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What do you hope to read more of in 2023?

From eye-opening memoirs to feel-good romance — whatever your New Year’s reading resolution is, this list has you covered.

In 1994, a Peace Corps Volunteer named Christopher Davenport travels to Papua New Guinea to live with a group of subsistence farmers.

One day, following the death of a venerated elder, the people of the village kidnap, torture, and ultimately kill a local woman accused of practising sorcery. Devastated, Christopher tries desperately to reconcile this unspeakable act with the welcoming and nurturing community he has come to love. But in trying to comprehend what he has witnessed through the lens of Western sensibilities, Christopher is unable to find answers.

Instead, he is left with one universal question: How do we continue to love someone who has done the unthinkable?


Streetlife presents a collection of interviews, recorded by the author, with four men and two trans women she met in the course of her work during the 1980s and early 1990s. They are voices from the very edges of society; their stories taking us from the ‘cardboard city’ to parties with the rich and famous, and taking in drugs, clubs, glamour, violence, money, brothels, safe and unsafe sex, and the fear of HIV.

In Streetlife, Barbara Gibson gives a voice to those long ignored. In doing so she makes a valuable contribution to the literature on British society and marginalized groups, and shows how modern attitudes and approaches have evolved. This book is a gritty read, but will be welcomed by anyone with an interest in modern British history and social issues, particularly the HIV/AIDS crisis and LGBTQ+ history.


The Byzantines were a remarkable people, and they produced some remarkable women. But by any standards, Theodora must rank as one of the most remarkable of them all. Historically, she has been slandered by her enemies. But while some of their scandalous stories may be partly true, she triumphed over every adverse circumstance, rising from her humble beginnings as a dancing girl to become a great empress.

Antony Bridge’s artistic and theological background, and lifelong interest in Byzantium, fit him particularly well for the role of Theodora’s biographer. He has produced a scholarly and entertaining book that will fascinate and delight readers.


With its dissolute, extravagant group of philosophers, diplomats, writers, explorers, and refugees, Peking’s foreign community in the early twentieth century was as exotic as the city itself.

The last great capital to remain untouched by the modern world, Peking both entranced and horrified its foreign residents, most of whom were cocooned inside the legation quarter: their own walled enclave, suffused with martinis, jazz piano and cigarettes.

Through extensive use of unpublished diaries and letters, Julia Boyd reveals the foreigner’s perceptions and reactions, their take on everyday life, and the unforgettable events that occurred around them.


Set in upstate New York in the middle of the 19th century, this refreshing historical romance combines a cast of colorful characters with an absorbing plot. Young Melisande Stevens travels from an English orphanage to work as a servant in the house of an American physician. After the horrific Atlantic crossing, Melisande arrives only to find that the doctor’s family has moved. Friendless and ill, she is rescued by the town’s new physician, Dr. Adam Kingsley, who takes her into his household and, after she recovers, offers her a position as a domestic. Gifted Melisande is clearly not housemaid material and, despite her attraction to Dr. Kingsley, she leaves his home determined to make her own way. What ensues makes for engrossing social history and a first-rate love story between two feisty, headstrong individuals, both with unspoken pasts.


In this thrilling novel of mistaken identity Emilie Loring tells the dramatic story of two young girls from very different backgrounds.

When a dark-haired fascinating stranger moves into a new home, her wealthy neighbour decides he has found the woman of his dreams. Young architect Scott Pelham is not deterred when he learns of her family’s dishonour, and he sets out to clear her name. But in doing so, he finds himself immersed in a shadowy world where nothing and no one is quite what they seem, and danger lurks.


Annabelle seems to have it all. The perfect house, a successful husband, a darling son. But Annabelle is troubled.

Trapped in an unhappy marriage, failing at motherhood, and at odds with her new privilege, Annabelle begins to self-harm, a habit resurrected from her traumatic past.

When she meets the alluring and charismatic hypnotherapist Cassandra Rose, she is offered a way out. But as the boundaries between her hypnotic trance and reality begin to dissolve, Annabelle becomes increasingly vulnerable.


Cordelia Olivieri is a young, determined hotel owner desperate to escape Mussolini’s racial persecution. But as Fascist leaders gather in Rome, Cordelia is suddenly surrounded by the world’s most ruthless and powerful commanders.

In an effort to keep her Jewish heritage a secret and secure safe passage out of Italy, Cordelia forms a dangerous alliance with the British army who want to push the Axis out of North Africa once and for all.

Going undercover, Cordelia begins obtaining and leaking military intelligence to a British agent, hoping the intel will secure her freedom. But the more Cordelia uncovers, the greater the risks – especially for one German Afrika Korps officer.


Radclyffe Hall will always be famous for The Well of Loneliness, her groundbreaking novel of lesbian love. But it was Adam’s Breed which won her the most acclaim at the time of publication in 1926, winning both the James Tait and the Femina Vie Heureuse prize for best English novel.

Set in London’s Soho around the turn of the twentieth century, Adam’s Breed is her most brilliant and complete exploration of isolation in childhood and a lack of maternal love. Beautifully written, imbued with sadness and despair, it is nonetheless a compelling, redemptive novel, with themes that resonate to this day.


The Horse’s Mouth, famously filmed with Alec Guinness in the central role, is a searing portrait of the artistic temperament.

Gulley Jimson is the charming, impoverished painter who cares little about the conventional values of his day. His unfailing belief that he must live and paint according to his intuition without regard for the cost to himself or to others, makes him a man of great, if sometimes flawed, vision.

But with an admirable drive for creation comes an astonishing hunger for destruction. Is he a great artist? A has-been? Or an exhausted, drunken ne’er-do-well?


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