For some of us summer heralds an opportunity to finally sit back and get gloriously lost in the backlog you’ve racked up on your e-reader, but for others, it’s all you can do to snatch ten minutes to yourself between blowing up the kids’ inflatable crocodile and applying a sixth layer of sun-cream. The Bookends team are strong believers that even the the tiniest of respites is a golden opportunity for a great read, so we’ve put together a list of some short but oh-so-sweet stories from some of our favourite authors.
LARGER THAN LIFE – Jodi Picoult
A gripping and beautifully written novella that introduces Alice, the unforgettable character at the centre of Jodi Picoult’s new novel LEAVING TIME. Alice is a researcher studying memory in elephants, and is fascinated by the bonds between mother and calf. Living on a game reserve in Botswana, Alice is able to view the animals in their natural habitat, as long as she obeys one important rule: she must only observe and never interfere. Then she finds an orphaned young elephant in the bush and cannot bear to leave the helpless baby behind, risking her career to care for the calf.
GIRLS ON TOUR – Nicola Doherty
You get five for the price of one in this hilarious series from Nicola Doherty, featuring four friends, and five fabulous locations. Poppy is bound for Paris. Could this be her chance to end her epic dry spell? Lily is en route to her cousin’s wedding in LA, where she’s willing to break a few rules to land her dream role. Maggie can’t wait for her romantic ski holiday in Meribel – until it goes seriously off-piste. Rachel packs for a glamorous Roman holiday, but a blast from the past is about to sabotage la dolce vita. The girls get together and fly to Manhattan. But someone’s been hiding a big secret in the Big Apple…
DAYDREAMS OF ANGELS – Heather O’Neill
These are old stories, but not as you know them. Set not in the forests of Europe or fantasy worlds, but on the battlefields of World War II and the wilderness of downtown Montreal.
With her blazing imagination, irreverent humour and arresting prose, Heather O’Neill twists original children’s stories and fairytales anew: more magical for their realism, more profound for their darkness; captivating, witty and wicked.
FINDING THE ONE – Adele Parks
When it comes to falling in love and finding the elusive ‘one’, Adele Parks, with her trademark, up-front, tell-it-as-it-is style, gets right to the heart of the dilemmas real women – and men – face in their lives. FINDING THE ONE is the first of four deliciously insightful e-short story collections about the changing face of love – and sometimes finding it in the most unexpected of places.
WHERE THERE’S SMOKE – Jodi Picoult
Yes, that’s right, we’ve included a second entry from Jodi Picoult. What can we say? The woman’s a genius. Even as a child, Serenity Jones knew she possessed unusual psychic gifts. Now, decades later, she’s an acclaimed medium and host of her own widely viewed TV show, where she delivers messages to the living from loved ones who have died. Lately, though, her efforts to boost ratings and garner fame have compromised her clairvoyant instincts. When Serenity books a young war widow to appear as a guest, the episode quickly unravels, stirring up a troubling controversy. And as she tries to undo the damage – to both her reputation and her show – Serenity finds that pride comes at a high price.
SHEILA O’FLANAGAN INVITES YOU IN – Sheila O’Flanagan
We’re finishing off with something different, though if it’s short stories you’re looking for, Sheila does those too – check out DESTINATIONS and CONNECTIONS. This delightful ebook invites us in for a glimpse of the bestselling author’s world, including pieces on ‘A Writer’s Life’, a Q&A with Sheila and the first chapter of MY MOTHER’S SECRET. Not a novel — more a really good gossip!
Check out Jodi Picoult’s LEAVING TIME – it’s our Book of the Month!
Read what books Sheila O’Flanagan keeps on her bedside table here.