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Readers' group sets of books - authors M to R

These books are free to borrow from Medway Libraries. Select the title and it will open up in a new window on the books' page on the Amazon website, which gives a review of the book and often the first few pages.

Author Title Copies Notes

Matar, Hisham

Anatomy of a Disappearance

12

Nuri is a young boy when his mother dies. It seems that nothing will fill the emptiness that her strange death leaves behind in the Cairo apartment he shares with his father. Until Mona! 

McCall Smith, Alexander

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

12
(Also available on CD Audiobook)

If you've got a problem, and no one else can help you, then pay a visit to Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's only - and finest - female private detective.

McCall Smith, Alexander

The Kalahari Typing School for Men

12
(Also available on CD Audiobook)

In this novel, full of gentle humour and wisdom, Mma Ramotswe deals with two clients, one of whom committed a minor crime many years ago and for which he now wants to make amends, and one of whom is worried about a philandering husband. Both cases require the utmost in tact and sensitivity.

McCarthy, John

 A Ghost Upon Your Path

12
(Also available in large print)

Autobiography: When McCarthy sets up home in a wild and isolated corner of County Kerry where his ancestors were living a thousand years before, he realises that he is about to undertake not only a journey into that small rural community but also into his own history and his family.

MacDonald, Lyn

To the Last Man, Spring 1918

12

This book describes the first months of 1918 when the stalemate of the trenches was brought to an end by a massive German assault on the Western Front, breaking the British line, providing an account of the battle, the stand at Amiens which stopped the offensive and the story of the men involved.

McEwan, Ian

Atonement

11
(Also available in large print)

On the hottest day of the summer of 1934, 13-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge. By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever.

Martel, Yan

Life of Pi

10
(Also available in large print, as an eBook and as a CD audio book)

After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a 16-year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan - and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger.

Martin, Andrew

The Necropolis Railway

12

A chance encounter leads young Jim Stringer, a railway porter, to move from Yorkshire to Waterloo, and a better job. But the London of 1903 is a world of garish pubs and tawdry brothels, boxed in by towering blank-faced factories.

Maugham, W S

Short Stories

12

The stories in this collection move from Malaya to America and England, and include some of Maugham's most famous tales.

Meloy, Maile

Liars and Saints

12

Set in California, the narrative follows four generations of the Santerre family from the Second World War to the present as they navigate a succession of life-changing events.

Miller, Andrew

Ingenious Pain

12

At the dawn of the Enlightenment, James Dyer is born unable to feel pain. A source of wonder and scientific curiosity as a child, he rises through the ranks of Georgian society to become a brilliant surgeon. Yet as a human being he fails, for he can no more feel love and compassion than pain.

Miller, Sue

The Senator's Wife

8

Love came late to Meri, but in a rush: she met Nathan at 36, he moved in a month later, and they married a month after that. Now they are moving to New England and a house of their own - a new life that Meri is not sure she even wants.

Mistry, Rohinton

Family Matters

6

Nariman Vakeel, a 79-year-old Parsi widower, beset by Parkinson's disease and haunted by memories of the past, lives in a once-elegant apartment with his two middle-aged stepchildren. When his condition worsens he is forced to take up residence with Roxana, his own daughter, her husband, Yezad, and their two young sons.

Mitchell, David

Black Swan Green

11
(Also available in large print and on CD audio book)

January, 1982. Thirteen-year-old Jason Taylor – covert stammerer and reluctant poet – anticipates a stultifying year in his backwater English village. But he hasn’t reckoned with bullies, simmering family discord, the Falklands War, a threatened gypsy invasion and those mysterious entities known as girls.

Mosse, Kate

Labyrinth

12
(Also available in large print and on CD audio book)

When Dr Alice Tanner discovers two skeletons during an archaeological dig in southern France, she unearths a link with a horrific and brutal past.

Moyes, JoJo

Night Music

12
(Also available in large print)

The Spanish House is a hotchpotch of designs, Georgian, Gothic and Moorish, as if whoever started it had simply got bored. It has long been known as an architectural folly to locals, and is now nearly derelict to boot. When its reclusive owner dies intestate the house is left to his city-dwelling niece. For Isabel, recently widowed, the house is a potential lifeline

Murphy, Dervia

Tibetan Foothold

10

In July 1963 Dervla Murphy arrived in a sweltering Delhi by bicycle. Deciding that the heat precluded further cycling until November, she worked in Tibetan refugee camps in Northern India. Using extracts from the diaries she kept at the time, Dervla describes the day-to-day life in the camps where hundreds of children are living in squalor while a handful of dedicated volunteers do their best to feed and care for them, attempting to keep disease at bay with limited resources.

Murphy, Margaret

Darkness Falls

12

Clara Pascal had everything. A high-flying barrister and devoted mother, she was envied and admired by her peers. Now, robbed of everything that gives her life meaning, she lies chained to the stone wall of a dark cellar - without food, without warmth, without sleep, without even the most basic communication, for her kidnapper will not even tell her what he wants from her.

Murphy, Margaret

Weaving Shadows

11

A woman is beaten to death. A man is shot in cold blood. A crooked cop taking backhanders Barrister Clara Pascal thought she was taking on a simple child custody case. Traumatised by her own experiences as a kidnap victim, Clara works to keep the shadows of the past from affecting her friends, family and work. But the dreams don't get any easier and the past won't go away.

Nafisi, Azar

Reading Lolita in Tehran

12
(Also available as an eBook)

This is the true story of seven young women in Tehran who came to Azar Nafisi's house every Thursday morning for two years to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature including Pride and Prejudice, Daisy Miller and Lolita.

Nair, Anita

Ladies Coupe

12(Also available in large print)

Meet Akhilandeswari, Akhila for short: 45 and single, an income tax clerk, and a woman who has never been allowed to live her own life - always the daughter, the sister, the aunt, the provider. Until the day she gets herself a one-way ticket to the seaside town of Kanyakumari.

Newby, Eric

A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush

12

Eric Newby's travels from Mayfair to the mountains of the Hindu Kush, north-east of Kabul, offering insight into the numerous eccentric characters and adventures he met along the way, and descriptions of the spectacular wilderness of Afghanistan.

Niffenegger, Audrey

 

Her Fearful Symmetry

12

Julia and Valentina Poole are normal American teenagers - normal, at least, for identical 'mirror' twins who have no interest in college or jobs or possibly anything outside their cozy suburban home. But everything changes when they receive notice that an aunt whom they didn't know existed has died and left them her flat in an apartment block overlooking Highgate Cemetery in London. They feel that at last their own lives can begin ... but have no idea that they've been summoned into a tangle of fraying lives, from the obsessive-compulsive crossword setter who lives above them to their aunt's mysterious and elusive lover who lives below them, and even to their aunt herself, who never got over her estrangement from the twins' mother - and who can't even seem to quite leave her flat....
With Highgate Cemetery itself a character and echoes of Henry James and Charles Dickens, Her Fearful Symmetry is a delicious and deadly 21st-century ghost story about Niffenegger's familiar themes of love, loss and identity. It is certain to cement her standing as one of the most singular and remarkable novelists of our time.

Niffenegger, Audrey

The Time Travellers Wife

11
(Also available in large print and on CD audio book)

This extraordinary, magical novel is the story of Clare and Henry who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-two and Henry thirty. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself pulled suddenly into his past or future.

Oates, Joyce Carol

The Falls

6

This is a tale of murder, loss and romance in the mist of Niagara Falls.

Obama, Barak

Dreams From My Father

10
(Also available in large print and as an eBook)

The son of a black African father and a white American mother, Obama was only two years old when his father walked out on the family. Many years later, Obama receives a phone call from Nairobi: his father is dead. This sudden news inspires an emotional odyssey for Obama, determined to learn the truth of his father's life and reconcile his divided inheritance.

O'Farrell, John

The Man who Forgot his Wife

12 (Also available as an eBook and on CD audio book)

 When forty-something Vaughan suffers total memory loss, he is told that his breakdown has probably been triggered by his marital problems. But then he comes face to face with the stranger he's supposed to be divorcing - and promptly falls head over heels

O'Hagan, Andrew

Our Fathers

4

The theme of this Scottish Catholic novel is the collision of the old Scotland of municipal socialism and the new.

Osborne, John

Look Back in Anger

6

On May 8,1956, Look Back in Anger opened at the Royal Court Theatre to violently mixed reviews. Set in a one-room Midlands flat, it consists of a series of tirades by Jimmy Porter against middle class inertia.

Parsons, Tony

Man and Boy

12
(Also available in large print and on CD audio book)

A fabulously engaging and exciting novel about a man who has to learn about life and love the hard way.

Parsons, Tony

Man and Wife

12
(Also available on CD audio book)

A novel about love and marriage -- about why we fall in love and why we marry; about why we stay and why we go.

Parsons, Tony

One for my Baby

10
(Also available on CD audio book)

Alfie Budd found the perfect woman with whom to spend the rest of his life, and then lost her. He doesn't believe you get a second chance at love.

Patchett, Anne

State of Wonder

12 (Also available as an eBook)

There were people on the banks of the river. Among the tangled waterways and giant anacondas of the Brazilian Rio Negro, an enigmatic scientist is developing a drug that could alter the lives of women for ever. Dr Annick Swenson's work is shrouded in mystery; she refuses to report on her progress, especially to her investors.

Paxman, Jeremy

The English

12
(Also available as an eBook)

The combative television interviewer asks the question: Who or what exactly are the English? Anecdotes deal with the English attitude to foreigners, sport, language, their enjoyment of persecution, their odd attitudes to sex and food, and their capacity for hypocrisy.

Penny, Stef

The Tenderness of Wolves

12
(Also available in large print and on CD audio book)

It is 1867, Canada: as winter tightens its grip on the isolated settlement of Dove River, a man is brutally murdered and a 17-year old boy disappears.

Philips, Marie

Gods Behaving Badly

12
(Also available in large print)

Being immortal isn't all it's cracked up to be. Life's hard for a Greek god in the 21st century: nobody believes in you any more, even your own family doesn't respect you, and you're stuck in a dilapidated hovel in north London with too many siblings and not enough hot water. But for Artemis (goddess of hunting, professional dog walker), Aphrodite (goddess of beauty, telephone sex operator) and Apollo (god of the sun, TV psychic) there's no way out...Until a meek cleaner and her would-be boyfriend come into their lives, and turn the world literally upside down.

Pollen, Bella

Hunting Unicorns

12
(Also available in large print)

American Maggie Monroe is a journalist for New York's hard-hitting current affairs show Newsline. Independent and fearless, the more cutting-edge the story, the happier she is.

Pratchett, Terry

Equal Rites

12
(Also available in large print and on CD audio book)

The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately for his colleagues in the chauvinistic (not to say misogynistic) world of magic, he failed to check on the new-born baby's sex...This is a third hilarious adventure by the author of "The Colour of Magic" and "The Light Fantastic."

Priest, Christopher

The Separation

12

This is the story of twin brothers, rowers in the 1936 Olympics.

Prior, Lily

Ardour

12
(Also available in large print)

When a lonely olive grower sows seeds of love in search of romance, he cannot know the chaos he will cause. Instead of the voluptuous woman of his dreams, the District Health Authority mule, Gezabel, falls head over hooves in love with him.

Prior, Lily

Nectar

12
(Also available in large print)

Romona Drottoveo is an Italian chambermaid whose skin exudes an intoxicating scent. This unusual asset makes her irresistible to men and despised by women but her infidelity on her wedding night brings bad luck to the village and she is exiled - until her scent unexpectedly vanishes.

Quinn, Karen

The Ivy Chronicles

12
(Also available in large print)

Having lost her high-powered Wall Street job, her husband and her plush Park Avenue apartment in one afternoon, Ivy Ames emerges broken but unbowed. The newly-single mother-of-two picks herself up, dusts herself down and reinvents herself as a private school admissions adviser whose well-heeled clients will do (literally) anything to get their children into the A-list schools.

Rattigan, Terence

The Browning Version

12

This play is about an unpopular and unloved classics master at a public school in the 1940s. Deserted by his wife and on the verge of retirement, Crocker-Harris finds a form of redemption in an unexpected parting gift from a previously disregarded pupil - a secondhand copy of Robert Browning's translation of the Agamemnon.

Rhys, Jean

Wide Sargasso Sea

12
(Also available in large print)

Set in the lush, beguiling landscape of Jamaica in the 1830s. Born into an oppressive, colonialist society, Creole heiress Antoinette Cosway meets a young Englishman who is drawn to her innocent sensuality and beauty. After their marriage the rumours begin, poisoning her husband against her.

Richards, Ben

The Mermaid and the Drunks

12

Fresia Castillo's father left Chile smuggled in the boot of a car; her mother crossed the Andes by bus with two small children. Fresia, a photographer, has lived all of her life in Britain, but following the death of her father, she has decided it is time to return.

Robertson, James

The Testament of Gideon Mack

12
(Also available in large print, as an eBook and as a CD audio book)

For Gideon Mack, faithless minister, unfaithful husband and troubled soul, the existence of God, let alone the Devil, is no more credible than that of ghosts or fairies.