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New releases

Alternative histories, strange tales and kickass women – all on your reading list for 2021! 2020 has been the year we all got a little time to rediscover books and 2021 is the year that’s going to get us fully addicted again.

There are some seriously intense and gripping stories coming to our shelves, all centring around complex and dark women, tense and strange explorations of family dynamics, and hard-hitting, jaw-dropping secrets being revealed.

Have a browse through our top picks for what to look out for this year and let us know which ones you’re excited about!

‘Share Your Stuff. I'll Go First’ by Laura Tremaine (Zondervan) 2nd Feb 2021

Part memoir and part guidebook, Share Your Stuff. I'll Go First. is the invitation you've been waiting for to show up with your whole self and discover the intimate, meaningful relationships you long for.

In spite of the hyper-connected culture we live in today, women still feel shamed for oversharing and being publicly vulnerable. And no matter how many friends we seem to have, many of us are still desperately lonely.

Laura Tremaine says it's time for something better. Openness and vulnerability are the foundation for human growth and healthy relationships, and it all starts when we share our stuff, the nitty-gritty daily details about ourselves with others. Laura has led the way in her personal life with her popular blog and podcast, and now with light-hearted self-awareness, a sensitivity to the important things in life, and compelling storytelling, Laura gives you the tools to build and deepen the conversations happening in your life.

Laura's stories about her childhood in Oklahoma, her complicated shifts in faith and friendships, and her marriage to a Hollywood movie director will prompt you to identify the beautiful narrative and pivotal milestones of your own life. Each chapter offers intriguing and reflective questions that will reveal unique details and stories you've never thought to tell and will guide you into cultivating the authentic connection with others that only comes from sharing yourself.

‘Tall Bones’ by Anna Bailey (Penguin) 1st Apr 2021

Set in a small town in Colorado, Tall Bones begins with 17-year-old Abi going missing after a party in the woods. Abi’s disappearance rocks Whistling Ridge, and stirs up long-held grudges, including among Abi’s family.

Her older brother Noah still resents Abi for betraying him, her younger brother Jude has already seen too much for someone his age, her mother Dolly’s suffering is ignored by the town, and her father Samuel holds the whole family in his threatening grasp.

Whistling Ridge is a tinder box waiting to explode, and what happened to Abi is the spark.

‘The Rose Code’ by Kate Quinn (William Morrow Paperbacks) 9th Mar 2021

1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything—beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart.

1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter–the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger–and their true enemy–closer…

‘The Four Winds’ by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press) 9th Feb 2021

Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance.

In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli—like so many of her neighbours —must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American Dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.

‘Dangerous Women’ by Hope Adams (Penguin) 4th March 2021

Set in 1841, ‘Dangerous Women’ follows three women as they board a ship in London that will take them on a three-month voyage to the other side of the world. The women are all convicts, being transported for petty crimes. Except for one, who is a secret killer fleeing justice. When a woman on the ship is mortally wounded, the hunt is on for the culprit.

‘The Good Neighbours’ by Nina Allan (Riverrun) 18th March 2021

Cath is a photographer hoping to go freelance, working in a record shop to pay the rent and eking out her time with her manager Steve. He thinks her photography is detective work, drawing attention to things that would otherwise pass unseen and maybe he’s right . . .

Starting work on her new project – photographing murder houses – she returns to the island where she grew up for the first time since she left for Glasgow when she was just eighteen. The Isle of Bute is embedded in her identity, the draughty house that overlooked the bay, the feeling of being nowhere, the memory of her childhood friend Shirley Craigie and the devastating familicide of her family by the father, John Craigie.

Arriving at the Craigie house, Cath finds that it’s occupied by Financial Analyst Alice Rahman. Her bid to escape the city lifestyle, the anxiety she felt in that world, led her to leave London and settle on the island. The strangeness of the situation brings them closer, leading them to reinvestigate the Craigie murder. Now, within the walls of the Craigie house, Cath can uncover the nefarious truths and curious nature of John Craigie: his hidden obsession with the work of Richard Dadd and the local myths of the fairy folk.

‘The Smash-Up’ by Ali Benjamin (Random House) 2nd Feb 2021

Life for Ethan and Zo used to be simple. Ethan co-founded a lucrative media start-up, and Zo was well on her way to becoming a successful filmmaker. Then they moved to a rural community for a little more tranquillity – or so they thought.

When newfound political activism transforms Zo into a barely recognizable ball of outrage and #MeToo allegations rock his old firm, Ethan finds himself a misfit in his own life. Enter a houseguest who is young, fun, and not at all concerned with the real world, and Ethan is abruptly forced to question everything: his past, his future, his marriage, and what he values most.

Startling, witty, thought-provoking, and wise, Ali Benjamin’s exciting debut novel offers the shock of recognition as it deftly illuminates some of the biggest issues of our time. Taking inspiration from a classic Edith Wharton tale about a small-town love triangle, The Smash-Up is a wholly contemporary exploration of how the things we fail to see can fracture a life, a family, a community, and a nation.

‘The Girl in the Walls’ by A.J. Gnuse (Harper Collins) 11th May 2021

Eventually, every hidden thing is found.

Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak. She knows where the gaps are in the walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her, before they were taken from her in a car crash. And home is where you stay, no matter what.

Eddie is a teenager trying to forget about the girl he sometimes sees out of the corner of his eye. But when his hot-headed older brother senses her, too, they are faced with the question of how to get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists. And as they try to cast her out, they unwittingly bring an unexpected and far more real threat to their doorstep.

Written with grace and enormous heart, ‘Girl in the Walls’ is a novel about carrying on through grief, forging unconventional friendships, and realizing, little by little, that we don’t need to fear what we do not understand.

‘The Moon Over Kilmore Quay’ by Carmel Harrington (Harper Collins) June 2021

Meet Bea. Living in Brooklyn, in a tight-knit Irish community, Bea O’Connor has it all – a loving family, great friends and a boyfriend she believes she could grow old with. So why does she feel so lost and unsure? Only a letter, written over a decade ago, can give her the answers she’s unknowingly looked for all her life.

Meet Lucy Years earlier, with her sister Maeve by her side, Lucy Mernagh leaves her home in Ireland in search of adventure and the New York dream.

But the busy streets of the Big Apple are a world away from the quiet village she grew up in, and the longing for home aches deep within her. Until she learns that opportunity lies around every street corner and just maybe this city – and one of its occupants – will steal her heart if she lets them…

Told over four decades, from the unspoilt, picturesque fishing village of Kilmore Quay, to the mesmerising and electric city of New York, this is the story of two women, enduring friendships, family secrets and the voices that call you home.

‘The Lost Cafe Schindler: One Family, two wars and the search for the truth’ by Meriel Schindler (Hachette) 6th May 2021

Kurt Schindler was an impossible man. His daughter Meriel spent her adult life trying to keep him at bay. Kurt had made extravagant claims about their family history. Were they really related to Franz Kafka and Oscar Schindler, of Schindler’s List fame? Or Hitler’s Jewish doctor – Dr Bloch? What really happened on Kristallnacht, the night that Nazis beat Kurt’s father half to death and ransacked the family home?

When Kurt died in 2017, Meriel felt compelled to resolve her mixed feelings about him, and to solve the mysteries he had left behind.

Starting with photos and papers found in Kurt’s isolated cottage, Meriel embarked on a journey of discovery taking her to Austria, Italy and the USA. She reconnected family members scattered by feuding and war. She pieced together an extraordinary story taking in two centuries, two world wars and a family business: the famous Café Schindler. Launched in 1922 as an antidote to the horrors of the First World War, this grand café became the whirling social centre of Innsbruck. And then the Nazis arrived.

Through the story of the Café Schindler and the threads that spool out from it, this moving book weaves together memoir, family history and an untold story of the Jews of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It explores the restorative power of writing, and offers readers a profound reflection on memory, truth, trauma and the importance of cake.

‘Outlawed’ by Anna North (Hachette) 5th Jan 2021

On the day of her wedding-dance, Ada feels lucky. She loves her broad-shouldered, bashful husband and her job as an apprentice midwife.

But her luck will not last. It is every woman’s duty to have a child, to replace those that were lost in the Great Flu. And after a year of marriage and no pregnancy, in a town where barren women are hanged as witches, Ada’s survival depends on leaving behind everything she knows.

She joins up with the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang. Its leader, a charismatic preacher-turned-robber, known to all as The Kid, wants to create a safe haven for women outcast from society. But to make this dream a reality, the Gang hatches a treacherous plan. And Ada must decide whether she’s willing to risk her life for the possibility of a new kind of future for them all.

‘Black is the Body’ by Emily Bernard (Penguin) 11th Feb 2021

In these 12 interconnected essays, Emily Bernard looks at everything from surviving a random stabbing to inheriting a family name from a white man to her experiences being a Black woman teaching in a primarily white university. Ann Patchett has called the collection “really life-changing”.

‘Widowland’ by C. J. Carey (Quercus) 10th June 2021

An alternative history with a strong feminist twist, perfect for fans of Robert Harris’ Fatherland, Christina Dalcher’s Vox and the dystopian novels of Margaret Atwood. London, 1953, Coronation year – but not the Coronation of Elizabeth II. Thirteen years have passed since a Grand Alliance between Great Britain and Germany was formalized. George VI and his family have been murdered and Edward VIII rules as King. Yet, in practice, all power is vested in Alfred Rosenberg, Britain’s Protector.

The role and status of women is Rosenberg’s particular interest. Rose Ransom belongs to the elite caste of women and works at the Ministry of Culture, rewriting literature to correct the views of the past. But now she has been given a special task. Outbreaks of insurgency have been seen across the country; graffiti daubed on public buildings. Disturbingly, the graffiti is made up of lines from forbidden works, subversive words from the voices of women.

Suspicion has fallen on Widowland, the run-down slums where childless women over fifty have been banished. These women are known to be mutinous, for they have nothing to lose. Before the Leader arrives for the Coronation ceremony of King Edward and Queen Wallis, Rose must infiltrate Widowland to find the source of this rebellion and ensure that it is quashed.

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When we think of thrillers, horror and books that psychologically messed us up – Stephen King's name comes to mind. 

He is the King (sorry, couldn't help the pun), of creating some of the darkest worlds and fantasies, such as IT and The Shining.

His book Pet Sematary has once again been adapted into a film, after it was adapted from the book in 1989. 

The remake got the go ahead in December and the trailer alone will have you hopping out of your seat.

The spooky tale follows a family that has relocated out of Boston, and bought a beautiful house with a whole forest as a back garden – sounds lovely, right? – WRONG.

Jason Clarke stars as a doctor, Louis Creed who is initially very happy that his family is now living in the country, until tragedy strikes when their toddler dies in a car accident.

Actor John Lithgrow takes on the role of their friendly neighbour, Jud Crandall, who shows them the forest or rather the misspelled "pet sematary".

Little do they know it contains the power to bring anything that was buried there back to life – enter the creepy.  

Lithgrow tells the audience in the trailer to the beat of some freaky drums: "It was a myth. Kids used to dare each other to go into the woods at night. They knew the power of that place. They feared it. Those woods belong to something else … The ground is bad…"

"It maybe just some crazy folk tale But there is something out in those woods. Something that brings things back. Sometimes dead is better." – Grim.

To add in the extra chill factor, it shows children masked as animals carrying a rather large cross through the woods…Oh – and their family cat is back from the dead.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Stephen King's IT (@itmovieunofficial) on

Prepare yourself this April for what looks to be a terrifying watch.

And if you loved the smash hit, IT – this movie will probably be right up your alley. 

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The long weekend is almost here – and after a week of work, you don't want toscroll aimlessly through Netflix this weekend.

We have your binge organised with all their newest releases. 

Kicking off your Friday night, Netflix has announced a number of new seasons from their original series. 

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, season four is now live, as well as the third season of You Me Her

Arrested Development fans rejoice as season five has arrived. The first-half of the award-winning comedy will consist of eight episodes. We won't give you any spoilers, so you'll have to tune-in to find out what happens in the aftermath of the last season.

The Break with Michelle Wolf will have you laughing all weekend with half-hour episodes bursting with jokes, sketches and team-ups with celebrity guests.

New episodes of the series will be airing Sunday.

 

 For all the zombie lovers, iZombie will have another episode for you to devour on Monday. The series follows an over-achieving medical resident Liv Moore. During a party, a zombie feeding frenzy casually breaks out (as they do), and she ends up joining the ranks of the living dead.

Despite her pale appearance and love for brains, she attempts to pass as human.  Liv devises a plan to resist her drive to consume fresh human brains (gross) by taking a job at a coroner's office.

Eating on the job, she secretly snacks on the brains of corpses there. During one of her brain binges, she discovers she has been absorbing the memories of those she feeds on. 

This leads her to pose as a psychic and work with a detective to help solve their murders.

Available from today, you won't want to miss this three-part documentary on that fateful night in Paris on November 13.

The 9/11 directors, Jules and Gédéon Naudet, tell a human account behind the terrorist attacks, which happened in the capital city in 2015. 

The story shares testimonies of the people brought together by tragedy, from the survivors, the fire department, the police and the leaders of the French government.

Another new documentary features one of the most talked about people in the world. Taking a seat in the oval office and infamous for his bizarre behaviour and tweets, Trump takes centre stage in this story. 

Season one of Trump: An American Dream will follow Trump's rise in the 1970s, his expansion into the casino industry in the 1980s, his financial problems, and turning his attention to politics in the 2010s, which will feature his decision to run for the White House.

The four-episode series shows how he has embodied many of the movements that have shaped American society since the 1960s, including capitalism, political disenfranchisement, reality TV and social media. 

All you have to do now is get some tasty treats at the ready. 

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Thank goodness it's finally Friday, and if wrapping yourself into a duvet burrito and lolling on the couch in front of the TV is all the excitement you can bear, then you're in luck. 

Netflix have some brand new releases, so finding something to keep you entertained will be a piece of cake. 

Whether you're Netflix and chilling alone or with your bae, here are five new releases on Netflix. 

Marvel's The Defenders: Season 1

Marvel’s The Defenders follows Daredevil AKA Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist AKA Danny Rand, a quartet of singular heroes with one common goal – to save New York City. This is the story of four solitary figures, burdened with their own personal challenges, who reluctantly realizer they just might be stronger when teamed together.

The action-filled drama brings the four members of the street-level hero team known as The Defenders to the screen.

What Happened to Monday?

In a not so distant future, where overpopulation and famine have forced governments to undertake a drastic "One Child Policy," seven identical sisters live a hide-and-seek existence pursued by the Child Allocation Bureau.

The Bureau, directed by the fierce Nicolette Cayman, enforces a strict family-planning agenda that the sisters outwit by taking turns assuming the identity of one person: Karen Settman. Taught by their grandfather who raised and named them – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday – each can go outside once a week as their common identity, but are only free to be themselves in the prison of their own apartment.

That is until, one day, Monday does not come home.

Barbecue

A symphony of meat and fire, Barbecue shows us how an everyday ritual is shared by cultures around the world, as a way to celebrate community, friendship, and tradition.

A film told in 13 languages, from Texas to the Syrian border, from 'Shisanyama' to 'Lechon', Barbecue is a film about the simple truths in life that bring people together, and how barbecue is a path to salvation.

Banking on Bitcoin 

Not since the invention of the Internet itself has there been such a controversial technological creation as Bitcoin.

Bitcoin's early pioneers sought to blur the lines of sovereignty and the financial status quo. After years of underground development, Bitcoin grabbed the attention of a curious public – as well as the ire of the regulators the technology had subverted. Yet after landmark arrests of prominent cyber criminals, Bitcoin, which actually surged on election night, still faces its most severe adversary, the very banks it was built to destroy.

The Saint 

Master thief Simon Templar – also known as the Saint is hired by a wealthy banker to find his kidnapped daughter, not all is as it seems.

An ideal must-watch for those who love a mystery. 

 

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There are some absolute corkers lined up for us at the cinema in the coming months and we are seriously excited, girls!

We've chosen our top five for 2015, from animation to drama and everything in between, and we'll be pre-booking our tickets to avoid disappointment.

Make sure you do the same!

Inside Out

Due for release in July next year, Pixar’s latest offering look sets to be heartwarming, hilarious and as hugely entertaining as all the Pixar flicks that have gone before. We can’t wait to meet Riley and all the emotions that live inside her head!

Fifty Shades of Grey

This long-awaited story will be hitting the big screen just in time for any ambitious couple who want to channel their inner Anastasia and Christian as it opens in Ireland on Valentine’s weekend next year. Very convenient!

Wild

Starring Reese Witherspoon, this film stormed it in the States on its opening weekend and we’re dying for it to hits screens on our side of the pond. Due for release in January, we won’t have to wait too long to see the story of the solo 1,100 mile hike one woman embarked on to cope with a recent tragedy.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water

Due for release March 20th next year, we are so excited to meet Spongebob and the whole crew again in this epic 3D adventure. We can’t wait to see the Bikini Bottom gang tackle a whole new world and we don’t care who knows it!

Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens

This films open at the very end of 2015, so technically it may not hit screens on this side of the pond until the beginning of 2016, but it's such a  major movie moment, we had to include it in the list! If you're as excited for it as we are, then join us in our nerdy pleasure, wont you?!

 

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This weather is too cold for anything except a night at the flicks, so cosy-up this weekend ladies and head off for a well-deserved evening in the cinema.

We've chosen our top three new releases, so why not postpone your 12 Pubs of Christmas and chill-out at the flicks at the end of the week instead!

Which one of these would tickle your fancy?

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

December 12th

For any Tolkien fans out there, this is a must-see! In a bid to stop Smaug from obliterating  Middle-Earth, Bilbao and the crew engage in a war to ensure the terrifying Smaug doesn’t acquire the kingdom of treasure.

The Good Lie

December 12th

Starring Reese Witherspoon, this drama tells the story of Sudanese refugees who resettle in Kansas and encounter an employment agency counselor who changes the course of their lives forever. This story drives home the importance of never giving up and always believing in the beauty of your dreams.
 

Tinkerbell and the Legend of the Neverbeast

​December 12th

Sit back and enjoy the story of animal fairy Fawn who is eager to show that you should never judge a book by its cover. Proving she knows how to practise what she preaches, Fawn befriends a terrifying creature known as the NeverBeast in this animation adventure, but will the lovely Fawn regret her decision?

 

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