In January of 1497, Fray Augustin Leyre, a Dominican Inquisitor and expert on the interpretation of secret messages, is sent to supervise Leonardo Da Vinci’s last touches to “The Last Supper” painting. He was sent by Alejandro VI who had heard that Da Vinci was painting the twelve apostles without their halo of sanctity, that the chalice was missing, and that Leonardo had painted himself in the painting with his back to Jesus. This could have sent him to the inquisition. Why then did he do this? Was Leonardo Da Vinci a heretic? Full of misleading facts and controversies, “The Secret Supper” reveals the truth behind Da Vinci’s best-known Christian piece. After finishing this novel, you’ll never see “The Last Supper” in the same way again.
Jill Paton Walsh - Knowledge of Angels
It is, perhaps, the fifteenth century and the ordered tranquillity of a Mediterranean island is about to be shattered by the appearance of two outsiders: one, a castaway, plucked from the sea by fishermen, whose beliefs represent a challenge to the established order; the other, a child abandoned by her mother and suckled by wolves, who knows nothing of the precarious relationship between Church and State but whose innocence will become the subject of a dangerous experiment. But the arrival of the Inquisition on the island creates a darker, more threatening force which will transform what has been a philosophical game of chess into a matter of life and death...
Terry Goodkind - Naked Empire
""You knew they were there, didn't you?" Kahlan asked in a hushed tone as she leaned closer." "Against the darkening sky, she could just make out the shapes of three black-tipped races taking to wing, beginning their nightly hunt. That was why he'd stopped. That was what he'd been watching as the rest of them waited in uneasy silence." ""Yes," Richard said. He gestured over his shoulder without turning to look. "There are two more, back there."" "Kahlan briefly scanned the dark jumble of rock, but she didn't see any others." "Lightly grasping the silver pommel with two fingers, Richard lifted his sword a few inches, checking that it was clear in its scabbard. A last fleeting glimmer of amber light played across his golden cape as he let the sword drop back in place. In the gathering gloom of dusk, his familiar tall, powerful contour seemed as if it were no more than an apparition made of shadows." "Just then, two more of the huge birds shot by right overhead. One, wings stretched wide, let out a piercing scream as it banked into a tight gliding turn, circling once more in assessment of the five people below before stroking its powerful wings to catch its departing comrades in their swift journey west." This night they would find ample food.
Terrance Dicks - The Mysterious Planet
The TARDIS has been taken out of time and the Doctor has been brought before a court of his fellow Time Lords. There the sinister Valeyard accuses the Doctor of breaking Gallifrey's most important law and interfering in the affairs of other planets. If the Valeyard can prove him guilty, the Doctor must sacrifice his remaining regenerations. To prove his case the Valeyard focuses on an adventure set in the Doctor's past. It is an adventure set on the planet Ravolox, a seemingly primitive world but one which the Doctor and Peri find strangely familiar...
Mary Stewart - This Rough Magic
When Lucy Waring came to Corfu to visit her sister Phyllida Forli, she was elated to discover that the castello above their villa had been rented to Sir Julian Gale. A very minor cog in the London theatre, Lucy not unnaturally felt something close to reverence for Sir Julian, one of the brilliant lights of England's theatrical world. But any hope of meeting him was quickly dashed by Phyl, who indicated, with uncharacteristic vagueness, that not all was well with the great man and that his composer son, Max, discouraged visitors, particularly strangers . . . Lucy encounted Max Gale the first morning of her arrival—and a tempestuous meeting it was. For Lucy had made friends with an enchanting dolphin by whom she had first been thoroughly frightened then completely captivated. It was when she was sunning on the rocks above the cove that the shots came, and the only person in view was Max Gale . . . Thus begins a series of mystifying and thoroughly frightening events which tinge the otherwise sparkling setting of Corfu with the dark hues of violence. In every way This Rough Magic measures up to its predecessors—in spirited characterization, vivid description, glowing romance and unrelenting excitement. This is storytelling at its best. —jacket William Morrow edition, 1964
Jodi Picoult - Salem Falls
When Jack St. Bride arrives in the small town of Salem Falls, all he wants is to escape his past. He's spent the last eight months in jail, after being falsely accused of having an affair with an underage student at the school where he taught. In Salem Falls, he gets a job as a dishwasher at a local diner and tentatively begins a romance with the diner's owner, Addie, who is still mourning the death of her young daughter, born after Addie was raped in high school by three drunk boys. As she and Jack fall in love, they both see hope for the future. But their newfound love is threatened when the residents of Salem Falls learn of Jack's conviction and begin harassing him. When, predictably, a teenage girl accuses Jack of raping her, he finds himself back in jail, fighting a serious charge and the town's prejudice. Addie wrestles with her doubts and memories of her own rape, but she believes in Jack and goes on a quest of her own to find out the truth about Jack's initial conviction, even as the Salem Falls trial opens.
Eva Ibbotson - The Dragonfly Pool
Tally Hamilton is furious to hear she is being sent from London to a horrid, stuffy boarding school in the countryside. And all because of the stupid war. But Delderton Hall is a far more" "unusual and " interesting" place than Tally ever imagined, and she soon falls in love with its eccentric staff and pupils. Now she's even organizing an exciting school trip to the kingdom of Bergania . . . although Tally never expected to meet the "prince." Prince Karil hates his life at the palace and he is only truly happy when he escapes to the dragonfly pool, a remote spot in the forests of Bergania. Then Karil meets a feisty English girl who brings the promise of adventure. But his country is under threat, and the prince soon looks to his new friend Tally for survival as well as friendship . . .
Patrick Süskind - Perfume
An acclaimed bestseller and international sensation, Patrick Suskind's classic novel provokes a terrifying examination of what happens when one man's indulgence in his greatest passion-his sense of smell-leads to murder. In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift-an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs. But Grenouille's genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there, and he becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of objects such as brass doorknobs and frest-cut wood. Then one day he catches a hint of a scent that will drive him on an ever-more-terrifying quest to create the "ultimate perfume"-the scent of a beautiful young virgin. Told with dazzling narrative brillance, Perfume is a hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity.
Alexandra Adornetto - Ghost House
From the New York Times bestselling author of Halo comes the start of a beautiful and powerful new series. After the loss of her mother, Chloe Kennedy starts seeing the ghosts that haunted her as a young girl again. Spending time at her grandmother's country estate in the south of England is her chance to get away from her grief and the spirits that haunt her. Until she meets a mysterious stranger… Alexander Reade is 157 years dead, with secrets darker than the lake surrounding Grange Hall and a lifelike presence that draws Chloe more strongly than any ghost before. But the bond between them awakens the vengeful spirit of Alexander's past love, Isobel. And she will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who threatens to take him from her. To stop Isobel, Chloe must push her developing abilities to their most dangerous limits, even if it means losing Alex forever… and giving the hungry dead a chance to claim her for their own.
Jillian Stone - A Private Duel with Agent Gunn
She was everything he remembered, only more so. Cunning, reclusive Yard man Phineas Gunn is as skilled at capturing surly criminals as he is at charming beautiful women. But the dashing agent’s latest assignment is really testing his mettle. Officially, he’s investigating beguiling prima ballerina Catriona de Dovia Willoughby, a suspected anarchist. Unofficially, his attraction to his devilish former flame is hotter than ever. Unsure whether to trust the enigmatic lover who betrayed her once, Cate nevertheless enlists Finn’s help to recover some priceless family jewels. Their pursuit erupts into a cross-continental adventure that begins with a double cross and crackles with secrets, lies, and sexual tension. The crime is clear—breaking and entering each other’s hearts—but as the clock ticks down, who will be the first to surrender?
Anne Rice - Prince Lestat
A stunning departure, a surprising and compelling return…From Anne Rice, perennial best seller, single-handed reinventor of the vampire cosmology--a new, exhilarating novel, a deepening of her vampire mythology, and a chillingly hypnotic mystery-thriller. "What can we do but reach for the embrace that must now contain both heaven and hell: our doom again and again and again…" --from The Vampire Lestat Rice once again summons up the irresistible spirit-world of the oldest and most powerful forces of the night, invisible beings unleashed on an unsuspecting world able to take blood from humans, in a long-awaited return to the extraordinary world of the Vampire Chronicles and the uniquely seductive Queen of the Damned ("mesmerizing" --San Francisco Chronicle), a long-awaited novel that picks up where The Vampire Lestat ("brilliant…its undead characters are utterly alive" --New York Times) left off more than a quarter of a century ago to create an extraordinary new world of spirits and forces--the characters, legend, and lore of all the Vampire Chronicles. The novel opens with the vampire world in crisis…vampires have been proliferating out of control; burnings have commenced all over the world, huge massacres similar to those carried out by Akasha in The Queen of the Damned…Old vampires, roused from slumber in the earth are doing the bidding of a Voice commanding that they indiscriminately burn vampire-mavericks in cities from Paris and Mumbai to Hong Kong, Kyoto, and San Francisco. As the novel moves from present-day New York and the West Coast to ancient Egypt, fourth century Carthage, 14th-century Rome, the Venice of the Renaissance, the worlds and beings of all the Vampire Chronicles-Louis de Pointe du Lac; the eternally young Armand, whose face is that of a Boticelli angel; Mekare and Maharet, Pandora and Flavius; David Talbot, vampire and ultimate fixer from the secret Talamasca; and Marius, the true Child of the Millennia; along with all the other new seductive, supernatural creatures-come together in this large, luxuriant, fiercely ambitious novel to ultimately rise up and seek out who-or what-the Voice is, and to discover the secret of what it desires and why… And, at the book's center, the seemingly absent, curiously missing hero-wanderer, the dazzling, dangerous rebel-outlaw--the great hope of the Undead, the dazzling Prince Lestat…
Dan Brown - The Lost Symbol
The most anticipated publication of the decade, The Lost Symbol is the stunning new thriller featuring Robert Langdon. Six years in the writing, it is Dan Brown's extraordinary sequel to his internationally bestselling Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code. Nothing is ever what it first appears in a Dan Brown novel. Set over a breathtaking 12 hour time span, the book's narrative takes the reader on an exhilarating journey through a masterful and unexpected landscape as Professor of Symbology, Robert Langdon, is once again called into action.
Nick Hornby - About a Boy (Penguin Readers)
'How cool was Will Freeman?' Too cool! At thirty-six, he's as hip as a teenager. He's single, child-free, goes to the right clubs and knows which trainers to wear. He's also found a great way to score with women: attend single parents' groups full of available (and grateful) mothers, all hoping to meet a Nice Guy.
Jessica Sorensen - Seth & Greyson
After being betrayed by someone he thought he loved, Seth leaves for college hoping to get a new start. But leaving his past behind is more complicated than he expected, and underneath his upbeat attitude, Seth struggles with opening up to people. Then he meets Greyson. Seth is instantly drawn to Greyson and his sweet and charming personality. But even though he feels a strong connection with Greyson, Seth’s still hesitant to open his heart to love. With the help of his best friend Callie, Seth realizes he needs to overcome his fear of commitment. But will he be able to finally admit how he truly feels about Greyson?
Irwin Shaw - The Young Lions
The Young Lions is a vivid and classic novel that portrays the experiences of ordinary soldiers fighting World War II. Told from the points of view of a perceptive young Nazi, a jaded American film producer, and a shy Jewish boy just married to the love of his life, Shaw conveys, as no other novelist has since, the scope, confusion, and complexity of war.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón - The Shadow of the Wind
Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'cemetery of lost books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out LA SOMBRA DEL VIENTO by Julian Carax. But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from LA SOMBRA DEL VIENTO, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax's work in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind. A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love, and the places that obsession can lead.
Khaled Hosseini - The Kite Runner
Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the approval of his father and resolves to win the local kite-fighting tournament, to prove that he has the makings of a man. His loyal friend Hassan promises to help him - for he always helps Amir - but this is 1970s Afghanistan and Hassan is merely a low-caste servant who is jeered at in the street, although Amir still feels jealous of his natural courage and the place he holds in his father's heart. But neither of the boys could foresee what would happen to Hassan on the afternoon of the tournament, which was to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return, to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption.
Andrew Lane - Red Leech
The world's most famous detective. The most brilliant mind in fiction. But before he became the great detective, who was young Sherlock Holmes? Sherlock knows that Amyus Crow, his mysterious American tutor, has some dark secrets. But he didn't expect to find a notorious killer, hanged by the US government, apparently alive and well in Surrey – and Crow somehow mixed up in it. When no one will tell you the truth, sometimes you have to risk all to discover it for yourself. And so begins an adventure that will take Sherlock across the ocean to America, to the centre of a deadly web – where life and death are cheap, and truth has a price no sane person would pay...
Elizabeth Noble - Things I Want My Daughters to Know
How do you cope in a world without your mother? When Barbara realizes time is running out, she writes letters to her four daughters, aware they'll be facing the trials and triumphs of life without her at their side. But how can she leave them when they still have so much growing up to do? Take Lisa, in her mid-thirties but incapable of making a commitment; or Jennifer, trapped in a stale marriage and buttoned up so tight she could burst. While twenty something Amanda is the traveler, always distanced from the rest of the family. And Hannah. A teenage girl on the verge of womanhood, about to be parted from the mother she adores.But by drawing on the wisdom in Barbara's letters, the girls might just find a way to cope with her loss. And in coming to terms with their bereavement, can they also set themselves free to enjoy life with all the passion and love each deserves? The bestselling Elizabeth Noble returns with a tale of families, friends ...and the glorious, endless possibilities of life.
Gregory Maguire - Wicked
When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil? Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. "Wicked" is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to be the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.
James T. Farrell - Studs Lonigan - The Young Manhood of Studs Lonigan
Collected here in one volume is James T. Farrell's renowned trilogy of the youth, early manhood, and death of Studs Lonigan: Young Lonigan, The Young Manhood of Studs Lonigan, and Judgment Day. In this relentlessly naturalistic portrait, Studs starts out his life full of vigor and ambition, qualities that are crushed by the Chicago youth's limited social and economic environment. Studs's swaggering and vicious comrades, his narrow family, and his educational and religious background lead him to a life of futile dissipation. Ann Douglas provides an illuminating introductory essay to Farrell's masterpiece, one of the greatest novels of American literature.