Don Tillman is a socially challenged genetics professor who’s decided the time has come to find a wife. His questionnaire is intended to weed out anyone who’s unsuitable. The trouble is, Don has rather high standards and doesn’t really do flexible so, despite lots of takers – he looks like Gregory Peck – he’s not having much success in identifying The One.
When Rosie Jarman comes to his office, Don assumes it’s to apply for the Wife Project – and duly discounts her on the grounds she smokes, drinks, doesn’t eat meat, and is incapable of punctuality. However, Rosie has no interest in becoming Mrs Tillman and is actually there to enlist Don’s assistance in a professional capacity: to help her find her biological father.
Sometimes, though, you don’t find love: love finds you…
Helen Fielding - Cause Celeb
Disillusioned by her glitzy life in London and her desirable but cruel TV-presenter boyfriend, Rosie Richardson chucks it all in and spends four years running a refugee camp in Africa. Then famine strikes in a nearby province and an influx of starving refugees threatens to overwhelm the camp. Frustrated by the cautious response of the aid agencies, Rosie decides on a drastic short-term solution. She returns to London, breaks back into the celebrity circuit and brings the celebs out to Africa for a star-studded TV emergency appeal.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón - The Prisoner of Heaven
The Prisoner of Heaven returns to the world of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and the Sempere & Sons bookshop. It begins just before Christmas in Barcelona in 1957, one year after Daniel and Bea from The Shadow of the Wind have married. They now have a son, Julian, and are living with Daniel's father at Sempere & Sons. Fermin still works with them and is busy preparing for his wedding to Bernarda in the New Year. However something appears to be bothering him. Daniel is alone in the shop one morning when a mysterious figure with a pronounced limp enters. He spots one of their most precious volumes that is kept locked in a glass cabinet, a beautiful and unique illustrated edition of The Count of Monte Cristo. Despite the fact that the stranger seems to care little for books, he wants to buy this expensive edition. Then, to Daniel's surprise, the man inscribes the book with the words 'To Fermin Romero de Torres, who came back from the dead and who holds the key to the future'. This visit leads back to a story of imprisonment, betrayal and the return of a deadly rival...
Yann Martel - Life of Pi
After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, one solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific.The crew of the surviving vessel consists of a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan, a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger and Pi - a 16-year-old Indian boy.The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary pieces of literary fiction of recent years. Yann Martel's Life of Pi is a transformative novel, a dazzling work of imagination that will delight and astound readers in equal measure. It is a triumph of storytelling and a tale that will, as one character puts it, make you believe in God.
Audrey Niffenegger - The Time Traveler's Wife
A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger's cinematic storytelling that makes the novel's unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant. An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler's Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come.
Joanne Harris - Blackberry Wine
Everyday magic, he called it - the transformation of base matter into the stuff of dreams, layman's alchemy. Jay Mackintosh is trapped by memory in the old familiar landscapes of his childhood, more enticing than the present, and to which he longs to return. A bottle of home-brewed wine left to him by a long-vanished friend seems to provide both the key to an old mystery and a doorway into another world. As the unusual properties of the strange brew take effect, Jay escapes to a derelict farmhouse in the French village of Lansquenet, where a ghost from the past waits to confront him, and the reclusive Marise - haunted, lovely and dangerous - hides a terrible secret behind her closed shutters. Between them, a mysterious chemistry. Or could it be magic?
Cecelia Ahern - The Gift
What's your Christmas wish? For Lou Suffern it's time. An extremely successful business man, Lou always has to be two places at one time, though usually it's at the office and not at home with his doting wife and two young children. When Lou gets closer to a promotion at work his home life starts to really unravel, and as the holidays draw closer he begins to resemble Ebenezer Scrooge. Enter Gabe, a homeless man Lou buys coffee for one day. Inspired by his own random act of kindness, Lou goes one step further and lands Gabe a job in the mail room of his company. But when Gabe begins to meddle in Lou's life, Lou quickly begins to regret his hasty good deed. Gabe seems to know more about Lou than Lou does about himself, and, more importantly, how does Gabe always seem to be two places at once? As Christmas draws closer, Gabe is able to make Lou finally understand the gift of time and discover what's truly important in life. But can he help him fix what's broken before it's too late?
Cecelia Ahern - P.S. I Love You
Some people wait their whole lives to find their soul mates. But not Holly and Gerry. They were childhood sweethearts - no one could imagine Holly and Gerry without each other. Until the unthinkable happens. Gerry's death devastates Holly. But as her 30th birthday looms Holly discovers that Gerry has left her a bundle of notes, gently guiding her into her new life without him, each signed 'PS, I Love You'. With some help from her friends, and her noisy and loving family, Holly finds herself laughing, crying, singing, dancing - and being braver than ever before. Life is for living, she realises - but it always helps if there's an angel watching over you.
John Green - Looking For Alaska
Winner of the Michael L. Printz Award An ALA Best Book for Young Adults An ALA Quick Pick A Los Angeles Times 2005 Book Prize Finalist A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age A 2005 Booklist Editor's Choice A 2005 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave "the Great Perhaps" even more (François Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then... After. Nothing is ever the same.
John Green - An Abundance of Katherines
19 Katherines and counting... When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.
John Grogan - Marley & Me
John and Jenny were young and deeply in love, with a perfect little house and not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow furball of a puppy. Life would never be the same. Marley quickly grew into an uncontrollable ninety-seven pound steamroller of a Labrador retriever. Expelled from obedience school, even the tranquilisers prescribed by the vet couldn't stop him. Yet throught the caos and the hilarity he won hearts and remained a steadfast model of devotion to his family, even when they were at ther wits' end. Unconditional love, they would learn, comes in many forms.
J. K. Rowling - The Casual Vacancy
When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils... Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Here is a small fact: You are going to die. 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier. Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall. Some important information: This novel is narrated by Death. It's a small story, about: a girl an accordionist some fanatical Germans a Jewish fist fighter and quite a lot of thievery. Another thing you should know: Death will visit the book thief three times...
Iain Pears - The Portrait
This is a dark and disturbing novel of suspense, set at the turn of the 20th century, by the bestselling author of _An Instance of the Fingerpost._ The windswept isle of Houat, off the coast of Brittany, is no picturesque artists' colony. At the turn of the twentieth century, life is harsh and rustic. So why did Henry MacAlpine forsake London - where he had been feted by critics and gallery owners, his works exhibited alongside the likes of Cezanne and Van Gogh - to make his home in this remote outpost? The truth begins to emerge when, four years into his exile, MacAlpine receives his first visitor. Influential art critic William Naysmith has come to the island to sit for a portrait. Over the course of the sitting, the power balance between the two men shifts dramatically as the critic whose pen could anoint or destroy careers becomes a passive subject. And as the painter struggles to capture Nasmith's true character on canvas, a story unfolds... _The Portrait_ is a darkly atmospheric, psychologically complex, macabre and chilling novel from a master storyteller.
Agatha Christie - Hickory Dickory Dock
An outbreak of kleptomania at a student hostel is not normally the sort of crime that arouses Hercule Poirot's interest. But when he sees the bizarre list of stolen and vandalized items - including a stethoscope, some old flannel trousers, a box of chocolates, a slashed rucksack and a diamond ring found in a bowl of a soup - he congratulates the warden, Mrs Hubbard, on a 'unique and beautiful problem'. And, reasons Poirot, if this is merely a petty thief at work, why is everyone at the hostel so frightened?
Stephen King (Richard Bachman) - The Running Man
It's not just a game when you're running for your life. Every night they tuned in to the nation's favourite prime-time TV game show. They all watched, from the sprawling polluted slums to the security-obsessed enclaves of the rich. They all watched the ultimate live death game as the contestants tried to beat not the clock, but annihhilation at the hands of the Hunters. Survive thirty days and win the billion dollar jackpot - that was the promise. But the odds were brutal and the game rigged. Best score so far was eight days. And now there was a new contestant, the latest running man, staking his life while a nation watched.
Rudyard Kipling - The Second Jungle Book
Mowgli, the man-cub who is raised by a wolf-pack, is the main character in this novel, which contains stories of his adventures, inlcuding "The Spring Running" which brings Mowgli to the realization that he must leave Bagheera, Baloo and his other friends for the world of man.
Anthony Hope - The Prisoner of Zenda
A burning curiosity draws Rudolf Rassendyll, a young Englishman, to Ruritania to see the coronation of the new King. His distinctive red hair and long sharp nose bear witness to the ancestral indiscretion that links his blood with that of the ruling monarchy. There he is thrown into a series of adventures beyond his wildest dreams. For the King is kidnapped by his treacherous brother, the Duke of Strelsau, and only Rudolf can save him. His own life in danger, he battles to outwit not only the Duke and his evil henchmen but the ruthless young Rupert Hentzau, who `feared neither man nor devil'. At the same time he finds himself irresistibly attracted to the beautiful Princess Flavia, the betrothed of the King. Both a thrilling, swashbuckling tale and a tender love story, _The Prisoner of Zenda_ is as popular now as when it was first published a hundred years ago.
Deborah Rodriguez - A Cup of Friendship
Sunny is an energetic American living in Kabul; her pride and joy is the coffee shop she runs for expats, whose stories filter through her daily life. When Yazmina, a young woman from a remote village, is kidnapped, then left on a city street pregnant and alone, Sunny gives her a home - but all Yazmina wants is to find a way to rescue her sister from the same fate. Into the coffee shop, and Yazminašs and Sunnyšs lives, comes Candace, a wealthy American who uses her connections to make a difference in the womenšs circumstances, then ends up needing help herself; Isabel, a determined journalist with a secret that might keep her from the biggest story of her life; and Halajan, the den mother, whose long-hidden love affair breaks all the rules - and threatens to turn her own son against her. As these women gather and discover that therešs more to one another than meets the eye, theyšll form a bond that will change not only their own lives but the lives of an entire community.
Lacey Weatherford - Crush
Cami Wimberley has a plan, and that plan includes no room for boys—especially the big time party animal, Hunter Wilder, no matter how handsome and charismatic he is. She’s beautiful, a senior, extremely talented, gets good grades, and is working her way toward her dream college to be a musical theater major. Everything is perfect. Hunter Wilder does not want a girlfriend—that would complicate his life way too much right now. He especially doesn’t want this girl, Miss-Goody-Two-Shoes, so how come he can’t keep his eyes off her? He tries to keep her at arms length, but fate seems to keep pushing them together. Before long, it’s obvious to everyone they’re crushing on each other. As sparks begin to fly, Hunter finds himself sinking deeper and deeper into hot water. Soon he’s scrambling to keep Cami from discovering his dark secret—one that can destroy their entire relationship.
Umberto Eco - The Name of the Rose
The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey where extraordinary things are happening under the cover of night. A spectacular popular and critical success, "The Name of the Rose" is not only a narrative of a murder investigation but an astonishing chronicle of the Middle Ages.