The things that make me different: New fiction

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“The things that make me different are the things that make me, me.”  A.A. Milne (Piglet)

Welcome to our latest selection of titles from our recently acquired fiction books. As always, we have a wide variety of authors and novels to suit all tastes.

In amongst this month’s literary treasures, we have the much-anticipated Aotearoa debut novel from Joy Holley called Dream girl. We also have a new collection of short stories from A. A. Milne, which gives readers the chance to see another side of this much beloved children’s author. Black silk & sympathy by Aotearoa bestselling author Deborah Challinor is a book inspired by Victorian funeral practices. We also have three books that directly feature books in their storylines: The Titanic Survivors Book Club by Timothy Schaffert, The underground library by Jennifer Ryan, and Days at the Morisaki bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa. All of these titles show how important books are to various cultures, at all times throughout history. We would also like to make a special mention of Scrap by Calla Henkel, a novel that has scrapbooks at its core.

To see our full list of selected titles and borrow any that interest you, just browse below.

Dream girl / Holley, Joy
“Alice wants a heart-shaped bed. Mary, Genevieve and Angelica want to know the future. June says she wants Lena to rescue her from a rat, but really she wants Lena to make out with her. Eve wants to get Wallace alone at the strawberry farm. Olivia just wants to leave the haunted boarding school and go home. Bittersweet and intimate, comic and gothic, Dream Girl is a collection of stories about young women navigating desire in all its manifestations. In stories of romance and bad driving, ghosts and ghosting, playlists and competitive pet ownership, love never fails to leave its mark.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The complete short stories of A. A. Milne / Milne, A. A.
“The first complete collection of A.A. Milne’s short stories, including several never published before. A.A. Milne’s real passion lay beyond Winnie-the-Pooh, as this new prose collection reveals. Collected in full for the first time, including a number previously unpublished, here are his complete short stories and sketches for grownups. They are an epiphany. These 50 stories show Milne to have been a brilliant comic sketch and short form writer. They paint memorable scenes, from a children’s birthday party, an accidental encounter with murder, and a case of blackmail – often with an unexpected twist.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Black silk & sympathy / Challinor, Deborah
“Sydney, 1865. Seventeen-year-old Tatiana Caldwell travels from London to make a new life. Her path leads her to Crowe Funeral Services, where she apprentices under the tutelage of Titus Crowe, the enigmatic owner. Tatty finds herself drawn to the fascinating conventions of the funeral trade – plumed horses and processions, mutes and mortuary trains, flowers and finery – as well as the more visceral new practice of embalming. Soon she marries, and after the sudden death of her husband, Titus, she becomes Sydney’s first female undertaker. Her hard-won stability is shattered when Elias Nuttall, a ruthless rival in the funeral trade, accuses Tatty of murdering her husband. Facing public scorn and legal peril, Tatty gathers an unlikely band of allies in a battle to clear her name.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

The Titanic Survivors Book Club : a novel / Schaffert, Timothy
“For weeks after the sinking of the Titanic, Yorick spots his own name among the list of those lost at sea. As an apprentice librarian for the White Star Line, his job was to curate the ship’s second-class library. But just as he was about to board to tend to his library throughout the passage, a superior takes his place, leaving Yorick stranded at the dock. The Titanic was not Yorick’s first brush with death, but as with every near-miss he manages to escape into the world of books. After he learns of the ship’s sinking, he takes this twist of fate as a sign to follow his lifelong dream of owning a bookshop in Paris…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The underground library : a novel / Ryan, Jennifer
“On the day Juliet Lansdown reports to work for the first time at Bethnal Green Library, it isn’t the bustling hub she’s been expecting. But in the face of German attacks, she’s determined to make it a place where all of their neighbors feel safe and welcome. Katie Upwood is thrilled to be working at the library too, though she’s only there until she heads off to university in the fall. But after the death of her beau on the front lines and unexpected family strife, she’s more in need of support than ever.  Juliet can’t bear to give up on her safe haven of books and relocates the stacks into an Underground station where the city’s residents shelter nightly, determined to keep lending out stories that will keep spirits up…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Days at the Morisaki bookshop : a novel / Yagisawa, Satoshi
“Twenty-five-year-old Takako has enjoyed a relatively easy existence, until the day her boyfriend Hideaki, the man she expected to wed, casually announces he’s been cheating on her and is marrying the other woman. Suddenly, Takako’s life is in freefall. She loses her job, her friends, and her acquaintances, and spirals into a deep depression. In the depths of her despair, she receives a call from her distant uncle Satoru. An unusual man who has always pursued something of an unconventional life, especially after his wife Momoko left him out of the blue five years earlier, Satoru runs a second-hand bookshop in Jimbocho, Tokyo’s famous book district…” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Scrap / Henkel, Calla
“Recently dumped and stuck with the mortgage, artist Esther Ray wants to burn the world, but instead, she reluctantly accepts a scrapbooking job from the deliriously wealthy Naomi Duncan. The scrapbooks, a secret birthday gift for Naomi’s husband Bryce, trace the Duncan’s twenty-five-year marriage. The conditions: Esther must include every piece of paper she’s been sent, must sign an NDA, and must only contact Naomi using the burner phone provided. Otherwise she’ll spoil the surprise…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Mysterious setting / Abe, Kazushige
“Shiori knows that she was destined to sing – even if she is completely tone-deaf. Forced to give up her dream of becoming a travelling troubadour, she moves to Tokyo at eighteen to forge a career in music, whatever the cost. But she quickly becomes isolated in this vast new city, and even the people she calls friends take advantage of her naivety. Then one day, she is entrusted with a secret of enormous power. If she chooses to, she can take revenge on the world. Shot through with dark irony and a playful sense of the absurd, Mysterious Setting is a propulsive and gloriously strange story of innocence and experience.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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