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Holiday reads

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Books to curl up with on a break!

    The Gospel of Loki

    With his notorious reputation for trickery and deception, and an ability to cause as many problems as he solves, Loki is a Norse god like no other. Demon-born, he is viewed with deepest suspicion by his fellow gods who will never accept him as one of their own and for this he vows to take his revenge. But while Loki is planning the downfall of Asgard and the humiliation of his tormentors, greater powers are conspiring against the gods and a battle is brewing that will change the fate of the Worlds. From his recruitment by Odin from the realm of Chaos, through his years as the go-to man of Asgard, to his fall from grace in the build-up to Ragnarok, this is the unofficial history of the world's ultimate trickster.

    Memories of My Melancholy Whores

    The year I turned ninety, I wanted to give myself a gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin' He has never married, never loved and never gone to bed with a woman he didn't pay. But on finding a young girl naked and asleep on the brothel owner's bed, a passion is ignited in his heart - and he feels, for the first time, the urgent pangs of love. Each night, exhausted by her factory work, 'Delgadina' sleeps peacefully whilst he watches her quietly. During these solitary early hours, his love for her deepens and he finds himself reflecting on his newly found passion and the loveless life he has led. By day, his columns in the local newspaper are read avidly by those who recognise in his outpourings the enlivening and transformative power of love.

    Homage to Catalonia

    George Orwell's account of his experience as a militiaman in the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. The book describes the chaos at the Front, the futile young deaths for what became a confused cause, the antique weapons and the disappointment many British Socialists felt on arriving in Spain to help.

    Bel Canto

    Winner of the Orange Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The poignant - and at times very funny - novel from the author of State of Wonder and Commonwealth. Latin terrorists storm an international gathering hosted by an underprivileged country to promote foreign interest and trade, only to find that their intended target, the President, has stayed home to watch his favourite soap opera on TV. Among the hostages are a world class opera singer and her biggest fan, a Japanese tycoon who has been persuaded to attend the party on the understanding that she will perform half a dozen arias after dinner. The tycoon's engaging and sympathetic translator plays a vital role in the subsequent relationships between so many different nationalities closeted together, interpreting not only the terrorists' negotiations but also the language of love between lovers who cannot understand what the other is saying. Ultimately, it is the terrorist strike that does more to promote foreign relations than anyone could have hoped to achieve with the party.

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