Books Just Added

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 : 2021
Pages : 393
Eccentric Lady Jane Franklin makes an outlandish offer to adventurer Virginia Reeve: take a dozen women, trek into the Arctic, and find her husband's lost expedition. Four parties have failed to find him, and Lady Franklin wants a radical new approach: put the women in charge.

A year later, Virginia stands trial for murder. Survivors of the expedition willing to publicly support her sit in the front row. There are only five. What happened out there on the ice?

Set against the unforgiving backdrop of one of the world's most inhospitable locations, author Greer Macallister uses the true story of Lady Jane Franklin's tireless attempts to find her husband's lost expedition as a jumping-off point to spin a tale of bravery, intrigue, perseverance and hope. [Taken from book cover, Sourcebooks Landmark]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Captivating. It was incredibly well researched and written.

"It's a real adventure!"

"Another really good book inspired by historical fact. A great concept for a novel."

"A fascinating story. Brilliant descriptions of snow wastes and churning seas."

"Well written. A great read."

"The reader is kept in suspense trying to understand the intrigues."

"Thank you for the opportunity to read a book such as this."

"It's got it all: intrigue, history, dramatic court case and strong women!"

Read more reviews...

Categories: Fiction, Adventure/Exploration, Faction, Feminism, Historical, Human Rights, Morals/Ethics, Relationships, Tragedy/disaster, America, 2023 Titles - Coming Soon, Arctic

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2021
Pages : 236
The story of an Aboriginal woman who worked as a police officer and fought for justice both within and beyond the Australian police force.

A proud Gunai/Kurnai woman, Veronica Gorrie grew up dauntless, full of cheek and a fierce sense of justice. After watching her friends and family suffer under a deeply compromised law-enforcement system, Gorrie signed up for training to become one of a rare few Aboriginal police officers in Australia. In her ten years in the force, she witnessed appalling institutional racism and sexism, and fought past those things to provide courageous and compassionate service to civilians in need, many Aboriginal themselves.

With a great gift for storytelling and a wicked sense of humour, Gorrie frankly and movingly explores the impact of racism on her family and her life, the impact of intergenerational trauma resulting from cultural dispossession, and the inevitable difficulties of making her way in the white- and male-dominated workplace of the police force. [Taken from book cover, Scribe Publications]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"I think this book should be standard text for social workers, health care professionals and police, both in Australia and New Zealand."

"An insightful account of an aboriginal woman who strives to overcome the issues she, and all aborigines, face."

"It's an important read, but not always easy to read. It hasn't been an easy life for her."

"Overall I enjoyed this book and was very glad I'd read it."

"Mrs Gorrie is as honest about her own short-comings as I believe her to be about those of others."

"Although inevitably traumatic at times, one is left with a better understanding of the issues of indigenous people, and it gives hope that they (and we), can find ways through."

"Without dramatisation, self-pity or undue justification, this is a book everyone should read and consider."

"A rare aboriginal voice from a strong women who 'survives' in the midst of terrible abuse."

"An eloquent expression of what it is like to be a minority in Australia."

Read more reviews...

Categories: Biography, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Human Rights, Social commentary/perspectives, Australia, 2023 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2020
Pages : 367
On a summer's day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a sudden fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home?

Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London.

Neither parent knows that Hamnet will not survive the week.

Hamnet is a novel inspired by the son of a famous playwright: a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays every written. [Taken from book cover, Tinderpress Books]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"The author is pure genius. An unforgettable book."

"It's a long time since I have read a book which I finished very slowly as I didn't want it to end."

"Beautifully structured and exquisitely descriptive sentences."

"My only complaint is that I often could not see the print through the tears."

"Everyone should read this book. Thank you for the opportunity to review it!"

"I loved the clever way the author confirms she is writing about Shakespeare without ever using his name."

"The fiction blends with the facts to present a compelling, moving story."

"The book is well written and for anyone who enjoys Shakespeare's writings, this could be an entrancing work - it certainly was for me."

Read more reviews...

Categories: Fiction, Faction, Grief/loss, Historical, Humour, Love story, Relationships, England, 2023 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 365
Chanel Miller's story changed our world forever. In 2016 Brock Turner was sentenced to just six months in jail after he was caught sexually assaulting her on Stanford's campus. His light sentencing, and Chanel's victim impact statement, which was read by eleven million people in four days, sparked international outrage and action.

Know My Name is an intimate, profoundly moving memoir that exposes a patriarchal culture biased to protect perpetrators, a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and ultimately shines with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life. Entwining pain, resilience, and humour, this breath-taking memoir will stand as a modern classic. [Taken from book cover, Penguin Books]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"A very moving and intimate account from the victim's point-of-view."

"Bold, heart-felt, honest, impactful and thorough."

"This is a very empowering account. She is a courageous woman."

"This is an account that everyone should read to understande the impact these crimes have on the victims' lives."

"Perhaps this book is not for anyone who has been traumatised by sexual assault."

"This narrative should be required reading for all young women and their mothers."

"An engaging, true and honest account. Humorous in some very difficult situations."

"It's easy to read and gives women hope for the future."

"I don't know who disappointed me more - the young man who assaulted her, or the judge!"

Read more reviews...

Categories: Biography, Contemporary, Gender Issues, Grief/loss, Human Rights, Social commentary/perspectives, True Crime, America, 2023 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2020
Pages : 242
Her husband calls her Jane. That is not her name.

She lives in a small farm cottage, surrounded by vast, open fields. Everywhere she looks, there is space. But she is trapped. No one knows how she got to the UK: no one knows she is there. Visitors rarely come to the farm; if they do, she is never seen.

Her husband records her every movement during the day. If he doesn't like what he sees, she is punished.

For a long time, escape seemed impossible. But now, something has changed. She has a reason to live and a reason to fight. Now, she is watching him, and waiting ... [Taken from book cover, Hodder Stoughton Books]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Gripping! The atmosphere of dumb menace engendered by the farmer and helpless despair felt by the woman is graphic."

"The pace of the story adds to the richness - day after day, week after week."

"Appeal does not describe the engagement of the reader. 'Appalled fascination' might be more apt."

"This is not for the squeamish, or those who do not want to care for their neighbours. Great read, though!"

"This story, although dark and hard to read at times, is gripping - a real page turner."

"Shines a light on the human trafficking trade."

"Not for those who have suffered abuse.

Read more reviews...

Categories: Fiction, Psychology, Suspense/Thriller, UK, 2023 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2020
Pages : 395
Bea's five-year-old daughter, Agnes, is slowly wasting away. The smog and pollution of the overdeveloped, overpopulated metropolis they call home is ravaging her lungs. Bea knows she cannot stay in the City, but there is only one alternative: The Wilderness State. Mankind has never been allowed to venture into this vast expanse of untamed land. Until now.

Bea and Agnes join eighteen other volunteers who agree to take part in a radical experiment. They must slowly learn how to live in the unpredictable, often dangerous Wilderness, leaving no trace on their surroundings in their quest to survive. But as Agnes embraces this new existence, Bea realises that saving her daughter's life might mean losing her in ways she hadn't foreseen. [Taken from book cover, One World Publciations]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Well told story of an imagined world. Very moving."

"Wonderful description of the wilderness environment and the people in it."

"This is a book that tugs your heart and makes you think. It's a ten from me. I was pleased to see it was long-listed for the Booker."

"It's an epic book with many interesting ideas and themes."

"Interesting study of relationships, person to person and the group."

"The relationship between Bea and Agnes is so delicately nuanced and poignant."

Read more reviews...

Categories: Fiction, Community, Dystopia/Futuristic, Environmental, Grief/loss, Relationships, Social commentary/perspectives, 2023 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 247
Hedy Lamarr possessed a stunning beauty. She also possessed a stunning mind. Could the world handle both?

Her beauty almost certainly saved her from the rising Nazi party and led to marriage with an Austrian arms dealer. Underestimated in everything else, she overheard the Third Reich's plans while at her husband's side, understanding more than anyone would guess. She devised a plan to flee in disguise from their castle, and the whirlwind escape landed her in Hollywood. She became Hedy Lamarr, screen star.

But she kept a secret more shocking than her heritage or her marriage: she was a scientist. And she knew a few secrets about the enemy. She had an idea that might help the country fight the Nazis ... if anyone would listen to her. [Taken from book blurb, Hodder & Stoughton Books]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"I don't usually like ficitonalised stories of a real person's life, but this is extremely interesting."

"Fascinating. The author has a good writing style."

"Almost unbelievable account of how women's intellect and achievements have been overlooked."

"It gives an excellent portrait of Hitler and Mussolini between the wars."

"I'd barely heard of Hedy Lamarr, but this book gave me an insight into a complex, intelligent, inventive and clever woman, determined to do her best for the world."

"It was fascinating to learn about her frequency-hopping invention."

"The writing style was easy to read and absorbing."

"I think the book would be an excellent catalyst for discussion."

Read more reviews...

Categories: Fiction, War theme, Grief/loss, Historical, Political, Science & Technology, Social commentary/perspectives, Austria, America, 2023 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2021
Pages : 288
Clara's sister is missing. Angry, rebellious Rose, had a row with their mother, stormed out of the house and simply disappeared. Eight-year-old Clara, isolated by her distraught parents' efforts to protect her from the truth, is grief-stricken and bewildered.

Liam Kane, newly divorced, newly unemployed, newly arrived in this small northern town, moves into the house next door, a house left to him by an old woman he can barely remember and within hours gets a visit from the police. It seems he's suspected of a crime.

At the end of her life Elizabeth Orchard is thinking about a crime too, one committed thirty years ago that had tragic consequences for two families and in particular for one small child. She desperately wants to make amends before she dies.

Set in Northern Ontario in 1972, A Town Called Solace explores the relationships of these three people brought together by fate and the mistakes of the past. By turns gripping and darkly funny, it uncovers the layers of grief and remorse and love that connect us, but shows that sometimes a new life is possible. [Taken from book cover, Vintage Books]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Much of the success of this novel lies in the author's ability to accurately enter the minds of a seven year-old child, a 35 year old man, and an 80 year old woman."

"Another lovely Mary Lawson book. The reader is drawn into the story and cares about the lives of the characters."

"Easy to read and well crafted."

"The author has an empathetic way with each character and gives them their own voice to tell the story."

"The book elicits sympathy for each character, major and minor."

"The element of mystery is well-sustained throughout."

"The mundane, unremarkable, daily happenings of a small remote town are told lovingly."

Read more reviews...

Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Relationships, Canada, 2023 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Non Fiction: New Zealand
Year : 2021
Pages : 304
With a husband and two children, 1200 sheep and 400 cattle, farm dogs and pet lambs, pigs bent on excavation and a goat bent on escape, country life is never dull.

From calving cows to constipated dogs, weddings to weaning lambs, daffodils to ducklings to droughts, each season brings new challenges and delights.

Sometimes it's exhausting but it's almost always a lot of fun - anyway, it's all part and parcel of the life of a Kiwi mother, famer's wife and vet. [Taken from book cover, Harper Collins Publishers]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"A fun read. I enjoyed the author's style of writing, her wonderful honesty, willingness to describe major mistakes and at times judgemental thoughts. I found myself laughing a good deal of the time."

"I loved the book and am absolutely in awe of rural women."

"I think most readers would get a lot out of this. It certainly gives driving through the countryside an added dimension!"

"Underpinning the narrative is a constant sense of humour, sometimes self-deprecating, sometimes rueful."

"The book has humour and the writing flows and engages the reader."

"It's not a demanding read and perhaps would appeal more to people in urban areas who often wonder what life in the country is like."

"While the author is a vet, this is not a Herriot-style book. We learn of her everyday domestic lifestyle as a woman in the country, what the kids are doing at school and what's for dinner."

Read more reviews...

Categories: Non Fiction - New Zealand, Biography, Community, Contemporary, Environmental, Medical/Health, Relationships, 2023 Titles - Coming Soon

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2021
Pages : 448
Washington, DC, 2019: Laura Preston is a reclusive artist at odds with her older sister Bea as their elegant, formidable mother slowly slides into dementia. When a stranger contacts Laura claiming to be her brother who disappeared forty years earlier when the family lived in Bangkok, Laura ignores Bea's warnings of a scam and flies to Thailand to see if it can be true. But meeting him in person leads to more questions than answers.

Bangkok, 1972: Genevieve and Robert Preston live in a beautiful house behind a high wall, raising their three children with the help of a cadre of servants. In these exotic surroundings, Genevieve strives to create a semblance of the life they would have had at home in the US - ballet and riding classes for the children, impeccable dinner parties, a meticulously kept home. But in truth, Robert works for American intelligence, Genevieve finds herself drawn into a passionate affair with her husband's boss, and their serene household is vulnerable to unseen dangers in a rapidly changing world and a country they don't really understand.

Alternating between past and present as all of the secrets are revealed, What Could Be Saved is an unforgettable novel about a family shattered by loss and betrayal, and the beauty that can exist even in the midst of brokenness. [Taken from book blurb, Allen & Unwin]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"I really enjoyed this read. It's so well told."

"The descriptions of life in Thailand are very illuminating, as is the picture drawn of expat life in the 1970s."

"Beautiful writing and impressive metaphors."

"While I enjoyed the book very much, I did find it emotionally draining, I became so caught up with it."

"Well-written book. The description of Bangkok society in 1972 is very revealing."

"The tension and suspense builds up. It's very well done."

"There are references to sex and violence but not overly descriptive."

Read more reviews...

Categories: Fiction, Family Saga, Grief/loss, Relationships, Suspense/Thriller, Tragedy/disaster, Thailand, America, 2023 Titles - Coming Soon

The Book Discussion 
Scheme is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations in Aotearoa New Zealand
BDS is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations