On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, knowing that her life is about to change forever. Having struggled to find her place in the city since she arrived from Trinidad five years ago, she has been offered a job as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick. Although Quick takes Odelle into her confidence and unlocks a potential she didn't know she had, she remains a mystery - no more so than when a lost masterpiece with a secret history is delivered to the gallery.
"Left me emotionally confused... But I loved it!"
There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed...On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift.
"I'm still waiting for something to happen....."
Recipient of the 1966 Tanizaki Prize, it has been called Endo's supreme achievement" and "one of the twentieth century's finest novels". Considered controversial ever since its first publication, it tackles the thorniest religious issues of belief and faith head on. A novel of historical fiction, it is the story of a Jesuit missionary sent to seventeenth century Japan, who endured persecution that followed the defeat of the Shimabara Rebellion.
"How a man comes face to face with God"
Beobrand is compelled by his brother's almost-certain murder to embark on a quest for revenge in the war-ravaged kingdoms of Northumbria. The land is rife with danger, as warlords vie for supremacy and dominion. In the battles for control of the region, new oaths are made and broken, and loyalties are tested to the limits. With no patronage and no experience, Beobrand must form his own allegiances and learn to fight with sword and shield. Relentless in pursuit of his enemies, he faces challenges which transform him from a boy to a man.
"Best Audiobook I have read to date,"
Team Yankee, the New York Times best-seller by Harold Coyle, presents a glimpse of what it would have been like for the soldiers who would have had to meet the relentless onslaught of Soviet and Warsaw Pact divisions. Using the geo-political and military scenarios described by General Sir John Hackett, former NORTHAG commander and author of World War Three; August 1985, Team Yankee follows the war as seen from the turret of Captain Sean Bannon's tank.
"Not as good as I remember it"
Some women are destined to arouse in men either fierce hatred or insatiable desire. Such a woman was Katie Mulholland. At 15, a scullery maid in the house of the Rosires, she had been raped by the master. Now, many years later, she had enough money to maintain three carriages if she wanted to and she was on her way to see Bernard Rosier under very different circumstances.
"A PAGE TURNER I COULDN'T PUT DOWN!"
Set in the 1860s, The Leopard tells the spellbinding story of a decadent, dying Sicilian aristocracy threatened by the approaching forces of democracy and revolution. The dramatic sweep and richness of observation, the seamless intertwining of public and private worlds, and the grasp of human frailty imbue The Leopard with its particular melancholy beauty and power, and place it among the greatest historical novels of our time
Oswald is now King of Northumbria. However, his plans for further alliances and conquests are quickly thrown into disarray when his wedding to a princess of Wessex is interrupted by news of a Pictish uprising. Rushing north, Oswald leaves Beobrand to escort the young queen to her new home. Their path is fraught with danger and uncertainty, Beobrand must try to unravel secrets and lies if they are to survive. Meanwhile, old enemies are closing in, seeking brutal revenge.
"A tale about the real Kings and Lords in the North"
Warlords battle across Britain to become the first king of the English. After a stunning victory against the native Waelisc, Beobrand returns a hero. His valour is rewarded with wealth and land by Oswald, king of Northumbria. He retires to his new estate with his bride only to find himself surrounded by enemies old and new. With treachery and death on all sides, Beobrand fears he will lose all he holds dear. On a quest for revenge and redemption, he accepts the mantle of lord, leading his men into the darkest of nights and the bloodiest of battles.
Life ashore may once again be the undoing of Jack Aubrey in The Yellow Admiral, Patrick O'Brian's best-selling novel and eighteenth volume in the Aubrey/Maturin series. Aubrey, now a considerable though impoverished landowner, has dimmed his prospects at the admiralty by his erratic voting as a member of Parliament; he is feuding with his neighbor, a man with strong navy connections who wants to enclose the common land between their estates.
East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England's brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha's husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent sabre rattling over the Balkans won't come to anything.
"A good listen"
Set at the turn of the century, this is one of Catherine Cookson's most unusual novels, powerfully portraying a woman dangerously driven by desire and ambition.
"has the appeal of a Cookson novel but slow to star"
Having survived a long and desperate adventure in the Great South Sea, Captain Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin return to England to very different circumstances. For Jack it is a happy homecoming, at least initially, but for Stephen it is disastrous: his little daughter appears to be autistic, incapable of speech or contact, while his wife, Diana, unable to bear this situation, has disappeared, her house being looked after by the widowed Clarissa Oakes.
"Third time of listening, just gets better!"
October 1772, Portsmouth. Sixteen-year-old Richard Bolitho waits to join the Gorgon, ordered to sail to the west coast of Africa and to destroy those who challenge the King's Navy. For Bolitho, and for many of the crew, it is a severe and testing initiation into the game of seamanship.
"missing band of brothers"
Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried's portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner-Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book's hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word.
"What is a true war story?"
Napoleon has been defeated at Waterloo, and the ensuing peace brings with it both the desertion of nearly half of Captain Aubrey's crew and the sudden dimming of Aubrey's career prospects in a peacetime navy. When the Surprise is nearly sunk on her way to South America - where Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are to help Chile assert her independence from Spain - the delay occasioned by repairs reaps a harvest of strange consequences.
"A fitting end ... Ish"
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem.
As the Second World War rages, the Japanese Imperial Army enters Burma, and the British rulers prepare to flee. But the human legacy of the British Empire will be left behind in the shape of 62 Anglo-Burmese children, born to local women after affairs with foreign men. Half castes, they are not acknowledged by either side, and they are to be abandoned with no one to protect them.
"Great easy to listen story."
Roderick Sinclair confirms he wishes to rent nuber 67 Clarges Street for the current season. The staff are overjoyed - until they find that Mr. Sinclair is a terrible miser who is planning no parties. Furthermore, his ward, Fiona, though a dazzling Highland beauty, does not seem to possess one bright idea in her head. But it is Rainbird, No.67's clever and elegant butler, who sees through her façade and resolves to help his mysterious mistress in whatever way he can...
Captain Marryat's The Children of the New Forest is a wonderful tale in narrative, historically rich and quite fascinating. This story of adventure, treachery, and love takes place during the English Civil War, when fellow countrymen are found enemies, and are set against each other, Roundhead and Cavalier, Parliament and the King. Many hoped for the same thing: justice. But, for a long time, neither could find it. In the midst of all were the Beverlies, the family of a faithful Cavalier, who died in service of the king.
"love this story"
Wales is a land filled with mythology. Every breathtaking valley, towering mountain, shimmering lake, and magical castle has a mythical tale to entertain and enchant you. The Welsh, like other Celtic races, love to tell stories. From before the time of the Mabinogion and the Black Book of Carmarthen, they have passed dark winter nights telling Welsh fables, fairy tales and legends. The folklore of Wales and its history are interwoven with myths and legends that cross the centuries.
Adolf Hitler is dead. Great Britain lies prostrate, subdued under a storm of poison gas and incendiaries that have turned the great city of London into a blazing abattoir. The Royal Family's whereabouts are unknown, while Heinrich Himmler, new Fuhrer of the victorious Reich, prepares to dictate terms. For RAF Squadron Leader Adam Haynes, London's destruction is the nightmare outcome of years spent fighting the specter of Fascism. With his own combatant status uncertain, Adam must rush to save as many of his Polish-speaking pilots as he can.
The sleepy town of Tule Bend came alive with terror after a drifter was found hanging. The constable knew his job was on the line if he didn't do something. When more swinging bodies appeared he knew he had to move fast because he was next on the hangman's list.
Ex-lawman Clint Adams makes his living as a traveling gun trader, a job which takes him all over the West. In a sleepy Missouri town, he finds a trio of beautiful women who will do anything - pay any price - to be reunited with their former "protector", Con Macklin. The Gunsmith agrees to take them to him and rides out on the dirty and dangerous trail to Mexico. He delivers the women, but faces an army of hardcases led by Macklin - who wants his women back and The Gunsmith dead.
London, 1926. American-raised Maisie Musgrave is thrilled to land a job as a secretary with the upstart British Broadcasting Corporation, whose use of radio - still new and electrifying - is captivating the nation. Soon Maisie is gaining confidence as she arranges broadcasts with famous writers and politicians, but she's also caught up in a growing conflict between her two bosses.
November 1942 on the banks of the River Volga. The German Army advance into the Caucasus Mountains in search of the Russian oilfields has halted for the winter as the bitter fighting in Stalingrad takes center stage. The German Air Force, the Luftwaffe, has virtually driven the Red Air Force from the skies. The Germans, confident in taking the city that holds Stalin's namesake, strip their flanks of troops to bolster their forces fighting inside the city. For just one last push to decide the battle and the outcome of the war.
In the year of grace 1308, Isabelle of France marries Edward II of England. She soon discovers, however, that the king is not the man of her dreams but rather an unstable, erratic individual who prefers digging ditches and thatching roofs to running the country, coupled with a dangerous obsession for greedy and ambitious male favorites who do not like sharing the king's favors. Isolated and powerless in the English court, Isabelle struggles to protect herself and her children as she slowly gains friends and allies.
Mother Nile is the story of Si, the American-born son of an Irish father and Egyptian mother, who goes on a journey through the winding streets of the City of the Dead to solve a half-century-old mystery. When his mother makes an urgent plea on her deathbed, Si knows that he must make the journey to Egypt to find out the truth about his long-lost half-sister, conceived during his mother's affair with King Farouk.
The exciting new western from Texas best seller J.C. Hulsey! Have you ever been to Hell? Hell, Texas? So it was on that particular day at that particular time in that particular Texas town, Tebo Sterling, Texas Bounty Hunter was born.
This dark historical drama plunges the listener into the bowels of the Underworld, where we take part in the trial of Martin Luther, the 16th-century priest who birthed the Protestant Reformation. As the evidence unfolds, we follow the course of Martin Luther's unusual life: his spiritual awakening, his break with the Catholic Church, his rise to popularity amongst the German people, his political dalliances and eventual death.
It may be impossible to alter the past, but Irish revolutionary Nora O'Reilly is determined to try. Armed with a relic given to her by the goddess Brigid and joined by immortal Irish warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill, Nora is hurled back through time to the sixteenth century. There Nora and Fionn seek the infamous pirate queen Granuaile - Grace O'Malley - the one woman who may be fierce enough to stop Queen Elizabeth I's tyranny over the Irish people.
Charged with the dangerous mission of bringing a ring of outlaws responsible for the continuing robberies of bank shipments to justice, Dusty Dakota arrives in Deacon Hill only to discover a web of lawlessness so big it'll take all of his wiles and cunning to survive the twists and turns of the chase and bring the outlaws to justice. This is the latest western adventure from the pen of best-selling Western author Robert Hanlon.
This book is taken from the PC game called Pharaoh and Cleopatra. The mission I played is called "Cleopatra's Alexandria: The Legacy of Cleopatra 40 BCE". The story is both fiction and nonfiction because it is not a real story with real characters, yet it is real in that I did play the game and this is the story of my experiences with the game.
Graylin Brown is the heartwarming and triumphant story of William Bell, an African American soul singer who was cut down in his prime by a debilitating disease. The fictional story spans from 1965 Detroit, Michigan, to Hollywood, California, in the early 90s.
One night in autumn 1944, a gunshot echoes through the alleyways of a small town in occupied Poland. An SS officer is shot dead by a young Polish Jew, Margarita Ejzenstain. In retaliation his commander orders the execution of 37 Poles - one for every year of the dead man's life. First hidden by a German couple, Margarita must then flee the brutal advance of the Soviet army with her newborn baby. So begins a thrilling panorama of intermingled destinies and events that reverberate from that single act of defiance.
Frank Foucham risks his life night after night flying raids over Germany. The war shows no sign of ending, and Frank is scared his luck is running out. On a rare day off, fishing for relaxation, he meets Kenneth Ovenden. Forging an immediate friendship based on shared wartime experiences, Frank is then introduced to Kenneth's daughter-in-law Vanessa. Their connection is immediate. With an urgency that the shadow of war brings, these two must follow their hearts before time runs out.
May 1914. Nestled in Sussex, the Summerhayes mansion seems the perfect country idyll. But a long-running feud between the Summers and their neighbour, Lady Summer's brother, threatens the calm. And with tensions in Europe deepening, it seems that Summerhayes' peaceful days are numbered. For Elizabeth Summer, the lazy quiet of her home has become stifling. A chance meeting with Aiden Kellaway, an architect's assistant, offers the promise of escape.
The Jazz Age comes alive with a love story for the ages: a rugged Prohibition agent and a saucy flapper from one of Appalachia's most notorious bootlegging families.... Manhattan, present day. Ella Hawthorne thinks she's going crazy when she hears strange noises coming from the walls of her new apartment late at night. When she discovers that it used to be home to a speakeasy during the Jazz Age, she's determined to discover the building's secrets.
Some see Britain as an ally; others look to Germany for a hopeful future while some wish to remain as neutral as possible. In this atmosphere of edgy uncertainty, a young lieutenant, Paul Duggan, is drafted into the army's intelligence division, G2, and put on the German desk.
Paul delves into the double-dealing worlds of spies and politics, where ruthlessness, deviousness and occasional violence prevail, before confronting a surprising secret that challenges everything he has grown up believing.
On this day of ill omen, plague makes its entrance. Within weeks, swathes of England will be darkened by death's shadow. While panic and suspicion flood the land, a small band of travelers comes together to outrun the breakdown in law and order. But when one of their number is found hanging from a tree, the chilling discovery confirms that something more sinister than plague is in their midst.
"A Medieval Road Movie - Well worth a listen"
London 1893: When Cora Seaborne and her son Francis reach Essex, rumours spread from further up the estuary that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming lives, has returned to the coastal parish of Aldwinter. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist is enthralled, convinced that it may be a previously undiscovered species. As she sets out on its trail she meets William Ransome, Aldwinter's vicar.
"An Authentic Voice"
Julian Fellowes's Belgravia is the story of a secret. A secret that unravels behind the porticoed doors of London's grandest postcode. Set in the 1840s, when the upper echelons of society began to rub shoulders with the emerging industrial nouveau riche, Belgravia is peopled by a rich cast of characters. But the story begins on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. At the Duchess of Richmond's now legendary ball, one family's life will change forever.
Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighbourhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.
"Great story, woeful narration"
Penguin presents the unabridged downloadable audiobook edition of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, narrated by Dominic Hoffman.
Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery, one a slave trader's wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow.
"One of the best book I have ever read"
The brand-new novel in Bernard Cornwell's number one best-selling series on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg. BBC2's major TV show The Last Kingdom is based on the first two novels in the series. From the day it was stolen from me, I had dreamed of recapturing Bebbanburg. The great fort was built on a rock that was almost an island; it was massive, it could be approached only on land by a single narrow track - and it was mine.
"Another brilliant story"
Young Will Willard is coming home to Kingsbridge at Christmas as A Column of Fire opens. The year 1558 will turn Will's life upside-down and change Europe for ever. The ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn by religious hatred. High principles clash bloodily with friendship, loyalty and love. Will finds himself on the opposite side from the girl he longs to marry, Margery Fitzgerald.
It is 1956 on the French Riviera. A world-weary Bernie Gunther is working as concierge at the Grand Hotel, living under a false name. Then his past walks through the door in the shape of Harold Hennig, a former captain in the Nazi security service. Bernie never forgets a face, especially when it belongs to a mass murderer who, in 1945, was responsible for the deaths of thousands; among them a woman Bernie loved. Bernie has a score to settle with Hennig...
"OK but not great"
What if you could go back in time and change the course of history?11.22.63, the date that Kennedy was shot - unless.... King takes his protagonist Jake Epping, a high school English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, 2011, on a fascinating journey back to 1958 - from a world of mobile phones and iPods to a new world of Elvis and JFK, of Plymouth Fury cars and Lindy Hopping, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill who becomes the love of Jake's life.
The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known... of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul... of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame... and of a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother.
"The Pillars of the Earth"
Set in the intriguing Scotland of 200 years ago, the third installment in the romantic adventures of Jamie and Claire is as compelling as the first. Now that Claire knows Jamie survived the slaughter at Culloden, she is faced with the most difficult decision of her life. She aches to travel back through time again to find the love of her life, but, in order to do that, she must leave their daughter behind.
Tudor England. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is charged with securing his divorce. Into this atmosphere of distrust comes Thomas Cromwell - a man as ruthlessly ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages.
"Lose yourself in 16th century England"
The Clifton Chronicles is Jeffrey Archer's most ambitious work in four decades as an international best-selling author. The epic tale of Harry Clifton's life begins in 1920, with the chilling words, 'I was told that my father was killed in the war'. But it will be another twenty years before Harry discovers how his father really died, which will only lead him to question: who was his father?
Invictus is a gripping, authentic and exciting audiobook of the Roman army from best-selling author Simon Scarrow. Not to be missed by fans of Conn Iggulden and Bernard Cornwell. It is AD 54. The soldiers of the Roman army patrol a growing empire from the Mediterranean to the North Sea, from the Atlantic to the banks of the Nile. Rome brutally enforces its rule, and its legions are the most efficient and aggressive fighting force in the world.
"Best Scarrow yet"
Having signed up for the US Army in the 1850s, aged barely 17, Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, go on to fight in the Indian wars and ultimately the Civil War. Orphans of terrible hardships themselves, despite the horrors they both see and are complicit in, they find these days to be vivid. Both an intensely poignant story of two men and the lives they are dealt and a fresh look at some of the most fateful years in America's past.
"Lyrical prose perfectly narrated"
The first book in a brand-new series, The Last Kingdom is set in England during the reign of King Alfred. Uhtred is an English boy, born into the aristocracy of ninth-century Northumbria. Orphaned at 10, he is captured and adopted by a Dane and taught the Viking ways. Yet Uhtred's fate is indissolubly bound up with Alfred, King of Wessex, who rules over the only English kingdom to survive the Danish assault. The struggle between the English and the Danes and the strife between christianity and paganism is the background to Uhtred's growing up.
"Fate is unstoppable"
It is 1537, a time of revolution that sees the greatest changes in England since 1066. Henry VIII has proclaimed himself Supreme Head of the Church. The country is waking up to savage new laws, rigged trials and the greatest network of informers ever seen. And under the orders of Thomas Cromwell, a team of commissioners is sent throughout the country to investigate the monasteries.
"Time Travellers Beware....."
Fighting in Sweden for an ambitious warlord, Sigurd Haraldarson and his small but loyal band of oath-sworn warriors are winning fame and reputation. But Sigurd knows that to take on his hated enemy, the oath breaker King Gorm - the man who betrayed his father, a man Sigurd has vowed to kill - he must earn riches enough to build an army. Many believe Sigurd to be Óðin-favoured, but his exploits have drawn the eye of another god, too: Loki the Trickster.