An award-winning book that is already making a place for itself on one librarian’s books of the year list…
Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader’s wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel – the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself.
“When Mata Hari arrived in Paris she was penniless. Soon she was feted as the most elegant woman in the city. A dancer who shocked and delighted audiences, as a confidante and courtesan she bewitched the era’s richest and most powerful men. But as paranoia consumed a country at war, Mata Hari’s lifestyle brought her under suspicion. In 1917 she was arrested in her hotel room on the Champs Elysees and accused of espionage. Told in Mata Hari’s voice through her final letter, The Spy is the unforgettable story of a woman who dared to break the conventions of her time, and paid the price.”
Check out this review on the 2AD blog.
By Danielle Prostrollo Solnit is perhaps most famous for her book Men Explain Things to Me which birthed the phrase “mansplaining” to describe a man that speaks condescendingly to someone (usually a woman) about a topic he does not necessarily know a great deal about (see: Merriam-Webster’s history of mansplaining). And because of this, I […]
Out of print for more than 40 years, this much loved classic has just been reissued. Perfect for a wind-down weekend with a glass of wine…
“In 1879, a wealthy young woman elopes with an impoverished fisherman, leaving her family, who live on the volcanic island of Lanzarote, distraught. In 1968, 23-year-old Perdita West, secretary to the famous author Cora Gresham, visits Lanzarote, the strangest and most wild of the Canary Isles, on a research trip. They meet Cora’s estranged son, Mike, and fall in love with the unusual, beautiful little island. While snorkeling, a landslide traps Perdita in an underwater cave. No one knows where she is, so she can’t count on a rescue. And her efforts to save herself will reveal the solution to a century-old mystery.”
An eleven-year-old girl stops eating, but remains miraculously alive and well. A nurse, sent to investigate whether she is a fraud, meets a journalist hungry for a story. Set in the Irish Midlands in the 1850s, Emma Donoghue’s The Wonder – inspired by numerous European and North American cases of ‘fasting girls’ between the sixteenth century and the twentieth – is a psychological thriller about a child’s murder threatening to happen in slow motion before our eyes. Pitting all the seductions of fundamentalism against sense and love, it is a searing examination of what nourishes us, body and soul.
This year’s theme is Norfolk’s Most Wanted, our top 20 most popular and in demand books asked for by library customers. Norfolk’s Most Wanted features Crime, Thrillers and Romance, including bestselling books such as ‘The Girl on The Train’ by Paula Hawkins and ‘The Night Manager’ by John Le Carre’.
Some of the Great Big Read – Norfolk’s Most Wanted titles are available as eBooks. To download an eBook visit the OverDrive eBook catalogue here
Some libraries will be holding events and activities to tie in with Norfolk’s Most Wanted. These include launch events, coffee mornings, book chats and quizzes. For details of these please visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/mostwantedbooks
If you’ve read one of Norfolk’s Most Wanted titles, please write a review and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that you can rate and review Norfolk’s Most Wanted Books? All you have to do is visit the library catalogue. Log in to your library account. Select your chosen Most Wanted book by clicking on the title and select Add your review. Write a short review and give the book a star rating.
In August 1912, three friends set out on an adventure. Tom, Jimmy and Itzhak have grown up together in the crowded slums of Walworth. They are used to narrow streets, the bustle of East Lane market, extended families weaving in and out of each other’s lives. All three boys are expected to follow their father’s trades and stay close to home. But Tom has wider dreams. So when he hears of a scouting trip, sailing from Waterloo to Sheppey and the mouth of the Thames – he is determined to go. And Itzhak and Jimmy go with him. Inspired by real events , this is the story of three friends, and a tragedy that will change them for ever. It is also a song of south London, of working class families with hidden histories, of a bright and complex world long neglected…
It is a history of the house named ‘Keepsake’ and the Parr family, from the time of Charles II up to present day. Most of the story is set in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Butterflies play a major part in the story, there are many at Keepsake and members of the Parr family travelled abroad in search of others.
This is an intriguing story which once started I didn’t want to put down. The plot is well worked, with many surprises along the way. The characters come to life as the story unfolds, I didn’t like them all but that is necessary for the story.
There is love, sadness, danger, cruelty, anger, misunderstandings and many lies (some of them white ones).
I recommend you to read this. I’ve already reserved another by Harriet Evans. A Place For Us
Reserve The Butterfly Summer
‘Successful historical thrillers need three elements: a killer plot that weaves seamlessly into the history; an engaging protagonist; and an atmospheric sense of place. Parris nails all three – Conspiracy is a gem’ – The Times
Heretic-turned-spy Giordano Bruno arrives in Paris to find a city on the edge of catastrophe. King Henri III lives in fear of a coup by the Duke of Guise and his fanatical Catholic League, and another massacre on the streets.
When Bruno’s old rival, Father Paul Lefv̈re is found murdered, Bruno is drawn into a dangerous web of religious politics and court intrigue. And watching over his shoulder is the King’s mother, Catherine de Medici, with her harem of beautiful spies. When murder strikes at the heart of the Palace, Bruno finds himself on the trail of a killer who is protecting a terrible secret. With the royal houses of France and England under threat, Bruno must expose the truth – or be silenced for good.
One of my reading resolutions has been to try and read more books from genres that I usually ignore. While I do read widely and eclectically as a rule I do find that crime and thrillers are an area that I neglect, I am always a bit scared that the books will be too graphic and that I’ll have nightmares after reading them.
I did however read Rory Clement’s Corpus recently, it is a historical novel with a crime at the heart – I thought I’d ease myself in gently!
The book is set in Cambridge in December 1936 and has several threads to the complicated story but at the heart of the book is the death of a young woman. Investigators are quite happy to dismiss the death as accidental as the woman in question was known to use drugs but her friends think that there is more to it than that.
While the action of the novel is firmly based in Cambridge the scope of the book is much wider ranging from the Spanish Civil War, Nazi Germany and Communist Russia with a side order of conspiracy theory around the British Abdication Crisis.
I did find this book a little gory at times, but it was a gripping thriller with a mystery to solve, and it felt so accurate that I did find myself looking at the world events and wondering which of the plot elements were true! The atmosphere was also very compelling – I really felt like I was in pre-war, cold Cambridge in December.
I’m not sure what I’ll try as a crime/thriller next – perhaps I’ll stick with Rory Clement’s other historical thrillers, if the action is in the past perhaps I won’t find it too scary!