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Welcome to the Aura Book Corner! Each month a different book will be included as a recommendation from Aura Libraries.

To access our 24 hour online library catalogue, click here.

Aura Libraries’ September 2020 book of the month is: The Listeners by Anthony J. Quinn!

Detective Carla Herron is tasked with interviewing a patient at Deepwell psychiatric hospital who has confessed to the brutal murder of one of the hospital’s most acclaimed psychotherapists. But how could he have committed the crime when he was under 24-hour surveillance? Eager to prove herself, Carla is determined to solve what looks like an impossible crime. She is soon consumed with the case and trapped between the mysteries of Deepwell hospital and the bleak and misty forests of the alleged crime scene. Fighting against her superiors, and against the staff at Deepwell who are unwilling to divulge any information, Carla is relentless in her search for the truth.

Deeply suspenseful, and wonderfully atmospheric, The Listeners is certainly a chilling page turner for any lover of crime fiction!
Aura Book Score: 4/5

Aura Libraries’ August 2020 book of the month is: My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite!

Sisters Korede and Ayoola could not be more different. Shy and serious Korede is not at all shocked to receive a panicked phone call from Ayoola who has just killed another man in an apparent act of self-defence, raising the death count to 3 murdered boyfriends. Korede helps Aooyla, once again, to not only clean the crime scene, but eliminate any suspicion pointing in her sister’s direction. Korede’s loyalty is tested when Ayoola visits her at the hospital where she works, and begins to date the doctor that Korede has admired for a long time. Forced to face the music, Korede must decide where her heart truly lies.
Darkly comical and wonderfully smart, My Sister, the Serial Killer is a crime story like no other. Aura Libraries recommend this book to any lovers of crime and thriller fiction!
Aura Book Score: 4/5

Aura Libraries’ July 2020 book of the month is: The Foundling by Stacey Halls!

This title is available to borrow via Borrowbox, click here to start browsing!

After leaving her newborn daughter Clara at the Foundling Hospital in London, Bess Bright makes a promise to herself that they will one day be reunited. 6 years later in 1754, Bess anxiously returns to the Foundling ready to start a new life with the daughter that she has spent every day missing, only to discover that Clara has already been claimed by someone – someone claiming to be the child’s birth mother. Desperate for answers, Bess must begin her search to find her stolen child.
This compelling tale of separation and hope is perfect for historical fiction fans, as well as lovers of fast paced thrillers and mysteries. An epic journey from the very first page: The Foundling is a whirlwind of emotion and an extremely gripping read.
Aura Book Score: 5/5

Aura Libraries’ June 2020 book of the month is: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

This title is available in e-book and e-audiobook format via Borrowbox! Click here to access Borrowbox titles.

On a beautiful moonlit night, the Hardcastle family host a spectacular party that ends in tragedy as Evelyn Hardcastle is killed – but not just once. Aiden, a guest attending the party, finds himself trapped and confronted with secrets and betrayals at every turn. Only by reliving the day’s events over and over, and in different bodies, can Aiden complete the task he has been given: solving the mystery of Evelyn’s death. He is quick to learn that solving the mystery is no easy task, and certainly not pain free.

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a bewildering and unsettling read: a fabulous adventure for any book lover of murder mysteries!
Aura Book Score 4/5

Aura’s May 2020 Books of the Month are: Hi Yw fy Ffrind by Bethan Gwanas and The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry

Both of these titles were picked for discussion for the Welsh Libraries’ Online Book Club; they are both available in eBook and audiobook format via BorrowBox. Click here to find out more about joining the Online Book Club, and BorrowBox!

Hi Yw fy Ffrind by Bethan Gwanas

Non and Nia are the best of friends, and have been forever. Growing up in Merionethshire in the 1960s, they at times seem complete opposites – Nia loves the Bay City Rollers whilst Non loves Led Zeppelin – yet they move through life as “blood sisters” and share everything together because, after all, best friends keep each other’s secrets and tell each other everything.

Hi Yw Fy Ffrind is a charming and lively portrayal of childhood innocence, political frictions, and friendships born out of a mutual understanding of place and community. Non and Nia’s story will make you laugh out loud, and marvel at the universality of growing up: a truly heart-warming read to be enjoyed by all lovers of fiction.
Aura Book Score 5/5

The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry

Set in Edinburgh in 1847 in amidst a time of ruthless medical experimentation, Will Raven – an aspiring medic working as an apprentice to the renowned Doctor Simpson – and Sarah Fisher – Doctor Simpson’s housemaid who desperately desires to learn more about chemistry and medicine – find themselves searching for answers when young women across the city are discovered dead: the cause of death unknown, yet horribly gruesome.
A wonderful blend of history and crime, as well as a commentary on inequality and injustice; The Way of All Flesh is atmospheric and full of twists and turns. This is certainly not a book (or audiobook!) for the faint-hearted!
Aura Book Score: 4/5

Aura Libraries’ April 2020 book of the month is: Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson.

This novel is available as an audiobook; click here to view titles by Peter Swanson, and many others via RBDigital! Remember: Aura Library members can access hundreds of titles available through BorrowBox, RBDigtal and Pressreader; registration is required using your library membership card. 

FBI Agent Gwen Mulvey has a hunch: a string of unresolved murders all point in the direction of a mystery bookshop named Old Devils. When Mulvey follows her instinct and approaches the bookshop, she is met by Malcolm Kershaw, who uploaded a blog post to the shop’s website entitled: ‘My Eight Favourite Murders’. Each unresolved death bears an uncanny resemblance to the crimes portrayed in each of the mystery novels chosen by Malcolm, including famous titles such as Agatha Christie’s ‘The ABC Murders’. The killer is on a quest to complete eight perfect murders, but will they succeed, and is a perfect murder – no matter how planned out – ever really possible?

A homage to the crime fiction genre in more ways than you’d expect; it is the perfect read for any lover of classic crime novels. Layered with suspense and brilliantly clever, Rules for Perfect Murders will grip you from start to finish.

Aura book Score: 4/5

Aura Libraries’ March 2020 book of the month is: Louis & Louise by Julie Cohen.

Louis and Louise are born on the same day – they are the same person. They have the same parents, same best friends, same everything, except the body in which they were born into. On the evening of their high school graduation, Louis and Louise both suffer a catastrophic trauma which will haunt them forever and force them to flee the town they grew up in, leaving behind everything. Returning after 13 years will not be easy – they must face the past in the hope of creating a brighter future.

Alternating between the narrative voices of Louis and Louise, this novel captures the pressures and prejudices of a small town, whilst emphasising the importance of belonging. A poignant story emotively written: Aura Libraries would definitely recommend curling up with this book and a panad!

Aura book Score: 4/5

Aura Libraries recommend The Dutch House by Ann Patchett as their February 2020 Book of the Month!

Purchasing the Dutch House – an architectural masterpiece in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia – was supposed to be a loving gesture from husband to wife. Cyril Conroy cannot believe his luck when he propels his family from rags to riches, moving them into the extravagantly lavish Dutch House. Yet, despite its beauty, the house sets the Conroys on a downward spiral, leaving Danny and Maeve – the Conroy children – penniless and exiled from their home.

Spanning over five decades, we are led by the narrative voice of Danny who is only truly at home when he is with his sister, Maeve. The two Conroy siblings are not so dissimilar from Hansel and Gretel, leaving invisible breadcrumbs that always, somehow, lead back to the Dutch House.

A contemporary fairy tale castle with a dark twist: The Dutch House is a vibrant novel about human nature, loss and the unbreakable bond of family: the perfect novel for book lovers of family sagas!

Aura Book Score: 5/5

Happy New Year from Aura Libraries!

Aura Libraries recommend Lock Every Door by Riley Sager as our January 2020 Book of the Month!

Desperate for a change of scenery and something to take her mind off her broken heart and non-existent bank balance, Jules Larson jumps at the chance to take up a paid residency at one of New York’s most prestigious apartment buildings: the Bartholomew.

It is only with the disappearance of Ingrid – a fellow apartment sitter – that Jules begins to question what truly lies behind the doors of the Bartholomew. Horrified, she discovers that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing. She must conjure up all the strength she has if she wishes to escape a similar fate and make sure her temporary residency does not become a permanent one.

A captivating story from start to finish: Lock Every Door is beautifully Gothic and full of suspense. It is definitely a thriller worth reading!  

Aura Book Score: 4/5

Merry Christmas from Aura Libraries!

The recommendation for December 2019 is: Jeanette Winterson’s Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days

In this joyous collection of Christmas stories, musings, and recipes, Jeanette Winterson brings to life – quite literally – the spirit of Christmas. She accompanies each story with a festive recipe, complete with personal reflections, giving her readers an intimate insight into her own Christmas traditions. Whether devoured in one sitting or spread across the 12 days of Christmas, this collection is enjoyable in any capacity.  Littered with charming illustrations, Christmas Days is physically lovely to look at too – though you should never judge a book by its cover, of course!

Imaginative, witty and full of Christmas spirit: Jeanette Winterson’s collection of enchanting Christmas stories and festive feasts is a delightful read for this time of year.

Aura Book Score: 5/5

Take a look at our Top Christmas Reads, here!

The recommendation for November 2019 is: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood.

This long awaited sequel to the world famous The Handmaid’s Tale, and winner of the Booker Prize 2019, has been top of Aura Libraries’ adult fiction best seller list all the way through October, and is the perfect choice for this month’s recommendation.

After a 35 year wait, Atwood takes us back – or forward – to Gilead: a future nation which replaces the United States in this chilling dystopian novel. Set more than 15 years after The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments brings together the testimonies of three women and their experiences with Gilead, intertwining to showcase their individual bravery and resilience. The opening voice in the novel occupies a pivotal role in the regime, whilst the two other voices provide an insight into life growing up in or within the shadow of Gilead. The result when the three voices are brought together has detrimental possibilities – if they are courageous enough to take a leap of faith.

Full of twists, turns and surprises, Atwood once again portrays the power of the written word when speaking out against injustice. Armed with hope and a determination for freedom, The Testaments is a powerful sequel: worth the 35 year wait.

Aura Book Score: 5/5

The recommendation for October 2019 is Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black.

Arthur Kipps, the main character, begins his story by describing a happy family scene: his wife and stepchildren sitting around the fire at Christmas time. When the children begin to tell ghost stories, Arthur is overcome by memories of a painful past, forcing him to revisit hidden traumas that had long been suppressed. Thus begins the retelling of his own ghost story. At the centre is the title figure – the woman in black – who leaves her dark and haunting mark on Arthur’s life forever.

Full of suspense and beautifully written descriptions of the people and places involved in Arthur’s story, The Woman in Black is a fiercely emotive novel that stays with the reader long after the book is put down. Aura Libraries would recommend this novel as a must read for Halloween 2019: it is the perfect choice for an autumn night in spent next to the fire.

Aura Book Score: 5/5

Take a look at our book recommendations for Halloween 2019, here!