A Year in the Merde

A Year in the Merdeby Stephen Clarke is a true summer read; it is light and funny and can be excused for slipping into silliness from time to time. An Englishman opening a business in France is frustrated and amused by the reception he gets from his Parisian colleagues but ultimately he becomes comfortable in the country and finds he is at home there and can handle the problems he has to deal with. It is laugh-aloud and a commentary on the French that is amusing if sometimes exaggerated in its criticism.

The Pagan Chronicles

The Pagan Chroniclesby Catherine Jinks is the first of a four volume adventure series about Pagan, a young man living during the time of the Crusades. It takes place in Jerusalem and is exciting, fast-moving and historically interesting. Books 1 and 2 are now available in paperback.



Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, author of the well-received “Thief Lord”, is now available in paperback. Meggie’s father is a bookbinder, but he has a secret he’s been hiding from her for many years. Her adventures are told in a fresh, honest voice at a pace that will leave readers breathless and wanting more. Look for its sequel, “Inkspell”, coming out October 2005.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Princeby J.K. Rowling is the second-to-last book in the seven-part series about the Boy Who Lived. Harry’s sixth year is both his darkest and funniest thus far. Characters that have been part of a brilliant background tapestry spring to life and are given incredible new dimension. Harry and his friends will try to get one step closer to defeating He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, but at what great and terrible cost?

You Made Me Love You

You Made Me Love You by Joanna Goodman is the humourous story of Lilly and Milton Zarr and their three very modern daughters. The reader can easily identify with the three girls, Estelle, Erica and Jessie, as each deals with the ups and downs of life in general. The message in the end is one of hope-hope for love, future career opportunities and renewed relationships. This is a very pleasant read by a young author who is very wise in the way of the modern world.

Small Island

Small Island by Andrea Levy. This novel, set in London in 1948, tells the story of Queenie Bligh, her husband, Bernard, and her Jamaican lodgers, Gilbert Joseph and his wife Hortense. The four narrators reveal their hopes and dreams for a new life. They soon find, however, that the country is changing very slowly. Prejudice, the strength of the empire, love and war are themes which Levy explores as the characters soon come to terms with post-war England.

The Master

The Master by Colm Tobin. This novel reveals the hopes and despair of novelist, Henry James, during five significant years of his life. The loneliness of the writer, his inability to resolve his sexual identity and his search for love are identified and explored. At the conclusion of the novel, the reader has gained a deeper respect and appreciation for this writer and for the times in which he lived.

These Foolish Things

These Foolish Thingsby Deborah Moggach is a funny and touching novel set partly in London and partly in Bangalore, India where British pensioners can enjoy the hot weather and fresh mango juice with their gin at bargain prices.


Maisie Dobbs

Maisie Dobbs

by Jacqueline Winspear is a delight as a character and as a book. The story takes place during the late twenties with flashbacks to the First World War. Socially and historically interesting, it is a delightful, compassionate and satisfactory book to read.