The gate of angels – Penelope Fitzgerald

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It is 1912, and at Cambridge University the modern age is knocking at the gate. Fred Fairly, a Junior Fellow at the college of St Angelicus, where for centuries no female, not even a pussy cat, has been allowed to set foot, lectures in physics. Science, he is certain, will explain everything. Until into Fred’s orderly life come Daisy. Fred is smitten. Why have I met her? he wonders. How can I tell if she’s quite what she seems? Fred is a scientist. To him the truth should be everything. But even scientists make mistakes. Read more

The story keeper – Lisa Wingate

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When successful New York editor Jen Gibbs discovers a decaying slush-pile manuscript on her desk, she has no idea that the story of Sarra, a young mixed-race woman trapped in Appalachia at the turn of the twentieth century, will both take her on a journey and change her forever. Happy with her life in the city, and at the top of her career with a new job at Vida House Publishing, Jen has left her Appalachian past and twisted family ties far behind. But the search for the rest of the manuscript, and Jen’s suspicions about the identity of its unnamed author, will draw her into a mystery that leads back to the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains . . . and quite possibly through the doors she thought she had closed forever. Read more

Before the fall – Noah Hawley

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The rich are different. But fate is blind. Down-on-his-luck artist Scott Burroughs would usually take the ferry back to New York from Martha’s Vineyard, but he is unexpectedly offered a spare seat on the Bateman family’s private jet. Then just minutes after take-off, the plane crashes into the ocean and of the eight passengers and three crew, only Scott and the Batemans’ small son, JJ, are left alive. The extraordinary nature of their survival, combined with the fact that David Bateman was CEO of a populist TV news channel, means that Scott will not be returning to anonymity. Along with the orphaned boy, he is engulfed by a maelstrom of speculation, which soon overtakes the official investigation into the tragedy. Who else was on the plane? Was there a bomb, a missile? Who is Scott Burroughs? Read more

The good, the bad and the furry – Tom Cox

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Meet THE BEAR – a cat who carries the weight of the world on his furry shoulders, and whose wise, owl-like eyes seem to ask, Can you tell me why I am a cat, please? Like many intellectuals, The Bear would prefer a life of quiet solitude with plenty of time to gaze forlornly into space and contemplate society’s ills. Unfortunately he is destined to spend his days surrounded by felines of a significantly lower IQ …RALPH: handsome, self-satisfied tabby, terrified of the clothes horse. SHIPLEY: mouthy hooligan and champion mouser, rendered insensible by being turned upside-down. ROSCOE: fiercely independent kitten, tormented by her doppelganger in the mirror. And then there’s Tom, writing with his usual wit and charm about the unexpected adventures that go hand in hand with a life at the beck and call of four cats …or three cats and a sensitive poet who just happens to be a foot high and covered in fur. Read more

The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion

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Don Tillman is a socially challenged genetics professor who’s decided the time has come to find a wife. His questionnaire is intended to weed out anyone who’s unsuitable. The trouble is, Don has rather high standards and doesn’t really do flexible so, despite lots of takers, he’s not having much success in identifying The One.

When Rosie Jarman comes to his office, Don assumes it’s to apply for the Wife Project – and duly discounts her on the grounds she smokes, drinks, doesn’t eat meat, and is incapable of punctuality. However, Rosie has no interest in becoming Mrs Tillman and is actually there to enlist Don’s assistance in a professional capacity: to help her find her biological father.

Sometimes, though, you don’t find love: love finds you… Read more

The Family Fang – Kevin Wilson

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Mr. and Mrs. Fang called it art.

Their children called it mischief.

Performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang dedicated themselves to making great art. But when an artist’s work lies in subverting normality, it can be difficult to raise well-adjusted children. Just ask Buster and Annie Fang. For as long as they can remember, they starred (unwillingly) in their parents madcap pieces. But now that they are grown up, the chaos of their childhood has made it difficult to cope with life outside the fishbowl of their parents strange world.

When the lives they’ve built come crashing down, brother and sister have nowhere to go but home, where they discover that Caleb and Camille are planning one last performance their magnum opus whether the kids agree to participate or not. Soon, ambition breeds conflict, bringing the Fangs to face the difficult decision about what s ultimately more important: their family or their art. Read more

The Family Fang – Kevin Wilson

fang

Mr. and Mrs. Fang called it art.

Their children called it mischief.

Performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang dedicated themselves to making great art. But when an artist’s work lies in subverting normality, it can be difficult to raise well-adjusted children. Just ask Buster and Annie Fang. For as long as they can remember, they starred (unwillingly) in their parents madcap pieces. But now that they are grown up, the chaos of their childhood has made it difficult to cope with life outside the fishbowl of their parents strange world.

When the lives they’ve built come crashing down, brother and sister have nowhere to go but home, where they discover that Caleb and Camille are planning one last performance their magnum opus whether the kids agree to participate or not. Soon, ambition breeds conflict, bringing the Fangs to face the difficult decision about what s ultimately more important: their family or their art. Read more