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A list of titles most recently added to the Scheme. View the full catalogue or login to add a title to your booklist.

 

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 320
Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn't belong. Not with his mother's new family. Not as a weekend guest with his father and his father's wife. Not at school, where he's an outcast. After his best friend moves away, Raymond has only two real connections: to the feral cat he's tamed and to a blind 92 year old woman in his building who's introduced herself with a curious question: "Have you seen Luis Velez?"

Mildred Gutermann, a German Jew who narrowly escaped the Holocaust, has been alone since her caretaker disappeared. She turns to Raymond for help, and as he tries to track Luis down, a deep and unexpected friendship blossoms between the two.

Despondent at the loss of Luis, Mildred isolates herself further from a neighbourhood devolving into bigotry and fear. Determined not to let her give up. Raymond helps her see that for every terrible act the world delivers, there is a mirror image of deep kindness, and Mildred helps Raymond see that there's hope if you have someone to hold on to. [Taken from book blurb, Lake Union Publishing]


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"I adored this book."

"This is a great read. Fascinating."

"A heart-warming, delightful read - perfect for female book clubs."

"An easy read. It was so compelling I had to keep reading it, no housework done. Perfect."

"While the book is heart-rendering along the way, it's ultimately a really optimistic read."

"Is it corny? Is it real? Does it matter? Just indulge and enjoy."

"I have discovered a new author! Yippee."

"A well-written and enchanting read – the characters are very well written.

"Really stunning portrayal of teenage angst, friendships with all ages, the flexibility of parents to respond to their children and the changing community."

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Categories: Fiction, Community, Contemporary, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Grief/loss, Morals/Ethics, Relationships, Social commentary/perspectives, Uplifting, USA, America, 2022 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2020
Pages : 263
This is the story of Irish theatre legend, Katherine O'Dell, as written by her daughter Norah. It tells of early stardom in Hollywood, of highs and lows on the stages of Dublin and London's West End. Katherine's life is a grand performance, with young Norah watching from the wings.

But this romance between mother and daughter cannot survive Katherine's past, or the world's damage. As Norah uncovers her mother's secrets, she acquires a few of her own.
Then, fame turns to infamy when Katherine decides to commit a bizarre crime. Actress is about a daughter's search for the truth: the dark secret in the bright star, and what drove Katherine finally mad. [Taken from book blurb, Jonathan Cape Books]


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Fabulous writing and insightful writing."

"A story of grounded, enduring love. I enjoyed the black humour."

"This is the first novel by Enright that I've read. I will certainly read more."

"There is definitely an Irishness to the language of the book, a beautifully lilting quality that often took my breath away."

'I found her other book, 'The Gathering' to be quite dark. There's more hope with this book."

"Some readers could be frustrated by the discursive way the story is told. It's not a novel with a strong narrative line."

"It is a very tender portrait of both mother and daughter. I never lost sympathy for either of them."

"The book is at once tragic, humorous, bleak and realistic."

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Categories: Fiction, Literary, Arts, The, Feminism, Gender Issues, Grief/loss, Relationships, Ireland, England, 2022 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2020
Pages : 333
Ravaged by environmental disaster, greed and oppression, our planet is in crisis. The future of humanity hangs in the balance - and one woman can tip it over.

Despite increasing restrictions on the freedoms of women on Earth, Valerie Black is spearheading the first all-female mission to a planet in the Goldilocks Zone, where conditions are just right for human habitation. It's humanity's last hope for survival, and Naomi, Valerie's surrogate daughter and second-in-command, has been waiting her whole life for an opportunity like this - to step out of Valerie's shadow and really make a difference.

But when things start going wrong on the ship, Naomi starts to suspect that someone on board is concealing a terrible secret - and realises time for life on Earth may be running out faster than they feared ... [Taken from book blurb, Headline Publishing Group]


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Fantastic storyline that keeps your interest throughout. Gob-smacking surprises along the way."

"This is not a depressing book, it's very positive."

"Well-written and engaging. The characters are well-drawn."

"Full of drama, science and ethics. The book puts forward some great questions regarding the future of our planet."

"People who don't normally read such books should give this a go. It's a stimulating book full of possible ideas for the future of humanity and the planet."

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Categories: Fiction, Adventure/Exploration, Contemporary, Dystopia/Futuristic, Environmental, Morals/Ethics, Science Fiction, Social commentary/perspectives, Travel, America, 2022 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction: New Zealand
Year : 2019
Pages : 328
Amy has only ever known what life is like in the Clearing. She knows what's expected of her. She knows what to do to please her elders, and how to make sure life in the community remains happy and calm.

That is, until a new young girl joins the group. She isn't fitting in; she doesn't want to stay. What happens next will turn life as Amy knows it on its head.

Freya has gone to great lengths to feel like a 'normal person'. In fact, if you saw her go about her day with her young son, you'd think she was an everyday mum. That is, until a young girl goes missing and someone from her past, someone she hasn't seen for a very long time, arrives in town.

As Amy and Freya's story intertwines the secrets of the past bubble up to the surface. This rural Aussie town's dark underbelly is about to be exposed and lives will be destroyed. [Taken from the book blurb, Hachette Books]


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"This book is hugely suspenseful!"

"Even when the reader believes that the solution is becoming evident, another twist reveals another possible outcome!"

"Definitely a 'read-till-you-finish' story. While it is dark and at times disturbing, there is hope for the heroine."

"A challenge as it's a scary story."

"A real page turner. An interesting premise and very believable. Very dark."

"Excellent topic for discussion."

"There's lots of plot twists and it's fast moving. Great read!"

"I found this a contrived plot and didn't enjoy it. I don't like such stories."

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Categories: Fiction - New Zealand, Community, Contemporary, Morals/Ethics, Relationships, Suspense/Thriller, Tragedy/disaster, 2022 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Non Fiction: New Zealand
Year : 2020
Pages : 305
When she was just nine, Golriz Ghahraman and her parents were forced to flee their home in Iran. After a terrifying and uncertain journey, they landed in Auckland where they were able to seek asylum and - ultimately - create a new life.

In this open and intimate account, Ghahraman talks about making a home in Aotearoa New Zealand, her work as a human rights lawyer, her United Nations missions, and how she became the first refugee to be elected to the New Zealand Parliament.

Passionate and unflinching, Know Your Place is a story about breaking barriers, and the daily challenges of prejudice that shape the lives of women and minorities. At its heart, it's about overcoming fear, about family, and about finding a place to belong. [Taken from book cover, Harper Collins Publishing]


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"In a very articulate fashion, Ms Ghahraman explores the ways in which her arrival here at age nine, has shaped her life."

"She does not hold back from exposing the faults she sees in our society, or the ways in which we might improve it."

"Very compelling, thought-provoking and challenging."

"Inspiringly courageous."

"Even if the reader does not share her political views, this would be an inspiring and interesting book."

"An amazing book for discussion."

"This book is potentially contentious, but definitely one that we all should read."

"I don't think anyone will finish it without some uncomfortable looks at the attitudes we hold."

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Categories: Non Fiction - New Zealand, Biography, Contemporary, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Feminism, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Inspirational, Political, Social commentary/perspectives, Iran, 2022 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 321
A Maid of Honour at the Queen's Coronation and former Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret, Anne Glenconner has spent her life as a friend of the royal family.

The eldest child of the 5th Earl of Leicester, she knew as a daughter she would not inherit the vast ancestral Holkham Hall or the family fortune. Bred and brought up instead to secure an eligible husband, she was to fall for the charismatic Colin Tennant (later Lord Glenconner), who would go on to buy Mustique in the Caribbean, turning it into the world's most exclusive private island. The parties and guests were legendary, but the marriage was to prove a test of every strength Anne possessed.

On Mustique, Anne's friendship with Princess Margaret, which began in childhood, grew ever closer. Becoming her lady in waiting, she could escape her difficult marriage to travel the world on diplomatic missions from Australia to America, Canada and Africa.

Tragedy engulfed Anne when she lost two of her grown-up sons, and nursed her third son out of a coma after a motorbike accident.

Lord Glenconner died in 2010, leaving his entire fortune to a former employee. It was the last sting in the tail, yet Anne has gone on to enjoy the freedom it's given her, finally out of the shadow of the crown and her husband, and with the resilience and humour that defines her, reminding us that all that glitters is not gold. [Taken from book blurb, Hodder Books]


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Both my husband and I rated this book highly. I hope it is added to the catalogue."

"The author writes easily and well and the book is actually very hard to put down (to my surprise!)."

"Lots of interesting snippets about a life that seems incredible now but was entirely 'normal' for the times and her class."

"A very interesting insight into life in the aristocracy, or at least how it used to be."

"It was fascinating to learn of the purchase and development of the Caribbean island of Mustique."

'You can't help but roll your eyes at times when she details the excesses in their lives (travel, purchases, expectations)."

"Talk about a life well lived! Mine is looking extremely dull in comparison."

"There's apparent candour about her family and others but it's done with some tact and discretion. They probably still talk to her post-publication!"

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Categories: Non fiction, Biography, Social commentary/perspectives, UK, 2022 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2020
Pages : 415
A mother in crisis. A doctor's duty. What is the truth about that night?

Liz and Jess have been friends for ten years, ever since they both started a family. But how well do they really know each other?

When Jess arrives at Emergency with her baby girl and a story that doesn't add up, Liz is the doctor on call.

Jess has devoted her life to family and home. But she is hiding so many secrets.

As the truth begins to emerge, Liz is forced to question everything she thought she knew: about Jess, and about herself ... [Taken from book blurb, Simon & Schuster]


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"It grabbed me from page one and didn't let me go. It's very readable."

"I couldn't predict where the plot twists and turns were going."

"It's a very honest telling of parenting and the myth of the perfect family and how mothering is expected to come naturally."

"Both main characters are so believable and their pain and angst read."

"Wonderful characterisation."

"A very compelling read and full of surprises."

"Despite the shocking twists and revelations towards the end, the reader will feel strongly that this could well be anyone's story."

"The plot, which sounds relatively straight-forward, is exposed in a series of twists and turns that are engaging and empathetic for all characters."

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Categories: Fiction, Contemporary, Grief/loss, Medical/Health, Morals/Ethics, Relationships, Social commentary/perspectives, England, 2022 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2020
Pages : 388
Margery Benson's life ended the day her father walked out of his study and never came back. Forty years later, abandoning a dull job, she advertises for an assistant. The successful candidate is to accompany Margery on an expedition to the other side of the world to search for a beetle that may or may not exist.

Enid Pretty is not who she had in mind. But together they will find themselves drawn into an adventure that exceeds all Margery's expectations, eventually finding new life at the top of a red mountain.

This is a story that is less about what can be found than the belief it might be found; it is an intoxicating adventure story and it is also a tender exploration of a friendship between two unforgettable women that defies all boundaries. [Taken from book blurb, Penguin Books]


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Charming, funny and sad."

"A beautifully written story of how two broken women form a deep respect and loving friendship."

"I laughed out loud at times, but there are sad parts too. The book is deeply affecting."

"Absolutely charming story, full of compassion and profound emotion."

"A positive story of strong women who find they are capable of doing great things and finding fulfilment."

"It's easy to read with believable characters." "Great representation of colonial British attitudes."

"Two highly unlikely characters, flawed and wonderful."

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Categories: Fiction, Adventure/Exploration, Environmental, Feminism, Grief/loss, Relationships, Travel, UK, 2022 Titles - Coming Soon, New Caledonia

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2020
Pages : 338
Allergic to group activities of any kind, all her life Serenata has run, swum, and cycled - on her lonesome. But now that she's hit 60, all that physical activity has destroyed her knees. As she contemplates surgery with dread, her previously sedentary husband Remington, recently and ignominiously redundant, chooses this precise moment to discover exercise.

Which should be good for his health, right? Yet as he joins the cult of fitness that seems increasingly to consume the whole of the Western world, her once-modest husband burgeons into an unbearable narcissist. Ignoring all his other obligations in the service of extreme sport, he engages a saucy, taunting personal trainer named Bambi, who treats his wife with contempt.

When Remington announces his intention to compete in a legendarily gruelling triathlon, MettleMan, Serenata is sure he's going to end up injured or dead - but the stubbornness of an ageing man in Lycra is not to be underestimated. [Taken from book blurb, The Borough Press]


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"It's a story that invites the reader to observe with amusement - a super read."

"Lionel Shriver at her acerbic best."

"Well-written and thought-provoking novel, at times hilarious. Typical over-blown Lionel Shriver style."

"Written in Shriver's usual dry way. Her observations of human behaviour are accurate, witty and droll."

"A book well worth reading."

"Well-written, insightful and perceptive."

"Sly fun is poked at the 'isms' - sexism, feminism and racism, not to mention the cults of cultural appropriation and personal fitness."

"The ending seemed a little anticlimactic."

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Categories: Fiction, Contemporary, Gender Issues, Grief/loss, Medical/Health, Morals/Ethics, Relationships, Social commentary/perspectives, USA, America, 2022 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2020
Pages : 379
Decades of spiralling drug resistance have unleashed a global antibiotic crisis. Ordinary infections are untreatable, and a scratch from a pet can kill.

A sacrifice is required to keep the majority safe: no one over 70 is allowed new antibiotics. The elderly are sent to hospitals nicknamed 'The Waiting Rooms' ... hospitals where no one ever gets well.

Twenty years after the crisis takes hold, Kate begins a search for her birth mother, armed only with her name and her age. As Kate unearths disturbing facts about her mother's past, she puts her family in danger and risks losing everything. Because Kate is not the only secret that her mother is hiding. Someone else is looking for her, too ..." [Taken from book blurb, Orenda Books]


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"A real page turner. Great book for discussion!" "This book was described as dark and disturbing but I don't agree."

"Very well written – and unfortunately believable!"

"Is this book about the future, or is it here already??"

"Very topical subject. A love story is needlessly fitted into the story."

"I found it a bit scary, but it was a great read."

"The time of this book is absolutely right. Without Covid-19 it probably would not have had so much impact. All should read the book."

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Categories: Fiction, Contemporary, Dystopia/Futuristic, Medical/Health, Morals/Ethics, Social commentary/perspectives, Tragedy/disaster, 2022 Titles - Coming Soon

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