Book Discussion Group
Our Book Discussion Group have spoken – these are the books to read while on a your lovely summer break!
Joe Victim : a thriller
Cleave, Paul, 1974- author.
The secret chord
Brooks, Geraldine, author.
“From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of PEOPLE OF THE BOOK, YEAR OF WONDERS and MARCH comes a unique and vivid novel that retells the story of King David’s extraordinary rise to power and fall from grace. A skilful reimagining … gracefully and intelligently told.’ – KIRKUS REVIEWS 1000 BC. The Second Iron Age. The time of King David. Anointed as the chosen one when just a young shepherd boy, David will rise to be king, grasping the throne and establishing his empire. But his journey is a tumultuous one and the consequences of his choices will resound for generations. In a life that arcs from obscurity to fame, he is by turns hero and traitor, glamorous young tyrant and beloved king, murderous despot and remorseful, diminished patriarch. His wives love and fear him, his sons will betray him. It falls to Natan, the courtier and prophet who both counsels and castigates David, to tell the truth about the path he must take. With stunning originality, acclaimed author Geraldine Brooks offers us a compelling portrait of a morally complex hero from this strange age – part legend, part history. Full of drama and richly drawn detail, THE SECRET CHORD is a vivid story of faith, family, desire and power that brings David magnificently alive. (Library Catalogue)
Hornby, Nick, author
The Denniston Rose / Pattrick, Jenny
“A chilling thriller from the 2012 winner of the Giller prize. Lives intersect and worlds collide when a Canadian woman becomes entangled in a Nigerian internet scam.” (Library Catalogue)
The summer of the bear
“In the summer of 1979, a tamed grizzly bear is tempted by the lure of freedom and the wild open sea …Meanwhile, the sudden death of British diplomat Nicky Fleming has left his wife closed down with shock. Relocated from Germany to a remote Hebridean island, Letty Fleming is haunted by the unthinkable – was it an accident, murder or suicide?” (Library Catalogue)
Grace, Patricia, 1937- author.
Life after life
Allergy today : your guide to healthy living
Family care New Zealand : help for Kiwis with extra needs
Good : New Zealand’s guide to sustainable living
Harris, Robert – Cicero trilogy
The arms maker of Berlin
Fesperman, Dan, 1955-
“A ruthless arms billionaire & a disgraced history professor share a terrible secret. At 1 a.m. in a Pennsylvania library, Nat Turnbull’s cell phone rings. His former mentor Professor Gordon Wolfe has been arrested by the FBI for stealing top secret archive documents dating back to the Second World War.” (Library Catalogue)
The double game
Fesperman, Dan, 1955-
“A thrillingly inventive novel about spies and their secrets, fathers and sons, lovers and fate, and duplicity and loyalty – a wonderful maze of intrigue built from the espionage classics of the Cold War.” (Library Catalogue)
Fesperman, Dan, 1955-
“From the widely acclaimed author of The Prisoner of Guantánamo and The Double Game, an electrifying, timely, psychologically gripping descent into the hidden, expanding world of drone warfare. Not very long ago, Darwin Cole was an F-16 fighter pilot. He was a family man. He was on top of the world. Now? He’s a washout drunk with a dishonorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, living alone in the Nevada desert and haunted by an image beamed from one of his last missions as a “pilot” of a Predator drone–a harrowing shot of an Afghan child running for her life. When Cole is approached by three journalists trying to uncover the identity of the possibly rogue intelligence operative who called the shots in Cole’s ill-fated mission, Cole reluctantly agrees to team up with them. But in our surveillance culture, even the well intentioned are liable to find themselves under scrutiny, running for their lives, especially when the trail they’re following leads to the very heart of that culture–in intelligence, in the military, and among the unchecked private contractors who stand to profit richly from the advancing technology . . . not merely for use “over there,” but for right here, right now.” (Library Catalogue)
Gone with the Windsors
Graham, Laurie, 1947-.
“An hilarious and touching novel from Laurie Graham; the fictional diary of the Queen’s best friend in pre-war London.” (Library Catalogue)
The importance of being Kennedy
Graham, Laurie, 1947-.
“‘The Importance of Being Kennedy’ is set in wartime London and follows Kick Kennedy, sister of future US President JFK, as she takes London society by storm.” (Library Catalogue)
Bridge of sighs
Russo, Richard, 1949-
“A major new novel by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of EMPIRE FALLS, this story of parents and children, of family both benevolent and malevolent, of small-town community and its hidden toxic effects, has all the glorious heart we have come to expect from a Russo novel but with a tough new edge and a darker seam of glittering secrets. Louis Charles Lynch, aka Lucy, is sixty years old and has lived in Thomaston, upstate New York, his entire life, married to the same woman, Sarah, for forty years. Like his own father a determined optimist, Lucy has had plenty of reasons not to be but has withstood them all, including his mother, still indomitably alive. Her husband’s death dealt the Lynches another setback after they’d moved from the wrong side of the tracks to the right one, yet her brains and that Lynch optimism provided them with ‘an empire’ of convenience stores that Lucy is now passing to his son.But, as he says, ‘the well-established rhythms of our adult lives will soon be interrupted most violently’ for he and Sarah are about to leave home and travel to Rome, Florence and Venice, where his oldest friend, once a rival for his wife’s affection, leads a life far removed from Thomaston. This is classic Russo, but with a new twist in the character of a painter who gladly traded his family and past away for a life in Europe. The destinies of these three soon-to-be-reunited friends are forged in their hometown in ways that are constantly surprising and utterly revealing.” (Library Catalogue)
All the light we cannot see
Doerr, Anthony, 1973- author.
“This book as the author describes it, It’s also a metaphorical suggestion that there are countless invisible stories still buried within World War II.¿ Add in a newly blinded French girl who is forced to leave her familiar surroundings, and you’ll soon find yourself in literary heaven.” (Library Catalogue)
The children act
McEwan, Ian, author.
Half of a yellow sun
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi, 1977-
“The sweeping new novel from the author of Purple Hibiscus.This sweeping new novel from the author of Purple Hibiscus is set in Nigeria in the 1960s, at the time of a vicious civil war in which a million people died, and thousands were massacred in cold blood.The three main characters in the novel get swept up in the violence during these turbulent years. One is a young boy from a poor village who is employed at a university lecturer’s house. The other is a young middle-class woman, Olanna, who has to confront the reality of the massacre of her relatives. And the other is a white man, a writer who lives in Nigeria for no clear reason, and who falls in love with Olanna’s sister, a remote and enigmatic character.As these people’s lives intersect, they have to question their own responses to the unfolding political events. This extraordinary novel is about Africa in a wider sense: about moral responsibility, about the end of colonialism, about ethnic and tribal allegiances, about class and race; and the ways in which love can complicate all of these things.Chimanda Ngozi Adichie’s first novel, Purple Hibiscus, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2004.” (Library Catalogue)
House of Ashes
Roffey, Monique, author
“The City of Silk is seething. The corrupt government has been ruling over the people too long and the city is becoming restless. Then one hot evening The Leader, a head of a group of rebels, gathers his followers and tells them: ‘Today, we will be making history. For ourselves, and our fellow countrymen of Sans Amen.’ And so a ragtag collection of men and boys take up arms and storm two of the most important buildings in the city: the house of power and the television studios. Together they will take back what is rightfully theirs. Caught up in the madness is Ashes. A bookish, learned man, he has been swept up by The Leader’s powerful rhetoric. But now that words have turned to action he is not so sure anymore. And trapped inside the government building with the rebels is Aspasia. A proud woman, a mother of boys, she sees much of her sons in these boys with guns in their hands and power in their eyes. A powerful, evocative and important novel from the author of The White Woman on the Green Bicycle.” (Library Catalogue)
After Cleo: came Jonah : how a crazy kitten and a rebelling daughter turned out to be blessings in disguise
Brown, Helen, 1954-
“Many strong minded women have headstrong daughters. But this isn’t supposed to extend to their cats.” (Library Catalogue)
Sparks, Nicholas, author.
Longitude / Sobel, Dava
Russell, Mary Doria, 1950-
“The Sparrow is a novel about a remarkable man, a living saint, a life-long celibate and Jesuit priest, who undergoes an experience so harrowing and profound that it makes him question the existence of God. This experience–the first contact between human beings and intelligent extraterrestrial life–begins with a small mistake and ends in a horrible catastrophe.” (Library Catalogue)
“A stunning coming-of-age novel, set in Paris, about sex, jealousy and the nature of female friendship.” (Library Catalogue)
Wood, Charlotte, 1965-
“A short, sharp shock of a novel that takes you into the heart of a family that’s as normal, and broken, as any other. From the author of The Submerged Cathedral , shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award.” (Library Catalogue)
State of wonder
“SHORTLISTED FOR THE ORANGE PRIZE FOR FICTION 2012 There were people on the banks of the river. Among the tangled waterways and giant anacondas of the Brazilian Rio Negro, an enigmatic scientist is developing a drug that could alter the lives of women for ever. Dr Annick Swenson’s work is shrouded in mystery; she refuses to report on her progress, especially to her investors, whose patience is fast running out. Anders Eckman, a mild-mannered lab researcher, is sent to investigate.A curt letter reporting his untimely death is all that returns.Now Marina Singh, Anders’ colleague and once a student of the mighty Dr Swenson, is their last hope. Compelled by the pleas of Anders’s wife, who refuses to accept that her husband is not coming home, Marina leaves the snowy plains of Minnesota and retraces her friend’s steps into the heart of the South American darkness, determined to track down Dr. Swenson and uncover the secrets being jealously guarded among the remotest tribes of the rainforest.What Marina does not yet know is that, in this ancient corner of the jungle, where the muddy waters and susurrating grasses hide countless unknown perils and temptations, she will face challenges beyond her wildest imagination.Marina is no longer the student, but only time will tell if she has learnt enough.” (Library Catalogue)
Flight behaviour : a novel
“From the Orange Prize-winning author of The Lacuna comes a suspenseful and brilliant new novel about catastrophe and denial.” (Library Catalogue)
The bean trees : a novel
Pigs in heaven
“Part of a beautiful new series packaging programme for Barbara Kingsolver.” (Library Catalogue)
The Peter Temple omnibus : the broken shore ; in the evil day ; an iron rose
By: Temple, Peter, 1946-
The long shadow
By: Mills, Mark, 1963- author.
The lord of the rings
By: Tolkien, J. R. R. (John Ronald Reuel), 1892-1973.
“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins. From Sauron’s fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion. When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom. (Library Catalogue)
J.K. Rowling – the Harry Potter series
The cuckoo’s calling
By: Galbraith, Robert.
By: Galbraith, Robert, author.
“Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestseller The Cuckoo’s Calling . When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days–as he has done before–and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives–meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced. When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before… A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn (Library Catalogue)
Career of evil
By: Galbraith, Robert, author.
“When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg.Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible–and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…”Career of Evil” is the third in the highly acclaimed series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. A fiendishly clever mystery with unexpected twists around every corner, it is also a gripping story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives. ” (Library Catalogue)