January 2014: Casino Royale by Ian Fleming James Bond – the original James Bond. This slim book makes compelling and sometimes uncomfortable reading.
February 2014: To Defy a King by Elizabeth Chadwick
March 2014: The Host by Stephanie Meyer
April 2014: Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine
May 2014: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
June 2014: The Snow Spider by Jenny Nimmo. Written primarily for children, this is the first book in a magical fantasy trilogy. On his ninth birthday, Gwyn is given a brooch and told to cast it into the wind. Later he discovers the wind has sent something back: the snow spider. So begins Gwyn’s journey as a magician.
July 2014: Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter. First published in 1984 and that year’s winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction, this novel focuses on the life and exploits of Sophie Fevvers, a woman who is – or so she would have people believe – a Cockney virgin, hatched from an egg laid by unknown parents and ready to develop fully fledged wings. At the time of the story, she has become a celebrated aerialiste, and she captivates the young journalist Jack Walser, who runs away with the circus and falls into a world that his journalistic exploits had not prepared him to encounter.
August 2014: The Other Hand by Chris Cleave
September 2014: An Apology for Idlers by Robert Louis Stevenson
October 2014: The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux. The Mystery of the Yellow Room (in French Le mystère de la chambre jaune) by Gaston Leroux, is one of the first locked room mystery crime fiction novels. It is the first novel starring fictional reporter Joseph Rouletabille, and concerns a complex and seemingly impossible crime in which the criminal appears to disappear from a locked room. Leroux provides the reader with detailed, precise diagrams and floorplans illustrating the scene of the crime. The emphasis of the story is firmly on the intellectual challenge to the reader, who will almost certainly be hard pressed to unravel every detail of the situation.