Tremendous historical novel of the early 1600s, as seen through the eyes of John Tradescant, gardener to the great men of the age. A traveller in a time of discovery, the greatest gardening pioneer of his day, yet a man of humble birth: John Tradescant’s story is a mirror to the extraordinary age in which he lives. As gardener and confidante to Sir Robert Cecil, Tradescant is well placed to observe the social and political changes that are about to sweep through the kingdom. While his master conjures intrigues at Court, Tradescant designs for him the magnificent garden at Hatfield, scouring the known world for ever more wonderful plants: new varieties of fruit and flower, the first horse chestnuts to be cultivated in England, even larches from Russia. Moving to the household of the flamboyant Duke of Buckingham, Tradescant witnesses at first hand the growing division between Parliament and the people; and the most loyal of servants must find a way to become an independent squire.
Marina Fiorato - The Venetian Contract
1576. Five years after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto, a ship steals unnoticed into Venice bearing a deadly cargo. A man more dead than alive, disembarks and staggers into Piazza San Marco. He brings a gift to Venice from Constantinople. Within days the city is infected with bubonic plague - and the Turkish Sultan has his revenge. But the ship also holds a secret stowaway - Feyra, a young and beautiful harem doctor fleeing a future as the Sultan's concubine. Only her wits and medical knowledge keep her alive as the plague ravages Venice. In despair the Doge commissions the architect Andrea Palladio to build the greatest church of his career - an offering to God so magnificent that Venice will be saved. But Palladio's own life is in danger too, and it will require all skills of medico Annibale Cason, the city's finest plague doctor, to keep him alive. But what Annibale had not counted on was meeting Feyra, who is now under Palladio's protection, a woman who can not only match his medical skills but can also teach him how to care.
Marina Fiorato - The Daughter of Siena
Amid the intrigue and danger of 18th-century Italy, a young woman becomes embroiled in romance and treachery with a rider in the Palio, the breathtaking horse race set in Siena....It’s 1729, and the Palio, a white-knuckle horse race, is soon to be held in the heart of the peerless Tuscan city of Siena. But the beauty and pageantry masks the deadly rivalry that exists among the city’s districts. Each ward, represented by an animal symbol, puts forth a rider to claim the winner’s banner, but the contest turns citizens into tribes and men into beasts—and beautiful, headstrong, young Pia Tolomei is in love with a rider of an opposing ward, an outsider who threatens the shaky balance of intrigue and influence that rules the land.
Cassandra Clare - City of Lost Souls
The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees. No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own? Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell — a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives. And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love? Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.
Milly Johnson - A Summer Fling
When dynamic, power-dressing Christie blows in like a warm wind to take over their department, five very different women find themselves thrown together at work. But none of them could have predicted the fierce bond of friendship that her leadership would inspire. . . Anna, 39, is reeling from the loss of her fiancé , who ran off with a much younger woman. Her pride in tatters, these days Anna finds it difficult to leave the house. So when a handsome, mysterious stranger takes an interest in her, she's not sure whether she can learn to trust again? Then there's Grace, in her fifties, trapped in a loveless marriage with a man she married because, unable to have children of her own, she fell in love with his motherless brood. Grace worries that Dawn is about to make the same mistake: orphaned as a child, engaged to love-rat Calum, is Dawn more interested in the security that comes with his tight-knit, boisterous family? When a sexy, footloose rock singer catches her eye, will Dawn have the courage to follow her heart? At 28, Raychel is the youngest member of their little gang. And with a loving husband, Ben, and a cosy little nest for two, she would seem to be the happiest. But what dark secrets are lurking behind this perfect facade, that make sweet, pretty Raychel so guarded and unwilling to open up? Under Christie's warm hand, the girls soon realise they have some difficult choices to make. Indeed, none of them quite realised how much they needed the sense of fun, laughter, and loyalty that abounds when five women become friends. It's one for all, and all for one!
Patrick Süskind - Perfume
An acclaimed bestseller and international sensation, Patrick Suskind's classic novel provokes a terrifying examination of what happens when one man's indulgence in his greatest passion-his sense of smell-leads to murder. In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift-an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs. But Grenouille's genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there, and he becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of objects such as brass doorknobs and frest-cut wood. Then one day he catches a hint of a scent that will drive him on an ever-more-terrifying quest to create the "ultimate perfume"-the scent of a beautiful young virgin. Told with dazzling narrative brillance, Perfume is a hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity.
Frances Hodgson Burnett - The Secret Garden
The magical story of a secret garden which has been locked away for ten years. After the death of her parents, Mary is brought back from India as a forlorn and unwanted child to live in her uncle's great lonely house on the moors. She is miserable and disagreeable, until the wonderful day she discovers a hidden door to a mysterious secret garden.
Stephenie Meyer - Twilight
A seventeen-year-old teenager, Bella Swan, moved from Phoniex to Forks, Washington to live with her father. After going to school one day, she falls deeply in love with who she didn't know was something she could have never guessed....a vampire. The gorgoeus Edward Cullen is the vampire. Once Edward gets over being a vampire and Bella a human, they get together. Although everybody else thinks that it's weird that Edward is finally dating, Bella and Edward simply don't care. When an unexpected visitor comes to Forks, Edward and Bella start to have some trouble. What will happen next? You'll have to read to find out.
Philippa Gregory - The White Queen
The first in historical novelist Philippa Gregory's latest series The Cousins' War, The White Queen plunges the reader into the late medieval England of the Wars of the Roses. It tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the beautiful, ambitious wife of Yorkist king Edward and mother of the two princes whose deaths in the Tower of London have never really been explained. This is historical fiction as pure entertainment and none the worse for it: Gregory draws heavily on Woodville's reputation as a witch and the family myth that she cast an enchantment over Edward. Despite all the hocus-pocus, though, Gregory also keeps her reader glued with well-researched accounts of courtly intrigue and the sense that in this period, suspicion and brutal death were everywhere. There are tacky moments, such as when Elizabeth foresees Richard, who becomes the ill-fated King Richard III, dying in accordance with the lines in Shakespeare's play but this is, nonetheless, rollicking, page-turning stuff.
Maggie Stiefvater - Linger
This is the story of a boy who used to be a wolf and a girl who was becoming one. Just a few months ago, it was Sam who was the mythical creature. His was the disease we couldn't cure. His was the good-bye that meant the most. He had the body that was a mystery, too strange and wonderful and terrifying to comprehend. But now it is spring. With the heat, the remaining wolves will soon be falling out of their wolf pelts and back into their human bodies. Sam stays Sam, and Cole stays Cole, and it's only me who's not firmly in my own skin.
J. K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Read by Jim Dale Running time: 11 hrs., 48 mins. 10 CDs. For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort. Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well. And the Azkban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts...he's at Hogwarts." Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.
Jane Austen - Mansfield Park
Jane Austen views the social mores of her day through Fanny Price, a shy and sweet-tempered girl adopted by wealthy relations. An outsider looking in on an unfamiliar and often inhospitable world, Fanny eventually wins the affection of her benefactors, endearing herself to the Bertram family and the audience alike.
Amanda Stevens - The Restorer
My name is Amelia Gray. I'm a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I've always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe. It started with the discovery of a young woman's brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I've been hired to restore. The clues to the killer—and to his other victims—lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret. Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I've vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.
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.
Charles Dickens - David Copperfield (angol)
'Please, Mr Murdstone! Don't beat me! I've tried to team my lessons, really I have, sir!' sobs David. Although he is only eight years old, Mr Murdstone does beat him, and David is so frightened that he bites his cruel stepfather's hand. For that, he is kept locked in his room for five days and nights, and nobody is allowed to speak to him. As David grows up, he learns that life is full of trouble and misery and cruelty. But he also finds laughter and kindness, trust and friendship... and love.
Philippa Gregory - The Little House
Ruth and her husband, Patrick, live in Bristol, where she works as a correspondent for a mediocre radio station and he is an up-and-coming TV news reporter. Their marriage is not ideal, but the warmth offered by Patrick and his parents is a welcome change for Ruth, who was orphaned at the age of seven. Every Sunday Ruth and Patrick visit his parents at their eighteenth-century manor farmhouse - afternoons loved by Patrick and tolerated by Ruth. Then "the little house" at the end of her in-laws' lane comes up for sale. When Ruth discovers that she is pregnant, she is persuaded by Patrick and his parents to abandon her career and move from their city apartment to the quaint home in the country - everything Patrick's mother has always wanted. Ruth is lonely, uncomfortable, and bitter. Her husband does not understand, and she is living under the watchful eye of a domineering mother-in-law. Even her own pregnancy seems like a burden. As circumstances threaten to overwhelm her, Ruth struggles to set her life straight with a precarious mix of good humor and outrage, composure and desperation. The result is an engrossing, tragicomic tale of dysfunction - with an utterly surprising, ironic, and intriguing conclusion.
J. K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter is an ordinary boy who lives in a cupboard under the stairs at his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon’s house, which he thinks is normal for someone like him who’s parents have been killed in a ‘car crash’. He is bullied by them and his fat, spoilt cousin Dudley, and lives a very unremarkable life with only the odd hiccup (like his hair growing back overnight!) to cause him much to think about. That is until an owl turns up with a letter addressed to Harry and all hell breaks loose! He is literally rescued by a world where nothing is as it seems and magic lessons are the order of the day. Read and find out how Harry discovers his true heritage at Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, the reason behind his parents mysterious death, who is out to kill him, and how he uncovers the most amazing secret of all time, the fabled Philosopher’s Stone! All this and muggles too. Now, what are they?? The Author: This is Jo’s first book and she has already written seven outlines for Harry’s further adventures at Hogwarts. She lives in Edinburgh.
Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice
The Collector's Library in Colour takes the favourite illustrated titles of The Collector's Library and presents them in full colour. Jane Austen's best-loved novel is a memorable story about the inaccuracy of first impressions, about the power of reason, and above all about the strange dynamics of human relationships and emotions. Here, where Hugh Thomson's delightful period illustrations were originally black-and-white, they have been sensitively coloured by Barbara Frith, one of Britain 's most accomplished colourists. A tour de force of wit and sparkling dialogue, Pride and Prejudice shows how the headstrong Elizabeth Bennett and the aristocratic Mr Darcy must have their pride humbled and their prejudices dissolved before they can acknowledge their love for each other." With an Afterword by Henry Hitchings.
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)
Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice (Oxford Bookworms)
The moment I first met you, I noticed your pride, your sense of superiority, and your selfish disdain for the feelings of others. You are the last man in the world whom I could ever be persuaded to marry,’ said Elizabeth Bennet. And so Elizabeth rejects the proud Mr Darcy. Can nothing overcome her prejudice against him? And what of the other Bennet girls – their fortunes, and misfortunes, in the business of getting husbands? This famous novel by Jane Austen is full of wise and humorous observation of the people and manners of her times.
Natalie Scharf - Sophie, Sissi lázadó húga
Sophie a "magyarok királynőjének", Sissinek a legfiatalabb és talán a legkedvesebb húga volt. A vadóc, életvidám teremtés, frissítően hatott egész környezetére. Kérője szép számmal akadt, fényes királyi udvarokból érkeztek. De Sophie szívét egy közrendű polgár, egy müncheni fotográfus nyerte el. Szerelmük azonban tragikus fordulatot vett... Az izgalmas regény élvezetes stílusban, színesen eleveníti meg a bajor udvar légkörét, s a kötöttségek ellen lázadó Sophie megrendítő sorsát.