Charles Frieth, preeminent composer, conductor and prodigious womaniser, is preparing for a performance of one of his early works, and the world premiere of “Demonic Aubade”. Obstinate and myopic, he is oblivious to the growing turmoil around him; his wife’s poor health and dissatisfaction; the exhausted efforts of his secretary; and, the disquieting diligence of his housekeeper, Maria.
As the first performance draws near, the maestro is suddenly awoken to the chaos, and as Charles struggles to regain control of his life, a terrible tragedy begins to unfold. “For You” is a beautifully wrought and compelling libretto – It is Ian McEwan at his very best.
Terry Pratchett - Monstrous Regiment
It began as a sudden strange fancy... Polly Perks had to become a boy in a hurry. Cutting off her hair and wearing trousers was easy. Learning to fart and belch in public and walk like an ape took more time... And now she's enlisted in the army, and is searching for her lost brother. But there's a war on. There's always a war on. And Polly and her fellow recruits are suddenly in the thick of it, without any training, and the enemy is hunting them. All they have on their side is the most artful sergeant in the army and a vampire with a lust for coffee. Well... they have the Secret. And as they take the war to the heart of the enemy, they have to use all the resources of... the Monstrous Regiment.
Irvin D. Yalom - Lying on the Couch
From the bestselling author of Love's Executioner and When Nietzsche Wept comes a provocative exploration of the unusual relationships three therapists form with their patients. Seymour is a therapist of the old school who blurs the boundary of sexual propriety with one of his clients. Marshal, who is haunted by his own obsessive-compulsive behaviors, is troubled by the role money plays in his dealings with his patients. Finally, there is Ernest Lash. Driven by his sincere desire to help and his faith in psychoanalysis, he invents a radically new approach to therapy -- a totally open and honest relationship with a patient that threatens to have devastating results. Exposing the many lies that are told on and off the psychoanalyst's couch, Lying on the Couch gives readers a tantalizing, almost illicit, glimpse at what their therapists might really be thinking during their sessions. Fascinating, engrossing and relentlessly intelligent, it ultimately moves readers with a denouement of surprising humanity and redemptive faith.
Helena S. Paige - A Girl Walks into a Bar
*A CHOOSE-YOUR-OWN-EROTIC-DESTINY NOVEL* YOUR FANTASY, YOUR RULES When your friend cancels on your girls' night out at the last moment, you suddenly find yourself all dressed up and alone at an exclusive bar. What do you do now? Will you spend the evening drinking tequila with a rock star? Or perhaps the suave and charming millionaire businessman is more your style? But the angelic young barman with a body made for sin has also caught your eye . . . Then there's the bodyguard who has the keys to his boss's sports car and is offering you a ride . . . Maybe you want to head home instead - to your sexy new neighbour. Whichever way you decide to go, each twist and turn you make will lead to an unforgettable encounter. Can you choose the ultimate sensual experience? The power is entirely yours.
Terry Pratchett - The Last Hero
He's been a legend in his own lifetime. He can remember the great days of high adventure. He can remember when a hero didn't have to worry about fences and lawyers and civilisation. He can remember when people didn't tell you off for killing dragons. But he can't always remember, these days, where he put his teeth... He's really not happy about that bit. So now, with his ancient sword and his new walking stick and his old friends - and they're very old friends - Cohen the Barbarian is going on one final quest. He's going to climb the highest mountain in the Discworld and meet his gods. He doesn't like the way they let men grow old and die. The last hero in the world is going to return what the first hero stole. With a vengeance. That'll mean the end of the world, if no one stops him in time...
Sue Townsend - Ghost Children
This London novel, replete with distressing topics and disturbed characters, begins with the dumping of a bag of aborted fetuses on a heath and ends with the sale of a newborn baby to a childless couple. Christopher Moore happens upon the ghastly bag and takes a female fetus home for proper burial. For 17 years, he has mourned the daughter aborted by his ex-girlfriend, Angela, a woman whose memory he nonetheless still cherishes. The guilt of seeing Christopher so heartbroken by this loss led Angela to break off their relationship and eventually marry another man. When Christopher later seeks her out, their passion rekindles as Angela acknowledges the lovelessness of her marriage. Their lives intersect with Crackle and Tamara, a truly impoverished young couple who deal in drugs and Satan worship and whose stupidities contribute to the sickening neglect of their baby daughter.
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.
Jojo Moyes - The One Plus One
One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You. American audiences have fallen in love with Jojo Moyes. Ever since she debuted stateside, she has captivated readers and reviewers alike, and hit the New York Times bestseller list with the word-of-mouth sensation, Me Before You. Now, with The One Plus One, she’s written another contemporary opposites-attract love story that reads like a modern-day Two for the Road. Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever. One Plus One is Jojo Moyes at her astounding best. You’ll laugh, you’ll weep, and when you flip the last page, you’ll want to start all over again.
Barbara Kingsolver - The Lacuna
Mexico, 1935. When young Harrison Shepherd takes a job in the house of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, he is an inadvertent witness to their revolutionary talk. Then a newly exiled Trotsky arrives in the house, and Shepherd is an obvious choice to become his secretary. Years later, Shepherd has become an international star. His fame brings the unwanted attentions of the American authorities and Shepherd's attempts at anonymity are futile as he is drawn into a conflict of historic proportions.
Kay Langdale - Away from You
The heartbreaking novel from the author of CHOOSE ME, about the sacrifices parents must make and the anguish that can befall them. When Monica is offered a three-month placement in LA, she knows that for the sake of her career she must accept it - even though it means leaving behind nine-year-old Ruby, toddler Luca and her husband Daniel. She hires Ursula as a housekeeper and nanny during her absence, although the older woman is oddly reluctant to agree to a childcare position. What is the dark secret in Ursula's past, which has left her so closed-off and reserved? Will her growing attachment to Ruby bring it to the surface? And will Monica regret leaving the children in her care?
Douglas Coupland - Girlfriend in a Coma
Girls, memory, parenting, millennial fear -- all served Coupland-style. Karen, an attractive, popular student, goes into a coma one night in 1979. Whilst in it, she gives birth to a healthy baby daughter; once out of it, a mere eighteen years later, she finds herself, Rip van Winkle-like, a middle-aged mother whose friends have all gone through all the normal marital, social and political traumas and back again! This tragicomedy shows Coupland in his most mature form yet, writing with all his customary powers of acute observation, but turning his attention away from the surface of modern life to the dynamics of modern relationships, but doing so with all the sly wit and weird accuracy we expect of the soothsaying author of Generation X, Shampoo Planet, Life After God, Microserfs and Polaroids from the Dead.
Marni Bates - Awkward
Mackenzie Wellesley has spent her life avoiding the spotlight. At Smith High, she's the awkward junior people only notice when they need help with homework. Until she sends a burly football player flying with her massive backpack and makes a disastrous - not to mention unwelcome - attempt at CPR. Before the day is out, the whole fiasco explodes on YouTube. And then the strangest thing happens. Suddenly, Mackenzie is an Internet sensation, with four million hits and counting. Sucked into a whirlwind of rock stars, paparazzi, and free designer clothes, she even catches the eye of the most popular guy at school. And that's when life gets really interesting...
Nicola Monaghan - The killing jar
In her stunning debut, Nicola Monaghan lays bare the gritty underbelly of life in Nottingham, England. Very early on, Kerrie-Ann begins to dream of the world beyond the rough council estate where she lives. Her father is nowhere to be found, her mother is a junkie, and she is left to care for her little brother. Clever, brave, and frighteningly independent, Kerrie-Ann has an unbreakable will to survive. She befriends her eccentric, elderly neighbor, who teaches her about butterflies, the Amazon, and life outside of her tough neighborhood. But even as Kerrie-Ann dreams of a better life she becomes further entangled in the cycles of violence and drugs that rule the estate. Brilliant, brutal, and tender, The Killing Jar introduces a brave new voice in fiction. Nicola Monaghan's devastating prose tells an unforgettable story of violence, love, and hope.
Lorelei James - Long Hard Ride
Channing Kinkaid itches for a wild western adventure with an untamed man. Enter Colby McKay, bull rider, saddle bronc buster and calf roper. He knows he's found a woman who's up to the challenge of cutting loose. Intrigued by Channing's bold proposition to "horse around" on the road, Colby proposes sexual escapades not only in his bed, but in those of his two rodeo traveling partners. Can Channing give up total control? Especially when not all is as it seems with the sexy trio?
Lorelei James - Rode Hard, Put Up Wet
Workin up a hot, sticky sweat is pure pleasure with a hard-ridin cowboy or two. Struggling stock contractor Gemma Jansen swallows her pride and tracks down circuit rider Cash Big Crow to offer him a job managing her ranch. Cash agrees on one condition: theirs won't be strictly a working relationship. She's the boss during the day, but once she's corralled in the bedroom, Cash calls the shots. Despite concerns about their age difference, Gemma consents. Cash suspects the sexy widow hides an untapped wild streak. He intends to loosen her tightly held reins of control even if he has to break out his horsewhip to do it. But Cash is in for a surprise. Gemma proves a rough and ready participant in any leather-n-lace game Cash dreams up. Between riding herd on his wayward daughter, Macie, and rowdy cowboy Carter McKay doggin Macie's every boot step, Cash struggles to hide his true feelings for Gemma except this time, Gemma's grabbed the bull by the horns and she's playing for keeps. Summer's going to be a hot one at the Bar 9.
Katharina Hagena - The Taste of Apple Seeds
An international bestseller, The Taste of Apple Seeds is a story of love and loss that will captivate your heart When Iris unexpectedly inherits her grandmother's house in the country, she also inherits the painful memories that live there. Iris gives herself a one-week stay at the old house, after which she'll make a decision: keep it, or sell it. The choice is not so simple, though, for her grandmother's cottage is an enchanting place where currant jam tastes of tears, sparks fly from fingertips, love's embrace makes apple trees blossom, and the darkest family secrets never stay buried. As Iris moves in and out of the flicker between remembrance and forgetting, she chances upon a forgotten childhood friend who could become more. The Taste of Apple Seeds is a bittersweet story of heartbreak and hope passed down through the generations.
Toni Morrison - God Help the Child
The new novel from Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. Spare and unsparing, _God Help the Child_ is a searing tale about the way childhood trauma shapes and misshapes the life of the adult. At the center: a woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life; but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love until she told a lie that ruined the life of an innocent woman, a lie whose reverberations refuse to diminish . . . Booker, the man Bride loves and loses, whose core of anger was born in the wake of the childhood murder of his beloved brother . . . Rain, the mysterious white child, who finds in Bride the only person she can talk to about the abuse she's suffered at the hands of her prostitute mother . . . and Sweetness, Bride's mother, who takes a lifetime to understand that "what you do to children matters. And they might never forget."
Alexander McCall Smith - Bertie’s Guide to Life and Mothers
As summer blooms in Edinburgh’s gardens and Bertie Pollock’s birthday appears on the horizon, all at 44 Scotland Street is not cake and sunshine. Newlywed Angus Lordie has been booked by his bride into what he must not call the loony bin; Bruce’s first encounter with hot wax brings more anguish than he bargained for; and Bertie’s birthday dreams of scout camp and a penknife look set to be replaced by a game of Royal Weddings and a gender-neutral doll. But fate, an amorous Bedouin and the Dubai Tourist Authority conspire to transport Bertie’s mother Irene to a warmer – if not a better – place, and once again in Scotland Street the triumph of human kindness over adversity gives cause for celebration.
Marie Sexton - A to Z
Zach Mitchell is stuck in a rut. His college boyfriend left him ten years ago, but Zach still lives in the same apartment, drives the same car, and feeds his ex-boyfriend’s ungrateful cat. His Denver business, A to Z Video Rental, is struggling. He has annoying customers, eccentric neighbors, and an un-fulfilling romance with his landlord, Tom. A combat boot-wearing punk with an attitude, Angelo Green was raised in foster homes and has been on his own since he was sixteen; he has never learned to trust or to love. He doesn’t do relationships, so when Angelo takes a job at A to Z Video, he decides Zach is strictly off-limits. Despite their differences, Zach and Angelo quickly become friends, and when Zach’s break-up with Tom puts his business on the line, it’s Angelo who comes up with a solution. Together with Jared and Matt, their friends from Coda, Colorado, Zach and Angelo will find a way to save A to Z, but will they be able to save each other too?
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.
Hannu Rajaniemi - The Quantum Thief
Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy - from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to steal their thoughts, to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of the Moving Cities of Mars. Except that Jean made one mistake. Now he is condemned to play endless variations of a game-theoretic riddle in the vast virtual jail of the Axelrod Archons - the Dilemma Prison - against countless copies of himself. Jean's routine of death, defection and cooperation is upset by the arrival of Mieli and her spidership, Perhonen. She offers him a chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self - in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed . . . The Quantum Thief is a dazzling hard SF novel set in the solar system of the far future - a heist novel peopled by bizarre post-humans but powered by very human motives of betrayal, revenge and jealousy. It is a stunning debut.