Odd Girl Out: An Autistic Woman in a Neurotypical World, by Laura James

Laura James always knew that she was different. From childhood, she struggled to fit in and to cope with the world around her. A world which seemed too harsh, loud and bright, but which everyone else seemed to live in quite happily. Not until she is forty does she find out that she is in fact autistic. But as Laura struggles to come to terms with her diagnosis, she must also navigate her work and family lives and try to find a way to be herself. Read More »

A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles

On the 21st of June 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is escorted from the Kremlin at the heart of Moscow, to the Metropol Hotel. Although he usually occupies one of the most luxurious suites in the Hotel, the count has been assigned a new room, a very small one in the attic. In addition, he is only able to take a few possessions with him from his former residence. Why the sudden upheaval? Because the Count has been sentenced to house arrest by a Bolshevik tribunal. He will now be a permanent resident of the Metropol Hotel, indefinitely. Read More »

Firefly Lane, by Kristin Hannah

Kate and Tully have been best friends since they were both 13 and lived across the street from one another. But even at that age, they could not have been more different; Kate was shy and uncool, with a loving family who embarrassed her at every turn; Tully was the coolest girl in the world, popular and ambitious, but nursing a secret heartache caused by her mother’s addiction and abandonment. Nonetheless, they saw something in each other and forged a bond that would last into the new Millennium.
Tully’s ambition has taken her to the dizzying heights of fame as a TV news anchor and now with her own daytime talk show. Kate realised early on that a life of fame and fortune was not for her. Her ambition was to fall in love and have children. What she did not expect, however, was how achieving this goal would change her forever. Throughout all of this, Tully and Kate have stuck together, supporting one another through thick and thin. But even the strongest friendships can be tested. Read More »

The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden, by Jonas Jonasson

Just because the world ignores you, doesn’t mean you can’t save it…
For Nombeko Mayeki, born in a shack in Soweto, South Africa’s largest slum, the future was not looking so bright. But this is the story of how being run over can sometimes be a good thing. How else would Nombeko have learned all about the production of atomic bombs, emigrated to Sweden as a refugee and been on the run from one of the most ruthless intelligence agencies in the world? All in the company of three Chinese sisters, a Vietnam veteran, twins who officially one person and a Baroness with a potato farm. Read More »

Clariel, by Garth Nix

The events of this book take place roughly 600 years before those in Sabriel. Young Clariel has been forced to leave behind her beloved home on the edge of the Great Forest, to move to the city of Belisaere. Her mother’s career advancements, and possible opportunities for Clariel herself, do not interest her, however. All she can think about is escaping and returning to the forest. She believes that only there will she be happy and lead a fulfilled life. But forces are stirring which will change the course of Clariel’s life beyond her dreams. In a world where those responsible for law, order and otherworldly protection have been shirking their duties, uncertainty reigns. The ambitious circle, as does a mysterious Free Magic being. Clariel must soon choose her path, but will it be the right one? Read More »

Melmoth, by Sarah Perry

One winter’s night in Prague, Helen Franklin has a chance meeting with her friend Karel. But all is not right with him, he seems deranged and jumpy. It turns out that Karel has come into possession of a mysterious manuscript, which he then entrusts to Helen.
The manuscript itself is accompanied by various letters and testimonies. These stretch from 17th century England, to wartime Czechoslovakia, 1920s Turkey and Manila. Varied as they are, these accounts all have one common aspect: all tell of being followed by a tall, mysterious woman dressed all in black – Melmoth. Read More »

Tidelands, by Philippa Gregory

Alinor is a healer and a midwife, from a long line of wise women. On midsummer’s eve, she waits in the churchyard for the ghost of her husband, hoping to find out if he is dead or has simply abandoned her and their children. Instead, she meets James. A papist and a royalist, at a time when both could mean a death sentence, James appeals to Alinor to lead him across the treacherous marshes and hide him until the next day. Alinor helps this mysterious stranger and delivers him to the safe house. Little does she know how much this night-time encounter will affect her life and those of her children. In these dark and dangerous times, it is not advisable to stand out. Either through unexplained good fortune or seemingly mysterious gifts. Read More »

Unbowed: One Woman’s Story, by Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai was born in 1940 in a small village in the highlands of Northern Kenya. Even from a young age, she stood out amongst her peers, as she pursued her education with determination. When the opportunity arose for a scholarship at an American university, through President Kennedy’s Airlift Program, she jumped at the chance. Upon returning to Kenya with her Master’s degree, she became the first woman in her country to earn a PhD and to later head a university department. During her time at the university, she was steadfast and determined in her pursuit of equal rights and pay for herself and her fellow female employees. This was to set her on a path she never foresaw or looked for. Read More »

The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah

In love we find out who we want to be, in war we find out who we are.
The Mauriac sisters, Viane and Isabelle could not be more different. Vianne is the eldest; responsible, quiet and family-oriented. Isabelle is outspoken, rebellious and passionate. Estranged by the death of their mother and their father’s abandonment, the two sisters will be thrown together again by the Second World War. Read More »