Talking Books latest reads: February

Listen to audio clips from the most exciting new additions to our digital Talking Books library and borrow the books to read in your own time!

This month, we have books from some of the biggest names in literature, including Margaret Atwood, Cecelia Ahern, Ian McEwan and Helen Fielding. We also have Bake-Off champion Nadiya Hussain's debut as a novelist and the instant hit Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough.

Happy reading!

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

What do you do when a girlfriend's 60th birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend's 30th? Is it wrong to lie about your age when online dating? Is sleeping with someone after 2 dates and 6 weeks of texting the same as getting married after 2 meetings and 6 months of letter writing in Jane Austen's day? Pondering these, and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of single-motherhood, tweeting, texting and redisovering her sexuality in what SOME people rudely and outdatedly call 'middle age'.

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This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB23513)

Haatchi and Little B by Wendy Holden

On a bitterly cold night in January 2012, Haatchi the dog was hit over the head and abandoned on a railway line to be hit by a train. Somehow, the terrified puppy survived. Adopted by Colleen Drummond and Will Howkins, respectively the dad and stepmum of Owen (known to his family as Little B for 'little buddy'), the lucky dog moved into the Howkins' family home just six weeks after almost being killed. Owen, now aged eight, has a rare genetic disorder and is largely confined to a wheelchair. When he awoke the morning after Haatchi arrived he immediately fell in love with the severely disabled rescue animal who would, in turn, rescue him.

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This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB23520)

Saving Bletchley Park by Dr Sue Black

Imagine a Britain without Bletchley Park, where Alan Turing and a team of code breakers changed the course of World War II, and where thousands of women inspired future generations with their work in the fields of computing and technology. Seventy years after the birth of the modern computer at Bletchley Park, a group of extraordinary people used technology to spark a social media campaign that helped secure its future and transform it into the world-class heritage and education centre it deserves to be.

Listen to an audio sample from Saving Bletchley Park about the author - Dr Sue Black (media player opens in a new window)

Listen to Dr Sue Black read an extract from Saving Bletchley Park (media player opens in a new window)

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This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB23268)

Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood

A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband. An elderly lady with Charles Bonnet's syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly-formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. A woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire. And a crime committed long-ago is revenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion year old stromatalite. In these nine tales, Margaret Atwood ventures into the shadowland earlier explored by fabulists and concoctors of dark yarns such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Daphne du Maurier and Arthur Conan Doyle.

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This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB23297)

The Blind Man of Hoy by Red Szell

Middle aged, by now a family man, crime novelist and occasional radio personality, Red Széll's life nonetheless felt incomplete. He was still climbing, but only indoors, until he shared his old, unforgotten dream with his buddies, Matthew and Andres, and it became obvious that an attempt had to be made to climb the Old Man of Hoy. This book tells how, with the help of mountain guides Martin Moran and Nick Carter, and adventure cameraman Keith Partridge, supported by family and an ever growing following, Red set out to confront the Orcadian giant.

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This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB23563)

Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern

Deep in the woods of the south-west of Ireland, a young woman lives alone, forever secluded from the world, her life a well-kept secret. She possesses an extraordinary talent, the likes of which no-one has seen before: a gift that will earn her the nickname Lyrebird. When Solomon stumbles into Laura's solitary existence, her life is turned on its head. Pulled from her peaceful landscape to the cacophony of Dublin, she is confronted by a world desperate to understand her. But while Solomon knows the world will embrace Laura, will it free her to spread her wings - or will it trap her in a gilded cage?

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This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB23654)

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

Fiona Maye is a respected High Court judge, renowned for her exactitude and calm professionalism. But when her husband of 30 years shocks her with an unreasonable request, she finds her life in crisis. At precisely the same time, she is ordered to try a new case. It is an urgent matter of life and death, bringing science and religion into direct conflict - and at its centre is a beautiful adolescent boy with the whole of his life ahead of him. Exactly the kind of case where a small error of judgement might have grave and lasting consequences.

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This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB23530)

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favoured by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not - their gifts make them vulnerable to others' control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

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Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But all that changes when she meets David Young, successful and charming - Louise cannot believe a man like him would look at her twice, let alone be attracted to her. But that all comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife, Adele. She becomes obsessed by this flawless couple, entangled in the intricate web of their marriage. Just what terrible secrets are they both hiding and how far will they go to keep them?

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This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB23672)

The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters by Nadiya Hussain

The four Amir sisters - Fatima, Farah, Bubblee and Mae - are the only young Muslims in the quaint English village of Wyvernage. On the outside, despite not quite fitting in with their neighbours, the Amirs are happy. But on the inside, each sister is secretly struggling. Fatima is trying to find out who she really is - and after fifteen attempts, finally pass her driving test. Farah is happy being a wife, but longs to be a mother. Bubblee is determined to be an artist in London, away from family tradition, and Mae is coping with burgeoning Youtube stardom. Yet when family tragedy strikes, it brings the Amir sisters closer together and forces them to learn more about life, love, faith and each other than they ever thought possible.

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This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB23670)

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