News and reviews of the best new titles.
Recommended by Gary
This Pulitzer prize finalist is a wonderful read. Set in the 1850s it follows Hakan from his childhood home in Sweden to the American west on a journey across deserts and mountain ranges that literally takes a lifetime. Gripping and suspenseful, beautifully written and with an eye on our current relationship with our precious world, this is a very special novel.
Recommended by Gary
Don’t miss this wonderful novel from French rapper Gael Faye. Its description of childhood and growing up and its sense of place are superb and moving. It’s good to look at our own lives through the prism of other people’s in a part of the world most of us know little about. The small country is Burundi but also Gaby’s childhood which he left behind when he and his sister escaped to France after the genocide in neighbouring Rwanda. This beautifully written book explores all our current concerns about refugees, about migration and integration, and how lives are destroyed by prejudice and racism.
Recommended by Gary
A lovely, gentle, funny novel that will slowly wrap itself around your heart.
Recommended by Julia
In this unusual and quietly dazzling novel we get to follow the lives of the people of a small northern village after the disappearance of a thirteen year old girl. The police run out of leads and no one is found guilty, but the missing girl’s presence is felt for years to come. As time passes and children are born and others grow up, people marry and divorce, some move away and others move in, the girl remains with the villagers, unchanged. McGregor’s book is a collective meditation on the perfectly ordinary yet deeply unsettling qualities of everyday life. A rare joy to read!
Illustrated by sixty female artists from every corner of the globe, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls introduces us to one hundred remarkable women and their extraordinary lives, from Ada Lovelace to Malala, Amelia Earhart to Michelle Obama. Empowering, moving and inspirational, these are true fairy tales for heroines who definitely don’t need rescuing.
From his seat in the tiny aeroplane, Fred watches as the mysteries of the Amazon jungle pass by below him. He has always dreamed of becoming an explorer, of making history and of reading his name amongst the lists of great discoveries. If only he could land and look about him.
Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his daemon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them; a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua .
The Seabird’s Cry travels their ocean paths, fusing traditional knowledge with all that modern science has come to know about them: the way their bodies work, their dazzling navigational expertise, their ability to smell their way to fish or home, to understand the workings of the winds in which they live. At the heart of the book are the Shiant Isles – a cluster of Hebridean islands in the Minch that Adam Nicolson has known all his life.
In The Hidden Life of Trees Peter Wohlleben makes the case that the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers. Wohlleben also shares his deep love of woods and forests, explaining the amazing processes of life, death and regeneration he has observed in his woodland.
New York, a small town on the tip of Manhattan Island, 1746. One rainy evening, a charming and handsome young stranger fresh off the boat from England pitches up to a counting house on Golden Hill Street, with a suspicious yet compelling proposition — he has an order for a thousand pounds in his pocket that he wishes to cash. But can he be trusted? This is New York in its infancy, a place where a young man with a fast tongue can invent himself afresh, fall in love, and find a world of trouble .
More than a book of recipes, this cookbook explores Lee Miller’s life through the influence of food and how it ascends to becoming the creative vehicle that she eventually swaps her camera for and uses to build bridges, heal old wounds, and to empower other women.
Pop your ingredients in a tin and let the oven do the work. The Roasting Tin has recipes for 75 delicious one dish dinners ranging from chicken traybakes to supergrains. The concept is simple: fresh, easy ingredients, a few minutes prep, and let the oven do the work.
The American Civil War rages while President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son lies gravely ill. In a matter of days, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery.
Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy’s body. From this seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of realism, entering a thrilling, supernatural domain both hilarious and terrifying
This gorgeous, large-format book is filled with clever cutouts exploring every detail of the organs, systems and senses that make up that most marvellous of machines, the human body. This fact-filled journey is illustrated by Hélène Druvert, the acclaimed creator of the award-winning Paris Up, Up and Away and Mary Poppins Up, Up and Away. Her father, a doctor, has contributed the text, which is perfectly pitched at children of nine and over.
On 21 June 1922 Count Alexander Rostov – recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt – is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol. But instead of being taken to his usual suite, he is led to an attic room with a window the size of a chessboard.
Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the Count has been sentenced to house arrest indefinitely. While Russia undergoes decades of tumultuous upheaval, the Count, stripped of the trappings that defined his life, is forced to question what makes us who we are. And with the assistance of a glamorous actress, a cantankerous chef and a very serious child, Rostov unexpectedly discovers a new understanding of both pleasure and purpose.