Non-Fiction November

Non-Fiction November was created by the Federation of Children's Book Groups and is celebrated each November in honour of all things factual. This month long celebration is for those young readers who share a passion for reading about information, but also for those who have yet discovered the amazing world of factual books. Libraries are… Continue reading Non-Fiction November

Mr Golightly’s Holiday by Salley Vickers

Many years ago Mr Golightly wrote a work of dramatic fiction which grew to be an international best-seller. But his reputation is on the decline and he finds himself out of touch with the modern world.

He decides to take a holiday and comes to the ancient village of Great Calne, hoping to use the opportunity to bring his great work up to date. But he soon finds that events take over his plans and that the themes he has written on are being strangely replicated in the lives of the villagers he is staying among.

He meets Ellen Thomas, a reclusive artist, young Johnny Spence, an absconding school boy, and the tough-minded Paula who works at the local pub. As he comes to know his neighbours better, Mr Golightly begins to examine his attitude to love, and to ponder the terrible catastrophe of his son's death. And as the drama unfolds we begin to learn the true and extraordinary identity of Mr Golightly and the nature of the secret sorrow which haunts him links him to his new friends.

Mysterious, light of touch, witty and profound, ‘Mr Golightly's Holiday’ confirms Salley Vickers's reputation as one of our most original and engaging novelists.

The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society by Chris Stewart

The Good Life goes on at El Valero. Find yourself laughing out loud as Chris is instructed by his daughter on local teenage mores; bluffs his way in art history to millionaire Bostonians; is rescued off a snowy peak by the Guardia Civil; and joins an Almond Blossom Appreciation Society.

You'll cringe with Chris as he tries his hand at office work in an immigrants' advice centre in Granada, spurred into action by the arrival of four destitute young Moroccans at El Valero. And you'll never see olive oil in quite the same way again...

In this sequel to 'Lemons' and 'Parrot', Chris Stewart's optimism and zest for life is as infectious as ever.

Under a Mackerel Sky by Rick Stein

Rick Stein's childhood in 1950s rural Oxfordshire and North Cornwall was idyllic. His parents were charming and gregarious, their five children much-loved and given freedom typical of the time. As he grew older, the holidays were filled with loud and lively parties in his parents' Cornish barn. But ever-present was the unpredicatible mood of his bipolar father, with Rick frequently the focus of his anger and sadness. When Rick was 18 his father killed himself. Emotionally adrift, Rick left for Australia, carrying a suitcase stamped with his father's initials. Manual labour in the outback followed by adventures in America and Mexico toughened up the naive public schoolboy, but at heart he was still lost and unsure what to do with his life. Eventually, Cornwall called him home. From the entrepreneurial days of his mobile disco, the Purple Tiger, to his first, unlikely unlikely nightclub where much of the time was spent breaking up drink-fuelled fights, Rick charts his personal journey in a way that is both wry and perceptive; engaging and witty.

Ghosts by Daylight by Janine di Giovanni

Janine and Bruno first fell in love as young reporters in the besieged city of Sarajevo. Years later - after endless phone calls, much of what the French call malentendu, secret trysts in foreign cities, numerous break-ups, three miscarriages, countless stories of rebel armies and a dozen wars that had passed between them - they arrive in Paris one rainy January to begin a new life together. The remnants of their separate lives, now left behind, are tentatively unpacked into their shared apartment on the Right Bank: Bruno's heavy blanket from Ethiopia, a set of long feathered arrows from Brazil, an ash tray stolen from a hotel in Algeria, and Janine's flak-jacket and canvas boots, still full of sand from the Western Desert in Iraq. But having met in another lifetime - in another world - ordinary, civilian life doesn't come easily. War has become part of them: it had brought them together, and, though both are damaged by it, neither can quite leave it behind. And the difficult journey that follows, through their mix of joy and terror at becoming parents, Bruno's battle with post-traumatic stress and addiction, and Janine's determination to make France her home, leads to an understanding of the truth that people who deeply love each other cannot always live together.

A Tramp in Africa by David Lessels

Follow the trails of the Scottish explorer, David Lessels, fulfilling a dream to travel the length of Africa, confronting serious challenges to his freedom as he walked and hitch-hiked through history, in the early 1950s. Recalled with vivid clarity, this inspirational traveller's tale is studded with gems and facts - some of which may be the only written accounts of the early development of unique African cultures. This is a colorful and rich taste of Africa in the raw - share the author's thrilling experiences of an extraordinary adventure.

Our Kind of Traitor by John Le Carré

An English couple, Perry and Gail, are taking an off-peak holiday on the Caribbean island of Antigua. By seeming chance they bump into a Russian millionaire called Dima who owns a peninsula and a diamond-encrusted gold watch. He also has a tattoo on his right thumb, and wants a game of tennis.

What else he wants propels the young lovers on a tortuous journey through Paris to a safe house in the Swiss Alps, to the murkiest cloisters of the City of London and its unholy alliance with Britain's Intelligence Establishment.

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search For Everything by Elizabeth Gilbert

It's 3 a.m. and Elizabeth Gilbert is sobbing on the bathroom floor. She's in her thirties, she has a husband, a house, they're trying for a baby - and she doesn't want any of it. A bitter divorce and a turbulent love affair later, she emerges battered and bewildered and realises it is time to pursue her own journey in search of three things she has been missing: pleasure, devotion and balance. So she travels to Rome, where she learns Italian from handsome, brown-eyed identical twins and gains twenty-five pounds, an ashram in India, where she finds that enlightenment entails getting up in the middle of the night to scrub the temple floor, and Bali where a toothless medicine man of indeterminate age offers her a new path to peace: simply sit still and smile. And slowly happiness begins to creep up on her.