Intermediate 1/2/Higher Booklist angelou maya I know Why the Caged Bird Sings


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Intermediate 1/2/Higher Booklist

ANGELOU Maya                   I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

As a Black woman Maya Angelou has known discrimination and extreme poverty, but also hope and joy, achievement and celebration. In this first volume of her autobiography she beautifully evokes her childhood with her grandmother in the American South of the thirties. She learns the power of the 'whitefolks' at the other end of town and suffers the terrible trauma of rape by her mother's lover.

LEVEL : Higher, Intermediate 2


BROWN Christy                            My Left Foot

Christy Brown was born a victim of cerebral palsy. But the helpless, lolling baby concealed the brilliantly imaginative and sensitive mind of a writer who would take his place among the giants of Irish literature. This is Christy Brown's own story. he recounts his childhood struggle to learn to read, write, paint and finally type, with the toe of his left foot.

LEVEL : Higher, Intermediate 2

DUNBAR Maureen                                 Catherine

Catherine Dunbar died on the 2nd January 1984, a young woman of twenty-two who had finally lost her seven-year battle against Anorexia Nervosa. Catherine is her mother's brave and frank account of her daughter's illness interspersed with extracts from Catherine's own diary. A powerful and moving account of Catherine's tragic life.

LEVEL : Higher, Intermediate 2


FRANK Anne                                The Diary of Anne Frank

Thirteen-year-old Anne Frank, with her parents and sister and four other people, went into hiding in the sealed-off back rooms of an Amsterdam office building in1942, when the Nazi invaders intensified their persecution of Jews. For two years they remained safe. In August 1944 they were betrayed. Anne died at the ghastly concentration camp of Belsen. All the others perished too, apart from her father.

Anne's astonishingly intimate diary was found by accident. With a touch of genius it records the strains of her unusual life, the problems of her unfolding womanhood, her falling in love, her unswerving faith in her religion. And it reveals the shining nobility of her spirit.

LEVEL : Higher, Intermediate 2


KIM  Elizabeth                       Ten Thousand Sorrows

'I don't know how old I was when I watched my mother's murder, nor do I know how old I am today.' The illegitimate daughter of a peasant and an American GI, Elizabeth Kim spent her early years as a social outcast in her village in the Korean countryside. Ostracized by their family and neighbours, she and her mother were regularly pelted with stones on their way home from the rice fields. Yet there was a tranquil happiness in the intense bond between mother and daughter. Until the day that Elizabeth's grandfather and uncle came to punish her mother for the dishonour she had brought on the family, and executed her in front of her daughter. Elizabeth was dumped in an orphanage in Seoul. After some time, she was lucky enough to be adopted by an American couple. But when she arrived in America she found herself once again surrounded by fanaticism and prejudice. Elizabeth's mother had always told her that life was made up of ten thousand joys as well as ten thousand sorrows, and, supported by her loving daughter, and by a return to her Buddhist faith, she finally found a way to savour those joys, as well as the courage to exorcize the demons of her past.

LEVEL : Higher, Intermediate 2


KRAKAUER Jon                                    Into Thin Air

On May 9th, 1996, five expeditions launched an assault on the summit of Mount Everest. The conditions seemed perfect. Twenty-four hours later one climber had died and 23 other men and women were caught in a desperate struggle for their lives as they battled against a ferocious storm that threatened to tear them from the mountain. In all eight climbers died that day in the worst tragedy Everest has ever seen. Jon Krakauer, an accomplished climber, joined a commercial expedition run by guides for paying clients, many of whom had little or no climbing experience. In Into Thin Air he gives a thorough and chilling account of the ill-fated climb and reveals the complex web of decisions and circumstances that left a group of amateurs fighting for their lives in the thin air and sub-zero cold above 26,000 feet - a place climbers call 'The Death Zone'. Into Thin Air reveals the harsh realities of mountaineering and echoes with the frantic calls of climbers lost high on the mountain and way beyond help.

LEVEL : Higher, Intermediate 2

LEE Laurie                              Cider With Rosie

Laurie Lee's account of childhood and youth in the Cotswolds remains as fresh and full of joy and gratitude for youth and its sensations as when it first appeared. The England of Cider With Rosie is one of 'silence...of white roads, rutted by hooves and cartwheels, innocent of oil or petrol'. It is the rich sensuous world of childhood.

LEVEL : Higher, Intermediate 2


McNAB Andy                             Bravo Two Zero

On the night of 22nd January 1991, at a remote airfield in Saudi Arabia, under the cover of darkness and in conditions of utmost secrecy, eight members of the SAS Regiment boarded a helicopter that was to infiltrate them deep behind enemy lines. Their mission, under the command of Sergeant Andy McNab, was to sever the underground communication link between Baghdad and north-west Iraq, and to seek and destroy mobile Scud launchers before Israel was provoked into entering the war. Their call-sign : Bravo Two Zero.

Each man laden with fifteen stone of equipment, they patrolled 20km across flat desert to reach their objective and find a hiding place before dawn. Within days, their location was compromised. The Iraqis attacked with armour, and after a fierce firefight the patrol was forced to escape and evade on foot to the Syrian border, 120km to the north- west. That first night, in pitch darkness and freezing cold weather, they covered 85 km. In the desperate days that followed, though stricken by hypothermia and other injuries, the patrol 'went ballistic'. Four men were captured. Three died. Only one escaped. But in their wake lay 250 Iraqi dead and wounded. For Andy McNab and the other survivors, however, the worst ordeals were yet to come. Delivered to Baghdad, they were tortured with a savagery and relentlessness for which not even their intensive SAS training had prepared them.

LEVEL : Higher, Intermediate 2

MAH Adeline Yen      Chinese Cinderella – The Secret Story of an Unwanted Daughter

 When Adeline Yen Mah’s mother died giving birth to her, the family considered Adeline bad luck and she was made to feel unwanted all her life. Chinese Cinderella is the story of her struggle for acceptance and how she overcame the odds to prove her worth.

LEVEL : Intermediate 2

NAZER Mende & LEWIS Damien                                                

Slave: The true story of a girl's lost childhood and her fight for survival

The extraordinary story of a young Sudanese girl who was kidnapped and sold into slavery, and how, in September 2000, she finally escaped to freedom.

Mende Nazer grew up in the remote Nuba Mountains of Sudan, Her happy childhood was cruelly cut short when raiders on horseback swept through her village. The Mujahadin hacked down terrified villagers, raped the women and abducted the children.Twelve-year-old Mende was one of them.Sold to an Arab woman in Khartoum, Mende was stripped of her name and her freedom. She was kept as a domestic slave, an 'abid', without any pay or a single day off. Her food was the scraps left over from the family's plates, eaten with separate cutlery, and her bed was the floor of a garden shed, which was locked up each night.She endured this harsh and lonely existence without knowing whether her family was alive or dead, for seven long years. In the spring of 2000 Mende was passed on by her master, like a parcel, to a relative in London. Eventually she managed to make contact with other Nuba exiles who, with British journalist and filmmaker Damien Lewis, helped her escape to freedom. Slave is a shocking first-person insight into the modern-day slave trade. It is also a fascinating memoir of an African childhood and a moving testimony to a young girl's indomitable spirit in the face of adversity and shattered dreams.

LEVEL : Higher, Intermediate 2


PETERS, John & NICHOL, John                          Tornado Down

RAF Flight Lieutenants John Peters and John Nichol were shot down over enemy territory on their first airborne mission of the Gulf War. Their capture in the desert, half a mile from their blazing Tornado bomber, began a nightmare seven-week ordeal of torture and interrogation which brought both men near to death. In Tornado Down, John Peters and John Nichol tell the incredible story of their part in the war against Saddam Hussein’s regime. It is a brave ans shocking and totally honest story : a story about war and it’s effects on the hearts and minds of men.

LEVEL ; Higher, Intermediate 2

PELZER, David                                         A Child Called ‘It’

As a child Dave Pelzer was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother, a mother who played tortuous,unpredictable games that left one of her sons nearly dead. She no longer considered him a son, but a slave; no longer a boy, but an ‘it’. His bed was an old army cot in the basement, his clothes were torn and smelly, and, when he was allowed the luxury of food it was scraps from the dogs’ bowl. The outside world knew nothing of the nightmare played out behind closed doors. Dave dreamed of finding a family to love him and call him their son. It took years of struggle,deprivation and despair to find his dream and make something of himself in the world. A Child Called ‘It’ covers the horrendous early years of his life and is an affecting and inspirational memoir of one child’s determination to survive.

LEVEL ; Higher, Intermediate 2 . See other titles also

RATCLIFFE, Peter, DCM                              Eye of the Storm

Peter Ratcliffe served in the SAS for twenty-five years. Blooded in Oman in the 1970s, he also saw action in Northern Ireland, in the Falklands War, and in the Gulf War. From his early days in the Paras to his time as Regimental Sergeant-Major in the Gulf, he has lived and fought by the motto ‘Who Dares Wins’. Eye of the Storm is his insider’s account of that exceptional career. Fast-paced, eartrhy, dramatic, funny, occasionally disturbing, it is laced with first-hand descriptions of ferocious and bloody fighting, sudden death and incredible heroism, and peopled with a cast of extraordinary individuals, hard-fighting soldiers of every rank and background.

LEVEL ; Higher, Intermediate 2

SCHOLEY, Pete The Joker :                               20 Years Inside the SAS

Pete Scholey served in the SAS for over twenty years, fighting – often covertly – in many of the world’s trouble spots. In The Joker he gives vivid first-hand accounts of the many actions he was involved in, from jungle warfare in Borneo and desert fighting in Aden and Oman to his part in the setting up of the counter-terrorist team that was successfully used in the Iranian Embassy siege. He outlines the operational skills that took his teams deep into enemy territory without ever being captured, reveals how they achieved their objectives and describes the humour that he managed to find in even the most hair-raising moments.

SIMPSON Joe                                        Touching The Void

Touching The Void is one of the most incredible survival stories ever told and deserves to become a classic of the mountaineering genre. The quality of the writing is both sensitive and dramatic, capturing the extremes of fear, suffering and emotion of both Joe Simpson and his climbing partner, Simon Yates. From the moment that Joe falls, high on a Peruvian mountain, breaking his leg on the descent, through his solitary agony in a crevasse until the moment he crawls into their base camp you will be unable to put this book down.

LEVEL : Higher, Intermediate 2. See other titles also.


ALGREN Nelson             A Walk On the Wild Side

This is the story of naive country boy, Dove Findhorn. Arriving in New Orleans at the height of the Great Depression, Dove ends up living a grotesque freakshow existence on Perfido Street among the rummies, conmen, pimps, hookers and their johns. Nelson Algren's classic novel has the American Dream turned on its head and into a nightmare of poverty, violence and unemployment, where the backstreets are a cauldron of hopelessness, crime and despair.

LEVEL ; Higher, Intermediate 2

ALI  Monica                Brick Lane

Nazneen's inauspicious entry to the world imbues in her a sense of fatalism that she carries across continents when she is married off to Chanu and goes to live in London's Tower Hamlets.For years she does what is expected of her: keeping house and rearing children: walking a tightrope between her daughters' embarrassment and her husband's resentment.Into that fragile peace walks Karim. he sets questions before her, of longing and belonging; he sparks in her a turmoil that reflects the community's own; he opens her eyes and directs her gaze - but what she sees, in the end, comes as a surprise to them both.

While Nazneen undergoes her journey, her sister Hasina, back in Bangladesh, rushes headlong at her life. Woven through the novel, Hasina's letters from Dhaka recount a world of overwhelming adversity. Shaped - yet not ultimately bound - by their landscapes and memories, both sisters struggle to dream themselves out of the rules prescribed for them.

LEVEL ; Higher, Intermediate 2


BANKS, Iain             The Crow Road

"It was the day my grandmother exploded. I sat in the crematorium, listening to my Uncle Hamish quietly snoring in harmony to Bach’s Mass in B Minor, and I reflected that it always seemed to be death that drew me back to Gallanach."

Prentice McHoan has returned to the bosom of his complex but enduring Scottish family. Full of questions about the McHoan past, present and future, he is also deeply preoccupied: mainly with death, sex, drink, God and illegal substances...

LEVEL ; Higher, Intermediate 2


BANKS, Iain                       Complicity

Cameron Colley is an obsessive, substance-abusing, fully-paid-up Gonzo journalist on an Edinburgh-based newspaper; the kind of man who rolls joints in the car at ninety miles an hour while steering with his knees and shouting at slow drivers. He’s totally committed to his job, a computer game called Despot and an intermittently sadomasochistic love affair. Cameron appreciates a good conspiracy theory as much as the next hack and now he seems to be on the brink of uncovering the grandfather of all conspiracies. But while he’s researching a series of bizarre deaths from a few years ago, the police are investigating a sequence that’s still going on, and Cameron - complicit as he seems to be - might be able to help them with their enquiries. Complicity vividly explores the morality of greed, corruption and violence and ventures into the darker regions of human purpose.

LEVEL ; Higher, Intermediate 2


BANKS, Iain                         Espedair Street

Two days ago I decided to kill myself...Last night I changed my mind and decided to stay alive. Everything that follows is...just to try and explain.

Daniel Weir used to be a famous - not to say infamous - rock star.Maybe he still is. At 31 he has been both a brilliant failure and a dull success. He’s made lots of mistakes that have paid off and a lot of smart moves he’ll regret forever. (However long that turns out to be.) Daniel Weir has gone from rags to riches and back, and managed to hold on to them both, though not to much else. His friends all seem to be dead, fed up with him or just disgusted - and who can blame them ? And now Daniel Weir is all alone. As he contemplates his life, Daniel realises he has only two problems : the past and the future. He knows how bad the past has been. But the future - well, the future is something else..........

LEVEL ; Higher, Intermediate 2


BANKS, Ian                            Whit

A little knowledge can be a very dangerous thing…

Innocent in the ways of the world, an ingénue when it comes to pop and fashion, the Elect of God of a small but committed Stirlingshire religious cult : Isis Whit is no ordinary teenager.

When her cousin Morag – Guest of Honour at the Luskentyrian’s four-yearly Festival of Love –disappears after renouncing her faith, Isis is marked out to venture among the Unsaved and bring the apostate back into the fold. But the road to Babylondon (as Sister Angela puts it) is a treacherous one, particularly when Isis discovers that Morag appears to have embraced the ways of the Unsaved with spectacular abandon….

Truth and falsehood; kinship and betrayal; ‘herbal’ cigarettes and compact discs – Whit is an exploration of the techno-ridden barrenness of modern Britain from a unique perspective.

LEVEL : Higher, Intermediate 2

BISSET Alan                            Boyracers

You are now entering Falkirk - being a book about Alvin, Frannie, Dolby, Brian, Belinda (doing eighty), Tyra the Beautiful, Connor f***ing Livingstone, Stephen King, Pink Floyd, peach schnapps (and lemonade), hope, dreams, Scotland, death-defying driving, Goodfellas, Irn-Bru, tenpin bowling, FHM, love and money, Alvin’s Dad, American Psycho, car crashes, paranoia, The Lord of the Rings, U2, infinity, Brian’s nipples, noddies, text messages, barmaids, virginity, Radiohead, The X-Men, exams, Frannie’s patter, the death of punk, Tom Cruise, nightclub bouncers, Falkirk High School, Clive Barker, the emptiness at the heart of it all, weapons, Spider-man, Han Solo, a desolate future in which no one loves anyone else, Hotel California, the universe, Blur, Prontaprint Lisa, and everything under the sun is in tune, as the sun is eclipsed by the moon……..

LEVEL : Higher, Intermediate 2


BLEASDALE, Alan                              Scully

It’s all over Liverpool, daubed on walls and sprayed on bus shelters. Scully wrote it to proclaim his presence. He needn’t have bothered because he’s well known. The Law, the probation officer, the local shopkeepers, the suckers who support Everton, they’ve all tangled with this fifteen-year-old hard nut. But as we follow Scully in and out of trouble we realise that this sharp. anarchic, often likeable kid has a lot more going for him than anyone realises.

LEVEL ; Higher, Intermediate 2

BURGESS Anthony                        A Clockwork Orange

In this nightmare vision of youth culture in revolt, fifteen0year-old Alex and his friends set out on a diabolical orgy of robbery, rape, torture and murder. Alex is jailed for his teenage delinquency and the State tries to reform him – but at what cost? Social prophecy? Black comedy? Study of free will? A Clockwork Orange is all these. It is also a dazzling experiment in language, as Burgess creates a new speech for his anti-hero: ‘nadsat’, the teenage slang of a not-too-distant future.

LEVEL ; Higher

BURGESS Melvin                       Junk

Junk = Heroin = Bliss = Despair = A love affair you’ll never forget

Tar loves Gemma but Gemma doesn’t want to be tied down - not to anyone or anything. Gemma wants to fly. But no-one can fly forever. One day, somehow, finally, you have to come down.

LEVEL : Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2

BURGESS  Melvin               Loving April

'Don't mind her....Deaf and dumb, see.'

It doesn't matter whether April Dean can speak or not - no one's listening. She needs a friend. So does Tony. But it's not easy to break through the barriers that isolate them. Their growing relationship triggers deep prejudices that threaten them both.

LEVEL : Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2


CRACE  Jim                                       Being Dead

Crace's startling novella is a hypnotic story of a marriage discovering itself at the very moment it is murdered. Being Dead has the elements of a thriller but is also an extraordinarily moving love story full of haunting imagery.

LEVEL ; Higher


DILLON Des                                  itchycooblue

"See me. See ma imagination. WILD. I won't take a tellin me so I won't. Nope. I just let ma head run away wi me. Get me into bother one day ma Teacher says. Right bother so it will."

Derrick and Gal are best griends. Derrick's Da is sick but the lad doesn't understand how sick. He sets out to get his Da a moorhen's egg. The two boys swerve through the slaggies and the steelworks, flamboyant in the face of danger, solid in their friendship. All that stands in their way is their fears, and Mad Mackenzie who's escaped from Borstal. With his sidekick Septic, Mackenzie dishes out violence and terror. Derrick and Gal encounter the full range of life's experience in a day that seems as elastic as childhood itself, sometimes sad and sometimes hilarious. Derrick struggles till the last to get his hands on that egg, but Mackenzie has a mission too. To get his hands on Derrick and Gal.

LEVEL ; Higher, Intermediate 2


DILLON Des                             Me and Ma Gal

I told him that the swans were too nice to take their eggs

- What d'ye mean NICE?

  • I mean they're too white an good at flyin an glidin an if we took one of them eggs we would stop one of them bein born an if everybody took one there wouldn't be no Swans an we'd never know what they were like.

  • So you think we should leave them alone cos they're beeyootaful burds?

- Ay....that's it.

I coughed and walked on tryin to look like I was thinkin of somethin tough

Two boys encounter the whole range of life's challenges in a single day's adventures.

LEVEL : Higher, Intermediate 2


DOYLE, Roddy               Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

Patrick Clarke is ten years old. He likes Manchester United, torturing his brother, pouting salt on slugs and lighting fires. His best friend is Kevin and their names are written in cement all over Barrytown. Patrick knows that the life expectancy of a mouse is 18 months, that Geronimo was the last of the renegade Apaches, snails and slugs are gastropods and robbing Football Monthly means four million years in Purgatory. He also knows that his mother is crying, what the smacking sound was, that Dad leaves the house in silence, but he doesn’t know why.........

LEVEL ; Higher, Intermediate 2


DOYLE, Roddy                The Commitments

Barrytown, Dublin, has something to sing about. The Commitments are spreading the gospel of soul. Ably managed by Jimmy Rabbitte, brilliantly coached by Joel "The Lips" Fagan, their twin assault on Motown and Barrytown takes them by leaps and bounds from parish hall to immortality on vinyl. But can The Commitments live up to their name ?

"A contender for the funniest book of the year...young, feisty, funky, rude, unpretentious and great fun."

LEVEL ; Higher, Intermediate 2


DOYLE, Roddy                The Snapper

Meet the Rabbitte family, a motley bunch of lovable ne’er-do-wells whose everyday purgatory is rich with hangovers, dogshit and dirty dishes. When the older sister announces her pregnancy, the family are forced to rally together and discover the strangeness of intimacy. But the question remains: which friend of the family is the father of Sharon's child...a rip-snorting comedy of everyday life.

LEVEL ; Higher, Intermediate 2


DOYLE, Roddy                 The Van

This is the last novel in the superb trilogy about the Rabbitte family of North Dublin - a hilarious but tender tale of male friendship, swimming in grease and stained with ketchup.

LEVEL ; Higher, Intermediate 2


The Woman Who Walked Into Doors


"I swooned the first time I saw Charlo. I actually did. I didn't faint or fall on the floor but my legs went rubbery on me and I giggled. I suddenly knew that I had lungs because they were empty and collapsing." In the gritty world of modern Dublin, violent and generous-hearted, mean-spirited and fed by dreams, Roddy Doyle captures the vulnerability and courage of a woman trapped in a loveless and abusive marriage.

LEVEL ; Higher, Intermediate 2



The Trick Is To Keep Breathing

A young drama teacher somewhere in the West of Scotland is losing her grip on the world. The problems of living an everyday life accumulate and begin to torture the heroine who blames her problems not on her work but on herself. She reads horoscopes, plucks hairs, holds conversations inside and outside herself. A terrible memory tries to unfold but is resisted. Family and friends take on monstrous or pitiful guises; food threatens to become a major character - clutching at the wrong things, the trick is to find those that let life go on. LEVEL ; Higher, Intermediate 2




Meet Dublin's Dirty Harry - Coyne: larger than life, a bit of a mess at one level, but a great original, a true flesh and blood man living out his spell of not-so-quiet desperation with tterrible conviction. Through an accretion of one-liners and humorous set-pieces he sketches a morally ambivalent world which is immensely compelling and engaging. Headbanger is an exciting and blackly comic thriller, lobbing incendiaries at both the dark corners and sacred cows of modern Ireland.

LEVEL : Higher, Intermediate 2


HARTE, Lara                                      First Time

Cassandra is fourteen, terminally shy, and a bit of a misfit at her respectable Dublin girl’s school. Emma, with her lank hair, bad skin and twenty-a-day habit, comes across as a free spirit. When the two meet on the first day of term, the attraction is immediate. For Cassandra, being with Emma is a chance to walk on the wild side. While Emma, trapped on a grim housing estate on the outskirts of the city, sees Cassandra as the kind of person she knows she’ll never be......

LEVEL ; Higher, Intermediate 2

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