Readers in Kirklees like to get their pulses racing with thrillers, romantic novels and historical sagas.
Kirklees Libraries loaned out nearly 1m books last year and listed their most-borrowed adult authors as American crime writer James Patterson; murder mystery specialist MC Beaton; historical writer Anna Jacobs; racy romance novelist Danielle Steel; and New York-based romantic best-seller Nora Roberts. The British Library’s current 20 most-borrowed authors list also features the Kirklees top five.
However, booksellers’ charts are featuring a range of new works, including those by less well-known writers and covering a variety of themes.
Both Waterstones and WH Smith have Gail Honeyman’s funny and poignant novel about loneliness and the importance of friendship, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, as their number one.
Perhaps not surprisingly Professor Stephen Hawking’s scientific work A Brief History of Time is, once again, riding high in the book charts.
If you’re looking for a spring holiday read we’ve compiled a list of 10 books from the best-sellers’ lists and new ones from Kirklees readers’ favourite authors.
The Witches’ Tree by MC Beaton.
The Scottish author, who works under a number of pseudonyms, writes the Agatha Raisin mystery series about a retired advertising executive who turns sleuth after moving to the Cotswolds. The latest in the series uncovers a coven of witches and not just one, but three murders. There are 32 books so far featuring Agatha and her exploits.
Accidental Heroes by Danielle Steel.
The American writer is known for her expansive romances, but her new novel is a thriller. Two flights have just departed from New York bound for San Francisco and a Homeland Security officer has suspicions that a passenger is planning something dreadful. Passengers, crew and experts on the ground need to find out what... and soon. The story has all the makings of a film.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.
This book won the Costa First Novel Award in 2017 and was hailed as a deft observation of everyday life. The protagonist lives a quiet, lonely, unassuming life but suddenly finds herself facing a change that will turn her world upside down. It’s a book about small acts of kindness and the importance of friendship.
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.
The gods of the ancient Norse people have inspired countless authors, musicians, artists and film-makers. Neil Gaiman’s re-telling of the myths and legends associated with Thor, Odin, Loki and others in the pantheon are a contemporary interpretation of Viking lore.
The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory.
It’s 1550 and Henry VIII’s son Edward VI is still a teenager. He doesn’t favour his sisters Elizabeth and Mary, so when the young king’s health starts to deteriorate the council of men who control him start to look for another heir in Lady Jane Grey, granddaughter of Mary Tudor Queen of France. As we know all does not bode well for Lady Jane. Gregory says the book is a dark portrait of Elizabeth I.
The Venetian Game by Philip Gwyne Jones.
Written by a Welsh author who now lives in Venice, this thriller is set in the Italian city and is about an Englishman drawn into a web of deceit and subterfuge by twin brothers locked in a long-standing feud. There’s a backdrop of fine art and stunning architecture. A perfect holiday read.
A Brief History of Time by Professor Stephen Hawking.
Often hailed as the most-unread best seller, it’s nevertheless written in non-technical terms for those with no real scientific knowledge, taking the reader from the Big Bang to black holes. There’s everything from scientific history to attempts to explain difficult concepts such as quantum theory, particle physics and the expanding universe. Return from holiday with an expanded mind.
Insidious Intent by Val McDermid.
A new novel by the queen of crime writing featuring DCI Carol Jordan and psychological profiler Tony Hill as they investigate a series of murders in which women are found in burned-out cars. Can they prevent further tragedies when the killer proves so elusive?
Year One by Nora Roberts.
This is the first in a new series of post-apocalyptic novels. A sickness has killed half the world’s population, wreaking anarchy and chaos. A group of travellers meet on an exodus from New York, heading West to an unknown future. The cast of characters includes a paramedic, a practitioner of witchcraft, a journalist and a tech genius. It’s a familiar formula, but with added magic.
Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith.
A non-fiction work about the fascinating minds of animals we usually think of as food - the cephalopods. Octopus and squid, argues the author, are “an island of mental complexity in the sea of invertebrate animals”. The philosopher of science says cephalopods are the closest human beings will come to meeting intelligent aliens. They have minds that have evolved entirely differently from ourselves. Food for thought perhaps.
Reader events coming up in Kirklees
Huddersfield Library: Tuesday, April 17, 7 to 8.30pm.
Live screening of lecture from the British Library on Frankenstein the first 200 Years by Christopher Frayling.
Skelmanthorpe Library: Thursday, April 19, 2pm until 3.30pm.
As part of the annual Read Regional campaign, authors will be talking about their writing. This event features Jane Austin, author of News from Nowhere.
Mirfield Library: Saturday, April 28, 1.30pm until 3.30pm.
Local author Michael Stewart is heading a workshop for budding writers on pathways to getting published and will talk about his own journey to becoming an author. A Kirklees Author Forum Exchange event.
Huddersfield Library: Friday, May 4, 7 to 8.30pm.
Live screening of lecture from British Library on The Communist Manifesto.
Cleckheaton Library: Thursday, May 10, 10.30am until noon.
Richard Smyth, author of A Sweet, Wild Note, gives a talk on his work.
Huddersfield Library: Wednesday, May 23, 1 to 2pm.
Local history lunchtime club event – Huddersfield Humanitarians: local responses to 20th century conflicts.
Events are generally free but tickets should be reserved at ticketsource.co.uk/kirkleeslibraries