From the author of the Sunday Times bestseller ‘Cocaine Nights’ comes an acclaimed backlist title — in which suburban London is transformed into an exotic dreamworld — now reissued in new cover style. When a light aircraft crashes into the Thames at Shepperton, the young pilot who struggles to the surface minutes later seems to have come back from the dead. Within hours everything in the dormitory suburb is strangely transformed. Vultures invade the rooftops, luxuriant tropical vegetation overruns the quiet avenues, and the local inhabitants are propelled by the young man’s urgent visions through ecstatic sexual celebrations towards an apocalyptic climax.
Abby Clements - Meet Me Under the Mistletoe
Childhood friends Laurie and Rachel used to be inseparable – but their lives have taken very different paths since they picked up their A-level results together. Now thirty-five, they have all but fallen out of touch; glamorous single girl Laurie is based in London and dedicated to her career in fashion; Rachel seemingly living the family idyll in Yorkshire. But when Rachel’s mother-in-law needs urgent treatment in London, and disasters at work and in her love life mean Laurie needs to flee, a house swap falls into place. Soon gentle Rachel is far from the village bake sales, braving the city’s mean streets while trying to keep her marriage and family together; while Laurie attempts to work an Aga, befriend the wary village locals – and forget the man who seems intent on breaking her heart. Will their relationships survive this test? And will they make it home for Christmas?
Noel Streatfeild - Tennis Shoes
Tennis Shoes is about the Heath family: Jim and Susan (twins), Nicky and David. Their father is a doctor, and their mother "just the right sort of wife for a doctor". Also in the household are Annie (formerly a circus acrobat, now their cook), and Miss Pinn ("Pinny") who was trained as a governess, but is more of a "mother's help", since all of the children go to school. Dr Heath's father had once been first class at tennis, and he encourages the children to take it up. He gives them a fancy moneybox - the "Tennis House" - and says they should all try to save money to pay for racquets, balls, and anything else they might need. Initially, the children are taught by their father. Jim has some ability, but is not a particularly good student, as he argues with his father, and can be rather stubborn. Susan is extremely promising, gaining success in tournaments, and recognition by the press. Nicky has a natural aptitude, but, like Jim, is not a good student, and is also very lazy. David (who is only four when the book starts) is less involved in tennis than the rest of the family, as he is more interested in singing. By the end of the book, three of the children have decided that they only wish to play tennis for fun, rather than making a career of it. All the family's support, therefore, is placed behind the one who is most likely to be a champion.
Isabel Wolff - Ghostwritten
A childhood mistake. A lifetime of regrets. Jenni is a ‘ghost’: she writes the lives of other people. It’s a job that suits her well: still haunted by a childhood tragedy, she finds it easier to take refuge in the memories of others rather than dwell on her own. Jenni has an exciting new commission, and is delighted to start working on the memoirs of a Dutchwoman, Klara. As a child in the Second World War, Klara was interned in a camp on Java during the Japanese occupation – she has an extraordinary story of survival to tell. But as Jenni and Klara begin to get to know each other, Jenni begins to do much more than shed light on a neglected part of history. She is being forced to examine her own devastating memories, too. But with Klara’s help, perhaps this is finally the moment where she will be able to lay the ghosts of her own past to rest?
George Orwell - Nineteen Eighty-Four
Nineteen Eighty-Four is a novel by George Orwell published in 1949. It is a dystopian novel about Oceania, a society tyrannized by The Party and its totalitarian ideology. The Oceanian province of Airstrip One is a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public mind control, dictated by a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (Ingsoc) under the control of a privileged Inner Party elite that persecutes all individualism and independent thinking as thought crimes. Their tyranny is headed by Big Brother, the quasi-divine Party leader who enjoys an intense cult of personality, but who may not even exist. Big Brother and the Party justify their rule in the name of a supposed greater good. The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party who works for the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. His job is to re-write past newspaper articles so that the historical record always supports the current party line. Smith is a diligent and skilful worker, but he secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother.
Julia Golding - The Chimera's Curse
Connie is the world’s last Universal – the only person who can communicate with all creatures; the only person who can keep peace between humans and the hidden mythical beings being destroyed by pollution. But the shapeshifter Kullervo craves her power. He wants to wipe out humanity. During a long, hot summer, as the sun beats down and the earth gets dryer, Kullervo prepares for war. The serpent-like chimera is just one part of his frightening army. As the inferno of Kullervo’s hatred crackles into life, Connie and her best friend Col must stop him. But how? And who will survive this fight to the death?
Julia Golding - Mines of the Minotaur
Connie is a Universal – she can talk to animals and mythical creatures. But something dark is calling to her, giving her dangerous power, and her best friend Col doesn’t know what to do. When her strange behaviour means Connie is rejected by the Society for the Protection of Mythical Creatures - the very group of people who are supposed to protect her - she hides in an abandoned tin mine. There she is befriended by a blinded Minotaur, and feels safe amongst the other wounded creatures the Society and the world have forgotten. But even deep underground she can’t block out the dark voice in her head. Who is it, and where does it come from? And why does Connie feel so terrified by the power it gives her?
Julia Golding - The Gorgon's Gaze
Mallins Wood is under threat, and with it the home of the last remaining gorgon - a mythical creature that can kill with a look. Only a handful of people know that she still exists. Col and his mother are among them, and both are determined to save her, and the forest. While Col tries to rally support amongst the locals, his mum is hatching a more deadly plan. Egged on by the evil shapeshifter Kullervo, she is ready to sacrifice Col’s best friend, Connie, to protect the gorgon. But first she needs Col to lure Connie to the gorgon’s lair...
Olaf Stapledon - Odd John
John Wainwright is a freak, a human mutation with an extraordinary intelligence which is both awesome and frightening to behold. Ordinary humans are mere playthings to him. And Odd John has a plan - to create a new order on Earth, a new supernormal species. But the world is not ready for such a change ...
Gil McNeil - The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club
When her husband dies in a car crash–not long after announcing he wants a divorce–Jo Mackenzie packs up her two rowdy boys and moves from London to a dilapidated villa in her seaside hometown. There, she takes over her beloved Gran's knitting shop–a quaint but out-of-date store in desperate need of a facelift. After a rough beginning, Jo soon finds comfort in a „Stitch and Bitch” group; a collection of quirky, lively women who share their stories, and their addiction to cake, with warmth and humor. As Jo starts to get the hang of single-parent life in a small town, she relies on her knitting group for support. The women meet every week at the shop on Beach Street and trade gossip and advice as freely as they do a new stitch. But when a new man enters Jo's life, and an A-list actress moves into the local mansion, the knitting club has even more trouble confining the conversation to knit one, purl two. The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club is an uplifting, winning tale about the healing power of friendship and new beginnings. It's a charming novel that will delight all passionate knitters–and win over befuddled, would-be knitters, too.
Eloisa James - A Wild Pursuit
It is whispered behind the fans of London's dowagers and in the corners of fashionable ballrooms that scandal follows willfully wild Lady Beatrix Lennox wherever she goes. Three years before, the debutante created a sensation by being found in a distinctly compromising position. Now, the ton has branded her as unmarriageable, her family has called her a vixen, and Beatrix sees no reason not to go after what -- and who -- she wishes. And she wants Stephen Fairfax-Lacy, the handsome Earl of Spade. Beatrix, with her brazen suggestions and irresistibly sensuous allure, couldn't be more different from the earl's ideal future bride. Yet Beatrix brings out a wildness in the earl he has tried to deny far too long. Still, he's not about to play love's game by Lady Beatrix's rules. She may be used to being on top in affairs of the heart, but that will soon change.
Agatha Christie - They Came to Baghdad
Agatha Christie's international mystery thriller, reissued with a striking new cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers. Baghdad is the chosen location for a secret summit of superpowers, concerned but not convinced, about the development of an, as yet, unidentified and undescribed secret weapon. Only one man has the proof that can confirm the nature of this fantastic secret weapon - a British agent named Carmichael. Unfortunately the criminal organisation responsible for the weapon's development will stop at nothing to prevent him entering Baghdad and presenting his proof to the assembled delegates. Can Carmichael enter the city against such odds? Into this explosive situations appears Victoria Jones, a girl with a yearning for adventure who gets more than she bargains for when a wounded Carmichael dies in her arms in her hotel room. Now, if only she could make sense of his last words '!Lucifer!Basrah!Lefarge!'
Jo Walton - My Real Children
It's 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. "Confused today," read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know—what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don’t seem possible. She remembers marrying Mark and having four children. And she remembers not marrying Mark and raising three children with Bee instead. She remembers the bomb that killed President Kennedy in 1963, and she remembers Kennedy in 1964, declining to run again after the nuclear exchange that took out Miami and Kiev. Her childhood, her years at Oxford during the Second World War—those were solid things. But after that, did she marry Mark or not? Did her friends all call her Trish, or Pat? Had she been a housewife who escaped a terrible marriage after her children were grown, or a successful travel writer with homes in Britain and Italy? And the moon outside her window: does it host a benign research station, or a command post bristling with nuclear missiles? Two lives, two worlds, two versions of modern history. Each with their loves and losses, their sorrows and triumphs. My Real Children is the tale of both of Patricia Cowan's lives...and of how every life means the entire world.
David Lodge - Thinks...
Ralph Messenger is an international academic star in the highly trendy field of language and thought research. Novelist Helen Reed arrives at the university to teach creative writing and to recover from the unexpected death of her husband. Despite huge differences in belief and temperament, they begin a secret affair - with complicated consequences, comic and tragic, for those around them. Witty, elegant and timely, THINKS is a dazzling exploration of love and deception, the enigmas of consciousness and the intricacies of the human heart.
Shayla Black - Lexi Blake - Their Virgin Princess
Alea Binte al Mussad, Princess of Bezakistan, was abducted from her university, mentally tortured and forced to witness the worst of humanity. She was rescued, but not before fear and her shattered soul made her retreat into herself. Two years later, she’s living behind the palace’s locked gates and the walls she’s built surrounding her heart. Alea is comforted by the joyous family around her, but inside feels so alone - except when she’s with the steady trio of guards who relentlessly keep her safe. And tempt her with a passion she isn’t sure she’ll survive. Three stalwart warriors determined to claim her… Dane Mitchell, Cooper Evans, and Landon Nix wanted Alea from the moment they laid eyes on her. Held back by their duty and her fragility, they worship the Princess from afar, determined to claim her if the chance ever comes. When Alea learns that someone may still be hunting her, she plots to escape both danger and her guards’ simmering, overwhelming passion. Dane, Coop, and Lan aren’t about to let her go. When they find themselves in paradise and all boundaries are stripped away, the ice begins to melt around Alea’s heart. But when reality comes crashing in, will she learn to accept love before a killer strikes again?
Jacqueline Wilson - The Worst Thing About My Sister
Being a sister isn't always easy...but what's the very worst thing about your sister? Marty and her sister Melissa couldn't be more different. Marty loves her Converse trainers, playing football, hiding in her secret den and helping her dad with his DIY. But Melissa loves Justin Bieber and all things pink, girly and pretty. The sisters can manage to live together, despite their occasional scraps but then Mum tells them they have to share a room. For Marty, having to share her bunk beds and lose her private sanctuary turns out to be the very worst thing about having a sister. But the girls soon discover that being too close for comfort can have unexpected consequences, and when an accident happens, the sisters realise they are closer than they thought.
Jacqueline Wilson - Secrets
India lives in a large, luxurious house with a mum she can't stand and a dad she adores, though he hasn't had much time for her recently. She seeks solace in her journal, which she keeps in sincere imitation of her heroine, Anne Frank. Treasure lives on the local council estate with her loving and capable grandmother. She is devoted to her nan but lives in fear of having to go back to live with her mother and violent stepfather. A chance meeting sparks a great friendship between the girls. And when Treasure has to run away to avoid her stepfather, India comes up with a hiding place inspired by her favourite writer. India hasn't got a real secret annexe like Anne Frank - but she has got a hidden attic ...
Jacqueline Wilson - The Longest Whale Song
This is a tender and gentle story that will captivate readers of 8+ from bestselling author Jacqueline Wilson. Ella's mum's in a deep coma having just had a new baby. That means Ella has to live with Jack, her hopeless stepfather and cope with her tiny newborn brother, as well as worrying about Mum. The only thing that's going right is her school project. It's all about whales and how they sing out to each other to attract a mate - sometimes for hours. Maybe a whale song could reach Mum, wherever she is, and bring her back to Ella and baby Samson. Surely it's worth a try?
Ken Follett - Edge of Eternity
EDGE OF ETERNITY is the sweeping, passionate conclusion to Ken Follett’s extraordinary historical epic, The Century Trilogy. Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families – American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh – as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution – and rock and roll. East German teacher Rebecca Hoffman discovers she’s been spied on by the Stasi for years and commits an impulsive act that will affect her family for the rest of their lives.…George Jakes, the child of a mixed-race couple, bypasses a corporate law career to join Robert F. Kennedy’s Justice Department, and finds himself in the middle not only of the seminal events of the civil rights battle, but a much more personal battle of his own.…Cameron Dewar, the grandson of a senator, jumps at the chance to do some official and unofficial espionage for a cause he believes in, only to discover that the world is a much more dangerous place than he’d imagined.…Dimka Dvorkin, a young aide to Nikita Khrushchev, becomes a prime agent both for good and for ill as the United States and the Soviet Union race to the brink of nuclear war, while his twin sister, Tania, carves out a role that will take her from Moscow to Cuba to Prague to Warsaw – and into history. As always with Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion. With the hand of a master, he brings us into a world we thought we knew but now will never seem the same again.
Jacqueline Wilson - My Sister Jodie
Quiet, cautious Pearl has always adored her bold, brash, bad big sister Jodie. When their parents get new jobs at a grand, fusty old boarding school, Melchester College, the girls have to move there - and when they arrive, things start to change. Jodie has always been the leader - but now it's Pearl who's making new friends. Jodie just seems to be getting into more and more trouble - arguing with Mum, scaring the little children, flirting with the gardener. She really doesn't fit in with the posh teenagers at the school. Pearl begins to wonder if she needs Jodie as much as she used to. But when Firework Night comes around and a tragic event occurs, Pearl realises quite how much Jodie means to her.
Jacqueline Wilson - Clean Break
Em adores her funny, glamorous dad - who cares if he's not her real father? He's wonderful to her, and to her little brother Maxie and sister Vita. True to form at Christmas, Dad gives them fantastic presents, including a real emerald ring for his little Princess Em. Unfortunately he's got another surprise in store - he's leaving them. Will Dad's well-meaning but chaotic attempts to keep seeing Em and the other children help the family come to terms with this new crisis? Or would they be better off with a clean break - just like Em's arm?