John Irving‘s new book is an entirely engrossing, very funny coming ofÂ age story with all the quirks we have come to expect from him. Having read all the recent reviews and learning how close to the bone the story is makes one realize what a deft touch he has.
by 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.
by 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.
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.
by J.K. Rowling is the second-to-last book in the seven-part seriesÂ 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?
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.
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.
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.
by 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.
is David Layton‘s first novel. It sensitively captures the emotional roller coaster of a couple’s vain attempts to get pregnant, a very satisfying read.