When you start a Murakami story you don’t really know what you are going to get. Most of his stories are set in modern Japan, and are filled with intriguing characters. These include a man in the novel ‘Kafka on the shore’ who always refers to himself in the third person, “Nakata loves eel”, and has the ability to talk to cats. Another is Tsukuru Tazaki, socially isolated and trying to work out why his school friends abandoned him many years ago. Murakami’s books are quirky, surreal and unconventional.
To see Haruki Murakami’s books on our online catalogue click here.
Fredrik Backman stories are quirky and upbeat, telling the tales of a diverse group of eccentric characters in modern-day Sweden. From obsessive compulsive Britt-Maree taking on the challenges of single life to a young girl exploring the magical and real world created by her grandmother, Backman novels are both funny and heartwarming. These books deal with real life issues whilst being light-hearted and entertaining. A totally different kind of setting to the darker side of Sweden we know from the Wallander and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series!
To see Fredrik Backman’s books on our online catalogue, click here.
Reading a Roald Dahl book is a wonderful experience for children and adults alike. When looking for role models for children, it is hard to find better than Matilda, Charlie (and his chocolate factory), Danny (the champion of the world) or James (and his giant peach). I remember reading them as a child and even now I would count Fantastic Mr. Fox as one of my all-time favourite stories. Adults might want to seek out some of his adult fiction and autobiographical works. Totally different but equally enjoyable.
To see Roald Dahl’s books on our online catalogue click here.
The Museum of Broken Relationships gives a fascinating insight into the connection between people and the things that are often left after separation from those who we love. From stuffed toys to kitchen utensils, hand-written letters to breast implants, this book presents 203 items and the stories behind them that were donated to the two Museums of Broken Relationships. Funny, sad, bizarre and inspiring, this book invokes different emotions with each page and is hard to put down.
To see The Museum of Broken Relationships on our Online Catalogue, click here.
If you are looking for moving narratives that really make you think about and re-
evaluate your own priorities, Mitch Albom books (both fiction and non-fiction) are perfect. The classic non-fiction book Tuesdays with Morrie, where Mitch carries out a succession of interviews with his dying former teacher, was really moving and made me an avid reader of his fiction novels. Each conveys a profound message of self-reflection whilst also being enjoyable to read.
To see our collection of Mitch Albom books, click here.
Harris novels are impressive in the way in which they set a vivid scene at different points in history, real or imaginary. Whether it is Ancient Rome or an author-created 1960s Nazi Germany, the attention to detail and exciting plots make for a gripping read.
Not all of his novels are set in the past. The fear index is an enjoyable fast paced thriller and a race against time set in the modern day.
The one thing his books have in common is the rich detail and the degree of research that has gone into making a good story.
To see our collection of Robert Harris books, click here.
For spy and thriller novels set in 1930’s and 1940’s Germany, it is hard to find a better series than those featuring John Russell, written by David Downing.
Named after each Berlin train station during the period, the stories have a backdrop of peace, war and the aftermath that enveloped the city. The evolution and destruction of Berlin is interwoven with fast-paced plots and interesting recurring characters. Really enjoyable reads.
I read all six in succession and I am still disappointed that the series ended.
To see our collection of David Downing books, click here.