Books of the month for December

Plenty of interesting titles in our picks for December!

Jenni Fagan – The Sunlight Pilgrims

General Fiction: Jenni Fagan – The Sunlight Pilgrims

Set in a Scottish caravan park during a freak winter – it is snowing in Jerusalem, the Thames is overflowing, and an iceberg separated from the Fjords in Norway is expected to arrive off the coast of Scotland – The Sunlight Pilgrims tells the story of a small Scottish community living through what people have begun to think is the end of times. Bodies are found frozen in the street with their eyes open, midst economic collapse, schooling and health care are run primarily on a voluntary basis. Dylan, a refugee from panic-stricken London who is grieving for his mother and his grandmother, arrives in the caravan park in the middle of the night – to begin his life anew. Under the lights of the aurora borealis, he is drawn to his neighbour Constance, a woman who is known for having two lovers, her eleven-year old daughter Stella, who is struggling to navigate changes in her own life, and elderly Barnacle, so crippled that he walks facing the earth. But as the temperature drops, daily life carries on: people get out of bed, they make a cup of tea, they fall in love, they complicate.

William Brodrick – The Silent Ones (Father Anselm #6)

British Crime: William Brodrick – The Silent Ones (Father Anselm #6)

'All you have to do is find out why Harry is prepared to blame an innocent man. That's the thread. Follow it. You'll reach the Silent Ones. This is your way - our way - of making a difference.'

With this challenge from Father Edmund Littlemore, Anselm returns to the Old Bailey to fight the most difficult and troubling case of his life. The man in the dock is Littlemore himself. He is charged with grave offences against Harry Brandwell who, it seems, is both a victim and a liar. But he's the only link to these others who've chosen silence over their right to justice.

Unknown to Anselm, Robert Saunders, a journalist, has been investigating Littlemore's background. And he's a man with a troubled past, always on the move, from Boston in the USA to Freetown in Sierra Leone, finally running from a London police station rather than explain himself. More disturbingly, Robert uncovers details of a carefully planned scheme to entice Anselm back into court, exploiting his reputation for honesty to secure a shock acquittal.

Meanwhile Harry Brandwell - abused, abandoned and betrayed - has decided to take matters into his own hands.

Michael Sears – Black Fridays

Tough Crime: Michael Sears – Black Fridays

Jason Stafford is a former Wall Street hotshot who got caught in an out-of-control financial situation, paid the price with two years of prison, and now is trying to put his life back together again. He’s unemployable, until an investment firm asks him to look into possible irregularities left by a junior trader who recently died in an accident. What he discovers is big — and keeps getting bigger, and more and more deadly — but it’s not his only concern. Stafford has also reclaimed his five-year-old autistic son, “the Kid,” from his unstable ex-wife, and now must learn how to make a life together with him.

Laura Lam – Pantomime (Micah Grey #1)

Fantasy: Laura Lam – Pantomime (Micah Grey #1)

In a land of lost wonders, the past is stirring once more …Gene's life resembles a debutante's dream. Yet she hides a secret that would see her shunned by the nobility. Gene is both male and female.

Then she displays unwanted magical abilities - last seen in mysterious beings from an almost-forgotten age. Matters escalate further when her parents plan a devastating betrayal, so she flees home, dressed as a boy. The city beyond contains glowing glass relics from a lost civilization.

They call to her, but she wants freedom not mysteries. So, reinvented as 'Micah Grey', Gene joins the circus. As an aerialist, she discovers the joy of flight - but the circus has a dark side.She's also plagued by visions foretelling danger. A storm is howling in from the past, but will she heed its roar?

Neal Asher – Prador Moon (Polity)

Science Fiction: Neal Asher – Prador Moon (Polity Universe)

The Polity Collective stretches from Earth Central into the unfathomable reaches of the galactic void. But when the Polity finally encounters alien life in the form of massive, hostile, crablike carnivores known as the Prador, there can only be one outcome – total warfare. Chaos reigns as, caught unawares, the Polity struggles to regain its foothold and transition itself into a military society.

Starships clash, planets fall and space stations are overrun. But for Jebel Krong and Moria Salem, trapped at the centre of the action, this war is far more than a mere clash of cultures, far more than technology versus brute force. This war is personal.Prador Moon is one of Asher's most shocking excursions into the Polity's universe of over-the-top violence and explosive action – a vivid, visceral, brilliantly intense space opera that you won't forget soon.

Lila Bowen – Wake Of Vultures (#1)

Paranormal/Urban Fantasy: Lila Bowen – Wake Of Vultures (#1)

Nettie Lonesome lives in a land of hard people and hard ground dusted with sand. She's a half-breed who dresses like a boy, raised by folks who don't call her a slave but use her like one. She knows of nothing else. That is, until the day a stranger attacks her. When nothing, not even a sickle to the eye can stop him, Nettie stabs him through the heart with a chunk of wood and he turns to black sand.

And just like that, Nettie can see.

But her newfound sight is a blessing and a curse. Even if she doesn't understand what's under her own skin, she can sense what everyone else is hiding - at least physically. The world is full of evil, and now she knows the source of all the sand in the desert. Haunted by the spirits, Nettie has no choice but to set out on a quest that might lead her to find her true kin . . . if the monsters along the way don't kill her first.

N. D. Gomes – Dear Charlie

Teen: N. D. Gomes – Dear Charlie

Death should never meet the young. But it did. Thanks to my brother, death made fourteen new friends that day.

Maybe even fifteen, if you count Charlie. At sixteen, Sam Macmillan is supposed to be thinking about girls, homework and his upcoming application to music college, not picking up the pieces after the school shooting that his brother Charlie committed. Yet as Sam desperately tries to hang on to the memories he has of his brother, the media storm surrounding their family threatens to destroy everything.And Sam has to question all he thought he knew about life, death, right and wrong. Endorsed by Amnesty International UK for reminding us that human rights belong to all of us.

Evelyn Waugh – Handful of Dust

Classic: Evelyn Waugh – A Handful of Dust

Taking its title from T S Eliot's modernist poem The Waste Land, Evelyn Waugh's A Handful of Dust is a chronicle of Britain's decadence and social disintegration between the First and Second World Wars. This Penguin Modern Classics edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Robert Murray Davis. After seven years of marriage, the beautiful Lady Brenda Last is bored with life at Hetton Abbey, the Gothic mansion that is the pride and joy of her husband, Tony.She drifts into an affair with the shallow socialite John Beaver and forsakes Tony for the Belgravia set. Brilliantly combining tragedy, comedy and savage irony, A Handful of Dust captures the irresponsible mood of the 'crazy and sterile generation' between the wars. This breakdown of the Last marriage is a painful, comic re-working of Waugh's own divorce, and a symbol of the disintegration of society.

Joris Luyendijk – Swimming with Sharks: My Journey into the World of the Bankers

Non-Fiction: Joris Luyendijk – Swimming with Sharks: My Journey into the World of the Bankers

A journey into the dark heart of haute finance, showing us why we have every reason to fear another crash. Joris Luyendijk, an investigative journalist, knew as much about banking as the average person: almost nothing. Bankers, he thought, were ruthless, competitive, bonus-obsessed sharks, irrelevant to his life. And then he was assigned to investigate the financial sector.

Lucia Berlin – A Manual for Cleaning Women: Stories

Short Story Collection: Lucia Berlin – A Manual for Cleaning Women: Stories

New York Times 2015 top ten books.
The stories in A Manual for Cleaning Women make for one of the most remarkable unsung collections in twentieth-century American fiction. With extraordinary honesty and magnetism, Lucia Berlin invites us into her rich, itinerant life: the drink and the mess and the pain and the beauty and the moments of surprise and of grace. Her voice is uniquely witty, anarchic and compassionate.

Developed in cooperation with:

Multimediaambassaden, Mats Rytther