Friends of the Anglophone Library, 2015

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Friends of the Anglophone Library, 2015

Postby peter » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:10 pm

Non Fiction

My history : a memoir of growing up Antonia Fraser

A memoir of Antonia Fraser’s early years, her previous volume of memoir, Must You Go?, an

account of her life with Harold Pinter, was acclaimed as a moving love story. In this second

instalment, she stands unabashed and alone – wise, self-deprecating and always entertaining.

The King’s bed Don Jordan & Michael Walsh

Charles II’s private life is told with gusto in a study of one of England’s most dissolute kings.

These romps through Charles’ bedchamber are wonderfully lively. The authors make no

claims that all their tales are true. Narrating a libertine’s life with gusto tempered by sound

common sense, they have produced a book that is as pleasantly addictive as might be

suggested by its racy title.


The Betrayers David Bezmozgis

These incandescent pages give us one momentous day in the life of Baruch Kotler, a

disgraced Israeli politician. When he refuses to back down from a contrary but principled

stand regarding the West Bank settlements, his political opponents expose his affair with a

mistress decades his junior. He and the fierce young Leora flee the scandal for Yalta, where,

in an unexpected turn of events, he comes face-to-face with the former friend who denounced

him to the KGB almost 40 years earlier. In a mere 24 hours, Kotler must face the ultimate

reckoning, both with those who have betrayed him and with those whom he has betrayed.

including a teenage daughter, a son facing his own ethical dilemmas in the Israeli army, and

In prose that is elegant, sly, precise and devastating, David Bezmozgis has rendered a story

for the ages, an inquest into the nature of fate and consequence, love and forgiveness.

The Miniaturist Jessie Burton

Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam-a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive

religion-a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the

tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant.

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to

begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new

home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his

study or at his warehouse office-leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and

forbidding Marin. But Nella's world changes when Johannes presents her with an

extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella

engages the services of a miniaturist-an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations

mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .Enchanting, beautiful,

and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession,

betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.

The Burning Room Michael Connelly

Detective Harry Bosch tackles a cold case unlike any he's ever worked, in the new thriller

from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly. In the LAPD's Open-Unsolved

Unit, not many murder victims die almost a decade after the crime. So when a man succumbs

to complications from being shot by a stray bullet nine years earlier, Bosch catches a case in

which the body is still fresh, but any other evidence is virtually nonexistent.

Now Bosch and his new partner, rookie Detective Lucia Soto, are tasked with solving what

turns out to be a highly charged, politically sensitive case. Starting with the bullet that's been

lodged for years in the victim's spine, they must pull new leads from years-old information,

which soon reveals that this shooting may have been anything but random. In this gripping

new thriller, Michael Connelly shows once again why Harry Bosch is "one of the greats of

crime fiction"

The Soul of Discretion Susan Hill

The eighth Simon Serrailler case : Not all great novelists can write crime fiction but when

one like Susan Hill does ‘the result is stunning' Ruth Rendell. The cathedral town of Lafferton

seems idyllic, but in many ways it is just like any other place. As part of the same rapidly

changing world, it shares the same hopes and fears, and the same kinds of crime, as any

number of towns up and down the land. When one day DC Simon Serrailler is called in by

Lafferton’s new Chief Constable, Kieron Bright, he is met by four plainclothes officers. He is

asked to take the lead role in a complex, potentially dangerous undercover operation and

must leave town immediately, without telling anyone – not even his girlfriend Rachel, who has

only just moved in with him. Meanwhile, Simon’s sister Cat is facing difficult choices at work

that will test her dedication to the NHS. But an urgent call about her and Simon’s father,

Richard, soon presents her with a far greater challenge much closer to home. To complete his

special op, Simon must inhabit the mind of the worst kind of criminal. As the op unfolds,

Lafferton is dragged into the sort of case every town dreads. And Simon faces the fight of his


Funny Girl Nick Hornby

Funny Girl takes place in a swinging 60s where the nation is mesmerized by unlikely comedy

star Sophie Straw, the former Blackpool beauty queen who just wants to make people laugh,

like her heroine Lucille Ball. Behind the scenes, the cast and crew are having the time of their

lives. But when the script begins to get a bit too close to home, and life starts imitating art,

they all face a choice. The writers, Tony and Bill, comedy obsessives, each harbour a secret.

The Oxbridge-educated director, Dennis, loves his job but hates his marriage. The male star

Clive, feels he’s destined for better things. And Sophie Straw, who’s changed her name and

abandoned her old life, must decide whether to keep going, or change the channel

The Blazing World Siri Hustvedt

With The Blazing World, internationally bestselling author Siri Hustvedt returns to the New

York art world in her most masterful and urgent novel since What I Loved. Hustvedt tells the

provocative story of the artist Harriet Burden. After years of watching her work ignored or

dismissed by critics, Burden conducts an experiment she calls Maskings: she presents her

own art behind three male masks, concealing her female identity. The three solo shows are

successful, but when Burden finally steps forward triumphantly to reveal herself as the artist

behind the exhibitions, there are critics who doubt her. The public scandal turns on the final

exhibition, initially shown as the work of acclaimed artist Rune, who denies Burden’s role in

its creation. What no one doubts, however, is that the two artists were intensely involved with

each other. As Burden’s journals reveal, she and Rune found themselves locked in a charged

and dangerous game that ended with the man’s bizarre death. Ingeniously presented as a

collection of texts compiled after Burden’s death, The Blazing World unfolds from multiple

perspectives. From one of the most ambitious and internationally renowned writers of her

generation, The Blazing World is a polyphonic tour de force. An intricately conceived,

diabolical puzzle, it explores the deceptive powers of prejudice, money, fame, and desire.

Leaving Berlin Joseph Kanon

From the bestselling author of Istanbul Passage, called a "fast-moving thinking man's thriller"

by The Wall Street Journal, comes a sweeping, atmospheric novel of postwar East Berlin, a

city caught between political idealism and the harsh realities of Soviet occupation.

Berlin 1948. Alex Meier, a young Jewish writer, fled the Nazis for America before the war.

But the politics of his youth have now put him in the crosshairs of the McCarthy witch-hunts.

Faced with deportation and the loss of his family, he makes a desperate bargain with the

fledgling CIA: he will earn his way back to America by acting as their agent in his native

Berlin. But almost from the start things go fatally wrong. A kidnapping misfires, an East

German agent is killed, and Alex finds himself a wanted man. Worse, he discovers his real

assignment is to spy on the woman he left behind, the only woman he has ever loved.

Changing sides in Berlin is as easy as crossing a sector border. But where do we draw the

lines of our moral boundaries? Betrayal? Survival? Murder?

Filled with intrigue, and the moral ambiguity of conflicted loyalties, Joseph Kanon's new

novel is a compelling thriller and a love story that brings a shadowy period of history vividly

to life

Revival Stephan King

A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other

side of life. In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a

small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new

minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. When

tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious

belief, and is banished from the shocked town. Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his

guitar from the age of thirteen, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic

lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family's horrific loss. In his mid-

thirties -- addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate -- Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with

profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil's

devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings. This rich and disturbing novel

spans five decades on its way to the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written.

It's a masterpiece from King, in the great American tradition of Frank Norris, Nathaniel

Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe.

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher Hilary Mantel

One of Britain’s most accomplished, acclaimed, and garlanded writers, Hilary Mantel

delivers a brilliant collection of contemporary short stories that demonstrate what modern

England has become. In The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, Hilary Mantel’s trademark

gifts of penetrating characterization, unsparing eye, and rascally intelligence are once again

fully on display. Her classic wicked humor in each story—which range from a ghost story to a

vampire story to near-memoir to mini-sagas of family and social fracture—brilliantly

unsettles the reader in that unmistakably Mantel way.

Mantel brutally and acutely writes about gender, marriage, class, family, and sex, cutting to

the core of human experience. Unpredictable, diverse, and even shockingly unexpected, each

story grabs you by the throat within a couple of sentences. The Assassination of Margaret

Thatcher displays a magnificent writer at the peak of her powers.

An Event in Autumn Henning Mankell

An Inspector Kurt Wallander short novel by the bestselling author Henning Mankell,

available in English for the first time.

Soon after Inspector Kurt Wallander moves into a new house with a charming garden, he

makes an upsetting discovery: there is a hand--indeed, an entire corpse--buried in a shallow

grave in the garden. It's the responsibility of the local police to handle the investigation...but

Wallander, even though busy with another case, is soon drawn into the search for the truth

about his new home, and its previous owner. Fans of the detective will be disappointed to

learn that An Event in Autumn is to be Wallander’s final investigation. Mankell was

diagnosed with cancer last January, and has reportedly grown weary of his creation.

Borderline Liza Marklund

It's obvious why Liza Marklund is such a popular writer, and so beloved by her loyal fans.

Her voice is crisp and clean, and she has a knack for building beautifully elaborate and

suspenseful plots. Her storytelling captivates readers, keeping them guessing right to the

end with twists and turns you never see coming. Borderline is the ninth novel featuring

crime reporter Annika Bengtzon.  One afternoon, a young woman is found dead and covered

with snow behind a nursery school in a Stockholm suburb. She is the fourth victim in a short

time with the same characteristics: a young mother, stabbed from behind. In the editorial

offices of Kvällspressen they sense a serial killer, but crime reporter Annika dismisses it as

wild fantasies. Meanwhile, her husband, Thomas is attending an international conference in

Nairobi, Kenya. During a reconnaissance trip to the Somali border the entire delegation of

seven European envoys is kidnapped. As the murder spree in Stockholm continues and

speculation of a serial killer arises also in the Police Department, Annika is dragged into a

violent hostage situation that shakes both Europe and East Africa. The demands from the

kidnappers are impossible and unreasonable. When the demands are rejected, the kidnappers

begin to execute the hostages, one by one.

Us David Nicolls

Us, for which readers and booksellers have waited with growing impatience in the five years

since One Day, puts another couple to the test. One night, Douglas Petersen, a 54-year-old

industrial biochemist, is woken by his art gallerist wife of almost a quarter of a century,

Connie, and informed that she thinks their marriage may be over. This is bad news for

Douglas – not only because he still loves Connie madly, but because they have recently

booked an expensive grand tour of Europe as a final family holiday before Albie, their 18-

year-old son, goes to college. Inevitably, Doug treats the holiday as a campaign to sway his

wife's mind. As in all Nicholls' work, his organisation of the story is impeccable. Those who

loved Nicholls’s last novel, One Day, will not be disappointed. Us has many of the same

qualities, including an almost magical readability. Though it is an ambitious novel, intricately

patterned, which tackles complex and subtle themes, it has the furious pace of a thriller. It’s

this frank exploration of some of the unromantic realities of marriage and growing old that

makes this book moving and thought-provoking.

Vanessa and her sister Priya Parmar

The Vanessa in question is Virginia Woolf’s sister. For fans of The Paris Wife and Loving

Frank comes a captivating novel that offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of Vanessa

Bell, her sister Virginia Woolf, and the controversial and popular circle of intellectuals

known as the Bloomsbury Group. Ms Parmar gives truth and defiition to the character of a

woman whose nature was as elusive as her influence was profound. She has caught the


Land where I flee Prajwal Parajuly

To commemorate Chitralekha Nepauney’s Chaurasi – her landmark 84th birthday –

Chitralekha’s grandchildren are travelling to Gangtok to pay their respects.

Agastaya is flying in from New York. Although a successful oncologist at only thirty-three he

is dreading his family’s inquisition into why he is not married, and terrified that the reason

for his bachelordom will be discovered. Joining him are Manasa and Bhagwati, coming from

London and Colorado respectively. One the Oxford-educated achiever; the other the

disgraced eloper – one moneyed but miserable; the other ostracized but optimistic.

All three harbour the same dual objective: to emerge from the celebrations with their

grandmother’s blessing and their nerves intact: a goal that will become increasingly

impossible thanks to a mischievous maid and a fourth, uninvited guest.

Prajwal Parajuly - the son of an Indian father and a Nepalese mother - divides his time

between New York and Oxford, but disappears to Gangtok, his hometown in the Indian

Himalayas, at every opportunity. Land Where I Flee is his first novel.

Lamentation CJ Sansom

Shardlake shines in this expertly executed tale.

Of the making of books about Henry VIII there is no end – and CJ Sansom’s fans must hope

this will be true for the adventures of his hunchback Tudor lawyer, Matthew Shardlake, who

was a protégé of Thomas Cromwell in the early books and, though a fictional character,

maintains as much of a following in the murder mystery field as Hilary Mantel’s flawed hero

in her acclaimed series.

This is his sixth outing. Queen Catherine is heavily implicated in heresy in an era when the

slightest deviation from the King’s pronouncements on religion could mean death – and no

one knew what the vacillating royal mind would pronounce next. Moderate citizens, like

Shardlake, are desperately struggling to keep their balance between extremes of fervour.

Sansom brilliantly conveys the uncertainty of the time when a frail young prince would

ascend the throne with different factions fighting for regency. Shardlake is presented with an

appeal for help from the Queen herself, who has unwisely committed her religious opinions to

paper. This compromising document has been stolen, and Shardlake uncovers a series of

murders, beginning with that of a printer implicated in the publication of the dangerous

manuscript. There is a sadness about this novel which suggests that Shardlake’s own world is

breaking up but it ends on a hopeful note for the many followers of this splendid series, which

combines the imaginative insights of fiction with scholarly research.

Family Life Akhil Sharma

Known for his "cunning, dismaying and beautifully conceived" fiction Akhil Sharma delivers

a story of astonishing intensity and emotional precision. Growing up in Delhi in 1978, eight-

year-old Ajay Mishra and his older brother Birju play cricket on the streets, eagerly waiting

for the day they can join their father in America. America to the Mishras is, indeed,

everything they could have imagined and more until tragedy strikes. Young Ajay prays to a

God he envisions as Superman, searching for direction amid the ruins of his family's new life.

Heart-wrenching and darkly funny, Family Life is a universal story of a boy torn between

duty and his own survival."

Nora Webster Colm Toibin

From one of contemporary literature’s bestselling, critically acclaimed and beloved authors,

a magnificent new novel set in Ireland, about a fiercely compelling young widow and mother

of four, navigating grief and fear, struggling for hope. Set in Wexford, Ireland, Colm Tóibín’s

superb seventh novel introduces the formidable, memorable and deeply moving Nora

Webster. Widowed at forty, with four children and not enough money, Nora has lost the love

of her life, Maurice, the man who rescued her from the stifling world to which she was born.

And now she fears she may be drawn back into it. Wounded, strong-willed, clinging to secrecy

in a tiny community where everyone knows your business, Nora is drowning in her own

sorrow and blind to the suffering of her young sons, who have lost their father. Yet she has

moments of stunning empathy and kindness, and when she begins to sing again, after decades,

she finds solace, engagement, a haven—herself.

Nora Webster is a masterpiece in character study by a writer at the zenith of his career,

“beautiful and daring” and able to “sneak up on readers and capture their imaginations”. In

Nora Webster, Tóibín has created a character as iconic, engaging and memorable as

Madame Bovary or Hedda Gabler.

The Paying Guests Sarah Waters

Novelist Sarah Waters has been shortlisted three times for the Man Booker Prize and named

one of the best young British novelists by the journal Granta. It is 1922, and London is tense.

Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And

in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa life is about to be transformed as

impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in

lodgers. With the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the “clerk

class,” the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. Little do the Wrays

know just how profoundly their new tenants will alter the course of Frances’s life — or, as

passions mount and frustration gathers, how far-reaching, and how devastating, the

disturbances will be. Perhaps Waters’s most impressive accomplishment is the authentic feel

she achieves, that the telling — whether in its serious, exciting, comic or sexy passages — has

no modern tinge.
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