Catch up on the latest in Philip Pullman's fantasy world or brave the waves with Stephen Taylor's look at British maritime history with the latest eAudiobooks on our OverDrive service.
The second volume of Philip Pullman's The Book of Dust sees Lyra, now twenty years old, and her daemon Pantalaimon, forced to navigate their relationship in a way they could never have imagined, and drawn into the complex and dangerous factions of a world that they had no idea existed. Pulled along on his own journey too is Malcolm; once a boy with a boat and a mission to save a baby from the flood, now a man with a strong sense of duty and a desire to do what is right.
A brilliant telling of the history of the common seaman in the age of sail, and his role in Britain's trade, exploration, and warfare. British maritime history in the age of sail is full of the deeds of officers like Nelson but has given little voice to plain, "illiterate" seamen. Now Stephen Taylor draws on published and unpublished memoirs, letters, and naval records, including court-martials and petitions, to present these men in their own words. From exploring the South Seas with Cook to establishing the East India Company as a global corporation, from the sea battles that made Britain a superpower to the crisis of the 1797 mutinies, these "sons of the waves" held the nation's destiny in their calloused hands.
Arethusa Clayton has always been formidable, used to getting her own way. On her death, she leaves unexpected instructions. Instead of being buried in America, on the wealthy East Coast where she and her late husband raised their two children, Arethusa has decreed that her ashes be scattered in a remote corner of Ireland, on the hills overlooking the sea.
Arethusa is gone. There is no one left to tell her story. Faye feels bereft, as if her mother's whole family has died with her. Leaving her own husband and children behind, she travels to the picturesque village of Ballinakelly, determined to fulfil her mother's last wish and to find out the reason for Arethusa's insistence on being laid to rest in this faraway land.
David Nicholls's highly anticipated new novel, narrated by Rory Kinnear In 1997, Charlie Lewis is the kind of boy you don't remember in the school photograph. His exams have not gone well. At home he is looking after his father, when surely it should be the other way round, and if he thinks about the future at all, it is with a kind of dread. Then Fran Fisher bursts into his life and despite himself, Charlie begins to hope. But if Charlie wants to be with Fran, he must take on a challenge that could lose him the respect of his friends and require him to become a different person. He must join the Company. And if the Company sounds like a cult, the truth is even more appalling. The price of hope, it seems, is Shakespeare.
Welcome to The Close - a beautiful street of mansions, where gorgeous Stella is the indisputable Queen Bee . . . It is here that Laura, seeking peace and privacy after her marriage falls apart, rents a tiny studio. Unfortunately, her arrival upsets suspicious Stella - who fears Laura has designs on her fiancé, Al. When Laura stumbles on the big secret Al is hiding, suddenly Stella's perfectly controlled world, and Laura's future, are threatened. Taking a chance on beating Al at his own twisted game, these two former strangers are fast becoming friends. But has Laura forgotten that revenge always comes with a sting in the tail?
A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's quest to find out everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization - how we got from there, being nothing at all, to here, being us. His challenge is to take subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. It's not so much about what we know, as about how we know what we know. How do we know what is in the centre of the Earth, or what a black hole is, or where the continents were 600 million years ago? How did anyone ever figure these things out?
Returning home after lunch one day, Hercule Poirot finds an angry woman waiting outside his front door. She demands to know why Poirot has sent her a letter accusing her of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, a man she has neither heard of nor ever met. Poirot has also never heard of a Barnabas Pandy and has accused nobody of murder. Shaken, he goes inside, only to find that he has a visitor waiting for him - a man who also claims to have received a letter from Poirot that morning, accusing him of the murder of Barnabas Pandy. Poirot wonders how many more letters of this sort have been sent in his name. Who sent them, and why? More importantly, who is Barnabas Pandy; is he dead, and, if so, was he murdered? And can Poirot find out the answers without putting more lives in danger?
Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn't exist. After all, life isn't a scene from the movies, is it? But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there's a moment of pure magic...and then her bus drives away. Laurie thinks she'll never see the boy from the bus again. But at their Christmas party a year later, her best friend Sarah introduces her to the new love of her life. Who is, of course, the boy from the bus. Determined to let him go, Laurie gets on with her life. But what if fate has other plans? Following Laurie, Sarah and Jack through ten years of love, heartbreak and friendship, One Day in December is a joyous, heart-warming and immensely moving love story that you'll want to escape into forever.
It's Livia's 40th birthday and she's having the party of a lifetime to make up for the wedding she never had. Everyone she loves will be there except her daughter Marnie, who's studying abroad. But although Livia loves Marnie, she's secretly glad she won't be at the party. She needs to tell Adam something about their daughter but she's waiting until the party is over so they can have this last happy time together. Adam wants everything to be perfect for Livia so he's secretly arranged for Marnie to come home and surprise her on her birthday. During the day, he hears some terrible news. He needs to tell Livia, because how can the party go on? But she's so happy, so excited – and the guests are about to arrive. The Dilemma – how far would you go to give someone you love a last few hours of happiness?
Stella won't give up, but she doesn't know how to go on. Stella North, a rising star in the police, has her life torn apart by a gunman's bullets. She has often faced danger, but these injuries mean she must give up the job she loves. Her grandmother Beth is her rock. And Beth is no ordinary woman. At seventy, she runs marathons and has a past that Stella knows very little about. Beth calls in her friend Michael to help with Stella's recovery. But this man means a lot more to Beth than she reveals. And Stella's ex-husband Edward and old police partner Robbie want to help, but Stella puts up emotional barriers, and they have problems of their own. Her old friends from her days of Urbex (exploring old abandoned buildings) offer a glimmer of hope for the future.