Related to: 'Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Hodder & Stoughton

Khazana

Saliha Mahmood Ahmed
Authors:
Saliha Mahmood Ahmed

When the first Mughal emperor, Babur came from Persia to rule over India, he bought camel loads full of musk and damask roses with him. His love affair with roses was such that each one of Babur's daughters was given a rose related name: Gulchihra (rose-cheeked), Gulrukh (rose-faced), Gulbadan (rose-body) and Gulrang (rose colour), and his chefs sought to please him by feeding chickens with rose water to scent the flavour of their dishes. Such is the romance in the culinary traditions of the Mughal dynasty that ruled over much of India from the early-16th to the mid-19th century.Steeped in Persian flavours, Khazana, which means treasure trove, is a cookbook that promises to be the next step in our on-going love affair with the Indian sub-continent, introducing recipes like Smokey Chicken and Basil Kebabs with Buttermilk Riata, Moghul Fish Korma with Almond Rice and Sandlewood Ice Cream with Toasted Almond Brittle.Author Saliha Mahmood Ahmed, who won over the MasterChef judges with her fusion of Indo-Persian food, has written a book that will delight. Steeped in the rich culinary heritage of the region and Saliha's own travels in modern day India and Pakistan, the recipes are bang up-to-date and will inspire 21st century food lovers.

Hodder & Stoughton

NIV Bible for Journalling and Verse Mapping

New International Version
Authors:
New International Version

Hodder & Stoughton

The Maid's Room

Fiona Mitchell
Authors:
Fiona Mitchell
Hodder & Stoughton

WTF

Robert Peston
Authors:
Robert Peston
Two Roads

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night

Jen Campbell
Authors:
Jen Campbell

Modern fairy tales of magic, outsiders and lost souls. 'WHAT A BOOK. IT'S SO STRANGE AND MAGICAL AND THE WRITING IS JUST BEAUTIFUL. I LOVED IT.' Louise O'Neill 'ENCHANTING AND ILLUMINATING' Carys Bray, author of A Song For Issy Bradley 'LIKE WALKING THROUGH A MIRROR.' Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry 'THIS BOOK IS FULL OF CHARACTER AND MAGIC, AND I FOUND MYSELF MESMERISED' Claire Fuller, author of Our Endless Numbered Days 'A GEM OF A BOOK ... DEEPLY MOVING' Stylist Book Wars v THE BOOK OF DUST. 'THESE STORIES ARE WEAVED TOGETHER LIKE SILVERY FISHING NETS. LIKE SHIMMERING, JEWEL-BRIGHT WORLDS' Helen McClory 'These days, you can find anything you need at the click of a button. That's why I bought her heart online.'Spirits in jam jars, mini-apocalypses, animal hearts and side shows. A girl runs a coffin hotel on a remote island. A boy is worried his sister has two souls. A couple are rewriting the history of the world. And mermaids are on display at the local aquarium.The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night is a collection of twelve haunting stories; modern fairy tales brimming with magic, outsiders and lost souls. 'I'm fascinated by storytelling, and particularly fairy tales. How humans have always tried to explain things that they can't possibly understand with, sometimes outrageous, stories' Jen CampbellFrom the author of Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops series and The Bookshop Book.

Mulholland Books

The Cleaner

Paul Cleave
Authors:
Paul Cleave
Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Where the Wild Winds Are

Nick Hunt
Authors:
Nick Hunt

*A Spectator Book of the Year*'Travel writing in excelsis' -Jan Morris, author of Venice'A thrilling and gorgeous tale, packed with meteorological wonder' -Amy Liptrot, author of The OutrunNick Hunt sets off on an unlikely quest: to follow four of Europe's winds across the continent...His wind-walks begin on Cross Fell, the highest point of the Pennines, as he chases the roaring Helm - the only named wind in Britain. In southern Europe he follows the Bora - a bitter northerly that blows from Trieste through Slovenia and down the Croatian coast. His hunt for the 'snow-eating' Foehn becomes a meandering journey of exhilaration and despair through the Alpine valleys of Switzerland, and his final walk traces an ancient pilgrims' path in the south of France on the trail of the Mistral - the 'wind of madness' which animated and tormented Vincent Van Gogh.These are journeys into wild wind, but also into wild landscapes and the people who inhabit them - a cast of meteorologists, storm chasers, mountain men, eccentric wind enthusiasts, sailors and shepherds. Soon Nick finds himself borne along by the very forces he is pursuing, through rain, blizzards, howling gales, and back through time itself. For, where the wild winds are, there are also myths and legends, history and hearsay, science and superstition - and occasionally remote mountain cabins packed with pickles, cured meats and homemade alcohol.Where the Wild Winds Are is a beautiful, unconventional travelogue that makes the invisible visible.

Hodder & Stoughton

Hidden Christmas

Timothy Keller
Authors:
Timothy Keller
Hodder & Stoughton

Poison City

Paul Crilley
Authors:
Paul Crilley
John Murray

Duel in the Snows

Charles Allen
Authors:
Charles Allen
Sceptre

The Art of Thinking Clearly: Better Thinking, Better Decisions

Rolf Dobelli
Authors:
Rolf Dobelli
Hodder Paperbacks

Handle with Care

Jodi Picoult
Authors:
Jodi Picoult

** THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER **It was meant to be the holiday of a lifetime.But instead of a hotel, the O'Keefes spend the first night in jail, their youngest daughter in hospital, and her sister in care.Willow O'Keefe has brittle bone disease, and without a doctor's note the breaks in her body look like the worst kind of abuse.Back home, still reeling from their ordeal, her parents know something must be done. So when a lawyer offers to take their case, it feels like a lifeline.Even though it means suing their closest friend - and claiming they wish Willow had never been born . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

Keeping Faith

Jodi Picoult
Authors:
Jodi Picoult
Hodder Paperbacks

Mercy

Jodi Picoult
Authors:
Jodi Picoult

Hodder & Stoughton

Thinking in Numbers

Daniel Tammet
Authors:
Daniel Tammet
Hodder & Stoughton

Lone Wolf

Jodi Picoult
Authors:
Jodi Picoult

When Luke Warren is involved in a car accident which leaves him in a coma, his family are gathered together against the odds; they face an impossible dilemma.His daughter Cara is praying for a miracle: she will fight everything and everyone to save her father's life.His son Edward can't imagine that a man who once ran with wolves could ever be happy with a different life. But Edward hasn't spoken to Luke for six years. How can he dare to speak on his father's behalf?Somehow, they must choose:Do they keep Luke alive?Or do they let him go?

Coronet

Killing for the Company

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan

Former SAS legend Chris Ryan brings you his sixteenth novel and it is full of all his trademark action, thrills and inside knowledge. 2003. Invalided out of the SAS Chet Freeman makes his living in high-end security, on a temporary contract for an American corporation called the Grosvenor Group. He catches a young woman, a peace campaigner, eavesdropping on a meeting the Group is holding with the British Prime Minister. The Group's interests include arms manufacture, and what Chet and the young woman overhear seems to imply that it is bribing the Prime Minister to take his country into an illegal war. Could this possibly be true?Somebody believes that this is a secret that needs covering up, because Chet and the girl are attacked. Hunted down, they go into hiding, and a deadly game of cat and mouse begins.Nearly ten years later tension is reaching breaking point in Jerusalem. The now ex-Prime Minister is working as a Middle East peace envoy. As the city descends into anarchy and rival armies are poised to turn it into a battlefield, Chet's best buddy, Luke, is part of a team tasked by the Regiment with extracting the ex-Prime Minister.At the height of the battle Luke discovers a conspiracy far more devastating than any arms deal.(P)2011 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Hodder Paperbacks

Embracing the Wide Sky

Daniel Tammet
Authors:
Daniel Tammet

Daniel Tammet captivated readers with his bestselling memoir, Born On A Blue Day, and its vivid depiction of a life with autistic savant syndrome. In his fascinating new book, Embracing the Wide Sky, Daniel combines the latest scientific research with insights drawn from his personal experience to shed light on the mysteries of how our minds work and the incredible feats of which each one of us is capable.A unique and brilliantly imaginative portrait of how we think, learn, remember and create, Embracing the Wide Sky is a profound and provocative book that will transform our understanding and respect for every kind of mind.

Hodder & Stoughton

Born On a Blue Day

Daniel Tammet
Authors:
Daniel Tammet

David Mitchell

Born in 1969, David Mitchell grew up in Worcestershire. After graduating from Kent University, he taught English in Japan, where he wrote his first novel, Ghostwritten. Published in 1999, it was awarded the Mail on Sunday John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. His second novel, number9dream, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and in 2003, David Mitchell was selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. His third novel, Cloud Atlas, was shortlisted for six awards including the Man Booker Prize, and adapted for film in 2012. It was followed by Black Swan Green, shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year Award, and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, which was a No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller. Both were also longlisted for the Booker. In 2013, The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice From the Silence of Autism by Naoki Higashida was published in a translation from the Japanese by David Mitchell and KA Yoshida. It was an immediate bestseller in the UK and later in the US as well.