5 new books to read this week


Stormy weather calls for a new book …


1. Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon is published in a hardcover version by Merky Books, priced at £ 14.99 (ebook £ 9.99). Available now

Dark, magical, and incredibly satisfying, Sorrowland is a fantastic tale that grapples with the history of racism and marginalized communities in America. Vern, a black woman with albinism, rebels against her remote community under the sway of a religious cult. Still a teenager, she escapes the enclosure where she grew up and gives birth to twins in the woods. Both hunted and haunted, Vern discovers her body changes as she develops frightening extra-sensory powers. Amid his struggle for survival with two strange children in tow, a larger mystery looms, threatening to become a matter of life and death. This captivating, genre-bending thread from American author Rivers Solomon is another great offering from Stormzy’s #Merky Books.

2. Circus Of Wonders by Elizabeth Macneal is published in a hardcover version by Picador, priced at £ 14.99 (ebook £ 7.99). Available now

The kaleidoscopic world of the Victorian circus, both enchanting and grotesque, comes to life vividly in Elizabeth Macneal’s second novel. Young flower picker Nell, ostracized by her village due to a body spotted with birthmarks, is kidnapped by a traveling circus run by renowned avid trail master Jasper and his haunted war photographer brother Toby. She meets and bonds with a colorful cast of performers – the bearded Stella Brunette the giantess, the petite person Peggy – who are both exploited and empowered by their circus life. This intriguing tension is carefully explored amid a gripping tale that traces the fortunes of the troupe – their loves, hopes and fears. Macneal’s complex characters allow him to question the way in which society treats difference, the price of power and vanity, and the pursuit of self-determination. With dark, joyful, scary and heart-wrenching turns, Circus Of Wonders is a captivating read.

3. The Perfect Lie by Jo Spain is published in a hardcover version by Quercus, priced at £ 14.99 (ebook £ 7.99). Available now

Less than two years after Erin Kennedy’s husband died from his fourth-floor apartment – in front of several witnesses – she is charged with his murder. Erin believed Danny was her perfect man and that their life in a sleepy Long Island beach town was perfect – but it was all built on a lie. Gripping and captivating, The Perfect Lie grabs the reader from the first page. The final twist, while not quite living up to the novel’s original promise, is well thought out and cleverly written. The Perfect Lie is a page turner that will leave you guessing until the very end.


4. The Lost Cafe Schindler by Meriel Schindler is published in hardback by Hodder & Stoughton, priced at £ 20 (ebook £ 13.99). Available now

The story of The Lost Cafe Schindler begins with four coffee cups discovered among the belongings of Meriel Schindler’s late father. From there, Schindler embarks on the painstaking process of researching and telling the fascinating story of his family – a story of Jewish life in Tyrol before and during the two world wars. There are countless subplots – such as a family doctor in Linz who treated the mother of a young Adolf Hitler and won the gratitude of the Führer – although the coffee cups themselves date from the family cafe in Innsbruck, opened in 1922. The same Tyroleans who feasted there would welcome the Nazis across the border and stay away as the business was stolen from the family. The scale of the crimes committed during these years can never be fully understood, but through stories like these they become relatable and the sense of loss shared. Schindler patiently builds his story, following his own journey, unraveling it, taking the reader on the same road of discovery.

Children’s book of the week

5. Noah’s Gold by Frank Cottrell-Boyce, illustrated by Steven Lenton, is published in Macmillan Children’s Books, priced at £ 12.99 (ebook £ 7.49). Available now

Full of mischief and adventure, Noah Moriarty looks pretty much like any other young boy – and is based on author Frank Cottrell-Boyce as a child. Noah’s Gold chronicles shipwreck adventures on a remote island. Readers find out what it’s like to be stranded without food and resources, with only a bunch of school mates and a bunch of ruthless thieves for the company. But, worst of all, the author shows you how desperate he is to find himself without the essentials of modern life: the Internet. You feel how horrible life is when you have to resort to letter writing or, if you can figure out how to use them, phone booths. With a nod to classics like Lord Of The Flies and Treasure Island, it’s a heartbreaking story of buried treasure.


HARDBACK (FICTION) 1. Elizabeth Macneal’s Circus of Wonders2. Six Tudor Queens: Katharine Parr, The Sixth Wife by Alison Weir3. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro4. You left dead by Peter James5. The Wolf Pit by Elodie Harper6. Ariadne by Jennifer Saint 7. Hail Mary Project by Andy Weir8. The Passenger by Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz 9. Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard 10. The Royal Secret by Andrew Taylor (Compiled by Waterstones)

HARDBACK (NON-FICTION) 1. Operation Pedestal by Max Hastings 2. Slug by Hollie McNish3. Making It by Jay Blades 4. The Power of Geography by Tim Marshall 5. Quick and Easy Name Pinch by Kay Featherstone and Kate Allinson 6. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy7. Hang in there: a portrait of our nation in 2020 by the patron of the National Portrait Gallery8. Yearbook by Seth Rogen 9. Guinness World Records 2021 by Guinness World Records 10. Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given (Compiled by Waterstones)

AUDIO BOOKS (FICTION AND NON-FICTION) 1. Orwell Collection by George Orwell2. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman 3. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig4. Tooth for one tooth by TF Muir5. The invisible life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab6. Little One by Sarah A. Denzil 7. Atomic Habits by James Clear8. Just My Luck by Adele Parks9. Yearbook by Seth Rogen 10. Summer At Skylark Farm by Heidi Swain (Compiled by Audible)

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