The Deportees and Other Stories, Roddy Doyle. An overlooked treasure by an Irish writer who shows off all nuances of his style in this fine collection. Every story deals in some way with Ireland’s influx of immigrants, and all the characters illustrate the wonderful diversity of their personalities.
Peace, Love & Healing, Bernie S Siegel, M.D. A treatise on how to help yourself heal from serious diseases and conditions; not guaranteed to cure but well able to support your self-healing. Siegel uses the techniques in his book to treat his own patients and now enables all of us to explore them.
The Proposal, Mary Balogh. A romance in the Regency genre, this is one of a set of books with loosely connected plots, but it features a commoner(!) awarded a title for valour who woos a lady, knowing that they’ll never (what, never?) be a couple. A relaxing evening’s read.
The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes. Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2011, this tells the story of an older man as he considers his youth and the friend (now deceased) and woman (still alive)who have dogged him emotionally throughout his life, the lessons he learns, the peace he tries to achieve.
Shine, Shine, Shine, Lydia Netzer. Billed as scifi, which it is most definitely NOT, even though the husband in the story is on a flight to the moon to plant a robot colony, the writing style of this debut is absolutely compelling. Add a pregnant bald heroine, an autistic son, and a dying mother, trace the action and development over several decades, and you have a unique and compelling novel.