Pick of the month
Each month we make our selection from new releases on DVD and CD and highlight the best new books or may select books on a theme.
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August 2014 will mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. This month’s booklist highlights novels published during 1914-18 and gives an insight into some of the books being read during this time.
This classic adventure is set in war-torn Europe, and is the sequel to 'The Thirty-Nine Steps'. It shows John Buchan's mastery of the thriller and also his immense knowledge of world politics.
In this novel Jim Burden tells the story of his beloved childhood friend Antonia, the immigrant girl and woman whose struggle and splendour represent the source of life self.
Written in 1915, The Shadow-Line is based upon events and experiences from twenty-seven years earlier to which Conrad returned obsessively in his fiction. A young sea captain's first command brings with it a succession of crises: his sea is becalmed, the crew laid low by fever, and his deranged first mate is convinced that the ship is haunted by the malignant spirit of a previous captain.
A coded message summons Sherlock Holmes to the aide of one Mr Douglas. Before Holmes can reach him, Douglas is found dead. He recognises the calling card of his nemesis, Professor James Moriarty - this was most definitely murder. ' It is the Valley of Fear, the Valley of Death. The terror is in the hearts of the people from the dusk to the dawn. Wait, young man, and you will learn for yourself '.
For nine years, John Dowell and his wife have spent the summer season at a German spa town in the company of the respectable Ashburnhams. Behind the placid exterior of their lives lie the destructive passions of men and women.
From a child grappling with the death of a fallen priest, to a young woman's dilemma over whether to elope to Argentina with her lover, to the dance party at which a man discovers just how little he really knows about his wife, these 15 stories bring the gritty realism of existence in Joyce's native Dublin to life.
This novel tells the story of a group of working men who are joined one day by Owen, a journeyman-prophet with a vision of a just society. Owen's spirited attacks on the greed and dishonesty of the capitalist system rouse his fellow men from their political quietism.
If the modern reader, after turning a page or two, finds his attention held and wants to go on reading, it will mean that this book has become at last what in fact it was always meant to be - a realistic but romantic story of healthy adolescence set against the background of an average English public school.
This sparkling story of transatlantic manners follows the fortunes of playboy Jimmy Crocker in England and America. When Jimmy falls for a girl in London and vows to reform himself as a result, the quest for love leads him to his Aunt Nesta's house in New York.
Published in 1915, 'The Voyage Out' is Woolf's first novel. It tells the story of a young Englishwoman and her long sea voyage to South America, her engagement and her sudden illness and death.
eBook of the month
The one thing that could be expected to disturb the peace of life at Blandings is the incursion of imposters. Blandings has imposters like other houses have mice. On this occasion there are two of them - both intent on a dangerous enterprise. Originally published in 1915.
Fun Facts for Summer
A selection of books that use new and exciting ways to convey information, perfect for summer reading. Remember, information books count as well as story books if you are doing Mythical Maze, our Summer Reading Challenge.
Is it a book or is it a game? This is part of the Ultimate 20 series that uses a Top Trumps format to get over some fantastic facts. This one is great for Mythical Maze, pitching mythical beasts and monsters against each other.
This was recently voted Best Fact Book by the children who voted in the Booktrust Best Book Awards. A fun book about our bodies, linked to the popular TV series.
Mitchell Symons does it again: he asks the questions no-one else is asking. A collection of great facts and trivia.
An information book for young children, trying to show them the invisible world of microbes in picture book format.
This title is one of a new series of DK Readers which combine fiction and non-fiction for young readers who find facts more attractive than stories. This exciting space story is interrupted by fact pages that give information and illustrations which add to your understanding. Look out for several titles by different authors, shelved in the children’s fiction section.
August Music Picks
2014 meltdown from the METAL GODS! Explosive new work from Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, Richie Faulkner, Ian Hill & Scott Travis.
Metal legends Judas Priest return with their 17th studio album featuring the tracks ‘Redeemer of souls’ and ‘March of the damned’.
The UK’s favourite Kentucky rockers, Black Stone Cherry release their fourth studio album, Magic Mountain through Roadrunner Records. The album was produced by Joe Barresi at his Californian studio base. “A lot of rock music today doesn’t have any soul. It’s all really bland,” observes bassist Jon Lawhon. “There’s no attitude, no heart. On this album, more so than ever, those elements are all in the forefront.”
August DVD choice
The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Cert. 12
It's great to be Spider-Man. For Peter Parker, there's no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, being the hero, and spending time with Gwen. But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro, Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn, returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: Oscorp.
The Wind Rises. Cert. PG
Hayao Miyazaki writes and directs this Japanese animated feature from Studio Ghibli. As a young boy, the bespectacled Jiro Horikoshi dreams of flying a plane but when he learns he will be unable to become a pilot due to his poor eyesight, he instead decides to be an aircraft designer. Travelling by train he meets fellow passenger Naoko. The two fall for each other and become engaged but Naoko is suffering from tuberculosis. While they try to enjoy the time they have together Jiro continues to work on designing his first successful plane.
The two faces of January. Cert. 15.
Based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith, The Two Faces of January is a suspense thriller starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac in a dangerous battle of wits across Greece and Turkey.
Fading gigolo. Cert. 15
In a scheme to make a quick couple of bucks, a New York bookstore owner (Woody Allen) convinces his flower-arranger friend (John Turturro) that a fortune could be made by becoming a professional gigolo, showing a good time to a number of beautiful and wealthy yet lonely local middle-aged women.