The Hazards of Time Travel with eAudiobook Fiction!

Hazards of time travel

If you’re a fan of The Handmaid’s Tale, good news! Overdrive has added another dystopian masterpiece to its eAudiobook collection: Hazards of Time Travel by the legendary Joyce Carol Oates. Hazards of Time Travel tells the story of a near-future America where the punishment for challenging the state is to be separated from your friends, family and even your own name–by being sent back in time to the 1950s! There are also classics from Agatha Christie, Karl Ove Knausgaard and Alice Munro as well as the excellent new Things We Lost in the Fire. Enjoy!

Overdrive cover Hazards of Time Travel, by Joyce Carol Oates
“When a recklessly idealistic girl in a future society dares to test the perimeters of her world, she is punished by being sent back in time to a region of North America–Wainscotia, Wisconsin–that existed 80 years before. Cast adrift in time, she is set upon a course of ‘rehabilitation’–but she falls in love with a fellow exile and starts to question the constraints of her new existence, with results that are both devastating and liberating.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Dear Life, by Alice Munro
“Moments of change, chance encounters, twists of fate that create a new way of thinking or being: the stories in Dear Life build to form a radiant, indelible portrait of just how dangerous and strange ordinary life can be. The collection includes four powerful pieces, including ‘Autobiographical in Feeling’, set during the time of Munro’s own childhood.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover My Struggle, by Karl Ove Knausgaard
My Struggle: Book One introduces readers to the audacious, addictive and profoundly surprising international literary sensation that is the provocative and brilliant six-volume autobiographical novel by Karl Ove Knausgaard. It has already been anointed a Proustian masterpiece and is the rare work of dazzling literary originality that is intensely, irresistibly readable.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Pieces of Her, by Karin Slaughter
“Andrea Oliver’s mother, Laura, is the perfect small-town mum. Laura lives a quiet but happy life in sleepy beachside Belle Isle. She’s a pillar of the community. But when Andrea is caught in a random violent attack at a shopping mall, Laura intervenes and acts in a way that is unrecognisable to her daughter. It’s like Laura is a completely different person–and that’s because she was. Thirty years ago. Before Andrea. Before Belle Isle…” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Murder in Mesopotamia, by Agatha Christie
“It was clear to Amy Leatheran that something sinister was going on at the Hassanieh dig in Iraq; something associated with the presence of ‘Lovely Louise’, wife of celebrated archaeologist Dr Leidner. In a few days’ time Hercule Poirot was due to drop in at the excavation site. But with Louise suffering from terrifying hallucinations, and tension within the group becoming almost unbearable, Poirot might just be too late… ” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Spare Room, by Helen Garner
“Helen lovingly prepares her spare room for her friend Nicola. She is coming to visit for three weeks, to receive treatment she believes will cure her cancer. From the moment Nicola staggers off the plane, gaunt and hoarse but still somehow grand, Helen becomes her nurse, her guardian angel and her stony judge. The two women—one sceptical, one stubbornly serene—negotiate an unmapped path towards the novel’s terrible and transcendent finale.”
(Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Things We Lost in the Fire, by Mariana Enriquez
“An arresting collection of short stories, reminiscent of Shirley Jackson and Julio Cortazar, by an exciting new international talent.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett
“Susan had never hung up a stocking. She’d never put a tooth under her pillow in the serious expectation that a dentally inclined fairy would turn up. It wasn’t that her parents didn’t believe in such things. They didn’t need to believe in them. They know they existed. They just wished they didn’t.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover True Grit, by Charles Portis
“Mattie Ross, a fourteen-year-old girl from Dardanelle, Arkansas, sets out to avenge her Daddy who was shot to death by a no-good outlaw. Mattie convinces one-eyed “Rooster” Cogburn, the meanest U.S. marshal in the land, to ride along with her. In True Grit, we have a true American classic, as young Mattie–as vital as she is innocent–outdickers and outmaneuvers the hard-bitten men of the trail in a legend that will last through the ages.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Half a Creature from the Sea: eBook Fiction for the Holidays!

Perfume eBook cover

When the food is done and the relatives have gone and you’ve finally cleaned away the dishes, the best bit of the holidays can finally begin: reading all your new books! But you don’t want to read just any book, you need one with the proper spirit–and that’s exactly what we’ve included in this list! From the snowy solstice of The Dark is Rising to the family politics of The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green, each of these titles has a hint of holiday magic. Enjoy!

Overdrive cover The Dark Is Rising, by Susan Cooper
“It is Midwinter’s Eve, the night before Will’s eleventh birthday. But there is an atmosphere of fear in the familiar countryside around him. Will is about to make a shocking discovery – that he is the last person to be born with the power of the Old Ones, and as a guardian of the Light he must begin a dangerous journey to vanquish the terrifyingly evil magic of the Dark.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover La Belle Sauvage, by Philip Pullman
“Malcolm Polstead’s Oxford life has been one of routine, ordinary even. He is happiest playing with his daemon, Asta, in their canoe. But now as the rain builds, the world around Malcolm and Asta is, it seems, set to become increasingly far from ordinary. Finding himself linked to a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua, Malcolm is forced to undertake the challenge of his life and to make a dangerous journey that will change him and Lyra for ever…” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green, by Joshua Braff
“It’s 1977. Jacob Green, a Jewish kid from suburban New Jersey, sits on the stairs during his family’s housewarming party, waiting for his father, Abram—charming host, everyone’s best friend and amateur emcee—to introduce him to the crowd. But when the confetti settles and the drapes are drawn, the affable Abram Green becomes an egotistical tyrant whose emotional rages rupture the lives of his family.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Johnny and the Dead, by Terry Pratchett
“Not many people can see the dead (not many would want to). Twelve-year-old Johnny Maxwell can. And he’s got bad news for them: the council want to sell the cemetery as a building site. But the dead have learnt a thing or two from Johnny. They’re not going to take it lying down . . . especially since it’s Halloween tomorrow. Besides, they’re beginning to find that life is a lot more fun than it was when they were . . . well . . . alive.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
“Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the thirties. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man’s struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Perfume, by Patrick Süskind
“In 18th century France there lived a man who was one of the most gifted and abominable personages in an era that knew no lack of gifted and abominable personages. His name was Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, and if his name has been forgotten today, it is certainly not because Grenouille fell short of those more famous blackguards when it came to arrogance, immorality or wickedness, but because his sole ambition was restricted to a domain that leaves no traces in history: scent.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Wonder Boys, by Michael Chabon
“Grady Tripp is an over-sexed, pot-bellied, pot-smoking, ageing wunderkind of a novelist now teaching creative writing at a Pittsburgh college while working on his 2,000-page masterpiece, Wonder Boys. When his rumbustious editor and friend, Terry Crabtree, arrives in town, a chaotic weekend follows – involving a tuba, a dead dog, Marilyn Monroe’s ermine-lined jacket and a squashed boa constrictor.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Half a Creature from the Sea–A Life in Stories, by David Almond
“An anthology of dark, powerful and moving short stories from master storyteller David Almond, inspired by his childhood in the north-east of England. These stories take place in a real world – but in fiction, real worlds merge with dreamed worlds. Real people walk with ghosts and figments. Earthly truth goes hand-in-hand with watery lies.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Other Wind, by Ursula K. Le Guin
“The sorcerer Alder fears sleep. He dreams of the land of death, of his wife who died young and longs to return to him so much that she kissed him across the low stone wall that separates our world from the Dry Land-where the grass is withered, the stars never move, and lovers pass without knowing each other. The dead are pulling Alder to them at night. Through him they may free themselves and invade Earthsea.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Christmas at the Romanovs: New eBook Non-Fiction

Christmas means family and togetherness, but what if your family members are the autocratic rulers of the Russian Empire, known for their disastrous wars, bloody massacres and friendships with unreliable holy men? That’s the question author Helen Rappaport ponders in The Race to Save the Romanovs. Why was it that after Tsar Nicholas II was imprisoned following the October Revolution, not one of his cousins in Europe’s wide network of monarchies came to his rescue? Read on (or sign up) to find out!

Overdrive cover The Race to Save the Romanovs, by Helen Rappaport
“On 17 July 1918, the Russian Revolution came for the former Tsar Nicholas, his wife Alexandra, and their children – Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexey. Why were the world’s mightiest nations powerless to save the Romanovs? Helen Rappaport reveals a tragic story of fierce loyalty, bitter rivalries and devastating betrayals, culminating in the execution of the abandoned Imperial family.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Dopesick, by Beth Macy
“Beth Macy takes us into the heart of America’s struggle with opioid addiction. From distressed small communities in Central Appalachia to wealthy suburbs and once-idyllic farm towns, this powerful and moving story illustrates how a national crisis became so firmly entrenched. And at the heart of the narrative is one large corporation: Purdue.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Cave, by Liam Cochrane
“When the 12 young members of the Wild Boars soccer club walked into a Thai cave with their coach, they expected to be out by nightfall. A birthday cake waited in the fridge for one boy, another boy had a tutoring class. Then a sudden monsoonal downpour flooded their route out. They were trapped. So began the greatest search-and-rescue mission in living memory.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Meghan, by Andrew Morton
“In this biography of the duchess-to-be, acclaimed royal biographer Andrew Morton goes back to Meghan’s roots, interviewing those closest to her to uncover the story of her childhood, growing up in The Valley in LA and her breakout into acting. Finishing with an account of her romance with Prince Harry, Morton reflects on the impact that Meghan has already made on the rigid traditions of the House of Windsor.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Women, Equality, Power, by Helen Clark
“Helen Clark has been a political leader for more than 40 years. She entered parliament in 1981, led the Labour Party to victory in 1999 and was Prime Minister of New Zealand for nine years. She then took on a critical international role as Administrator of the UN Development Programme. One of her key focuses throughout this time has been the empowerment of women and she has paved the way for other women to step up and lead.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Life You Can Save, by Peter Singer
“Most of us are absolutely certain that we wouldn’t hesitate to save a drowning child. Yet while thousands of children die each day, we spend money on things we take for granted, and would hardly miss if they were not there. Is that wrong? If so, how far does our obligation to the poor go?” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Chasing Hillary, by Amy Chozick
“Hillary Clinton dominated Amy Chozick’s life for more than a decade. Here, she tells the inside story of Clinton’s pursuit of the US presidency in a campaign book like no other. Chozick comes to understand what drove Clinton, how she accomplished what no woman had before, and why she ultimately failed. Poignant, illuminating, laugh-out-loud funny, Chasing Hillary is a campaign book like never before.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Brotopia, by Emily Chang
“In this powerful exposé, journalist Emily Chang reveals how Silicon Valley got so sexist despite its utopian ideals, why bro culture endures despite decades of companies claiming the moral high ground (Don’t Be Evil! Connect the World!)—and how women are finally starting to speak out and fight back.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Islamic Enlightenment, by Christopher de Bellaigue
“The Muslim world has often been accused of a failure to modernise and adapt. Yet in this sweeping narrative and provocative retelling of modern history, Christopher de Bellaigue charts the forgotten story of the Islamic Enlightenment – the social movements, reforms and revolutions that transfigured the Middle East.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Introducing VR at Wellington City Libraries!

As you might have seen, Wellington City Libraries will soon be hosting A Step Back in Time, a virtual reality (VR) expo featuring Jurassic Park, David Attenborough and more!

Book your session

But what exactly is VR? In terms of mechanics, VR is usually a computer, stereoscopic headset and set of sensors working together to create the sensation of standing in–and moving through–an entirely digital space (check out Wareable for a more technical explanation!). But VR is much more than just its physical components.

One of the things VR is great for is exploring new worlds. We’ve recently had a lot of fun discovering tropical islands and distant galaxies with VR experiences such as Nature Treks, while our previous VR expo featured coral reefs and the Mariana Trench via Wevr’s fantastic theBlu.

But it’s not just the creation of space that VR excels at–it’s also a platform for telling stories. Several film studios have expanded already successful movie franchises into the VR world, including Universal Studios’ Jurassic World: Blue and Jurassic World: Apatosaurus (both on show at our expo!). Traditional studios don’t have a monopoly on creating content, either: one of our favourite stories is the beautiful Allumette–a re-imagining of The Little Match Girl created by Penrose Studios.

Despite theses successes, however, the technology really comes into it’s own when used in even more creative ways. An early pioneer of this was Tilt Brush, a virtual artist’s studio that lets you paint, sculpt and design works of digital art. Other experiences, such as Pixar’s Coco VR, combine creativity with traditional gaming, meaning that one minute you’re exploring the land of the dead, the next you’re dancing onstage before a crowd of skeletons!

These are just a few of the ways people are currently using VR technology, but there are many, many more. The world of VR is an open, evolving, uncertain place–and that’s exactly why we like it! As its uses continue to grow, we’ll do our best to keep you updated, so keep an eye out for more blogs. And while you’re waiting, why not join us at A Step Back in Time to discover VR for yourself!

 

Becoming–with Michelle Obama!

November is a big month in the world of biography! The reason? It’s the launch of Michelle Obama’s highly anticipated memoir, Becoming. Becoming covers everything from childhood to work to politics–as well as more recent goings-on at the White House. And while Obama is currently on a stadium-sized book tour in the US, you can get a sneak preview of your own by checking out a sample chapter in the Guardian (and don’t forget to have a browse of our other great new biographies, too!).

Syndetics book coverBecoming: a memoir / Michelle Obama
“In her memoir, 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.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverInheritance: a memoir of genealogy, paternity, and love / Dani Shapiro
“In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history–the life she had lived–crumbled beneath her. Inheritance is a book about secrets–secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverIn pieces: a memoir / Sally Field
“In this intimate, haunting literary memoir, an American icon tells her own story for the first time–about a challenging and lonely childhood, the craft that helped her find her voice and a powerful emotional legacy that shaped her journey as a daughter and a mother. Powerful and unforgettable, In Pieces is an inspiring and important account of life as a woman in the second half of the twentieth century.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverSmall fry / Lisa Brennan-Jobs
Small Fry is Lisa Brennan-Jobs’s poignant story of a childhood spent between two imperfect but extraordinary homes. Scrappy, wise and funny, young Lisa is an unforgettable guide through her parents’ fascinating and disparate worlds. Part portrait of a complex family, part love letter to California in the seventies and eighties, Small Fry is an enthralling book by an insightful new literary voice.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverMad, bad, dangerous to know: the fathers of Wilde, Yeats, and Joyce / Colm Tóibín
“From Colm Tóibín comes an intimate study of Irish history and literature told through the lives and work of three men–William Wilde, John Butler Yeats and John Stanislaus Joyce–and the relationships they had with their sons. Tóibín recounts the resistance to English cultural domination, the birth of modern Irish cultural identity and the extraordinary contributions of these complex and masterful authors.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverHeavy: an American memoir / Kiese Laymon
“In this powerful and provocative memoir, genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon explores what the weight of a lifetime of secrets, lies and deception does to a black body, a black family and a nation teetering on the brink of moral collapse.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverBrutally honest / Melanie Brown
“As one-fifth of the iconic Spice Girls and judge on X Factor and America’s Got Talent, Melanie Brown, a.k.a Scary Spice, has been an international star since her twenties. Brutally Honest is an exposé of the struggles and acute pain that lay behind the glamour and success.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary.)

Visions of the Past: New eBook Fiction

The Winter Witch book cover

From the construction of the Sydney Opera House to the Tiananmen Square protests to the forgotten language of childhood, this month’s new eBook fiction from Overdrive will help you see the past through fresh eyes. Included are the Booker-longlisted Everything Under by Daisy Johnson and National Book Award finalist The Friend by Sigrid Nunez. Nunez’s work has been described as “a beautiful book crammed with a world of insight into death, grief, art and love.” Enjoy!

Overdrive cover The Friend, by Sigrid Nunez
“When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, a huge Great Dane. But while troubles abound, rich and surprising rewards lie in store for both of them.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Everything Under, by Daisy Johnson
“Words are important to Gretel. As a child she lived on a canal boat with her mother, and together they invented a language that was just their own. She hasn’t seen her mother since the age of sixteen though, and those memories have faded. Now Gretel works as a lexicographer, updating dictionary entries, which suits her solitary nature. But then a phone call interrupts Gretel’s isolation and throws up questions from long ago.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Map and the Territory, by Michel Houellebecq
“Artist Jed Martin emerges from a ten-year hiatus with good news. It has nothing to do with his broken boiler, the approach of another lamentably awkward Christmas dinner with his father or the memory of his doomed love affair with the beautiful Olga. It is that, for his new exhibition, he has secured the involvement of none other than celebrated novelist Michel Houellebecq!” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Once We Were Brothers–A Novel, by Ronald H. Balson
“Elliot Rosenzweig, a respected civic leader and wealthy philanthropist, is attending a fundraiser when he is suddenly accused of being a former Nazi SS officer. Although the charges are denounced as preposterous, his accuser is convinced he is right and engages attorney Catherine Lockhart to bring Rosenzweig to justice. Two lives, two worlds, and sixty years converge in an explosive race to redemption.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Winter Witch, by Paula Brackston
“In her small Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana. She is small and quick and pretty enough to attract a suitor, but there are things that set her apart from other girls. Though her mind is sharp she has not spoken since she was a young girl. Her silence is a mystery, as well as her magic—the household objects that seem to move at her command, the bad luck that visits those who do her ill. But Morgana must learn to harness her power, or she will lose everything.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Shell, by Kristina Olsson
“In 1965 as Danish architect Jørn Utzon’s striking vision for the Sydney Opera House unleashes a storm of controversy, the shadow of the Vietnam War threatens to tear the country apart. Journalist Pearl Keogh, exiled to the women’s pages after being photographed at an anti-war protest, is desperate to find her two missing brothers. Axel Lindquist, a visionary young glass artist, is obsessed with creating a work that will do justice to Utzon’s towering masterpiece.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Mars Room, by Rachel Kushner
“Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility. Outside is the world from which she has been permanently severed: the San Francisco of her youth, changed almost beyond recognition. Inside is a new reality to adapt to: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials. Romy sees the future stretch out ahead of her in a long, unwavering line – until news from outside brings a ferocious urgency to her existence.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Red Doc>, by Anne Carson
“In a stunningly original mix of poetry, drama, and narrative, Anne Carson brings the red-winged Geryon from Autobiography of Red into manhood. We join him as he travels with his friend and lover ‘Sad’ (short for Sad But Great), a war veteran, and Ida, an artist. Haunted by Proust, juxtaposing the hunger for flight with the longing for family and home, this deeply powerful picaresque verse invites readers on an extraordinary journey of the soul.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Beijing Coma, by Ma Jian
“Dai Wei lies in his bedroom, a prisoner in his body, after he was shot in the head at the Tiananmen Square protest ten years earlier. As his mother tends to him, and his friends bring news of their lives in an almost unrecognisable China, Dai Wei escapes into his memories. As the minute-by-minute chronicling of the lead-up to his shooting becomes ever more intense, the reader is caught in a gripping emotional journey.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Where Shall We Run To? New eAudiobook Non-Fiction

The Library of Ice eBook cover

Cartoonist Carl Barks has been called one of the great storytellers of the 20th century, yet despite the exotic worlds of his stories, he didn’t leave North America until he was 93 years old! Instead Barks drew inspiration from books, encyclopedias and his subscription to National Geographic. This month’s new eAudiobook non-fiction from Overdrive has a similar spirit, taking listeners from the winter darkness of Greenland, across the Silk Road to China and even down to the US-Mexico border. So grab your computer, phone or tablet and join us as we venture into worlds unknown!

Overdrive cover The Line Becomes a River, by Francisco Cantú
“Francisco Cantú was a US Border Patrol agent from 2008 to 2012. He worked the desert along the Mexican border, at the remote crossroads of drug routes and smuggling corridors, tracking humans through blistering days and frigid nights across a vast terrain. He detains the exhausted and the parched. He hauls in the dead. He tries not to think where the stories go from there…” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover My Life, My Fight, by Steven Adams
“The OKC Thunder’s big man shares the unlikely story behind his indomitable sense of determination and his journey from Rotorua, New Zealand to stardom in the NBA. Told with warmth, humour and humility, My Life, My Fight is a gripping account from an emerging superstar.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Lands of Lost Borders, by Kate Harris
Lands of Lost Borders is the chronicle of Harris’s odyssey and an exploration of the importance of breaking the boundaries we set ourselves; an examination of the stories borders tell, and the restrictions they place on nature and humanity; and a meditation on the existential need to explore—the essential longing to discover what in the universe we are doing here.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover I Can’t Date Jesus, by Michael Arceneaux
“In the style of New York Times bestsellers You Can’t Touch My Hair, Bad Feminist and I’m Judging You, a timely collection of alternately hysterical and soul‑searching essays about what it is like to grow up as a creative, sensitive black man in a world that constantly tries to deride and diminish your humanity.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Where Shall We Run To?, by Alan Garner
“In Where Shall We Run To?, Alan Garner remembers his early childhood in the Cheshire village of Alderley Edge: life at the village school as ‘a sissy and a mardy-arse’; pushing his friend Harold into a clump of nettles to test the truth of dock leaves; his father joining the army to guard the family against Hitler. From one of our greatest living writers, it is a remarkable and evocative memoir of a vanished England.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Library of Ice, by Nancy Campbell
“Author Nancy Campbell leads the reader carefully across intertwined icy tracks of crystallised geographics, melting myths and frozen exploration histories as well as her own tender diagnostics of what reading ice can show us in these times. Perilous in its scope, exacting in its observation, wild in intellect, The Library of Ice captures the reader’s attention almost as if caught in ice itself.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover No One Tells You This, by Glynnis MacNicol
“If the story doesn’t end with marriage or a child, what then? This question plagued Glynnis MacNicol on the eve of her 40th birthday. Despite a successful career as a writer, and an exciting life in New York City, Glynnis was constantly reminded she had neither of the things the world expected of a woman her age: a partner or a baby. There was no good blueprint for how to be a woman alone in the world. She concluded it was time to create one.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Vietnam, An Epic Tragedy, by Max Hastings
“Vietnam became the Western world’s most divisive modern conflict, precipitating a battlefield humiliation for France in 1954, then a vastly greater one for the United States in 1975. Max Hastings has spent the past three years interviewing scores of participants on both sides, as well as researching a multitude of American and Vietnamese documents and memoirs, to create a political and military narrative of the entire conflict.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Leftover in China, by Roseann Lake
“Roseann Lake’s Leftover in China employs colourful anecdotes, hundreds of interviews and rigorous historical and demographic research to show how the ‘leftovers’ are the ultimate linchpin to China’s future.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Fire and Fury, by Michael Wolff
“The first nine months of Donald Trump’s term were stormy, outrageous—and absolutely mesmerising. Now, thanks to his deep access to the West Wing, bestselling author Michael Wolff tells the riveting story of how Trump launched a tenure as volatile and fiery as the man himself. In this explosive audiobook, Wolff provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office, showing us how and why Donald Trump has become the king of discord and disunion.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

The Best and Bitey-ist Vampire Novels Ever!

Anno Dracula book cover

Over 120 years after the release of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the author’s great-grandnephew has written a prequel to the Victorian vampire classic! Dacre Stoker’s novel, Dracul, is based on the original typescript of Dracula as well as associated notes and journals, and “speculates on what Bram Stoker’s early life might have been like had the creatures he later created been real.”

But Dacre Stoker isn’t the first to build upon Dracula’s story: below you’ll find a list of nine unnerving titles that have been influenced by the Transylvanian Count, from Nordic noir to alternative history to a sci-fi classic (as well as one work that pre-dates Dracula by 26 years!).

The historian: a novel / Kostova, Elizabeth
“Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to “My dear and unfortunate successor,” and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of – a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.” (Catalogue)

Let the right one in / Ajvide Lindqvist, John
“John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel, a huge bestseller in his native Sweden, is a unique and brilliant fusion of social novel and vampire legend, as well as a deeply moving fable about rejection, friendship and loyalty.” (Catalogue)

Interview with the vampire / Rice, Anne
“Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force–a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. It is a novel only Anne Rice could write.” (Catalogue)

The passage / Cronin, Justin
“A security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment that only six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte can stop.” (Catalogue)

Anno Dracula / Newman, Kim
“It is 1888 and Dracula has married Queen Victoria and turned a large percentage of the English population into the undead. Peppered with familiar characters from Victorian history and fiction (Dr Jekyll, Oscar Wilde, Swinburne, John Jago), the novel tells the story of vampire Genevieve Dieudonne and Charles Beauregard of the Diogenes Club as they strive to solve the mystery of the Ripper murders.” (Catalogue)

Dracula: the un-dead / Stoker, Dacre
“The official sequel to Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula, written by his direct descendant and endorsed by the Stoker family, Bram Stoker’s great-grandnephew joins with Dracula documentarian Holt to create a sequel based on notes the author left behind. A quarter-century has passed, and Bram Stoker is directing a play about Dracula–who seems to be making a comeback…” (Catalogue)

Dracula’s guest [electronic resource] / Stoker, Bram
“Published in 1914, several years after Bram Stoker’s death by his widow, Dracula”s Guest is one of several stories that Stoker had wished to publish as a supplement to his most famous novel. Join him as he drags the reader out into the hills beyond Munich on one of the most terrifying nights of the year–Walpurgisnacht, or The Witches Night.” (Catalogue)

I am legend / Matheson, Richard
“Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth… but he is not alone. Every other man, woman and child on Earth has become a vampire, and they are all hungry for Neville’s blood. By day, he is the hunter, stalking the sleeping undead through the abandoned ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for dawn. How long can one man survive?” (Catalogue)

Carmilla / Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan
“Predating Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Carmilla is the ultimate Gothic vampire tale. When a mysterious carriage crashes outside their castle home in Styria, Laura and her father agree to take in its injured passenger, a young woman named Carmilla. It’s not until Laura’s father, increasingly concerned for his daughter’s well-being, sets out on a trip to discover more about the mysterious Carmilla that the terrifying truth reveals itself.” (Catalogue)

Backstairs of History: The Best of Recent Biographies

I am, I am, I am Cover

Have you ever thought about writing your memoirs? Of course you have! And you don’t need to be a famous politician or a rock star or an eccentric billionaire to do it—some of the most radical (and successful) memoirs have been written by normal-ish human beings!

But perhaps you need a bit more encouragement? Never fear, below is a list of some of the best biographies of the last few years, and while, yes, there is a celebrity or two, there are ordinary people as well, and each of them have expanded the idea of what a memoir can accomplish—and whose voices need to be heard!

The beautiful struggle : a memoir / Coates, Ta-Nehisi
“With a remarkable ability to reimagine both the lost world of his father’s generation and the terrors and wonders of his own youth in 1980’s Baltimore, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers readers a small and beautiful epic about boys trying to become men in black America and beyond.” (Catalogue)

I am, I am, I am : seventeen brushes with death / O’Farrell, Maggie
“A terrifying encounter on a remote path. A mismanaged labour in an understaffed hospital. This is a memoir with a difference: seventeen encounters with Maggie at different ages, in different locations, reveal to us a whole life in a series of tense, visceral snapshots. It is a book to make you question yourself: what would you do if your life was in danger?” (Catalogue)

Hunger : a memoir of (my) body / Gay, Roxane
“Gay, who deals fearlessly with our hardest truths in both essays (the New York Times best-selling Bad Feminist) and fiction (An Untamed State, an LJ Best Book), here addresses issues of eating and self-image, then broadens her meditation on body as she examines violence against women, starting with a terrible incident in her youth.” (Catalogue)

Making rent in Bed-Stuy : a memoir of trying to make it in New York City / Harris, Brandon
“A young African American millennial filmmaker’s funny, sometimes painful, true-life coming-of-age story of trying to make it in New York City–a chronicle of poverty and wealth, creativity and commerce, struggle and insecurity, and the economic and cultural forces intertwined with ‘the serious, life-threatening process’ of gentrification.” (Catalogue)

Driving to Treblinka : a long search for a lost father / Wichtel, Diana
“When Diana Wichtel was 13 she moved to New Zealand with her mother, sister and brother. Her father was to follow. Diana never saw him again. Many years later she sets out to discover what happened to him.” (Catalogue)

You can’t touch my hair and other things I still have to explain / Robinson, Phoebe
“A hilarious and affecting essay collection about race, gender, and pop culture from celebrated stand-up comedian and WNYC podcaster Phoebe Robinson.” (Catalogue)

Wishful drinking / Fisher, Carrie
“In her first ever memoir, Carrie Fisher takes us on an intimate, hilarious and sobering journey through her life. Adapted from the sold-out one-woman show of the same name.” (Catalogue)

The good immigrant / Shukla, Nikesh (editor)
“Bringing together 21 exciting black, Asian and minority ethnic voices emerging in Britain today, The Good Immigrant explores why immigrants come to the UK, why they stay and what it means to be ‘other’ in a country that doesn’t seem to want you – but still needs you for its diversity monitoring forms.” (Catalogue)

This is going to hurt : secret diaries of a junior doctor / Kay, Adam
“As soon as Adam Kay set foot on a hospital ward for the first time, he realized there’s quite a lot they don’t teach you at medical school. His diaries from the NHS front line – scribbled in secret after long nights, endless days and missed weekends – are hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking by turns.” (Catalogue)

Murder, maths and pashing with new eAudiobook fiction

Memento Park book cover

The titles in this month’s blog introduce new perspectives to the Overdrive collection: there’s a colour-dominated world in The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder, a universe of numbers in The Kiss Quotient and, in Lilith Saintcrow’s Afterwar, American politics are seen through the aftermath of a second civil war. So get started here, or visit Overdrive to check out what else is on offer!

Overdrive cover The Kiss Quotient, by Helen Hoang
“Stella Lane comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases—a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with as well as way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old. It doesn’t help that she has Asperger’s. She decides that she needs practice—which is why she hires escort Michael Phan…” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder, by Sarah J. Harris
“There are three things you need to know about Jasper. 1. He sees the world completely differently. 2. He can’t recognise faces – not even his own. 3. He is the only witness to the murder of his neighbour, Bee Larkham. But it’s hard to catch a murderer when you can’t recognise their face…” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Summer I Met Jack, by Michelle Gable
“In this scintillating audiobook, listeners are asked to imagine the affair between John F. Kennedy and Alicia Corning Clark – and the child they may have had. The Summer I Met Jack is based on the fascinating real life of Alicia Corning Clark, a woman who J. Edgar Hoover insisted was paid by the Kennedys to keep quiet, not only about her romance with Jack Kennedy, but also a baby they may have had together.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco
The Name of the Rose is a thrilling story enriched with period detail and laced with tongue-in-cheek allusions to fictional characters, the most striking of which is the Franciscan friar William of Baskerville. Brother William tries to discover why people are dying inexplicably and nastily in the monastery. There is something not altogether right within the library…” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Afterwar, by Lilith Saintcrow
“America has been devastated by a second civil war. The people have spent years divided, fighting their fellow patriots. Now, as the regime crumbles and the bloody conflict draws to a close, the work of rebuilding begins. One lonely crew, bonded under fire in the darkest days of battle, must complete one last mission: to secure a war criminal whose secrets could destroy the fragile peace that has just begun to form.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Dangers of Family Secrets, by Debby Holt
“Freya is a genealogist, but has never paid as much attention to her own family. When her marriage starts to collapse and her grown-up daughters seem more distant than ever, Freya’s reckless abandon startles everyone, and long-hidden secrets begin to emerge…” (Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Bearskin, by James A. McLaughlin
“Rice Moore is just beginning to think his troubles are behind him. He’s found a job protecting a remote forest preserve in Virginian Appalachia—perfect to hide away from the Mexican drug cartels he betrayed back in Arizona. But when Rice finds the carcass of a bear killed on the grounds, the quiet solitude he’s so desperately sought is suddenly at risk.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Devil’s Highway, by Gregory Norminton
“An ancient British boy, discovering a terrorist plot, must choose between his brother and his tribe. In the twenty-first century, two men – one damaged by war, another by divorce – clash over their differing claims on the land, and a young girl is caught between them. In the distant future, a gang of feral children struggles to reach safety in a burning world. Three journeys. Three thousand years.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Memento Park, by Mark Sarvas
“After receiving an unexpected call from the Australian consulate, Matt Santos becomes aware of a painting that he believes was looted from his family in Hungary during the Second World War. To recover the painting, he must repair his relationship with his harshly judgmental father, uncover his family history and restore his connection to his own Judaism.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)