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Captain Blood

Peter Blood, an Irish physician and former soldier is happily settled, in the 1680's, as the doctor in an English town, when the rebellion of the Duke of Monmouth catches him by accident. He saves a man's life, as a doctor must try to do, but the man is a rebel and the hanging Judge Jeffreys sentences him to ten years as an indentured slave in the Caribbean colonies.

Port of call

The best bits of the Cayman Islands are condensed around Georgetown. As you might expect from the capital of an island chain, the city is well stocked with snorkelling and scuba shops, Caribbean restaurants, and rum bars. But the jewel in Georgetown’s crown lies a few miles down the coast – Seven Mile Beach is arguably one of the best stretches of sand in the Caribbean. And, because it’s not privately owned, you can walk from one end to the next, completely freely......

The Long Song

The author of Small Island tells the story of the last turbulent years of slavery and the early years of freedom in the nineteenth-century Jamaica.

Small Island introduced Andrea Levy to America and was acclaimed as “a triumph” (San Francisco Chronicle). It won both the Orange Prize and the Whitbread Book of the Year Award, was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize.

Port of call

Falmouth’s main claim to fame is it’s the childhood home of Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt. But, on the whole, people don’t come here with the fastest man on earth in mind. Instead, visitors use this Georgian port as a springboard to some of Jamaica’s most talked about sights. Dunn’s River Falls is just an hour’s drive away. This waterfall is tiered like a staircase, so you can climb up it as the water cascades down it. Montego Bay is a 45 minute drive away, too. Beaches, craft markets and haunted houses all vie for attention here......

An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude

An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude

by Ann Vanderhoof

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Under the Tuscan Sun meets the wide-open sea . . . An Embarrassment of Mangoes is a delicious chronicle of leaving the type-A lifestyle behind -- and discovering the seductive secrets of life in the Caribbean.

Who hasn’t fantasized about chucking the job, saying goodbye to the rat race, and escaping to some exotic destination in search of sun, sand, and a different way of life?

Port of call

A hypnotic calypso isle, Barbados is the ultimate Caribbean dream. And at just 21 miles by 14 miles, the island really is your oyster. Of course, it’s most famous for its palm-fringed beaches, but there’s more than talcum powder sands here. We’re talking a duty-free shopping scene and sights that are second to none. In a coconut shell, it’s the small island with a big fan base.......

Headhunters

Roger Brown has it all: clever and wealthy, he's at the very top of his game. And if his job as a headhunter ever gets dull, he has his sideline as an art thief to keep him busy.

At a gallery opening, his wife introduces him to Clas Greve. Not only is Greve the perfect candidate for a position that Brown is recruiting for; he is also in possession of one of the most sought-after paintings in modern art history.

Roger sees his chance to become rich beyond his wildest dreams, and starts planning his biggest theft ever. But soon, he runs into trouble - and it's not long before the hunter becomes the hunted...

Port of call

Spread out across 14 islands, spotless Stockholm is an enchanting slice of Scandinavia. Bursting with museums, galleries, bars and restaurants, there’s never a dull moment in this spellbinding city.......

Mysteries

In a Norwegian coastal town, society's carefully woven threads begin to unravel when an unsettling stranger named Johan Nagel arrives. With an often brutal insight into human nature, Nagel draws out the townsfolk, exposing their darkest instincts and suppressed desires. At once arrogant and unassuming, righteous and depraved, Nagel seduces the entire community even as he turns it on its head, before disappearing as suddenly as he arrived.

Port of call

It may be small but Oslo crams in more to see and do than other cities twice its size. It’s one of those rare places that’s got the balance just right. On the one hand, it’s all world class museums, neon-lit shops and buzzing bars and restaurants. On the other, it’s leafy parks, pristine gardens and tree-lined boulevards. Then of course there’s the setting to think about. Encased in fjords, peaks and forests, it’s fair to say Oslo’s got beauty well and truly on its side. No wonder a serene vibe runs through this oh-so-sophisticated Norwegian gem.......

The Witches

The Witches

by Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Illustrator)

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This Roald Dahl classic tells the scary, funny and imaginative tale of a seven-year-old boy who has a run-in with some real-life witches! "In fairy tales witches always wear silly black hats and black cloaks and they ride on broomsticks. But this is not a fairy tale. This is about REAL WITCHES. REAL WITCHES dress in ordinary clothes and look very much like ordinary women....

Port of call

Skjolden is Norwegian through and through. This sleepy fishing village is set at the inner end of Sognefjorden – the world’s longest fjord – and it’s surrounded by sheer valley walls, green-cloaked hills and jagged mountain peaks. It’s also your gateway to the Jostedalsbreen National Park, a vast expanse of shimmering lakes and icy glaciers.......

The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind
(El cementerio de los libros olvidados #1)

by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Lucia Graves (Translator)

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Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written.

Port of call

Barcelona is up there with the most famous cities in the world, and for good reason. Sandwiched between the Mediterranean Sea and the Serra de Collserola hills, this Spanish titan promises cutting-edge architecture, trend-setting fashion and art that breaks the mould. It’s a place where boutique-lined boulevards and intimate espresso bars give way to authentic tapas joints and narrow cobbled streets......

The White Goddess: An Encounter

The White Goddess: An Encounter

by Simon Gough

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The White Goddess: An Encounter is a mesmerising tale of sex, lies and divided loyalties. Set between the magic of a bohemian Majorca and the horror of Franco's Madrid, it is a haunting evocation of a lost time and place, dominated by the extraordinary power of Robert Graves, one of the 20th century’s greatest writers.

Port of call

Palma. Think leafy boulevards that echo with the stilettos of stylish shoppers. Tiny tapas bars tucked down narrow sidestreets. Architectural gold hidden in the historic quarter. With its trademark cathedral dominating the skyline, cosmopolitan Palma never fails to impress.......

Angels and Demons

When world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol—seared into the chest of a murdered physicist—he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati...the most powerful underground organization ever to walk the earth.

Port of call

Few cities on earth have the power to bowl you over quite like Rome. Discover a city packed with historical wonder, artistic splendour and culinary temptation at every turn. Not to mention enough designer shops to keep you browsing for a year.......

Hideous Kinky

The debut novel from the author of Summer at Gaglow, called "a near-seamless meshing of family feeling, history and imagination" by the New York Times Book Review. Escaping gray London in 1972, a beautiful, determined mother takes her daughters, aged 5 and 7, to Morocco in search of adventure, a better life, and maybe love.

Port of call

Forget Bergman and Bogart’s famous film. This is the real Casablanca. Which means mosques, markets, bars and beaches all rubbing shoulders in Morocco’s biggest city. Whether you’re strolling down wide boulevards or browsing colourful bazaars, you’ll love this part of Morocco that’s got a cheeky French twist.......

A Year in Marrakesh

This brilliantly entertaining, insightful classic account of Marrakesh captures the rhythm and spirit of life in the backways of the Medina in the 1950s. First published by John Murray as The Alleys of Marrakesh.

Port of call

Glittering sands that disappear into the distance. Souks brimming with sparkling trinkets. Medinas that ring with snake-charmers’ melodies. Morocco is a spice-scented corner of the world that thrills the senses. Sun-drenched Agadir is the country’s premier beach resort, with a 9km stretch of toe-tickling sands. It has all the appearance of a European resort but with an unmissable North African twist.......

Canary Island Song

Canary Island Song (Hideaway #2)

by Robin Jones Gunn

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When Carolyn’s grown daughter tells her she needs to “get a life,” Carolyn decides it’s time to step out of her familiar routine as a single woman in San Francisco and escape to her mother’s home in the Canary Islands. Since Carolyn’s mother is celebrating her seventieth birthday, the timing of Carolyn’s visit makes for a perfect surprise.

Port of call

Lisbon’s enjoying a long-awaited spell in the limelight, and quite rightly so. Famous for its infectious energy, Portugal’s trendy capital stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Madrid and Barcelona.......

Behemoth

The behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy. It can swallow enemy battleships with one bite. The Darwinists will need it, now that they are at war with the Clanker powers.

Deryn is a girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is the heir to an empire posing as a commoner. Finally together aboard the airship Leviathan, they hope to bring the war to a halt.

The Caribbean

Everything about Istanbul is a taste of the exotic. Fragrant bazaars echoing with the sound of haggling merchants. Belly dancers shimmying past in a flash of sequins and sparkle. The call of the muezzins wafting from ancient minarets. You’re guaranteed an unforgettable adventure in this spice-scented slice of the world.......

Captain Corelli's Mandolin

Captain Corelli's Mandolin

by Louis de Bernières

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Extravagant, inventive, emotionally sweeping, Captain Corelli's Mandolin is the story of a timeless place that one day wakes up to find itself in the jaws of history. The place is the Greek island of s, where gods once dabbled in the affairs of men and the local saint periodically rises from his sarcophagus to cure the mad.

Port of call

Trip over reminders of the past in ancient Athens, where cultural treasures twinkle back at you at every turn. It’s a real gold medal winner of a city.

Bitter Lemons of Cyprus

Bitter Lemons of Cyprus

by Lawrence Durrell

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One of a three-part series of Lawrence Durrell's writings. In this volume he explores the island of Cyprus, evoking the sun-drenched landscapes, dazzling light and vivid blue skies of the Aegean.

Port of call

With more than six millennia under its belt, Larnaca is the stuff of Biblical legend. It’s one of the oldest lived-in cities in the world, and the story goes the original town was founded by Noah’s grandson. With that in mind, expect plenty in the way of historical sites, with the likes of St John’s Cathedral and the Church of St Lazarus on the cards. And that’s just half the story. The city’s got a modern side, too, with a palm-lined promenade, a swish marina, and a great shopping scene to its name.......

Cross Stitch (Outlander)

Cross Stitch (Outlander)

by Diana Gabaldon

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The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life...and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Port of call

Edinburgh is one of those places that everyone wants to visit. Strewn across a series of rocky hills, its winding streets are lined with Georgian buildings, spires and monuments, and overlooked by the city’s iconic medieval fortress. Over in Multrees Walk, meanwhile, designer stores and pavement cafés jostle for your attention. And come sundown, the city bursts into life as people spill out of the packed bars and restaurants.......

Artemis Fowl

Join the world of Artemis Fowl, the number one bestseller by Eoin Colfer. Rumour has it Artemis Fowl is responsible for every major crime of the new century.

Just twelve years old and already he's a criminal genius, plotting to restore his family's fortune with a spot of corruption and kidnapping. Kidnapping a fairy for ransom, to be precise.

Artemis Fowl has discovered a world below ground of armed and dangerous - and extremely high-tech - fairies. But he may have underestimated their powers. They will fight back. Is the boy about to trigger a cross-species war?

Port of call

Northern Ireland’s capital was catapulted into the limelight back in 1912, when it built the most advanced piece of technology of the time – the RMS Titanic. Today, though, Belfast is all about the craic. It’s got a bubbling nightlife and music scene, and hundreds of traditional old pubs where it’s a rite of passage to order a proper Irish breakfast – soda bread and all – and a pint of Guinness.......

44 Scotland Street

44 Scotland Street

Alexander Mccall Smith

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The residents and neighbours of 44 Scotland Street and the city of Edinburgh come to vivid life in these gently satirical, wonderfully perceptive serial novels, featuring six-year-old Bertie, a remarkably precocious boy—just ask his mother.

Port of call

Set just off the northeast tip of Scotland, the Orkney Islands form their own little world. And nowhere is this more obvious than in Kirkwall, a pretty Viking town on the mainland. Here, 16th-century townhouses and gingham-curtained cafés sit shoulder-to-shoulder on the waterfront, overlooking the bobbing fishing boats in the harbour. Better still, this place puts you within easy reach of places like Aberdeen and Lerwick, if you want to explore further afield......