Reading Recommendations: Tall Poppies, a novel, Janet WoodsDorset, 1917. If it's not enough that a girl from a good background is forced to work as a maid, Livia Carr is then violated by the master of the house and becomes pregnant.Her only course is to marry the son of the house, Richard Sangster, a World War One hero who has returned home an invalid. He is not expected to live, and he offers Livia and the child legitimacy, as well as his name and estate.Livia grows to love Richard, but even though it's expected, his death comes as a great blow to her. Into the breach steps Livia's first love, and Richard's friend, Denton Elliot. But will he desert her when the secret of the child's parentage is revealed to him?Janet Woods was born and brought up in Dorset. She now lives in Australia.And, James Joyce, a new Biography, Gordon BowkerJames Joyce is one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, his novels and stories foundational in the history of literary modernism. Yet Joyce's genius was by no means immediately recognized, nor was his success easily won. At twenty-two, he chose a life of exile; he battled poverty and financial dependency for much of his adult life; his out of wedlock relationship with Nora Barnacle was scandalous for the time; and the attitudes he held toward sexuality, politics, Catholicism, and popular culture, to name a few, were complex, contradictory, and controversial.In James Joyce, Gordon Bowker draws on material recently come to light and reconsiders the two signal works produced about Joyce's life, Herbert Gorman's authorized biography of 1939 and Richard Ellman's magisterial tome of 1959. By intimately binding together the life and work of this singular artist, Bowker gives us a masterful, fresh, eminently readable contribution to our understanding both of Joyce's personality and of the monumental opus he created.Bowker goes further than his predecessors in exploring Joyce's inner depths, his ambivalent relationships to England, to his native Ireland, and to Judaism, and uncovers revealing evidence. He draws convincing correspondences between the iconic fictional characters Joyce created and their real life models and inspirations. And he paints a nuanced portrait of a man of enormous complexity: the clearest picture yet of an extraordinary writer, who continues to influence and fascinate more than a century after his birth. "Bowker's success is to lead you back to the texts, perhaps understanding them better for this rich account of the maddening insane genius who wrote them."And, Bloodline, a Sigma Force Novel, James RollinsGalilee, 1025. Infiltrating an ancient citadel, a Templar Knight uncovers a holy treasure long hidden within the fortress labyrinth: the Bachal Isu - the staff of Jesus Christ - a priceless icon that holds a mysterious and terrifying power that promises to change humankind forever.A millenium later, Somali pirates hijack a yacht off the coast of the Horn of Africa, kidnapping a young pregnant American woman. Commander Gray Pierce is enlisted for the covert rescue mission into the African jungle, for the woman who is no rich tourist; she is Amanda Gant-Bennett, the daughter of the U.S. President.Suspicious that the kidnapping masks a far more nefarious plot, Gray must confront a shadowy cabal, one who has been manipulating events throughout history, and now challenges the current presidency.For this sensitive mission, SIGMA is aided by a pair of special operatives with unique talents: former Army Ranger Captain Tucker Wayne and his military war dog, Kane. But what should be a straight forward rescue turns into a fiery ambush and a deadly act of betrayal as Gray and his team discover that the hostage is a pawn in a shattering act of terrorism with dark repercussions. And the danger is only beginning...Halfway around the world, a firebombing at a fertility clinic in south Carolina exposes a centuries old conspiracy to manipulate our genetic code. With time against them, SIGMA must race to save an innocent unborn baby, one who holds the key to a mystery and whose very existence raises questions about the nature of humanity, asking: Could you live forever? Would you live forever? This one is not for the faint of heart! Very raw, chilling, and the intrigue is hard to put aside!See you at Rylander!