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Award Winners & Book Club Recommendations

Award Winners & Book Club Recommendations

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1. Parrot and Olivier in America - Peter Carey

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Commonwealth Writers Prize Winner and Miles Franklin Award Winner.

Olivier is a French aristocrat, the traumatised child of survivors of the Revolution. Parrot is the son of an itinerant printer who always wanted to be an artist but ended up a servant. Born on different sides of history, their lives are brought together by their travels in America.

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2. The English Monster - Lloyd Shepherd

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A Waterstone Autumn Book Club 2012 title.

London, 1811. The twisting streets of Wapping hold many an untold sin. Bounded by the Ratcliffe Highway to the north and the Dock to the south, shameful secrets are largely hidden by the noise of Trade.

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3. Before We Met - Lucie Whitehouse

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A Richard and Judy Summer Read 2014

Hannah Reilly has seized her chance at happiness. Until the day her husband fails to come home…

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4. The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton

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1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home.

A Richard and Judy Spring 2015 book club choice.

Winner of the Waterstones Book of the Year 2014.

Specsavers Book of the Year 2014

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5. Moving - Jenny Eclair

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Artist Edwina Spinner lives alone in a house that has grown too big for her. She has decided to sell it. As Edwina takes the estate agent from room to room, she finds herself transported back to her life as a young mother. Back to her twins, Rowena and Charlie, and a stepson she cannot bring herself to mention by name. As the house reveals its secrets, Edwina is forced to confront her family's past, and a devastating betrayal that changed everything. But Edwina doesn't know the whole story. To discover the truth, she will have to face the one person she vowed never to see again.

A Richard and Judy Spring 2016 Book Club choice.

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6. Conclave - Robert Harris

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The Pope is dead. Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world's most secretive election. They are holy men, but they have ambition... and they have rivals. Over the following seventy-two hours, one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.

A Richard and Judy Summer 2017 book club choice.

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7. Reservoir 13 - Jon McGregor

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Midwinter in the early years of this century. A teenage girl on holiday has gone missing in the hills at the heart of England. The villagers are called up to join the search, fanning out across the moors as the police set up roadblocks and a crowd of news reporters descends on their usually quiet home. Meanwhile, there is work that must still be done: cows milked, fences repaired, stone cut, pints poured, beds made, sermons written, a pantomime rehearsed. The search for the missing girl goes on, but so does everyday life. As it must.

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8. Mr Toppit - Charles Elton

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A Richard & Judy Summer Read.

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9. Tideline - Penny Hancock

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A Richard and Judy Summer Reads 2012 Selection.

One winter's afternoon, Sonia, 43, married and respectable, answers the door to fifteen-year-old Jez. He’s come to borrow some music. Sonia invites him in and soon decides that she isn't going to let him leave.

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10. Witness the Night - Kishwar Desai

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Winner of the Costa First Novel Award

In a small town in the heart of India, a young girl, barely alive, is found tied to a bed inside a townhouse where 13 people lie dead. The girl is alive, but only just. . .

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11. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves - Karen Joy Fowler

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Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014.

Rosemary’s just started college, and she’s decided not to tell anyone about her family. Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone - vanished from her life.

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12. The Versions of Us - Laura Barnett

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Eva and Jim are nineteen and students at Cambridge, when their paths first cross in 1958. Jim is walking along a lane when a woman approaching him on a bicycle swerves to avoid a dog. What happens next will determine the rest of their lives. We follow three different versions of their future - together, and apart - as their love story takes on different incarnations, twists and turns to the conclusion in the present day. What if one small decision could change the rest of your life?

A Richard and Judy Spring 2016 Book Club choice.

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13. I See You - Clare Mackintosh

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When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it's there. There's no explanation, no website; just a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it's just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that. Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move these women make?

A Richard and Judy Summer 2017 book club choice.

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14. Islander - Patrick Barkham

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The British Isles are an archipelago made up of two large islands and 6,289 smaller ones. Some, like the Isle of Man, resemble miniature nations, with their own language and tax laws; others, like Ray Island in Essex, are abandoned and mysterious places haunted by myths, ghosts and foxes. In this vividly observed book, Patrick Barkham explores some of the most beautiful landscapes in the British Isles. Meeting all kinds of islanders, from nuns to puffins, from local legends to rare subspecies of vole, he seeks to discover what it is like to live on a small island, and what it means to be an islander.

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15. Bed - David Whitehouse

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Winner of the Betty Trask Prize 2012.

Selected for the longlist of the Desmond Elliott Prize 2012.

Mal isn't like the other kids. He makes an impression on everyone he meets. So remarkable is his childhood that his family waits for the incredible things he seems born to do. Then one day he goes to bed, never to get out again.

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16. The Doll's House - Louise Phillips

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Winner of the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Book of the Year

Thirty-five years ago Adrian Hamilton drowned. His death was reported as a tragic accident but the exact circumstances remained a mystery. Now his daughter Clodagh, visits a hypnotherapist who uncovers memories of her father’s death. And other memories come to light - the death of her baby sister.

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17. The Strangler Vine - M. J. Carter

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Shortlisted for the Specsavers CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger for Best First Novel.

Calcutta, 1837. The East India Company rules India, and its most notorious and celebrated son, Xavier Mountstuart, has gone missing. William Avery, a junior officer in the Company’s army, is sent to find him, in the unlikely company of the enigmatic Jeremiah Blake.

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18. A Colder War - Charles Cumming

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MI6's Head of Station in Turkey is killed in a mysterious plane crash. The Secret Intelligence Service wants the incident investigated – quickly and quietly. Arriving in Istanbul to investigate, Thomas Kell discovers that MI6 operations in the region have been fatally compromised. A traitor inside Western Intelligence threatens not just the special relationship, but the security of the entire Middle East.

A Richard and Judy Spring 2015 book club choice.

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19. A Boy Made of Blocks - Keith Stewart

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Meet thirty-something dad, Alex. He loves his wife Jody, but has forgotten how to show it. He loves his son Sam, but doesn't understand him. Something has to change. And he needs to start with himself. Meet eight-year-old Sam: beautiful, surprising, autistic. To him the world is a puzzle he can't solve on his own. But when Sam starts to play Minecraft, it opens up a place where Alex and Sam begin to rediscover both themselves and each other... Can one fragmented family put themselves back together, one piece at a time?

A Richard and Judy Spring 2017 book club choice.

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20. The Glorious Heresies - Lisa McInerney

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We all do stupid things when we're kids. Ryan Cusack's grown up faster than most - being the oldest of six with a dead mum and an alcoholic dad will do that for you. And nobody says Ryan's stupid. Not even behind his back. It's the people around him who are the problem. The gangland boss using his dad as a 'cleaner'. The neighbour who says she's trying to help but maybe wants something more than that. The prostitute searching for the man she never knew she'd miss until he disappeared without trace one night . . .The only one on Ryan's side is his girlfriend Karine. If he blows that, he's all alone. But the truth is, you don't know your own strength till you need it.

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