a husband, skilled with herbs, suddenly enriched, arouses envy in her rivals and fear among the villagers, who are ready to take lethal action into their own hands.

The Girl Who Lived Twice
David Lagercrantz
9780857056368
'What are you going to do now?' 'I will be the hunter and not the hunted.' Lisbeth Salander's mentor and protector Holger Palmgren is dead, and she has been gone from Stockholm since his funeral. All summer, Mikael Blomkvist has been plagued by the fear that Salander's enemies will come after her. He should, perhaps, be more concerned for himself. In the pocket of an unidentified homeless man, who died with the name of a Swedish government minister on his lips, the police find a list of telephone numbers. Among them, the contact for Millennium magazine and the investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist. Following the scorched trail of her twin sister Camilla to Moscow, Salander nevertheless continues to watch over her old friend. Soon Blomkvist will need her help. But first, she has an old score to settle; and fresh outrage to avenge.
 

The Man Who Saw Everything
Deborah Levy
9780241268025
In 1989 Saul Adler (a narcissistic, young historian) is hit by a car on the Abbey Road. He is apparently fine; he gets up and goes to see his art student girlfriend, Jennifer Moreau. They have sex then break up, but not before she has photographed Saul crossing the same Abbey Road. Saul leaves to study in communist East Berlin, two months before the Wall comes down. There he will encounter - significantly - both his assigned translator and his translator's sister, who swears she has seen a jaguar prowling the city. He will fall in love and brood upon his difficult, authoritarian father. And he will befriend a hippy, Rainer, who may or may not be a Stasi agent, but will certainly return to haunt him in middle age. In 2016, Saul Adler is hit by a car on the Abbey Road. He is rushed to hospital, where he spends the following days slipping in and out of consciousness, and in and out of memories of the past.
Quichotte
Salman Rushdie
9781787331914
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2019
Quichotte, an ageing travelling salesman obsessed with TV, is on a quest for love. Unfortunately, his daily diet of reality TV, sitcoms, films, soaps, comedies and dramas has distorted his ability to separate fantasy from reality. He wishes an imaginary son, Sancho, into existence, while obsessively writing love letters to a celebrity he knows only through his screen. Together the two innocents set off across America in Quichotte's trusty Chevy Cruze to find her and convince her of his love. Quichotte's story is told by Brother, a mediocre spy novelist in the midst of a midlife crisis. As the stories of Brother and Quichotte intertwine, we are taken on a wild, picaresque journey through a country on the edge of moral and spiritual collapse.

Someone We Know
Shari Lapena
9781787632134
The gripping new thriller from the No.1 bestselling author of The Couple Next Door.

It can be hard keeping secrets in a tight-knit neighbourhood. In a tranquil, leafy suburb of ordinary streets - one where everyone is polite and friendly - an anonymous note has been left at some of the houses. I'm so sorry. My son has been getting into people's houses. He's broken into yours'. Who is this boy, and what might he have uncovered? As whispers start to circulate, suspicion mounts. And when a missing local woman is found murdered, the tension reaches breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they're telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their secrets? Maybe you don't know your neighbour as well as you thought you did.

Sweet Sorrow
David Nicholls
978144471540
Sunday Times Bestseller: 'Triumph ... the sense of nostalgia is visceral and intense, almost time-bending.' The Sunday Times
On one life-changing summer 16-year-old Charlie meets Fran. In 1997, Charlie Lewis is the kind of boy you don't remember in the school photograph. His exams have not gone well. At home he is looking after his father, when surely it should be the other way round, and if he thinks about the future at all, it is with a kind of dread.
Then Fran Fisher bursts into his life and despite himself, Charlie begins to hope.
Poignant, funny, enchanting, devastating, Sweet Sorrow is a tragicomedy about the rocky path to adulthood and the confusion of family life, a celebration of the reviving power of friendship and that brief, searing explosion of first love that can only be looked at directly after it has burned out.

Knife
Jo Nesbo
9781787300767
The phenomenal twelfth instalment in Jo Nesbo’s internationally bestselling crime fiction series.
Following the dramatic conclusion of number one bestseller 'The Thirst', 'Knife' sees Harry Hole waking up with a ferocious hangover, his hands and clothes covered in blood. Not only is Harry about to come face to face with an old, deadly foe, but with his darkest personal challenge yet.

The Secret Hours
Santa Montefiore
9781471169625
‘Let the wind take me and the soft rain settle me into the Irish soil from where I came. And may my sins be forgiven.’
Arethusa Clayton has always been formidable, used to getting her own way. On her death, she leaves unexpected instructions. Instead of being buried in America, on the wealthy East Coast where she and her late husband raised their two children, Arethusa has decreed that her ashes be scattered in a remote corner of Ireland, on the hills overlooking the sea. But who were her family in Ireland and where are they now? What was the real reason that she turned away from them? And who is the mysterious benefactor of a significant share of Arethusa's estate?

Big Sky
Kate Atkinson
9780857526106
The highly anticipated return of Jackson Brodie, ex-military, ex-Cambridge Constabulary, now private investigator, 'a hero for men and women alike'. (The Times)
Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village in North Yorkshire, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son Nathan and ageing Labrador Dido, both at the discretion of his former partner Julia. It's a picturesque setting, but there's something darker lurking behind the scenes. Jackson's current job, gathering proof of an unfaithful husband for his suspicious wife, seems straightforward, but a chance encounter with a desperate man on a crumbling cliff leads him into a sinister network - and back into the path of his old friend Reggie. Old secrets and new lies intersect in this novel, both sharply funny and achingly sad, by one of the most dazzling and surprising writers at work today.

You’ll Never See Me Again
Lesley Pearse
9780718189334
When her husband returns shell-shocked and broken from the Great War and his mother makes her life a misery, Betty Wellow discovers how bitter and hard life can truly be. But it is not until a devastating storm sweeps through their small fishing village and endangers her life, that she sees her chance to escape - and takes it. Fleeing to Bristol, she changes her name to Mabel Brook and takes a position as a maid. But tragedy strikes once more after the sudden death of her mistress and she is cast back onto the streets. Penniless and alone Mabel suffers a brutal attack before being rescued by a psychic named Nora Nightingale. There she gets her first taste of those who receive messages from the dead and realises she may have this gift herself. But it isn't long before Mabel receives her own message and is forced back to the very place she has escaped.

Why Mummy Doesn’t Give a ****
Gill Sims
9780008301255
Sunday Times Top 5 chart
Mummy dreams of a quirky rural cottage with roses around the door and chatty chickens in the garden. Life, as ever, is not going quite as she planned. Paxo, Oxo and Bisto turn out to be highly rambunctious, rather than merely chatty, and the roses have jaggy thorns. Her precious moppets are now giant teenagers, and instead of wittering at her about who would win in a fight - a dragon badger or a ninja horse - they are Snapchatting the night away, stropping around the tiny cottage and communicating mainly in grunts - except when they are demanding Ellen provides taxi services in the small hours. And there is never, but never, any milk in the house. At least the one thing they can all agree on is that rescued Barry the Wolfdog may indeed be The Ugliest Dog in the World, but he is also the loveliest.

The Nanny
Gilly MacMillan
Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller – as read on Radio 4
9781780899831
Seven-year-old Jocelyn loves her nanny more than her own mother. When her nanny disappears one night, Jo never gets over the loss. How could she vanish without saying goodbye? Thirty years on, Jo is forced to return to her family home and confront her troubled relationship with her mother. When human remains are discovered in the grounds of the house, Jo begins to question everything. Then an unexpected visitor knocks at the door and Jo's world is destroyed again as, one by one, she discovers her childhood memories aren't what they seemed. What secrets was her nanny hiding - and what was she running away from? And can Jo trust what her mother tells her? Sometimes the truth hurts so much you'd rather hear the lie.

After The End
Clare MacKintosh
9780751564945
'The most moving book you'll read this year' LISA JEWELL
'Life-affirming . . . richly drawn' SUNDAY TIMES
Max and Pip are the strongest couple you know. Only now they're facing the most important decision of their lives - and they don't agree. As the consequences of an impossible choice threaten to devastate them both, nothing will ever be the same again. But anything can happen after the end.

Those Who Are Loved
Victoria Hislop
9781472223241

The gripping new novel by Sunday Times Number One bestseller Victoria Hislop is set against the backdrop of the German occupation of Greece, the subsequent civil war and a military dictatorship, all of which left deep scars.
Themis grows up during the brutal German occupation of Greece. In the subsequent Civil War, the country is polarised between Right and Left and Themis' family is bitterly divided. During the violent five-year struggle for control of the country, she fights for Communists and is seduced by the leader of her rebel band. Captured and sent to the notoriously cruel islands of exile, Makronisos and Trikeri, Themis gives birth to a son, Angelos.

This powerful new novel from Number One bestseller Victoria Hislop sheds light on the complexity and trauma of Greece's past and weaves it into the epic tale of an ordinary woman compelled to live an extraordinary life.

Blessing In Disguise
Danielle Steel
9781509877775
In Blessing in Disguise, Danielle Steel’s wise, warm-hearted novel, one of her most unforgettable characters discovers the highs and lows of being a mother to three very different daughters.

As a young intern at an art gallery in Paris, Isabelle McAvoy meets Putnam Armstrong, wealthy, gentle, older and secluded from the world. Her time at his Normandy chateau is the stuff of dreams, but when she learns she is pregnant, she knows that marriage is out of the question. Returning to New York, Isabelle enters a new relationship that she hopes will be more stable but before long she realizes she has made a terrible mistake and once again finds herself a single mother. With two young daughters Isabelle unexpectedly finds happiness and a love that gives her a third child, a baby as happy as her beloved father. And yet, life brings more change.

All That’s Dead
Stuart MacBride
Sunday Times Number One Bestseller
9780008208264

There’s a darkness in the heart of Scotland…
The stunning new Logan McRae thriller from No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller Stuart MacBride.

Inspector Logan McRae is looking forward to a nice simple case - something to ease him back into work after a year off on the sick. But the powers-that-be have other ideas. The high-profile anti-independence campaigner, Professor Wilson, has gone missing, leaving nothing but bloodstains behind. There's a war brewing between the factions for and against Scottish Nationalism. Infighting in the police ranks. And it's all playing out in the merciless glare of the media. Logan's superiors want results, and they want them now. Someone out there is trying to make a point, and they're making it in blood. If Logan can't stop them, it won't just be his career that dies.

The Doll Factory
Elizabeth MacNeil
Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller – as read on Radio 4
9781529002393
The Doll Factory is the intoxicating story of a young woman who aspires to be an artist, and the man whose obsession may destroy her world for ever.

London, 1850. The Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park and among the crowd watching the spectacle two people meet. For Iris, an aspiring artist, it is the encounter of a moment - forgotten seconds later, but for Silas, a collector entranced by the strange and beautiful, that meeting marks a new beginning. When Iris is asked to model for pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint. Suddenly her world begins to expand, to become a place of art and love. But Silas has only thought of one thing since their meeting, and his obsession is darkening.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo
Christy Lefteri
9781785768927
'This is a novel of international significance. Courageous, provocative, haunting, it will open our eyes' Heather Morris, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo - until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape. But what Afra has seen is so terrible she has gone blind, and so they must embark on a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece towards an uncertain future in Britain. On the way, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is Mustafa, his cousin and business partner, who has started an apiary and is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees. As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls.

Machines Like Me
Ian McEwan
9781787331662

'Machines Like Me' occurs in an alternative 1980s London.

Britain has lost the Falklands war, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. In a world not quite like this one, two lovers will be tested beyond their understanding. Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full-time employment, is in love with Miranda, a bright student who lives with a terrible secret. When Charlie comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first batch of synthetic humans. With Miranda's assistance, he co-designs Adam's personality. This near-perfect human is beautiful, strong and clever - a love triangle soon forms. These three beings will confront a profound moral dilemma.

A Book of Bones
John Connolly
9781473642010

The new thrilling instalment of John Connolly's popular Charlie Parker series.

On a lonely moor in the northeast of England, the body of a young woman is discovered near the site of a vanished church. In the south, a girl lies buried beneath a Saxon mound. To the southeast, the ruins of a priory hide a human skull. Each is a sacrifice, a summons. And something in the shadows has heard the call. But another is coming: Parker the hunter, the avenger. From the forests of Maine to the deserts of the Mexican border, from the canals of Amsterdam to the streets of London, he will track those who would cast this world into darkness.

The Flat Share
Beth O’Leary
Sunday Times Number One Bestseller
9781787474406

'Set to become the romcom of the year - a Sleepless In Seattle for the 21st century'
Sunday Express

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they're crazy, but it's the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy's at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time. But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly-imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven't met yet, they're about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window.
Queenie

Candice Carty-Williams
Sunday Times Bestseller
9781409180050
A darkly comic and unflinchingly raw depiction of a young woman trying to navigate her way in the world, QUEENIE is about identity, independence and carving your own path. For fans of Dolly Alderton, Bryony Gordon and Dawn O'Porter, and anyone who loved Fleabag and Dear White People.

Queenie Jenkins can't cut a break. Well, apart from the one from her long term boyfriend, Tom. That's definitely just a break though. Definitely not a break up. Then there's her boss who doesn't seem to see her and her Caribbean family who don't seem to listen (if it's not Jesus or water rates, they're not interested). She's trying to fit in two worlds that don't really understand her. It's no wonder she's struggling. She was named to be queen of everything. So why is she finding it so hard to rule her own life?

Spring
Ali Smith
9780241207048

From the bestselling author of Autumn and Winter, comes the third instalment in the remarkable, once-in-a-generation masterpiece, the Seasonal Quartet. What unites Katherine Mansfield, Charlie Chaplin, Shakespeare, Rilke, Beethoven, Brexit, the present, the past, the north, the south, the east, the west, a man mourning lost times, a woman trapped in modern times?
Spring. The great connective. The time we're living in is changing nature. Will it change the nature of story? Hope springs eternal.

18th Abduction
James Patterson
The Sunday Times No.1 Bestseller
9781780899329

When three female schoolteachers go missing in San Francisco, Sergeant Lindsay Boxer must unravel the mystery of their disappearance. But what starts as a missing person case quickly escalates to a troubling murder investigation. As pressure at work mounts, Lindsay must rely on her husband Joe to support her at home. As shocking revelations emerge, Lindsay and Joe find themselves caught up in an international crime operation unlike anything they've seen before.

Transcription
Kate Atkinson
'An unapologetic novel of ideas which is also wise, funny and paced like a thriller' Observer
9780552776653

In 1940, 18-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathisers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past for ever. Ten years later, now a producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realise that there is no action without consequence.

Newcomer
Fern Britton
Sunday Times Bestseller
9780008225216

It's springtime in the Cornish village of Pendruggan, and as the community comes together to say a fond farewell to parish vicar, Simon, and his wife, Penny, a newcomer causes quite a stir. Reverend Angela Whitehorn has come to Cornwall to make a difference. With her husband, Robert, by her side, she sets about making changes - but it seems not everyone is happy for her to shake things up in the small parish, and soon Angela starts to receive anonymous poison pen letters. Angela has always been one to fight back, and she has already brought a fresh wind into the village, supporting her female parishioners through good and bad times. But as the letters get increasingly personal, Angela learns that the biggest secrets are closest to home.

The Silent Patient
Alex Michaelides
Record breaking 2019 thriller soon to be a major film
ISBN 978-1409181613

Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet - and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can't bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain. Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word. Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia's silence goes far deeper than he first thought. And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?

Adult non-fiction

Veg
Jamie Oliver
9780718187767
Jamie Oliver is back with brilliantly easy, flavour-packed, and accessible veg recipes. From simple suppers and family favourites, to weekend dishes for sharing with friends, this book is packed full of phenomenal food - pure and simple. Whether it's embracing a meat-free day or two each week, living a vegetarian lifestyle, or just wanting to try some brilliant new flavour combinations, this book ticks all the boxes.

My name is why
Lemn Sissay
9781786892348
At the age of 17, after a childhood in a fostered family followed by six years in care homes, Norman Greenwood was given his birth certificate. He learned that his real name was not Norman. It was Lemn Sissay. He was British and Ethiopian. And he learned that his mother had been pleading for his safe return to her since his birth. This is Lemn's story; a story of neglect and determination, misfortune and hope, cruelty and triumph. Sissay reflects on a childhood in care, self-expression and Britishness, and in doing so explores the institutional care system, race, family and the meaning of home. Written with all the lyricism and power you would expect from one of the nation's best-loved poets, this moving, frank and timely memoir is the result of a life spent asking questions, and a celebration of the redemptive power of creativity.

Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames
Lara Maiklem
9781408889213

For thousands of years human beings have been losing their possessions and dumping their rubbish in the River Thames, making it the longest and most varied archaeological site in the world. For those in the know, the muddy stretches provide a tangible link with the past, a connection to the natural world, and an oasis of calm in a chaotic city. Lara Maiklem left the countryside for London in her twenties. At first enticed by the city, she soon found herself cut adrift, yearning for the solace she had known growing up among nature. Down on the banks of the River Thames, she discovered mudlarking: the act of scavenging in the mud for items discarded by past generations of Londoners. Moving from the river's tidal origins in the west of the city to the point where it reaches the sea in the east, 'Mudlarking' is the story of the Thames and its people as seen through these objects.

 

The Garden Jungle: or Gardening to Save the Planet
Dave Goulson
9781787331358
"This book will teach you a great deal about the creatures who live right outside your door and are waiting for you to get to know them. It is a constant revelation." (Sunday Times)
'The Garden Jungle' is about the wildlife that lives right under our noses, in our gardens and parks, between the gaps in the pavement, and in the soil beneath our feet. Wherever you are right now, the chances are that there are worms, woodlice, centipedes, flies, silverfish, wasps, beetles, mice, shrews and much, much more, quietly living within just a few paces of you. Dave Goulson gives us an insight into the fascinating and sometimes weird lives of these creatures, taking us burrowing into the compost heap, digging under the lawn and diving into the garden pond. He explains how our lives and ultimately the fate of humankind are inextricably intertwined with that of earwigs, bees, lacewings and hoverflies, unappreciated heroes of the natural world.

Three Women
Lisa Taddeo
9781526611635
The Number One Sunday Times and New York Times 'A book that blazes, glitters and cuts to the heart of who we are. I'm not sure that a book can do much more' SUNDAY TIMES

All Lina wanted was to be desired. How did she end up in a marriage with two children and a husband who wouldn't touch her? All Maggie wanted was to be understood. How did she end up in a relationship with her teacher and then in court, a hated pariah in her small town? All Sloane wanted was to be admired. How did she end up a sexual object of men, including her husband, who liked to watch her have sex with other men and women? Three Women is a record of unmet needs, unspoken thoughts, disappointments, hopes and unrelenting obsessions.

The Repair Shop: A Make Do and Mend Guide to Caring for the Things You Love
Karen Farrington
9781785944604
Companion guide to the BBC series, "It is my considered opinion that The Repair Shop is far and away the best programme on British television." (Stephen Fry)
'A modern masterpiece' Guardian
Which glue should you use to mend a cracked vase? How do you colour match the varnish when restoring your old desk? How can you fix a favourite armchair that's sagging, or unpick your child's beloved, tattered teddy bear? We all have items in our homes that sit about in a state of disrepair while we mull over how to fix them but never actually get round to it. Direct from the Repair Shop's 'Workshop of Dreams', this one-stop practical guide will help you repair and maintain those aging treasures and heirlooms around your house, stashed in the attic, or gathering dust in the garage.

Brief Answers To The Big Questions
Stephen Hawking
ISBN 9781473695986

The final book from one of the greatest minds in history, is a personal view on the challenges we face as a human race, and where we, as a planet, are heading next. Wide-ranging, intellectually stimulating, passionately argued, and infused with his characteristic humour.

The Planets
Andrew Cohen, Professor Brian Cox
9780007488841
‘Absolutely beautiful’ BBC One Show
Professor Brian Cox is back with another insightful and mind-blowing exploration of space. This time he shows us our solar system as we've never seen it before. We're living through an extraordinary time of exploration. A fleet of space probes are continually beaming data back to Earth. Hidden in this stream of code are startling new discoveries about the worlds we share with the Sun. We will piece together these remarkable findings to tell the greatest science story of them all - the life and times of the Solar System. What emerges is a dramatic tale of planetary siblings.

Adventures of the Yorkshire Shepherdess
Amanda Owen
9781509852673
Millions of viewers of 'Our Yorkshire Farm' watched Amanda Owen, husband Clive and their nine children share their daily lives at Ravenseat, one of the most remote hill farms in the country. It's a beautiful place, high in the Dales, and a rewarding existence close to nature. But Ravenseat is a tenant farm and may not stay in the family, so when Amanda saw a nearby farmhouse up for sale, she knew it was her chance to create roots for the next generation. The old house needed a lot of renovation and money was tight, so with her usual resourcefulness Amanda set about the work herself, with some help from a travelling monk, a visiting plumber and Clive. It's fair to say things did not go according to plan.

On Chapel Sands
Laura Cumming
9781784742478
BBC Radio Four Book of the Week

'A modern masterpiece' Guardian
Uncovering the mystery of her mother’s disappearance as a child: Laura Cumming, prize-winning author and art critic, takes a closer look at her family story.

In the autumn of 1929, a small child was kidnapped from a Lincolnshire beach. Five agonising days went by before she was found in a nearby village. The child remembered nothing of these events and nobody ever spoke of them. It was another 50 years before she even learned of the kidnap. The girl became an artist and had a daughter, art writer Laura Cumming. Cumming grew up enthralled by her mother's strange tales of life in a seaside hamlet of the 1930s, and of the secrets and lies perpetuated by a whole community. Cumming began investigating with a few criss-crossing lives in this fraction of English coast - the postman, the grocer, the elusive baker - but soon her search spread right out across the globe as she discovered just how many lives were affected by what happened that day on the beach - including her own. 'On Chapel Sands' is a book of mystery and memoir.

The World According to Harry
Harry Redknapp, Ben Dirs
9781529104905
'The World According To Harry' is my take on the important things - from what makes true team spirit and not forgetting your East End roots, to the joys of jam roly-poly and knowing how lucky I am to have met a girl like Sandra. I can't claim to be clued up on showbiz, but I'm certainly not short of a story or two. I went from causing mayhem at school to the heights of the premiership to lying in a coffin with a load of rats on national television. Life has its high points and there are always rough patches, but I'm still loving every minute. These are my lessons, laughs and legendary tales from my time in football but also as an ordinary bloke who can't even work a pressure washer properly.

Normandy ’44: A New History
James Holland
9780241399750
'A superb account of the invasion that deserves immense praise. To convey the human drama of Normandy requires great knowledge and sensitivity. Holland has both in spades' THE TIMES

Renowned World War Two historian James Holland presents an entirely new perspective on one of the most important moments in recent history. Unflinchingly examining the brutality and violence that characterised the campaign, it's time to draw some radically different conclusions. D-Day and the 76 days of bitter fighting in Normandy that followed have come to be seen as a defining episode in the Second World War. In this re-examined history, James Holland presents a broader overview, one that challenges much of what we think we know about D-Day and the Normandy campaign.

Greenfeast: Spring, Summer
Nigel Slater
9780008333355
The first in a pair of fast, season-led vegetable books from beloved author and cook Nigel Slater.
‘Much of my weekday eating contains neither meat nor fish … It is simply the way my eating has grown to be over the last few years.’

Greenfeast: spring, summer is a vibrant and joyous collection of the food Nigel eats at the end of the day. Over 110 simply beautiful spring and summer recipes, each with suggested variations, that can mostly be on the table in 30 minutes. This is perfect for people who want to eat less meat, but don’t want to compromise on flavour and ease of cooking.

Pinch of Nom: 100 Slimming, Home-Style Recipes
Kate Allinson & Kay Featherstone
The number 1 fastest selling non-fiction book in the UK
9781529014068
Slimming food has never tasted so good; the must-have first cookbook from the UK's most visited food blog.

Pinch of Nom is a slimming blog with an active and engaged online community of over 1.5 million. Sharing delicious home-style recipes with a hugely engaged online community, Pinch of Nom has helped millions of people to cook well and lose weight. This cookbook shows both novice and experienced home cooks alike how to slim down while enjoying exciting, flavourful and satisfying meals.

Hinch Yourself Happy: All The Best Cleaning Tips To Shine Your Sink and Soothe Your Soul
Mrs Hinch
Number 1 Sunday Times Bestseller
9780241399750
Discover how to transform your home. Cleaning doesn't have to be that job you dread. Not when Mrs Hinch is here to show you her sparkly ways. Mrs Hinch has taken the nation by storm with her infectiously addictive charm, clever cleaning hacks and her passionate belief in the life-changing magic of tidying. With the help of her cloth family, Mrs Hinch will help you turn your house into a home. Whether you're a daily duster or looking for a monthly makeover, 'Hinch Yourself Happy' shows you how to create not only a cleaner house, but a calmer you.

The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken
'Eye-opening, damning and hilarious' Tim Shipman, author of All Out War and Fall Out
9781509841103

'I'm a barrister, a job which requires the skills of a social worker, relationship counsellor, arm-twister, hostage negotiator, named driver, bus fare-provider, accountant, suicide watchman, coffee-supplier, surrogate parent and, on one memorable occasion, whatever the official term is for someone tasked with breaking the news to a prisoner that his girlfriend has been diagnosed with gonorrhoea.' Welcome to the world of the Secret Barrister. These are the stories of life inside the courtroom. They are sometimes funny, often moving, and ultimately horrifying.

The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read
Philippa Perry
'Hugely warm, wise, hopeful and encouraging' Alain de Botton
9780241250990

The most influential relationships are between parents and children. Yet for so many families, these relationships go can wrong and it may be difficult to get back on track. In this absorbing, clever and funny book, renowned psychotherapist Philippa Perry tells us what really matters and what behaviour it is important to avoid - the vital dos and don'ts of parenting.

This Is Going To Hurt
Adam Kay
Book of the Year at the National Book Awards
9781509858637

‘Painfully funny. The pain and the funniness somehow add up to something entirely good, entirely noble and entirely loveable.' - Stephen Fry.

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you. Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay's This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn't – about life on and off the hospital ward.

For Freddie: A Mother's Final Gift to Her Son

 

Rachael Bland
ISBN 9781789291322

 

The inspirational memoir from the founder of the 'You, Me & The Big C' podcast, Rachael Bland. Having been told that she only had a matter of months left to live and writing this in what was sadly her final days, Rachael brings her warmth, courage and humour to the page in this heart-warming and heart-breaking story. Part memoir, part advice, 'For Freddie' beautifully encapsulates the grace and fearlessness in which Rachael lived her life. This is her legacy and an incredible final gift to her son.

Becoming

 

Michelle Obama
ISBN 9780241334140

 

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory.

Children's books

Top Marks For Murder
Robin Stevens
9780241348383
Suitable for 9 – 11 years

'This is that rare thing - a series that gets better with each book' Telegraph

Daisy and Hazel are finally back at Deepdean, and the school is preparing for a most exciting event: the fiftieth Anniversary. Plans for a weekend of celebrations are in full swing. But all is not well, for in the detectives' long absence, Deepdean has changed. Daisy has lost her crown to a fascinating new girl - and many of the Detective Society's old allies are now their sworn enemies. Then the girls witness a shocking incident in the woods close by - a crime that they're sure is linked to the Anniversary. As parents descend upon Deepdean, decades-old grudges, rivalries and secrets begin to surface, and soon Deepdean's future is at stake. Can the girls solve the case - and save their home?

The 117-Storey Treehouse
Andy Griffiths
9781509885275

Suitable for ages 7 - 9
There are lots of laughs at every level in The 117-Storey Treehouse, the ninth book in the number one bestselling Treehouse series from Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton.
Andy and Terry have added another thirteen levels of crazy fun to their every-growing treehouse. They've got a tiny-horse level, a pyjama-party room, an Underpants Museum and Treehouse Information Centre! But Andy and Terry have found themselves running from the Story Police and the only way to escape, is through the terrifying Door of Doom!
Join the adventure that inspired the World Book Day bestseller, Terry's Dumb Dot Story in this laugh-out-loud story told through a combination of text and fantastic cartoon-style illustrations. With 117 amazing levels to discover in the Treehouse series, what are you waiting for? Come on up!
 

I Need A New Bum!
Dawn McMillan
9781407196015

Suitable for ages 0 - 5
The book behind the viral internet sensation of "The Scottish Granny" reading this story to her grandchild.

A young boy suddenly notices a big problem - his bum has a huge crack! So he sets off to find a new one. Will he choose an armor-plated bum? A rocket bum? A robot bum? Find out in this silly, quirky tale with hilarious illustrations. Children and parents will love this book - no ifs, ands, or butts about it! "I can assure you right now that your kids will love this book. They will giggle, they will laugh, and they will want this book to be read over and over again because it is just plain silly and funny ... the perfect kid-combo." Storywraps

 

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
Holly Jackson
9781405293181
Suitable for Teens 14+

A 2019 WH Smith Thumping Good Read selection.

Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it. But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the crime, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn't so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?

A Girl Called Owl
Amy Wilson
9781509832460
Suitable for ages 9 - 11

It's bad enough having a mum dippy enough to name you Owl, but when you've got a dad you've never met, a best friend who needs you more than ever, and a new boy at school giving you weird looks, there's not a lot of room for much else. So when Owl starts seeing strange frost patterns on her skin, she's tempted to just burrow down under the duvet and forget all about it. Could her strange new powers be linked to her mysterious father? And what will happen when she enters the magical world of winter for the first time?

Oi Duck-Billed Platypus!
Kes Gray
9781444937336
Picture book suitable for ages 0 - 5
The latest book in the Oi Frog! series sees the return of our favourite characters who are cheeky, adorable and ever so clever. Kes Gray and Jim Field's creation is more than a fantastically funny story - it's a book that will encourage talk, play, rhyme and laughter for everyone in the family. Younger readers will love hearing the story and older ones will enjoy the challenge of trickier vocabulary in the book. (BookTrust)

Oi! Where are duck-billed platypuses meant to sit? And Kookaburras and hippopotamuses and all the other animals with impossible to rhyme with names. Over to you Frog! The laughter never ends with Oi Frog and Friends. Originally published: 2018

How To Train Your Dragon
Cressida Cowell
9780340999073
Suitable for ages 9+

Cressida Cowell has been named the new Children’s Laureate so we think it is a good time to remind you how to train your dragon – the right way!
Hiccup Haddock Horrendous III was a truly extraordinary Viking hero. The warrior chieftain and awesome sword fighter was known as 'the Dragon Whisperer', on account of his power over these terrifying beasts. But it wasn't always like that, and this is the story of his rise to fame, in his own words.
One

Sarah Crossnan
9781408827215
Winner of the Cilip Carnegie Award and YA Book Prize

Suitable for ages 12+

Grace and Tippi are twins - conjoined twins. And their lives are about to change. No longer able to afford homeschooling, they must venture into the world - a world of stares, sneers and cruelty. But can they find more than that at school? Can they find real friends? And what about love? Just as Tippi and Grace have begun to live like normal teenagers, Grace gets sick, so sick separation might be the only option left open to them. But separation could mean spending the rest of their lives in wheelchairs. Separation could mean death. And whatever happens, it means being torn apart.

Counting on Katherine
Helaine Becker
9781529005592
Meet the amazing woman who put astronauts on the moon! Katherine Johnson is the mathematical genius who not only helped make the historic moon landings possible, but also made sure that all the astronauts returned safely home when the mission was in critical danger. As a child, Katherine loved to count. She counted the steps on the road, the number of dishes and spoons she washed in the kitchen sink, everything! Boundless, curious, and excited by calculations, young Katherine longed to know as much as she could about maths, about the universe.

Bedlam
Derek Landy
9780008293666
Suitable for 11+ / Teenage

The 12th explosive novel in the internationally bestselling Skulduggery Pleasant series, BEDLAM will blow your mind – and change everything…
On a desperate journey to recover her sister's lost soul, Valkyrie Cain goes up against the High Sanctuary itself, and there's nothing Skulduggery Pleasant can do to stop her. With Abyssinia's grand plan about to kick off in a night of magic, terror, and bloodshed, it falls to Omen Darkly to save the lives of thousands of innocent people. And as the madness unfolds around him, as hidden enemies step into the light, and as Valkyrie is sucked into a desperate, lawless quest of her own, he has no choice but to become the hero he never really wanted to be - or die in the attempt.

Head Kid
David Baddiel
9780008200565

From the bestselling author of THE PARENT AGENCY and BIRTHDAY BOY comes a wildly entertaining wish-fulfilment adventure that asks the question: what would happen if the strictest head teacher swapped bodies with the naughtiest kid in school?
Bracket Wood is about to be visited by the school inspectors. But there's one big problem: Ryan Ward. The maestro of practical jokes, Ryan has played so many tricks that in the end the Head Teacher just walks out. And then the new Head Teacher, Mr Carter, arrives. A man so strict even the teachers are scared of him. So imagine his surprise - and Ryan's - when they swap bodies. Now Ryan is Head Teacher - and his mortal enemy is one of his pupils. It's every naughty kid's dream! But soon Bracket Wood School is in a total mess - and only its worst ever pupil can fix it.

The Tiger Who Came To Tea
Judith Kerr
9780007215997

From the much loved Judith Kerr, this well-loved children's book tells the story of Sophie and - a tiger. The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her Mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don't expect to see at the door is a big furry, stripy tiger!

Viper: Book 1 Isles of Storm and Sorry
Bex Hogan
9781510105836
Suitable for Teenage 14+

Marianne has been training to be the Viper for her entire life - to serve and protect the King and the citizens of The Twelve Isles - but to become the Viper and protect the islands she loves she must find the strength to defeat her father. An immersive and swashbuckling new fantasy trilogy perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas and Leigh Bardugo.A brave heroine. An impossible dilemma. An epic new fantasy trilogy set on the high seas.

Dancing The Charleston
Jacqueline Wilson
9780857535191

A new sparkling and glamorous novel from the beloved, bestselling children’s author, Jacqueline Wilson!

Mona and her aunt live in a little cottage on the edge of the Somerset estate, where her aunt sews wonderful dresses for the lady of the house. Mona never knew her mother or father, but Aunty has always looked after her - and Mona knows she can always talk to her mum where she lies in the village graveyard. When Lady Somerset dies and a new member of the Somerset family inherits the house, things begin to change for Mona. She has never really fitted in anywhere, but the new Bohemian atmosphere at the house offers opportunities for her to shine - and to find new friends. Dancing at fancy Sea Creature balls and trips to London are wonderful new experiences - but new experiences sometimes bring revelations and Mona discovers there are secrets in her past she can't dance away from.

The Girl, The Bear and the Magic Shoes
Julia Donaldson
9781447275985

A glittering magical adventure about a girl, a bear and some very special shoes from the bestselling creators of What the Ladybird Heard and Sugarlump and the Unicorn.
When Josephine leaves the shoe shop after buying some lovely new running shoes, she hears an unusual sound - Click-click! Click-click! - what's that following her? Quick, it's a bear! Luckily for Josephine, her new shoes are anything but ordinary - these are magic shoes - but can they help her escape the bear with a mountain, a bog and even a lake in her way?

The Boy at the Back of the Class
Onjali Q. Rauf
Winner of both the Blue Peter Award and Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019
9781510105010

Told with heart and humour, The Boy at the Back of the Class is a child's perspective on the refugee crisis, highlighting the importance of friendship and kindness in a world that doesn't always make sense.

There used to be an empty chair at the back of my class, but now a new boy called Ahmet is sitting in it. He's nine years old (just like me), but he's very strange. He never talks and never smiles and doesn't like sweets - not even lemon sherbets, which are my favourite! But the truth is, Ahmet really isn't very strange at all. He's a refugee who's run away from a war. A real one. With bombs and fires and bullies that hurt people. And the more I find out about him, the more I want to be his friend. That's where my best friends Josie, Michael and Tom come in. Because you see, together we've come up with a plan.

Tom Gates: Biscuits Bands and Very Big Plans
Liz Pinchon
9781407189307

The bestselling fully-illustrated Tom Gates series is back! This book is VERY important because it contains BISCUITS, BANDS and all the (doodled) plans to make DogZombies the BEST band in the world.

You Are Awesome
Matthew Syed
9781526361158
If you believe you can't do something, the chances are you won't try. But what if you really could get better at maths, or sport or exams? In fact, what if you could excel at anything you put your mind to? 'You Are Awesome' can help you do just that, inspiring and empowering young readers to find the confidence to realise their potential.

Fing
David Walliams, Illustrator Tony Ross
An Explosively Funny Tale’
ISBN 9780008342579

Myrtle Meek has everything she could possibly want. But everything isn't enough. She wants more, more, more! When Myrtle declares she wants a fing, there's only one problem. What is a fing? Mr and Mrs Meek will do anything to keep their darling daughter happy, even visit the spooky library vaults to delve into the dusty pages of the mysterious Monsterpedia. Their desperate quest leads to the depths of the jungliest jungle where the rarest creatures can be found. But will they ever find a fing?

The Ice Monster
David Walliams
ISBN 9780008164690

Something for the children at Christmas… from the number 1 bestselling children’s author David Walliams latest book brings us the tale of a ten year old orphan and a 10,000 year old woolly mammoth. A chance encounter brings Elsie face to face with the creature, and sparks the adventure of a lifetime - from London to the heart of the Arctic!

The Meltdown   
Jeff Kinney
ISBN 9780241321980

Perfect for cold, snowy days the latest instalment of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid will keep your children laughing. Suitable for ages 7 – 11.

When snow shuts down Greg Heffley's middle school, his neighbourhood transforms into a wintry battlefield. Rival groups fight over territory, build massive snow forts, and stage epic snowball fights. And in the crosshairs are Greg and his trusty best friend, Rowley Jefferson. It's a fight for survival as Greg and Rowley navigate alliances, betrayals, and warring gangs in a neighbourhood meltdown. When the snow clears, will Greg and Rowley emerge as heroes? Or will they even survive to see another day?

eBooks

The Other Half of Augusta Hope
Joanna Glen
eBook
This is a story for anyone who has ever felt like they don’t fit in.

Augusta Hope has never felt like she fits in. And she's right - she doesn't. At six, she's memorising the dictionary. At seven, she's correcting her teachers. At eight, she spins the globe and picks her favourite country on the sound of its name: Burundi. And now that she's an adult, Augusta has no interest in the goings-on of the small town where she lives with her parents and her beloved twin sister, Julia. When an unspeakable tragedy upends everything in Augusta's life, she's propelled headfirst into the unknown. She's determined to find where she belongs - but what if her true home, and heart, are half a world away?

The Binding
Bridget Collins
Sunday Times Bestseller
eBook
‘Utterly brilliant’ Joanna Cannon
‘Truly spellbinding’ Guardian
‘Pure magic’ Erin Kelly
‘A real treat’ The Times


Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice - but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse. He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there's something you want to forget, he can help. If there's something you need to erase, he can assist. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible. In a vault under his mentor's workshop, row upon row of books - and memories - are meticulously stored and recorded.Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it.

Dreams From My Father
Barack Obama
Sunday Times Number One Bestseller
eBook & eAudiobook

Before Barack Obama became US President, he was, among other things, a writer. Dreams from My Father is a masterpiece: a refreshing, revealing portrait of a young man asking the big questions about identity and belonging. The son of a black African father and a white American mother, Obama recounts an emotional odyssey. He retraces the migration of his mother's family from Kansas to Hawaii, then to his childhood home in Indonesia. Finally he travels to Kenya, where he confronts the bitter truth of his father's life and at last reconciles his divided inheritance.

Never Greener
Ruth Jones
Sunday Times Number One Bestseller
eBook & eAudiobook

Overdrive: 'Ruth Jones is excellent on human nature and why we make the mistakes we do. I felt for every character. Unputdownable.' Jojo Moyes
In her unmissable debut, actress and screenwriter Ruth Jones shows us the dangers of trying to recapture that which was once lost and failing to realise the beauty of what we already have.
'We spend most of our lives wishing we were somewhere else or someone else, or looking forward or harping back. Always thinking the grass is greener on the other side. But it never is. It's still grass. Just a different patch of it, that's all.'
The past has a habit of tracking us down. And tripping us up.

 

Sophia Khan Is Not Obliged
Ayisha Malik
Selected title for CityRead London 2019
eBook

Overdrive: Join fellow Londoners and go digital during the eighth annual month-long celebration of reading. During the month of May, enjoy the romantic comedy Sofia Khan is Not Obliged with no waitlist.

The Muslim Bridget Jones - the hilarious romantic comedy from the writer behind Nadiya Hussain's bestselling The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters.

Sofia Khan is single once more, after her sort-of-boyfriend proves just a little too close to his parents. And she'd be happy that way too, if her boss hadn't asked her to write a book about the weird and wonderful world of Muslim dating. Of course, even though she definitely isn't looking for love, to write the book she does need to do a little research . . .

Homes
Abu Bakr al Rabeeah
eBook

Overdrive: Big Library Read title
In 2010, the al Rabeeah family left their home in Iraq in hope of a safer life. They moved to Homs, in Syria – just before the Syrian civil war broke out. Abu Bakr, one of eight children, was ten years old when the violence began on the streets around him: car bombings, attacks on his mosque and school, firebombs late at night. Homes tells of the strange juxtapositions of growing up in a war zone: horrific, unimaginable events punctuated by normalcy – soccer, cousins, video games, friends. Homes is the remarkable true story of how a young boy emerged from a war zone – and found safety in Canada – with a passion for sharing his story and telling the world what is truly happening in Syria. As told to her by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah, writer Winnie Yeung has crafted a heartbreaking, hopeful, and urgently necessary book that provides a window into understanding Syria.

Lonely Planet
eMagazine – RB Digital – free with your library membership

Feed your love of travel with award-winning Lonely Planet Traveller. Inside you'll find topical ideas for easy inspirational weekend breaks and more adventurous experiences to try out, helped by the insider knowledge of Lonely Planet's many experts around the world.

Milkman
Anna Burns
eBook
Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2018

'Milkman is extraordinary. I've been reading passages aloud for the pleasure of hearing it. It's frightening, hilarious, wily and joyous all at the same time.' - Lisa McInerney, author of The Glorious Heresies.

In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes 'interesting'. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous. Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.

Three things About Elsie
Joanna Cannon
e-book
A Richard and Judy Book Club Pick. ‘Lovely, lovely, lovely… Sue Townsend meets Kate Atkinson meets Nina Stibbe’ MARIAN KEYES.