166. Home Front- Kristin Hannah

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Title: Home Front

Author: Kristin Hannah

Rating: ★★★

On the shelves: Fiction> Contemporary

All marriages have a breaking point. All families have wounds. All wars have a cost. . . .

Like many couples, Michael and Jolene Zarkades have to face the pressures of everyday life–children, careers, bills, chores–even as their twelve-year marriage is falling apart. Then an unexpected deployment sends Jolene deep into harm’s way and leaves defense attorney Michael at home, unaccustomed to being a single parent to their two girls. As a mother, it agonizes Jolene to leave her family, but as a soldier she has always understood the true meaning of duty. In her letters home, she paints a rose-colored version of her life on the front lines, shielding her family from the truth. But war will change Jolene in ways that none of them could have foreseen. When tragedy strikes, Michael must face his darkest fear and fight a battle of his own–for everything that matters to his family.

At once a profoundly honest look at modern marriage and a dramatic exploration of the toll war takes on an ordinary American family, Home Front is a story of love, loss, heroism, honor, and ultimately, hope. (Goodreads 2017)

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165. On the Other Side- Carrie Hope Fletcher

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Title: On the Other Side

Author: Carrie Hope Fletcher

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction> Romance

A love story like no other, this is the debut novel from Carrie Hope Fletcher, author of the Sunday Times No. 1 bestseller All I Know Now.

Evie Snow is eighty-two when she quietly passes away in her sleep, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. It’s the way most people wish to leave the world but when Evie reaches the door of her own private heaven, she finds that she’s become her twenty-seven-year-old self and the door won’t open.

Evie’s soul must be light enough to pass through so she needs to get rid of whatever is making her soul heavy. For Evie, this means unburdening herself of the three secrets that have weighed her down for over fifty years, so she must find a way to reveal them before it’s too late. As Evie begins the journey of a lifetime, she learns more about life and love than she ever thought possible, and somehow , some way, she may also find her way back to her long lost love . . .

On the Other Side will transport you to a world that is impossible to forget. Powerful, magical and utterly romantic, this is a love story like no other from everyone’s favourite ‘big sister’, Carrie Hope Fletcher. (Goodreads 2017)

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164. Harry Potter & the Cursed Child

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Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Author: J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne

Rating: ★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction> Young Adult/ Fantasy

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places (Goodreads 2017)

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163. A Court of Thorns and Roses- Sarah J Maas

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Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses (#1)

Author: Sarah J Maas

Rating: ★★★★★

On the Shelves: Young Adult> Fantasy

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever. (Goodreads 2017)

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162. Everyday Sexism

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Title: Everyday Sexism

Author: Laura Bates

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Non-Fiction

Women are standing up and #shoutingback. In a culture that’s driven by social media, for the first time women are using this online space (@EverydaySexism www.everydaysexism.com) to come together, share their stories and encourage a new generation to recognise the problems that women face. This book is a call to arms in a new wave of feminism and it proves sexism is endemic – socially, politically and economically. But women won’t stand for it. The Everyday Sexism Project is grounded in reality; packed with substance, validity and integrity it shows that women will no longer tolerate a society that ignores the dangers and endless effects of sexism.

In 2012 after being sexually harassed on London public transport Laura Bates, a young journalist, started a project called Everyday Sexism to collect stories for a piece she was writing on the issue. Astounded by the response she received and the wide range of stories that came pouring in from all over the world, she quickly realised that the situation was far worse than she’d initially thought. Enough was enough. From being leered at and wolf-whistled on the street, to aggravation in the work place and serious sexual assault, it was clear that sexism had been normalised. Bates decided it was time for change.

This bold, jaunty and ultimately intelligent book is the first to give a collective online voice to the protest against sexism. This game changing book is a juggernaut of stories, often shocking, sometimes amusing and always poignant – it is a must read for every inquisitive, no-nonsense modern woman” (Goodreads 2016)

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161. Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1)- Susan Ee

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Title: Angelfall (Penryn & The End of Days #1)

Author: Susan Ee

Rating: ★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction> YA fiction> Post-Apocalyptic/dystopian/Fantasy

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again (Goodreads 2016)

TW: this is not a very positive review- if you adore and love the series, or the author- while this isn’t particularly nasty, it isn’t exactly singing praises so you may not want to read this.

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160. Trigger Warning- Neil Gaiman

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Title: Trigger Warning

Author: Neil Gaiman

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction> Anthology/Fantasy

In this new volume, Neil Gaiman pierces the veil of reality to reveal the enigmatic, shadowy world that lies beneath. Trigger Warning includes previously published pieces of short fiction-stories, verse, and a very special Doctor Who story that was written for the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved series in 2013-as well as BLACK DOG, a new tale that revisits the world of American Gods.

Trigger Warning is a rich cornucopia of horror and ghosts stories, science fiction and fairy tales, fabulism and poetry that explores the realm of experience and emotion. In Adventure Story-a thematic companion to The Ocean at the End of the Lane-Gaiman ponders death and the way people take their stories with them when they die. His social media experience A Calendar of Tales are short takes inspired by replies to fan tweets about the months of the year-stories of pirates and the March winds, an igloo made of books, and a Mother’s Day card that portends disturbances in the universe. Gaiman offers his own ingenious spin on Sherlock Holmes in his award-nominated mystery tale The Case of Death and Honey. And Click-Clack the Rattlebag explains the creaks and clatter we hear when we’re all alone in the darkness. (Goodreads 2016)

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159. Bomb Girls- Jacky Hyams

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Title: Bomb Girls

Author: Jacky Hyams

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Non-fiction> Historical

They were the unsung heroines of World War II; the wives, mums, and teenage girls, all “doing their bit” for the war effort, clocking in daily to work in vast munitions factories, helping make the explosives, bullets, and war machines that would ensure victory for Britain. It was dangerous, dirty, and exhausting work. They worked round the clock, often exposed to toxic lethal chemicals. A factory accident could mean blindness, loss of limbs—or worse. Many went home with acid burns, yellow skin, or discolored hair. Others were forced to leave their loved one and move to live with total strangers in unfamiliar surroundings. Frequently, their male bosses were coarse and unsympathetic. Yet this hidden army of nearly two million women toiled on regardless through the worst years of the war, cheerfully ignoring the dangers and the exhaustion, as bombing, rationing, and the heartbreak of loss or separation took their toll on everyone in the country. Only now, all these years later, have they chosen to tell their remarkable stories. Here, in their own words, are the vivid wartime memories of the “secret army” of female munitions workers, whose resilience and sheer grit in the face of danger has only now started to emerge. These are the intimate and personal stories of an unforgettable group of women, whose hard work and quiet courage made a significant contribution to Britain’s war effort. They didn’t fire the bullets, but they filled them up with explosives. And in doing so, they helped Britain with the war. (Goodreads 2016)

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157. The Bletchley Girls- Tessa Dunlop

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Title: The Bletchley Girls

Author: Tessa Dunlop

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Non-fiction/Historical/War

The story of the women of Bletchley Park, Britain’s top secret code-breaking school, is told through exclusive interviews with the women who served their country, and the impact that their service had on the rest of their lives

Based on extensive interviews conducted specifically for this book, Tessa Dunlop tells the story of the Bletchley Girls through the lives of 15 women who were all selected to work in Britain’s most secret World War II organization—Bletchley Park. Many were just school girls at the outbreak of war; the next six years would change their lives forever. This vivid portrayal of their experiences, sacrifices, and memories is a poignant reminder that without the work of thousands of young women Bletchley Park’s extraordinary achievements would not have been possible. By meeting and talking to these fascinating female secret-keepers who are still alive today, Tessa Dunlop captures their extraordinary journeys into an adult world of war, secrecy, love, and loss. Through the voices of the women themselves, this is the story of life at Bletchley Park beyond the celebrated code-breakers; it’s the story of the girls behind Britain’s ability to consistently outsmart the enemy. (Goodreads 2016)

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156. Outlander (#1)- Diana Gabaldon

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Title: Outlander (#1)

Author: Diana Gabaldon

Rating: ★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction> historical/romance

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives. (Goodreads 2016)

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