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We were fascinated by this short video article about a small town in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, which is home to hundreds of pairs of...

Find out more about Seeing Double: 8 of the Best Books About Twins
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2020 is set to be a bumper year of bestsellers and classics getting the on-screen treatment, be it television adaptations or big budget movies. If...

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Women in Science Day gives us the opportunity to stop and look at those women who played pioneering roles in an industry that has historically...

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New Books

New Books for February

New Books for February

One of the greatest mysteries of all time has got to be whether George Mallory and Andrew “Sandy” Irvine reached the summit of Everest in their efforts to conquer it in 1924. They were last seen scaling the mountain near the base of the final pyramid by Noel Odell, a geologist on the team, before the mist enveloped them. What happened after this point remains a matter for speculation. Fearless on Everest: The Quest for Sandy Irvine by Julie Summers (13712) is the story of Sandy Irvine and this fateful expedition and though we may never know exactly what happened that day, the author presents the facts and in doing so gives us a thoroughly interesting and engaging read.

Ian Rankin, creator of Inspector Rebus is back with a stand-alone thriller called Westwind (13753). It was first issued in the late 1980s, but after being asked to re-work it Rankin decided to consign it to a drawer. After encouragement from his readers, it was rescued from its resting place of thirty years and republished. A different type of story which will appeal to fans of the author and may be a good introduction for those who haven’t yet tried his books.

Greta Thunberg became known worldwide for taking a stand on climate change when in 2015 aged fifteen, she decided not to go to school. Her actions ended up sparking a global movement for action against the climate crisis, inspiring millions of pupils to go on strike for our planet, forcing governments to listen, and earning her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. No One is too Small to Make a Difference (13786) is a collection of all the speeches she has made and is inspirational in demonstrating to people that anyone can effect change.

Author Nicola Upson is best known for her mysteries featuring the crime writer Josephine Tey. In Stanley and Elsie (13791) she takes a different approach by giving us a fictional story of the life of the painter Stanley Spencer. Born inJune 1891 he studied at the Slade School of Art, and became well known for his paintings depicting Biblical scenes occurring as if in Cookham, the small village beside the River Thames where he was born and spent much of his life. Spencer referred to Cookham as "a village in Heaven" and in his biblical scenes, fellow-villagers are shown as their Gospel counterparts. Spencer was skilled at organising multi-figure compositions such as in his large paintings for the Sandham Memorial Chapel and the Shipbuilding on the Clyde series, the former being a First World War memorial while the latter was a commission for the War Artists' Advisory Committee during the Second World War. This is definitely a book to take a chance on as it has a wide appeal and for those of you that belong to one, it would make a good book for a reading group setting.

L J Ross is the author of the moment who everyone seems to be talking about. She is responsible for two series of books one of which features psychological profiler Dr Alexander Gregory and it is the first book in this series called Imposter (13794) that we have just added to the library. Louise J Ross was born in Northumberland, England. She studied undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Law at King's College London and studied abroad in Paris and Florence. She spent much of her working life in London, where she was a regulatory lawyer for a number of years before taking the decision to change career and pursue her dream to write. Now, she writes full time and lives with her husband and son in Northumberland. Those who enjoy authors like Peter James and Kate Ellis may enjoy this book.

If you have gone through all of George R R Martin’s Game of Thrones series and don’t know what to try next, then how about Half a King by Joe Abercrombie (13769)? This story introduces us to Prince Yarvi who has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself. And he must do it all with only one good hand. Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could. But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi’s path may end as it began – in twists, and traps and tragedy. Described as, “Enthralling. An up-all-night read” by author Robin Hobb, this is the first in the Shattered Sea trilogy of books.

Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2019, On Chapel Sands by Laura Cumming (13799) is an account of the author’s own search to uncover the mystery of her mother’s disappearance as a child. Her mother was taken in 1929 from a Lincolnshire beach and went missing for five days until she was found in a nearby village with no recollection of what had happened. That girl became an artist and had a daughter Laura who grew up enthralled by her mother’s strange tales of life in a seaside hamlet of the 1930s, and of the secrets and lies perpetuated by a whole community. The book is Laura’s search to discover what really happened in those five days. Described by the Sunday Times as, “A moving, many-sided human story of great depth and tenderness, and a revelation of how art enriches life”, this part mystery, part memoir is sure to keep you engaged.

For those of you following author Stieg Larsson’s Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander stories as continued by author David Lagercrantz, we have just added the next book in the series called The Girl Who Lived Twice (13775). Lisbeth Salander

has been gone from Stockholm since her mentor died. All summer, Mikael Blomkvist has been plagued by the fear that Salander's enemies will come after her. He should, perhaps, be more concerned for himself. If you have enjoyed the Millennium trilogy, then why not see where David Lagercrantz has taken the characters in this book and the previous two, The Girl in the Spider’s Web (10807) and The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye (12262).

Last Letter Homeby Rachel Hore (13772) was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick in 2018. Whilst holidaying in Italy, Briony Woods becomes fascinated by the wartime story of a ruined villa hidden amongst the hills of Naples. Not only is it the very place where her grandfather was stationed as a soldier in 1943, but she also discovers that it harbours the secret of a love long lost. Handed a bundle of tattered letters found buried at the villa, Briony becomes enraptured by the blossoming love story between Sarah Bailey, an English woman, and Paul Hartmann, a young German. The letters lead her back almost seventy years to pre-war Norfolk. But as Briony delves into Sarah and Paul’s story, she encounters resentments and secrets still tightly guarded. All too quickly it is clear that what happened long ago still has the power to cause terrible pain. This is a book which would probably be a good summer read but why wait until then!

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