Neil Gaiman - The Graveyard Book
When a baby escapes a murderer intent on killing the entire family, who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard? Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead. But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him — after all, he is the last remaining member of the family. A stunningly original novel deftly constructed over eight chapters, featuring every second year of Bod’s life, from babyhood to adolescence. Will Bod survive to be a man?
Louisa May Alcott - Little Women
A classic with girls everywhere, LITTLE WOMEN tells the gripping story of the four March sisters--Jo, Amy, Beth, and Meg--as they struggle to grow up in an impoverished New England family during the Civil War. In this old-fashioned coming-of-age novel based on Louisa May Alcott's own interesting childhood, each sister, though uniquely talented, has to overcome her own unfortunate qualities, which include bluntness, vanity, shyness, and self-indulgence. Book One focuses on the pleasures and pains of life with their loving and wise mother, Marmee, while their father, a minister, serves in the war. Book Two takes place after the war has ended and the father has returned to the family. Jo's intense determination to become a professional writer, Beth’s loving heart, Meg’s work as a governess, and Amy’s burgeoning artistic talent are each followed with care.
Elizabeth Gaskell - Mary Barton
Mary Barton, subtitled 'A Tale of Manchester Life', is the first novel by Mrs Gaskel. The entirely working-class cast of characters in this novel was then an innovation. The background story is Manchester in the 'hungry forties' and the acute poverty of the unemployed mill-hands. Mary Batson, daughter of an embittered worker, wins the attention of Henry Carson, son of one of the employers. But a group of workmen plot his murder as a warning to his class, and it falls upon Mary's father to perform the deed. Suspicion lies with Mary's working class admirer, Jem, who is tried for his life. Finally, John Barton is driven by guilt to confess.
Jane Austen - Seth Grahame-Smith - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Can she vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read.
Peter Strutt - English for International Tourism - Upper-Intermediate Coursebook
This course includes authentic material taken from Dorling Kindersley's acclaimed Eyewitness Travel Guides which explore some of the world's top tourist destinations. The series builds learner confidence in the professional skills needed for the tourist industry whilst developing their language awareness. Students practise these skills in realistic Case Studies that reflect topical tourism issues. The DVD-ROM accompanying the Coursebook includes travel DVDs with accompanying worksheets. English for International Tourism is recommended preparation for the LCCI English for tourism exams www.lcci.org.uk.
Kathleen Grissom - The Kitchen House
When a white servant girl violates the order of plantation society, she unleashes a tragedy that exposes the worst and best in the people she has come to call her family. Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin. Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction. Lavinia finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When she is forced to make a choice, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare, and lives are put at risk. The Kitchen House is a tragic story of page-turning suspense, exploring the meaning of family, where love and loyalty prevail.
N. H. Kleinbaum - Dead Poets Society
Todd Anderson and his friends at Welton Academy can hardly believe how different life is since their new English professor, the flamboyant John Keating, has challenged them to "make your lives extraordinary! " Inspired by Keating, the boys resurrect the Dead Poets Society--a secret club where, free from the constraints and expectations of school and parents, they let their passions run wild. As Keating turns the boys on to the great words of Byron, Shelley, and Keats, they discover not only the beauty of language, but the importance of making each moment count. But the Dead Poets pledges soon realize that their newfound freedom can have tragic consequences. Can the club and the individuality it inspires survive the pressure from authorities determined to destroy their dreams?
Michael Thomas Ford - Suicide Notes
I'm not crazy. I don't see what the big deal is about what happened. But apparently someone does think it's a big deal because here I am. I bet it was my mother. She always overreacts. Fifteen-year-old Jeff wakes up on New Year's Day to find himself in the hospital. Make that the psychiatric ward. With the nutjobs. Clearly, this is all a huge mistake. Forget about the bandages on his wrists and the notes on his chart. Forget about his problems with his best friend, Allie, and her boyfriend, Burke. Jeff's perfectly fine, perfectly normal, not like the other kids in the hospital with him. Now they've got problems. But a funny thing happens as his forty-five-day sentence drags on - the crazies start to seem less crazy. Compelling, witty, and refreshingly real, Suicide Notes is a darkly humorous novel from award-winning author Michael Thomas Ford that examines that fuzzy line between "normal" and the rest of us.
Sonia Gensler - The Dark Between
A supernatural romance about the powers that lie in the shadows of the mind, perfect for fans of Sarah Rees Brennan, Alyxandra Harvey, and Libba Bray. At the turn of the twentieth century, Spiritualism and séances are all the rage - even in the scholarly town of Cambridge, England. While mediums dupe the grief-stricken, a group of local fringe scientists seeks to bridge the gap to the spirit world by investigating the dark corners of the human mind. Each running from a shadowed past, Kate, Asher, and Elsie take refuge within the walls of Summerfield College. But their peace is soon shattered by the discovery of a dead body nearby. Is this the work of a flesh-and-blood villain, or is something otherworldly at play? This unlikely trio must illuminate what the scientists have not, and open a window to secrets taken to the grave - or risk joining the spirit world themselves.
Tom Perrotta - The Leftovers
What if—whoosh, right now, with no explanation—a number of us simply vanished? Would some of us collapse? Would others of us go on, one foot in front of the other, as we did before the world turned upside down? That’s what the bewildered citizens of Mapleton, who lost many of their neighbors, friends and lovers in the event known as the Sudden Departure, have to figure out. Because nothing has been the same since it happened—not marriages, not friendships, not even the relationships between parents and children. Kevin Garvey, Mapleton’s new mayor, wants to speed up the healing process, to bring a sense of renewed hope and purpose to his traumatized community. Kevin’s own family has fallen apart in the wake of the disaster: his wife, Laurie, has left to join the Guilty Remnant, a homegrown cult whose members take a vow of silence; his son, Tom, is gone, too, dropping out of college to follow a sketchy prophet named Holy Wayne. Only Kevin’s teenaged daughter, Jill, remains, and she’s definitely not the sweet “A” student she used to be. Kevin wants to help her, but he’s distracted by his growing relationship with Nora Durst, a woman who lost her entire family on October 14th and is still reeling from the tragedy, even as she struggles to move beyond it and make a new start. With heart, intelligence and a rare ability to illuminate the struggles inherent in ordinary lives, Tom Perrotta has written a startling, thought-provoking novel about love, connection and loss.
F. Scott Fitzgerald - Flappers and Philosophers
Flappers and Philosophers was F. Scott Fitzgerald's initial encore - his first collection of short fiction, published in 1920 to capitalize on the success of This Side of Paradise, the novel that had made him famous at the age of twenty-three. Flappers and Philosophers contains some of Fitzgerald's best early stories: 'The Offshore Pirate' 'Bernice Bobs Her Hair', 'The Ice Palace', and 'Benediction'. In these narratives Fitzgerald presented his prototypical Jazz-Age heroines, beautiful and willful young women who later became trademarks of his fiction.
Edna O'Brien - Byron in Love
Byron, more than any other poet, has come to personify the poet as rebel, imaginative and lawless, reaching beyond race, creed or frontier, his gigantic flaws redeemed by a magnetism and ultimately a heroism that by ending in tragedy raised it and him from the particular to the universal. Everything about Lord George Gordon Byron was a paradox - insider and outsider, beautiful and deformed, serious and facetious, profligate but on occasion miserly, and possessed of a fierce intelligence trapped forever in a child's magic and malices. He was also a great poet, but as he reminded us, poetry is a distinct faculty and has little to do with the individual life of its creator. Edna O'Brien's exemplary biography focuses upon the diverse and colourful women in Byron's life.
Gabrielle Zevin - Because It Is My Blood
“Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in.”- Michael Corleone, The Godfather Since her release from Liberty Children's Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. No high school wants her with a gun possession charge on her rap sheet. Plus, all the people in her life have moved on: Natty has skipped two grades at Holy Trinity, Scarlet and Gable seem closer than ever, and even Win is in a new relationship.But when old friends return demanding that certain debts be paid, Anya is thrown right back into the criminal world that she had been determined to escape. It’s a journey that will take her across the ocean and straight into the heart of the birthplace of chocolate where her resolve--and her heart--will be tested as never before.
Libba Bray - The Diviners
It's 1920s New York City. It's flappers and Follies, jazz and gin. It's after the war but before the depression. And for certain group of bright young things it's the opportunity to party like never before. For Evie O'Neill, it's escape. She's never fit in in small town Ohio and when she causes yet another scandal, she's shipped off to stay with an uncle in the big city. But far from being exile, this is exactly what she's always wanted: the chance to show how thoroughly modern and incredibly daring she can be. But New York City isn't about just jazz babies and follies girls. It has a darker side. Young women are being murdered across the city. And these aren't crimes of passion. They're gruesome. They're planned. They bear a strange resemblance to an obscure group of tarot cards. And the New York City police can't solve them alone. Evie wasn't just escaping the stifling life of Ohio, she was running from the knowledge of what she could do. She has a secret. A mysterious power that could help catch the killer - if he doesn't catch her first.
Cheryl Rainfield - Scars
Fifteen-year-old Kendra has scars all up and down her arms which she hides from everyone in her life. Kendra is a cutter and she mutilates her own body in order to escape the emotional scars that ravage her mind and soul. See, Kendra was sexually abused for years – she actually doesn’t recall when it started and stopped, but she knows that she spent a good part of her life being abused and raped by someone close to her family. The problem is, she doesn’t know who the person was who did this to her. And she knows that she must keep his identity a secret, so she doesn’t allow her mind to go there, doesn’t allow her mind to process the identity of this person. But now that she’s in therapy, her therapist is getting dangerously close to pulling the truth out of her. Not only that, but she’s starting to fall in love, and it won’t be long before her love interest sees her scars and realizes the extent of her pain. As she gets closer to the truth of who her abuser was, she has more and more breakdowns as this person begins stalking her, threatening her, and reminding her of her place. Will she find out who he is? And will the healing powers of her therapist and her new girlfriend help her through the pain? Scars sort of reminds me of another YA book I read recently about cutting called Willow (my review). The books are quite different, but I would say that if you read and enjoyed Willow you will most likely appreciate Scars as well. And I haven’t seen this book get too much attention, which is unfortunate as it is a really excellent book for teens and young adults.
Lemony Snicket - The Vile Village
There is nothing to be found in the pages of these books but misery and despair. You still have time to choose something else to read. But if you must know what unpleasantries befall the charming and clever Baudelaire children read on..."The Vile Village": Why would anyone want to open a book containing such unpleasant matters as migrating crows, an angry mob, a newspaper headline, the arrest of innocent people, the Deluxe cell, and some very strange hats.
Lemony Snicket - The Ersatz Elevator
There is nothing to be found in the pages of these books but misery and despair. You still have time to choose something else to read. But if you must know what unpleasantries befall the charming and clever Baudelaire children read on..."The Ersatz Elevator": Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire encounter a darkened staircase, a red herring, friends in a dire situation, three mysterious initials, a liar with an evil scheme, a secret passageway and parsley soda.
Lemony Snicket - The Austere Academy
There is nothing to be found in the pages of these books but misery and despair. You still have time to choose something else to read. But if you must know what unpleasantries befall the charming and clever Baudelaire children read on..."The Austere Academy": In these chapters the children face snapping crabs, strict punishments, dripping fungus, comprehensive exams, violin recitals, S.O.R.E. and the metric system.
Paul Auster - Travels in the Scriptorium
Every day an old man wakes alone in an almost empty room, unable to remember his past. The only clues to his identity are a manuscript, a pile of photos, and a visitor called Anna who sparks memories of forgotten love and tragedy. A mystery about responsibility, ageing, and memory, _Travels in the Scriptorium_ is a brilliant new work from one of America's best-loved and most intriguing storytellers.
Christine Lindop - The Girl with Red Hair (Oxford Bookworms)
Every day people come to Mason's store - old people, young people, men and women. From his office, and in the store, Mark watches them. And when they leave the store, he forgets them. Then one day a girl with red hair comes to the store, and everything changes for Mark. Now he can't forget that beautiful face, those green eyes, and that red hair . . .