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The Secret Doctor

The Secret Doctor (Author)

Grief. Anger. Joy. Fear. Distraction. Disgust. Hope.

All emotions we expect to encounter over our lifetime.
But what if this was every day?
And what if your ability to manage them was the difference between life and death?

For a doctor in Intensive Care this is part of the job. Fear in the eyes of a terminally ill patient who pleads with you to not let them die. Grief when an elderly person dies alone. Disgust at having to care for a convicted rapist. But there’s also the hope found in the resilience of a family and the joy that comes with a meaningful connection with a patient, however fleeting it may be.

These real stories reveal what a doctor sees of humanity as it comes through the revolving door of the hospital. Told through seven emotions that we can all empathise with, this book from the British Medical Association’s own Secret Doctor gives us a unique window onto the other side of a hospital experience, showing us how it feels to care for a living.

Armand V

Dag Solstad (Author)

‘Solstad doesn’t write to please other people. Do exactly what you want, that’s my idea…the drama exists in his voice’ Lydia Davis

Armand is a diplomat rising through the ranks of the Norwegian foreign office, but he’s caught between his public duty to support foreign wars in the Middle East and his private disdain of Western intervention. He hides behind his knowing ironic statements about the war, which no one grasps and which change nothing in the real world. Armand’s son joins the Norwegian SAS to fight in the Middle East, despite being specifically warned against such a move by his father, which leads to catastrophic, heartbreaking consequences.

Told exclusively in footnotes to an unwritten novel, this is Solstad's radically unconventional novel about how we experience the passing of time: how it fragments, drifts, quickens, and how single moments can define a life.

Winner of the Brage Prize

Wrestling with the Devil

Ngugi wa Thiong'o (Author)

Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s powerful prison memoir begins half an hour before his release on 12 December 1978. A year earlier, he recalls, armed police arrived at his home and took him to Kenya’s Kamiti Maximum Security Prison. There, Ngugi lives in a block alongside other political prisoners, but he refuses to give in to the humiliation. He decides to write a novel in secret, on toilet paper – it is a book that will become his classic, Devil on the Cross.

Wrestling with the Devil is Ngugi’s unforgettable account of the drama and challenges of living under twenty-four-hour surveillance. He captures not only the pain caused by his isolation from his family, but also the spirit of defiance and the imaginative endeavours that allowed him to survive.

The Years, Months, Days

Yan Lianke (Author)

A terrible drought hits the population of a small mountain village and they flee to better climes. Incapable of marching for days, one old man and his blind dog stay behind, keeping watch over his single ear of corn. Every day is a victory over death.

The Years, Months, Days is a universal story, an homage to all that is good in mankind. A bestseller in China and now available in English for the first time, this is a powerful, moving fable by ‘one of China’s greatest living authors’ (Guardian).

My Life as a Russian Novel

Emmanuel Carrère (Author)

‘As a writer, Carrère is straight berserk’ Junot Díaz

In this non-fiction novel – road trip, confession, and erotic tour de force – Emmanuel Carrère pursues two consuming obsessions: the disappearance of his grandfather amid suspicions that he was a Nazi collaborator in the Second World War; and a violently passionate affair with a woman that he loves but which ends in destruction. Moving between Paris and Kotelnich, a grisly post-Soviet town, Carrère weaves his story into a travelogue of a journey inward, travelling fearlessly into the depths of his tortured psyche.

Midwinter Break

Bernard MacLaverty (Author)

A Guardian / Sunday Times / Irish Times / Herald Scotland / Mail on Sunday Book of the Year
Winner of the Bord Gáis Novel of the Year

Midwinter Break is a work of extraordinary emotional precision and sympathy, about coming to terms – to an honest reckoning – with love and the loss of love, with memory and pain...this is a novel of great ambition by an artist at the height of his powers’ Colm Tóibín

A retired couple, Gerry and Stella Gilmore, fly to Amsterdam for a midwinter break. A holiday to refresh the senses, to see the sights and to generally take stock of what remains of their lives. But amongst the wintry streets and icy canals we see their relationship fracturing beneath the surface. And when memories re-emerge of a troubled time in their native Ireland things begin to fall apart. As their midwinter break comes to an end, we understand how far apart they are – and can only watch as they struggle to save themselves.

The Thirst

Jo Nesbo (Author) , Neil Smith (Translator)

HARRY HOLE IS BACK! The blistering Sunday Times number one bestseller!

36 MILLION BOOKS SOLD WORLDWIDE

THERE’S A NEW KILLER ON THE STREETS

A woman is found murdered after an internet date. The marks left on her body show the police that they are dealing with a particularly vicious killer.

AND HE’S OUT FOR BLOOD

Under pressure from the media to solve the crime, the force know there’s only one man for the job. But Harry Hole is reluctant to return to the place that almost took everything from him. Until he starts to suspect a connection between this killing and his one failed case…

‘The king of all crime writers’
Sunday Express

‘Fast-moving… Stunning’
Sunday Times

Of All That Ends

Günter Grass (Author) , Breon Mitchell (Translator)

The final work of Nobel Prize-winning writer Günter Grass – a witty and elegiac series of meditations on writing, growing old, and the world.

Suddenly, in spite of the trials of old age, and with the end in sight, everything seems possible again: love letters, soliloquies, scenes of jealousy, swan songs, social satire, and moments of happiness.

Only an ageing artist who had once more cheated death could get to work with such wisdom, defiance and wit. A wealth of touching stories is condensed into artful miniatures. In a striking interplay of poetry, lyric prose and drawings, Grass creates his final, major work of art.

A moving farewell gift, a sensual, melancholy summation of a life fully lived.

And Now You Can Go

Vendela Vida (Author)

A gun is pointed at 21-year-old Ellis as she walks through a New York park. Although she escapes unharmed she is left psychologically reeling. Over the next few weeks Ellis keeps everyone at bay: the police, suitors who want to save her, and the university therapist who hints that her sweaters are too tight. But when Ellis accompanies her mother, a nurse, on a mission in the Philippines, she finds the life - even if held up - cannot be held back, and neither, finally, can she.

Blackden

Duncan McLean (Author)

Things can get overheated in a small Scottish town, even in the depths of winter. Outside it’s so cold they’re curling on the tennis court, but inside the head of Patrick Hunter, eighteen-year-old auctioneer’s assistant, the blood is boiling.

Fuelled by a potent mix of stovies and beer, Patrick spends a November weekend racing around the hills and dens, half in escape from worn-out friends, drudging work and painful memories, half in pursuit of sex, laughs, a witches’ Sabbath, a message-bike handed down through the generations…and himself.

Duncan McLean’s book of stories, Bucket of Tongues, received high praise for its ‘crisp snapshots of Scotland’s seamier side’ (The Face). His first novel is just as fast-moving, as painfully funny and as telling in its eye for the small details of speaking, eating, loving, playing and working that make up our lives. The characters are as lively as before, but less defeated, the humour is warmer, more generous, and the vision of contemporary rural life is enriched by an awareness of the past. Blackden is an outstanding novel by one of our most talented writers.

Absolutely on Music

Haruki Murakami (Author) , Seiji Ozawa (Author) , Jay Rubin (Translator)

An unprecedented glimpse into the minds of two maestros.

Haruki Murakami's passion for music runs deep. Before turning his hand to writing, he ran a jazz club in Tokyo, and the aesthetic and emotional power of music permeates every one of his much-loved books. Now, in Absolutely on Music, Murakami fulfills a personal dream, sitting down with his friend, acclaimed conductor Seiji Ozawa, to talk about their shared interest.

They discuss everything from Brahms to Beethoven, from Leonard Bernstein to Glenn Gould, from record collecting to pop-up orchestras, and much more.

Blue Dog

Louis de Bernières (Author)

'The kind of book that changes readers for the better' Guardian

When a family tragedy means Mick is sent to the outback to live with his Granpa, it looks as if he has a lonely life ahead of him. The cattle station is a tough place for a child, where nature is brutal and the men must work hard in the heat and dust. However, after a cyclone hits, things change for Mick. Exploring the floodwaters, he finds a lost puppy covered in mud and half-drowned. Mick and his dog immediately become inseparable as they take on the adventures offered by their unusual home, and the business of growing up, together.

In this charming prequel to the much-loved Red Dog, Louis de Bernières tells the moving story of a young boy and his Granpa, and the charismatic and entertaining dog who so many readers hold close to their hearts.

Murder in the Snow

Gladys Mitchell (Author)

‘A delight… An amateur sleuth to rival Miss Marple’ Guardian

(Please note that this book was previously published as Groaning Spinney.)

Mrs Bradley, sharp-eyed detective and celebrated psychiatrist, has decided to spend Christmas with her nephew at his beautiful house in the Cotswolds.

It isn’t long before a mystery unfolds. There are strange events occurring in the nearby wood and local villagers are receiving anonymous threatening letters. Then the snow begins to fall – and a body is discovered.

Mrs Bradley is on the case, but she’ll have to hatch an ingenious plan to reveal the truth and find the culprit…

Birth of a Dream Weaver

Ngugi wa Thiong'o (Author)

‘Exquisite in its honesty and truth and resilience, and a necessary chronicle from one of the greatest writers of our time’ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Selected as a Book of the Year 2016 in the Guardian

When Ngugi wa Thiong’o arrives at the prestigious Makerere University, it embodies all the potential and excitement of the early 1960s. Campus is a haven of opportunity for the brightest African students, a meeting place for thinkers and writers from all over the world, and its alumni are filling Africa’s emerging political and cultural positions.

Despite the challenges he faces as a young black man in a British colony, it is here that Ngugi begins to find his voice as a playwright, journalist and novelist, writing his first, pivotal works just as the countries of East Africa enter the final stages of their independence struggles.

Home and Away

Karl Ove Knausgaard (Author) , Don Bartlett (Translator) , Fredrik Ekelund (Author) , Sean Kinsella (Translator)

Selected as a Book of the Year in The Times and Evening Standard

Karl Ove Knausgaard is sitting at home in Skåne with his wife, four small children and a dog. He is watching football on TV and falls asleep in front of the set. He likes 0-0 draws, cigarettes, coffee and Argentina.

Fredrik Ekelund is away in Brazil, where he plays football on the beach and watches matches with friends. Fredrik loves games that end up 4-3 and teams that play beautiful football. He likes caipirinhas and Brazil.

In Home and Away, two writers use football and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil to reflect on life and death, art and politics, class and literature and the most important question: was this the best football championship ever?

The Invention of Angela Carter

Edmund Gordon (Author)

WINNER OF THE SOMERSET MAUGHAM AWARD

Selected as a Book of the Year 2016 in The Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Financial Times, Spectator and Observer

Angela Carter’s life was as unconventional as anything in her fiction. Through her fearlessly original and inventive books, including The Bloody Chamber and Nights at the Circus, she became an icon to a generation and one of the most acclaimed English writers of the last hundred years. This is her first full and authorised biography.

Edmund Gordon uncovers Carter’s life story – from a young woman trying to write in a tiny bedsit in Tokyo, to one of the most important and daring writers of her day. From a life full of adventure sprang work so fantastic, dazzling and seductive that it permanently changed and reinvigorated British literature. This is the story of how Angela Carter invented herself.

'An exemplary piece of work... Everyone should read it' Spectator

The Snowman

Jo Nesbo (Author) , Don Bartlett (Translator)

NOW A MAJOR FILM STARRING MICHAEL FASSBENDER

36 MILLION BOOKS SOLD WORLDWIDE

Soon the first snow will come

A young boy wakes to find his mother missing. Outside, he sees her favourite scarf – wrapped around the neck of a snowman.

And then he will appear again

Detective Harry Hole soon discovers that an alarming number of wives and mothers have gone missing over the years.

And when the snow is gone…

When a second woman disappears, Harry’s worst suspicion is confirmed: a serial killer is operating on his home turf.

…he will have taken someone else

Do You Mr Jones?

Neil Corcoran (Author)

In 2016, Bob Dylan received the Nobel Prize in Literature ‘for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition’. This collection of essays by leading poets and critics – with a new foreword by Will Self – examines Dylan’s poetic genius, as well as his astounding cultural influence over the decades.

‘From Orpheus to Faiz, song and poetry have been closely linked. Dylan is the brilliant inheritor of the bardic tradition’ Salman Rushdie

‘The most significant Western popular artist in any form or medium of the past sixty years’ Will Self

‘For fifty and some years he has bent, coaxed, teased and persuaded words into lyric and narrative shapes that are at once extraordinary and inevitable’ Andrew Motion

‘His haunting music and lyrics have always seemed, in the deepest sense, literary’ Joyce Carol Oates

‘There is something inevitable about Bob Dylan… A storyteller pulling out all the stops – metaphor, allegory, repetition, precise detail… His virtue is in his style, his attitude, his disposition to the world’ Simon Armitage

The Marches

Rory Stewart (Author)

LONGLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE 2017

‘This is travel writing at its best.’
Katherine Norbury, Observer
An Observer Book of the Year

His father Brian taught Rory Stewart how to walk, and walked with him on journeys from Iran to Malaysia. Now they have chosen to do their final walk together along ‘the Marches’ - the frontier that divides their two countries, Scotland and England. Brian, a ninety-year-old former colonial official and intelligence officer, arrives in Newcastle from Scotland dressed in tartan and carrying a draft of his new book You Know More Chinese Than You Think. Rory comes from his home in the Lake District, carrying a Punjabi fighting stick which he used when walking across Afghanistan.

On their six-hundred-mile, thirty-day journey - with Rory on foot, and his father ‘ambushing’ him by car – the pair relive Scottish dances, reflect on Burmese honey-bears, and on the loss of human presence in the British landscape. On mountain ridges and in housing estates they uncover a forgotten country crushed between England and Scotland: the Middleland. They cross upland valleys which once held forgotten peoples and languages – still preserved in sixth-century lullabies and sixteenth-century ballads. The surreal tragedy of Hadrian’s Wall forces them to re-evaluate their own experiences in the Iraq and Vietnam wars. The wild places of the uplands reveal abandoned monasteries, border castles, secret military test sites and newly created wetlands. They discover unsettling modern lives, lodged in an ancient land. Their odyssey develops into a history of nationhood, an anatomy of the landscape, a chronicle of contemporary Britain and an exuberant encounter between a father and a son.

And as the journey deepens, and the end approaches, Brian and Rory fight to match, step by step, modern voices, nationalisms and contemporary settlements to the natural beauty of the Marches, and a fierce absorption in tradition in their own unconventional lives.

Montpelier Parade

Karl Geary (Author)

Selected as a Book of the Year in 2017 in the Irish Times and The Times

SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD 2017

‘A delicate, crystalline, hugely impressive novel… He's yet another masterful younger writer coming through… Wonderful’ - Sebastian Barry

Her house is on Montpelier Parade – just across town, but it might as well be a different world. Sonny is fixing a crumbling wall in the garden when he sees her for the first time, coming down the path towards him. Vera.

Vera is older, wealthier, sophisticated, but chance meetings quickly become shy arrangements, and soon Sonny is in love for the first time. But there is something unsettling that Vera is keeping from him. Unfolding in the sea-bright Dublin of early spring, Montpelier Parade is an indelible novel about the things that remain unspoken between lovers. It is about how deeply we can connect with one another, and the choices we must make alone.

Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2017

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