Utopia Avenue are the strangest British band you’ve never heard of. Emerging from London’s psychedelic scene in 1967 and fronted by folksinger Elf Holloway, guitar demigod Jasper de Zoet and blues bassist Dean Moss, Utopia Avenue released only two LPs during its brief and blazing journey from the clubs of Soho and draughty ballrooms to Top of the Pops and the cusp of chart success, to glory in Amsterdam, prison in Rome and a fateful American fortnight in the autumn of 1968.
David Mitchell’s new novel tells the unexpurgated story of Utopia Avenue; of riots in the streets and revolutions in the head; of drugs, thugs, madness, love, sex, death, art; of the families we choose and the ones we don’t; of fame’s Faustian pact and stardom’s wobbly ladder. Can we change the world in turbulent times, or does the world change us? Utopia means ‘nowhere’ but could a shinier world be within grasp, if only we had a map?
Joss Stirling - Angel Dares
Angel is impulsive. Disguising her savant ability to control water doesn't come easily to her. Then she meets the broodingly handsome Marcus at a music festival where they're both performing, and finds herself all at sea. For when he sings, her soul answers with its own music. Like the tide, their mutual attraction cannot be held back but Marcus's mistrust of Angel's gift is even stronger. How can they ever be together if Marcus is unable to accept who Angel is or what they could mean to each other? And with the net closing in on the Savant community- it is time for everyone to choose a side. A stunning new novel from the best-selling author of Finding Sky, Stealing Phoenix, and Seeking Crystal.
Trisha Ashley - Wedding Tiers
The path of true love never runs smooth. But for some, it's one seriously bumpy ride... Josie Gray and her childhood sweetheart Ben Richards always dreamt of living a life of rural bliss. And when Josie inherits her beloved Grandmother's cottage in Neatslake, Lancashire, it seems they might have got just that. Josie throws herself into her wedding cake business, whilst Ben gains increasing acclaim as an artist. The tranquil village turns into a hive of activity when Josie's childhood friend Libby Martin returns to the village, planning a lavish wedding to rival any celeb bash. But amidst all this romance, Josie's fairytale relationship with Ben turns into a nightmare, and she quickly becomes Love's number one cynic – until charming wedding photographer Noah Sephton arrives in Neatslake with a very different outlook on love... A heartwarming new romantic comedy from Sunday Times bestselling author Trisha Ashley
Robert Paul Weston - The Creature Department
It’s a tentacled, inventive, gooey, world in there. . . . Elliot Von Doppler and his friend Leslie think nothing ever happens in Bickleburgh, except inside the gleaming headquarters of DENKi-3000—the world’s eighth-largest electronics factory. Beneath the glass towers and glittering skywalks, there's a rambling old mansion from which all the company’s amazing inventions spring forth. And no one except Uncle Archie knows what’s behind the second-to-last door at the end of the hall. Until Elliot and Leslie are invited to take a glimpse inside. They find stooped, troll-like creatures with jutting jaws and broken teeth. Tiny winged things that sparkle as they fly. And huge, hulking, hairy nonhumans (with horns). It is unlike anything they’ve ever seen. But when Chuck Brickweather threatens to shut down the DENKi-3000 factory if a new product isn’t presented soon, the creatures know they are in danger. And when Uncle Archie vanishes, it’s up to Elliot, Leslie, and every one of the unusual, er, “employees” to create an invention so astonishing it will save the Creature Department.
Mary Stewart - This Rough Magic
When Lucy Waring came to Corfu to visit her sister Phyllida Forli, she was elated to discover that the castello above their villa had been rented to Sir Julian Gale. A very minor cog in the London theatre, Lucy not unnaturally felt something close to reverence for Sir Julian, one of the brilliant lights of England's theatrical world. But any hope of meeting him was quickly dashed by Phyl, who indicated, with uncharacteristic vagueness, that not all was well with the great man and that his composer son, Max, discouraged visitors, particularly strangers . . . Lucy encounted Max Gale the first morning of her arrival—and a tempestuous meeting it was. For Lucy had made friends with an enchanting dolphin by whom she had first been thoroughly frightened then completely captivated. It was when she was sunning on the rocks above the cove that the shots came, and the only person in view was Max Gale . . . Thus begins a series of mystifying and thoroughly frightening events which tinge the otherwise sparkling setting of Corfu with the dark hues of violence. In every way This Rough Magic measures up to its predecessors—in spirited characterization, vivid description, glowing romance and unrelenting excitement. This is storytelling at its best. —jacket William Morrow edition, 1964
Bernard Cornwell - The Last Kingdom
'I had been given a perfect childhood, perfect, at least, to the ideas of a boy. I was raised among men, I was free, I ran wild, was encumbered by no laws, was troubled by no priests and was encouraged to violence.' Uhtred is an English boy, born into the aristocracy of 9th Century Northumbria, but orphaned at ten, adopted by a Dane and taught the Viking ways. Yet Uhtred's fate is indissolubly bound up with Alfred, King of Wessex, who rules over the last English kingdom when the Danes have overrun Northumbria, Mercia and East Anglia. That war, with its massacres, defeats and betrayals, is the background to Uhtred's childhood, a childhood which leaves him uncertain of his loyalties, but a slaughter in a winter dawn propels him to the English side and he will become a man just as the Danes launch their fiercest attack yet on Alfred's kingdom. Marriage ties him further to the West Saxon cause, but when his wife and child vanish in the chaos of a Danish invasion, Uhtred is driven to face the greatest of the Viking chieftains in a battle beside the sea, and there, in the horror of a shield-wall, he discovers his true allegiance.
China Miéville - Perdido Street Station
The metropolis of New Crobuzon sprawls at the centre of its own bewildering world. Humans and mutants and arcane races throng the gloom beneath its chimneys, where the rivers are sluggish with unnatural effluent, and factories and foundries pound into the night. For more than a thousand years, the parliament and its brutal militia have ruled over a vast array of workers and artists, spies, magicians, junkies and whores. Now a stranger has come, with a pocketful of gold and an impossible demand, and inadvertently something unthinkable is released. Soon the city is gripped by an alien terror - and the fate of millions depends on a clutch of outcasts on the run from lawmakers and crime-lords alike. The urban nightscape becomes a hunting ground as battles rage in the shadows of bizarre buildings. And a reckoning is due at the city's heart, in the vast edifice of Perdido Street Station. It is too late to escape.
China Miéville - Kraken (angol)
British fantasist Miéville mashes up cop drama, cults, popular culture, magic, and gods in a Lovecraftian New Weird caper sure to delight fans of Perdido Street Station and The City & the City. When a nine-meter-long dead squid is stolen, tank and all, from a London museum, curator Billy Harrow finds himself swept up in a world he didn't know existed: one of worshippers of the giant squid, animated golems, talking tattoos, and animal familiars on strike. Forced on the lam with a renegade kraken cultist and stalked by cops and crazies, Billy finds his quest to recover the squid sidelined by questions as to what force may now be unleashed on an unsuspecting world. Even Miéville's eloquent prose can't conceal the meandering, bewildering plot, but his fans will happily swap linearity for this dizzying whirl of outrageous details and fantastic characters.
Ian Fleming - Casino Royale (angol)
In the first of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels, 007 declares war on Le Chiffre, French communist and paymaster of the Soviet murder organization SMERSH. The battle begins with a fifty-million-franc game of baccarat, gains momentum during Bond's fiery love affair with a sensuous lady spy, and reaches a chilling climax with fiendish torture at the hands of a master sadist. For incredible suspense, unexpected thrills, and extraordinary danger, nothing can beat James Bond in his inaugural adventure.
Peter F. Hamilton - Mindstar Rising
It's the 21st century and global warming is here to stay, so forget the way your country used to look. And get used to the free market, too - the companies possess all the best hardware, and they're calling the shots now. In a world like this, a man open to any offers can make out just fine. A man like Greg Mandel for instance, who's psi-boosted, wired into the latest sensory equipment, carrying state-of-the-art weaponry - and late of the English Army's Mindstar Battalion. As the cartels battle for control of a revolutionary new power source, and corporate greed outstrips national security, tension is mounting to boiling point - and Greg Mandel is about to face the ultimate test.
Chris Cleave - Little Bee
We don't want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific. The story starts there, but the book doesn't. And it's what happens afterwards that is most important. Once you have read it, you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.
Catherine Fisher - The Glass Tower
The Glass Tower is a Trilogy that brings together three of Catherine Fisher's earliest Novels; The Conjuror's Game, Fintan's Tower, and The Candle Man. The Conjuror's Game A novel which was shortlisted for the 1990 Smarties Award. Alick wonders where Luke Ferris gets his healing powers, why he has six fingers and what his connections are with the sinister goings-on in Halcombe Great Wood. Unwittingly, Alick unleashes dark and terrifying forces on the world. Fintan's Tower Jamie and his sister Jen are drawn into a world of sorcery on a quest to rescue the prisoner from Fintan's Tower. The author also wrote "The Conjuror's Game", which was shortlisted for the Smarties Award. The Candle Man The story of Conor who lives in an isolated part of Wales, reclaimed long ago from the sea. When Conor meets a strange fiddler out on the levels, he is intrigued and is soon persuaded to help the man, Meurig, steal back a candle which, if allowed to burn away, will end Meurig's life.
Jonathan Coe - The house of sleep
The House of Sleep - Jonathan Coe's comic tale of love and obsession Sarah is a narcoleptic who has dreams so vivid she mistakes them for real events; Robert has his life changed for ever by the misunderstandings arising from her condition; Terry, the insomniac, spends his wakeful nights fuelling his obsession with movies; and the increasingly unstable Dr Gregory Dudden sees sleep as a life-shortening disease which must be eradicated. . . A group of students sharing a house. They fall in and out of love, they drift apart. Yet a decade later they are drawn back together by a series of coincidences involving their obsession with sleep - and each other. . . Winner of the 1998 Prix Médicis Étranger, The House of Sleep is an intensely moving and frequently hilarious novel about love, obsession and sleep.
Robert Harris - The Ghost
The role of a ghostwriter is to make his client look good, not to uncover the truth. But what happens when the client is a major political figure, and the truth could change the course of history? Adam Lang, the controversial former prime minister of Britain, is writing his memoirs. But his first ghostwriter dies under shocking circumstances, and his replacement—whose experience lies in portraying aging rock stars and film idols—knows little about Lang’s inner circle. Flown to join Lang in a secure house on the remote shores of Martha’s Vineyard in the depths of winter, cut off from everyone and everything he knows, he comes to realize he should never have taken the job. It’s not just his predecessor’s mysterious death that haunts him, but Adam Lang himself. Deep in Lang’s past are buried shocking secrets . . . secrets with the power to alter world politics . . . secrets with the power to kill.
Jasper Fforde - The Song of the Quarkbeast
A long time ago magic faded away, leaving behind only yo-yos, the extremely useful compass-pointing-to-North enchantment and the spell that keep bicycles from falling over. Things are about to change. Magical power is on the rise and King Snodd IV of Hereford has realised that he who controls magic controls almost anything. One person stands between Snodd and his plans for power and riches beyond the wildest dreams of avarice. Meet Jennifer Strange, sixteen-year-old acting manager of Kazam, the employment agency for sorcerers and soothsayers. With only one functioning wizard and her faithful assistant 'Tiger' Prawns, Jennifer must use every ounce of ingenuity to derail King Snodd's plans. It may involve a trip on a magic carpet at the speed of sound to the Troll Wall, the mysterious Transient Moose, and a powerless sorceress named Once Magnificent Boo. But one thing is certain: Jennifer Strange will not relinquish the noble powers of magic to big business and commerce without a fight.
Jasper Fforde - The Last Dragonslayer
In the good old days, magic was powerful, unregulated by government, and even the largest spell could be woven without filling in magic release form B1-7g. Then the magic started fading away. Fifteen-year-old Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, an employment agency for soothsayers and sorcerers. But work is drying up. Drain cleaner is cheaper than a spell, and even magic carpets are reduced to pizza delivery. So it's a surprise when the visions start. Not only do they predict the death of the Last Dragon at the hands of a dragonslayer, they also point to Jennifer, and say something is coming. Big Magic ...
Jasper Fforde - Early Riser
Imagine a world where all humans must hibernate through a brutally cold winter, their bodies dangerously close to death as they enter an ultra-low metabolic state of utterly dreamless sleep. All humans, that is, apart from the Sleep Marshalls, a group of officers who diligently watch over the vulnerable sleeping citizens. When John Fugue, a junior Sleep Marshall, finds himself in the forgotten rural outpost of Sector Twelve, he hears of a conspiracy - a viral dream is somehow spreading amongst those in the hibernational state, causing paranoia, hallucination and a psychotic episode that can end in murder. When Fugue enters the Sleepstate himself and wakes two months later, all those who knew about the dream have disappeared and, more disturbingly, Fugue himself can recall parts of the viral dream - a dream that shouldn't be possible.
Joanne Harris - Chocolat
When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud identifies her as a serious danger to his flock - especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial. War is declared as the priest denounces the newcomer's wares as the ultimate sin. Suddenly Vianne's shop-cum-café means that there is somewhere for secrets to be whispered, grievances to be aired, dreams to be tested. But Vianne's plans for an Easter Chocolate Festival divide the whole community in a conflict that escalates into a 'Church not Chocolate' battle. As mouths water in anticipation, can the solemnity of the Church compare with the pagan passion of a chocolate éclair?
Joanna Trollope - Marrying the Mistress
What happens when the esteemed head of a family -- a judge no less -- announces he is leaving a decades-old marriage to marry his mistress? How do his grown sons feel? How do his grandchildren react? And what if that mistress actually turns out to be an immensely likable woman? In Marrying the Mistress, Joanna Trollope -- a descendant of Anthony Trollope and a No. 1 bestselling author in England -- combines her trademark sensitivity with a new boldness and honesty that make this book her most true-to-life. Read an excerpt from the novel below.
Kingsley Amis - The Alteration
The year is 1976 and we are alive in an all-Catholic world. The Reformation never took place because Martin Luther made a deal with Rome and became Pope Martin I. The "alteration" proposed to Hubert Anvil, brilliant 10-year-old boy soprano, is that most feared by all males. Pope John XXIV wishes Hubert to preserve the purity of his voice to glorify the Church on a permanent basis; Hubert wishes to share his talent but he has some disquieting thoughts about Pope John's proposal.
Jane Austen - Vera Nazarian - Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons
From the author of Mansfield Park and Mummies... NORTHANGER ABBEY AND ANGELS AND DRAGONS Dragons in the skies of Regency England! Gothic horrors collide with high satire in this elegant, hilarious, witty, insane, and unexpectedly romantic supernatural parody of Jane Austen's classic novel. Young and naive Catherine Morland is constantly surrounded by angels only she alone can see. Leaving her country home for the first time, to embark on a grand adventure that begins in fashionable Bath, our romantic heroine must not only decrypt the mystery of the Udolpho Code but win her true love Henry Tilney. Meanwhile she is beset by all the Gothic horrors known to Impressionable Young Ladies -- odious demons, Regency balls, elusive ghosts, pleasure excursions, temperature-changing nephilim, secret clues, ogre suitors, and a terrifying ancient Dragon who has very likely hidden a secret treasure hoard somewhere in the depths of Northanger Abbey.