Books Of The Month

  • August 2018


    21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Yuval Noah Harari

    ISBN: 9781787330672

    Both Sapiens and Homo Deus are runaway bestsellers as we contemplate the state of humanity and civilisation, so it’s a pretty safe bet that 21 Lessons for the 21st Century will also dominate the charts. It explores the present: how should we avoid nuclear disaster and how can we detect fake news being just two of the lessons Harari tackles. Similar to his previous titles is the ever-present issue of understanding where we came from, how we can define ourselves in a changing world and where society might be heading.

    Endeavour, Peter Moore

    ISBN: 9781784740900

    Peter Moore’s latest work of history covers the story of one of the most famous ships in naval history. From pretty humble beginnings, Moore recounts how Endeavour came to carry Cook to Australia and its last voyage in the American Wars of Independence. Set against the Enlightenment, this is an interesting and inventive biography of an important piece of maritime history.

    Till The Cows Come Home, Philip Walling

    ISBN: 9781786493064

    Interest in nature and rural writing continues apace and Philip Walling’s latest is a great addition to the shelves. It charts human’s interaction and dependence on cattle throughout history ad comes as an attractive hardback gift edition. Like his previous bestseller, Counting Sheep, Till the Cows Come Home provides an interesting perspective on animals that urbanites rarely give passing thought to.

    Tom Kitchin’s Fish & Shellfish, Tom Kitchin

    ISBN: 9781472937834

    Tom Kitchin is a genuine chef superstar here in Scotland and is well known throughout the UK for his love of simple food using the best and freshest ingredients. His previous book on game was a Christmas bestseller for us and as Scotland can boast some of the best fish & shellfish in the world, this book is a must have for any home cook. Packed with recipes from his restaurants, a handy ‘how to’ section and of course beautiful photographs throughout, this is mouth-wateringly good.

    Ladder to the Sky, John Boyne

    ISBN: 9780857523495

    The latest from the author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, is a clever psychological thriller that kept me gripped until the last page. Maurice is a writer willing to do almost anything to rise to the top, not caring whose story he steals, or whose life he may ruin in the process. Even when he has achieved success, it’s hard for him to stop, but as he falls into a cat & mouse game with someone far cleverer than him, he may be forced to. Gripping.

    The Psychology of Time Travel, Kate Mascarenhas

    ISBN: 9781788540100

    In 1967, four pioneering women invent time travel. On the cusp of success, one of the pioneers has a breakdown that could throw their work into jepordy, so she is cast out from the world of time travel and science. In 2017, Ruby's grandmother never talks about her past as a time travel pioneer, until a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future arrives, foretelling the mysterious death of an elderly lady... Kate Mascerenhas' debut novel is not only a fantastic murder mystery set across three timelines, it offers a thought-provoking view of how time travel would affect both the mind and our relationships, both with others and our self, while also casting a very subtle eye over women's place in the world.


    Girls Can Do Anything, Caryl Hart

    ISBN: 9781407177380

    The year of celebrating fantastic women through children’s books continues with this bold picture book from Caryl Hart. Girls as knights, astronauts, engineers, pilots and more fill the pages with Ali Pye’s distinctive illustrations. You won’t find a princess here and for that we rejoice!

    104 Storey Treehouse, Andy Griffiths

    ISBN: 9781509833771

    The Treehouse juggernaut rumbles on with the latest instalment in the series. I’m pretty sure Health & Safety officers would have shut down the Treehouse a few storeys ago, but we are delighted that Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton keep adding extensions! As funny and inventive as the previous books in the series, let’s hope they keep building.

    Once Upon A Wild Wood, Chris Riddell

    ISBN 9781509817061

    We are lucky enough to be hosting Chris Riddell as part of his tour to launch this book and it’s fair to say we are pretty excited! It’s a gorgeously illustrated picture book involving lots of familiar fairy tale characters in ways that we’ve never seen them before. Little Green raincape is off to a party in the woods. The way is long and dark, but she is sensible enough to turn down apples form kindly old ladies, travel advice from wolves and even has time to help others in distress. Hugely imaginative and packed with detail on every page, this is Chris Riddell at his absolute best.

    Flamingo Plays Bingo, Russell Punter

    ISBN: 9781474946575

    An ideal early phonics reader for those just starting school with a gentle rhyming story and some bright, bold animal characters to help it along. This never feels educational and is sure to be a hit with early learners.

    The Girl with the Dragon Heart, Stephanie Burgiss

    ISBN: 9781408880777

    I absolutely loved The Dragon with the Chocolate Heart and the second instalment in this series is every bit as good. Silke’s way with words and stories have brought her to the attention of the Royal family who want to use her talents to spy on the mysterious fairies. Silke has her own reasons for wanting to get close to them and is soon drawn into a wonderful adventure filled with dragons and of course chocolate. Ideal for fans of Cressida Cowell and Cornelia Funke.

  • July 2018


    Days of Awe, A.M. Holmes

    ISBN: 9781847083258

    The first book since the award-winning May We Be Forgiven, I devoured this book of short stories from the master of the form. Sometimes a writer just keeps getting better and happily this is true of AM Holmes. Perfect for taking on holiday – the mixture of joy, shock and wonderfully written characters are in full supply.

    Every Third Thought, Robert McCrum

    ISBN: 9781509815296

    Books about mortality, grief memoirs and discussions on how we deal with death in this country are enjoying a moment, but it is hard to think of a more thoughtful example than Robert McCrum’s Every Third Thought. McCrum faced his own mortality early when he suffered a stroke in his forties. This unsentimental look at how we deal with our own fate will make everyone reconsider how they’re living their lives.

    Give Me Your Hand, Megan Abbott

    ISBN: 9781509855681

    An excellent addition to the psychological thriller shelf just in time for summer reading. Diane and Kit were best friends, united in their dreams of making it big. Until Diane revealed a secret that destroyed their relationship. Now Kit has made it, but Diane could take it all away. Maybe they aren’t so different after all? This will have readers gripped from the first to the last unexpected twist.

    Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik

    ISBN: 9781509899012

    Naomi Novik is one of my favourite fantasy writers. Her Temeraire series is one I happily return to and her adult re-imagining of Sleeping Beauty, Uprooted, was a real treat. In Spinning Silver, there are more fairy tales interwoven into the story of Miryem and her impoverished family. Her abilities may hold the key to escaping their misery, but they also attract the Fairy King and place everyone she loves in danger. This is a fabulous novel.

    Why Mummy Swears, Gill Sims

    ISBN: 9780008284213

    We were blown away by the popularity of Peter and Jane blogger Gill Sims’ first novel, Why Mummy Drinks. Our event with her sold out in 12 hours, a record for us! This new novel picks up where Why Mummy Drinks left off and is full of hilarious new mishaps with the precious moppets, as well as a glamourous new stepmother and a truly awful Christmas Fayre. It is any wonder mummy swears?



    Ballet Bunnies, Lucy Freegard

    ISBN: 9781843653707

    This is a delightful story about a bunny who loves to perform at home, but loses her nerve in class. Watching Betty grow in confidence will help others who love to dance learn to enjoy doing it everywhere. The liberal sprinkles of glitter help too!

    Cyril and Pat, Emily Gravett

    ISBN: 9781509857272

    Cyril and Pat are a squirrel and a rat! Their unlikely friendship forms the basis of this charming story told in rhyme by the award-winning writer Emily Gravett. Despite everyone in the park telling Cyril and Pat they shouldn’t be friends, the pair discover life is more fun when people are a bit different. Just lovely.

    The First Book of the Sea, Nicola Davies

    ISBN 9781406368956

    Nicola Davies’ books are always thoughtfully filled with important ecological messages and interesting facts about the environment in which we live. For the First Books of the Sea, she has teamed up with illustrator Emily Sutton in the award-winning partnership that brought us The First Book of Nature and Tiny among others. This beautiful new book looks at all things seaside, just in time for the summer holidays.

    Never Say Die, Anthony Horowitz

    ISBN: 9781406378672

    The latest in the perennially popular Alex Rider series sees the teenage spy return to try and unpick the traumatic events which unfolded in Scorpia Rising. Alex receives news which may change his life forever – he still has a chance to find Jack – and he embarks on his deadliest mission yet. Another book has now been confirmed, so it looks like Rider still has some way left to run.

    You’re Called What?!, Kes Gray

    ISBN: 9781509821440

    A new picture book from Kes Gray is always going to be a welcome addition to the shelves. In You’re Called What?!, some of the more unusually named animals get an outing, including Blue-Footed Boobies and the amazingly named Monkeyfaced Prickleback. Prepare to gawp at the facts packed onto every page, it retains the rhyming charm of the Oi… series to help it along too.

  • June 2018


    Crudo, Olivia Laing

    ISBN: 9781509892839

    The first novel from Olivia Laing, who has been writing interesting books for years now, including To The River and The Lonely City. Beginning in in a roasting Tuscan summer, we meet Kathy – a writer, a bride-to-be and someone who is feeling as unstable as the world around her seems to be. Trump’s tweets, Brexit and a sense of her own ageing all combine to give a funny, raw and powerful novel.

    He Is Mine and I Have No Other, Rebecca O’Connor

    ISBN: 9781786892591

    He Is Mine and I Have No Other is a first novel which for me signals the arrival of a strong new voice in Irish novels. Rebecca O’Connor is known for poetry and short stories and this atmospheric story of an intense young love affair, set in small town Ireland should cement her reputation as a writer. Ideal for fans of Donal Ryan and Edna O’Brien.

    The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Arundhati Roy

    ISBN: 9780241980767

    Since winning the Booker for the memorable God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy has been an activist in her homeland of India on many causes. Incredibly, this is only her second novel and she weaves many of the themes she campaigns about into this sprawling tale, set in Dehli and the forests of Kashmir.

    Swan Song, Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott

    ISBN: 9781786331052

    Truman Capote spent decades cultivating deep friendships with high society ladies – his swans - holidaying with them, lunching with them and sharing their deepest secrets. Then, in 1975, he destroyed both his and their reputations by writing an explosive book that revealed everything. Why he did it is explored in this delicious novel, sure to satisfy all your salacious gossip needs for the year!

    Warlight, Michael Ondaatje

    ISBN: 9781787330719

    A welcome return from one of my favourite authors, Warlight is set in London in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. Nathaniel and Rachel are left in the care of the mysterious Moth as their parents go to Singapore for work. But when The Moth’s unsavoury friends start appearing at the house and the children find their parent’s carefully packed suitcases in the basement, they realise nothing is as it seems. A masterpiece.



    The Day War Came, Nicola Davies

    ISBN: 9781406376326

    A powerful picture book from writer Nicola Davies and illustrator Rebecca Cobb about a girl forced to become a refugee when conflict arrives at her front door. A timely subject and told in a way that even very young children will understand, I wish this book weren’t necessary in 2018, but sadly it is.

    Holes: Discover a Hidden World, Thomas Hegbrook

    ISBN: 9781848576346

    This book looks at both the natural and manmade world form a very different perspective: holes! Whether it’s a burrow, a sinkhole, a subway, or even a magic portal, this beautifully produced reference book is fascinating.

    Mr Snail’s Counting Trails, Stuart Lynch

    ISBN 9781786929204

    This is a brilliantly designed board book with trails for little fingers to follow as they learn to count. Filled with bold and bright illustrations, Mr Snail’s Counting Trails is a brilliant first numbers book.

    Tropical Terry, Jarvis

    ISBN: 9781406378627

    A brand new tale from the author Alan’s Big Scary Teeth and many other quirky tales. Terry lives on a tropical reef, but he feels dull and drab compared to the other brightly coloured marine life. With their help, he makes himself a shiny new suit, but is it worth it to hide who he really is? A picture book with a good message about self-esteem and filled with Jarvis’ distinctive illustrations.

    The Twitches Bake a Cake, Hayley Scott

    ISBN: 9781474928137

    The second in the delightful Teacup House series, Stevie’s mum has baked a delicious looking birthday cake, so Silver and Fig set off to taste it! These are unbelievably cute stories, ideal for early readers and beautifully presented with illustrations, good sized font and nice short chapters.