‘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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‘The Silkworm’ by Robert Galbraith

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‘When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days- as he has done before- and she wants Strike to bring him home.
But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel is published it will ruin lives- so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.
And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before…’ 
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‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ by Robert Galbraith

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‘When a troubled model falls to her death from a Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts and calls in private detective Cormoran Strike.
Strike is a war veteran- wounded both physically and psychologically- and his private life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s world, the darker things become and the closer he gets to terrible danger…’  Continue reading

‘Trials of Passion’ by Lisa Appignanesi

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‘When passion is in the picture, what is criminal, what is sane, what is mad or simply bad?
Brighton, 1870: A well-respected spinster infuses chocolate creams with strychnine in order to murder her ‘lover’s’ wife.
Paris, 1880: A popular performer stalks her betraying lover through the streets of the city for weeks and finally takes aim.
New York, 1906: A millionaire shoots dead a prominent architect in full view of a theatre audience.’  
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‘I, Claudius’ by Robert Graves

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‘Despised for his weakness and regarded by his family as little more than a stammering fool, the nobleman Claudius quietly survives the intrigues, bloody purges and mounting cruelty of the imperial Roman dynasties. In I, Claudius he watches from the sidelines to record the reigns of it’s emperor’s: from the wise Augustus and his villainous wife Livia to the sadistic Tiberius and the insane excesses of Caligula. Written in the form of Claudius’ autobiography, this is the first part of Robert Graves’s brilliant account of the madness and debauchery of ancient Rome, and stands as one of the most celebrated, gripping historical novels ever written.’ Continue reading

‘An Inspector Calls and Other Plays’ by J.B. Priestley

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“‘An Inspector Calls’, first produced in 1946 when society was undergoing sweeping transformations, has recently enjoyed an enormously successful revival. While holding its audience with the gripping tension of a detective thriller, it is also a philosophical play about social conscience and the crumbling of middle-class values. ‘Time and the Conways’ and ‘I Have Been Here Before’ belong to Priestley’s ‘time’ plays, in which he explores the idea of precognition and pits fate against free will. ‘The Linden Tree’ also challenges pre-conceived ideas of history when Professor Linden comes into conflict with his family about how life should be lived after the war.” Continue reading