The Bountiful Kitchen, Lizzie Kamenetsky
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Circle, Jeannie Baker
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
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
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
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
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.