An Instance of the Fingerpost – Iain Pears

Summary: This is a historical murder mystery novel, set in the Oxford England of the middle 17th Century, just after the Restoration of Charles II to the throne. The mystery plays out from four different narrative viewpoints, each narrator having their own chapter. The genesis is the murder of an Oxford Don, Dr Grove, in … Continue reading An Instance of the Fingerpost – Iain Pears

Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot

Summary: This is a non-fiction journalistic investigation into the life of Henrietta Lacks. Henrietta was an average African-American woman, struggling to make ends meet in 1950’s America, raising a large family (five children) while living on the edge of poverty. What made her life exceptional was her death, or rather the reason for her death. … Continue reading Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot

The Carhullan Army – Sarah Hall

Summary: This is a dystopian near-future. Britain is essentially a wasteland, ruled by the Authority (a totalitarian type government), and everything is grey and bleak. Everything in people’s lives is controlled, right down to women being forced to fit contraceptive devices. The hometown of our narrator, Penrith, is over-crowded, filled with despairing people doing meaningless … Continue reading The Carhullan Army – Sarah Hall

The Luck Uglies – Paul Durham

Summary: This is a early teen fantasy adventure, set in Drowning (a medieval village), ruled by the cruel Earl Longchance. The village lies right beside an ancient forest, and is surrounded by a stone wall. In earlier times, the Luck Uglies protected the village from the Bog Noblins. These monsters live in the swamp which … Continue reading The Luck Uglies – Paul Durham

The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell

Summary: We follow the life of Holly Sykes, as she grows from a 15 year old teenager, to the end of her life. In six different Time sections, we get the backstories of people who will eventually impact Holly’s life, for good and bad. There is also a large element of the mystical/fantasy, which is … Continue reading The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell

Ironweed – William Kennedy

Summary: This book deals with the life of Francis “Frank” Phelan, homeless guy in 1930’s Albany, New York. It gives a couple of days in his life, along with various flashbacks to enable us to see how he got to be the way he is. It is the third in the author's "Albany" cycle of … Continue reading Ironweed – William Kennedy

The Burning Time: Henry VIII, Bloody Mary, and the Protestant Martyrs of London – Virginia Rounding

Summary: This book focuses on the turbulent and violent times of the Tudors, from Henry VIII through Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I. Religious persecution was at its peak, and the political turmoil only added to this horrific time in England’s history. Hundreds if not thousands were sentenced to death by burning, and met … Continue reading The Burning Time: Henry VIII, Bloody Mary, and the Protestant Martyrs of London – Virginia Rounding

The City Below The Cloud – T S Galindo

Summary: Set in a near-future climate change affected world, we follow the grim lives of Kalen and Sett, and their struggle to survive. There is law and order of a sort, mainly enforced by robots, but the teeming millions live right on the starvation line, life is less than cheap, and dead bodies can be … Continue reading The City Below The Cloud – T S Galindo

Written in History – Simon Sebag Montefiore

Summary: Most of our modern history relies on the written word. Mostly we read the words of the victors, the burnished version of events. This anthology approaches history from an intriguing angle. Under titles ranging form “Courage” and “Discovery”, to “Folly” “War” and “Disaster”, the author reveals to us, in the words of those who … Continue reading Written in History – Simon Sebag Montefiore

The Space Between Time – Charlie Laidlaw

Summary: This is a story about childhood-into-adulthood, innocence lost, and a struggle to connect to tie together the threads of very different lives. Main Characters: Emma Rossini: The narrator, who details her life through the first-person. Paul Ross: Emma’s famous film-star actor father. Alberto Rossini: Emma’s brilliant, late-recognised physicist genius grandfather Caitlin Ross: Emma’s mother. … Continue reading The Space Between Time – Charlie Laidlaw