It’s that time of year!! Add more books to the overcrowded bookshelves and feel completely guilt free about it!! Because Santa – and the book tokens I got as gifts – made me do it! So it’s their fault!!
This little pile was from Santa on Xmas Morning!
THE JOURNEY by JAMES NORBURY
The journey of Big Panda and Tiny Dragon continues with an inspiring story of friendship and discovery for readers of all ages.
In the eagerly anticipated follow up to the international bestseller, The Journey: Big Panda and Tiny Dragon continues the adventures of two unlikely traveling companions as they embark on a path that brings them farther from home, and closer to each other and themselves.
“Change,” said Big Panda. “even if you don’t know where it will lead, is better than stagnation.”
When Tiny Dragon feels unhappy, he confides in Big Panda, who leads his friend on a journey to heal his heart. They explore new lands, encounter extraordinary experiences, face demanding challenges, and, ultimately, find contentment. As Big Panda and Tiny Dragon trek further on their trail of acceptance, they learn that changes and challenges are a natural part of life and essential for growth.
A best-of story selection by the master of horror manga.
This volume includes nine of Junji Ito’s best short stories, as selected by the author himself and presented with accompanying notes and commentary. An arm peppered with tiny holes dangles from a sick girl’s window… After an idol hangs herself, balloons bearing faces appear in the sky, some even featuring your own face… An amateur film crew hires an extremely individualistic fashion model and faces a real bloody ending… An offering of nine fresh nightmares for the delight of horror fans.
THE NIGHT SHIP by JESS KIDD (already read but wanted a copy on my shelves!)
Based on a true story, an epic historical novel from the award-winning author of Things in Jars that illuminates the lives of two characters: a girl shipwrecked on an island off Western Australia and, three hundred years later, a boy finding a home with his grandfather on the very same island.
1629: A newly orphaned young girl named Mayken is bound for the Dutch East Indies on the Batavia, one of the greatest ships of the Dutch Golden Age. Curious and mischievous, Mayken spends the long journey going on misadventures above and below the deck, searching for a mythical monster. But the true monsters might be closer than she thinks.
1989: A lonely boy named Gil is sent to live off the coast of Western Australia among the seasonal fishing community where his late mother once resided. There, on the tiny reef-shrouded island, he discovers the story of an infamous shipwreck…
CAT LADY by DAWN O’PORTER
We’ve all known a cat lady – and we’ve probably all judged her too. But behind the label – the one that only sticks to women – what if there’s a story worth nine lives?
Told with Dawn’s trademark warmth, wit and irreverence, CAT LADY is a story about defying labels and forging friendships. It’s for the cat lady in all of us – because a woman always lands on her feet . . .
THE SATSUMA COMPLEX by BOB MORTIMER
‘My name is Gary. I’m a thirty-year-old legal assistant with a firm of solicitors in London. To describe me as anonymous would be unfair but to notice me other than in passing would be a rarity. I did make a good connection with a girl, but that blew up in my face and smacked my arse with a fish slice.’
Gary Thorn goes for a pint with a work acquaintance called Brendan. When Brendan leaves early, Gary meets a girl in the pub. He doesn’t catch her name, but falls for her anyway. When she suddenly disappears without saying goodbye, all Gary has to remember her by is the book she was reading: The Satsuma Complex. But when Brendan goes missing, Gary needs to track down the girl he now calls Satsuma to get some answers.
And so begins Gary’s quest, through the estates and pie shops of South London, to finally bring some love and excitement into his unremarkable life…
And then there was the Waterstones half price sale! And book vouchers made me have a little spend up – all for free! Yay!!
ANXIOUS PEOPLE by FREDRIK BACKMAN
Viewing an apartment normally doesn’t turn into a life-or-death situation, but this particular open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes everyone in the apartment hostage. As the pressure mounts, the eight strangers begin slowly opening up to one another and reveal long-hidden truths.
First is Zara, a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else until tragedy changed her life. Now, she’s obsessed with visiting open houses to see how ordinary people live—and, perhaps, to set an old wrong to right. Then there’s Roger and Anna-Lena, an Ikea-addicted retired couple who are on a never-ending hunt for fixer-uppers to hide the fact that they don’t know how to fix their own failing marriage. Julia and Ro are a young lesbian couple and soon-to-be parents who are nervous about their chances for a successful life together since they can’t agree on anything. And there’s Estelle, an eighty-year-old woman who has lived long enough to be unimpressed by a masked bank robber waving a gun in her face. And despite the story she tells them all, Estelle hasn’t really come to the apartment to view it for her daughter, and her husband really isn’t outside parking the car.
As police surround the premises and television channels broadcast the hostage situation live, the tension mounts and even deeper secrets are slowly revealed. Before long, the robber must decide which is the more terrifying prospect: going out to face the police, or staying in the apartment with this group of impossible people.
THE BEAUTIFUL ONES by SILVIA MORENO-GARCIA
They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites, and this spring is Nina’s chance to join their ranks, courtesy of her well-connected cousin and his calculating wife. But the Grand Season has just begun, and already Nina’s debut has gone disastrously awry. She has always struggled to control her telekinesis—neighbors call her the Witch of Oldhouse—and the haphazard manifestations of her powers make her the subject of malicious gossip.
When entertainer Hector Auvray arrives to town, Nina is dazzled. A telekinetic like her, he has traveled the world performing his talents for admiring audiences. He sees Nina not as a witch, but ripe with potential to master her power under his tutelage. With Hector’s help, Nina’s talent blossoms, as does her love for him.
But great romances are for fairytales, and Hector is hiding a truth from Nina—and himself—that threatens to end their courtship before it truly begins. The Beautiful Ones is a charming tale of love and betrayal, and the struggle between conformity and passion, set in a world where scandal is a razor-sharp weapon.
AND EVER MORNING THE WAY HOME GETS LONGER AND LONGER by FREDRIK BACKMAN
From the New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here comes an exquisitely moving portrait of an elderly man’s struggle to hold on to his most precious memories, and his family’s efforts to care for him even as they must find a way to let go.
With all the same charm of his bestselling full-length novels, here Fredrik Backman once again reveals his unrivaled understanding of human nature and deep compassion for people in difficult circumstances. This is a tiny gem with a message you’ll treasure for a lifetime.
I WHO HAVE NEVER KNOWN MEN by JACQUELINE HARPMAN
‘For a very long time, the days went by, each just like the day before, then I began to think, and everything changed’
Deep underground, thirty-nine women live imprisoned in a cage. Watched over by guards, the women have no memory of how they got there, no notion of time, and only vague recollection of their lives before.
As the burn of electric light merges day into night and numberless years pass, a young girl – the fortieth prisoner – sits alone and outcast in the corner. Soon she will show herself to be the key to the others’ escape and survival in the strange world that awaits them above ground.
THE BEAUTY OF THE DEATH CAP by CATHERINE DOUSTEYSSIER-KHOZE
Nikonor is an eccentric and scholarly snob, a mycomaniac who has just made it to the Château de la Charlanne where he spent his childhood in the company of his twin sister, Anastasie. After all these years, it is not quite clear what brings him back to la Charlanne–an isolated and somewhat derelict castle located in the heart of the French countryside–but he is keen to share various memories with the reader in order to ‘set the record straight’, while he delivers his opinions on literature, cheeses, and, especially, mushrooms.
Winner of both a Prix André Dubreuil and a Prix Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco upon its original publication in France, The Beauty of the Death Cap is a darkly comic and sinister novel, a work that, page by page, becomes ever more disturbing, as we try to discover who Nikonor really is.
NIGHT TRAIN TO THE STARS by KENJI MIYAZAWA
Japanese fairy tales – enchanting, enigmatic stories of animals, human beings and the great natural world.
Dark and innocent, sublime and whimsical, Miyazawa’s stories have the ageless feel of the best fairy tales. There are animal allegories such as ‘The Ungrateful Rat’ where a rude rodent insults all the objects he meets – until he meets the Rat Trap/ There are morality tales such as ‘The Restaurant of Many Orders’, where two hunters become the hunted. There are also transcendent stories of childhood and mortality like Miyazawa’s best-known ‘Night Train to the Stars’, where a magical steam train carries children through the night and up to the heavens.
These stories reveal the unique brilliance of one of Japan’s most beloved early twentieth-century writers.
THE PERFECT GOLDEN CIRCLE by BENJAMIN MYERS
Summer 1989, rural England, the tail end of long decade of mass unemployment, class war and rebellion, and the continued destruction of the English countryside.
Over the course of a burning hot summer, two very different men – traumatized ex-soldier Calvert, and affable and chaotic Redbone – set out nightly in a decrepit camper van to undertake an extraordinary project. Under cover of darkness, the two men traverse the fields of rural England in secret, forming crop circles in elaborate and mysterious patterns, designs so intricate that they inspire the kind of awe that the ancient Gothic cathedral in nearby Salisbury once inspired.
As the summer wears on, and their designs grow ever more ambitious, the two men find that their work has become a cult international sensation – and that an unlikely and beautiful friendship has taken root as the wheat ripens from green to gold.
But as harvest-time beckons — and as media and the authorities begin to take too much interest in their work– Calvert and Redbone have to race against time to finish the most stunning and original crop circle ever conceived: the Honeycomb Double Helix.
ONCE UPON A TOME by OLIVER DARKSHIRE
Welcome to Sotheran’s, one of the oldest bookshops in the world, with its weird and wonderful clientele, suspicious cupboards, unlabelled keys, poisoned books and some things that aren’t even books, presided over by one deeply eccentric apprentice.
Some years ago, Oliver Darkshire stepped into the hushed interior of Henry Sotheran Ltd on Sackville Street (est. 1761) to interview for their bookselling apprenticeship, a decision which has bedevilled him ever since.
He’d intended to stay for a year before launching into some less dusty, better remunerated career. Unfortunately for him, the alluring smell of old books and the temptation of a management-approved afternoon nap proved irresistible. Soon he was balancing teetering stacks of first editions, fending off nonagenarian widows with a ten-foot pole and trying not to upset the store’s resident ghost (the late Mr Sotheran had unfinished business when he was hit by that tram).
For while Sotheran’s might be a treasure trove of literary delights, it sings a siren song to eccentrics. There are not only colleagues whose tastes in rare items range from the inspired to the mildly dangerous, but also zealous collectors seeking knowledge, curios, or simply someone with whom to hold a four hour conversation about books bound in human skin.
By turns unhinged and earnestly dog-eared, Once Upon a Tome is the rather colourful story of life in one of the world’s oldest bookshops and a love letter to the benign, unruly world of antiquarian bookselling, where to be uncommon or strange is the best possible compliment.
LEGENDS AND LATTES by TRAVIS BALDREE
Worn out after decades of packing steel and raising hell, Viv the orc barbarian cashes out of the warrior’s life with one final score. A forgotten legend, a fabled artifact, and an unreasonable amount of hope lead her to the streets of Thune, where she plans to open the first coffee shop the city has ever seen.
However, her dreams of a fresh start pulling shots instead of swinging swords are hardly a sure bet. Old frenemies and Thune’s shady underbelly may just upset her plans. To finally build something that will last, Viv will need some new partners and a different kind of resolve.
A hot cup of fantasy slice-of-life with a dollop of romantic froth.
THE WINNERS by FREDRIK BACKMAN (already read but wanted a copy on my shelves!)
Two years have passed since the events that no one wants to think about. Everyone has tried to move on, but there’s something about this place that prevents it. The residents continue to grapple with life’s big questions: What is a family? What is a community? And what, if anything, are we willing to sacrifice in order to protect them?
As the locals of Beartown struggle to overcome the past, great change is on the horizon. Someone is coming home after a long time away. Someone will be laid to rest. Someone will fall in love, someone will try to fix their marriage, and someone will do anything to save their children. Someone will submit to hate, someone will fight, and someone will grab a gun and walk towards the ice rink.
So what are the residents of Beartown willing to sacrifice for their home?
WILD by AMY JEFFS
Sheer cliffs, salt spray, explosive sea spume, thunderous clouds, icy waves, whales with mountains on their backs, sleet, bitter winds, bleak, impenetrable marshes, howling wolves, forests, the unceasing cries of birds and the death grip of subterranean vaults that have never seen the sun: these are wild landscapes of a world almost familiar.
In Wild, Amy Jeffs journeys – on foot and through medieval texts – from landscapes of desolation to hope, offering the reader an insight into a world at once distant and profoundly close to home. The seven chapters, entitled Earth, Fen, Forest, Beast, Ocean, Catastrophe, Paradise, open with fiction and close with reflection. They blend reflections of travels through fen, forest and cave, with retelling of medieval texts that offer rich depictions of the natural world, from the Old English elegies, the Welsh Englynion, the Norse poetic Edda – stories that largely represent figures whose voices are not generally heard in the corpus of medieval literature: women, outcasts, animals.
Illustrated with original wood engravings, evoking an atmospheric world of whales, wolves, caves, cuckoos and reeds, Wild will leave readers feeling ‘westendream’: delight in the wilderness.
Very happy with that little lot!! Now to find room for them all!!