December Preview: The Best International Fiction & Non-fiction

Broadcast_December

Arrowood – Mick Finlay

Away from the posh streets of Central London, where Sherlock Holmes is the go-to person to solve all things sinister, victims turn to a lesser known figure – Arrowood, a self-taught psychologist, occasional drunkard, private investigator and hater of Holmes.

When a man disappears under mysterious circumstances and Arrowood’s best lead is stabbed before his eyes, it is up to him and his trusted sidekick, Barnett to nab the culprit.

Mick Finlay’s debut novel checks all the boxes when it comes to a gripping thriller – murder, intrigue, dark humour, compelling characters and an extraordinary backdrop – perfect for that all night read with a cup of hot cocoa.


Broadcast_December2

White Bodies – Jane Robins

To the world, Tilda and Felix are just another happy young couple – successful, young and very much in love. However, to Callie, Tilda’s twin sister, all this is just a façade. Callie finds herself inexplicably obsessed with every detail of Tilda’s marriage when she starts noticing changes in Tilda’s behaviour. Her self-affirmed belief that her sister is being dominated by her husband, leads Callie to join an Internet self-help group for victims of abuse and their friends. But when an acquaintance of hers is murdered by an abusive partner, and Felix dies of a heart attack soon after, Callie is forced to question whether Felix died of natural causes or was murdered.

A gripping tale of suspense and relationships, White Bodies was one of the must-reads in the year of 2017. The novel marks the debut of writer and journalist, Jane Robins, in the genre of fiction after three non-fiction books.


Broadcast_December3

13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do – Amy Morin

From the author of the international bestseller, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, comes another power-packed book. This time, however, the focus is not on self-improvement, but on preparing others for the world. After the release of her first book in the series, Amy Morin, a licensed clinical social worker, college psychology instructor, and psychotherapist, was encouraged by her readers to come up with tools and solutions on how to make children resilient and mentally stronger. The result was 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do, a book that helps you build your child’s personality with the help of various case studies, practical tips, specific strategies, and concrete and proven exercises.


Broadcast_December4

The Demon Crown – James Rollins

When the death of a team of scientists off the coast of Brazil ties down to an ancient artifact hidden by the ilk of Alexander Graham Bell – an artifact that holds the very secret to life after death and could destroy all of mankind – it is up to the Sigma Force, a covert American force, to hunt down the force behind this carnage. But will they manage to put an end to this menace, especially if it means teaming up with their greatest enemy, The Guild?

#1 New York Times bestselling author, James Rollins, presents a heady cocktail of action, adventure, history, and science in the latest novel in the Sigma series.


Broadcast_December5

You Need a Budget – Jesse Mecham

In a bid to manage his finances wisely post marriage, Jesse Mecham, then a student, developed a personal budgeting software named ‘You Need a Budget’. Little did he know how successful this venture would go on to be. With more than 8.8 million visitors on the website and over 2.5 million people listening to his podcasts, Jesse has developed You Need a Budget into a full-fledged financial movement. And now, to take this knowledge to a larger base, he has authored a book by the same name to share his four rules on managing one’s money wisely, with a larger number of people across the world.


Broadcast_December6

With the End in Mind – Dr Kathryn Mannix

Eric, a retired head teacher who, even with Motor Neurone Disease, gets things done; loving, tender-hearted Nelly and Joe, each living a lonely life to save their beloved from distress; and Sylvie, nineteen, dying of leukaemia, sewing a cushion for her mum to hug by the fire after she has died – through these instances and many more that she has encountered throughout her career, palliative medicine pioneer, Dr Kathryn Mannix, explores one of the most taboo subjects of all time – Death.

Tragic, touching, inspiring and sometimes funny, these stories capture moments from the lives of people who are battling death and sheds light on the elusive ‘art of dying’.


Broadcast_December7

The Reservoir Tapes – Jon McGregor

From the author of the Booker-longlisted Reservoir 13 and acclaimed If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, comes a series of short stories that promise to send a chill down your spine. When Becky Shaw, a teenage girl on holiday, goes missing from an English village tucked in the hills of England, the entire town is set on finding her. However, it is soon apparent that Becky’s disappearance is not an isolated incident, but lies at the heart of a nexus that finds its origins in the secrets and stories of the village. Originally commissioned as a series of stories for BBC Radio 4, The Reservoir Tapes weaves an intricate web of suspense and secrets.


Broadcast_December8

The Ice – Laline Paull

An Arctic expedition goes awry when the passengers of the Vanir, a cruise ship, find a dead body in the ice. The body is that of Tom Harding, who was lost in an accident three years ago, and whose body the ice preserved all this time. Tom had come to Midgard to help launch a venture by his friend of thirty years, Sean Cawson, when he goes missing unexpectedly. What lies behind the mystery of Tom’s disappearance?


Broadcast_December10

All the Money in the World – John Pearson

Chronicling the kidnapping of sixteen-year-old Paul Getty and the subsequent refusal by his grandfather J. Paul Getty, the richest American living at the time, to pay the ransom, All the Money in the World traces the struggle of a mother who was forced to negotiate with the captors of her son.

In this full biography of the Getty family, John Pearson traces the creation of their phenomenal wealth and the ways in which it has touched and tainted the lives of various generations. Packed with colourful characters, bitter feuds and unexpected turns, it is a riveting insight into the lives of the super-rich.


Broadcast_December11

Revolution for Dummies: Laughing through the Arab Spring – Bassem Youseff

‘Hilarious and Heartbreaking. Comedy shouldn’t take courage, but it made an exception for Bassem. —Jon Stewart

Bassem Yousseff was the host of Al-Bernameg, a first of its kind political satire that captured incidents from the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 in a light-hearted manner, until the show was scrapped in 2014 and Youseff forced to flee for his life. Through this book, Yousseff shares inspiring anecdotes from his television show and his own rise as a contentious figure in Egypt, and hilarious opinions on several matters including the political instability in the Middle East, brushes with dictatorship and democracy, corruption and religion. Displaying the same incendiary humour that made Yousseff a well-appreciated figure among the masses and a well despised one among the authorities, Revolution for Dummies is a tale of guts and glory, and how jokes are often mightier than the sword.

 


Broadcast_December12

The Everything Box – Richard Kadrey

In 200 BC, an angel stands atop a mountain, poised to end the lives of all those who had escaped the Great Flood, only to realize it has lost the means to do so.

In AD 2015, Coop, a thief specializing in purloining magic objects, steals and delivers a small box to the mysterious client who engaged his services. What Coop does not know is that his actions could spell doom for all of mankind. Propelled into the company of Department of Peculiar Science, an enforcement agency dealing in all things odd and strange, Coop finds himself caught in a chaotic struggle to retrieve the box, involving angels and humans alike.

‘A rolling bouncy-house of a caper tale, The Everything Box abounds with quick-witted characters, snarky dialogue, and surreal analogies. If you haven’t sampled Richard Kadrey’s take on fantasy yet, this is a great place to start.’— Christopher Moore, New York Times bestselling author of Lamb, A Dirty Job and The Serpent of Venice


Broadcast_December13

The Wrong Dead Guy – Richard Kadrey

In this sequel to ‘The Everything Box’, master thief-turned-secret agent, Coops gets commissioned by the Department of Peculiar Science to steal the sarcophagus of a powerful Egyptian wizard. There is only one problem in the plan – the mummy is not quite dead and is keen on making an escape in order to resurrect its former lover, a warrior sorceress hell-bent on conquering the world with her undead armies!

Filled with laughs and fast-paced action, New York Times bestselling author, Richard Kadrey makes a departure from his gritty Sandman Slim series, only to be appreciated once more by readers and critics alike.


Broadcast_December14

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers – Loung Ung

When Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge army stormed into Phnom Penh in April 1975, Loung Ung’s family fled their home and moved from village to village to hide their identity, their education, their former life of privilege. Forced to disband after her father is taken away by the officials, Loung Ung leads a harrowing life as a child soldier in Pol Put’s army to combat the Vietnamese, only to be reunited with her siblings.

Written as a memoir in 2000, Loung Ung’s poignant recollection of her life during the Khmer Rouge period has been developed into a feature film that released in 2017 on Netflix and was directed and produced by Angelina Jolie. Loung Ung served as the National Spokesperson for ‘Campaign for a Landmine Free World’ a program of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for co-founding the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.


Broadcast_December15

Bad Sister – Sam Carrington

A teenager scarred for life by a tragedy. A psychologist dealing with her own demons.

Stephanie loses everyone in her family apart from her brother, Brett, in a fire that consumes their house. Dr Connie Summers, a psychologist wants to help Stephanie counter her fears, but in the process of doing so is forced to confront her dark family secrets. When a mutilated body is dumped in plain sight, it spells devastating consequences for both the women.

Gripping and tense, Bad Sister is impossible to put down.


Broadcast_December16

Purpose and Desire:
 What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism Has Failed to Explain It – J. Scott Turner

Scott Turner contends, ‘To be scientists, we force ourselves into a Hobson’s choice on the matter: accept intentionality and purposefulness as real attributes of life, which disqualifies you as a scientist; or become a scientist and dismiss life’s distinctive quality from your thinking…’

In Purpose and Desire, Turner draws on the work of Claude Bernard, a contemporary of Darwin revered within evolutionary circles, to build on Bernard’s ‘dangerous idea’ of vitalism, which seeks to identify what makes ‘life’ a unique phenomenon of nature. To further its quest to achieve a fuller understanding of life, Turner argues, science must move beyond strictly accepted measures that consider only the mechanics of nature.

A thoughtful appeal to widen our perspective of biology that is grounded in scientific evidence, Purpose and Desire helps us bridge the ideological evolutionary divide.


Broadcast_December17

Why Comics? From Underground to Everywhere – Hillary Chute

Over the past half-century, fans have elevated comics from the back pages of newspapers into one of the most popular forms of culture, from Fun Home, the critically acclaimed musical based on Alison Bechdel’s groundbreaking graphic memoir, to the dozens of superhero films that are annual blockbusters worldwide. What is the essence of comics’ appeal? What does this art form do that others can’t?

In Why Comics? Hillary Chute chronicles comics culture, explaining underground comics (also known as comix), and graphic novels, analyzing their evolution and offering fascinating portraits of the creative men and women behind them. Chute reveals why comics are a blend of concise words and striking visuals and are an extraordinarily powerful and effective form of communication that stimulate us intellectually and emotionally.

Featuring full-colour reproductions of more than eighty significant comics pages and panels, including some famous but never-before reprinted images from comics legends, Why Comics? is an indispensable guide that offers a deeper understanding of this influential art form and its masters.


Broadcast_December18

Metaphors Be with You
: An A to Z Dictionary of History’s Greatest Metaphorical Quotations – Dr Mardy Grothe

Respected quotation anthologist Dr Mardy Grothe has created the definitive collection of history’s greatest metaphorical quotations. Written after examining more than five million observations from literature, politics, philosophy, religion, history, pop culture, and more, Metaphors Be With You is an absolute essential for writers, readers, and language aficionados.

Whether you’re crafting a speech, writing a novel, or simply searching for fresh ways to express yourself, this meticulously curated compendium is as delightful to read as it is invaluable to own—and sure to inspire with the perfect metaphor every time.


Broadcast_December19

The Duke of Her Desire (Diamonds in the Rough series) – Sophie Barnes

When Thomas Heathmore agrees to chaperone his friend’s younger sister, Amelia, he does not expect her to be an infernally stubborn creature with no interest in balls and suitors. Against his better judgement, Thomas aids Amelia in starting her own school and somewhere along the line Amelia ceases to be a mere responsibility.

With the second novel in the Diamonds in the Rough series, Sophie Barnes makes the Regency era more romantic than it already was.


Broadcast_December20

If I Should Ever Love You (A Spinster Heiress Novel) – Cathy Maxwell

With a title in hand, but no money to speak of, Earl Rochdale is in search of a wife who is willing to share her wealth in the bargain for his title. And he has found a suitable match in Leonie Charnock, one of the Spinster Heiresses, whose reputation he had saved years ago. While Leonie agrees to the marriage, she lays down one condition: there will be a wedding but no bedding.

In this glittering new series from New York Times bestselling author Cathy Maxwell, will stubbornness finally give way to love?


Broadcast_December21

Games With The Dead – James Nally

‘With strong characters, hilarious dialogue and a thrilling plot, this book is a page-turner from the start. Impeccable descriptions made the story come alive and, when I thought it had ended, Nally threw another curveball. Exhilarating stuff’ — Sun

When a young woman is kidnapped, Donal is brought in to deliver the ransom money. But the tightly-planned drop off goes wrong, Julie Draper is discovered dead, and Donal finds his job on the line – a scapegoat for the officers in charge.

But when Donal is delivered a cryptic message in the night, he learns that Julie was killed long before the botched rescue mission. As he digs further into the murder in a bid to clear his own name, dark revelations make one thing certain: the police are chasing the wrong man, and the killer has far more blood on his hands than they could even imagine.


Broadcast_December22

The Saboteur: The Adventures of the Gentleman Commando Who Took on the Nazis – Paul Kix

A scion of one of the most aristocratic families in France, Robert de La Rochefoucauld was raised in magnificent chateaux and educated in Europe’s finest schools. When the Nazis invaded and imprisoned his father, La Rochefoucauld escaped to England and learnt the dark arts of anarchy and combat – cracking safes and planting bombs and killing with his bare hands – from the officers of Special Operations Executive, the collection of British spies, beloved by Winston Churchill, who altered the war in Europe with tactics that earned it notoriety as the ‘Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.’ With his newfound skills, La Rochefoucauld returned to France and organized Resistance cells, blew up fortified compounds and munitions factories, interfered with Germans’ wartime missions, and executed Nazi officers. Caught by the Germans, La Rochefoucald withstood months of torture without cracking, and escaped his own death, not once but twice.

The Saboteur recounts La Rochefoucauld’s enthralling adventures, from jumping from a moving truck on his way to his execution to stealing Nazi limos to dressing up in a nun’s habit – one of his many disguises and impersonations. Whatever the mission, whatever the dire circumstance, de La Rochefoucauld acquitted himself nobly, with the straight-back aplomb of a man of aristocratic breeding: James Bond before Ian Fleming conjured him.

More than just a fast-paced, true thriller, The Saboteur is also a deep dive into an endlessly fascinating historical moment, telling the untold story of a network of commandos that battled evil, bravely working to change the course of history.


Broadcast_December23

Wild Cards: Mississippi Roll – George R.R. Martin

Edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author, George R.R. Martin, Mississippi Roll features all-new adventures along the Mississippi trail featuring characters from the Wild Card series. The book features stories by several known figures such as Stephen Leigh, David D. Levine, John Jos. Miller, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Cherie Priest, and Carrie Vaughn.


All titles featured above are available with leading booksellers.

 

 

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