Books We Loved in March

Books We Loved in March

Lie With Me – Sabine Durrant

A few little lies never hurt anyone. Right? Wrong.

Paul has a plan. He has a vision of a better future, and he’s going to make it happen. If it means hiding or exaggerating a few things here and there, no harm done.

But when he charms his way on to a family holiday and finds himself trapped among tensions and emotions he doesn’t understand, by the time he starts to realise that however painful the truth is, it’s the lies that cause the real damage…

Well, by then, it might just be too late.

Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body – Sara Pascoe

Part memoir, part investigation into what it means to be a woman, Animal is a hilarious and thought-provoking read from comedian Sara Pascoe- who you may have seen on Mock The Week, 8 Out of 10 Cats and her own stand up shows.

Using her distinct brand of humour Pascoe examines the female body, tackles serious issues and writes about her own life experiences with a candid humour and incisive wit. An important and entertaining book, ideal for fans of Caitlin Moran and Susan Calman.

A Boy Made of Blocks – Keith Stuart

Meet thirty-something dad, Alex He loves his wife Jody, but has forgotten how to show it. He loves his son Sam, but doesn’t understand him. Something has to change. And he needs to start with himself.

Meet eight-year-old Sam. Beautiful, surprising, autistic. To him the world is a puzzle he can’t solve on his own. When Sam starts to play Minecraft, it opens up a place where Alex and Sam begin to rediscover both themselves and each other…

When life starts to tear one family apart, can they put themselves back together, one piece at a time? A Boy Made of Blocks is a beautiful, funny and heartwarming story of family and love inspired by the author’s own experiences with his son.

Under the Udale Trees – Chinelo Okparanta

One day in 1968, at the height of the Biafran civil war, Ijeoma’s father is killed and her world is transformed forever. Separated from her grief-stricken mother, she meets another young lost girl, Amina, and the two become inseparable. Theirs is a relationship that will shake the foundations of Ijeoma’s faith, test her resolve and flood her heart. In this masterful novel of faith, love and redemption, Okparanta takes us from Ijeoma’s childhood in war-torn Biafra, through the perils and pleasures of her blossoming sexuality, her wrong turns, and into the everyday sorrows and joys of marriage and motherhood. As we journey with Ijeoma we are drawn to the question: what is the value of love and what is the cost?

A Mother’s Reckoning – Sue Klebold

Sue Klebold, the mother of Dylan Klebold chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the terrible actions of her son on that fateful day.

Filled with hard-won wisdom and compassion, A Mother’s Reckoning is a powerful and haunting book.

Marriages Are Made in Bond Street – Penrose Halson

In 1939, two determined twenty-four-year-olds, Heather Jenner and Mary Oliver, decided to open a marriage bureau.

A riveting glimpse of life and love during and after the war, Marriages Are Made in Bond Street is a heart-warming, touching and thoroughly absorbing account of a world gone by.

The Roanoke Girls – Amy Engel

We were gripped from the very premise of this story; ‘every Roanoke girl either runs away or dies’. And when 15 year old Lane Roanoke is sent to live at Roanoke house after her mother commits suicide, we know that something sinister is lurking behind her family’s small-town American existence.

The story is told in alternating chapters between ‘then’ and ‘now’, slowly unravelling the events of Lane’s summer at Roanoke house before mysteriously running away, and her return to the house eleven years later to help search for her missing cousin Allegra. Dark, disturbing but compelling, the smart and convincing characters drag you into a family’s mysterious and haunting history. You’ll find it tough to look away.

Four Mums in a Boat – The Yorkshire Rows

The incredible true story of four ordinary working mums from Yorkshire who took on an extraordinary challenge and broke a world record along the way, proving it’s never too late to go on a life-changing adventure, experience the beauty and power of the elements, push the very limits of your abilities and rediscover who you are. Janette, Frances, Helen and Niki, though all from Yorkshire, were four very different women, all juggling full time jobs alongside being mothers to each of their 2 children. Brought together by their love of rowing, they quickly became firm friends, and it wasn’t long before they cooked up a crazy idea over a few glasses of wine: together, they were going to do something that fewer people than had gone into space or climbed Everest had succeeded in doing. They were going to cross 3,000 miles of treacherous ocean in the toughest row in the world, The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. This is the story of how four friends together had the audacity to go on a wild, terrifying and beautiful adventure, not to escape life, but for life not to escape them.

Dodgers – Bill Beverly

Dodgers is a dark, unforgettable coming-of-age journey that recalls the very best of Richard Price, Denis Johnson, and J.D. Salinger. It is the story of a young LA gang member named East, who is sent by his uncle along with some other teenage boys—including East’s hothead younger brother—to kill a key witness hiding out in Wisconsin. The journey takes East out of a city he’s never left and into an America that is entirely alien to him, ultimately forcing him to grapple with his place in the world and decide what kind of man he wants to become. Written in stark and unforgettable prose and featuring an array of surprising and memorable characters rendered with empathy and wit, Dodgers heralds the arrival of a major new voice in American fiction.

Bear and the Nightingale – Katherine Arden

A young woman’s family is threatened by forces both real and fantastical in this debut novel inspired by Russian fairy tales. In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift – a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, the father hides the gift away and his daughter, Vasya, grows up a wild, wilful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay. Atmospheric and enchanting, with an engrossing adventure at its core, The Bear and the Nightingale is perfect for readers of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and Neil Gaiman.

Nigel: My Family and Other Dogs – Monty Don

In many respects Nigel is a very ordinary dog; charming, handsome and obedient, as so many are. He is also a much loved family pet. He is also a star.

By telling Nigel’s story, Monty relates his relationships with the other special dogs in his life in a memoir of his dogs past and very much present.

The Good Son – Paul McVeigh

Mickey Donnelly is smart, which isn’t a good thing in his part of town. Despite having a dog called Killer and being in love with the girl next door, everyone calls him ‘gay’. It doesn’t help that his best friend is his little sister, Wee Maggie, and that everyone knows he loves his Ma more than anything in the world. He doesn’t think much of his older brother Paddy and really doesn’t like his Da. He dreams of going to America, taking Wee Maggie and Ma with him, to get them away from Belfast and Da. Mickey realises it’s all down to him. He has to protect Ma from herself. And sometimes, you have to be a bad boy to be a good son.

Say Nothing – Brad Parks

On a normal Wednesday afternoon, Judge Scott Sampson is preparing to pick up his six-year-old twins for their weekly swim. His wife Alison texts him with a change of plan: she has to take them to the doctor instead. So Scott heads home early. But when Alison arrives back later, she is alone – no Sam, no Emma – and denies any knowledge of the text …The phone then rings: an anonymous voice tells them that the Judge must do exactly what he is told in an upcoming drug case and, most importantly, they must ‘say nothing’. So begins this powerful, tense breakout thriller about a close-knit young family plunged into unimaginable horror. As a twisting game of cat and mouse ensues, they know that one false move could lose them their children for ever. Hugely suspenseful – with its fascinating insight into the US judicial system and its politics of influence and nepotism – Say Nothing is, above all, the poignant story of the terror these parents face, and their stop-at-nothing compulsion to get their children back.

The Keeper of Lost Things – Ruth Hogan

Once a celebrated author of short stories now in his twilight years, Anthony Peardew has spent half his life lovingly collecting lost objects, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before. Realising he is running out of time, he leaves his house and all its lost treasures to his assistant Laura, the one person he can trust to fulfil his legacy and reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners. But the final wishes of the Keeper of Lost Things have unforeseen repercussions which trigger a most serendipitous series of encounters…With an unforgettable cast of characters that includes young girls with special powers, handsome gardeners, irritable ghosts and an array of irresistible four-legged friends, The Keeper of Lost Things is a debut novel of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that will leave you bereft once you’ve finished reading.

Lying in Wait – Liz Nugent

Lydia Fitzsimons lives in the perfect house with her adoring husband and beloved son.

There is just one thing Lydia yearns for to make her perfect life complete, though the last thing she expects is that pursuing it will lead to murder.

However, needs must – because nothing can stop this mother from getting what she wants …

Sometimes I Lie – Alice Feeney

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me. 1. I’m in a coma 2. My husband doesn’t love me any more 3. Sometimes I lie.

Unnerving, twisted and utterly compelling, you won’t be able to put this new thriller down. Set to be the most talked about book in 2017, it’s perfect for fans of Behind Closed Doors, The Girl on the Train and The Widow.

Forces of Nature – Professor Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen

In this remarkable look at our planet Brian Cox uncovers the most extraordinary natural events on Earth and in the Universe.

From the size of the Universe and the roundness of Earth to the form of every snowflake, the forces of nature shape everything we see.

Think you know our planet? Think again.

Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth – Frank Cottrell Boyce

This is the story of Prez who’s just settling in with his new foster family at Stramoddie farm when there’s an unexpected new arrival. Sputnik is a small loud alien that Prez can see but mysteriously appears as a dog to everyone else, who tells Prez he only has one summer to save the world from being blasted out of existence by an alien planet.

They team up and a hilarious story of mishaps and adventure follows that is hilarious and original, but at the same time the story is touching and poignant which is what makes it so special. It’s really a story about friendship and about looking for the good stuff in everything and appreciating what you have. We loved it.

The Scarecrow Queen – Melinda Salisbury

The final battle is coming…As the Sleeping Prince tightens his hold on Lormere and Tregellan, the net closes in on the ragged band of rebels trying desperately to defeat him. Twylla and Errin are separated, isolated, and running out of time. The final battle is coming, and Aurek will stop at nothing to keep the throne forever…

Explosive, rich and darkly addictive, this is the stunning conclusion to Mel Salisbury’s internationally best-selling trilogy.

The Blackbird Singularity – Matt Wilven

Vince stops taking his lithium when he finds out about his partner’s pregnancy. As withdrawal kicks in, he can barely hold his life together. Somewhere between making friends with a blackbird in the back garden and hearing his dead son’s footsteps in the attic, he finds himself lost and alone, journeying through a world of chaos and darkness, completely unaware of the miracle that lies ahead.