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Recent Arrivals


The death of all things seen / Michael Collins‌‌
Michael Collins‌‌
The death of all things seen
(London : Head of Zeus, 2016)
A new novel from the Limerick-born novelist who is also a star of international long-distance running. Norman Price, the protagonist, is a gay playwright, living with his adopted daughter in post 9/11 America. After the financial crash of the noughties he seeks to make a new life for himself but the past has a way of catching up with him and compromising his choices. Collins was the captain of the 2010 Irish National 100K team, winning a Bronze, while one of his novels, The Keepers of Truth, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2000, and for the International Dublin Literary Award (formerly the IMPAC Award) in 2002.

LaRose / Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich
(London : Corsair, 2016)
When Landreaux Iron accidentally shoots and kills his neighbour's son, Dusty Ravich, while stalking a marauding deer near their home in North Dakota, he turns to Native American wisdom and offers his own son, LaRose, to the Raviches as compensation. The families remain close and LaRose is the linch-pin between them until a rumour is started that there was a cover-up on the day Dusty died, threatening the peace between the the Irons and the Raviches. This is Erdrich's fourteenth novel to be published - the library holds several of her titles. Philip Roth has said that she is 'the most interesting American novelist to have appeared for years'

The girl in the glass tower / Elizabeth Fremantle
Elizabeth Fremantle
The girl in the glass tower
(London : Michael Joseph, 2016)
The girl of the title is the Lady Arabella Stewart, niece of Mary Queen of Scots, and sometime heir to Queen Elizabeth I through her Tudor great-grandmother. Fremantle uses Arabella's letters to give body to this well-executed historical novel, skilfully weaving a connection with the life of Aemilia Lanyer, who is regarded as the first woman professional poet writing in English. Arabella is more or less a prisoner in Hardwick Hall - for her own safety - and she enlists Aemilia's help in a bid to escape the confines of her life. But helping a possible heir to the throne could be dangerous in a time where treason was punishable by death. It is Fremantle's fourth novel - all her work is set in and around the Tudor court.

Umami / Laia Jufresa
Laia Jufresa
(London : Oneworld, 2016)
Translated from the Spanish, this novel was first published in 2015, and is set in Mexico City. When Ani, a precocious twelve-year old, decides to dig a little vegetable garden in the courtyard of her inner-city home, it prompts her neighbours to start digging too - into their pasts - and the garden becomes a catalyst for remembering, revealing, and knowing. Laia Jufresa was born in Mexico City and returned to live there in 2001. She now lives in Cologne in Germany. Her fiction has been widely published in magazines and anthologies and she was appointed first International Writer in Residence at the Hay Festival in 2015. The translator is Sophie |Hughes.

Paradise Lodge / Nina Stibbe
Nina Stibbe
Paradise Lodge
(London : Penguin/Viking 2016)
Fifteen-year old Lizzie Vogel goes to work in an old people's home called Paradise Lodge, though she doesn't know much about old folks except that granary bread doesn't suite them! So she is on a learning curve. But life gets more exciting when a rival home opens up nearby with more modern facilities. Lizzie and all the other staff members must pull together to save Paradise Lodge from closure. There's a laugh a minute - and some tears - in this follow-up novel to Stibbe's Man at the Helm, which was shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction

Augustown : a novel / Kei Miller
Kei Miller
(London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2016)
Miller, born in Jamaica in 1978, mines Jamaican history in this mystical novel - or fable - about Jamaican society. Augustown is based on the real Jamaican village August Town, named for the day in August in 1838 when Jamaican slaves rebelled against their masters and fled into the hills for refuge. But the burden of Miller's work is about how that freedom was a false dawn for the Jamaican underclass, who have latterly become the slaves of the police and an unjust oligarchy. Miller uses the Jamaican term autoclaps for the way Jamaica is always on the brink - the word means 'an unexpected, often unpleasant sequel, to a matter that has been considered closed'.

Memory and desire : stories / Val Mulkerns
Val Mulkerns
Memory and desire : stories
(Dublin : 451 Editions, 2016)
This anthology brings together a selection of stories from Mulkerns' three published collections, Antiquities (1978), An Idle Woman (1980), and A Friend of Don Juan (1988). The title story has been praised by Colm Tóibín as one of the finest short stories published in Ireland for many years. Mulkerns is a member of Aosdána and her 1984 novel The Summerhouse was publishe din a third edition in 2013. Her memoirs are expected to be published next year. 

The malice of waves / Mark Douglas-Home
Mark Douglas-Home
The malice of waves
(London : Michael Joseph, 2016)
This is Douglas-Home's third novel to feature the Sea Detective, Cal McGill - the library holds one of the others, The Woman who Walked into the Sea. In the latest, McGill, an oceanographer with an extensive knowledge of tides, winds and currents, investigates the disappearance of fourteen-year-old Max Wheeler from Priest's Island, a remote and closely-knit community on the Atlantic fringe of Scotland. Douglas-Home is a journalist turned author who began his career in South Africa until he fell foul of the Apartheid regime there and was deported. He now lives in Edinburgh.

Sockpuppet / Matthew Blakstad
Matthew Blakstad
(London : Hodder & Stoughton, 2016)
Matthew Blakstad's first novel is set in the near future. The British Government is launching an ID database called Digital Citizen, and an online personality calling herself sic_girl appears to be trying her best to sabotage it. But sic-girl isn't a real person, but a piece of software created by programmer Dani Farr. However sic_girl seems to have a mind of her own - or its own. Sockpuppet is billed as the first of a series of dystopian thrillers called the Martingale cycle. The author first found fame as a child actor and now works in online communications and runs a well-known blog.

The birdwatcher / William Shaw
William Shaw
The birdwatcher
(London : Riverrun, 2016),
Set amid the huge empty skies of the Kent coast, William Shaw's new novel features Police Sergeant William South investigating the murder of his only friend, a birdwatcher like himself, found badly beaten and crammed inside a wooden chest. But South is an uncomfortable investigator because once long ago he was a murderer himself, and when the chief suspect turns out to be a drifter from Northern Ireland, Donnie Fraser, Sergeant South's past threatens his present because South knew Fraser as a boy.

Different class / Joanne Harris
Joanne Harris
Different class
(London : Doubleday, 2016)
Joanne Harris is best known for her novel Chocolat, which was made into a popular and critically acclaimed motion picture, but she has published novels across a number of genres - fantasy based on Norse myth, and dark psychological thrillers set in Yorkshire. Different class is one of the latter, set in the same Yorkshire village as Gentlemen and Players and Blueeyed Boy, and is guaranteed to please her fans and win new ones. St. Oswald's Grammar School features again, with its Latin master Roy Straitley, who is haunted by one of the boys he taught, a bad boy, capable of bad deeds.

The harrowing / J. Aitcheson
James Aitcheson
The Harrowing
(London : Heron Books, 2016)
This is an historical novel set in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest of England. King William has marched north against the remaining Saxon rebels, burning, laying waste, and killing all before him, the guilty and the innocent alike. Five travellers band together for safety, a priest, a lady, a servant, a warrior and a minstrel. They are heading for the Saxon lands and refuge, but are they fleeing the Normans or their own demons? The Harrowing of the North, as William's campaign is known to history, has been cited as a medieval example of genocide - up to 100,000 may have died of starvation - though some modern historians argue that the devastation caused was greatly exaggerated. Be that as it may, this novel brings those distant times vividly to life.

Baby doll / Hollie Overton
Hollie Overton
Baby doll
(London : Century, 2016)
Thriller writer Tess Gerritsen has described this book as a brilliant first novel. The protagonist Lily, abducted from outside her highschool as a sixteen-year old and held captive for eight years, escapes and attempts to go back to her old life, to her twin sister, her mother, her boyfriend. But she has changed and they have changed - and the question is 'Is it possible to go back?'. Meanwhile her revelation of the identity of her abductor sends shockwaves through the whole community. The author is a half-twin herself, raised by a single mother, and her father was a member of the notorious Overton criminal gang in Austin, Texas, so she has plenty of experience to draw on in her description of troubled lives.

A climate of fear / Fred Vargas
Fred Vargas
A climate of fear
(London : Harvill Secker, 2016)
Vargas, real name Frederique Audoin-Rouzeau, is a French writer of detective novels featuring Commissaire Adamsberg of the French Police. In this latest work two murder victims are found with a strange symbol displayed near them - they had both been members of a doomed expedition to Iceland ten year previously. Adamsberg has to find out what the secret symbol means and how the deaths are linked to the Association for the Study of the Writings of Maximilien Robespierre. Vargas is an historian and archaeologist by profession and the library stocks a good selection of her books, both in English and the original French. The translator is Sian Reynolds.

‌‌Napoleon's last island / Thomas Keneally
Thomas Keneally
Napoleon's last island
London : Sceptre, 2016)
A fictionalised account of Napoleon's captivity on St. Helena, this novel explores the relationship between the charismatic ex-emperor and thirteen-year-old Betsy Balcombe, whose family became close to Napoleon and were suspected by the island's governor of smuggling secret messages for the man whom Betsy addressed as Boney. Betsy remained close to the Bonaparte family after Napoleon's death and her descendants bequeathed the family home on St. Helena, The Briars, to the French nation. The author, Thomas Keneally, won the 1982 Booker Prize for his novel Schindler's Ark, and is one of Australia's best-known writers.

 Further suggestions from your local librarian at Adult Lending, Bishopstown, Douglas, Tory-Top, Blackpool, Mayfield, and Hollyhill. For additions-to-stock lists in the Rory Gallagher Music Library check here. For selected new films click here 

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