The letters comprising this small charming novel begin in 1946, when single, 30-something author Juliet Ashton (nom de plume Izzy Bickerstaff) writes to her publisher to say she is tired of covering the sunny side of war and its aftermath. When Guernsey farmer Dawsey Adams finds Juliet’s name in a used book and invites articulate—and not-so-articulate—neighbors to write Juliet with their stories, the book’s epistolary circle widens, putting Juliet back in the path of war stories. The occasionally contrived letters jump from incident to incident—including the formation of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society while Guernsey was under German occupation—and person to person in a manner that feels disjointed. But Juliet’s quips are so clever, the Guernsey inhabitants so enchanting and the small acts of heroism so vivid and moving that one forgives the authors (Shaffer died earlier this year) for not being able to settle on a single person or plot. Juliet finds in the letters not just inspiration for her next work, but also for her life—as will readers.
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)
Philippa Gregory - The Queen's Fool
Into the treacherous Tudor court cornes Hannah. Becoming entangled in the schemes ofhandsome traitor Robert Dudley, she is sent as a Holy Fool to spy on Princess Mary. She finds a woman driven by a fatal desire to turn her people back to the true faith - while her sister Eliz.abpth waits to take advantage of any mistake she makes. Caught in the savage rivalry between the daughters ofHenry VIII, tom by her infatuation with Dudley and duty to her family, thrilled by her own strange gifts but scared ofthe unknown, Hannah must find a safe way through tumultuous times - when the wrong religion is a death sentence, science and rnagic are one, and true love can destroy you...
Alexandra Potter - Me and Mr Darcy
He's every woman's fantasy! After a string of nightmare relationships, Emily Albright has decided she's had it with modern-day men. She'd rather pour herself a glass of wine, curl up with Pride and Prejudice and step into a time where men were dashing, devoted and honourable, strode across fields in breeches, their damp shirts clinging to their chests, and weren't into internet porn. So when her best friend invites her to Mexico for a week of margaritas and men, Emily decides to book a guided tour of Jane Austen country instead. She quickly realises she won't find her dream man here. The coach tour is full of pensioners, apart from one Mr Spike Hargreaves, a foul-tempered journalist sent to write a piece on why Mr Darcy's been voted the man most women would love to date! Until she walks into a room and finds herself face-to-face with Darcy himself. And every woman's fantasy suddenly becomes one woman's reality!
Nick Hornby - Slam
There was this time when everything seemed to have come together. And so obviously it was time to go and screw it all up.’ Sam is sixteen and a skater. Just so there are no terrible misunderstandings: skating = skateboarding. There’s no ice. Life is ticking along nicely for Sam: his mum’s got rid of her rubbish boyfriend, he’s thinking about college and he’s met someone. Alicia. Then a little accident happens. One with big consequences for someone just finding his way in life. Sam can’t run (let alone skate) away from this one. He’s a boy facing a man’s problems and the question is – has he got what it takes to confront them?
Lilian Harry - Under the Apple Tree
When the Luftwaffe unleashes its full fury on the city in the first of three major blitzes, the Taylor family are bombed out. Judy finds her job relocated to a hotel in Southsea, and home is now a small terraced house in April Grove. And then there is the news she has been dreading—her sailor fiance has been killed. Judy and her young, recently widowed aunt Polly decide to turn their grief to good account, and join the WVS, running canteens, accompanying evacuee children, and helping the families of servicemen, often in the face of danger from air raids, flying bombs, and V2 rockets. Gradually, Judy and Polly find their own healing as they take part not only in their war work but in the life of April Grove, and although both are at first convinced they will never know love again, they both find it in the least likely manner.
Ben Macintyre - Agent Zigzag
One December night in 1942, a Nazi parachutist landed in a Cambridgeshire field. His mission: to sabotage the British war effort. His name was Eddie Chapman, but he would shortly become MI5's Agent Zigzag. Dashing and louche, courageous and unpredictable, the traitor was a patriot inside, and the villain a hero. The problem for Chapman, his many lovers and his spymasters was knowing who he was. Ben Macintyre weaves together diaries, letters, photographs, memories and top-secret MI5 files to create the exhilarating account of Britain's most sensational double agent.
Sven Hassel - SS General
The great Stalingrad novel--written by a German survivor. Sven Hassell and his diminishing band of veterans find themselves plunged into the maelstrom of Stalingrad. Radio Moscow boasts that one German soldier dies every minute as they struggle forward on the front, and when the Russians surround the German 6th Army, it seems they're doomed. But Sven and his friends make a last-ditch attempt to break out, to fight their way across the frozen steppe to freedom. Their leader: a fanatical SS general.
Graham Pitchfork - Shot Down and on the Run
Many POW escape stories are well known, but what about those who miraculously evaded capture in the first place and returned to fight another day? This book tells some of the stories of the thousands of shot-down Commonwealth airmen who got out from behind enemy lines during World War II.
Art Spiegelman - Maus: A Survivor's Tale - And Here My Troubles Began
Acclaimed as a "quiet triumph"* and a "brutally moving work of art,"** the first volume of Art Spiegelman's Maus introduced readers to Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist trying to come to terms with his father, his father's terrifying story, and History itself. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), succeeds perfectly in shocking us out of any lingering sense of familiarity with the events described, approaching, as it does, the unspeakable through the diminutive. As the New York Times Book Review commented," [it is] a remarkable feat of documentary detail and novelistic vividness...an unfolding literary event." This long-awaited sequel, subtitled And Here My Troubles Began, moves us from the barracks of Auschwitz to the bungalows of the Catskills. Genuinely tragic and comic by turns, it attains a complexity of theme and a precision of thought new to comics and rare in any medium. Maus ties together two powerful stories: Vladek's harrowing tale of survival against all odds, delineating the paradox of daily life in the death camps, and the author's account of his tortured relationship with his aging father. Vladek's troubled remarriage, minor arguments between father and son, and life's everyday disappointments are all set against a backdrop of history too large to pacify. At every level this is the ultimate survivor's tale -- and that too of the children who somehow survive even the survivors. * Washington Post ** Boston Globe *** "Maus is a book that cannot be put down, truly, even to sleep. When two of the mice speak of love, you are moved, when they suffer, you weep. Slowly through this little tale comprised of suffering, humor and life's daily trials, you are captivated by the language of an old Eastern European family, and drawn into the gentle and mesmerizing rhythm, and when you finish Maus, you are unhappy to have left that magical world and long for the sequel that will return you to it." - Umberto Eco Art Spiegelman is co-founder/editor of _Raw_, the acclaimed magazine of avant-garde comics and graphics. His work has been published in the _New York Times_, _Playboy_, the _Village Voice_ and many other periodicals, and his drawings have been exhibited in museums and galleries here and abroad. Honors he has received for _Maus_ include a Guggenheim fellowship and nomination for the National Books Critics Circle Award. Mr. Spiegelman lives in New York City with his wife, Françoise Mouly and their daughter, Nadja.
Jonas Jonasson - A százéves ember, aki kimászott az ablakon és eltűnt
Egy svéd kisvárosban, az idősek otthonában születésnapi ünneplésre készülnek: az otthon lakóját, a százéves Allan Karlssont akarják felköszönteni - el tudnak képzelni ennél érdektelenebb kezdést? Pedig ez a ravasz Jonasson bizony így kezdi kalandregényét, hogy aztán átcsapjon egy teljesen kiszámíthatatlan és végtelenül vicces ámokfutásba, amelynek minden egyes fordulata elismerő csettintésre készteti az olvasót, és minden bekezdésben ott van legalább egy, de inkább több ütős poén. Nem hiába vásárolták meg a könyvet egy év alatt majd´ nyolcszázezren a kilencmilliós Svédországban, és jelenik meg harminc nyelven szerte a világon.
Adam Makos - Larry Alexander - A Higher Call
Four days before Christmas 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly, a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail—a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber in the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would defy imagination and later be called the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II. This is the true story of the two pilots whose lives collided in the skies that day—the American—2nd Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a former farm boy from West Virginia who came to captain a B-17—and the German—2nd Lieutenant Franz Stigler, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to avoid fighting in World War II. A Higher Call follows both Charlie and Franz’s harrowing missions. Charlie would face takeoffs in English fog over the flaming wreckage of his buddies’ planes, flak bursts so close they would light his cockpit, and packs of enemy fighters that would circle his plane like sharks. Franz would face sandstorms in the desert, a crash alone at sea, and the spectacle of 1,000 bombers each with eleven guns, waiting for his attack. Ultimately, Charlie and Franz would stare across the frozen skies at one another. What happened between them, the American 8th Air Force would later classify as “top secret.” It was an act that Franz could never mention or else face a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search for one another, a last mission that could change their lives forever.
Catherynne M. Valente - Marija Morevna és a Halhatatlan
Marija Morevna gyerekkorában tanúja lesz annak, ahogy madárból emberré változott jóképű fiatalemberek feleségül veszik a nővéreit. Amikor pedig lassan feltárul előtte az orosz mítoszok láthatatlan világa, érte is eljön Halhatatlan Koscsej - hogy nagy hatalmú mesebeli lények és törékeny emberek játszmájának, sodró lendületű történetének részese legyen.
Dick Winters - Beyond Band of Brothers
They were called Easy Company—but their mission was never easy. Immortalized as the Band of Brothers, they suffered 150% casualties while liberating Europe—an unparalleled record of bravery under fire. Dick Winters was their commander—"the best combat leader in World War II" to his men. This is his story—told in his own words for the first time. On D-Day, Dick Winters parachuted into France and assumed leadership of the Band of Brothers when their commander was killed. He led them through the Battle of the Bulge and into Germany, by which time each member had been wounded. They liberated an S.S. death camp from the horrors of the Holocaust and captured Berchtesgaden, Hitler's alpine retreat. After briefly serving during the Korean War, Winters was a highly successful businessman. Made famous by Stephen Ambrose's book Band of Brothers—and the subsequent award-winning HBO miniseries—he is the object of worldwide adulation. Beyond Band of Brothers is Winters's memoir—based on his wartime diary—but it also includes his comrades' untold stories. Virtually all this material is being released for the first time. Only Winters was present from the activation of Easy Company until the war's end. Winner of the Distinguished Service Cross, only he could pen this moving tribute to the human spirit.
Tony Parsons - Starting Over
This is the story of how we grow old - how we give up the dreams of youth for something better - and how many chances we have to get it right. George Bailey has been given the gift we all dream of - the chance to live his life again. After suffering a heart attack at the age of 42, George is given the heart of a 19-year-old - and suddenly everything changes... He is a friend to his teenage son and daughter - and not a stern Home Secretary, monitoring their every move. He makes love to his wife all night long - instead of from midnight until about five past. And suddenly he wants to change the world, just as soon as he shakes off his hangover. But George Bailey discovers that being young again is not all it is cracked up to be - and what he actually wants more than anything in the universe is to have his old life back.
Neil Gaiman - Terry Pratchett - Good Omens
There is a distinct hint of Armageddon in the air. According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (recorded, thankfully, in 1655, before she blew up her entire village and all its inhabitants, who had gathered to watch her burn), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, the Four Bikers of the Apocalypse are revving up their mighty hogs and hitting the road, and the world's last two remaining witch-finders are getting ready to fight the good fight, armed with awkwardly antiquated instructions and stick pins. Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. . . . Right. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon -- each of whom has lived among Earth's mortals for many millennia and has grown rather fond of the lifestyle -- are not particularly looking forward to the coming Rapture. If Crowley and Aziraphale are going to stop it from happening, they've got to find and kill the Antichrist (which is a shame, as he's a really nice kid). There's just one glitch: someone seems to have misplaced him. . . . First published in 1990, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's brilliantly dark and screamingly funny take on humankind's final judgment is back -- and just in time -- in a new hardcover edition (which includes an introduction by the authors, comments by each about the other, and answers to some still-burning questions about their wildly popular collaborative effort) that the devout and the damned alike will surely cherish until the end of all things.
Philip Pullman - Once Upon a Time in the North
Another mesmerizing episode from the universe of His Dark Materials, including the very first meeting of those two legends and friends Lee Scoresby, the Texan balloonist, and Iorek Byrnison, the armored bear. Set in the far frozen Arctic, _Once_ _Upon_ _a_ _Time_ _in_ _the_ _North_ contains other teasingly authentic memorabilia and clues, together with a thrilling board game, Peril of the Pole - complete with spinner, game board, and pieces - all beautifully illustrated and rendered by master engraver John Lawrence.
Deborah Moggach - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
When Ravi Kapoor, an over-worked London doctor, is driven beyond endurance by his obnoxious father-in-law, he asks his wife: 'Can't we just send him away somewhere? Somewhere far, far away.' His prayer seems to have been answered when his entrepreneurial cousin, Sonny, sets up a retirement home, recreating a lost corner of England in a converted guesthouse in Bangalore. Travel and set-up are inexpensive, staff willing and plentiful - and the British pensioners can enjoy the hot weather and take mango juice with their gin. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a brilliant comedy of manners, mixing acute observation with a deeper message about how different cultures cope in the modern world. First published with the title These Foolish Things
Ian McEwan - Atonement
In this rich novel by the author of the Booker Prize-winning novel "Amsterdam", a young girl unwittingly tells a tale that turns her family upside down. Brilliant and utterly enthralling in its depiction of childhood, love and war, England and class, "Atonement" is at its center a profound--and profoundly moving--exploration of shame and forgiveness, of atonement and the difficulty of absolution.
Elizabeth Wein - Code Name Verity
I have two weeks. You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do. That's what you do to enemy agents. It's what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine - and I will do anything, anything, to avoid SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden interrogating me again. He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I'm going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France - an Allied Invasion of Two. We are a sensational team