Harmless Like You
By Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZESHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 BETTY TRASK PRIZESHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 AUTHOR'S CLUB FIRST NOVEL AWARD SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2016 BAMB READERS AWARD FOR BREAKTHROUGH AUTHORLONGLISTED FOR THE 2016 JHALAK PRIZE'This brilliant debut novel by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is cause for celebration.' LORRIE MOOREWritten in startlingly beautiful prose, HARMLESS LIKE YOU is set across New York, Berlin and Connecticut, following the stories of Yuki Oyama, a Japanese girl fighting to make it as an artist, and Yuki's son Jay who, as an adult in the present day, is forced to confront his mother who abandoned him when he was only two years old.HARMLESS LIKE YOU is an unforgettable novel about the complexities of identity, art, adolescent friendships and familial bonds, offering a unique exploration of love, loneliness and reconciliation.
By Jenn Ashworth
In this eerie, atmospheric and mysterious tale, a woman returns to the house in Morecambe Bay where she grew up in the 1960s to find it falling apart, undermined by the roots of two huge sycamores. She is unaware that she has awoken the spirits of her parents, Jack and Nettie Clifford, who watch anxiously as their daughter Annette is overwhelmed by the state of the house and realise too late how far they neglected her as a child. As their memories come alive, the story unfolds of a crucial summer when Annette was 8 and Nettie became too ill to run their boarding house. The lodgers have to go - all except the newly arrived butcher's apprentice, because he seems to have miraculous healing powers and is Jack and Nettie's last, desperate hope. But is he who he says he is? Why do those he lays his hands on feel an erotic charge? And why does he despise his own gift? As everything comes to a head, so too does Annette's story in the present. But this time, someone is looking out for her and comes to her rescue. Finally, the spirits of her parents can let go.
How To Read Water
By Tristan Gooley
A must-have book for walkers, sailors, swimmers, anglers and everyone interested in the natural world, in How To Read Water, Natural Navigator Tristan Gooley shares knowledge, skills, tips and useful observations to help you enjoy the landscape around you. A Sunday Times 'Must Read' book'Anyone who spends time in, on, or by, water - whether at the helm of a narrowboat or merely playing Poohsticks with grandkids - will benefit from some of the extraordinary insights in this book.' - Waterways World'Jam-packed with information, this book will fascinate sailors, fishers, birders, naturalists, hikers, and anyone interested in the natural world.' - Forbes'This study of rivers, lakes, puddles and seas brims over with astonishing facts...His observational skills can be breathtaking' The Sunday Times'This inspired guide to water in all its forms will make a big splash...Gooley has done his subject proud - this is seriously fascinating stuff.' The Times'The quirks and habits and secrets of good old H2O were crying out to have a book written about them. That said, it had to be written by the right person... Fortunately, the job went to Tristan Gooley.' The SpectatorIncludes over 700 clues, signs and patterns. You'll learn how to:Interpret ponds like a PolynesianSpot dangerous water in the pitch black with the help of a clock faceRead the sea like a VikingForecast the weather from wavesFind your way with puddlesDecipher wave patterns on beachesDecode the colour of waterUnravel a river like an expertFrom wild swimming in Sussex to wayfinding off Oman, via the icy mysteries of the Arctic, Tristan Gooley draws on his own pioneering journeys to reveal the secrets of ponds, puddles, rivers, oceans and more to show us all the skills we need to read the water around us.
The Valentine House
By Emma Henderson
In June 1914, Sir Anthony Valentine, a keen mountaineer, arrives with his family to spend the summer in their chalet, high in the French Alps. There, for the first time, fourteen-year-old foundling Mathilde starts work as one of the 'uglies' - village girls employed as servants and picked, it is believed, to ensure they don't catch Sir Anthony's roving eye. For Mathilde it is the start of a life-long entanglement with les anglais - strange, exciting people, far removed from the hard grind of farming. Except she soon finds the Valentines are less carefree than they appear, with a curiously absent daughter no one talks about. It will be decades - disrupted by war, accidents and a cruel betrayal - before Mathilde discovers the key to the mystery. And in 1976, the year Sir Anthony's great-great grandson comes to visit, she must decide whether to use it. Vividly evoking the dramatic landscape that so enthrals the Valentines, this deeply involving, intriguing novel tells the story of an English family through the generations and a memorable French woman, whose lives seem worlds apart yet which become inextricably connected.
By Phillip Lewis
'A beautiful, evocative novel with an amazing sense of place and an understated, dark sensibility. A brilliant debut. I loved it!' Jenni Fagan, author of The PanopticonMesmeric in its prose and mythic in its sweep, THE BARROWFIELDS is an extraordinary debut about the darker side of devotion, the limits of forgiveness, and the reparative power of shared pasts.Just before Henry Aster's birth, his father, a frustrated novelist and lawyer, reluctantly returns to the remote North Carolina mountains in which he was improbably raised and installs his young family in a gothic mansion - nicknamed 'the vulture house' - worthy of his hero Edgar Allan Poe. There, Henry grows up under the desk of this fierce and brilliant man. But when a death in the family tips his father toward a fearsome unravelling, what was once a young son's reverence is poisoned, and Henry flees, not to return until years later when he, too, must go home again.
By Margot Livesey
A tense psychological drama and a taut emotional thriller exploring love, obsession, and the deceits that pull a family apart. 'You'll be glued to the page' (People)Donald believes he knows all there is to know about seeing. An optometrist in suburban Boston, he is sure that he and his wife, Viv, who runs the local stables, are both devoted to their two children and to each other. Then Mercury - a gorgeous young thoroughbred with a murky past - arrives at Windy Hill and everything changes.Mercury's owner, Hilary, is a newcomer to town who has enrolled her daughter in riding lessons. When she brings Mercury to board at Windy Hill, everyone is struck by his beauty and prowess, particularly Viv. As she rides him, Viv begins to dream of competing again, embracing the ambitions that she had harboured, and relinquished, as a young woman. Her daydreams soon morph into consuming desire, and her infatuation with the thoroughbred escalates to obsession.Donald may have 20/20 vision but he is slow to notice how profoundly Viv has changed and how these changes threaten their quiet, secure world. By the time he does, it is too late to stop the catastrophic collision of Viv's ambitions and his own myopia.
Spaceman of Bohemia
By Jaroslav Kalfar
'Reading Spaceman of Bohemia reminded me of the thrill of unearthing Everything is Illuminated from the mound of entries to the Guardian First Book Prize'Claire Armitstead, Guardian'I can honestly say I loved every page. Every sentence. Spaceman of Bohemia is unforgettable: a work of breathtaking scope and heart, and a reflection of humanity that's raw and strange and profound and true.' Lisa McInerney, Baileys-Prize-winning author of The Glorious Heresies Set in the near-distant future, Spaceman follows a Czech astronaut as he launches into space to investigate a mysterious dust cloud covering Venus, a suicide mission sponsored by a proud nation. Suddenly a world celebrity, Jakub's marriage starts to fail as the weeks go by, and his sanity comes into question. After his mission is derailed he must make a violent decision that will force him to come to terms with his family's dark political past.An extraordinary vision of the endless human capacity to persist-and risk everything-in the name of love and home, by a startlingly talented young debut novelist.
By Miroslav Penkov
The Fatal Tree
By Jake Arnott
Newgate Gaol, 1726. An anonymous writer sets down the words of Edgworth Bess as she confides the adventures and misfortunes that led her all too soon to the judgement of London:Cruelly deceived, Bess is cast out onto the streets of the wicked city - and by nightfall her ruin is already certain. What matters now is her survival of it.In that dangerous underworld known in thieves' cant as Romeville, she will learn new tricks and trades. And all begins with her fateful meeting, that very first night, with the corrupt thief-taker general Jonathan Wild.But it is the infamous gaol-breaker, Jack Sheppard, who will lay Romeville at her feet . . . Drawing on the true story that mesmerised eighteenth-century society, the acclaimed author of The Long Firm delivers a tour de force: a riveting, artful tale of crime and rough justice, love and betrayal. Rich in the street slang of the era, it vividly conjures up a murky world of illicit dens and molly-houses; a world where life was lived on the edge, in the shadow of that fatal tree - the gallows.
The Crime Writer
By Jill Dawson
In 1964, the eccentric American novelist Patricia Highsmith is hiding out in a cottage in Suffolk, to concentrate on her writing and escape her fans. She has another motive too - a secret romance with a married lover based in London. Unfortunately it soon becomes clear that all her demons have come with her. Prowlers, sexual obsessives, frauds, imposters, suicides and murderers: the tropes of her fictions clamour for her attention, rudely intruding on her peaceful Suffolk retreat. After the arrival of Ginny, an enigmatic young journalist bent on interviewing her, events take a catastrophic turn. Except, as always in Highsmith's troubled life, matters are not quite as they first appear . . .Masterfully recreating Highsmith's much exercised fantasies of murder and madness, Jill Dawson probes the darkest reaches of the imagination in this novel - at once a brilliant portrait of a writer and an atmospheric, emotionally charged, riveting tale.
Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was
Reykjavik, 1918. The eruptions of the Katla volcano darken the sky night and day. Yet despite the natural disaster, the shortage of coal and the Great War still raging in the outside world, life in the small capital goes on as always. Sixteen-year-old Máni Steinn lives for the movies. Awake, he lives on the fringes of society. Asleep, he dreams in pictures, the threads of his own life weaving through the tapestry of the films he loves. When the Spanish flu epidemic comes ashore, killing hundreds of townspeople and forcing thousands to their sick beds, the shadows that linger at the edges of existence grow darker and Máni is forced to re-evaluate both the society around him and his role in it. Evoking the moment when Iceland's saga culture met the new narrative form of the cinema and when the isolated island became swept up in global events, this is the story of a misfit transformed by his experiences in a world where life and death, reality and imagination, secrets and revelations jostle for dominance.
The Brittle Star
By Davina Langdale
Perfect for fans of Cormac McCarthy and True Grit, The Brittle Star is the epic story of a young man's unquenchable spirit.When his mother's ranch is attacked, sixteen-year-old John Evert is wounded and left to die. But John Evert is no ordinary young man. He's a frontiersman's son, a rancher who's lived his whole life in the untamed Southern California wilderness of 1860. In a journey that will take him from the bustling young city of Los Angeles to Texas to Missouri and back, to the front lines of the American Civil War and home again, John Evert will learn the cost of vengeance and the price of forgiveness.
The High Places
By Fiona McFarlane
Winner of the International Dylan Thomas Prize 2017By the author of The Night Guest, a collection of fourteen scintillating short stories: surprising, wise, thought-provoking and superbly wrought. Ranging in setting from Australia to Greece, England to a Pacific island, they focus on people: their hopes, fears, dreams and disappointments, and their relationships - between ill-matched friends, daughters and mothers, fathers and sons, married couples and sisters. Some are eccentric, like the widower who believes his dead wife's mechanical parrot speaks to him, or the research scientist convinced that Charles Darwin visits him on his remote island; others delude themselves, like the mistress of a married man who thinks she's freer than her married sister. All are confronted with events that make them see themselves and their lives from a fresh perspective. It is what they do as a result that is as unpredictable as life itself.