Well, what have we been reading lately? These are our current favourites of books that we have in stock...

 

Tony very much enjoyed this historic biography, with its juicy insight into the scandalous society of the day. 

 

The Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of an Ending takes us on a rich, witty, revelatory tour of Belle Époque Paris, via the life story of the pioneering surgeon Samuel Pozzi. In the summer of 1885, three Frenchmen arrived in London for a few days' shopping. One was a Prince, one was a Count, and the third was a commoner with an Italian name, who four years earlier had been the subject of one of John Singer Sargent's greatest portraits. The three men's lives play out against the backdrop of the Belle Époque in Paris. The age of glamour and pleasure often showed its ugly side: hysterical, narcissistic, decadent and violent, a time of rampant prejudice and blood-and-soil nativism, with more parallels to our own age than we might imagine. Barnes' touchpoint through this world is the third man, Samuel Pozzi, society doctor, pioneer gynecologist and free-thinker, a rational and scientific man with a famously complicated private life. The Man in the Red Coat is at once a fresh and original portrait of the French Belle Époque--its heroes and villains, its writers, its dandies, its artists and thinkers--and a life of a man ahead of his time. Witty, surprising and deeply researched, this new book from Julian Barnes illuminates the fruitful and longstanding exchange of ideas between Britain and France, and makes a compelling case for keeping that exchange alive. $45

Despite the grim subject, Tracey found this novel fascinating and gripping, and can't imagine anyone living through this. A story that has to be told.  

 

 The sequel to the International Number One Bestseller The Tattooist of Auschwitz, based on a true story of love and resilience. In 1942 Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. The Commandant at Birkenau, Schwarzhuber, notices her long beautiful hair, and forces her separation from the other women prisoners. Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly given, equals survival. After liberation, Cilka is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to a desolate, brutal prison camp in Siberia known as Vorkuta, inside the Arctic Circle.  Innocent and imprisoned once again, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar. When she makes an impression on a female doctor, Cilka is taken under her wing and begins to tend to the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under unimaginable conditions. Cilka finds endless resources within herself as she confronts death and faces terror, each day a battle for survival. And when she nurses a man called Aleksandr, Cilka finds that despite everything that has happened to her, there is room in her heart for love. Based on what is known of Cilka’s time in Auschwitz, and on the experience of women in Siberian prison camps, Cilka’s Journey is the breathtaking sequel to The Tattooist of Auschwitz. A powerful testament to the triumph of the human will in adversity, Cilka’s Journey will make you weep, but it will also leave you with the remarkable story of one woman’s fierce determination to survive, against all odds. 'She was the bravest person I ever met' - Lale Sokolov, The Tattooist of Auschwitz. $37

 

This was great entertainment for Felicity, a funny sweet modern version of a Jane Austen novel. It helps that Nina's favourite book is Pride and Prejudice

Meet Nina Hill: A young woman supremely confident in her own... shell.

Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, an excellent trivia team and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.

So when the father she never knew existed dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! She'll have to Speak. To. Strangers.

And if that wasn't enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny and interested in getting to know her...

It's time for Nina to turn her own fresh page, and find out if real life can ever live up to fiction...  $28