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Author: George Orwell

Publisher: Penguin Books (2008)

Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal.

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Author: Kenneth Steven

Publisher: Saraband (2017)

IN 2020, BRITAIN IS AT BREAKING POINT... In a country sorely divided, what happens to empathy and tolerance, to generosity of spirit? And can hope survive? In 2020, years of economic turmoil, bitter debates over immigration, and anger at the political elites have created a maelstrom, a dis-United Kingdom. The country is a bomb waiting to explode. Then it does. As the nightmare unfolds, a myriad of voices – from across the political and social spectrum – offer wildly differing perspectives on the chaotic events... and unexpectedly reveal modern Britain's soul with 20/20 acuity. Thoughtful, compassionate and sometimes provocative, Kenneth Steven's 2020 is a parable for our times.

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44 Scotland Street

Author: Alexander Mccall Smith

Publisher: Abacus (2005)

The story revolves around the comings and goings at No. 44 Scotland Street, a fictitious building in a real street in Edinburgh. 44 Scotland Street is vintage McCall Smith, tackling issues of trust and honesty, snobbery and hypocrisy, love and loss, but all with great lightness of touch. Clever, elegant and funny, this is a novel that provides huge entertainment but which is underpinned by the moral dilemmas of everyday life and the characters' struggles to resolve them.

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A Boy Called Hope

Author: Lara Williamson

Publisher: Usbourne (2014)

I'm Dan Hope and deep inside my head I keep a list of things I want to come true. For example, I want my sister, Ninja Grace, to go to university at the North Pole and only come back once a year. I want to help Sherlock Holmes solve his most daring mystery yet. And if it could be a zombie mystery, all the more exciting. I want to be the first eleven-year-old to land on the moon. I want my dog to stop eating the planets and throwing them up on the carpet. And finally, the biggest dream of all, I want my dad to love me. A Boy Called Hope is a brave, bold and funny debut about family in all its shapes and sizes.

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A Boy Made Of Blocks

Author: Keith Stuart

Publisher: Sphere (2016)

A beautiful, funny and surprising story of autism, family and love. Eight-year-old Sam has always been different - beautiful, surprising and autistic. For all he loves his family, dad Alex has always struggled to connect with Sam, and the strain has pushed Alex's marriage with Jody to the edge. So Alex moves in with his merrily irresponsible best friend on the world's most uncomfortable blow-up bed, wondering how to win back his wife and son. As Alex navigates single life, long-buried family secrets and part-time fatherhood, his son begins playing Minecraft. Sam's imagination blossoms, and the game opens up a whole new world for the two to share. Can one fragmented family put themselves back together one piece at a time? A Boy Made of Blocks is a tear-jerking, hilarious and, most of all, true-to-life novel about the power of difference and one very special little boy.

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A Brief History Of Seven Killings

Author: Marlon James

Publisher: Oneworld Publications (2015)

Seven gunmen storm Bob Marley’s house, machine guns blazing. The reggae superstar survives, but the gunmen are never caught. From the acclaimed author of The Book of Night Women comes a dazzling display of masterful storytelling exploring this near-mythic event. Spanning three decades and crossing continents, A Brief History of Seven Killings chronicles the lives of a host of unforgettable characters – slum kids, drug lords, journalists, prostitutes, gunmen and even the CIA. Gripping and inventive, ambitious and mesmerising, A Brief History of Seven Killings is one of the most remarkable and extraordinary novels of the twenty-first century.

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A Christmas Carol

Author: Charles Dickens

Publisher: (1843)

Early in 1843, as a response to a government on report on the abuse of child labourers in mines and factories, Dickens vowed he would strike a sledgehammer blow...on behalf of the Poor Man's Child. In December of that year he wrote one of his more popular books, A Christmas Carol. Through the story of the solitary miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, who is taught the true meaning of Christmas by a series of ghostly visitors, Dickens vividly defined the message of goodwill towards mankind. The book was an instant sensation and ever since its publication, it has had an enduring influence on Christmas traditions, becoming inextricably linked with our celebrations of the festival.

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A Clean Break

Author: Lee Mackenzie

Part of a series: The Brothers

Publisher: Sphere Books Limited (1976)

Based on the BBC TV series THE BROTHERS. TAKEOVER THREAT... Everyone at Hammond Transport is delighted to welcome back Brian, now recovered from the nervous collapse which had lost him his seat on the board. Strangely enough, even the usually tough and unfeeling Paul Merroney is on his side. The members of the Hammond family are united, ready to fight to stop Merroney grabbing complete control of the firm. Mary Hammond is using her charm on old Sir Neville, and if anyone has influence over Merroney it is him. Things are just beginning to look better, secure, when suddenly the shadow of a takeover bid looms large - threatening to swallow the small family business up

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A Clockwork Orange

Author: Anthony Burgess

Publisher: Penguin (1998)

In Anthony Burgess' infamous nightmare vision of youth culture in revolt, fifteen-year-old Alex and his friends set out on a diabolical orgy of robbery, rape, torture and murder. Alex is jailed for his teenage delinquency and the State tries to reform him - but at what cost?

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A Column Of Fire

Author: Ken Follett

Part of a series: Kingsbridge

Publisher: Pan Books (2018)

Christmas 1558, and young Ned Willard returns home to Kingsbridge to find his world has changed. The ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn by religious hatred. Europe is in turmoil as high principles clash bloodily with friendship, loyalty and love, and Ned soon finds himself on the opposite side from the girl he longs to marry, Margery Fitzgerald. Then Elizabeth Tudor becomes queen and all of Europe turns against England. The shrewd, determined young monarch sets up the country’s first secret service to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions and invasion plans. Elizabeth knows that alluring, headstrong Mary Queen of Scots lies in wait in Paris. Part of a brutally ambitious French family, Mary has been proclaimed the rightful ruler of England, with her own supporters scheming to get rid of the new queen. Over a turbulent half-century, the love between Ned and Margery seems doomed, as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. With Elizabeth clinging precariously to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents, it becomes clear that the real enemies – then as now – are not the rival religions. The true battle pitches those who believe in tolerance and compromise against the tyrants who would impose their ideas on everyone else – no matter the cost.

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