The American Civil War rages while President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son lies gravely ill. In a matter of days, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy’s body. From this seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of realism, entering a thrilling, supernatural domain both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself trapped in a transitional realm – called, in Tibetan tradition, the bardo – and as ghosts mingle, squabble, gripe and commiserate, and stony tendrils creep towards the boy, a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.
Winner of the 2017 Costa Novel Award 2017, long-listed for the Booker and selected as a book of the year by any number of authors, critics and book sellers, this must be Jon McGregor’s most successful novel yet.
Midwinter in the early years of this century. A teenage girl on holiday has gone missing in the hills at the heart of England. The villagers are called up to join the search, fanning out across the moors as the police set up roadblocks and a crowd of news reporters descends on their usually quiet home. Meanwhile, there is work that must still be done: cows milked, fences repaired, stone cut, pints poured, beds made, sermons written, a pantomime rehearsed. The search for the missing girl goes on, but so does everyday life. As it must.
Out tomorrow: Reserve your copy.
“…The brilliance of Moonglow stands as a strident defence of the form itself, a bravura demonstration of the endless mutability and versatility of the novel”-Observer
‘Moonglow‘ unfolds as a deathbed confession. An old man, his tongue loosened by powerful painkillers, his memory stirred by the imminence of death, tells stories to his grandson, uncovering bits and pieces of a history long buried. Why did he try to strangle a former business partner with a telephone cord? What was he thinking when he and a buddy set explosives on a bridge in Washington, D.C.? What did he feel while he hunted down Wernher von Braun in Germany? And what did he see in the young girl he met in Baltimore after returning home from the war?
A story about love and innocence, joy and discovery, the grip of the past and the struggle to be new again; set across the bedsits and squats of mid-90s north London
An eighteen-year-old Irish girl arrives in London to study drama and falls violently in love with an older actor. While she is naive and thrilled by life in the big city, he is haunted by demons, and the clamorous relationship that ensues risks undoing them both. At once epic and exquisitely intimate, The Lesser Bohemians is a celebration of the dark and the light in love.
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.
Yet another brilliant Norwich-based author! Sara Taylor’s debut novel, The Shore was longlisted for last year’s Bailey’s prize & garnered comparisons to Margaret Atwood. Her follow-up novel is being received equally warmly:
“I didn’t realise my mother was a person until I was thirteen years old and she pulled me out of bed, put me in the back of her car, and we left home and my dad with no explanations. I thought that Ma was all that she was and all that she had ever wanted to be. I was wrong…
As Ma and Alex make their way from Virginia to California, each new state prompts stories and secrets of a life before Alex. Together they put to rest unsettled scores, heal old wounds, and search out lost friends. But Alex can’t forget the life they’ve left behind.
This is an extraordinary story of a life; an exploration of identity and a study of the relationship between a mother and her child.”
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.
…This book in translation from the French is recommended just for you!
From a particularly humiliating accident at scout camp, to the final stages of terminal illness, Daniel Pennac’s warm, witty and heart-breaking novel shows the rise and fall of an ordinary man, told through his observations of his own body.
Pennac has always been a funny writer, and one capable of the odd moment of breath-catchingly beautiful insight, too; but more than anything he is simply the most humane of writers, the most generously understanding of his fellow human. In Diary of a Body he has found just one more new, inspired way to show it.
Daniel Hahn – The Guardian.
Young Londoners Becky, Harry and Leon are leaving the city in a fourth-hand Ford Cortina with a suitcase full of money. They are also leaving behind Pete, Becky’s boyfriend, at his surprise birthday party. Moving back in time – and into the heart of London – ‘The Bricks that Built the Houses‘ explores a cross-section of contemporary urban life with a powerful moral microscope, giving us intimate stories of hidden lives, and showing us that good intentions don’t always lead to the right decisions…
New York: A city that inspires. A city that draws people in. A city where everyone is watching, waiting to see what will happen next. 1967. Robert Mapplethorpe knows he is an artist. From his childhood home in Queens he yearns for the heat and excitement of the city, the press of other people’s bodies. He wants to be watched, he wants to be known. 1891. Walt Whitman has already found fame, and has settled into his own sort of old age. Still childlike, still passionate, he travels with his friend and biographer Bucke to the city he has always adored, the scene of his greatest triumphs and rejections. 1922. Robert Moses is a man with a vision. Standing on the edge of Long Island he knows what it could become. Walking down a street in Brooklyn he sees its future. He is the man who will build modern New York. 2013. Edmund White is back in New York. It’s the city of his youth, of his life and loves. He remembers days of lazy pleasure, nights of ecstasy and euphoria. But years have gone by since then.
Everyone is Watching is a novel about the men and women who have defined New York. Through the lives and perspectives of these great creators, artists and thinkers, and through other iconic works of art that capture its essence, New York itself solidifies. Complex, rich, sordid, tantalizing, it is constantly changing and evolving. Both intimate and epic in its sweep, Everyone is Watching is a love letter to New York and its people – past, present and future.