We’re very excited that some new titles have arrived in the library this month – we think you’ll agree they’re an eclectic bunch. Not to judge a book by its cover, but if you like what you see click on an image and you’ll be taken to a review.
Grand Hotel Abyss by Stuart Jeffries (new addition)
This is a splendid read : the history of the Frankfurt School presented as a series of biographies of the leaders (particularly Theodor Adorno) since it came into being in 1922 in response to the failed German revolution. These Jewish/Marxist thinkers were the presiding spirits behind Weimar, attempting to transform the lives of workers through “critical thinking”, without violence, but through modernist culture as exemplified by jazz ,cinema, multiculturalism and the art that Hitler was soon to describe as “entartete” ie. degenerate.
Inevitably they had to flee, most of them to The States, but a new generation exists in Germany at the present day,having involved themselves in the student riots of 1968 though the book does not take us into the current rise of European nationalism. Their goals remain: how to respond to consumerist capitalism and its destructive power over humanity.
This book is pleasure to read- certainly filling in gaps of my knowledge of Germany beyond the horrors of Naziism and Ausschwitz and where it may have to use philosophical jargon, explaining it to the reader without treating her as a half-wit.
We’re excited about this recent addition to our shelves, gifted by our fantastic library president -a signed copy of his latest work.
From one of our leading novelists and historians comes a breathtakingly vivid novel that recalls the three voyages Captain Cook made to the southern hemisphere, culminating in the last, fateful expedition on which he was brutally murdered.
Click here to read an interview with A.N Wilson about the book and the chance discovery which spurred his research and sparked it’s creation.
“Wilson is a great biographer and a fine novelist, and his book is as much a factual account of Forster’s life as a piece of historical fiction. He acknowledges that readers of Forster’s Voyage “will know that I have not invented very much in this novel”. Yet this is one of those astonishing lives that requires little in the way of embellishment. Wilson’s achievement is to impart a restrained imaginative power that makes its extremes seem credible.” –Alfred Hickling, The Guardian
The book is available to borrow now &if any members who read the book would like to contribute their thoughts or comments please do message us at firstname.lastname@example.org as we would love to share them here on our blog.
The play script just arrived in the library!
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
For the complete list, click here.
New fiction & non-fiction titles that came into the library earlier this year..
For the full list of our April new additions, click here.
Every painting has a story –and if it could speak, what would it tell us?
Hannah Rothschild, writer, film director and Chair of the National Gallery’s first novel. This absolutely beautiful hardback was published by Bloomsbury last year and is now available at the library.
Impishly wicked, ruthlessly frank, touchingly percipient and sometimes laugh aloud funny to boot. Hannah Rothschild captures the contradiction between art as money and art as the soul of humanity really well. – Rachel Campbell-Johnston, Art Critic for The Times
Morrab Library volunteer Pat Boddy’s thoughts –
A fascinating and wonderfully descriptive book with an intricate plot and very colourful characters. I really enjoyed it.
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, this tale of Nigeria in the 1990s is a mighty fry-up of pop-culture, fable and verbal invention… -Click here for the full review in the New Statesman
A short review by Morrab Library and book selection committee member, Pamela Priske-
Four sons of a Nigerian father who has the highest hopes for each of them -‘professor’, ‘government minister’, etc. are confronted by a village madman prophesying violence and death for the brothers. This story is a metonymy for Nigeria’s promise, undermined by superstition and corruption. A grim, but rewarding, read.
Petina Gappah powerfully probes the tricksy nature of memory through the story of Memory, or Mnemosyne, an albino woman consigned to Chikurubi prison in Harare, Zimbabwe, convicted of murdering a wealthy white man, Lloyd, her adopted father. She is the first woman in more than 20 years to be sentenced to death. As part of her appeal, she begins writing down her memories of what happened; her notebooks form the novel. Gappah, who won the Guardian first book award in 2009, is also a lawyer, her knowledge brought to bear in this story about the struggle for justice. –The Guardian
Morrab Library member Pamela Priske’s thoughts-
A more conventional novel in that important information is held back till the final chapters -why is the female narrator held in prison under sentence of death?
Again, superstition affects behaviour. Memory is an albino, regarded with abhorrence because such people can only bring bad luck.
Gives insight into Zimbabwe’s horrifying prisons.
A short review by Pamela Priske, Morrab Library and book selection committee member-
The Wallcreeper is a novel about bird-watching, adultery, drugs, philosophy, conservation and rivers.
Nell is a fifty year old American writer who lives in Berlin and has a wry sense of humour.
My favourite part of the book is liberating the River Elbe.