Boo by Neil Smith
When Oliver 'Boo' Dalrymple wakes up in heaven, the eighth-grade science geek thinks he died of a heart defect at his school. In this heartrending story written to his beloved parents, the odd but endearing Boo relates his astonishing heavenly adventures as he tests the limits of friendship, learns about forgiveness and, finally, makes peace with the boy he once was and the boy he can now be.
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America, she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind. Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian. His real problem is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. And of course, Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg
Folksy and fresh, endearing and affecting, this is the now-classic novel of two women in the 1980s: of Mrs. Threadgoode telling her life story to Evelyn. The tale she tells is also of two women - of the tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth - who back in the thirties ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, a Southern kind of Cafe Wobegon. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is a mouth-watering tale of love, laughter and mystery. It will lift your spirits and above all it'll remind you of the secret to life: friends. Best friends.
King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard
Allan Quatermain is the best big-game hunter in South Africa. And he is about to embark on the most dangerous hunt of his career. His new employers have a map – drawn by a dying Portuguese prospector. It reveals a route across the great desert, past a fearsome range of mountain, to the greatest treasure in all Africa – the lost diamond of King Solomon himself! Inspired by true adventures, King Solomon’s Mines is the unsurpassed classic of a journey into the unknown heart of the Dark Continent.
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
A modern masterpiece from one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense and generous hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighbourhood, a city and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her two protagonists.
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
North and South tells the story of Margaret Hale, a southerner newly settled in the northern industrial town of Milton, whose ready sympathy with the discontented millworkers sits uneasily with her growing attraction to the charismatic mill owner, John Thornton. The novel poses fundamental questions about the nature of social authority and obedience, ranging from religious crises of conscience to the ethics of naval mutiny and industrial action.
Sacred Treason by James Forrester
London, 1563. England is a troubled nation. Catholic plots against the young Queen Elizabeth spring up all over the country. The herald William Harley - known to everyone as Clarenceux - receives a book from his friend and fellow Catholic. What secret can the book hold? If Clarenceux and his family are to survive the terror of the state, he must solve the clues contained in the book to unlock its dangerous secrets before it's too late.
People Who Eat Darkness: Love, Grief and a Journey into Japan’s Shadows by Richard Lloyd Parry
In the summer of 2000, Jane Steare received the phone call every mother dreads. Her daughter Lucie Blackman had stepped into the vastness of a Tokyo summer and disappeared forever. That winter, her dismembered remains were found buried in a desolate seaside cave. Her disappearance was mystifying. Had Lucie been abducted by a religious cult? Could her fate be linked to the disappearance of another girl some ten years earlier?
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
The Artist's Way provides a twelve-week course that guides you through the process of recovering your creative self. Its step-by-step approach enables you to transform your life, overcome any artistic blocks you may suffer from. It helps demystify the creative process by making it a part of your daily life. Whatever your artistic leanings, this book will give you the tools you need to enable you to fulfil your dreams.
The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett
Eva and Jim are nineteen, and students at Cambridge, when their paths first cross in 1958. Jim is walking along a lane when a woman approaching him on a bicycle swerves to avoid a dog. We follow three different versions of their future - together, and apart - as their love story takes on different incarnations and twists and turns to the conclusion in the present day.
When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro
England, 1930s. Christopher Banks has become the country’s most celebrated detective, his cases the talk of London society. Yet one unsolved crime has always haunted him; the mysterious disappearance of his parents, in Old Shanghai, when he was a small boy. Now, as the world lurches towards total war, Banks realises the time has come for him to return to the city of his childhood and at last solve the mystery.