Books Of The Month

2016
  • 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.