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01

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The Other Hand

Chris Cleave

We don't want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it.

Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this:

It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific.

The story starts there, but the book doesn't.

And it's what happens afterwards that is most important.

Once you have read it, you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.

02

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The Adventure of English

Melvyn Bragg

English is the collective work of millions of people throughout the ages. It is democratic, ever-changing and ingenious in its assimilation of other cultures. English runs through the heart of world finance, medicine and the Internet, and it is understood by around two thousand million people across the world. Yet it was very nearly wiped out in its early years.

In this book Melvyn Bragg shows us the remarkable story of the English language; from its beginnings as a minor guttural Germanic dialect to its position today as a truly established global language. THE ADVENTURE OF ENGLISH is not only an enthralling story of power, religion and trade, but also the story of people, and how their day-to-day lives shaped and continue to change the extraordinary language that is English.

03

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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

John le Carré

'A great thriller, the best le Carré has written'

Spectator

'A stunning story'

Wall Street Journal

'John le Carré is the great master of the spy story... the constant flow of emotion lifts him above most novelists now practising.'

Financial Times

04

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Shades of Grey

Jasper Fforde

Hundreds of years in the future, after the Something that Happened, the world is an alarmingly different place. Life is lived according to The Rulebook and social hierarchy is determined by your perception of colour.

Eddie Russett is an above average Red who dreams of moving up the ladder by marriage to Constance Oxblood. Until he is sent to the Outer Fringes where he meets Jane - a lowly Grey with an uncontrollable temper and a desire to see him killed.

For Eddie, it`s love at first sight. But his infatuation will lead him to discover that all is not as it seems in a world where everything that looks black and white is really shades of grey...

If George Orwell had tripped over a paint pot or Douglas Adams favoured colour swatches instead of towels . . . neither of them would have come up with anything as eccentrically brilliant as Shades of Grey.

05

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A Million Little Pieces

James Frey

James Frey wakes up on a plane, with no memory of the preceding two weeks. His face is cut and his body is covered with bruises. He has no wallet and no idea of his destination. He has abused alcohol and every drug he can lay his hands on for a decade - and he is aged only twenty-three.

What happens next is one of the most powerful and extreme stories ever told. His family take him to a rehabilitation centre, and James Frey starts his perilous journey back to the world of drug and alcohol-free living. His lack of self-pity is unflinching and often searing.

A Million Little Pieces is a dazzling account of a life destroyed and a life reconstructed. It is also the introduction of a bold and talented literary voice.

06

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Misery

Stephen King

A Chilling Classic from the Number One Bestselling Writer.

Misery Chastain was dead. Paul Sheldon had just killed her - with relief, with joy. Misery had made him rich; she was the heroine of a string of bestsellers. And now he wanted to get on to some real writing.

That's when the car accident happened, and he woke up in pain in a strange bed. But it wasn't the hospital. Annie Wilkes had pulled him from the wreck, brought him to her remote mountain home, splinted and set his mangled legs.

The good news was that Annie was a nurse and has pain-killing drugs. The bad news was that she was Paul's Number One Fan. And when she found out what Paul had done to Misery, she didn't like it. She didn't like it at all. And now he had to bring Misery back to life. Or else...

07

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Liar's Poker

Michael Lewis

From mere trainee to lowly geek, to triumphal Big Swinging Dick: that was Michael Lewis' pell-mell progress through the dealing rooms of Salomon Brothers in New York and London during the heady mid-1980s when they were probably the world's most powerful and profitable merchant bank.

A true-life Bonfire of the Vanities, funny, frightening, breathless and heartless, his is a tale of hysterical greed and ambition set in an obsessed, enclosed world.

08

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Cloud Atlas

David Mitchell

A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan`s California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified `dinery server` on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation - the narrators of CLOUD ATLAS hear each other`s echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.

In his extraordinary third novel, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity`s dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us.

09

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One Day

David Nicholls

"I can imagine you at forty," she said, a hint of malice in her voice. "I can picture it right now."

He smiled without opening his eyes. "Go on then."

15th July 1988. Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways.

So where will they be on this one day next year?

And the year after that? And every year that follows?

Twenty years, two people, ONE DAY. From the author of the massive bestseller STARTER FOR TEN.

10

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My Sister's Keeper

Jodie Picoult

Sara Fitzgerald's daughter Kate is just two years old when she is diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia. Reeling with the helpless shock of it, Sara knows she will do anything - whatever it takes - to save her child.

Then the tests results come back time and again to show that no one in their family is a match for Kate. If they are to find a donor for the crucial bone marrow transplant she needs, there is only one option: creating another baby, specifically designed to save her sister. For Sara, it seems the ideal solution. Not only does Kate live, but she gets a beautiful new daughter, Anna, too.

Until the moment Anna hands Sara the papers that will rock her whole world. Because, aged thirteen, Anna has decided that she doesn't want to help Kate live any more. She is suing her parents for the rights to her own body.

11

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Piece of My Heart

Peter Robinson

As volunteers clean up after a huge outdoor rock concert in Yorkshire in 1969, they discover the body of a young woman wrapped in a sleeping bag. She has been brutally murdered. The detective assigned to the case, Stanley Chadwick, is a hard-headed, strait-laced veteran of the Second World War. He could not have less in common with - or less regard for - young, disrespectful, long-haired hippies, smoking marijuana and listening to the pulsing sounds of rock and roll. But he has a murder to solve, and it looks as if the victim was somehow associated with the up-and-coming psychedelic pastoral band the Mad Hatters.

In the present, Inspector Alan Banks is investigating the murder of a freelance music journalist who was working on a feature about the Mad Hatters for MOJO magazine. This is not the first time that the Mad Hatters, now aging rock superstars, have been brushed by tragedy. Banks finds he has to delve into the past to find out exactly what hornets` nest the journalist inadvertently stirred up.

12

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Cold Mountain

Charles Frazier

A soldier wounded in the Civil War, Inman turns his back on the carnage of the battlefield and begins the treacherous journey home to Cold Mountain, and to Ada, the woman he loved before the war began.

As Inman attempts to make his way across the mountains, through the devastated landscape of a soon-to-be-defeated South, Ada struggles to make a living from the land her once-wealthy father left when he died. Neither knows if the other is still alive.

13

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Mister Pip

Lloyd Jones

'You cannot pretend to read a book. Your eyes will give you away. So will your breathing. A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe. The house can catch alight and a reader deep in a book will not look up until the wallpaper is in flames.'

Bougainville. 1991. A small village on a lush tropical island in the South Pacific. Eighty-six days have passed since Matilda's last day of school as, quietly, war is encroaching from the other end of the island.

When the villagers' safe, predictable lives come to a halt, Bougainville's children are surprised to find the island's only white man, a recluse, re-opening the school. Pop Eye, aka Mr Watts, explains he will introduce the children to Mr Dickens. Matilda and the others think a foreigner is coming to the island and prepare a list of much needed items. They are shocked to discover their acquaintance with Mr Dickens will be through Mr Watts' inspiring reading of Great Expectations.

But on an island at war, the power of fiction has dangerous consequences. Imagination and beliefs are challenged by guns. Mister Pip is an unforgettable tale of survival by story; a dazzling piece of writing that lives long in the mind after the last page is finished.

14

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The Bone Collector

Jeffery Deaver

New York City is thrown into chaos by the assaults of the Bone Collector, a serial kidnapper and killer who gives the police a chance to save his victims from death by leaving obscure clues. The cops go to Lincoln Rhyme, an ex-NYPD forensics expert left paralysed after an accident on the job. Rhyme reluctantly postpones his ambitions towards suicide and puts together a forensic investigation team, enlisting as his eyes and ears young police officer Amelia Sachs.

15

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Brethren

Robyn Young

From the burning plains of Syria to the filthy backstreets of Paris and London, Brethren is the story of Will Campbell, coming of age in a time of conspiracy, passion, politics and war.

Will has been brought up from boyhood in the ways of the all-powerful Order of the Knights Templar. With a tragedy in his past that looms over his future, he faces a long, hard apprenticeship to the foul-tempered scholar Everard, before he can have any chance of becoming a Knight. As he struggles to survive in the harsh discipline of the Temple, Will must try to make sense of many things: his own past, the dangerous mystery that surrounds Everard, and his confused feelings for Elwen, the strong-willed young woman whose path seems always to cross his own.

Meanwhile, a new star is rising in the East. A ruthless fighter and brilliant tactician, the former slave Baybars has become one of the greatest generals and rulers of his time. Haunted by his early life, he is driven by an unquenchable desire to free his people from the European invaders of his homeland.

With page-turning suspense and thrilling action, Brethren brilliantly evokes that extraordinary clash of civilizations known in the West as the Crusades. Robyn Young portrays a rich cast of characters, reflecting on each side greed, ambition and religious fanaticism, as well as courage, love and faith.

16

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Little Face

Sophie Hannah

She's only been gone two hours.

Her husband David was meant to be looking after their two-week-old daughter. But when Alice Fancourt walks into the nursery, her terrifying ordeal begins, for Alice insists the baby in the cot is a stranger she's never seen before.

With an increasingly hostile and menacing David swearing she must either be mad or lying, how can Alice make the police believe her before it's too late?

17

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What I Loved

Siri Hustvedt

This is the story of two men who first become friends in 1970s New York, of the women in their lives, and of their sons, born the same year. Both Leo Hertzberg, an art historian, and Bill Weschler, a painter, are cultured, decent men, but neither is equipped to deal with what happens to their children - Leo's son drowns when he's 12, while Bill's son Mark grows up to be a delinquent, and the acolyte of a sinister, guru-like artist who spawns murder in his wake. Spanning the hedonism of the eighties and the chill-out nineties, this multi-layered novel combines a plot of mounting menace with a deeply moving account of familial relationships and a superbly observed portrait of an artist, set against the backdrop of a society reaching new depths of depravity in its frenetic quest for the next fashion, drug and thrill.

18

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Bad Men

John Connolly

Three hundred years ago, the settlers on the small Maine island of Sanctuary were betrayed by one of their own, and slaughtered. Now a band of killers has returned to Sanctuary to seek revenge on a young woman and her son, and the only people who stand in their way are a young rookie officer and the island's resident policeman, the troubled giant known as Melancholy Joe Dupree. But Joe Dupree is no ordinary policeman. He is the guardian of the island's secrets, the repository of its memories. He knows that Sanctuary has been steeped in violence, and that its ghosts will tolerate the shedding of innocent blood no longer. On Sanctuary, the hunters are about to become the hunted.

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