Books Of The Month

Category
  • October 2016

    ADULTS

    Alice in Wonderland Great Puzzle Box, Richard Wok Galland

    ISBN: 9781780978659

    One of the most enduring pleasures of Alice in Wonderland are the riddles and games set throughout by CS Lewis. In this beautiful gift box, some of the more intriguing puzzles are included for any budding Alice fans to enjoy. I cannot think of a better gift this Christmas!

    First World War in 100 Objects, Peter Doyle

    ISBN: 9780750968485

    This beautiful looking book offers a unique perspective on the history of the First World War, recounting the action through the use of objects including a brooch, weapons, vehicles and even barbed wire. Like Anatomy of a Soldier, or Neil McGregor’s Germany: Memories of a Nation, this is a fresh way of looking at the most written about conflict in human history.

    Nightmare in Berlin, Hans Fallada

    ISBN: 9781925228380

    Following the huge success of Alone in Berlin comes the only other post-war novel written by Hans Fallada. It begins on the day the war ends and follows the story of a couple who return to Berlin to try and resume their lives in a devastated city. It’s not just physical devastation that they must contend with however, as the enormous weight of collective guilt settles on the German people. Simply a stunning novel.

    Salt is Essential, Shaun Hill

    ISBN: 9780857833389

    Shaun Hill has been a chef for fifty years and in this sumptuous book he shares not just his experience, but his opinions. This is a cookbook for home cooks who don’t take themselves too seriously, with some seriously delicious recipes. It’ll make a great Christmas present for anyone with a good sense of taste!

    Terranuats, T.C. Boyle

    ISBN: 9781408881750

    Eight terranauts are selected to enter a biodome for two years to see how viable a mission to Mars would be. How will they cope with the isolation, the lack of freedom and each other? With his usual acerbic wit and sly observations, in Terranauts I don’t think T.C. Boyle has ever been better. This is a cracking novel about the human condition.

     

    CHILDREN’S

    The Christmas Eve Tree, Delia Huddy & Emily Sutton

    ISBN: 9781406365955

    This was our biggest hardback seller in 2015, now in paperback I think we’ll do even better this year. It’s a timeless story that every family will enjoy reading on Christmas Eve. Beautifully illustrated by Emily Sutton, this is a true modern classic guaranteed to get anyone in the Christmas spirit.

    The Royal Rabbits of London, Santa Montefiore & Simon Sebag Montefiore

    ISBN: 9781471157868

    Much fanfare heralds this gorgeous little book – the first collaboration between husband and wife dream team Santa & Simon Sebag Montefiore. Shylo is the runt of the litter, always picked on for his weakness, but when he learns of a diabolical plot by the ratzis to take a photo of the Queen in her knickers, he must get to London to stop them! Huge amounts of fun, I can’t wait for the film!

    The Secrets of Nightingale Wood, Lucy Strange

    ISBN 9781910655030

    Following the death of her brother, Henry and her family move to a new house to start again. The house is strange, but something even stranger is concealed in Nightingale Wood at the bottom of the garden. With the help of the fairy tale characters in her head, Henry might just be able to save her family after all. Set just after the First World War, this is a classic adventure tale with some magic thrown in – ideal for younger readers who like Emma Carroll or Francis Hardinge.

    Stealing Snow, Danielle Page

    ISBN 9781408872932

    Snow has been in an institution since she was 5 years old after she tried to walk to another place through a mirror, taking her best friend with her. Her head is filled with fairy tales and her anger is cold as ice. But what if her dreams aren’t the product of her imagination at all, but visions of an alternative reality she has been stolen from? This is a gripping YA novel perfect for cold autumn nights.

    Troll Stinks, Jeanne Willis & Tony Ross

    ISBN 9781783444434

    Willis & Ross return with another timely collaboration, this time taking on internet trolls. Two naughty goats find a phone and send some horrible messages to a troll because everyone knows trolls stink, but when they meet her, she’s not quite what they imagined. Striking illustration and an engrossing story mean this book is ideal for tackling the issues of online bullying with younger readers.

  • September 2016

    ADULTS

    All We Shall Know, Donal Ryan

    ISBN: 9780857524379

    This is another stunner from Donal Ryan, who is fast becoming one of my favourite writers. Melody Shee is pregnant and the child is not her husband’s. She’s struggling with morning sickness as well as the looming uncertainty of a future as a single mother, but her life changes in ways even she couldn’t imagine when she meets Mary Crothery. Told in the first person, All We Shall Know is vivid, painful and beautiful all at once. Highly recommended.

    Beloved Poison, E.S. Thomson

    ISBN: 9781472122292

    A mystery set in the crumbling St Saviours Hospital in London where there are more secrets hidden than horrible diseases on the wards. During a crucial period in Britain’s history, science, technology and the industrial revolution are literally railroading the old ways and beliefs. Jem (disguising herself as a man to work as an apothecary), and new arrival to the city Will Quartermain make a grisly discovery in the hospital chapel, but who can they trust to help them solve the mystery? Beautifully written, evoking the sights and smells of a very different London, Beloved Poison is an excellent debut.

    Gather, Gill Meller

    ISBN: 9781849497138

    Gill Meller first appeared on screen as part of Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall’s River Cottage team where as Head Chef he helped deliver recipes inspired by the beautiful landscapes that surrounded them. In Gather, his first book, he guides us through a year of recipes, taking us from moor to woodland and heaven in between. Using ingredients that are by and large found throughout Britain, it’s time to get your foraging gear on and get out there to gather.

    The Secret Library, Oliver Tearle

    ISBN: 9781782435570

    In the same tradition as The History of the World in 100 Objects, this wonderful book charts the history of Western civilisation through what many (including me) consider to be its finest achievement, the book. Classics appear as well as long forgotten and neglected tomes and Dr Tearle makes some surprising connections – discover what connects Wisden’s cricket almanac to Arthur Conan Doyle for example. A beautifully presented gift edition, perfect for any bibliophile.

     

    The Shipping Forecast, A Miscellany, Nic Compton

    ISBN: 9781785940293

    Is there anything more soothing than listening to the shipping forecast as you drift off to sleep? A cultural institution in the UK, the shipping forecast has been celebrated by poets, writers and composers for decades. This lovely miscellany is full of snippets and in-depth facts that will fascinate anyone who has ever wondered exactly where Rockall, Dogger and German Bight are and why they are included. Destined to become a perennial bestseller in the same vein as For the Love of Radio 4.

    CHILDREN’S

    The Book of Beasts, Colour and Discover, Angela Rizza

    ISBN: 9781780554297

    With excitement about the new Harry Potter franchise hitting cinemas this Christmas, this stunning colouring book couldn’t come at a better time. Not just a great colouring book, each ‘beast’ comes with the origins of the myth. With creatures ranging from the Roc to the Kraken, there’s something here to entertain every beast hunter.

    Cogheart, Peter Bunzl

    ISBN: 9781474915007

    Set in an alternative steampunk Victorian era, where airships are as common as trains and ‘mechanicals’ are as likely to be butlers as flower sellers, Peter Bunzl delivers a rip-roaring debut which will entertain hugely. Heroine Lily must race against the shadowy Hybrids to find the cogheart they are desperate to get their hands on in order to save her father. She’s aided by a fantastic cast of characters, including wily Malkin a mechanimal fox. This is an excellent fantasy adventure for younger readers. Cogwheels and crankshafts, there’s just so much to enjoy!

    The Graces, Laure Eve

    ISBN 9780571326808

    The Graces are three siblings who everyone at school says are witches. Certainly, their aloof manner and eccentric dress sense ensure their sense of being apart from their schoolmates. River is the new girl, already an outsider, and she is determined to show the Graces that they were destined to be together. This is a gripping thriller for young adults – mystery witchcraft and a bit of unrequited love that will hook you from the first page.

    That’s Not My Badger, Fiona Watt

    ISBN 9781474921633

    Fiona watt’s juggernaut series continues with one of the most iconic and beloved UK animals – step up the badger! Wee ones cannot get enough of this touchy-feely series: as always, it is attractively packaged and is sure to be a big seller.

     

    The Racehorse That Wouldn’t Gallop, Clare Balding

    ISBN 9780141362908

    Younger readers will love this tale of a slightly chaotic family trying to raise money to save their farm by buying a race horse that won’t gallop. There’s an instantly loveable cast of characters including a very naughty pony called Percy, a racehorse called Noddy and even a guest appearance by the Queen. Throughout the positive messages of teamwork and hard work are reinforced – this is set to be a classic.

  • August 2016

    ADULTS

    Avocado, Lucy Jessop

    ISBN: 9780857833785

    I’ve always loved avocado – its creamy rich texture feels very indulgent and like a special treat, even when simply spread on toast. Nowadays it seems like avocados are everywhere, so Lucy Jessop’s beautiful new recipe book will come in very handy! Packed full of recipes from savoury to sweet, I can’t wait to try them all!

    The Comet Seekers, Helen Sedgwick

    ISBN: 9781910701737

    Two lives, a thousand years apart, are linked by the appearance of comets. This extraordinary novel begins with Roisin and Francois meeting for the first time in the vast snowy expanse of Antartica and then loops back to reveal their very different lives. Perfect for fans of Jenni Fagan or Kirsty Logan, the Comet Seekers is an assured debut.

    Dark Matter, Blake Crouch

    ISBN: 9781447297567

    As Jason Dessen is rendered unconscious by a masked kidnapper, he is asked whether he’s happy. When he wakes up, everything has changed and he has apparently been plunged into an alternate universe where he is a celebrated genius. But how can he get back to his wife and child? Do they even exist? Dark Matter is an excellent twisty-turny sci-fi thriller that is ideal summer reading.

    Purity, Jonathan Franzen

    ISBN: 9780007532780

    Franzen has always been brilliant at drawing complex characters and Purity is no different. Dickensian in scope and scale, Purity follows Pip on her quest to find her true identity across the globe, encountering many memorable characters along the way. With his wry observations on middle America, Franzen shows he is still at the top of his game. Now in paperback, Purity will be essential reading this summer.

    Watching Edie, Camilla Way

    ISBN: 9780008159016

    Edie and Heather are best friends. Edie is everything Heather has ever wanted. Until one terrible night when everything changes and not only is the friendship destroyed, but their lives are altered forever. Sixteen years later Heather turns up just when Edie needs her most – coincidence? A gripping psychological thriller full of the plot twists we’ve come to expect from the genre, this year’s Girl On A Train or The Ice Twins.

    CHILDREN’S

    Alpha, Bessora & Barroux

    ISBN: 9781781125816

    A very timely reminder of the refugee crisis that is engulfing Europe and which sadly we in Britain have apparently turned our backs on. Alpha is a classic graphic work, charting the story of one boy’s journey from the heart of Africa to Europe. This is a beautiful collector’s edition, endorsed by Amnesty International and with an introduction by Michael Morpurgo.

    An Elephantasy, Maria-Elena Walsh

    ISBN: 9781782690993

    From Pushkin’s Children’s comes a delightful chapter book, ideal for more confident younger readers. Told in first person narrative, this story of a nervous elephant named Dailan Kifki who is adopted by a family is a wonderful, fantastical tale that will charm and delight readers of all ages!

    The Great Aaa Ooo, Jonny Lambert

    ISBN 9781848692756

    One night in the forest the creatures all hear a very strange noise. They all climb a tree to stay safe, but what is making the Great Aaa Ooo – a monster or someone a bit more familiar? Told with great rhythm and rhyme, and beautifully illustrated to boot, The Great Aaa Ooo is going to be a hit at story-time!

    We Love Dinosaurs, Lucy Volpin

    ISBN 9780857636133

    Everybody loves dinosaurs and in this great new book we can learn some great fun facts about them! From the biggest to the smallest, stripy, spotty and everything in between there is something here for everyone, all told in in rhythmic rhyming text and strikingly illustrated by Lucy Volpin herself. Perfect for budding palaeontologists.

    Yours Sincerely, Giraffe

    ISBN 9781927271872

    A penguin and a giraffe become unlikely pen-pals in this beautifully written tale from Japanese author Megumi Iwasa. Giraffe cannot imagine what penguin looks like, so he sets off to meet him with the help of an albatross and a seal. A story of unlikely friendships told in a simple yet classic style, with line illustrations to help, this is perfect for early readers. I absolutely loved this book and cannot recommend it highly enough.

  • July 2016

    ADULTS

    Beatlebone, Kevin Barry

    ISBN: 9781782116165

    Beatlebone is a very unusual novel from one of the most original writers around today. Set in the 1970s, the story centres around the small uninhabited island that John Lennon once owned off the coast of Ireland. Barry imagines Lennon visiting the island to explore his version of primal scream therapy. Playing with language and full of the dry acerbic wit Lennon himself was famous for, Beatlebone will delight not only Beatles fans, but anyone looking for something very different. What an extraordinary book.

    The Couple Next Door, Shari Lapena

    ISBN: 9780593077382

    Another in the popular domestic thriller genre, a young couple leave their six-month old child alone to attend a dinner party next door, taking the baby monitor with them. What could possibly go wrong? In the aftermath of the child’s disappearance, secrets, suburban jealousies and politics all come to the fore. The mystery is unravelled by a world weary detective in this well-written, taut thriller with enough twists and turns to keep anyone hooked until the end.

    Dadland, Keggie Carew

    ISBN: 9781784740764

    Part memoir, part travelogue, Dadland is completely absorbing as Keggie Carew traces the extraordinary life and times of her father as he loses his battle with dementia. Tom Carew was an SOE officer, one of the original Jedburghs who helped the Maquis in France, before being sent to Burma. Similar to H is for Hawk and Sixty Degrees North, Dadland is more than a family history as the author comes to terms with losing her dad just as she had started to discover who he really was. This will be a best-seller.

    Salt, Valerie Aikman-Smith

    ISBN: 9781845979126

    A huge variety of salt has appeared in delis and supermarkets in recent years and in this beautifully produced cookbook Valerie Aikman-Smith provides some excellent ideas on what to do with it all! From mouth-watering twists on classic salt-baked dishes with meat and fish to elegant cocktails and even chocolate chip cookies with salted caramel, there’s something to whet everyone’s appetite.

    Smoke, Dan Vyleta

    ISBN: 9780297609926

    Fans of Philip Pullman, JK Rowling and Sarah Waters will be very happy indeed with this new mystery set in an alternative universe where people’s sin shows up as smoke on their skins. The aristocracy are clean, their pure skin reinforcing the fact they are the ruling class.  

    CHILDREN’S

    Apprentice Witch, James Nicol

    ISBN: 9781910655153

    Circle follows a flock of godwits on their migratory journey around the globe. It is stunningly laid out with a blend of collage and illustration and jewel-like colours as the godwits fly over landmarks such as the Great Barrier Reef and Chinese cityscapes. Godwits make the longest migratory journey of any bird on earth and Jeannie Baker’s beautiful book highlights their trip in a truly memorable way.

    Boa’s Bad Birthday, Jeanne Willis

    ISBN 9781783441563

    From the original illustrator of The Velveteen Rabbit comes a charming tale of Clever Bill, a toy soldier who is forgotten and then reunited with his owner Mary. First published in 1926, William Nicholson’s style paved the way for picture books as we know them today. Now Egmont are publishing a beautiful new gift edition hardback of the story which will delight a new generation of readers.

    Flying Lemurs, Zehra Hicks

    ISBN 9781447286553

    Another sumptuously illustrated book from Angela Barrett, here teaming up with Viv French to tell the story of a King and Queen who will marry their daughter to the suitor who can bring them The Most Wonderful Thing in the World. Set in a fairytale land that looks a lot like Venice, this classic tale is ideal for storytime for ages 3+.

    Max, Sacha Cohen-Scali

    ISBN 9781406368253

    This is the first in a two-part adventure, set in a dystopian future world which has been flooded. When Fenn Halflin discovers the truth about his past, and the chance he has to save the world, he is chased by the ruthless Terra Firma gang in their ship, the Fearzero. He makes it to a tiny island populated by child survivors, but Terra Firma are hot on his heels. This is a fast-paced adventure story ideal for fans of Piers Torday’s The Last Wild trilogy.

    Wildings, Nilanjana Roy

    ISBN 9781782691051

  • June 2016

    ADULTS

    The Bountiful Kitchen, Lizzie Kamenetsky

    ISBN: 9780857833594

    I hate wasting food, but sometimes struggle to think of interesting recipes for leftovers. Enter Lizzie Kamanetsky’s book, The Bountiful Kitchen which has really inspired me recently! Divided into four sections, Land, Sea, Garden and Sweets (delicious, delicious sweets), this book is ideal for the thrifty cook.

    Cath Kidston Teatime, Cath Kidston

    ISBN: 9781849498050

    Amazingly this is the first cookbook from Cath Kidston, the original vintage chic brand. The appetite for traditional Afternoon Tea doesn’t seem to be dimming anytime soon, so the 50 recipes for cakes and bakes in this typically stylish book will satisfy everyone from novice baker to those ready to go on Bake Off!

    The End of the World Running Club, Adrian J Walker

    ISBN: 9781785032660

    This is an absolutely brilliant thriller, a real page turner that I simply couldn’t put down. Edgar is a man not very happy his lot – 35, in a job he loathes and with a wife and two young children he tolerates at best. That all changes when a near-apocalyptic event ends life in the UK leaving Edgar as a survivor who must get back to his family to save them, and himself. The first person narrative lends real urgency here, a great book for summer.

    Fear of Dying, Erica Jong

    ISBN: 9781782117476

    Vanessa Wonderman is a smart and successful New Yorker, but at sixty she has reached a turning point in her life. As her parents’ health deteriorates rapidly, her husband is taken ill and her daughter announces she is pregnant. Faced with the facts of not just her loved one’s mortality, but her own as well, Vanessa longs to leave her ‘wifelife’ behind just for a while to escape responsibility so she signs up to a casual encounters website. Beautifully written, Fear of Dying examines what it means for women to feel fulfilled at different stages their lives as well as facing up to the inevitable.

    The Girls, Emma Cline

    ISBN: 9781784740443

    In the summer of 1969 Evie Boyd is fourteen and desperate for life to happen to her. Everywhere there are tanned, healthy youngsters living alternative lifestyles – hippies. Everywhere except Petaluma, Evie’s small town. Until the Girls arrive and change Evie’s life in a way she regrets for the rest of her life. Taking inspiration from Charles Manson’s terrible crimes, The Girls is brilliantly written by Emma Cline, setting the difficulties of girlhood and growing up against the brutality and seduction of a violent cult.

    Samarkand, Caroline Eden & Eleanor Ford

    ISBN: 9781509810505

    This glorious cookbook takes inspiration from the fabled city of Samarkand, once a vital trade city on the Silk Road which attracted merchants from Turkey to Korea and everywhere in between. The resulting melting pot of cultures and cooking inspired Caroline Eden to write some of the most mouth-watering recipes I’ve ever encountered. Highlights include a yoghurt, cucumber and rose petal soup and Thunderstone lamb chops with sour cherry sauce. Fans of Yotam Ottolenghi delight!

    Shelter, Jung Yun

    ISBN: 9781509810505

    Shelter is the story of a disparate family being forced into close proximity by a random act of violence, but also the story of cultures coming together and learning to make new traditions. Kyung Cho’s parents, Korean immigrants to America, provided for him as a child, but there was never love and tenderness. Now Kyung and his wife Gillian own a home they can no longer afford and struggle with post-recession life. After his parents are forced to move in with Kyung and his young blended family, everyone must face new realities. Taut writing and structure make this first novel completely absorbing.

    CHILDREN’S

    Circle, Jeannie Baker

    ISBN: 9781406338010

    Circle follows a flock of godwits on their migratory journey around the globe. It is stunningly laid out with a blend of collage and illustration and jewel-like colours as the godwits fly over landmarks such as the Great Barrier Reef and Chinese cityscapes. Godwits make the longest migratory journey of any bird on earth and Jeannie Baker’s beautiful book highlights their trip in a truly memorable way.

    Clever Bill, William Nicholson

    ISBN 9781405283328

    From the original illustrator of The Velveteen Rabbit comes a charming tale of Clever Bill, a toy soldier who is forgotten and then reunited with his owner Mary. First published in 1926, William Nicholson’s style paved the way for picture books as we know them today. Now Egmont are publishing a beautiful new gift edition hardback of the story which will delight a new generation of readers.

    The Most Wonderful Thing in the World, Vivian French

    ISBN 9781406365726

    Another sumptuously illustrated book from Angela Barrett, here teaming up with Viv French to tell the story of a King and Queen who will marry their daughter to the suitor who can bring them The Most Wonderful Thing in the World. Set in a fairytale land that looks a lot like Venice, this classic tale is ideal for storytime for ages 3+.

    Fenn Halflin and the Fearzero, Francesca Armour-Chelu

    ISBN 9781406363128

    This is the first in a two-part adventure, set in a dystopian future world which has been flooded. When Fenn Halflin discovers the truth about his past, and the chance he has to save the world, he is chased by the ruthless Terra Firma gang in their ship, the Fearzero. He makes it to a tiny island populated by child survivors, but Terra Firma are hot on his heels. This is a fast-paced adventure story ideal for fans of Piers Torday’s The Last Wild trilogy.

    The Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary, Susan Rennie

    ISBN 9780192736451

    Sometimes a book comes along and you wonder how you’ve managed without it for so long. In the year when we celebrate Roald Dahl’s centenary, the Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary is one of those books. Full of Dahl’s inventive and colourful language, his playfulness with words such as the BFG’s scrumdiddlyumptious to the terrible insults used by the Twits or Miss Trunchbull, this is a must have reference book for schools and homes alike.