The story revolves around the comings and goings at No. 44 Scotland Street, a fictitious building in a real street in Edinburgh. Immediately recognisable are the Edinburgh chartered surveyor, stalwart of the Conservative Association, who dreams of membership of Scotland’s most exclusive golf club. We have the pushy Stockbridge mother, and her prodigiously talented five-year-old son, who is making good progress with the saxophone and with his Italian. Then there is Domenica Macdonald who is that type of Edinburgh lady who sees herself as a citizen of a broader intellectual world. In McCall Smith’s hands such characters retain charm and novelty, simultaneously arousing both mirth and empathy. 44 Scotland Street is vintage McCall Smith, tackling issues of trust and honesty, snobbery and hypocrisy, love and loss, but all with great lightness of touch. Clever, elegant and funny, this is a novel that provides huge entertainment but which is underpinned by the moral dilemmas of everyday life and the characters’ struggles to resolve them.
Kazuo Ishiguro - A Pale View of Hills
Etsuko, a middle-aged Japanese woman now living alone in England, dwells on the recent suicide of her elder daughter, Keiko. Despite the efforts of her surviving daughter to distract her thoughts, Etsuko finds herself recalling a particular summer in Nagasaki after the bomb fell.
Kazuo Ishiguro - The Unconsoled
Ryder, a renowned pianist, arrives in a Central European city he cannot identify for a concert he cannot remember agreeing to give. But then as he traverses a landscape by turns eerie and comical - and always strangely malleable, as a dream might be - he comes steadily to realise he is facing the most crucial performance of his life. Ishiguro's extraordinary study of a man whose life has accelerated beyond his control was met on publication by consternation, vilification - and the highest praise.
Tony Parsons - The Family Way
It should be the most natural thing in the world. But in Tony Parsons' latest bestseller, three couples discover that Mother Nature can be one hell of a bitch. A hard-working trainee doctor, Megan Jewell finds herself accidentally pregnant. She wants a baby one day -- but God, not now! Can Megan really bring a baby into the world when she can hardly look after herself?Megan's happily married sister Jessica wants a baby -- immediately. But her husband Paolo is worried. He loves his wife and he sees what a baby is doing to his brother's marriage. Cat Jewell, the oldest sister, is scarred by the memory of their mother walking out. She wants a baby -- maybe. But what's a girl to do when the man in her life has seen and done it all before? Rory already has a teenage son. The last thing he wants is to start changing nappies. Tony Parsons shows us once again the dilemmas and decisions that confront men today. Modern-day relationships are tested in this very realistic, contemporary story about procreation and new life.
Yann Martel - Life of Pi
After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, one solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific.The crew of the surviving vessel consists of a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan, a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger and Pi - a 16-year-old Indian boy.The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary pieces of literary fiction of recent years. Yann Martel's Life of Pi is a transformative novel, a dazzling work of imagination that will delight and astound readers in equal measure. It is a triumph of storytelling and a tale that will, as one character puts it, make you believe in God.
David Mitchell - Cloud Atlas
'Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies...' A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified dinery server on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation. The narrators of _Cloud Atlas_ hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small. In his extraordinary third novel, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity's dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us.
P. L. Travers - Mary Poppins (angol)
From the moment Mary Poppins arrives at Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane, everyday life at the Banks house is forever changed. This classic series tells the story of the world's most beloved nanny, who brings enchantment and excitement with her everywhere she goes. Featuring the charming original cover art by Mary Shepard, these new editions are sure to delight readers of all ages. It all starts when Mary Poppins is blown by the east wind onto the doorstep of the Banks house. She becomes a most unusual nanny to Jane, Michael, and the twins. Who else but Mary Poppins can slide _up_ banisters, pull an entire armchair out of an empty carpetbag, and make a dose of medicine taste like delicious lime-juice cordial? A day with Mary Poppins is a day of magic and make-believe come to life!
Robert L. Wolke - What Einstein Told His Cook
Why is red meat red? How do they decaffeinate coffee? Do you wish you understood the science of food but don't want to plow through dry, technical books? In What Einstein Told His Cook, University of Pittsburgh chemistry professor emeritus and award-winning Washington Post food columnist Robert L. Wolke provides reliable and witty explanations for your most burning food questions, while debunking misconceptions and helping you interpret confusing advertising and labeling. A finalist for both the James Beard Foundation and IACP Awards for best food reference, What Einstein Told His Cook engages cooks and chemists alike.
J. K. Rowling - The Tales of Beedle the Bard
The dazzlingly brilliant Chris Riddell brings his magical illustration talents to J.K. Rowling's gloriously inventive The Tales of Beedle the Bard in a fully illustrated colour edition of this essential classic for Harry Potter fans. Translated from the runes by Hermione Granger, the volume includes 'The Tale of the Three Brothers', familiar to readers of Harry Potter from the crucial role it played in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Mischievous and witty, these five rollicking tales are a deeply satisfying read in the tradition of all great fables and fairytales. Kindnesses are rewarded and selfishness shown to be the ruin of many a wizard. Burping cauldrons, hairy hearts and cackling stumps are met along the way. Each of the tales is accompanied by a deliciously subversive and insightful commentary by Professor Albus Dumbledore, all brought vividly to life with Riddell's trademark wit and elegance. Former Waterstones Children's Laureate Chris Riddell is the only illustrator to have won the Kate Greenaway Medal three times, and is brought together here for the first time with one of the world's best loved storytellers in this new edition of J.K. Rowling's fairytale classic. Much loved by generations of witches and wizards since they first appeared in the fifteenth century, this beautifully illustrated edition is set to become a firm favourite at bedtime in non-magical households the world over. The Tales of Beedle the Bard is published in aid of Lumos, an international children's charity founded in 2005 by J.K. Rowling.
Kazuo Ishiguro - Never Let Me Go
From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day comes a devastating new novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss. As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special–and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. Suspenseful, moving, beautifully atmospheric, Never Let Me Go is another classic by the author of The Remains of the Day.
P. L. Travers - Mary Poppins in the Park
Who else but Mary Poppins can lead the Banks children on such extraordinary adventures? Together they all meet the Goosegirl and the Swineherd, argue with talking cats on a distant planet, make the acquaintance of the folks who live under dandelions, and celebrate a birthday by dancing with their own shadows. And that’s just for starters!
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.
John Green - Paper Towns
When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q. Printz Medalist John Green returns with the trademark brilliant wit and heart-stopping emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.
Alexander McCall Smith - Love Over Scotland
The irresistible third entry to the 44 Scotland Street series picks up with the residents of 44 Scotland Street where Espresso Tales left off and is as addictive as any book McCall Smith has written. Anthropologist Domenica has flown off to the Straits of Malacca to study modern-day pirates. Back in Edinburgh, Pat moves from 44 Scotland Street and develops a crush on fellow art student Wolf, whose strange ways hint at a darker subplot that involves Pat's flatmate. Pat moves in with gallery owner Matthew, who struggles with both a sudden fortune and a yearning for Pat. Meanwhile, child prodigy saxophonist Bertie becomes a reluctant member of the Edinburgh Teenage Orchestra at age six and later, on a trip to Paris, finds himself wonderfully unsupervised. Poet/portrait painter Angus is tormented by the theft of his beloved dog Cyrus. The proceedings sparkle with McCall Smith's trademark wit (It was not always fun being a child, just as it had not always been fun being a medieval Scottish saint), proving once again, he's a true treasure. Illustrations by Iain McIntosh enliven the text.
Nick Hornby - More Baths, Less Talking
"Read what you enjoy, not what bores you," Nick Hornby tells us. That simple, liberating, and indispensable directive animates each installment of the celebrated critic and author's monthly column in the Believer. In this delightful and never-musty tour of his reading life, Hornby tells us not just what to read, but how to read. Whether tackling a dismayingly bulky biography of Dickens while his children destroy something in the next room, or getting sucked into a serious assessment of Celine Dion during an intensely fought soccer match featuring his beloved Arsenal, or devouring an entire series of children's books while on vacation, Hornby's reviews are rich, witty, and occasionally madcap. These essays capture the joy and ire, the despair and exhilaration of the book-lover's life, and will appeal equally to both monocle-wearing salonnieres and people, like him, who spend a lot of time thinking about Miley Cyrus's next role.
Philip Pullman - Northern Lights
There are worlds beyond our own - the Compass will show the way... The first novel in Philip Pullman's epic His Dark Materials trilogy is now the stunning motion picture The Golden Compass made by New Line Cinema and Scholastic Media. When Lyra is given the strange and secret alethiometer, she begins an extraordinary journey that will take her to the frozen land of the Arctic, where witch-clans reign and ice-bears fight. The destiny that awaits her will have immeasurable consequences far beyond her own world...
Philip Pullman - The Subtle Knife
'What is he? A friend, or an enemy?' 'He is a murderer'. Will has just killed a man. He's on the run. His escape will take him far beyond his own world, to the eerie disquiet of a deserted city, and to a girl, Lyra. Her fate is strangely linked to his own, and together they must find the most powerful weapon in all the world.
Joanne Harris - Runemarks
Maddy did not stir. Only her left hand moved, her fingers curling into the familiar shape that was Bjarkán, the rune of revelation. If it was a rat, Bjarkán would show it. It was not a rat. A wisp - just a wisp - of FaErie gold gleamed in the circle of her finger and thumb. Maddy pounced. Her strike was well timed. At once the creature began to struggle, and although Maddy couldn't see it, she could certainly feel it between her hands, kicking and twisting and trying to bite her. Then as she continued to hold it fast, the creature finally went limp; the shadow dropped away from it, and see saw it clearly. It - he - was not much bigger than a dog fox, with small, clever hands and wicked little teeth. Most of his body was covered in armour - pieces of plate, leather straps, half a mailshirt cut clumsily down to fit - and out of his brown, long-whiskered face, his eyes shone a bright, inhuman gold. He blinked at her twice. Then, without any warning, he shot away between her legs... Maddy touched the final rune. She spoke the cantrip. The Hill opened... Maddy Smith has always been an outsider. Born with a rusty-coloured rune on her hand - what the villagers call a ruinmark - she is scarred by this symbol of the old gods, a sign of magic. And everyone knows that magic is dangerous. Except for Maddy, who actually thinks it's rather fun. Until now. For suddenly her friend One-Eye, a rascally Outlander, wants her to open Red Horse Hill and descend into World Below - a world filled with goblins and far worse - to retrieve a relic of the old gods... Full of trickery, magic and the enchantment of the Norse myths, Runemarks is an epic fantasy adventure - richly inventive and superbly imaginative.
Augusten Burroughs - Running With Scissors
There is a passage early in Augusten Burroughs's harrowing and highly entertaining memoir Running with Scissors that speaks volumes about the author. While going to the garbage dump with his father, young Augusten spots a chipped glass-top coffee table that he longs to bring home. „I knew I could hide the chip by fanning a display of magazines on the surface, like in a doctor's office,” he writes, „And it certainly wouldn't be dirty after I polished it with Windex for three hours.” There were certainly numerous chips in the childhood Burroughs describes: an alcoholic father, an unstable mother who gives him up for adoption to her therapist and an adolescence spent as part of the therapist's eccentric extended family, gobbling prescription medicines and fooling around with both an old electroshock machine and a paedophile who lives in a shed out back. But just as he dreamed of doing with that old table, Burroughs employs a vigorous program of decoration and fervent polishing to a life that many would have simply thrown in a landfill. Despite her abandonment, he never gives up on his increasingly unbalanced mother. And rather than despair about his lot, he glamorises it: planning a „beauty empire” and performing an a cappella version of „You Light Up My Life” at a local mental ward. Burroughs' perspective achieves a crucial balance for a memoir: emotional but not self-involved, observant but not clinical, funny but not deliberately comic. And it's ultimately a feel-good story: as he steers through a challenging childhood, there's always a sense that Burroughs' survivor mentality will guide him through and that the coffee table will be salvaged after all. –John Moe, Amazon.com
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.