JANUARY – Forever Home by Graham Norton
A winning mix of family drama and comedy crime caper … you may well find yourself reading it in one sitting.
FEBRUARY – Deep, Freediving, Renegade by James Nestor
While on assignment in Greece, journalist James Nestor witnessed something that confounded him: a man diving 300 feet below the ocean’s surface on a single breath of air and returning four minutes later, unharmed and smiling.
MARCH – The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende
Secret, passionate and forbidden; the romance between Alma Belasco, matriarch of a wealthy San Francisco family, and Ichimei Fukudo, the son of the Belasco family’s much beloved gardener, burns brightly for more than 50 years.
APRIL – Extraordinary Women in History by Leah Gail
Extraordinary Women in History highlights the best and the brightest of women and their colossal impact on the world. An especially great resource for students and teachers, Extraordinary Women in History is a perfect fit for readers of all ages who can glean inspiring messages of perseverance, hard work, and dedication.
MAY – Four winds by Kristin Hannah
The Four Winds is a deeply moving, powerful story about the strength and resilience of women and the bond between mother and daughter.
JUNE – Madly, Deeply; the Alan Rickman Diaries
The diaries span 22 years, beginning in 1993 and ending in December 2015 (a few weeks after the final entry, Rickman died, aged 69, from pancreatic cancer), thereby capturing him at the height of his fame. From the outside, his life appears an exhausting whirl of rehearsals, film screenings, theatre visits, awards ceremonies, house purchases and mad dashes to catch planes (more than once, he boards a flight and realises he has left half his clothes hanging in the hotel wardrobe). He eats out several times a week, sometimes with colleagues but more often with friends and his partner, Rima Horton. For pushing two decades, he appears to have single-handedly kept the River Cafe and The Ivy afloat.
JULY – The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
The Paris Library is based on the true story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris during World War 2. In Paris, 1939, Odile is loving her new job at the American Library, with its thriving community of students, writers and book lovers. However, when war is declared and the Nazis invade Paris, everything Odile holds dear is threatened. In Montana, 1983, Lily is a lonely teenager, desperate to escape her small town. She has dreams of travel and adventure. When Lily befriends her neighbour Odile, they share a love of languages and books. However, Lily soon discovers that Odile has secrets and a very mysterious past.
AUGUST – The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho by Joseph Paterson
The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho Reviews An absolutely thrilling, throat-catching wonder of a historical novel. I read with alternating fascination, dread, hilarity, admiration, sorrow and triumph for a full life rendered with such animation, brilliance and understanding.
SEPTEMBER – Still life by Sarah Winman
It’s 1944 and in the ruined wine cellar of a Tuscan villa, as the Allied troops advance and bombs fall around them, two strangers meet and share an extraordinary evening together.
Ulysses Temper is a young British soldier and one-time globe-maker, Evelyn Skinner is a sexagenarian art historian and possible spy. She has come to Italy to salvage paintings from the ruins and relive her memories of the time she encountered EM Forster and had her heart stolen by an Italian maid in a particular Florentine room with a view.
OCTOBER – Eight Days at Yalta by Diana Preston
How Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin Shaped the Post-War World
Meticulously researched and vividly written, Eight Days at Yalta is a remarkable work of intense historical drama.
NOVEMBER – The Paper Palace by Miranda Comley Heller
The Paper Palace is an excellent character study of a woman who is at a crossroads of her life and examines how seemingly small decisions can have huge repercussions. I absolutely loved it and found it an immersive and consuming novel, reading it in almost one sitting.
DECEMBER – Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
From Atul Gawande, a book that has the potential to change medicine – and lives. Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming the dangers of childbirth, injury, and disease from harrowing to manageable. But when it comes to the inescapable realities of aging and death, what medicine can do often runs counter to what it should.