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Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 273
For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission. Her goal, as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, invest in women.

In this candid and inspiring book, Gates traces her awakening to the link between women's empowerment and the health of societies. She shows some of the tremendous opportunities that exist right now to turbo-charge change. And she provides simple and effective ways each one of us can make a difference.

A personal statement of passionate conviction, this book tells of Gates' journey from a partner working behind the scenes to one of the world's foremost advocates for women, driven by the belief that no one should be excluded, all lives have equal value, and gender equity is the lever that lifts everything. [Taken from book cover - Pan MacMillan Books]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"A well written book."

"This is a remarkable book in the way it is written; in the stories recounted and in its far-reaching range of influences."

"Simply written and very easy to read."

"Inspiring account by a woman who uses her talents and wealth to inform us of women's challenges."

"I was impressed when she referred to Marilyn Waring."

"Very informative and quite encouraging for betterment."

"Gates has the courage to expose the responsibility religions must take for the plight of women."

"While it's very interest, I did find it a little repetitive."

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Categories: Non fiction, Community, Contemporary, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Medical/Health, Social commentary/perspectives, America, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2018
Pages : 403
Who is telling the truth? Frances or her husband Robert? Confined to their separate accommodations in the Tower of London, they both certainly have time enough to contemplate their supposed involvement in the murder of courtier Sir Thomas Overbury. A power couple of the court of King James I, the Carrs are up to their privileged necks in the political shenanigans of the day.

Ambition, corruption, intrigue; it's all here in the many twists and turns of this vividly imagined story of the real events of 1615.

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Well written. It's full of twists and turns with some basis of fact behind it."

"Fascinating glimpse of medieval politics and customs. Great ending."

"Well written, it kept me gripped. There are twists throughout the story."

"Lovers of historical fiction will really enjoy this book. It well-paced with twists and turns."

"For lovers of historical fiction, this is an interesting peek at a time not as well covered as the more glamorous times of Elizabeth I."

"Very exciting. The truth is gradually revealed."

"Enjoyable historical crime fiction in the vein of Philippa Gregory's books on the Plantagenets and Tudors."

"I found the time sequences to be confusing with the present and past being interchanged. I didn't enjoy it."

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Categories: Fiction, Historical, Love story, Medical/Health, Mystery, Political, Relationships, True Crime, England, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2018
Pages : 230
The day after the 2015 Paris terror attacks, 28-year-old Canadian Jamil Jivani opened the newspaper to find that the men responsible were familiar to him. He didn't know them, but the communities they grew up in and the challenges they faced mirrored the circumstances of his own life.

Jivani travelled to Belgium in February 2016 to better understand the roots of jihadi radicalization. Less than two months later, Brussels fell victim to a terrorist attack carried out by young men who lived in the same neighbourhood as him.

Jivani was raised in a mostly immigrant community in Toronto that faced significant problems with integration. Having grown up with a largely absent father, he knows what it is to watch a man's future influenced by gangster culture or radical ideologies associated with Islam. Jivani found himself at a crossroads: he could follow the kind of life we hear about too often in the media, or he could choose a safe, prosperous future. He opted for the latter, attending Yale and becoming a lawyer, a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and a powerful speaker for the disenfranchised.

Why Young Men is not a memoir but a book of ideas that pursues a positive path and offers a counterintuitive, often provocative argument for a sea change in the way we look at young men, and for how they see themselves. [Taken from book blurb - Pantera Press]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"A topical subject for our own alienated youth and how these young people can be supported to develop meaningful and productive lives."

"The author's own background brings an authentic voice to this issue of alienated youth."

"This book should be available in every house, school, office, prison, hospital and everywhere else where people care, or need to, about our future."

"There is a good balance between statistical and anecdotal information with an ease of writing style that makes it appealing."

"This book and its author are like a cool fresh drink in the desert! The story is related with compassion, clarity and reason and is the stronger for it."

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Categories: Non fiction, Community, Contemporary, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Human Rights, Political, Social commentary/perspectives, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 288
Professor Chandra is an expert at complex problems. There's just one he can't crack: the secret of happiness. In the moments after the accident, Professor Chandra doesn't see his life flash before his eyes, but his life's work. He's just narrowly missed the Nobel Prize (again) and even though he knows he should get straight back to his pie charts, his doctor has other ideas. All this work. All this success. All this stress. It's killing him. He needs to take a break, start enjoying himself. In short, says his doctor (who is from California), Professor Chandra should just follow his bliss. Professor Chandra doesn't know it yet, but he's about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. [Taken from book blurb, Vintage Books]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"I thought this would be light and fluffy, but there's more to it than that."

"Initially I didn't bond with the main character, but by the end of the book I was a fan."

"I like books about cranky people and this guy sure starts off cranky. I enjoyed his self discovery."

"It is a thoughtful story which has made me think about my own motivations and choices."

"There will be something for everyone to relate to in this story."

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Categories: Fiction, Contemporary, Relationships, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2018
Pages : 245
On the scorching February day in 2009 that became known as Black Saturday, a man lit two fires in Victoria's Latrobe Valley, then sat on the roof of his house to watch the inferno. In the Valley, where the rates of crime were the highest in the state, more than thirty people were known to police as firebugs. But the detectives soon found themselves on the trail of a man they didn't know.

The Arsonist takes readers on the hunt for this man, and inside the strange puzzle of his mind. It is also the story of fire in this country, and of a community that owed its existence to that very element. The command of fire has defined and sustained us as a species - understanding its abuse will define our future.

A powerful real-life thriller written with Hooper's trademark lyric detail and nuance, The Arsonist is a reminder that in an age of fire, all of us are gatekeepers. [Taken from book blurb, Penguin Books]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"A very well-written, well-balanced account of a devastating event. The actual victim statements interspersed throughout the story gives it a very personal touch."

"The book will appeal to readers who want to be informed about bush fires."

"I couldn't put the book down. The writer engaged my sympathy towards all of the players in this tragedy."

"With increasingly erratic climatic conditions, this is well worth reading."

"The book has lots to tell us about the effects of struggle, alienation and societal callousness towards those who are different."

"I found the whole story very personal and quite difficult to read in some parts but it made me really consider the arsonist's point of view too."

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Categories: Non fiction, Community, Contemporary, Faction, Grief/loss, Tragedy/disaster, Australia, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 308
The folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything - everything except books, that is. Thanks to Roosevelt's Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome's got its very own travelling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter.

Cussy's not only a book woman, however; she's also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy's family or the government's new book program, and along her treacherous route, Cussy faces doubters at every turn. If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the complex and hardscrabble Kentuckians, she's going to have to confront dangers and prejudice as old as the Appalachias, and suspicion as deep as the holler.

Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman's belief that books can carry us anywhere - even back home. [Taken from book cover - Sourcebooks Landmark]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"A beautiful book. It certainly makes one realise how much we have to be thankful for."

"This book is beautifully written and full of interesting historical facts about the time and place."

"Very easy to read and an intriguing story."

"It's a little slow to start and I found the ending a little abrupt, but I loved this book - definitely one of my favourites for the year."

"This remarkable novel portrays events such as mining disasters, extreme poverty, superstition and segregation."

"Well researched. The book explored some interesting historical facts and events. No negatives at all as far as I'm concerned."

"I loved Cussy Mary - such a well-written character."

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Categories: Fiction, Community, Historical, Human Rights, Inspirational, Literature oriented, Relationships, America, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2018
Pages : 320
'Bookworm', a peculiar description when you think about it, but nonetheless one many of us would be happy to claim for ourselves. Kindred spirit Lucy Mangan lives up to this sobriquet, passionately chronicling her childhood reading adventures, as well as pondering the history of writing for children.

A delightfully nostalgic memoir recalling past literary encounters and acknowledging the power of books and reading to shape our lives. A must-read for fellow bookworms.

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting this book turned out to be."

"The author gives us interesting background to the authors and their writing and looks at the importance of reading to children."

"I enjoyed the potted bios of the authors and reminiscing about books I've read."

"A helpful reading list is provided at the end should the reader wish to revisit some stories."

"A pleasant, enjoyable and easy read through familiar territory but with that little bit of history and background for interest."

"It's an easy read in a chatty "ňúdear reader' style but I found all the 'you knows' irritating."

"Perhaps one could describe this as a social commentary on middle-class reading habits."

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Categories: Non fiction, Essays/Columns, Literature oriented, Personal Interests, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 278
The year is 1942 and Odette Sansom - code name Lise - lands in occupied France to start work as an SOE agent. Hunted relentlessly by the Nazis, Odette completes mission after mission, rapidly becoming Britain's most valuable military asset. Despite beingcaptured, starved and tortured in the horrifying death camps, Odette's iron resilience never yields.

Thi sis the true story of an extraordianry spy, an unbreakable woman, and Britain's most highly decorated agent of the Second World War.

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Anyone who has an interest in espionage, biographies or British/European history of the period would find this book fascinating."

"I have read the original biography of Odette and this book elaborates on some aspects of the original due to access to German documents."

"Odette has been an iconic character in British history and this book largely does her justice."

"The author built and maintained tension and suspense well."

"I would have liked to know more about the effects of their mother's choices on her children."

"Despite growing up with tales of this woman, I knew nothing of her vicissitudes after the war or why my mother seemed vaguely disapproving of her."

"This is an interesting and worthwhile account, well worth sharing.""Anyone who has an interest in espionage, biographies or British/European history of the period would find this book fascinating."

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Categories: Non fiction, Biography, War theme, Historical, Europe, England, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2016
Pages : 391
When Nina's mother Hanna was just 20 years old, she escaped to West Germany with nothing more than a small satchel and the clothes on her back. It was the dawn of the Cold War. Hanna left her parents, siblings and everything she had ever known behind.

Forty Autumns traces the dramatic lives of the family on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Hanna eventually moved to America where she gave birth to Nina and her brother.

Years after Hanna's brave escape to the West, Nina found herself working as an Army Intelligence officer in Berlin, leading secret operations just miles away from the family her mother left behind all those years ago.

Rich in drama and beautifully evocative, Nina takes us deep into the tumultuous and stifling world of East Germany under Communist rule, revealing both the cruel reality her relatives endured and her own experiences as an intelligence officer. [Taken from book blurb - Little Brown Books]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"A story about an extraordinary family, told in splendid and graphic detail."

"There's so much to discuss with this book, but the value of freedom is its main them."

"A very revealing story - the family reunion must have been extraordinary."

"This is a piece of history that should be brought to the notice of every person valuing their political freedom."

"The many photographs in the book brought the story alive."

"This is a story that's well-told and it happened not so long ago. It's backed up with detailed facts."

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Categories: Non fiction, Family Saga, Grief/loss, Historical, Human Rights, Inspirational, Political, Relationships, Germany, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2018
Pages : 265
Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. In 1994, she and her 15-year-old sister, Claire, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years migrating through seven African countries, searching for safety - perpetually hungry, imprisoned and abused, enduring and escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive.

When Clemantine was 12, she and her sister were granted refugee status in the United States; there, in Chicago, their lives diverged. Though their bond remained unbreakable, Claire, who had for so long protected and provided for Clemantine, was a single mother struggling to make ends meet, while Clemantine was taken in by a family who raised her as their own. She seemed to live the American dream: attending private school, taking up cheerleading, and, ultimately, graduating from Yale. Yet the years of being treated as less than human, of going hungry and seeing death, could not be erased. She felt at the same time six years old and one hundred years old.

In The Girl Who Smiled Beads, Clemantine provokes us to look beyond the label of "victim" and recognize the power of the imagination to transcend even the most profound injuries and aftershocks. Devastating yet beautiful, and bracingly original, it is a powerful testament to her commitment to constructing a life on her own terms. [Taken from book blurb - Penguin Books]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"A real eye-opener to some of the realities to the genocide in Rwanda. An important read I think."

"Honest, open, shocking but not graphically brutal and a very eloquent writer. Very powerful."

"The horrors of war are there but the book is readable and sensational."

"Easy to read - she used a co-author to help make sense of all the emotions."

"The book gives a real insight into just what it means to be a refugee."

"As well as the genocide, it book also offers insights on colonialism which is relevant in Rwanda."

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Categories: Non fiction, Biography, War theme, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Grief/loss, Historical, Social commentary/perspectives, Rwanda, America, Africa, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon

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