Perfect Bank Holiday reads from Head of Zeus

  

Perfect Bank Holiday reads from Head of Zeus

The August Bank Holiday can be a stormy affair on this fair isle, but a three-day weekend is the perfect excuse to curl up on the sofa with a good book whilst the rain batters the windows and your neighbour's trampoline goes rolling down the street. Here at HoZ we’ve got bank holiday books for all tastes, so why not pick up one of these brilliant reads, add a dash of brandy to that hot chocolate, and settle down for a perfect weekend in - after all, who cares if it looks like November outside when you’re in 14th-century Morocco in your head?

For whisk-me-away Fiction: Court of Lions by Jane Johnson
Kate Fordham arrived in the sunlit city of Granada a year ago. In the shadow of the Alhambra, one of the most beautiful places on Earth, she works as a waitress serving tourists in a busy bar. She pretends she's happy with her new life – but how could she be? Kate's alone, afraid and hiding under a false name. And fate is about to bring her face-to-face with her greatest fear.

Five centuries ago, a message in a hand few could read was inscribed in blood on a stolen scrap of paper. The paper was folded and pressed into one of the Alhambra's walls. There it has lain, undisturbed by the tides of history – the Fall of Granada, the expulsion of its last Sultan – until Kate discovers it.

Court of Lions bridges time, interweaving the stories of a woman who must confront her unimaginable past and a man who must face an unthinkable future, bringing one of history's great turning points to life in an epic saga of romance and redemption.

For a new perspective on the world: The Earth Gazers by Christopher Potter
2018 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the moment three human beings escaped the pull of the Earth's gravitational field for the first time, and saw what no one had ever seen before, the Earth as a sphere falling through the empty darkness of space. Even today only 24 people have had that experience: the Apollo astronauts who went on the nine manned missions to the moon that took place between 1968 and 1972.

The astronauts returned with photographic evidence that the Earth was beautiful, seemingly fragile and different from any other heavenly body. The photographs known as Earthrise, taken during the first manned mission, and The Blue Marble, taken during the last mission, have become two of the most reproduced and most influential images of all time. They were taken almost as an afterthought and inspired a whole generation to think about our responsibility for this tiny oasis in space.

In his remarkably wide-ranging book, Christopher Potter writes of the early heroic days of aviation and of the often-blemished visionaries who inspired the journey into space: Charles Lindbergh, Robert Goddard and Wernher von Braum.

Now more than ever the need to see ourselves from an outside-perspective is urgent. Can we learn to see ourselves for what we truly are: inhabitants of a world without borders? The Earth Gazers is a timely and entrancingly written exploration of the ways in which this new perspective on ourselves did indeed change us, and of how the opportunity for truly radical change was thwarted.

Binge-reading brilliance: The Detective’s Daughter series by Lesley Thomson
Start the bestselling series with The Detective’s Daughter and join Stella Darnell as she follows in her father's footsteps by taking on the murder case he couldn't solve.

It was a murder that shocked the nation. Thirty years ago Kate Rokesmith went walking by the river with her young son. She never came home. For three decades her case file has lain, unsolved, in the corner of an attic. Until Stella Darnell, daughter of Detective Chief Superintendent Darnell, starts to clear out her father's house after his death.

Read all five titles in the gripping and unputdownable series, concluding with The Dog Walker, out now in paperback.

Take a walk through history with Caesar’s Footprints by Bijan Omrani
In the 50s BC, Julius Caesar waged a brutal war against the tribes of ancient Gaul. On the pretext of curbing an imminent barbarian threat to the Roman Republic, he first defeated and decimated the Helvetii tribe, before subjugating the other Celtic peoples who occupied the territory of what is now France.

Caesar laid Gallic civilization to waste, but the cultural revolution the Romans brought in their wake transformed the Celtic culture of that country, as the Gauls exchanged their tribal quarrels for togas and acquired the paraphernalia of civilized urban life. The Romans also left behind a legacy of language, literature, law, government, religion, architecture and industry.

From Marseille to Mulhouse, and from Orléans to Autun, Bijan Omrani journeys across Gaul in the footsteps of its Roman conquerors. He tells the story of Caesar’s Gallic Wars and traces the indelible imprint on modern Europe of the Gallo-Roman civilization that emerged in their wake.

Laugh so much you fall off the sofa with Wendy Holden’s Three Weddings and a Scandal*
She'll need a triple-barrelled name for the castle one.

She'll need a gallon of glitter for the woodland one.

She'll need a lobster-shaped hat for the Shoreditch one.

Laura Lake longs to be a journalist. Instead she's an unpaid intern at a glossy magazine – sleeping in the fashion cupboard and living on canapés. But she's just got her first big break: infiltrate three society weddings and write a juicy exposé. Security will be tighter than a bodycon dress, but how hard can it be? Cue disappearing brides, demanding socialites – and a jealous office enemy who will do anything to bring her down...

[*Previously published in hardback as Laura Lake and the Hipster Weddings.]

Black humour for bleak weather - Bogmail by Patrick McGinley
A glorious slice of crazed, rural, Irish gothic. Set in a remote village in the northwest of Ireland, Roarty, a publican and former priest, kills his lecherous bartender and buries him in a bog. When Roarty begins to receive blackmail letters, matters quickly spiral out of his control.

Alive with the loquacious brio of his pub's eccentric regulars, and full of the bleak beauty of the Donegal landscape, Patrick McGinley's rural gothic novel is a modern masterpiece.