Beatlebone, Kevin Barry
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
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
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
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
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.
Apprentice Witch, James Nicol
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
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
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
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