Newly arrived from Ghana with his mother and older sister, eleven-year-old Harrison Opoku lives on the ninth floor of a block of flats on an inner-city housing estate. The second best runner in the whole of Year 7, Harri races through his new life in his personalised trainers – the Adidas stripes drawn on with marker pen – blissfully unaware of the very real threat all around him. With equal fascination for the local gang – the Dell Farm Crew – and the pigeon who visits his balcony, Harri absorbs the many strange elements of his new life in England: watching, listening, and learning the tricks of urban survival. But when a boy is knifed to death on the high street and a police appeal for witnesses draws only silence, Harri decides to start a murder investigation of his own. In doing so, he unwittingly endangers the fragile web his mother has spun around her family to try and keep them safe. A story of innocence and experience, hope and harsh reality, Pigeon English is a spellbinding portrayal of a boy balancing on the edge of manhood and of the forces around him that try to shape the way he falls.
Robert Galbraith - The Silkworm
When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives - so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him. And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any he has encountered before . . .
Sarra Manning - It Felt Like A Kiss
Ellie manages a swank Mayfair gallery, but it’s her life that’s a real work of art. Great job, really good hair, loyal friends, loving family. It’s only her succession of lame duck boyfriends that ruin the picture. Oh, and the world-famous rock-star father she’s never met, who won’t even acknowledge her existence. Then Ellie’s perfect life is smashed to pieces when her secret is sold to the highest bidder and her name, face (and pictures of her bottom) are splashed across the tabloids. Suddenly everyone thinks she’s a gold-digging, sex-crazy, famewhore. Enter David Gold. Charming and handsome David Gold. On paper he’s even more perfect than Ellie, if only he wasn’t her father’s ruthlessly ambitious lawyer whose job is to manage the crisis – and her. He certainly doesn’t think that Ellie’s the innocent party and she doesn’t trust him at all. So why is it that every time they’re alone together, damage limitation is the last thing on their minds?
Samantha Shannon - The Bone Season
The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing. It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die. The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.
Victoria Lamb - His Dark Lady
London, 1583. When young, aspiring playwright William Shakespeare encounters Lucy Morgan, one of Queen Elizabeth I's ladies-in-waiting, the two fall passionately in love. He declares Lucy the inspiration for his work, but what secret is Will hiding from his muse? Meanwhile, Lucy has her own secret - and one that could destroy her world if exposed.
Ransom Riggs - The Sherlock Holmes Handbook
“My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people don’t know.” This reader’s companion to the casework of Sherlock Holmes explores the methodology of the world’s most famous consulting detective. From analyzing fingerprints and decoding ciphers to creating disguises and faking one’s own death, readers will learn how Holmes solved his most celebrated cases—plus an arsenal of modern techniques available to today’s armchair sleuths. Along the way, readers will discover a host of trivia about the master detective and his universe: Why did Holmes never marry? How was the real Scotland Yard organized? Was cocaine really legal back then? And why were the British so terrified of Australia? Full of fascinating how-to skills and evocative illustrations, The Sherlock Holmes Handbook will appeal to Baker Street Irregulars of all ages.
Peter Ackroyd - London – The Biography
Much of Peter Ackroyd's work has been concerned with the life and past of London but here, as a culmination, is his definitive account of the city. For him it is a living organism, with its own laws of growth and change, so London is a biography rather than a history. It differs from other histories, too, in the range and diversity of its contents. Ackroyd portrays London from the time of the Druids to the beginning of the twenty-first century, noting magnificence in both epochs, but this is not a simple chronological record. There are chapters on the history of silence and the history of light, the history of childhood and the history of suicide, the history of Cockney speech and the history of drink. London is perhaps the most important study of the city ever written, and confirms Ackroyd's status as what one critic has called 'our age's greatest London imagination.
Hermione Lee - Virginia Woolf
Moving freely between a detailed life-story and attempts to understand significant questions, this biography of Virginia Woolf addresses topics such as the impact of her childhood, the cause and nature of her madness and suicide, the truth about her marriage, her feelings for women, and her prejudices and obsessions. The author uses primary sources to show Woolf as occupying a distinct and even uneasy position within the Bloomsbury Set, and how the concerns of her work arise and develop. She is also presented as a radically sceptical, subversive, courageous feminist. Hermione Lee's other books include "The Novels of Virginia Woolf", "Elizabeth Bowen", "Philip Roth" and "Willa Cather".
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Americanah (angol)
As teenagers in Lagos, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country if they can. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America. There she suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Thirteen years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a blogger. But after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face? Fearless, gripping, spanning three continents and numerous lives, ‘Americanah’ is a richly told story of love and expectation set in today’s globalized world.
Neil Cross - Luther: The Calling
A particularly repellent case moves DCI Luther closer to the edge he's never been far from. A young married couple is found murdered, the husband sadistically savaged, the wife, eight and a half months pregnant, ripped open, her infant just possibly still alive torn from her. Luther, a big man with a big walk and a near-legendary capacity for sensitivity, catches the case, as he catches all the truly bad ones. But this case just might be one too many. Stoic by nature and principle, Luther has never been easy to read, but now the tells are becoming unmistakable. He's been unable to sleep and looks it. Instead of resolving to push to the end, he asks to be taken off the case. At home, his wife and soul mate, Zoe, has grown restless to the point of no return. Their moribund relationship deprives Luther of the ballast and empowerment his marriage has always provided. Meanwhile, a monstrous killer continues to select victims, like the little girl who goes missing. By now Luther s famous intuitiveness has been productive, and he's closing in on his crafty antagonist. When the two confront each other, will Luther retain his commitment and remain the embodiment of law and order?
Jhumpa Lahiri - Unaccustomed Earth
Beginning in America, and spilling back over memories and generations to India, Unaccustomed Earth explores the heart of family life and the immigrant experience. Eight luminous stories - longer and richer than any Jhumpa Lahiri has yet written - take us from America to Europe, India and Thailand as they follow new lives forged in the wake of loss.
Jacqueline Winspear - The Mapping of Love and Death
In the latest mystery in the New York Times bestselling series, Maisie Dobbs must unravel a case of wartime love and death an investigation that leads her to a long-hidden affair between a young cartographer and a mysterious nurse. August 1914. Michael Clifton is mapping the land he has just purchased in California's beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, certain that oil lies beneath its surface. But as the young cartographer prepares to return home to Boston, war is declared in Europe. Michael the youngest son of an expatriate Englishman puts duty first and sails for his father's native country to serve in the British army. Three years later, he is listed among those missing in action. April 1932. London psychologist and investigator Maisie Dobbs is retained by Michael's parents, who have recently learned that their son's remains have been unearthed in France. They want Maisie to find the unnamed nurse whose love letters were among Michael's belongings a quest that takes Maisie back to her own bittersweet wartime love. Her inquiries, and the stunning discovery that Michael Clifton was murdered in his trench, unleash a web of intrigue and violence that threatens to engulf the soldier's family and even Maisie herself. Over the course of her investigation, Maisie must cope with the approaching loss of her mentor, Maurice Blanche, and her growing awareness that she is once again falling in love. Following the critically acclaimed bestseller Among the Mad, The Mapping of Love and Death delivers the most gripping and satisfying chapter yet in the life of Maisie Dobbs.
Lawrence Hill - Someone Knows My Name
Abducted from Africa as a child and enslaved in South Carolina, Aminata Diallo thinks only of freedom—and of the knowledge she needs to get home. Sold to an indigo trader who recognizes her intelligence, Aminata is torn from her husband and child and thrown into the chaos of the Revolutionary War. In Manhattan, Aminata helps pen the Book of Negroes, a list of blacks rewarded for service to the king with safe passage to Nova Scotia. There Aminata finds a life of hardship and stinging prejudice. When the British abolitionists come looking for "adventurers" to create a new colony in Sierra Leone, Aminata assists in moving 1,200 Nova Scotians to Africa and aiding the abolitionist cause by revealing the realities of slavery to the British public. This captivating story of one woman's remarkable experience spans six decades and three continents and brings to life a crucial chapter in world history.
Michael Moorcock - Mother London
Michael Moorcock's Mother London is perhaps his best known literary work and for good reason. Shortlisted for the Whitbread fiction prize this has the feel of a novel by a writer at the acme of his powers. A large, though never sprawling, novel Mother London follows three mental-hospital outpatients Mary Gasalee, David Mummery and Josef Kiss and their friends, in an episodic, non-linear history of the capital from the Blitz to present day. Most noteworthy is the astounding humanity of the novel (a quality redolent in all his work including its excellent follow up King of the City), with all of London's outcasts and marginals mentioned and defended. This could have reduced the novel to polemic, to parody or to the dreadful, mind-narrowing of political correctness but instead is testimony to the fact that Moorcock has created such a fine array of believable, flawed, kind characters. Throughout the book the voice of ordinary Londoners forces its way into the narratives through snippets of conversations "overheard" by the three main characters who each have, to a greater or lesser extent, the gift of telepathy. This hint of magic is underplayed throughout so that the work never succumbs to the straitjacket of magical realism itself: the conceit is used very successfully to take our characters out of themselves, and to allow London, and the voices that constitute her being, into the novel as a character herself. A vast and superb achievement (London novelists such as Charles Dickens, Peter Ackroyd and Iain Sinclair all come to mind as peers), Mother London is a book to cherish--rarely have the voices of this wonderful city spoken out so clearly through such an expansive story. --Mark Thwaite
Julia Quinn - What Happens in London
Rumors and Gossip . . . The lifeblood of London When Olivia Bevelstoke is told that her new neighbor may have killed his fiancÉe, she doesn't believe it for a second, but, still, how can she help spying on him, just to be sure? So she stakes out a spot near her bedroom window, cleverly concealed by curtains, watches, and waits . . . and discovers a most intriguing man, who is definitely up to something. Sir Harry Valentine works for the boring branch of the War Office, translating documents vital to national security. He's not a spy, but he's had all the training, and when a gorgeous blonde begins to watch him from her window, he is instantly suspicious. But just when he decides that she's nothing more than an annoyingly nosy debutante, he discovers that she might be engaged to a foreign prince, who might be plotting against England. And when Harry is roped into spying on Olivia, he discovers that he might be falling for her himself . . .
John Escott - England (Oxford Bookworms)
Every year millions of people visit England from all over the world. Why? Read about the History of the country and some of the things you can see and do there today - the cities, national parks, sports, the cinema and the theatre, pubs and music. All the things that make England a beutiful and exciting place to visit!
Anne Tyler - Digging to America
Anne Tyler’s richest, most deeply searching novel–a story about what it is to be an American, and about Iranian-born Maryam Yazdan, who, after 35 years in this country, must finally come to terms with her “outsiderness.” Two families, who would otherwise never have come together, meet by chance at the Baltimore airport – the Donaldsons, a very American couple, and the Yazdans, Maryam’s fully assimilated son and his attractive Iranian wife. Each couple is awaiting the arrival of an adopted infant daughter from Korea. After the instant babies from distant Asia are delivered, Bitsy Donaldson impulsively invites the Yazdans to celebrate: an “arrival party” that from then on is repeated every year as the two families become more and more deeply intertwined. Even Maryam is drawn in – up to a point. When she finds herself being courted by Bitsy Donaldson’s recently widowed father, all the values she cherishes – her traditions, her privacy, her otherness–are suddenly threatened. A luminous novel brimming with subtle, funny, and tender observations that immerse us in the challenges of both sides of the American story.
Jennifer Worth - Call the Midwife
Jennifer Worth came from a sheltered background when she became a midwife in the Docklands in the 1950s. The conditions in which many women gave birth just half a century ago were horrifying, not only because of their grimly impoverished surroundings, but also because of what they were expected to endure. But while Jennifer witnessed brutality and tragedy, she also met with amazing kindness and understanding, tempered by a great deal of Cockney humour. She also earned the confidences of some whose lives were truly stranger, more poignant and more terrifying than could ever be recounted in fiction. Attached to an order of nuns who had been working in the slums since the 1870s, Jennifer tells the story not only of the women she treated, but also of the community of nuns (including one who was accused of stealing jewels from Hatton Garden) and the camaraderie of the midwives with whom she trained. Funny, disturbing and incredibly moving, Jennifer's stories bring to life the colourful world of the East End in the 1950s.
Jhumpa Lahiri - Interpreter of Maladies
Pulitzer-winning, scintillating studies in yearning and exile from a Bengali Bostonian woman of immense promise. A couple exchange unprecedented confessions during nightly blackouts in their Boston apartment as they struggle to cope with a heartbreaking loss; a student arrives in new lodgings in a mystifying new land and, while he awaits the arrival of his arranged-marriage wife from Bengal, he finds his first bearings with the aid of the curious evening rituals that his centenarian landlady orchestrates; a schoolboy looks on while his childminder finds that the smallest dislocation can unbalance her new American life all too easily and send her spiralling into nostalgia for her homeland... Jhumpa Lahiri's prose is beautifully measured, subtle and sober, and she is a writer who leaves a lot unsaid, but this work is rich in observational detail, evocative of the yearnings of the exile (mostly Indians in Boston here), and full of emotional pull and reverberation.
Philip Reeve - Mortal Engines
London is hunting its prey. For too long, London has been hiding in the hills, safe from bigger, faster, HUNGRIER cities. Now London must feed. But as the chase begins, events within the walls take a sinister turn... The breathtaking first instalment of the award-winning MORTAL ENGINES quartet.
Stuart Gray - A Paramedic's Diary - Life and Death in London
This title is an account of a year in the working life of London paramedic Stuart Gray. One day he'll save a young mother's life as she gives birth, the next he watches a young schoolgirl die in front of him after a hit and run. In between he ferries drunken teenagers, drug addicts and timewasters and muses on modern life.