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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 : 450
For years Bilal Hasham and his wife Mariam have lived contented, quiet lives in the sleepy rural village of Babbel's End. Now all that is about to change. On her deathbed, Bilal's mother reaches for his hand. Instead of whispering her final prayers, she gives him a task: build a mosque in his country village.

Mariam is horrified by Bilal's plan. His friends and neighbours are unnerved. As outrage sweeps Babbel's End, battle lines are drawn. His mother's dying wish reveals deeper divisions in their village than Bilal had ever imagined.

Soon Bilal is forced to choose between community and identity, between faith and friendship, between honouring his beloved mother's last wish and preserving what is held dear in the place that he calls home.

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Conversations written here credibly reflect antagonisms, doubts, resistance etc but do so with an overall effect of warmth and humanity, rather than hate."

"Several characters are sufficiently well-described to engage the reader in their individual stores, maintaining interest till the end."

"I loved this book - I could imagine the village, the people and their feelings and behaviours so easily."

"The characterisation is wonderful - perceptive and thoughtful."

"There are some very moving passages and sad moments, but also a great deal of irony and humour."

"Sympathetic insight into the discomfort that must be felt by all immigrants when they try to fit into the culture of a new country."

"It is a dry look at tolerance/intolerance, quite comical in places."

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Categories: Fiction, Community, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Grief/loss, Humour, Relationships, Religion, Uplifting, England, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 340
When Rowan stumbles across the advert, it seems like too good an opportunity to miss: a live-in nanny position, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when she arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten by the luxurious 'smart' home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn't know is that she's stepping into a nightmare - one that will end with a child dead and her in a cell awaiting trial for murder.

She knows she's made mistakes. But she's not guilty - at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

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Categories: Fiction, Community, Grief/loss, Humour, Love story, Mystery, Relationships, Suspense/Thriller, Uplifting, Scotland, England, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 258
One summer following the Second World War, Robert Appleyard sets out on foot from his Durham village. Sixteen and the son of a coal miner, he makes his way across the northern countryside until he reaches the former smuggling village of Robin Hood's Bay. There he meets Dulcie, an eccentric, worldly, older woman who lives in a ramshackle cottage facing out to sea.

Staying with Dulcie, Robert's life opens into one of rich food, sea-swimming, sunburn and poetry. The two come from different worlds, yet as the summer months pass, they form an unlikely friendship that will profoundly alter their futures. [Taken from book blurb, Bloomsbury Books]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Inspirational – the originality, the poetic language, amazing imagery, and the detailed description of the English Countryside. Beautiful."

"A beautifully written book – I think groups will love it."

"The writing in this book is poetic and atmospheric."

"The writer has a remarkable way with words and you just want to be there."

"It is full of wisdom and knowledge and the reader grows and learns along with Robert."

"A great book, but it was hard to get into. You have to persevere, but it's well worth it."

"I was hooked as soon as I read the first few sentences - how I identified with her!"

"The language in this book is amazing."

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Categories: Fiction, Community, Grief/loss, Inspirational, Love story, Relationships, England, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 335
Noah is only days away from his first trip back to Nice since he was a child when a social worker calls looking for a temporary home for Michael, his eleven-year-old great-nephew. Though he has never met the boy, he gets talked into taking him along to France.

This odd couple, suffering from jet lag and culture shock, argue about everything from steak hache to screen time, and the trip is looking like a disaster. But as Michael's sharp eye and ease with tech help Noah unearth troubling details about their family's past, both come to grasp the risks that loved ones take for one another, and find they are more akin than they knew. [Taken from book blurb - Picador Books]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"I think the author really delivered with this book."

"The characters are likeable and funny, and the story has both intrigue and humour."

"I laughed out loud at various times, it was a most enjoyable read."

"I read this book in a day. It was an easy read, intriguing, and 'feel good' without being sickly."

"A book I think many would enjoy. Easy read, funny and satisfying."

"The book is well-written and has likeable characters. I also enjoyed the historical detail."

"The book quickly grabs your attention and takes you on a gentle and interesting journey."

"Great description of tech-savvy Michael and an old-fashioned gentleman."

"It's possible the book could be too slow for some who like lots of action."

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Categories: Fiction, Contemporary, Humour, Relationships, Uplifting, France, America, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 355
Maddy is sixteen. Smart, funny, and profound, she has loyal friends, a mother with whom she's unusually close, a father she's never met, devoted grandparents, and a crush on a boy named Jack. Maddy also has cancer. Living in the shadow of uncertainty, she is forced to grow up fast.

All the Water in the World is the story of a family doing its best when faced with the worst. Told in the alternating voices of Maddy and her mother, Eve, the narrative moves between the family's lake house in Pennsylvania; their home in Washington, DC; and London, where Maddy's father, Antonio, lives.

Hungry for experience, Maddy seeks out her first romantic relationship, finds solace in music and art, and tracks down Antonio. She continually tests the depths and limits of her closeness with her mother, while Eve has to come to terms with the daughter she only partly knows, in a world she can't control. [Blurb taken from book cover, Two Books Publishers]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"I think this book would have side appeal, from Young Adult up to Adults, and also women and men."

"The sexual content in this book is handled sensitively."

"The aspects dealing with the cancer are sensitively handled, so not too hard for the squeamish."

"The story, told with alternating characters, is well-written. A very good debut novel."

"The entries by Maddy's mother brings this book to a different level - it's different to all those other books about such subjects."

"The role of the birth father compared to the stepfather adds a good twist to this story."

"This is a good story and it's not sentimental at all."

"The method of storytelling through the eyes of both Maddy and her mother gives the reader an extra insight."

"I appreciated the author not going into morbid detail over Maddy's illness. We were told enough for us to realise the seriousness without playing on our sympathy."

"The renewal of the relationship seemed a bit Mills & Boonish, but that was a brief impression and didn't last."

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Categories: Fiction, Community, Cross-over, Grief/loss, Humour, Medical/Health, Relationships, America, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 294
Eleven-year-old Allegra shuttles between her grandmothers who live next door to one another but couldn't be more different. Matilde works all hours and instils discipline, duty and restraint. She insists that Allegra focus on her studies to become a doctor.

Meanwhile free-spirited Joy is full of colour, possibility and emotion, storing all her tears in little glass bottles. She is riding the second wave of the women's movement in the company of her penny tortoise, Simone de Beauvoir, encouraging Ally to explore broad horizons and live her 'true essence'.

Allegra is left to orbit these three worlds wishing they loved her a little less and liked each other a lot more. Until one day the unspoken tragedy that's created this division explodes within the person they all cherish most.
[Taken from book blurb, Pan McMillan Books]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Very amusing despite the sadness underlying the story."

"I enjoyed it very much - it made be think of how we have different faces that we present to different people."

"Very good character portrayal, although perhaps Joy was a bit over-the-top."

"An excellent account of a troubled child in a troubled family."

"An easy to read book, but it's not 'fluffy' at all. I liked its originality."

"I thought all the characters were very interesting and the male character was presented as sympathetically as all the females."

"The presentation of the social issues, inevitably puzzling to a child, was an integral part of the story and it was done well."

"The mystery of what had led to the difficult relationships was sustained well throughout the story."

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Categories: Fiction, Contemporary, Feminism, Grief/loss, Humour, Relationships, Uplifting, Australia, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2016
Pages : 278
Fulfilling a promise to his wife Lydia, film composer Arky Levin makes his way to New York's Museum of Modern Art and Marina Abramovic's iconic performance work: one table, two chairs and the mingled gaze of the artist and participating members of the public over a seventy-five day period.

A surprising catalyst for Arky's examination of his life, the exhibition is at the heart of this original and clever story and reimagining of the actual 2010 event. It provides a fascinating backdrop to pondering profound ideas of art and life.

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"I thought this book was brilliant. The writing style flows beautifully."

It's highly original, well-written and will provoke lots of conversation."

"I so enjoyed this very original story."

"A clever plot using a real 'happening' as the basis of a very original novel."

"It has the pacing of a thriller with little bits of information to keep the reader engrossed."

"As the 75 days pass, the reader becomes anxious for Marina."

"I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book as I am not really into art."

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Categories: Fiction, Arts, The, Contemporary, Faction, Psychology, America, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 340
A bizarre abduction. A body of damning evidence. A world of betrayal. Eighteen-year-old Ellie Canning is found shivering and barely conscious on a country road, clad only in ill-fitting pyjamas. Her story of kidnap and escape quickly enthrals the nation: a middle-aged woman with a crazy old mother has held Ellie in a basement, chained her to a bed and given her drinks from an old baby's sippy cup. But who was this woman and what did she want with Ellie? And what other secrets might she hide?

When the accusation is levelled at local teacher Suzannah Wells, no one seems more bewildered than Suzannah herself ... to start with. The preposterous charge becomes manifestly more real as she loses her job and her friends. And the evidence is strong: a dementia-affected mother, a house with a basement, a sippy cup that belonged to her long-dead daughter. And Ellie Canning's DNA everywhere.

As stories about Susannah's past emerge, even those closest to her begin to doubt she's innocent. And Ellie? The media can't get enough of her. She's a girl-power icon, a social-media star. But is she telling the truth? [Taken from book blurb, Harper Collins]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"The narrative moves along at a great pace and there were times I just had to finish the chapter before turning the light out."

"I like the idea of crime thrillers but rarely enjoy read them – I enjoyed this one."

"Good pace, easy read, intriguing premise."

"I think the author captured beautifully the small-minded pettiness of life in a small town."

"A good story made better for discussion by the primary subject matter being very topical."

"Wonderfully well-drawn and utterly believable characters."

"Very well constructed plot, keeps the reader on tenterhooks and thoroughly engaged."

"While I enjoyed the book, I think the ending was a little soft."

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Categories: Fiction, Relationships, Suspense/Thriller, Australia, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2020
Pages : 378
The afternoon of her niece's fifteenth birthday party, all Lydia's worst nightmares come true. As she and her son Luca cower in a bathroom shower stall, the rest of her family is gunned down by members of Acapulco's most notorious drug cartel, to make an example of her journalist husband. Lydia's survival instincts kick in immediately, and before the bodies of her family have cooled on the patio, she and Luca are fleeing for their lives. Such is the reach of the cartels, with roadblocks on every highway and the police in their pay, that Lydia quickly realises two things: that they must cross the US/Mexico border as quickly as possible, and that they cannot risk travelling by road.

For Lydia and Luca, the most dangerous route is the only route - riding illegally atop the freight trains, known as la bestia, hidden amongst the thousands of migrants who will risk everything in the desperate hope of a new start in the United States. [Taken from book blurb, Headline Publishing]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"This book is a page-turner; a literary achievement; it is filled with poignancy, drama and humanity on every page."

"This is a deeply moving story with the full panoply of mankind at its best and worst in sensitive but detailed prose and narration. An excellent read."

"American Dirt is not an easy read, but it's an engrossing, important one."

"Well-written book. I felt as though I walked every step with Lydia."

"There is no way you will read this book and not be changed by it."

"A powerful, emotional account of a woman's fear and desperation."

"Easily one of the most thought-provoking and stunning stories I have ever read. I was captured by page one and it never let go."

"The author makes this very current narrative so real it is chilling to read."

"Impeccably researched which gives the book a full flavour but the beauty and the horror of it all comes across because the writing, the sense of it, is stunningly authentic."

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Categories: Fiction, Contemporary, Grief/loss, Social commentary/perspectives, Mexico, America, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 349
Hollywood, 1938: As soon as she learns that M-G-M is adapting her late husband's masterpiece, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, for the screen, Maud Gage Baum sets about trying to visit the set. Nineteen years after Frank's passing, Maud is the only person who can help the producers stay true to the spirit of the book - because she's the only one left who knows its secrets...

But the moment she hears Judy Garland rehearsing the first notes of 'Over the Rainbow', Maud recognizes the yearning that defined her own life story, from her rebellious youth as a suffragette's daughter to her coming of age as one of the first women in the Ivy League, from her blossoming romance with Frank to the hardscrabble prairie years that inspired his famous work.

With the young actress under pressure from the studio as well as her ambitious stage mother, Maud resolves to protect her - the way she tried so hard to protect the real Dorothy.

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"I loved this book and found it fascinating."

"It was interesting learning so many things about the original Wizard of Oz. There is much to discover in this book."

"I recommend this well-researched book to any fan of historical fiction and for fans of Oz."

"A clever approach - the book moves at a good pace and leaves the reader thinking."

"Éasy to read and it was wonderful reading about life in America, the political climate, and the hardships faced by pioneer farmers."

"Very pertinent to women. It covers 100 years and reflects both how far - and how little - distance we've come in terms of equality."

"While I enjoyed this book immensely, the story is often bleak, as good times, contentment and joy are rare occurrences."

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Categories: Fiction, Faction, Family Saga, Social commentary/perspectives, Uplifting, America, 2021 Titles - Coming Soon

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