‘Shakespeare’ by Bill Bryson

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‘World famous writer Bill Bryson brings us this brilliantly readable biography of our greatest dramatist and poet William Shakespeare.
Examining centuries of myths, half-truths and downright lies, Bill Bryson tries to make sense of the man behind the masterpieces. In a journey through the streets of Shakespeare’s time, he brings to life the hubbub of Elizabethan England and a host of characters along the way. Bryson celebrates the glory of Shakespeare’s language- his ceaseless inventiveness gave us hundreds of now indispensable phrases, images and words- and delights in details of his fall-outs and folios, poetry and plays.
Stitching together information from a vast array of sources, he has created a unique celebration of one of the most significant, and least understood, figures in history, not to mention a classic piece of Bryson.’  
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‘The Book of Aron’ by Jim Shepard

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‘Aron is a nine-year-old Polish Jew, and a troublemaker. His mother despairs of him. His father beats him. He tries to be good. But in 1939, as the walls go up around the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw, as lice and typhus rage, families starve and fight, it is Aron who finds a way- however dangerous, however treacherous, to survive, It isn’t until he lands at the feet of Janusz Korczak- orphanage director and reluctant hero- that he learns of something greater than survival.’ Continue reading

‘The Man in the High Castle’ by Philip K Dick

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”All these hundreds of thousands in this city, here. Do they imagine that they live in a sane world? Or do they guess, glimpse, the truth…?’
America, after the Second World War. The Allies have lost, and their enemies have conquered the world. Those who survive live in fear. The Nazis have taken over New York, while the Japanese control California. Yet in a neutral buffer zone between these two rival superpowers lives the author of an underground bestseller that, it is rumoured, offers an alternate version of history. Does ‘reality’ lie with him, or is his world just one among many others?’  
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‘March Violets’ by Philip Kerr

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‘Bernhard Gunther is a private eye, specialising in missing persons. And in Hitler’s Berlin, he’s never short of work…
Winter 1936. A man and his wife have been shot dead in their bed. The woman’s father, a millionaire industrialist, wants justice- and the priceless diamonds that disappeared along with his daughters life. As Bernie follows the trail into the cesspit that is Nazi Germany, he’s forced to confront a horrifying conspiracy. One that takes him to the very heart of  government, and eventually, to Dachau.’ 
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‘HHhH’ by Laurent Binet

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‘Two men have been enlisted to kill the head of he Gestapo.
This is Operation Anthropoid, Prague, 1942: two Czechoslovakian parachutists sent on a daring mission by London to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Nazi secret services. His boss is Heinrich Himmler but everyone in the SS says ‘Himmler’s brain is called Heydrich’, which in German spells out 
HHhH.
All the characters in
 HHhH are real. All the events depicted are true.  But alongside the nerve-shredding preparations for the attack runs another story: when you are a novelist writing about real people, how do you resist the temptation to make things up?’ Continue reading

‘A Clear Blue Sky’ by Jonny Bairstow and Duncan Hamilton

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‘As a young boy of eight, Jonny Bairstow was dealt a cruel blow. His father David ‘Bluey’ Bairstow, the combative and very popular wicketkeeper and captain of Yorkshire, took his own life at the age of forty-six.
David left behind Jonny, Jonny’s sister Becky and half brother Andy, and his wife Janet, who had recently been diagnosed with cancer at the time of his death. From these incredibly tough circumstances, Jonny and his family strived to find an even keel and come to terms with the loss of their father and husband.
Jonny found his way through his dedication to sport. He was a gifted and natural athlete, with potential careers ahead of him in rugby and football, but he eventually chose cricket and came to build a career that followed in his fathers footsteps. Despite the many setbacks, Jonny has excelled to reach the pinnacle of the sport and become a record-breaking wicketkeeper-batsman.
Part memoir, part tribute to his late father,
 A Clear Blue Sky is written with multiple-award-winning writer Duncan Hamilton. It is an incredibly moving story of triumph over adversity and the importance of family, and a book with far-reaching lessons about determination and the will to overcome.’    
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‘Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee’ by Dee Brown

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‘The American West, 1860-90: years of broken promises, disillusionment, war and massacre.
Beginning with the Long Walk of the Navajos and ending with the massacre of the Sioux at Wounded Knee, this extraordinary book tells how the American Indians lost their land, lives and liberty to white settlers pushing westward. Woven into an engrossing saga of cruelty, treachery and violence are the fascinating stories of such legendary figures as Sitting Bull, Cochise, Crazy Horse and Geronimo.
First published in 1970, Dee Brown’s brutal and compelling narrative changed the way people thought about the original inhabitants of America, and focused attention on a national disgrace.’  Continue reading

‘Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All’ by Christina Thompson

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Come On Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All is a sensitive and vibrant portrayal of the cultural collision between Westerners and Maoris, from Abel Tasman’s discovery of New Zealand in 1642 to the author’s unlikely romance with a Maori man. An intimate account of centuries of friction and fascination, this intriguing and unpredictable book weaves a path through time and around the world in a rich exploration of both the past and the future that it leads to.”  Continue reading

‘Career of Evil’ by Robert Galbraith

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‘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…’  
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