When editor Susan Ryeland is given the tattered manuscript of Alan Conway's latest novel, she has little idea it will change her life. She's worked with the revered crime writer for years, and his detective, Atticus Pund, is renowned for solving crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950s. As Susan knows only too well, vintage crime sells handsomely. It's just a shame that it means dealing with an author like Alan Conway.... But Conway's latest tale of murder at Pye Hall is not quite what it seems.
"Who? How? Where & Why?"
Framed as a first-person narrative from the eponymous horse, this much-loved family classic follows Black Beauty's journey from a well-born colt to a painfully overworked cab horse. Brimming with vivid detail and relatable characters, each chapter of Black Beauty's long and varied life communicates an important message about kindness, sympathy and understanding.
"Samuel West portrays Black Beauty wonderfully"
The three Theban plays by Sophocles - Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone - are one of the great landmarks of Western theatre. They tell the story of Oedipus, King of Thebes, who was destined to suffer a terrible fate - to kill his father, marry his mother, and beget children of the incestuous union. He does this unknowingly but still has to suffer terrible consequences, which also tragically affect the next generation.
8.45 P.M. Realise there have been so many times in my life when have fantasised about going to a scan with Mark or Daniel: just not both at the same time. Before motherhood before marriage Bridget with biological clock ticking very, very loudly finds herself unexpectedly pregnant at the eleventh hour: a joyful pregnancy which is dominated however by a crucial but terribly awkward question - who is the father?
"Has Bridget gone as far as she can go?"
Sue Johnston, John Hannah and Eddie Marsan are among the stars of this spellbinding, hilarious and uplifting comedy drama. Set entirely at a series of weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, these 13 episodes also feature Rebecca Front, Paul Kaye, Julia Deakin and Samantha Bond.
"Funny, moving, intelligent and all-round marvellous"
Shortlisted for the British Book Awards, Popular Fiction Award, 2007.At Bagley Hall, a notoriously wild, but increasingly academic, independent, crammed with the children of the famous, trouble is afoot. The ambitious and fatally attractive headmaster, Hengist Brett-Taylor, hatches a plan to share the facilities of his school with Larkminster Comprehensive, known locally, as 'Larks'.
With her hotly anticipated third instalment, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Fielding introduces us to a whole new enticing phase of Bridget's life set in contemporary London, including the challenges of maintaining sex appeal as the years roll by and the nightmare of drunken texting, the skinny jean, the disastrous email CC, total lack of twitter followers, and TVs that need 90 buttons and three remotes to simply turn on. An uproariously funny novel of modern life, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is a triumphant return of our favourite Everywoman.
Pod, Homily and Arrietty are a family of tiny people who live beneath the floor, behind the grandfather clock in the old rectory. They own nothing - everything they have is borrowed from the 'human beans' who don't even know they exist. Arrietty's father, Pod, is an expert borrower. He can scale curtains using a hatpin and bring back a doll's teacup without breaking it. Girl's aren't supposed to go borrowing, but as Arrietty is an only child, Pod breaks the rules.
"Have been waiting for this for ages!!"
A Richard and Judy Summer Read Selection.Written as a "report into the circumstances surrounding the decision to introduce salmon into the Yemen", this is a novel that is made up of e-mails, letters, diary extracts, records of the prime minister's Question Time, interviews, and chapters from the memoirs of a fantastically weaselly Peter Mandelson-type figure.
Katherine of Aragon is born Catalina, the Spanish Infanta, to parents who are both rulers and warriors. Aged four, she is betrothed to Arthur, Prince of Wales, and is raised to be Queen of England. She is never in doubt that it is her destiny to rule that far-off, wet, cold land. Her faith is tested when her prospective father-in-law greets her arrival in her new country with a great insult; Arthur seems little better than a boy; the food is strange and the customs coarse.
"would love to hear the whole version"
From the moment Judi Dench appeared as a teenager in the York Mystery Plays, it was clear that acting would be her career. Trained at London's Central School of Speech and Drama it was her performance in her twenties as Juliet in Franco Zeffirelli's memorable Old Vic production that turned her into a star. In the theatre since she has played every classic role from Titania (three times, most recently in 2010) to Cleopatra.
"A must listen biography"
When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud identifies her as a serious danger to his flock especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial. War is declared as the priest denounces the newcomer's wares as the ultimate sin.
"Should be unabridged!!"
One of Britain's most distinguished biographers turns her focus on one of the most vilified woman of the last century. Historian Anne Sebba has written the first full biography of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, by a woman which attempts to understand this fascinating and enigmatic American divorcee who nearly became Queen of England. 'That woman', as she was referred to by the Queen Mother, became a hate figure for allegedly ensnaring a British king.
Etta Bancroft - sweet, kind, still beautiful - adores racing and harbours a crush on one of its stars, the handsome high-handed owner-trainer Rupert Campbell-Black. When her bullying husband dies, Etta's selfish, ambitious children drag her from her lovely Dorset house to live in a hideous modern bungalow in the Cotswold village of Willowwood and to act as an unpaid Nanny to their children.Her neighbour, powerful tycoon and ex-footballer Valent Edwards, has bought the big house next door.
Here is a collection of the Oscar Wilde's famous fairy tales, read by a cast of leading British actors. Additional narrators include Geoffrey Palmer O.B.E., Sir Donald Sinden, and Elaine Stritch. Music: 'Reverie De Sebastian' by Steve Davies.
"What a cast!"
Sonea knows the other novices in the Magicians' Guild all come from powerful families, but she also knows she can turn to Rothen and Dannyl for help when she needs it. That is, until someone starts spreading malicious rumours about her. Prompted by the Guild Ambassador, Lord Dannyl leaves for the Elyne court. His first order from Administrator Lorlen is to resume, in secret, High Lord Akkarin's long-abandoned research into ancient magical knowledge.
The story of Lady Chatterley and her love for her husband's gamekeeper outraged the sensibilities of Edwardian England. Lawrence had already been dismissed as a purveyor of the obscene for the attitudes to sex that he had shown in The Rainbow, which had been fiercely suppressed on its publication in 1915. Chatterley, written in several versions around 1928 in Italy in the final part of Lawrence's life, was a deliberate choice on the author's part to address sex head on.
"I wish I had read this sooner"
In the Magicians' Guild, Sonea has earned the respect of most other novices. But after witnessing something in High Lord Akkarin's underground chamber, she is not sure what to believe - or who to fear. The final volume in a fabulous trilogy of magic, intrigue, and breathtaking epic adventure from the author of The Magicians' Guild and The Novice.
A gorgeously written story of love and motherhood with stunning emotional punch - this is Maggie O'Farrell doing what she does better than anyone.This is the story of two women - Lexie and Elina, a journalist and a painter - separated by fifty years, but linked by a story of love, family secrets and deception, that touches powerfully on the theme of motherhood. It is acclaimed and bestselling author Maggie O'Farrell's most emotionally satisfying novel to date.
It is late at night on a notorious council estate in east London. A van - garishly painted with a grinning clown's face on the side - is being driven erratically. When the police pull over the driver to question him, they discover, inside the van, the body of a young woman. A murder suspect . . . an arrest . . . a confession . . . A case done and dusted? But their suspect claims his victim is not his first, but his third.
"Enjoyable, an easy listen"