The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare’s passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger’s cinematic storytelling that makes the novel’s unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.

An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler’s Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come.

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Life Of Pi- Yann Martel

Life Of Pi- Yann Martel

Life Of Pi- Yann Martel

One boy, one boat, one tiger …After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and best-loved works of fiction in recent years.

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The Marriage Market – Nisha Minhas

The Marriage Market - Nisha Minhas

The Marriage Market – Nisha Minhas

Funny, gorgeous, seriously sexy Aaron would be the perfect boyfriend – were it not for two minor character flaws: his all-consuming terror of commitment and his complete inability to remain faithful. Nevertheless, with his girlfriend Jeena faced with exile to India, Aaron conquers his deep-seated fears and agrees to marry her – for one year only. It’s an arrangement between friends, that’s all. After one year, they will divorce – and things will be back to normal. But it was never going to be that easy. Aaron knows nothing of the Indian way, its culture, its rituals, its idealism. When Aaron marries Jeena, he marries her extended family too. The crises, chaos and complications that follow make for a witty and hilarious read. And despite his best intentions, love has a way of creeping up on a man just when he least expects it…

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Nineteen Minutes – Jodi Picoult

Nineteen Minutes - Jodi Picoult

Nineteen Minutes – Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult, bestselling author of My Sister’s Keeper and The Tenth Circle, pens her most riveting book yet, with a startling and poignant story about the devastating aftermath of a small-town tragedy.

Sterling is an ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens–until the day its complacency is shattered by an act of violence. Josie Cormier, the daughter of the judge sitting on the case, should be the state’s best witness, but she can’t remember what happened before her very own eyes–or can she? As the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show–destroying the closest of friendships and families. Nineteen Minutes asks what it means to be different in our society, who has the right to judge someone else, and whether anyone is ever really who they seem to be.

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Alexander The Great – Robin Lane Fox

Alexander The Great - Robin Lane Fox

Alexander The Great – Robin Lane Fox

Tough, resolute, fearless. Alexander was a born warrior and a ruler of passionate ambition who understood the intense adventure of conquest and of the unknown. When he died in 323 B.C.E. at age thirty-two, his vast empire comprised more than two million square miles, spanning from Greece to India. His achievements were unparalleled—he had excelled as leader to his men, founded eighteen new cities, and stamped the face of Greek culture on the ancient East. the myth he created is as potent today as it was in the ancient world.

Robin Lane Fox’s superb account searches through the mass of conflicting evidence and legend to focus on Alexander as a man of his own time. Combining historical scholarship and acute psychological insight, it brings this colossal figure vividly to life.

 

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Gates Of Fire: An Epic Novel Of The Battle Of Thermopylae – Steven Pressfield

Gates Of Fire: An Epic Novel Of The Battle Of Thermopylae - Steven Pressfield

Gates Of Fire: An Epic Novel Of The Battle Of Thermopylae – Steven Pressfield

Synopsis: In 480 B.C., two million Persian invaders come to the mountain pass of Thermopylae in eastern Greece, where they are met by 300 of Sparta’s finest warriors. The Greek loyalists battle for six days in a prelude to their ultimate victory. "Pressfield brings the battle of Thermopylae to brilliant life, and he does for that war what Charles Frazier did for the Civil War in "Cold Mountain.”"–Pat Conroy.

Review:Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that here obedient to their laws we lie.

 

Thus reads an ancient stone at Thermopylae in northern Greece, the site of one of the world’s greatest battles for freedom. Here, in 480 B.C., on a narrow mountain pass above the crystalline Aegean, 300 Spartan knights and their allies faced the massive forces of Xerxes, King of Persia. From the start, there was no question but that the Spartans would perish. In Gates of Fire, however, Steven Pressfield makes their courageous defense–and eventual extinction–unbearably suspenseful.

In the tradition of Mary Renault, this historical novel unfolds in flashback. Xeo, the sole Spartan survivor of Thermopylae, has been captured by the Persians, and Xerxes himself presses his young captive to reveal how his tiny cohort kept more than 100,000 Persians at bay for a week. Xeo, however, begins at the beginning, when his childhood home in northern Greece was overrun and he escaped to Sparta. There he is drafted into the elite Spartan guard and rigorously schooled in the art of war–an education brutal enough to destroy half the students, but (oddly enough) not without humor: "The more miserable the conditions, the more convulsing the jokes became, or at least that’s how it seems,” Xeo recalls. His companions in arms are Alexandros, a gentle boy who turns out to be the most courageous of all, and Rooster, an angry, half-Messenian youth.

Pressfield’s descriptions of war are breathtaking in their immediacy. They are also meticulously assembled out of physical detail and crisp, uncluttered metaphor:

The forerank of the enemy collapsed immediately as the first shock hit it; the body-length shields seemed to implode rearward, their anchoring spikes rooted slinging from the earth like tent pins in a gale. The forerank archers were literally bowled off their feet, their wall-like shields caving in upon them like fortress redoubts under the assault of the ram…. The valor of the individual Medes was beyond question, but their light hacking blades were harmless as toys; against the massed wall of Spartan armor, they might as well have been defending themselves with reeds or fennel stalks.

Alas, even this human barrier was bound to collapse, as we knew all along it would. "War is work, not mystery,” Xeo laments. But Pressfield’s epic seems to make the opposite argument: courage on this scale is not merely inspiring but ultimately mysterious. –Marianne Painter

Review: ”…GATES OF FIRE could not be mistaken for fine literature, but it has other qualities….As a narrator, above all, the author is highly skilful.”

 

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Firesong – Joseph Hone

 Firesong - Joseph Hone


Firesong – Joseph Hone

New Year’s Day, 1906. A family celebrates, skating on the ice of a vast lake, far north in Russia. Cousins of the Romanov Tsars, this is the Rumovsky family – Prince Pyotr, his wife Princess Sofia, their son Ivan and twins Yelena and Alexander, and their young Irish governess,

Miss Harriet. With them is the patriarch of the family, old Prince Mikhail, a strange, towering figure, a man from another century, with his fabulous Boyars’ court at the castle, a Tamburlaine of the snows…Behind the Rumovsky family and their mediaeval island castle lie 300 years of autocratic but peaceful rule. Ahead of them, the old Prince expects the same for his descendants. It is not to be. Firesong is the story of the Rumovskies – their lives, deaths and hazardous escapes in the nightmarish new Russia that soon engulfs them: a land stricken by famine, pestilence, war and death. A story both intimate and epic, reminiscent of Dr Zhivago, this is a dramatic saga of men and women who fight for their destiny, in love and peace, against all the odds of war and dissolution.

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