Book of the Week

The Downe House library recommends you their latest Book of the Week.

3 September 2019

Looking for Alaska

John Green


Looking for Alaska is a showcase to the raw talent John Green has, the kind of talent that can make you close the crisp last page of a novel and come out a different person.”

The Guardian

‘If people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane’.

Miles Halter or “Pudge” as he is referred to throughout the book, is tired of his dull, friendless life in Florida and persuades his parents to send him away to boarding school where he meets Alaska Young, a moody, clever and wild girl who he falls for. The narrative leads towards a calamitous event, the aftermath of which will have you gripped until the last page.

This is a story of young love and growing up, with all of the humour and the highs, the pain and the pitfalls of teenage life thrown in.


Madeline Miller


Circe back as a superwoman… Miller’s Me Too-era, kickass portrait of a woman trying to defy the men and Fates arrayed against her is enchanting.”

The Times

From the Orange Prize-winning, internationally bestselling author of The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller, comes another compelling story, this time of the mythological witch Circe. From the few lines Circe is given in Homer’s The Odyssey, Miller creates a vivid epic of family rivalry, love and loss.

The immortal witch Circe is banished by the Gods to the island if Aiaia where she hones her occult craft. Among the guests who arrive on her island domain is the mortal Odysseus, for whom Circe will risk everything.

You Got This

Bryony Gordon


A book that every teenage girl needs to read…”

Fearne Cotton

Life lessons for every teenage girl

‘I wanted to be a unicorn. I wanted to be a lawyer. I wanted to be an astronaut. But the thing I really wanted to be, more than anything else, was a little less like me. It was only recently that I realised not wanting to be me was at the heart of every dumb decision I ever made. And so now I am writing this book containing all the life lessons I wish someone had taught me. A book for the teenage girl in me. And every teenage girl out there. Because the most powerful thing you can be when you grow up is yourself.’ Briony Gordon.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

By Heather Morris


I tattooed the number on her arm and she tattooed her number in my heart.

A love story with depth

An immensely readable, if at times, harrowing novel based on the true story of Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, imprisoned in Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942. All prisoners were tattooed on the arm with a unique identification number and Lale becomes the man who brands every person that arrives at the camps. In the course of his work, he tattoos a young woman called Gita.

What follows is essentially a love story, set against the backdrop of the horrific atrocities and cruelty experienced by those who are forced to be there. Against seemingly impossible odds, Lale risks his life to smuggle in food and medicines to keep his fellow inmates alive, not least his beloved Gita. Moving and life-affirming – this story will leave a lasting impression.

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