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The Underground Road clinches the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2017

The Underground Railroadby American author Colson Whitehead has been awarded another prestigious literary prize. Whitehead was presented with the...

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Paddington Bear

Michael Bond, who famously created the popular children's character Paddington Bear, died recently at the age of 91. Born in 1926 in Newbury,...

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House

Jessica found our website while researching home adaptations for a partially sighted relative. She has kindly shared the guide she has written...

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New Books

August's Additions

The Untold Story of the Talking Book

We’ve added 80 new books this month for some great summer reading.

First on the list is John Boyne’s Next of Kin (011886). Set during the 1936 abdication crisis, suave aristocrat Owen Montignac runs up huge gambling debts and is threatened with death by casino boss Nicholas Delfy if he can’t repay them. When he discovers that he has been cut out of his uncle’s will in favour of his beautiful cousin Stella, he becomes involved in a tangled murder plot that directly involves the King and Mrs.Simpson.

Who can forget Peter Davison as the hapless vet Tristan Farnon with his arm up a cow’s bottom in the hugely popular TV series All Creatures Great and Small? The fifth Time Lord recalls many magic moments in his acting career including rubbing shoulders with Hollywood star Meryl Streep and working alongside Dames Maggi Smith and Judi Dench in his autobiography Is There Life Outside the Box? An Actor Despairs (011896)

Award winning poet, Kathleen Jamie, brings together her experiences of nature amidst the Scottish landscape in Findings (011961) – a selection of stories that finds her following a peregrine’s call above her Fife home, discovering a whale carcass on a remote Hebridean beach, and sailing into the dark winter solstice on the Orkney islands.

InThe Untold Story of the Talking Book (011989) Dr Matthew Rubery traces the history of the audiobook from Thomas Edison’s 1877 recording of ‘Mary had a little lamb’ and the novels recorded for World War I veterans, to today’s worldwide billion dollar audiobook industry.

David Young’s Oberleutnant Karin Muller is back in his latest thriller, Stasi Wolf (012012), set in East Germany, 1975. With the sudden disappearance of a pair of infant twins the Berlin-based detective heads south to Halle-Neustadt – a new town which is the pride of the communist state. Forbidden by the authorities to draw attention to the abduction, Karin and her team begin a desperate search to snatch back the children alive with the clocking ticking down. 

Set in 1935 Michelle Paver’s ghost story Thin Air (012024) finds five mountaineers attempting to climb Kangchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain. Following in the footsteps of the disastrous 1907 Lyell Expedition they are warned off by its only remaining survivor who tells them out of the five climbers that lost their lives only four were laid to rest. As they ascend higher up the mountain and the oxygen levels drop, dark shadows begin to appear and they soon realise they are not alone.

Fellow Yorkshireman Alan Titchmarsh describes Jack Sheffield’s writing as ‘Wry observation and heartwarming humour in equal measure.’ In Star Teacher (012036) set in 1985, the year of Band Aid and Roland Rat, Jack returns to Ragley village school as head teacher. As Ruby the caretaker finds romance and retirement beckons for secretary Vera, Jack is battling to save his job and his beloved school.

Shortlisted for the James Tait Memorial Prize 2017 and the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017, Jo Barker’s A Country Road, A Tree(012043) is the fictionalized story of writer Samuel Beckett’s war years, from his time working for the resistance in occupied Paris and his escape south after being betrayed to the Nazis, to his setting up of a hospital in post-war France. Central to the story is his relationship with Suzanne Déchevaux-Dumesnil, his lover who later became his wife.

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper(012055) by Phaedra Patrick tells the story of 69-year-old Arthur who is mourning the loss of his wife of over 40 years. Searching through her possessions after her death he discovers a charm bracelet which he has never seen before. Travelling to Europe and India he begins a voyage of self-discovery and healing to discover the secret life of his treasured spouse before they first met.

The Ministry of the Utmost Happiness(012057) is the first novel in twenty years by Arundhati Roy, Booker prize-winning author of The God of Small Things (4870). Drawing on Roy’s own activism and criticism of the political establishment, the narrative spreads across the past two decades of Indian history as seen through the eyes of those on the margins of society. The two main strands follow Anjum, a hijra or transwoman who takes refuge in a Delhi graveyard and befriends a blind imam, and Tilo, an architect turned activist who travels to Kashmir in attempt to re-ignite her love affair with freedom fighter Musa.

For the full list of this month’s new books checkout our New Books page.

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