See also: recommended new physical audiobooks
“In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerising storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms.
“Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations - and whose story inspires us to do the same.”
“When three female schoolteachers go missing in San Francisco, Detective Lindsay Boxer must unravel the mystery of their disappearance. But what starts as a missing person case quickly escalates to a troubling murder investigation.
“As pressure at work mounts, Lindsay must rely on her husband Joe to support her at home. Yet Joe is pursuing a mysterious case himself, as a woman running from her past brings him terrifying information – the notorious war criminal from her Eastern European home country has appeared on the streets of San Francisco.
“As Lindsay searches for the three missing women, a frightening new twist forces her and Joe’s investigations to collide. His mystery informant has gone missing, and all four abducted women are in grave danger. As shocking revelations emerge, Lindsay and Joe find themselves caught up in an international crime operation unlike anything they’ve seen before.
“With the help of her fierce and courageous friends in the Women’s Murder Club, Lindsay and Joe fight to save their city from the corrupt clutches of a monster.”
“Snow is falling softly as a young woman takes her last breath.
“Fifteen miles away, two women sit silently in a dark kitchen. They don’t speak, because there is nothing left to be said.
“Another woman boards a plane to escape the man who is trying to steal her life. But she will have to return, sooner or later.
“These strangers have one thing in common. They each made one bad choice – and now they have no choices left. Soon they won’t be strangers, they’ll be family…”
“When DCI Tom Douglas is called to the cold, lonely scene of a suspicious death, he is baffled. Who is she? Where did she come from? How did she get there? How many more must die? Who is controlling them, and how can they be stopped?”
“Emily Ryan has gone up in the world since her arrival in Sheffield. Brought there by her mother’s ambitious schemes for her brother, Josh, she had found work as a buffer girl polishing cutlery for the city’s famous trade. With the help of a friend, Nell, Emily eventually set up her own buffing business employing those with whom she had once worked.
“Married to Thomas Trippet - ‘Trip’ to his friends - they plan to build a life together, but when Lucy, Nell’s daughter, disappears it seems that the menace from the past is never very far away.
“Trip is now a partner with his half-brother in the Trippet family’s cutlery manufacturing business, but their success is threatened by the Great Depression of the 1930s. Can Emily keep their family and friends safe from the shadow of unemployment?
“And then comes the threat of another war…”
“Three children went out to play. Only two came back.
“The Flower Girls. Laurel and Primrose. One convicted of murder, the other given a new identity.
“Now, 19 years later, another child has gone missing. And the Flower Girls are about to hit the headlines all over again…”
“Perdita Lee may appear your average British schoolgirl; Harriet Lee may seem just a working mother trying to penetrate the school social hierarchy; but there are signs that they might not be as normal as they think they are. For one thing, they share a gold-painted, seventh-floor flat with some surprisingly verbal vegetation.
“And then there’s the gingerbread they make. Londoners may find themselves able to take or leave it, but it’s very popular in Druhástrana, the far-away (and, according to Wikipedia, non-existent) land of Harriet Lee’s early youth. In fact, the world’s truest lover of the Lee family gingerbread is Harriet’s charismatic childhood friend, Gretel Kercheval – a figure who seems to have had a hand in everything (good or bad) that has happened to Harriet since they met.
“Years later, when teenaged Perdita sets out to find her mother’s long-lost friend, it prompts a new telling of Harriet’s story, as well as a reunion or two. As the book follows the Lees through encounters with jealousy, ambition, family grudges, work, wealth, and real estate, gingerbread seems to be the one thing that reliably holds a constant value.”
“An ugly duckling as a child, Jodie Bentley had two dreams in life - to be beautiful and rich. She’s achieved the first, with a little help from a plastic surgeon, and now she’s working hard on the second. Her philosophy on money is simple: you can either earn it or marry it. Marrying is easy, it’s getting rid of the husband afterwards that’s harder, that takes real skill. But hey, practice makes perfect…
“Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is feeling the pressure from his superiors, his previous case is still giving him sleepless nights, there have been major developments with his missing wife Sandy, and an old adversary is back. But worse than all of this, he now believes a Black Widow is operating in his city. One with a venomous mind… and venomous skills. Soon Grace comes to the frightening realisation that he may have underestimated just how dangerous this lady is.”
Recording of the comic’s 2014 show.
“Thirteen years ago someone did something very bad to Anna. Now it’s her turn to get even.
“Anna lives a solitary existence, taking solace in order and routine. Her only friend is the lonely old lady next door. She doesn’t like to let people to get too close – she knows how much damage they can do.
“Then one ordinary day Anna witnesses a devastating road accident and recognises the driver as Carla, the woman who ruined her life all those years ago. Now it’s Anna’s chance to set things straight but her revenge needs to be executed carefully. First she needs to get to know Liam, the man injured in the accident. She needs to follow the police investigation. She needs to watch Carla from the shadows.
“But as Anna’s obsession with Carla escalates, her own secrets start to unravel. Is Carla really dangerous or does Anna need to worry about someone far closer to home?”
“When two 18-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry.
“Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth – and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, who she hasn’t seen in two years, since he left home to go travelling. This time it’s personal.
“And as the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think…”
“Afua Hirsch is British. Her parents are British. She was raised, educated and socialised in Britain. Her partner, daughter, sister and the vast majority of her friends are British. So why is her identity and sense of belonging a subject of debate? The reason is simply because of the colour of her skin.
“Blending history, memoir and individual experiences, Afua Hirsch reveals the identity crisis at the heart of Britain today. Far from affecting only minority people, Britain is a nation in denial about its past and its present. We believe we are the nation of abolition, but forget we are the nation of slavery. We sit proudly at the apex of the Commonwealth, but we flinch from the legacy of the Empire. We are convinced that fairness is one of our values, but that immigration is one of our problems.
“Brit(ish) is the story of how and why this came to be, and an urgent call for change.”
“In 2012, after being sexually harassed on London public transport Laura Bates, a young journalist, started a project called Everyday Sexism to collect stories for a piece she was writing on the issue. Astounded by the response she received and the wide range of stories that came pouring in from all over the world, she quickly realised that the situation was far worse than she’d initially thought. Enough was enough. From being leered at and wolf-whistled on the street, to aggravation in the work place and serious sexual assault, it was clear that sexism had been normalised. Bates decided it was time for change.
“This bold, jaunty, and ultimately intelligent book is the first to give a collective voice to the protest against sexism. This game-changing book is a juggernaut of stories, often shocking, sometimes amusing, and always poignant - it is a must-listen for every inquisitive, no-nonsense modern woman. Welcome to the fourth wave of feminism.”
“As global corporations compete for the hearts and wallets of consumers who not only buy their products but willingly advertise them from head to toe a new generation has begun to battle consumerism with its own best weapons.
“In this provocative study we learn how the Nike swoosh has changed from an athletic, status-symbol to a metaphor for sweatshop labour, how teenaged McDonald’s workers are risking their jobs to join the Teamsters, and how culture jammers utilise spray paint, computer hacking acumen and anti-propagandist wordplay to undercut the slogans and meanings of billboard ads.”
“On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
“These five strangers walk in, but only four come out alive. All of them have something to hide, but how far have they gone to protect it?”
Talking to My Daughter About the Economy: a brief history of capitalism, by Yanis Varoufakis, read by Leighton Pugh
“Why is there so much inequality? In this short book, world famous economist Yanis Varoufakis sets out to answer his daughter Xenia’s deceptively simple question. Using personal stories and famous myths – from Oedipus and Faust to Frankenstein and The Matrix – he explains what the economy is and why it has the power to shape our lives.”
“Witchfinder Shadwell and his assistant Newton Pulsifier are also en route to Tadfield to investigate unusual phenomena in the area, while Anathema Device, descendent of prophetess Agnes Nutter, tries to decipher her ancestor’s cryptic predictions.
“Atlantis is rising; fish are falling from the sky; everything seems to be going to the Divine Plan. Everything, that is, but for an unlikely angel and demon duo, who have been living on Earth for several millennia and have become rather fond of the place. If they are to prevent Armageddon they’ve got to find and kill the one who will bring it about: the Antichrist himself. There’s just one small problem: someone seems to have mislaid him…”
“Alice’s life has become a bit boring lately. Her friends are busy getting married and having babies, but she’s not ready for those changes in her own life – not even sure she still loves her boyfriend.
“Then she meets Gretchen. A brand new, fun and unencumbered friend. Gretchen knows how to have a good time and she also has a totally gorgeous brother. Before she knows it, Alice has been swept up into her new best friend’s world. But Gretchen has a dark secret. Will Alice learn the truth before she throws her old life away?”
“After a horrendous ordeal, Molly applies for a job as a Butlin’s Aunty. When she receives news that she has got the job, she immediately leaves her small home town in search of a new life in Skegness.
“Molly finds true friendship in Freda, Bunty and Plum. But the biggest shock is discovering that star of the silver screen, Johnny Johnson, is working at Butlin’s as head of the entertainment team. Johnny takes an instant liking to Molly and she begins to shed the shackles of her recent traumas. Will Johnny be just the distraction Molly needs - or is he too good be to be true?”
“He said in sickness and in health. But after Vicki was attacked at work and left suffering with epilepsy, her husband Daniel left her for his mistress.
“So when Vicki gets a call one day to say that he’s gone missing, her first thought is ‘good riddance’. But then the police find evidence suggesting that Daniel is dead. And they think Vicki had something to do with it.
“What really happened on the night of Daniel’s disappearance? And how can Vicki prove her innocence, when she’s not even sure of it herself?”
“After what happened in London, Kirsty needs a fresh start with her family. And running a guesthouse in the Welsh mountains sounds idyllic. But then their first guest arrives. Selena is the last person Kirsty wants to see. It’s seventeen years since she tore everything apart.
“Why has she chosen now to walk back into Kirsty’s life? Is Selena running from something too? Or is there an even darker reason for her visit?
“Because Kirsty knows that once you invite trouble into your home, it can be murder getting rid of it…”
“There are Heroes - and then there are Greek Heroes. Few mere mortals have ever embarked on such bold and heart-stirring adventures, overcome myriad monstrous perils, or outwitted scheming vengeful gods, quite as stylishly and triumphantly as Greek heroes.
“In this companion to his bestselling Mythos, Stephen Fry brilliantly retells these dramatic, funny, tragic and timeless tales. Join Jason aboard the Argo as he quests for the Golden Fleece. See Atalanta - who was raised by bears - outrun any man before being tricked with golden apples. Witness wily Oedipus solve the riddle of the Sphinx and discover how Bellerophon captures the winged horse Pegasus to help him slay the monster Chimera.
“Filled with white-knuckle chases and battles, impossible puzzles and riddles, acts of base cowardice and real bravery, not to mention murders and selfless sacrifices, Heroes is the story of what we mortals are truly capable of - at our worst and our very best.”
“It is 1969 and Glasgow has been brought to its knees by a serial killer spreading fear throughout the city. The Quaker has taken three women from the same nightclub and brutally murdered them in the backstreets.
“Now, six months later, the police are left chasing a ghost, with no new leads and no hope of catching their prey. They call in DI McCormack, a talented young detective from the Highlands. But his arrival is met with anger from a group of officers on the brink of despair.
“Soon another woman is found murdered in a run-down tenement flat. And McCormack follows a trail of secrets that will change the city – and his life – forever…”
“The great city of Troy is under siege as Greek heroes Achilles and Agamemnon wage bloody war over a stolen woman. In the Greek camp, another woman is watching and waiting: Briseis. She was a queen of this land until Achilles sacked her city and murdered her husband and sons. Now she is Achilles’ concubine: a prize of battle.
“Briseis is just one among thousands of women backstage in this war - the slaves and prostitutes, the nurses, the women who lay out the dead - all of them voiceless in history. But, though no one knows it yet, they are just ten weeks away from the death of Achilles and the Fall of Troy, an end to this long and bitter conflict. Briseis will see it all - and she will bear witness.”
“In September 2014 the wreck of a sailing vessel was discovered at the bottom of the sea in the frozen wastes of the Canadian Arctic. It was broken at the stern and covered in a woolly coat of underwater vegetation. Its whereabouts had been a mystery for over a century and a half. Its name was HMS Erebus.
“Now Michael Palin – former Monty Python stalwart and much-loved television globetrotter – brings this extraordinary ship back to life, following it from its launch in 1826 to the epic voyages of discovery that led to glory in the Antarctic and to ultimate catastrophe in the Arctic. He explores the intertwined careers of the men who shared its journeys: the dashing James Clark Ross who charted much of the ‘Great Southern Barrier’ and oversaw some of the earliest scientific experiments to be conducted there; and the troubled John Franklin, who at the age of sixty and after a chequered career, commanded the ship on its final, disastrous expedition. And he vividly recounts the experiences of the men who first stepped ashore on Antarctica’s Victoria Land, and those who, just a few years later, froze to death one by one in the Arctic wastes as rescue missions desperately tried to reach them.”
“When Caroline and Francis receive an offer to house swap, they jump at the chance for a week away from home. After the difficulties of the past few years, they’ve worked hard to rebuild their marriage for their son’s sake; now they want to reconnect as a couple.
“On arrival, they find a house that is stark and sinister in its emptiness – it’s hard to imagine what kind of person lives here. Then, gradually, Caroline begins to uncover some signs of life – signs of her life. The flowers in the bathroom or the music in the CD player might seem innocent to her husband but to her they are anything but. It seems the person they have swapped with is someone she used to know; someone she’s desperate to leave in her past.
“But that person is now in her home – and they want to make sure she’ll never forget…”
“In 1955, eighteen-year-old Janet Jones keeps the love she shares with her best friend Marie a secret. It’s not easy being gay in Washington, DC, in the age of McCarthyism, but when she discovers a series of books about women falling in love with other women, it awakens something in Janet. As she juggles a romance she must keep hidden and a newfound ambition to write and publish her own story, she risks exposing herself — and Marie — to a danger all too real.
“Sixty-two years later, Abby Zimet can’t stop thinking about her senior project and its subject: classic 1950s lesbian pulp fiction. Between the pages of her favourite book, the stresses of Abby’s own life are lost to the fictional hopes, desires and tragedies of the characters she’s reading about. She feels especially connected to one author, a woman who wrote under the pseudonym “Marian Love,” and becomes determined to track her down and discover her true identity.”
“London, 1941. The city is in blackout, besieged by nightly air raids from Germany. Two strangers are about to meet. Between them they may alter the course of the war.
“While the Blitz has united the nation, there is an enemy hiding in plain sight. A group of British citizens is gathering secret information to aid Hitler’s war machine. Jack Hoste has become entangled in this treachery, but he also has a particular mission: to locate the most dangerous Nazi agent in the country.
“Hoste soon receives a promising lead. Amy Strallen, who works in a Mayfair marriage bureau, was once close to this elusive figure. Her life is a world away from the machinations of Nazi sympathisers, yet when Hoste pays a visit to Amy’s office, everything changes in a heartbeat.
“Breathtakingly tense and trip-wired with surprises, Our Friends in Berlin is inspired by true events. It is a story about deception and loyalty – and about people in love who watch each other as closely as spies.”
“When forensic anthropologist Dr Tempe Brennan is approached by amateur detective Hazel ‘Lucky’ Strike, at first she is inclined to dismiss the woman’s claims that she’s matched a previously unidentified set of remains with a name.
“But as the words of a terrified young woman echo round her office from an audio recorder found near where the bones were discovered, something about the story won’t let Tempe go.
“As Tempe investigates further she finds herself involved in a case more complicated and horrifying than she could ever have imagined.”
“In a world full to bursting with would-be heroes, Jim couldn’t be less interested in saving the day. His fireballs fizzle. He’s awfully grumpy. Plus, he’s been dead for about sixty years. When a renegade necromancer wrenches him from eternal slumber and into a world gone terribly, bizarrely wrong, all Jim wants is to find a way to die properly, once and for all.
“On his side, he’s got a few shambling corpses, an inept thief, and a powerful death wish. But he’s up against tough odds: angry mobs of adventurers, a body falling apart at the seams and a team of programmers racing a deadline to hammer out the last few bugs in their AI.”
“Actors work their entire careers hoping to achieve the kind of cult movie hero status that Davis achieved at the age of eleven playing Wicket W. Warrick, the lead ewok in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. In this lively and down-to-earth memoir, Davis offers personal stories on the making of some of the most popular films of the last few decades—including the Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Leprechaun movie franchises, among many others — and shares the unique perspective of life as experienced by someone with a one-in-a-million genetic condition.”