Tolkien Reading Day

March 25th has been designated Tolkien Reading Day in honour of the. English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor J R R Tolkien, CBE, who is Best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. Jonathathan Ronald Rheul Tolkien was Born on 3 January 1892 in Bloemfontein. His first novel was The Hobbit was Published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim.

THE HOBBIT

The Hobbit is Set in a time “Between the Dawn of Færie and the Dominion of Men”, and follows the dangerous and exciting quest of Bilbo Baggins who joins the Wizard Gandalf and a company of thirteen dwarves led by Thorin Okenshield on a dangerous journey to the Lonely Mountain, to reclaim the Dwarf kingdom of Erabor and the many treasures which have been stolen by the fearsome dragon Smaug. Along the way they encounter many hazards including Cave Trolls, Giant Spiders, Hordes of Orcs and Imprisonment by the Elves of Mirkwood Forest. As if that wasn’t enough something decidedly dodgy is also stirring in the Fortress of Dol Gulder, to the South-East of Mirkwood which is taken over by an evil Necromancer. The story culminates in a big battle between the men of Dale, The Elves of Mirkwood, The Dwarves of Erabor, the Hordes of Orcs and the Eagles as they all try to reclaim the treasure stolen by Smaug.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS

Tolkien was asked to write a follow up to the Hobbit and his next novel The Lord of the Rings was Published as three volumes ,as The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. The title of the novel refers to the story’s main antagonist, the Dark Lord Sauron, who Long before the events of the novel created One Ring to rule the other Rings of Power as the ultimate weapon in his campaign to conquer and rule all of Middle-earth and corrupt everyone. He is defeated in battle, and Isildur cuts the One Ring from Sauron’s finger, claiming it as an heirloom for his line. Sadly Isildur is killed by Orcs in the Gladden Fields, and the Ring is lost in the River Anduin.

Over two thousand years later, the Ring is found by a river-dwelling stoor called Déagol. His friend Sméagol immediately falls under the Ring’s spell and strangles Deagol. Sméagol is banished and hides under the Misty Mountains, where the Ring extends his lifespan and gradually transforms him into a twisted, corrupted creature called Gollum. Sadly He loses the Ring during The Hobbit, and Bilbo Baggins finds it. Meanwhile, Sauron takes a new physical form and reoccupies his old realm of Mordor. Gollum sets out in search of the Ring, but is captured by Sauron, who learns from him that Bilbo Baggins now has it. Gollum is set loose, and Sauron, who needs the Ring to regain his full power, sends forth the evil Nazgûl, to seize it. Meanwhile back in the Shire, the hobbit Frodo Baggins inherits the Ring from Bilbo, his cousin and guardian. Neither is aware of its origin, however Gandalf the Grey, a wizard and old friend of Bilbo, suspects the Ring’s evil provenance and advises Frodo to take it away from the Shire. So Frodo leaves, accompanied by his gardener and friend, Samwise (“Sam”) Gamgee, and two cousins, Meriadoc (“Merry”) Brandybuck and Peregrin (“Pippin”) Took.

They are nearly captured by the Nazgûl, but escape, aided by the enigmatic Tom Bombadil, who seems curiously unaffected by the Ring’s corrupting influence. After stopping in the town of Bree they meet Aragorn, Isildur’s heir. They flee from Bree after narrowly escaping another assault, but the Nazgûl attack them on the hill of Weathertop, wounding Frodo with a Morgul blade. Aragorn leads the hobbits toward the Elven refuge of Rivendell, while Frodo gradually succumbs to the wound. The Ringwraiths nearly overtake Frodo at the Ford of Bruinen. Frodo recovers in Rivendell under the care of Lord Elrond. The Council of Elrond reveals much significant history about Sauron and the Ring, as well as the news that Sauron has corrupted Gandalf’s fellow wizard, Saruman. The Council decides that the best course of action is to destroy the Ring, which can only be done by returning it to the flames of Mount Doom in Mordor, where it was forged. So the hobbits Frodo Baggins, Samwise “Sam” Gamgee, Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck and Peregrin “Pippin” Took, aided by Aragorn, a Human Ranger; Boromir, son of the Ruling Steward Denethor of the realm of Gondor; Gimli, a Dwarf warrior; Legolas, an Elven prince; and Gandalf, a Wizard set off on a perilous quest across Middle Earth to destroy the Ring in the Fires of Mount Doom. Encountering many dangers along the way including The Machinations of corrupted wizard Saruman, The Nazgul, Hordes of vicious orcs, and The Ancient Demonic and fiery Balrog. However They are helped along by Galadriel and Celeborn after they take refuge in the Elven forest of Lothlórien.

THE TWO TOWERS

Merry & Pippin are captured by Orcs but manage to escape and are befriended by Treebeard, the oldest of the tree-like Ents. who roused from their customarily peaceful ways by Merry and Pippin, attack Isengard, Saruman’s stronghold, and trap the wizard in the tower of Orthanc. The rest of the company ride to Edoras, the capital of Rohan, where they meet Théoden, King of Rohan, whom Gandalf convinces to ride to the ancient fortress of Helm’s Deep to engage Saruman’s forces, and are joined by company of the Rohirrim. Gandalf then convinces Treebeard to send an army of Huorns to the aid of Théoden at Helm’s Deep, and the Huorns destroy Saruman’s army. Frodo and Sam capture Gollum, who had been following them from Moria, and force him to guide them to Mordor. Finding Mordor’s Black Gate too dangerous to attempt, they travel instead to a secret passage Gollum knows. Torn between his loyalty to Frodo and his desire for the Ring, Gollum eventually betrays Frodo by leading him to the great spider Shelob in the tunnels of Cirith Ungol. Frodo is felled by Shelob’s bite, but Sam fights her off. Sam takes the Ring and leaves Frodo, believing him to be dead. When orcs find Frodo, Sam overhears them say that Frodo is only unconscious, and Sam determines to rescue him.

THE RETURN OF THE KING

Having been defeated at Helm’s Deep Sauron unleashes a heavy assault upon Gondor. Gandalf arrives with Pippin at Minas Tirith to alert Denethor, the Steward of Gondor, of the impending attack. The city is besieged, and Denethor, under the influence of Sauron through another palantír, despairs and commits suicide, nearly taking his remaining son Faramir with him. With time running out, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli take the Paths of the Dead, where Aragorn raises an undead army of oath-breakers bound by an ancient curse. The ghostly army help them to defeat the Corsairs of Umbar invading southern Gondor. The forces of Gondor and Rohan break the siege of Minas Tirith. Sam rescues Frodo from the tower of Cirith Ungol, and they cross Mordor. Meanwhile, in order to distract Sauron, Aragorn leads the the armies of Gondor and Rohan in a march on the Black Gate of Mordor where His vastly outnumbered troops fight desperately against Sauron’s armies. Meanwhile At the edge of the Cracks of Doom, Frodo is unable to resist the Ring any longer, and claims it for himself then Gollum suddenly reappears wanting “his precious” back.

THE SILMARILLION

Tolkien’s publisher requested a sequel to The Hobbit, so Tolkien sent them an early draft of The Silmarillion which comprises five parts. The first part, Ainulindalë, tells of the creation of Eä, the “world that is”. Valaquenta, the second part, gives a description of the Valar and Maiar, the supernatural powers in Eä. The next section, Quenta Silmarillion, which forms the bulk of the collection, chronicles the history of the events before and during the First Age, including the wars over the Silmarils. The fourth part, Akallabêth, relates the history of the Downfall of Númenor and its people, which takes place in the Second Age. The final part, “Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age”, is a brief account of the circumstances preceding The Lord of the Rings.

Ainulindalë

The first section of The Silmarillion, Ainulindalë (“The Music of the Ainur”), takes the form of a primary creation narrative. Eru (“The One”, also called Ilúvatar (“Father of All”), first created the Ainur, a group of eternal spirits or demiurges, called “the offspring of his thought”. Ilúvatar brought the Ainur together and showed them a theme, from which he bade them make a great music. Melkor — whom Ilúvatar had given the “greatest power and knowledge” of all the Ainur — broke from the harmony of the music to develop his own song. Some Ainur joined him, while others continued to follow Ilúvatar, causing discord in the music. This happened thrice, with Eru Ilúvatar successfully overpowering his rebellious subordinate with a new theme each time. Ilúvatar then stopped the music and showed them a vision of Arda and its peoples. The vision disappeared after a while, and Ilúvatar offered the Ainur a chance to enter into Arda and govern over the new world. Many Ainur descended, taking physical form and becoming bound to that world. The greater Ainur became known as Valar, while the lesser Ainur were called Maiar. The Valar attempted to prepare the world for the coming inhabitants (Elves and Men), while Melkor, who wanted Arda for himself, repeatedly destroyed their work; this went on for thousands of years until, through waves of destruction and creation, the world took shape. Valaquenta “Account of the Valar” describes Melkor and each of the 14 Valar in detail, as well as a few of the Maiar. It also reveals how Melkor seduced many Maiar — including Sauron into serving him.

QUENTA SILMARILLION

Quenta Silmarillion (“The History of the Silmarils”) is a series of interconnected tales set in the First Age concerning three jewels, called the Silmarils. It features the God-like Valar, who create the world for Elves and Men, but are continually plagued by the evil Melkor, who keeps destroying their work. First Melkor destroys the two lights that illuminated the world leaving the world in darkness, so the Valar move to Aman, a continent to the west of Middle-earth, and establish Valinor, illuminated by Two trees. Soon stars began to shine on Middle Earth waking the Elves so the Valar try to keep them safe from Melkor, who is eventually captured. The Elves are invited to live in Aman and some leave, while others stay in Middle Earth, including the Sindar, who are ruled by the Elf King Thingol and Melian, a Maia. Three Elf tribes set out- the Vanyar, Noldor, and the Teleri. Fëanor, son of Finwë, King of the Noldor, then creates the Silmarils, which glow with the light of the Two Trees.

However after being released Melkor, destroyd the Two Trees with the help of Ungoliant, kills Finwë, and steals the Silmarils, fleeing to Middle-earth, and attacking the Elvish kingdom of Doriath. However he is defeated in the first of five battles of Beleriand, and barricades himself in his northern fortress of Angband. So Fëanor and his sons swear an oath of vengeance against Melkor and anyone who withholds the Silmarils from them, inclluding the Valar. The Noldor pursue Melkor, whom Fëanor renames Morgoth. Fëanor’s sons seize ships from the Teleri, attacking and killing many of them, and leave the other Noldor to make the voyage by foot. Upon arriving in Middle-earth, the Noldor under Fëanor attack Melkor and defeat him, though Fëanor is killed by a Balrog . After a period of peace, Melkor attacks the Noldor but is defeated and besiege for 400 years before eventually breaking the siege and driving the Noldor back. Following the destruction of the Trees and the theft of the Silmaril, the Valar create the moon and sun, which awakens Men who settle in Beleriand and ally themselves to the Elves.

Beren a man who had survived the latest battle, arrives in Doriath, falls in love with the elf named Lúthien, the king’s daughter. However the king tries to prevent their marriage by imposing an impossible task: retrieving one of the Silmarils from Melkor. So Beren and Lúthien set out to retrieve a Silmaril but are caught and imprisoned by Sauron a powerful servant of Melkor, however the manage to escape and get inside Melkor’s fortress at Angband before taking a Silmaril from Melkor’s Crown. Having achieved the task, the first union of man and elf was formed, though Beren was soon mortally wounded and Lúthien also died of grief. The Noldor, seeing that a mortal and an elf-woman could infiltrate Angband, attacked again with a great army of Elves, Dwarves and Men. But are deceived by Melkor, and defeated. However, many Men remained loyal to the Elves and were honoured thereafter.

None received more honour than the brothers Húrin and Huor. Melkor captured Húrin, and cursed him to watch the downfall of his kin. Húrin’s son, Túrin Turambar, was sent to Doriath, leaving his mother and unborn sister behind in his father’s kingdom (which had been overrun by the enemy). Túrin achieved many great deeds of valor, the greatest being the defeat of the dragon Glaurung. Despite his heroism, however, Túrin was plagued by the curse of Melkor, which led him unwittingly to murder his friend Beleg and to marry and impregnate his sister Nienor, whom he had never met before, and who had lost her memory through Glaurung’s enchantment. Before their child was born, the bewitchment was lifted as the dragon lay dying. Nienor, realizing what grew within her, took her own life. Upon learning the truth, Túrin threw himself on his sword.

Huor’s other son, Tuor, became involved in the fate of the hidden Noldorin kingdom of Gondolin. He married Idril, daughter of Turgon, Lord of Gondolin (the second union between Elves and Men). When Gondolin fell, betrayed from within by Maeglin, Tuor saved many of its inhabitants from destruction. All of the Elvish kingdoms in Beleriand eventually fell, and the refugees fled to a haven by the sea created by Tuor. The son of Tuor and Idril, Eärendil the Half-elven, was betrothed to Elwing, herself descended from Beren and Lúthien. Elwing brought Eärendil the Silmaril of Beren and Lúthien, and using its light Eärendil travelled across the sea to Aman to seek help from the Valar. The Valar obliged; they attacked and defeated Melkor, completely destroying his fortress Angband and sinking most of Beleriand; and they expelled Melkor from Arda. This ended the First Age of Middle-earth. Eärendil and Elwing had two children: Elrond and Elros. As descendants of immortal elves and mortal men, they were given the choice of which lineage to belong to: Elrond chose to belong to the Elves, while his brother Elros became the first king of Numenor

AKALLABETH

Akallabêth (“The Downfallen” recounts the rise and fall of the island kingdom of Númenor, inhabited by the Dúnedain. After the defeat of Melkor, the Valar gave the island to the three loyal houses of Men who had aided the Elves in the war against him. Through the favor with the Valar, the Dúnedain were granted wisdom and power and life more enduring than any other of mortal race had possessed, making them comparable to the High-Elves of Aman. Indeed, the isle of Númenor lay closer to Aman than to Middle-earth. But their power lay in their bliss and their acceptance of mortality. The fall of Númenor was brought about by the corrupted Maia Sauron (formerly a chief servant of Melkor), who arose during the Second Age and tried to conquer Middle-earth.The Númenóreans moved against Sauron, who saw that he could not defeat them with force and allowed himself to be taken as a prisoner to Númenor. There he quickly enthralled the king, Ar-Pharazôn, urging him to seek out the immortality that the Valar had apparently denied him, thus nurturing the seeds of envy that the Númenóreans had begun to hold against the Elves of the West and the Valar. So it was that all the knowledge and power of Númenor was turned towards seeking an avoidance of death; but this only weakened them and sped the gradual waning of the lifespans to something more similar to that of other Men. Sauron urged them to wage war against the Valar themselves to win immortality, and to worship his old master Melkor, whom he said could grant them their wish. Ar-Pharazôn created the mightiest army and fleet Númenor had seen, and sailed against Aman.

The Valar and Elves of Aman, stricken with grief over their betrayal, called on Ilúvatar for help. When Ar-Pharazôn landed, Ilúvatar destroyed his fleet and drowned Númenor itself as punishment for the rebellion against the rightful rule of the Valar. Ilúvatar created a great wave, such as had never before been seen, which utterly destroyed and submerged the isle of Númenor, killing all but those Dúnedain who had already sailed east, and changing the shape of all the lands of Middle-earth. Sauron’s physical manifestation was also destroyed in the ruin of Númenor, but as a Maia his spirit returned to Middle-earth, now robbed of the fair form he once had. Some Númenóreans who had remained loyal to the Valar were spared and were washed up on the shores of Middle-earth, where they founded the kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor. Among these survivors were Elendil their leader, and his two sons Isildur and Anárion who had also saved a seedling from Númenor´s white tree, the ancestor of that of Gondor. They founded the Númenórean Kingdoms in Exile: Arnor in the north and Gondor in the south. Elendil reigned as High-king of both kingdoms, but committed the rule of Gondor jointly to Isildur and Anárion. The power of the kingdoms in exile was greatly diminished from that of Númenor, “yet very great it seemed To the Wild Men of Mddle Earth.

The Children of Húrin was also published posthumously by Christopher Tolkien and tells the story of the Children of Hurin Thalion who was chained to a rock by the evil Melkur/Morgoth and forced to watch the ultimately tragic downfall of his son Túrin Turambar who is separated from his sister Nienor from an early age and sent to Doriath. At first Turin proves himself to be a mighty warrior and achieves many great deeds in Middle Earth and defeats many enemies. However he falls foul of the sinister machinations of the evil dragon Glaurung around the fall of Elven kingdom of Gondolin.

Many other novels have also been published under the Tolkien name including The Fall of Gondolin, Sigurd and Gudrun, Beren and Luthien, Beowulf and King Arthur, Using material  compiled by Christopher Tolkien from The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, The History of Middle-earth, and other manuscripts such as the Poetic Edda.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

The Girl in the Spiders Web is out on DVD on 25 March. It based on the novel of the same name by David Lagercrantz and is a sort of sequel to David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and the second installment in the American produced Millennium film series. The movie stars Claire Foy, taking over the role of Lisbeth Salander from Rooney Mara, it also stars Sverrir Gudnason, LaKeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, and Stephen Merchant.

It concerns a Computer scientist named Frans Balder who suddenly abandons a prestigious job in Silicon Valley and returns to Sweden to take custody of his autistic son August. Balder is then informed by several law enforcement agencies that he is also in danger from a criminal organization who call themselves the “Spider Society”, however he dismisses their warnings. Meanwhile A former associate of Frans Balder’s named Linus Brandell, informs investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist about Balder and his tumultuous history, mentioning that some of his activities were aided by Lisbeth Salander.

Lisbeth Salander herself is attempting to track down someone from her past, this leads her to the mysterious and rather sinister Spider Society. She helps a group of hackers gain access into NAtional Security Agency servers, much to the fury of the agency’s top cyber security agent, Ed “The Ned” Needham. So NSA agent Alona Casales and FRA agent Gabriella Grane are given the task of pursuing Salander and the evil Spider Society and their leader “Thanos”.
So Grane calls Balder who hires Milton Security for protection and Blomkvist contacts Salander, hoping to harness her talents to the investigation.

Eventually August’s mother finds herself unable to cope with his disorder and remands him to a care facility. However, Blomkvist realizes that August could help identify his father’s killer. Unfortunately sinister forces are trying to silence August and he is almost assassinated, however Salander rescues August from the Care Facility and Tries to contact Blomkvist and Millennium editor Erika Berger for assistance. Grane, a friend of Berger’s, also offers her beachfront vacation property as a safe house. Blomkvist learns from Balder’s former associates that he had hired Salander to confirm that someone had robbed him, Her investigations implicate executives inside Solifon, the company he worked for, in the theft.

Upon further investigation Balder discovers a sinister conspiracy linking Solifon, the NSA and the Spider Society. Which Needham and the NSA attempt to cover up. Balder then learns of a mysterious individual known as “Wasp”. Elsewhere, a woman calling herself Rebecka Mattson attempts to seduce Blomkvist. However Salander’s former guardian, Holger Palmgren, has some rather worrying news concerning Rebecka. Meanwhile August and Salander find themselves in grave danger at the safe house ….

The Closers by Michael Connelly

I am about to reread The Closers by Michael Connelly. This exciting crime thriller was published in 2005 and is the 15th crime thriller by American crime author Michael Connelly, and the eleventh featuring the Los Angeles detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch. It follows on from Lost Light and The Narrows, which were both set during Bosch’s retirement. In fact i might start with Lost Light, then read the Narrows then the Closers.

The Closers features LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) detective Harry Bosch who is back on the force after a three-year retirement. Assigned to the Open-Unsolved Unit (cold case squad) and teamed with former partner Kizmin “Kiz” Rider, Harry’s first case back involves the murder of 16-year-old high school girl Rebecca Verloren in 1988, reopened because of a DNA match to blood found on the murder weapon. It transpires that The blood on the gun belongs to a local low-life white supremacist, Roland Mackey, a fact that links him to the crime via the victim’s biracial family.

So Bosch and Kiz set about locating and catching Mackey. However they discover that the initial investigation of the crime also has links to a police conspiracy orchestrated by Bosch’s nemesis Irvin Irving to cover up the ties of a ranking officer’s son with a neo-Nazi group. This leads the pair explore an old unsolved crime, which destroyed the young girl’s family—leaving the mother trapped in the past and plunging the father into a downward spiral of homelessness and alcoholism…

Jules Verne

Best known for writing the novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873),and sometimes referred to as the “Father of Science Fiction”, French Science Fiction Author Jules Gabriel Verne sadly passed away on 24th March 1905. He was Born February 8, 1828 in Nantes France, and attended the lycée. After completing his studies he went to Paris to study law. Around 1848, he wrote five libretti for operettas with Michel Carré, for his friend the composer Aristide Hignard, who also set Verne’s poems as chansons. For some years, he divided his attentions between the theater and work. However, some travelers’ stories he wrote for the Musée des familles revealed his true talent: describing delightfully extravagant voyages and adventures with cleverly prepared scientific and geographical details that lent an air of credibility.

When Verne’s father discovered that his son was writing rather than studying law, he promptly withdrew his financial support. Verne was forced to support himself as a stockbroker, which he hated despite being somewhat successful at it. During this period, he also met Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas, who offered him writing advice. Verne’s situation improved when he met Pierre-Jules Hetzel, one of the more important French publishers of the 19th century, who also published Victor Hugo, George Sand, and Erckmann-Chatrian, among others. They formed an excellent writer-publisher team until Hetzel’s death. Hetzel helped improve Verne’s writings, which until then had been repeatedly rejected by other publishers. Hetzel read a draft of a Verne story about balloon exploration of Africa; the story had been rejected by other publishers for being “too scientific”. With Hetzel’s help, Verne rewrote the story, which was published in 1863 in book form as Cinq semaines en ballon (Five Weeks in a Balloon). Acting on Hetzel’s advice, Verne added comical accents to his novels, changed sad endings into happy ones, and toned down various political messages and was able to make the science fiction genre successful in Europe

Verne published two or more volumes a year. The most successful being : Voyage au centre de la Terre (Journey to the Center of the Earth, 1864); De la Terre à la Lune (From the Earth to the Moon, 1865); Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, 1869); and Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours (Around the World in Eighty Days), which first appeared in Le Temps in 1872. The series is collectively known as the Voyages Extraordinaires (“extraordinary voyages”). Verne could now live on his writings. But most of his wealth came from the stage adaptations of Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours (1874) and Michel Strogoff (1876), Many of his novels involve elements of technology that were fantastic for the day but later became commonplace. He is the second most translated author in the world (after Agatha Christie). Many of his novels have also been adapted into films, animations and television shows numerous times. Verne is also sometimes referred to as the “Father of Science Fiction”, a title he shares with Hugo Gernsback and H. G. Wells.

James Patterson

Prolific American thriller Author James B. Patterson was born March 22, 1947 in Newburgh, New York. He is largely known for his novels about fictional psychologist Alex Cross, the protagonist of the Alex Cross series. Patterson also wrote the Michael Bennett, Women’s Murder Club, Maximum Ride, Daniel X, and Witch and Wizard series, as well as many stand-alone thrillers, non-fiction and romance novels. Novels written by Patterson include Kiss the girls, Cat and Mouse, Four Blind Mice, First to die, Thomas Berryman number, Private, Private New York, Private London, Private Paris, Private Sydney, Truth or Die, Sail, Toys, Burn, 14th Deadly Sin, Cross Country, I Alex Cross, kill Alex Cross, Run For Your Life, Kiss the Girls, NYPD RED, NYPD RED 2, NYPD RED 3, Hope to Die and many others. His books have sold more than 300 million copies. He received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Manhattan College, along with a Master of Arts in English from Vanderbilt University.

James Patterson’s first job was in advertising, then After Patterson retired from advertising in 1996,he devoted his time to writing.James Patterson published his first novel in 1976 called The Thomas Berryman Number. The novels featuring his character Alex Cross, a forensic psychologist formerly of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation who now works as a private psychologist and government consultant, are his most popular and the top-selling U.S. detective series in the past ten years. Patterson has written 95 novels since 1976. He has had 19 consecutive No. 1 New York Times bestselling novels, and holds The New York Times record for most bestselling hardcover fiction titles by a single author, a total of 76, which is also a Guinness World Record. His novels account for one in 17 of all hardcover novels sold in the United States; in recent years his novels have sold more copies than those of Stephen King, John Grisham and Dan Brown combined.

His books have sold approximately 300 million copies worldwide. Patterson’s awards include the Edgar Award, the BCA Mystery Guild’s Thriller of the Year, the International Thriller of the Year award,and the Children’s Choice Book Award for Author of the Year. He is the first author to have No. 1 new titles simultaneously on The New York Times adult and children’s bestsellers lists, and to have two books on NovelTracker’s top-ten list at the same time. He appeared on the Fox TV show The Simpsons (in the episode “Yokel Chords”) and in various episodes of Castle as himself. Patterson also works with a variety of co-authors, such as Maxine Paetro, Andrew Gross, Mark Sullivan, Ashwin Sanghi, Michael Ledwidge, and Peter De Jonge and has often said that collaborating with others brings new and interesting ideas to his stories. In September 2009, Patterson signed a deal to write or co-write 11 books for adults and 6 for young adults by the end of 2012.

In 2005 Patterson also founded the James Patterson PageTurner Awards to donate over US $100,000 that year to people, companies, schools, and other institutions that find original and effective ways to spread the excitement of books and reading. The PageTurner Awards were put on hold in 2008 to focus on Patterson’s new initiative, ReadKiddoRead.com, which helps parents, teachers, and librarians find the best books for their children. The social networking site for ReadKiddoRead is hosted by Ning. Patterson has also set up the James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarship in the schools of education at Appalachian State University, Michigan State University, and Florida Atlantic University. Patterson also runs the College Book Bucks scholarship program. Patterson is very prolific and his latest  novels include Heist, Malicious, 16th Seduction, Hide and Seek, The family lawyer, Hidden, Private Princess and Seventeenth suspect, Eighteenth abduction, Never Never, Texas Ranger, Target Alex Cross, out of sight, the Chef, Revenge, ambush and, Juror Number 3 

In 2005 Patterson also founded the James Patterson PageTurner Awards to donate over US $100,000 that year to people, companies, schools, and other institutions that find original and effective ways to spread the excitement of books and reading. The PageTurner Awards were put on hold in 2008 to focus on Patterson’s new initiative, ReadKiddoRead.com, which helps parents, teachers, and librarians find the best books for their children. The social networking site for ReadKiddoRead is hosted by Ning. Patterson has also set up the James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarship in the schools of education at Appalachian State University, lMichigan State University, and Florida Atlantic University. Patterson also runs the College Book Bucks scholarship program. Patterson’s latest novels include Malicious, 16th Seduction, Hide and Seek, Hidden, NYPD red 5, Private Princess and Never Never.

The last thing she told me by Linda Green

The last thing she told me by Linda Green is an emotionally-charged and haunting mystery suspense novel from Linda Green, the bestselling author of While My Eyes Were Closed and After I’ve Gone. It tells the story of four generations of women from the same family who are linked by secrets and shame from the past.

It concerns Mother of two Nicola and It begins moments before Nicola’s grandmother Betty dies. Betty tells her that there are babies at the bottom of the garden. Nicola thinks she must have been talking about her fairy statues. However on the day of the funeral, Nicola’s youngest daughter Maisie makes a disturbing discovery while playing in Betty’s Garden which suggests something sinister has actually taken place. Nicola calls the police to investigate but starts to regret it when she realises that unearthing centuries of painful family secrets Could end up tearing her family apart and may unearth even more sinister goings on.

Transcription by Kate Atkinson

Transcription is a thrilling espionage thriller by Kat Atkinson. It begins In 1940, During World War Two. It features eighteen-year old Juliet Armstrong who is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. She is Sent to an obscure department of MI5 and tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying.

When the war ends, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever. Now Ten years later Juliet is employed,as a radio producer at the BBC. However She is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. Now her activities during the war have come back to haunt her and A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without consequence.