February reads

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Norse mythology/ Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he presents his fashioning of the primeval Norse myths into a novel, which begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds, delves into the exploits of the deities, dwarves, and giants, and culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and the rebirth of a new time and people. Gaiman stays true to the myths while vividly recreating the characters--the gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to dupe others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions--and making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again (from publisher).

Moonglow/ Michael Chabon
A man bears witness to his grandfather's deathbed confessions, which reveal his family's long-buried history and his involvement in a mail-order novelty company, World War II, and the space program.(from publisher).


History of wolves/ Emily Fridlund

Even a lone wolf wants to belong.... Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents in an ex-commune beside a lake in the beautiful, austere backwoods of northern Minnesota. The other girls at school call Linda 'Freak', or 'Commie'. Her parents mostly leave her to her own devices, whilst the other inhabitants have grown up and moved on. So when the perfect family mother, father and their little boy, Paul move into the cabin across the lake, Linda insinuates her way into the family's orbit. She begins to babysit Paul and feels welcomes, that she finally has a place to belong. But something isn't right. Drawn into secrets she doesn't understand, Linda must make a choice. But how can a girl with no real knowledge of the world understand what the consequences will be?(from publisher).

The dangers of truffle hunting/ Sunni Overend
A delightful sexy story that spans the Australian wine country, the French provinces and hip bars of Melbourne. Is life too short to play it safe? Kit Gossard's life is neatly mapped out. A secure photographic job. A partner ready to commit. A wedding in the family vineyard for her mother to preside over. So why the apprehension? Why a hunger for something ...more? Then someone new appears. Earthy, reserved, magnetic, this new man brings out feelings she has long suppressed, and suddenly Kit can't contain her simmering discontent. Black truffle hunting, illicit pastry lessons, vine fruit on flesh - Kit is seduced. It feels right. Before it all goes wrong. Artful, sexy, sophisticated, The dangers of truffle hunting explores how a man can be more to a woman than a destination (from publisher) .

I 'll take you there/ Wally Lamb
Behind every good man is a great woman - or three The kaleidoscopic new novel from Wally Lamb: the number one New York Times bestselling author of She's Come Undone. Every Monday evening, Felix Funicello sets up a new film at an old vaudeville theatre for his weekly movie club. But one night, as this sixty-year-old scholar prepares the projectionist booth, he is confronted by an unanticipated guest: the ghost of Lois Weber. Once a trailblazing motion picture director from Hollywood's silent film era, Lois invites Felix to sit back and watch a new feature on the big screen - scenes from Felix's life. Though unnerved by these ethereal apparitions, Felix comes to look forward to his encounters with Lois. And as these magical movies play before him, he begins to reflect on the trio of unforgettable women who have profoundly impacted his life: his troublesome yet loving sister; his Generation Y daughter; and Verna, a fiery would-be beauty queen from the 1950s. An evocative and kaleidoscopic convergence of Hollywood, feminism and family secrets, I'll Take You There is a radiant homage to a single life and to the resiliency, strength and power of women (from publisher).

News of the world/ Paulette Jiles
"In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence. In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna's parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows. Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act "civilized." Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land. Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember--strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become--in the eyes of the law--a kidnapper himself"(from publisher).

The mothers/ Britt Bennett
"All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we'd taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season." It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother's recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor's son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it's not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? (from publisher).

Love lies and linguine/ Hillary Spiers
"Hester and Harriet lead comfortable lives in a pretty cottage in an English village. Having opened their minds, home and hearts to Daria, a mysterious migrant, and her baby son Milo, the widowed sisters decide to further expand their own horizons by venturing forth to Italy for their annual holiday...Back in England, Daria and Milo are celebrating - they've received official refugee status with papers to confirm they can make England their home. Meanwhile nephew Ben, who knows only too well how much he owes his aunts, is hurtling towards a different sort of celebration - one he's trying to backpedal out of as fast as he possibly can...With a huge secret hanging between the sisters, an unlikely new love on the landscape for Hester and new beginnings also beckoning for Harriet, Italy provides more opportunities for adventure than either of them could ever have imagined. But which ones will Hester and Harriet choose?..As Hester and Harriet throw all their cards on the table in Italy, and potential catastrophe threatens Ben in England, it's anyone's guess how chaos will be kept at bay..."-- Back cover.

Skylarking/Kate Mildenhall
"Kate and Harriet are best friends, growing up together on an isolated Australian cape in the 1880s. As daughters of the lighthouse keepers, the two girls share everything until a fisherman, McPhail, arrives their small community. When Kate witnesses the desire that flares between him and Harriet, she is torn by her feelings of envy and longing. But one moment in McPhail's hut will change the course of their lives forever. Inspired by a true story, Skylarking is a stunning debut novel about friendship, love and loss, one that questions what it is to remember and how tempting it can be to forget."(from publisher).

The heart of Henry Quantam/ Pepper Harding
Henry Quantum has several thoughts going through his head at any given time, so it is no surprise when he forgets something very important, a Christmas gift for his wife, Margaret, which he realises on the morning of December 23rd. So Henry sets off in search of the perfect present for Margaret: a bottle of Chanel No. 5. But much like Henry's ever-wandering mind, his quest takes him in different and unexpected directions, including running into the former love of his life, Daisy. Meanwhile, Margaret is questioning whether she and Henry belong together after all. This is a funny and sweet debut which shows how the seeming insignificant events can change our lives forever, perhaps for the better (from publisher).

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