ABC Tips for the Summer

FICTION

 

Lindsay faySeven for a Secret by Lyndsey Faye

When a terrified woman staggers into Timothy Wilde’s office to report a robbery and is asked what was stolen, her reply is, “My family”. The search for her mixed-race sister and son will plunge Wilde into the world of the Blackbirders, who, under the legal business of re-capturing escaped slaves, will snatch any black person with impunity. This absorbing, richly detailed story of the beginning of the New York Police Force will immerse you in the atmospheric world of 19th-century America.

LockInLock in by John Scalzi

In this inventive new work from a Hugo winner, a strange virus is sweeping the globe. Most patients suffer nothing more than flu. But a few sink into a strange state in which they are conscious but unable to move. Some people, the ‘integrators’, have brains so receptive to being controlled by others that they can allow the locked-in to borrow their bodies. Two FBI agents investigate a murder that looks as if it was committed by an integrator. Or was it the lock-in? As they dig deeper, they find that the real mystery is even bigger than that. Bigger than anyone could have imagined.

Emma healyElizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

Maud is an elderly lady descending into dementia. As she deteriorates, she becomes convinced that her best friend is missing and in danger. Nobody listens – not her daughter or carers, not the police, and definitely not her volatile son. Armed with notes she leaves for herself, she looks for the truth, but it leads her deeper into her own past and the disappearance of her sister who vanished shortly after the war. Are the two connected? This haunting, surprisingly comical novel is both a riveting mystery and a poignant portrayal of the effects of aging.

Bill MorrisMotor City Burning by Bill Morris

Willie Bledsoe was once an enthusiastic participant in the civil rights movement, but deeply disillusioned with the cause, he abandons college and is drawn into a scheme to smuggle guns into Detroit. There he learns the police are still investigating a murder committed in the bloody riots of the previous summer. Willie is the prime suspect and Frank Doyle, the white cop on the case, will not rest until it is solved. Brilliantly evoking the atmosphere of a troubled city at a pivotal point in history, this bold book is the work of a gifted new voice.

Joshua Ferris_ToRiseAgainTo Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris

Paul O’Rourke is a lonely, overworked luddite, so disconnected that he’s uncomfortable just wishing his neighbours a good morning. To his horror, he discovers that someone is impersonating him online, posting borderline offensive things in his name. What’s worse, this fake Paul appears to be a better version than the real thing. Paul must take action. But to do so he will have to make connections in the real, rather than a virtual world. A wonderfully witty and profound exploration of the absurdities of modern life.

MercedesMr Mercedes by Stephen King

One early morning, hundreds of people are waiting in the cold for the doors of a jobs fair to open when a Mercedes drives straight into them, killing and injuring members of the crowd. When Bill Hodges, an unhappily retired police officer, gets a letter from the murderer promising an even bigger attack, he is hell-bent on stopping the perpetrator before he strikes again. Once again, King comes up with the goods in a heart-pounding tale of cat and mouse, and a chilling insight into the mind of a killer.

Emma straubThe Vacationers by Emma Straub

On a two-week holiday with dysfunctional friends and extended family in the Balearic sun, secrets are revealed, tensions simmer, childhood rivalries are resurrected and ancient wounds deepened. Full of heart and humour, The Vacationers is a gorgeously painted picture of an idyllic holiday gone wrong.

Jean KwokMambo in Chinatown by Jean Kwok

Charlie has spent her whole life in New York’s Chinatown where, at 22, she still lives with her father in a tiny apartment and washes dishes for a living. When she finds a job at a dance school, she develops from a cloistered, clumsy duckling into a confident, graceful swan. But the journey requires that she balance each new discovery with her responsibilities at home. The contrasts and contradictions of being an American-born Chinese play out against the wonderfully realised backdrop of Chinese culture in this coming-of-age story that feels like a modern fairy tale.

Linwood BarclayNo Safe House by Linwood Barclay

Terry Archer and his family have never truly recovered from the horrific ordeal they suffered seven years ago, and it has made him overprotect his daughter Grace. In rebellion, Grace follows her delinquent boyfriend into a strange house, plunging her family once again into the sinister world behind the façade of their idyllic hometown. Terry looks for a way to save his family from a deadly situation he can’t even begin to understand and finds that he may have to do the unthinkable. An electrifying page-turner that’s exciting from the very start.

gabaldonWritten in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon

If you’ve not yet entered the world of Outlander (a genre-busting series about a WWII nurse who is magically transported back in time to Scotland in the year 1743) now may be a great time to begin – the writer who revived Battlestar Galactica is adapting the series for TV. In book eight, Claire’s husband Jamie returns from the dead and finds her married to his best friend. Meanwhile, in the 20th century, a vicious kidnapper is homing in on their daughter. Another thrilling adventure from Gabaldon, weaving together the past and present of a family’s life in a grand historical drama.

NON-FICTION

 

How to speak money TPB high res jktHow to Speak Money by John Lanchester

The language of economics can be baffling. Lanchester suggests that we might be voting in elections without having all the information we need, especially when the elite sometimes use jargon to mislead us. Now he reveals simply and wittily what the language of economics means and how it is used. He covers vague phrases like high-frequency trading, GDP, IMF, amortisation and collateralised debt obligation, and even shows what the small print on your bank account is really about.

Hazel RoseClash! by Hazel Markus & Alana Conner

As our world contracts and we find ourselves interacting with people from other cultures, we are discovering clashes that hold us back: between genders, races, classes, regions and religions, between rich and poor, left wing and right wing, East and West, business and non-profit. Markus and Conner explain why such clashes occur and how we can not just address them, but turn them into strengths. Filled with humour and fresh insight, this is a must for anyone who would profit from knowing how culture affects behaviour.

9781844862184Mapping The First World War by Simon Forty

See the events of 1914-1918 from a unique perspective in this collection of historical maps, photographs, charts, documents filled with details about conscription, weapons, raids, and stations. With expert commentary, these artifacts bring to life the entirety of the devastating conflict, tracing its movements from Germany’s 1914 goals to the final positions of the troops.

dave EngledomeConfessions of the World’s Best Father by Dave Engledow

When Dave photographed himself sleep-deprived and oblivious, holding his infant daughter awkwardly while he squirted breast milk into his coffee mug, friends called for more. The result is a goofy, glorious tribute to the joys of fatherhood, packed with shots of a toddler and her dad in precarious situations: playing with fire, cooking breakfast in bed or diving from a mantelpiece into a tiny pool. But there are also endearing images of them doing yoga, eating towering stacks of pancakes and racing trikes around the kitchen that illustrate a father and daughter relationship worth aspiring to.

 

Issue
2014 Summer

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