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New Book Wednesday: 8th July 2020

Hello, hello, and Happy New Book Wednesday! Here at Lume we’re all still working from home and still getting used to the new normal with some of our staff returning from furlough in the last few weeks, giving us a chance to bring even more new books your way. This week we have some science fiction, gripping thrillers, and plenty of non-fiction. Enjoy! 

Cool Earth by Bart Kosko 

First up is this speculative science-fiction novel from Bart Kosko which imagines a future where in order to combat the devastating effects of the climate emergency scientists attempt to cool the earth. But, as you can imagine, geoengineering of this kind is far from simple and sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. 

2080. The countdown to the end of the world has begun.

On an early June afternoon high up on the forested Sierra slopes of Mount Whitney, three scientists try to get to higher ground to avoid the ever bigger super-tsunamis wracking the coasts. On their perilous trek they encounter gene-enhanced teen gangs and a variety of wilderness challenges. 

There they also face the final fruits of their own misguided efforts to cool the earth—the world-wide geoengineering “cool earth” project that attempted to gently move the earth-moon system a little farther out from the sun. 

Bart Kosko’s Cool Earth is a hard-edged science-fiction thriller about the catastrophic unintended consequences of a geoengineering attempt to fix global warming.

Eyas by Crawford Kilian

From Crawford Kilian comes another science-fiction story this week with Eyas, a groundbreaking page-turner of a hero haunted by a god who heralds a new age of mankind. 

Through the long centuries of humanity’s twilight, the People of Longstrand lived in peace and harmony with nature, under the protection of their goddess from the sea. Then she put her mark upon a raven-haired child who would alter their destiny forever—EYAS, nestling of the hawk.

Eyas is an epic saga of a god-haunted hero who heralds a new age; Who revives the long-lost arts of war to defend his people; Whose awesome powers will defy even death itself to reclaim Mankind’s ancient heritage.

From the imagination of Crawford Kilian, Eyas is a magnificent story of the twilight of man. 

The Lost Ones by Vena Cork 

Some new-look thrillers now from Vena Cork, The Lost Ones follows journalist Suzannah Quinn’s life as she is pursued by a mysterious man who then suddenly disappears.

Single, childless and reduced to writing celebrity profiles, investigative journalist Suzannah Quinn’s life is not going to plan… 

During an interview with top publisher Roland Winterbourne, things seem to change: she meets Jamie Davis. It’s love at first sight and within hours she has agreed to marry him. But Jamie insists on inviting no friends or family to the wedding and Suzannah’s millionaire father quickly suspects him of being a fortune hunter.
At first the couple are blissfully happy. Suzannah’s only worry is Jamie’s mysterious past, which he refuses to talk about. However, when Suzannah suddenly inherits a flat off Portobello Road, everything changes. The move quickly triggers a change in their relationship and it’s not long before the arguments start. Then one morning, after a particularly bad row, Jamie goes to work and doesn’t return. 

When she finds a scrap of paper in his jacket pocket with a name and address in North Devon, she is eager to investigate. What she discovers when she goes there brings her world crashing down…

Toxic by Vena Cork

Another thriller from Vena Cork, Toxic is a frightening story of a mysterious seedy block of flats where dark forces are lurking. 

Dark forces can change lives..

When Persey Delaney returns to Britain after working abroad, everything has changed. Her mother is newly-divorced and her younger sister Meg is still struggling to recover her confidence after a horrific accident. Together, they have moved from their long-envied, prime address in Mayfair to a seedy block of flats in Willesden. Soon Persey lives there, too. And within weeks of her return home, strange goings-on begin to upset her already unsettling new life.

It seems that Yew Court has become a malevolent witness to secret lives.

The horror begins as the residents are subjected to a series of dreadful events, each getting more and more frightening as the days progress. The local paper dubs Yew Court the unluckiest block of flats in London, but Persey fears that luck has nothing to do with it. Dark forces are at work and there’s a race against time to prevent a catastrophe…

Toxic tells of how so many lives are woven by Fate into a tapestry of terror in this gripping thriller.

Miles Davis: The Man in the Green Shirt by Richard Williams 

Here we have a brilliant chronicle of the life of Miles Davis, one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.

“It was the green shirt. Charlie Parker had the headlong genius. Thelonious Monk had the beatnik weirdness, and Charlie Mingus had the rebel soul. But only Miles Davis had the green shirt. There it was on the cover of Milestones, one of the handful of late-fifties albums that turned him from a gifted bebop musician into a figure of godlike potency.”

In this elegant, beautifully written study Richard Williams follows the great Miles Davis through his long career, threading his expertise and appreciation of his music into the narrative of his subject’s life. 

Like so many jazz men of his generation Davis had a long struggle with addiction, but came through to work with all the greats, and to release some of the 20th century’s most seminal albums. The epitome of cool, Davis’s immense charisma led to great success with women, including French chanteuse Juliette Greco. 

After his death in 1991 Davis was inducted into the Rock n Roll hall of fame. Rolling Stone magazine described him as “the most revered jazz trumpeter of all time, not to mention one of the most important musicians of all time”. This book will delight jazz aficionados and music lovers alike, for the quality of Richard Williams’ writing, his extensive knowledge of jazz history and appreciation of Davis’ huge talent, his chequered road to success, and his complex personality.

Atlantic Nightmare by Richard Freeman 

Next is a hugely detailed account of the longest battle of the Second World War, the Battle of the Atlantic. Using this conflict to analyse the entire war, Richard Freeman offers detailed analysis and shines a new light on this bloody battle. 

The battle that Germany should have won?

No other battle of the Second World War lasted longer than the 2,075 days of the Battle of the Atlantic. It raged from the opening day of the war in September 1939 until it ended almost six years later with Germany’s surrender in May 1945.

Vital supplies of food, fuel and the raw materials needed by the Allies to wage war had to be transported in merchant ships in escorted convoys across the Atlantic Ocean where they were at the mercy of German U-boats and warships. At first, many were lost. The fall of France in June 1940 gave the U-boats bases on the Atlantic coast, and U-boat production increased allowing the Germans to now hunt in ‘wolf packs’.

How seriously did each side take the battle? How far were they able to innovate their way out of problems they encountered? Who made the crucial decisions on how the battle should be fought? How was the crucial battle for intelligence won?

Atlantic Nightmare identifies seven pivotal areas of the conflict to answer these questions.

The Drift to War by Richard Lamb 

This next book, from Richard Lamb, is a highly detailed account of why Germany went from the peaceful Weimar Republic to the infamous Third Reich, analysing the failures of British appeasement and an underestimation of the ruthlessness of Hitler’s Nazis. 

In 1929, Europe, still reeling from the catastrophic impact of World War One, was faced with the worst economic downturn in history with the advent of the Great Depression.

Germany, already required to pay large sums of reparations following the Treaty of Versailles, was on the brink of economic collapse.

Drawing from a wide range of interviews, correspondence and official archives, The Drift to War charts the rise of the Nazis in Germany and the political events leading up to the outbreak of war in 1939. Historian Richard Lamb argues that a series of errors by British politicians — including an attitude of acquiescence towards Hitler — contributed to the increasing popularity of the Nazi Party, culminating in Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. Lamb also asserts that the Treaty of Versailles would have been successful had Lloyd George succeeded in cancelling German reparations.

The Drift to War is a riveting account of British policy during the period, from the creation of the League of Nations to Hitler’s annexation of Austria and occupation of Czechoslovakia. A must-read for historians and all those with an interest in this period of modern history. 

The Old Contemptibles by Robin Neillands 

From one history to another, in this book Robin Neillands explores the role of the British Expeditionary Force in the First World War and their conflict with Kaiser Wilhelm’s Germany. 

‘It is my Royal and Imperial Command that you concentrate your energies and the valour of my soldiers to exterminate the treacherous English and walk over General French’s contemptible little army.’ 

So spoke Kaiser Wilhelm II of Imperial Germany in August 1914.

But as it turned out, walking over the ‘Old Contemptibles’, those implacable riflemen of the British Expeditionary Force, proved a tougher task than the Kaiser imagined – and beyond the capability of the German armies. At Mons, Le Cateau, the Marne, on the Aisne and at the Battle of First Ypres, they shot the Kaiser’s legions to pieces. 

This is the dramatic story of how those men, regular soldiers from every walk of life, plunged into this new and terrible war, held their muddy trenches against impossible odds and gave the Empire time to muster its forces and ready itself for the long struggle ahead. 

The Old Contemptibles brings those battles vividly to life in all their terror and glory. But Robin Neillands does more than explain the role of the BEF in the early months of the First World War. He also tells the story of why they were sent to France and of that wily officer, General Henry Wilson, whose years of secret intrigue with the French High Command first committed the British Army to this global war.

The Rise and Fall of Stalin by Robert Payne

Finally an informative chronicle of one of the most infamous men in history; Josef Stalin. Robert Payne discusses the things we never knew about Stalin and how he managed to go all the way to dominating Russia and much of Eastern Europe. 

This is the story of modern history’s most treacherous and terrifying dictator.

Stalin was a man of many facets: he studied for the priesthood, he was a romantic poet, a bank-robber, an assassin, a revolutionary, a ruthless leader, and, for a time, one of the two most powerful men in the world.

But after he took power he was also one of the bloodiest and cruellest leaders in all history. He cracked an iron whip over Russia and Eastern Europe as millions fell to his purges.

His bizarre, sinister life was matched only by his strange death in 1953 and his subsequent fall and condemnation by his successors.

That’s all the new books for this week. Whether you read some sci-fi, a thriller, or some non-fiction we hope you enjoy our new titles, and we’ll be back next week with some more. 

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