#The Fiction Hotlist

AdulteryThis week’s Fiction Hotlist  list features over 90 new individual titles and over 500 copies across all libraries. They’re all coming to Leeds Libraries now. There’s a  wide variety from crime to historical, scifi to really absorbing psychological fiction, from fantasy to chicklit.

In the next few days, we’ll be publishing a bumper crime list so watch out for that. As a taster there are new books by Sarah Blaedel, Linda Castillo, Julia Keller,Peter May, Richard Montanari, Walter Mosley, Peter Murphy, Jill Paton Walsh, Mark Pearson, Ruth Rendell, Peter Robinson, P D Viner and Euro crime by Jo Nesbo, Arnaldur Indriason, Maurizio De Giovanni featuring this week . David Baldacci’s the editor of Face Off  which has stories by 23 world famous crime writers.

Treat yourself to a browse around list, and get your Bank Holiday reading sorted.


The Homing Instinct by Bernd Heinrich

The homing instinct: meaning and mystery in animal migrationThe homing instinct: meaning and mystery in animal migration by Bernd Heinrich

This is a fascinating look at the pull of home and whether it’s in our DNA to gravitate there in this book by New England-based scientist Bernd Heinrich. He covers a range of species, moths  eels, whales and humans – looking at both the mechanics and motivation that influences their migrations.

He explores the ability of animals to travel great distances – war leaders from Julius Caesar to those serving in World War 1 have used pigeons to carry orders. He says pigeon post is “probably more reliable for transmitting secret messages than the telephone and internet are today”.

Geese imprint true visual landscape memory; fish, insects, amphibians use scent trails to pinpoint their home if they are displaced from it; the tiniest songbirds are equipped for solar and magnetic orienteering over vast distances. When a pair of  cranes return to their home pond in the Alaska tundra, they show unmistakable signs of deep  emotion.

It’s a beautifully written and fascinating book about the pull of home.

Scifi and fantasy fans – enjoy these epic new books

FiefdomFiefdom by Dan Abnett and Nik Vincent. The last of humanity has taken refuge in hibernation at the poles, hiding from the giant invading insects that have conquered the Earth!

Visions by Kelly Armstrong who often gets 5 star ratings from our readers.  Latest in New York Times bestselling author’s Cainsville series. Olivia’s power to read omens leads to the discovery of a gruesome crime with troubling connections to her new hometown. Paranormal.

The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero. Gothic haunted house story meets supernatural conspiracy !

Dark Skye by Kresley Cole. Must be OK as it’s instalment 15 in the New York Times bestselling Immortals After Dark series. A sultry tale of a mighty warrior scarred inside and out and the beguiling sorceress with the power to heal him—or vanquish him forever.

Assail by Ian Esslemont. Scifi. Final novel in the epic and awesome Malazan series. The ice in Assail is melting …

StormcallerFool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb. Recommended by G R R Martin. Tom Badgerlock has been living peaceably in the manor house at Withywoods but behind the facade of respectable middle-age lies a turbulent and violent past. For Tom Badgerlock is actually FitzChivalry Farseer

Blood Games by Chloe Neill. More from Chicagoland Vampires

Dreamwalker by James Oswald. Reviewed as more epic than Gormenghast and a phenomenon for 2014

Stormcaller by Chris Wraight. Second novel in the Space Wolves series. Hours of Heresy series continues in October with ‘Scars’

Life and loves of a He Devil and other biographies

The life and loves of a he devilThese three tempting biographies are on order so reserve them now!

The Life and Loves of a He Devil  by Graham Norton.

He’s been entertaining audiences (remember his priest in Father Ted) and having fun with some of the world’s biggest stars for nearly 20 years. He is loved across the nation for his delight in the peculiar and for his ability to find humour and a common ground in all that life brings.

A funny and honest memoir on the theme of love, telling his story from his Irish childhood to the present day, describing just what and who he loved – and sometimes lost – as a young boy, and his new loves and obsessions – big and small – as he’s grown older

Vivienne WestwoodVivienne Westwood by Ian Kelly

One of the icons of our age; fashion designer, activist, co-creator of punk, global brand and grandmother; a true living legend. Both her name and brand are recognised the world over, whilst at home in the UK she has attained National Treasure status as the nation’s favourite fearless female icon.

 ‘The living deserve respect. The dead deserve the truth; Ian and I are working together on this and I am excited that this will be my story, the story nobody ever did before.’ She is both writing and collaborating on a unique personal memoir and authorised biography: part her own voice, part contributions from her vast network of friends, family &associates. This boy

Please, Mr Postman by Alan Johnson  Born in condemned housing in West London in 1950, with no heating, no electricity and no running water, Alan Johnson did not have the easiest start in life. By the age of 18, he was married, a father and working as a postman in Slough.

This sequel to the bestselling memoir This Boy describes the next period in Alan’s life with every bit as much honesty, humour and emotional impact as his bestselling debut. A vivid picture of a bygone era – Britain in the 1970s was a very different country to the one we know today – and reveals another fascinating chapter in the life of one of our best loved public figures

A listicle of new words

 Oxford Dictionaries August updateOxford dictionaries have published this ‘listicle’ of words & phrases that have made it into current language use.  Check out Oxford Dicxtionaries in our onlines resources!

acquihire, n.: buying out a company primarily for the skills and expertise of its staff…

adorbs, adj.: (informal) arousing great delight; cute or adorable

air punch, n.: thrusting one’s clenched fist up into the air, typically as a gesture of triumph…

amazeballs, adj.: (informal) very impressive, enjoyable, or attractive

Bank of Mum and Dad, phr.: (Brit. informal) a person’s parents regarded as source of financial assistance

bare, adv.: (Brit. informal) very; really (used as an intensifier)

bedroom tax, n.: (in the UK) informal name for a measure introduced in the Welfare Reform Act 2012…

binge-watch, v.: (informal) watch multiple episodes of (a television programme) in rapid succession…

bro hug, n.: (US informal) friendly embrace between two men

clickbait, n.: (informal) (on the Internet) content…whose main purpose is to attract attention and draw visitors to a particular web page

cord cutting, n.: (informal) practice of cancelling a pay television subscription or landline phone connection in favour of an alternative Internet-based or wireless service

cotch, v.: (Brit. informal) spend time relaxing; stay or sleep somewhere on a temporary basis

cray, adj. (also cray cray): (US informal) crazy

Deep Web, n.: the part of the World Wide Web that is not discoverable by means of standard search engines.

doncha, contraction: (informal) don’t you

douchebaggery, n.: (N. Amer. informal) obnoxious or contemptible behaviour

dox, v.: (informal) search for and publish private data about (an individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent

e-cig, n.: (informal) another term for electronic cigarette

false widow, n.: a spider resembling the black widow, some species of which are moderately poisonous to humans

fandom, n.: the fans of a particular person, team, series, etc. regarded collectively as a community or subculture

fast follower, n.: a company that quickly imitates the innovations of its competitors

5:2 diet, n.: a diet that involves eating normally for five days out of a seven-day period and greatly restricting the amount of food eaten on the other two days

FML, abbrev.: (vulgar slang) f— my life! (used to express dismay at a frustrating personal situation)

geocache, n.: an item…that has been hidden at a location whose coordinates have been posted on the Internet…

hate-watch, v.: (informal) watch (a television programme) for the sake of the enjoyment derived from mocking or criticizing it

hench, adj.: (Brit. informal) (of a man) strong, fit, and having well-developed muscles

hippotherapy, n.: horse riding as a therapeutic or rehabilitative treatment…

hot mess, n.: (US informal) a person or thing that is spectacularly unsuccessful or disordered

hot mic, n.: (informal) a microphone that is turned on, in particular one that broadcasts a spoken remark that was intended to be private

humblebrag, n. & v.: (informal) (make) an ostensibly modest or self-deprecating statement whose actual purpose is to draw attention to something of which one is proud

hyperconnected, adj.: characterized by the widespread or habitual use of devices that have Internet connectivity

ICYMI, abbrev.: (informal) in case you missed it

in silico, adj. & adv.: (of scientific experiments) conducted or produced by means of computer modelling or simulation

listicle, n.: an Internet article presented in the form of a numbered or bullet-pointed list

live-tweet, v.: post comments about (an event) on Twitter while the event is taking place

mansplain, v.: (informal) (of a man) explain something to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing

mud run, n.: an event in which participants negotiate a course consisting of obstacles filled or covered with mud

neckbeard, n.: (informal) growth of hair on a man’s neck, especially when regarded as indicative of poor grooming…

octocopter, n.: an unmanned helicopter having eight rotors

olinguito, n.: a small nocturnal tree-dwelling mammal living in cloud forests of Colombia and Ecuador…

Paleo diet, n: a diet based on the type of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans…

pharmacovigilance, n.: the practice of monitoring effects of medical drugs after they have been licensed for use

responsive, adj.: denoting a website whose page design changes automatically according to the size of screen on which it is viewed

second screen, n.: a mobile device used while watching television, especially to access supplementary content or applications

sentiment analysis, n.: the process of computationally identifying and categorizing opinions expressed in a piece of text

side boob, n.: (informal) the side part of a woman’s breast, as exposed by a revealing item of clothing

side-eye, n.: (informal , chiefly US): a sidelong glance expressing disapproval or contempt

smartwatch, n.: a mobile device with a touchscreen display, worn on the wrist

SMH, abbrev.: (informal) shaking (or shake) my head (used to express disapproval, exasperation, etc.)…

spit take, n.: (informal) (especially as a comic technique) an act of suddenly spitting out liquid one is drinking in response to something funny or surprising

subtweet, n.: (informal) (on Twitter) a post that refers to a particular user without directly mentioning them, typically as a form of furtive mockery or criticism

tech-savvy, n.: (informal) well informed about or proficient in the use of modern technology

time-poor, adj.: spending much of one’s time working or occupied…

throw shade, phr.: (US informal) publicly criticize or express contempt for someone

vape, v.: inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device

WDYT, abbrev.: (informal) what do you think?

YOLO, abbrev.: (informal) you only live once (expressing the view that one should make the most of the present moment)…


The Hugo Award – Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

Ancillary Justice by Ann LeckieAt the 72nd World Science Fiction in London, Ann Leckie’s debut novel, the space opera Ancillary Justice (we’ve just ordered it) won the prestigious Hugo Award for best novel.

One of the biggest events in the science fiction calender, the awards are named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories and the man who coined the word science fiction. It’s a democratic award, based on votes by the public-  3,587  were cast this year.

The book, which is narrated by the artificial intelligence of a starship that has been transplanted into a single body, has been sweeping up many of the major sci-fi and fantasy awards, including the Nebula and Arthur C. Clarke awards.

In a review for NPR, Genevieve Valentine wrote, “A space opera that skillfully handles both choruses and arias, Ancillary Justice is an absorbing thousand-year history, a poignant personal journey, and a welcome addition to the genre.”

Other winners of this year’s Hugo include John Chu’s The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere for best short story and Charles Stross’ Equoid for best novella.


The top ten most bizarre questions posed to councils

Dragon Queen lo-res coverIt’s Monday and you might need cheering up. So here’s The Local Government Association’s list of the last year’s strangest Freedom of Information requests. Which one’s your favourite? We think no 1. Maybe an overdose of Game of Thrones.

The top 10 unusual FOIs are:

1. What plans are in place to protect the town from a dragon attack? (Wigan Council)

2. Please list all the types of animals you have frozen since March 2012, including the type and quantity of each animal? (Cambridge City Council)

3. How many times has the council paid for the services of an exorcist, psychic or religious healer? Were the services performed on an adult, child, pet or building? (Rossendale Council)

4. Please can you let me know how many roundabouts are located within your council boundaries? (Leicestershire County Council)

5. What precautions, preparations, planning and costings have been undertaken in the case an asteroid crashes into Worthing, a meteorite landing in Worthing or solar activity disrupting electromagnetic fields? (Worthing Borough Council)

6. How many holes in privacy walls between cubicles have been found in public toilets and within council buildings in the last 10 years? (Rossendale Council)

7. How many bodies are there in mortuaries that have been unclaimed for ten years? How long have these bodies been in the mortuary? How old were they when they died? Is it possible to have the names of these people? (Richmond Council)

8. How many people in the town have a licence to keep a tiger, lion, leopard, lynx or panther as a pet? (Scarborough Council)

9. How many requests were made to council-run historic public-access buildings (e.g. museums) requesting to bring a team of ‘ghost investigators’ into the building? (Birmingham Council)

10. How many children in the care of the council have been micro-chipped? (Southend Council)