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Recommended Reads

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When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi

At 36 and about to complete his journey from medical student to consultant neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. This is his remarkably moving story.

A Boy Made of Blocks - Keith Stuart

Alex is in crisis. He loves his wife but has forgotten how to show it. He loves his son but doesn't understand him. He has to chart a way back home. This is a moving, funny and compelling story reminiscent of David Nicholls and Nick Hornby.

Lie With Me - Sabine Durrant

Unsettling, disturbing, intriguing and expertly plotted, this is a cracking psychological thriller with some great twists.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven - Chris Cleave

Based on his grandparents' experience, and much more than a wartime romance, Cleave brings a fresh perspective to the London Blitz and the seige of Malta in this gripping novel.

The Noise of Time – Julian Barnes

Barnes proves again why he is at forefront of contemporary British fiction with this short meditation on the relationship between art and power.

Anatomy of a Soldier – Harry Parker

Anatomy of a Soldier is a moving, enlightening and fiercely dramatic novel about one man's journey of survival and the experiences of those around him. Forty-five objects, one unforgettable story.

How To Measure A Cow – Margaret Forster

The arresting title (which bears no relation to the story) is actually about a woman relocating under a false name to a drab northern town. It is a delicious slow reveal of a story as we gradually find out why, aided by a nosy neighbour just as keen as we are to know. The book also explores friendship and the complex relationship between women – a really satisfying read.

Mothering Sunday – Graham Swift

How will Jane Fairchild, orphan and housemaid, occupy her time when she has no mother to visit? Mothering Sunday has at its heart both the story of a life and the life that stories can magically contain. Graham Swift at his best.

The Children Act – Ian McEwan

A short but beautifully weighted novel about Life and Death - McEwan at his best.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North – Richard Flanagan

Set before, during and after WWII, this is the story of Dorrigo Evans - lover, surgeon, war hero and survivor of the Burma Death Railway. Very moving and a worthy Booker winner.

All That Is Solid Melts Into Air – Darragh McKeon

An extraordinary big, Russian novel written by an Irishman - set around the events at Chernobyl. Ambitious, vivid and moving.

Harvest – Jim Crace

Arguably the most polished writer of English around. A brilliant novel about the countryside and change.

Night Heron – Adam Brookes

The best British spy novel debut in years - a thriller packed with tension.

Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel

Ostensibly another post-apocalyptic novel, this is so much more. A book about what you need to survive spiritually, mentally and emotionally.