May 2024 Books

What’s new and good to read this month? Dan Coombes has a look at what’s on offer from publishers in May and chooses Long Island by Colm Tóibín, Queen Macbeth by Val McDermid and You Like It Darker by Stephen King. Images: Long Island by Colm Tóibín; Queen Macbeth by Val McDermid; You Like It Darker by Stephen King Long Island - Colm Tóibín Set twenty years after his most lauded and lovely literary landmark Brooklyn, Long Island continues the story of Irish immigrant Ellis Lacey, making her way in the United States of America in the late Seventies with her husband, children, friends…and an imminent, great big life-changing clanger that’s going to upend everything. Colm Toibin is famous for his elegant and res

April 2024 Books

What’s new and good to read this month? Dan Coombes has a look at what’s on offer from publishers in April and chooses Hagstone by Sinead Gleeson, The Sleepwalkers by Scarlett Thomas, and Saltblood by Francesca de Tores. Images: Hagstone by Sinead Gleeson; The Sleepwalkers by Scarlett Thomas; Saltblood by Francesca de Tores Hagstone - Sinead Gleeson An exploration of art, voyeurism and all-round strangeness wrapped up in a slightly uneasy air of supernatural occurrences and human failings, this is a debut novel from an acclaimed essayist and critic, and promises great things to come in the world of engrossingly odd and atmospheric fiction with something to say. The sea is steady for now. The land readies itself. What can be done wi

March 2024 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Dan Coombes has a look at what’s on offer and chooses Until August by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton, and The Warm Hands of Ghosts by Katherine Arden Until August - Gabriel Garcia Marquez A tricky recommendation, this one - but definitely a recommendation nonetheless, so bear with it. A 'lost' novel (in this case meaning Marquez himself said 'it doesn't work, don't publish it', and a decade after his passing his sons decided to anyway...) by one of the most adored literary heavyweights of all time is always going to be big book-based news, impossible to ignore, and so here it is... a tale of love, sex, f

February 2024 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Dan Coombes has a look at what’s on offer and chooses Butter by Asako Yuzuki Fourteen Days by Margaret Atwood, Celeste NG, John Grisham and more, and Come And Get It by Kiley Reid Butter – Asako Yuzuki A cult bestseller from Japan, absolutely destined to become a cult bestseller everywhere else, too. Deeply strange, skewed and on occasion really quite disturbing, Butter is nonetheless undeniably beautiful, thought provoking and completely unique. Gourmet cook Manako Kajii sits in Tokyo Detention Centre convicted of the serial murders of lonely businessmen, who she is said to have seduced with her delicious home cooking. The case has captured the nation’s imaginatio

January 2024 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Dan Coombes has a look at what’s on offer and chooses The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose, The Last Word by Elly Griffiths and Piglet by Lottie Hazell The Mystery Guest - Nita Prose Socially awkward cleaning enthusiast and amateur sleuth Molly the maid returns in this standalone follow up to last year's excellent murder mystery The Maid. Nita Prose (what else was she going to do with that name?) has an eye for quirky characters, dark comedy and a good mystery just on the right side of cosy. A new mess. A new mystery. Molly the maid returns. Molly Gray wears her Head Maid badge proudl

November 2023 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Dan Coombes has a look at what’s on offer and chooses Mary Or, The Birth of Frankenstein; Heartstopper Vol. 5 and The Future. Mary Or, The Birth of Frankenstein- Anne Eekhout The trend for re-interpreting well known tales, their creation and the famed lives of their authors - often bringing *gasp* less well known female perspectives to the fore - has made for a lot of fun reads recently,  just like this one which grabbed me instantly because of the Frankenstein connection. Make no mistake though, this isn't some novelty effort playing around for amusement value - it's a powerful and intense tale with lots to say and an enticingly s

October books 2023

What’s new and good to read this month? Dan Coombes has a look at what’s on offer and chooses A Stroke of the Pen: The Lost Stories by Terry Pratchett, Night Side of the River by Jeanette Wilson and Liberation Day by George Saunders A Stroke of the Pen: The Lost Stories - Terry Pratchett Hands up, I am a huge Terry Pratchett fan, and this collection of his previously unpublished early stories - before he found fame with the legendary Discworld novels - is certainly a must for all lovers of his work. But ask any Pratchett lover just how good a writer he was and they'll mostly tell you the same thing: he was a literary genius would've won pretty much every highbrow book award going if he wasn't pigeonholed as a fantasy writer. There's something in here

September 2023 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Dan Coombes has a look at what’s on offer and chooses The Last Devil To Dieby Richard Osman, The Fraud by Zadie Smith and Holly by Stephen King The Last Devil To Die – Richard Osman A man who at this point needs no introduction, but here I am writing one anyway. A national treasure, one of the most successful crime writers of all time, a local legend who can occasionally be seen walking past the shop (but still hasn’t been in to sign his books yet…Hi, Richard.) The fourth instalment of the Thursday Murder Club series…well, if you’ve read the others you’ll know what a clever, witty and warm-hearted joy it’ll be, and if you haven’t you still have a couple of weeks before this one

August 2023 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Dan Coombes has a look at what’s on offer and chooses The Normal Rules Don't Apply by Kate Atkinson, Tom Lake by Anne Patchett and Bridge by Lauren Beuke. The Normal Rules Don't Apply - Kate Atkinson The author of recent bestseller Shrines Of Gaiety and the multi-award winning classic Life After Life has written her first short story collection in two decades - an ingenious collection of linked tales that showcase her mastery of comedy, poignancy and the intertwining of the ordinary and the extraordinary to full effect. We meet a queen who makes a bargain she cannot keep; a secretary who watches over the life she has just left; a man whose luck changes when a horse speaks to him. With clockwork intrica

July 2023 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Dan Coombes has a look at what’s on offer and chooses Chain-Gang All-Stars, One Of Us Is Back and Silver Nitrate. Chain Gang All-Stars – Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah If you’re not at least a little bit drawn to something described as ‘Squid Game meets The Handmaid’s Tale’, you’re a stronger human than I am. In the big wide world of stories that owe their existence to Battle Royale and Hunger Games, it’s good to discover something that puts its own fresh spin on the dystopian subgenre. Welcome to Chain-Gang All-Stars, the popular and highly controversial programme set inside America's private prison system. In packed arenas, live-streamed by millions, prisoners compete as gladiator

June 2023 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Dan Coombes has a look at what’s on offer and chooses Translation State, The Trial and The Wind Knows my Name. Translation State – Ann Leckie The first science fiction novel in six years from a writer who won the Hugo, Nebula, BSFA and Arthur C. Clarke awards with their debut alone, Translation State is a grand-scale space opera set in an intricate far future that explores some of humanity’s most pressing themes and issues as only the best sf can. Qven always had a clear path before them: learn human ways, make a match and serve as an intermediary between the dangerous alien Presger and the human worlds. The realization that they might want something else is the type of behaviour that results in eliminati

May 2023 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Dan Coombes has a look at what’s on offer and chooses Yellowface by R.F. Kuang, The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece by Tom Hanks, and the latest Jo Nesbo thriller Killing Moon. Yellowface - R.F. Kuang R.F. Kuang goes from strength to strength, with the critically acclaimed Poppy War trilogy and Babel, a best-selling fusion of magic and enthralling historical fiction (both well worth your time) already under her belt, and now her latest standalone novel, the savagely funny and satirical literary thriller Yellowface. Athena Liu is a literary darling, and June Hayward is literally nobody. When Athena dies in a freak accident, June steals her unpublished manu

April 2023 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Dan Coombes has a look at what’s on offer and chooses Greek Lessons by Han Kang, Atalanta by Jennifer Saint, and Death of a Bookseller by Alice Slater. Greek Lessons – Han Kang Winner of the International Booker Prize in 2016 for her beautiful and disturbing The Vegetarian, Han Kang’s new novel - and her first in nine years - promises to be every bit as powerful and unforgettable. Greek Lessons is the story of two ordinary people brought together at a moment of private anguish – the fading light of a man losing his vision meeting the silence of a woman who has lost her language, yet these are the very things that draw them together. A tender love letter to human intimacy and

March 2023 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Dan Coombes has a look at what’s on offer and chooses Old Babes In The Wood, Old God's Time and The Sinister Booksellers Of Bath. Old Babes In The Wood A magnificent new collection of short stories from one of the greatest storytellers of the last five decades, winner of more awards than you can shake a bookmark at and author of the phenomenally successful The Handmaid’s Tale. Something new from Margaret Atwood is always a huge event. At the heart of the collection is a stunning sequence that follows a married couple as t

February 2023 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Dan Coombes has a look at what’s on offer and chooses Salman Rushdie's Victory City, Rebecca Makkai's I Have Some Questions for You and Samantha Shannon's A Day of Fallen Night. Victory City, by Salman Rushdie The new novel from the bestselling, Booker-Prize winning author Salman Rushdie. In the wake of an insignificant battle between two long-forgotten kingdoms in fourteenth-century southern India, a nine-year-old girl has a divine encounter that will change the course of history. After witnessing the death of her mother, the grief-stricken Pampa Kampana becomes a vessel for a goddess, who tells her that she will be instrumental in the rise of a great city called Bisnaga - l

January 2023 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Jessica Bloom has a look at what’s on offer and chooses Forever, Interrupted; Hell Bent, and The Shards. Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid "In that short time, you had more passion than some people have in a lifetime." When Elsie Porter meets Ben Ross on a rainy New Year’s Day, their chemistry is instant and electric. Within weeks, the two are head over heels in love. By May, they’ve eloped. Only nine days later, Ben is out riding his bike when he is hit by a truck and killed on impact. At the hospital, Elsi

December 2022 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Jessica Bloom has a look at what’s on offer and chooses Stella Maris, City of Last Chances, and Night Shift. Stella Maris by Cormac McCarthy The best-selling, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Road returns with the second volume of The Passenger series: Stella Maris is an intimate portrait of grief and longing, as a young woman in a psychiatric facility seeks to understand her own existence.

November 2022 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Jessica Bloom has a look at what’s on offer and chooses Dawnlands, Murder On The Christmas Express, and My Soul Twin. Dawnlands by Philippa Gregory The new historical novel from Philippa Gregory, the Number One bestselling author of Tidelands and Dark Tides. It is 1685, England is on the brink of a renewed civil war against the Stuart kings and many families are bitterly divided. Ned Ferryman cannot persuade his sister Alinor that he is right to return from America with his Pokanoket servant Rowan to join

October 2022 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Jessica Bloom has a look at what’s on offer and chooses Lucy by the Sea, The Romantic, and Liberation Day. Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout 'It is a gift in this life that we do not know what awaits us' In March 2020 Lucy's ex-husband William pleads with her to leave New York and escape to a coastal house he has rented in Maine. Lucy reluctantly agrees, leaving the washing-up in the sink, expecting to be back in a week or two. Weeks turn into months, and it's just Lucy, William, and their complex past together in a little house nestled against the sea. Rich with empathy and a searing clarity, Lucy by the Sea evokes the fragility and uncertainty of the recent past, as well as the possibilities tha

September 2022 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Jessica Bloom has a look at what’s on offer and chooses The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman, Nights of Plague by Orphan Pamuk and Stone Blind: Medusa's Story by Natalie Haynes. The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman It is an ordinary Thursday and things should finally be returning to normal. Except trouble is never far away where the Thursday Murder Club are concerned. A decade-old cold case leads them to a local news legend and a murder with no body and no answers. Then a new foe pays Elizabeth a visit. Her mission? Kill. . . or be killed. As the cold case turns white hot, Elizabeth wrestles with her conscience (and a gun), while Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim chase down clues with help from old f

August 2022 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Jessica Bloom has a look at what’s on offer and chooses The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell, So Happy For You by Celia Laskey and The Queen of Dirt Island by Donal Ryan. The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell The author of Hamnet—New York Times best seller and National Book Award winner—brings the world of Renaissance Italy to jewel-bright life in this unforgettable portrait of the captivating young duchess Lucrezia de’ Medici as she makes her way in a troubled court. Florence, the 1550s. Lucrezia, third daughter of the grand duke, is comfortable with her obscure place in the palazzo: free to wonder at its treasures, observe its clandestine workings, and devote h

July 2022 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Jessica Bloom has a look at what’s on offer and chooses Four Treasures of the Sky, Joan and The House of Fortune. Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang 'A propulsive and dazzling debut novel set against the backdrop of the Chinese Exclusion Act, about a Chinese girl fighting to claim her place in the 1880s American West' Daiyu never wanted to b

June 2022 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Jessica Bloom has a look at what’s on offer and chooses Ghost Lover, Lapvona and Jack Lutz. Ghost Lover by Lisa Taddeo From Lisa Taddeo, #1 New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of Three Women and “our most eloquent and faithful chronicler of human desire” (Esquire), Ghost Lover is an electrifying collection of fearless and ferocious short stories. Behind anonymous screens, an army of cool and beautiful girls manage the dating service Ghost Lover, a forwarding system for text messages that promises to spare you the anguish of trying to stay composed while communicating with your crush. At a star-studded political fundraiser in a Los Angeles mansion, a trio

May 2022 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Jessica Bloom has a look at what’s on offer and chooses The House With the Golden Door, Ruth & Penand The Island. The House With the Golden Door by Elodie Harper The life of a courtesan in Pompeii is glittering, yet precarious... Amara has escaped her life as a slave in the town's most notorious brothel, but now her existence depends on the affections of her patron: a man she might not know as well as she once thought. At night she dreams of the wolf den, still haunted by her past. Amara longs for the women she was forced to l

April 2022 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Jessica Bloom has a look at what’s on offer and chooses Young Mungo, Companion Piece, and After Everything You Did.   Young Mungo The extraordinary, powerful second novel from the Booker prizewinning author of Shuggie Bain, Young Mungo is both a vivid portrayal of working-class life and the deeply moving story of the dangerous first love of two young men: Mungo and James. Born under different stars, Protestant Mungo and Catholic James live in a hyper-masculine world. They are caught between two of Glasgow's

World Book Day – Children’s Recommendations

Image above: Bookcase London by Jessica Bloom - Bookcase London Passionately promoting the joy of reading for a quarter of a century, World Book Day is celebrating its 25th birthday this year with the message ‘You Are a Reader’. No matter what your level, ability or topic of interest might be, there is a perfect book for everyone and we are bursting with ideas and inspiration for finding stories that families can share and enjoy together. Here I have chosen a variety of classic, fun, and informative reads for all ages that we currently have available in store. As always this was such a hard decision as we have so many amazing books in store, so make sure to also have a look in store! This World Book Day we have four titles available to swap wit

February 2022 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Annakarin Klerfalk has a look at what’s on offer and chooses Hear No Evil, 12 Hours to Say I Love You, and Breathless which are all out in February. Hear No Evil Hear No Evil, is a historical novel, written by Sarah Smith. The story was inspired by a landmark case in Scottish legal history – and it begins in Glasgow, in 1817, when a young deaf woman is accused of throwing a child into the River Clyde. The main character, Jean, is being held in Edinburgh's Tolbooth prison and a teacher called Robert is trying to help interpret the world for her. Jean confides in Robert, but he quickly turns from interpreter to investigator. Is there more to it than guilt and innocence? Author Anita Frank reviewe

January books 2022

What’s new and good to read this month? Annakarin Klerfalk has a look at what’s on offer and chooses To Paradise, The Christie Affair and The Woman Who Came Back to Life, all out in January. Hanya Yanagihara, the author of the highly acclaimed books The People in the Trees and A Little Life, has her third book coming out. To Paradise To Paradise consists of three stories, all set in New York City, a hundred years apart. The first part opens in an alternative version of America, in 1893, where New York is part of the Free States. A place where people may live and love anybody, despite their gender. The second part is set in 1993, during the AIDS epidemic – and the final and third part takes place in 2093, in a world t

December 2021 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Annakarin Klerfalk has a look at what’s on offer and chooses Hide, The Secrets of Bridgewater Bay and Winter at Cliff's End Cottage which are all out in December. Hide Nell Pattison is the author of The Silent House, which was a USA Today bestseller and Silent Night – featuring British Sign Language interpreter Paige Northwood. Nell has also been a teacher in the Deaf community for 14 years in both England and Scotland. Hide is described by Author T.M. Logan as “tense, twisty and full of toxic secrets

November 2021 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Annakarin Klerfalk has a look at what’s on offer and chooses The Stranger in the Lifeboat, Lily and Walking on Sunshine are all published in November. The Stranger in the Lifeboat Mitch Albom, best known as the author of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People you Meet in Heaven, is back with The Stranger in the Lifeboat. Ten strangers survive a terrible shipwreck and whilst adrift, waiting to be rescued, they see a man floating on the waves. They pull him onboard and get another surprise when he claims that he can save them all. Can they trust him? And will they ever come home again? Readers will discover yet another deeply moving novel from Albom about love and hope in