Check out these titles which have been read and enjoyed by some of our library staff.
Alchemy of Murder by Carol McCleary
This was a fantastic murder mystery. It is set in Paris during the Belle Epoque at the end of the 1800s. It stars Nellie Bly a female journalist from New York, who has tracked a murderer from New York to London (Jack the Ripper) and then on to Paris. But the murder’s motives are not what you might think.
This book brings to life a Paris on the edge of chaos and revolution and Nellie Bly is a great detective. It brings together a great cast of characters including Jules Verne and Oscar Wilde. Great fun!
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Lily, now fourteen, has grown up believing that she accidentally killed her mother when she was four years old. When her only friend Rosaleen, a black servant, is arrested and beaten one afternoon, Lily is compelled to act. Both women become fugitives from justice and from Lily's harsh and unyielding father. Following the trail left by Lily's mother who died ten years earlier, they find refuge and sanctuary in the home of three bee-keeping sisters. This is a poignant coming-of-age tale set in South Carolina in the 1960s.
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Claire Waverley has lived in the family home in Bascom, North Carolina all her life. She spends her time tending the gardens of her house. The Waverely women have always been said to have a touch of magic about them. When Sydney, Claire’s sister, returns home she brings mystery with her.
This is a magical book. It just sweeps you along with the story and I had finished the book before I knew it. I really loved this. It left me feeling warm and happy.
Darkness, Take my Hand by Dennis Lehane
I absolutely loved this book. Two wisecracking Boston detectives get involved in a cruel and unusual investigation. The author manages to create real tension and atmosphere. I didn’t want this book to end, but at the same time I couldn’t wait to read another of this author’s books!
Fit for Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond
Fit for Life is a diet and lifestyle programme that allows you to eat unlimited portions of the foods you like and shows you how to achieve overall good health and wellbeing.
This is a simple, natural programme that works! It teaches you how to eat in accordance with your body’s natural cycles. I felt great afterwards!
Sweet Danger by Margery Allingham
This detective novel features detective Albert Campion. It is set during the 1920’s and is full of fun and sparkle. Mr. Campion must foil a foreign plot and in the process falls in love with the mischievous Amanda. This is one of the brightest of a fantastic series of books. I would truly recommend it for those who like their detectives debonair and charming. You will enjoy these books if you like Agatha Christie or Dorothy L. Sayers.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. Black maids raise white children, become closer to them than their real mothers, yet aren't trusted not to steal the silver.
Aibileen is a black maid, smart, warm and raising her seventeenth white child while living with the heartbreak of having lost her own son. Her friend Minny, also a maid, is an extraordinary cook but a young woman whose sharp tongue often costs her jobs. Skeeter, a young white woman, just out of college, full of hope and ambition, whose writing assignment sets the three women on a mission that is fraught with danger but which will ultimately change their lives and their town.
This is a real page-turner, a deeply moving book about the lives of women, whether mothers and daughters, the help or the boss, a timeless story but one which is very much of its time.
Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk
This taut psychological thriller explores what would happen if you could kill someone with a few simple words. How would you cope and how long would you stay good?
Journalist Carl Streator finds a poem in a children's book that is killing people recited or, as he finds out later, even thought. Only one other person apart from him knows the poem.
This hypnotic book, despite its seemingly ludicrous premise, is handled believably and will have you up all night trying to finish it.
You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers
Trying to escape the memory of their recently dead friend, Will and Hand travel round the world in seven days trying to give away the money that Will has inherited. Lushly narrated, this emotionally charged book took my breath away. Funny, warm, moving and full of the sights and sounds of many countries, this book is about finding out who you are by leaving your normal life behind for a while. Highly recommended.
Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman
Forget Harry Potter. This is the one children’s book every adult should read. Lyra, an orphan, sets off from her home and ends up, alongside her daemon, travelling the known world (and beyond) to find her friend. This book was an absolute joy to read given its sheer inventiveness and unparalleled originality. And this is only book one, and she hasn’t even travelled to our universe yet. Kids and adults alike have discovered this book over the years for the wonder it is. The only thing left to say is “Harry Who?”
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
Don’t let the title throw you off; this book’s lilting beauty will draw you in. Lost love, nostalgia and understanding permeate this subtle, moving book as the Lisbon girls try to find some sort of happiness in their lives which are carefully controlled by their overbearing parents. The book is narrated by the boys who loved them from afar in the way that only teenaged love can be. An extremely touching novel.