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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158. The Final Empire- Brandon Sanderson

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Title: The Final Empire (mistborn #1)

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction> Fantasy

158. The Final Empire- Brandon Sanderson

In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with colour once more?
In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage— Allomancy, a magic of the metals. (Goodreads 2016)

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153. IT Girl- Nic Tatano

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Title: IT Girl

Author: Nic Tatano

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction> Contemporary/Romance

Veronica Summer is stuck in the dream job from hell.

The spunky New York reporter is offered the network’s morning anchor position, but she doesn’t want it because she’s a night person. Then the network plays a trump card, promising her the evening anchor chair in three years. So the fiery redhead takes the plunge, with the ultimate gig waiting down the road.

Problem is, that road is filled with two am wake-up calls and the only social life she has is one with bats and raccoons. She quickly realizes she’ll never survive the grind and decides the only way out is to get fired by being her snarky self on live television and the ratings skyrocket.

Veronica becomes the nation’s It Girl, so the network makes her a celebrity contestant on its most popular nighttime dance competition show, Dance Off. While her journalistic credibility is shot to hell by the show’s skimpy costumes, she’s thrown into close contact with two incredibly attractive men; her dance partner and the show’s sarcastic British judge and she soon discovers that love is the ultimate gig.

(Goodreads 2015)

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140. Light Shining in the Forest- Paul Torday

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Title: Light Shining in the Forest

Author: Paul Torday

Rating: ★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction> Crime/Suspense

Norman Stokoe has just been appointed Children’s Czar by the new government. He sells his flat and moves up north to take up the position. However before his first salary cheque has even hit his bank account, new priorities are set for the government department for which he works. The Children’s czar network is put on hold but it is too late to reverse the decision to employ Norman. So he is given a P.A. and a spacious office in a new business park on the banks of the Tyne. He settles down in his new leather chair behind his new desk, to wait for the green light to begin his mission. The green light never comes. What does happen is that two children go missing. As Children’s Czar, surely this case should fall within his remit, but Norman has built a career on doing nothing, on stamping pieces of paper with ‘send to the relevant department’. Now, faced with a campaigning journalist and a distraught mother, he is forced to become involved. The search will take him to dark places and will make him ask questions about the system he is supposed to uphold (Goodreads 2014)

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139. I was Here- Gayle Forman

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Title: I was Here

Author: Gayle Forman

Rating: ★★★

On the Shelves: YA Fiction> Contemporary

Publication Date: 29th January 2015

Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss. (Goodreads 2014)

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138. The Eyre Affair- Jasper Fforde

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Title: The Eyre Affair (#1)

Author: Jasper Fford

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction> Mystery/Suspense

There is another 1985, where London’s criminal gangs have moved into the lucrative literary market, and Thursday Next is on the trail of the new crime wave’s Mr Big.

Acheron Hades has been kidnapping characters from works of fiction and holding them to ransom. Jane Eyre is gone. Missing.

Thursday sets out to find a way into the book to repair the damage. But solving crimes against literature isn’t easy when you also have to find time to halt the Crimean War, persuade the man you love to marry you, and figure out who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays.

Perhaps today just isn’t going to be Thursday’s day. Join her on a truly breathtaking adventure, and find out for yourself. Fiction will never be the same again… (Goodreads 2014)

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136. Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen

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Title: Pride and Prejudice

Author: Jane Austen

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction> Classics

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s witty comedy of manners–one of the most popular novels of all time–that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues (Goodreads 2014)

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133. It Must Have Been the Mistletoe- Judy Astley

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Title: It Must Have Been the Mistletoe

Author: Judy Astley

Rating: ★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction> Contemporary/Romance/Holiday

Thea’s parents decide to host a big family Christmas in a house by the sea. even though they are, in fact, about to split up. Thea herself is newly single – her sister and brother are both settled, with children, homes and a future. But Thea’s boyfriend has ditched her in favour of his pedigree dogs, and Thea can’t decide whether or not she minds.

There will be copious food and drink, holly and mistletoe, lots of bracing walks and a wintry barbecue on the beach. If it seems an odd way to celebrate the final break-up of a marriage and the Moving On to new partners, no- one is saying so. But then no-one had anticipated that the new partners might actually turn up to complicate the sleeping arrangements.

As Cornwall experiences the biggest snowstorm in living memory, the festive atmosphere comes under some strain. Will Thea manage to find some happiness for herself? Will the mistletoe work its magic on them all? (Goodreads 2014)

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132. My True Love Gave to Me- edited by Stephanie Perkins

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Title: My True Love Gave to Me

Authors: Stephanie Perkins (editor), Holly Black, Ally Carter, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Matt de la Pena, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor

Rating: ★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction> Anthologies, Young Adult, Romance

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays (Goodreads 2014)

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131. The Illustrated Man- Ray Bradbury

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Title: The Illustrated Man

Author: Ray Bradbury

Rating: ★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction> Anthology/Sci-Fi

The Illustrated Man is classic Bradbury – a collection of tales that breathe and move, animated by sharp, intaken breath and flexing muscle. Here are eighteen startling visions of humankind’s destiny, unfolding across a canvas of decorated skin – visions as keen as the tattooist’s needle and as colorful as the inks that indelibly stain the body. The images, ideas, sounds and scents that abound in this phantasmagoric sideshow are provocative and powerful: the mournful cries of celestial travelers cast out cruelly into a vast, empty space of stars and blackness…the sight of gray dust selling over a forgotten outpost on a road that leads nowhere…the pungent odor of Jupiter on a returning father’s clothing. Here living cities take their vengeance, technology awakens the most primal natural instincts, Martian invasions are foiled by the good life and the glad hand, and dreams are carried aloft in junkyard rockets. Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man is a kaleidoscopic blending of magic, imagination, and truth, widely believed to be one of the Grandmaster’s premier accomplishments: as exhilarating as interplanetary travel, as maddening as a walk in a million-year rain, and as comforting as simple, familiar rituals on the last night of the world (Goodreads 2014)

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