Following a string of disastrous house-sitting assignments, and an equally troubled personal life, Thea Osborne is understandably apprehensive about her latest commission: a wintry month in an isolated house with only an assortment of animals, including her loyal spaniel Hepzie, for company. With the summer lushness of the Cotswolds turned icy grey, Thea spends her first few days exploring the beautiful hamlet of Hampnett, meeting some of the locals. But then the weather turns extreme, and so do events. When she stumbles across a man lying dead in a snow-covered field, Thea finds herself once again at the heart of a mystery.
Diana Wynne Jones - Howl's Moving Castle
In the land of Ingary, where seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, Sophie Hatter attracts the the unwelcome attention of the Witch of the Waste, who puts a curse on her. Determined to make the best of things, Sophie travels to the one place where she might get help - the moving castle which hovers on the nearby hills. But the castle belongs to the dreaded Wizard Howl whose appetite, they say, is satisfied only by the hearts of young girls...
Jane Austen - Northanger Abbey
Harper Collins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Northanger Abbey! These were thrilling words, and wound up Catherine's feelings to the highest point of ecstasy.' Considered the most light-hearted and satirical of Austen's novels, Northanger Abbey tells the story of an unlikely young heroine Catherine Morland. While staying in Bath, Catherine meets Henry Tilney and his sister Eleanor who invite her to their family estate, Northanger Abbey. A fan of Gothic Romance novels, naive Catherine is soon letting her imagination run wild in the atmospheric abbey, fuelled by her friendship with the vivacious Isabella Thorpe. It is only when the realities of life set in around her that Catherine's fantastical world is shattered. A coming-of-age novel, Austen expertly parodies the Gothic romance novels of her time and reveals much about her unsentimental view of love and marriage in the eighteenth century.
Philippa Gregory - The Other Boleyn Girl
Mary Boleyn catches the eye of Henry VIII when she is a girl of just fourteen. But her joy is cut short when she discovers that she is a pawn in her family's plots. When the capricious king's interest warnes, Mary is ordered to pass on her knowledge of how to please him to her friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Anne soon becomes irresistible to Henry, and Mary must resign herself to being the other Boleyn girl. But beyond the court is a man who dares to challenge the power of her family to offer Mary a life of freedom and passion. If only she has the courage to break away - before the Boleyn enemies turn on the Boleyn girls... (Harper, 2011)
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
This engrossing tale relates Ebenezer Scrooge's ghostly journeys through Christmases past, present, and future and his ultimate transformation from a harsh and grasping old miser to a charitable and compassionate human being. A perennial classic that has become as much a part of the holiday season as holly, mistletoe, and evergreen wreaths.
Nick Hornby - Juliet, Naked
Annie and Duncan are a mid-thirties couple who have reached a fork in the road, realising their shared interest in the reclusive musician Tucker Crowe (in Duncan's case, an obsession as well as an academic career) is not enough to hold them together any more. When Annie hates Tucker's 'new release', a terrible demo of his most famous album, it's the last straw - Duncan cheats on her and she promptly chucks him. Via an internet discussion forum, Annie's harsh opinion reaches Tucker himself, who couldn't agree more. He and Annie start an unlikely correspondence which teaches them both something about moving on from years of wasted time. Nick Hornby's compelling new novel, four years after A Long Way Down, is about the nature of creativity and obsession, and how two lonely people can gradually find each other.
Tracy Chevalier - Girl with a Pearl Earring
History and fiction merge seamlessly in Tracy Chevalier's luminous novel about artistic vision and sensual awakening. Through the eyes of sixteen-year-old Griet, the world of 1660s Holland comes dazzlingly alive in this richly imagined portrait of the young woman who inspired one of Vermeer's most celebrated paintings.
Jane Austen - Emma (angol)
Jane Austen teased readers with the idea of a 'heroine whom no one but myself will much like', but Emma is irresistible. 'Handsome, clever, and rich', Emma is also an 'imaginist', 'on fire with speculation and foresight'. She sees the signs of romance all around her, but thinks she will never be married. Her matchmaking maps out relationships that Jane Austen ironically tweaks into a clearer perspective. Judgement and imagination are matched in games the reader too can enjoy, and the end is a triumph of understanding.
Mark Lawrence - Red Sister
_The international bestselling author of the Broken Empire and the Red Queen’s War trilogies begins a stunning epic fantasy series about a secretive order of holy warriors..._ At the Convent of Sweet Mercy, young girls are raised to be killers. In some few children the old bloods show, gifting rare talents that can be honed to deadly or mystic effect. But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls. A bloodstained child of eight falsely accused of murder, guilty of worse, Nona is stolen from the shadow of the noose. It takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist, but under Abbess Glass’s care there is much more to learn than the arts of death. Among her class Nona finds a new family — and new enemies. Despite the security and isolation of the convent, Nona’s secret and violent past finds her out, drawing with it the tangled politics of a crumbling empire. Her arrival sparks old feuds to life, igniting vicious struggles within the church and even drawing the eye of the emperor himself. Beneath a dying sun, Nona Grey must master her inner demons, then loose them on those who stand in her way.
Jane Austen - Sanditon / Lady Susan / The History of England
Sanditon, Lady Susan, & The History of England: The Juvenilia and Shorter Works of Jane Austen is a rare collection is a must for all Jane-ites, representing what Richard Church regarded as Jane Austen's literary work-basket. It contains not only her hilarious History of England, illustrated by her favourite sister Cassandra, but the unfinished Sanditon, the novel of her maturity on which she was working at her death, aged forty-two. Also included are the two epistolary novels, Lady Susan and Love and Freindship [sic], and other, shorter works: The Watsons, Catharine, Lesley Castle, Evelyn, Frederic and Elfrida, Jack and Alice, Edgar and Emma, Henry and Eliza and The Three Sisters. This beautiful edition also features an introduction by Kathryn White.
Margaret Cavendish - The Blazing World and Other Writings
Flamboyant, theatrical and ambitious, Margaret Cavendish was one of the seventeenth century's most striking figures: a woman who ventured into the male spheres of politics, science, philosophy and literature. The Blazing World is a highly original work: part Utopian fiction, part feminist text, it tells of a lady shipwrecked on the Blazing World where she is made Empress and uses her power to ensure that it is free of war, religious division and unfair sexual discrimination. This volume also includes The Contract, a romance in which love and law work harmoniously together, and Assaulted and Pursued Chastity, which explores the power and freedom a woman can achieve in the disguise of a man.
Jane Austen - Persuasion (Penguin Readers)
When they were very young, Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth were in love. They did not marry, but Anne never forgot her love for him. Now, many years later, they meet again. Does Wentworth feel anything for Anne, or is he only interested in her pretty young friends?
Terry Pratchett - A Hat Full of Sky
'Crivens!' A real witch never casually steps out of her body, leaving it empty. Eleven-year-old Tiffany does. And there's something just waiting for a handy body to take over. Something ancient and horrible, which can't die... Wise, witty and wonderful. A Hat Full of Sky is Terry Pratchett's second novel about Tiffany and the Wee Free Men - the rowdiest, toughest, smelliest bunch of fairies ever. They'll fight anything. And even they might not be enough to save Tiffany...
Jane Austen - Persuasion (Black Cat Reading & Training)
In 1806, Captain Frederick Wentworth and Miss Anne Elliot fell in love, but since neither of them had any money, Anne’s friend Lady Russell persuaded Anne not to marry the Captain. Eight years later, Anne and Frederick meet again. By this time Frederick has made a fortune in the Navy, but he is still angry with Anne for rejecting him. This – the last of Jane Austen’s novels – is also the most delicate and moving love story she ever wrote. Step 5, Level B2.2
Nick Hornby - Funny Girl
From the bestselling author of High Fidelity, About a Boy, and A Long Way Down comes a highly anticipated new novel. Set in 1960's London, Funny Girl is a lively account of the adventures of the intrepid young Sophie Straw as she navigates her transformation from provincial ingénue to television starlet amid a constellation of delightful characters. Insightful and humorous, Nick Hornby's latest does what he does best: endears us to a cast of characters who are funny if flawed, and forces us to examine ourselves in the process.
Jill Paton Walsh - Debts of Dishonour
Hoping to attract a generous endowment, St Agatha's College, Cambridge, invites fabulously wealthy Sir Julius Farran to dine. The evening is a disaster for everyone but Imogen Quy: Farran asks her to come and work for him. She declines, but when Farran dies, suddenly and shockingly, she has to look into it. His death left a large hole in his company accounts that could mean financial ruin for St Agatha's. To save her college, Imogen starts to cast her cool eye over the financier's heirs, employees and enemies. What is right about the death of Sir Julius What is wrong about it And why did it happen After all, her name rhymes with why .