By Rachel Heng
Imagine a world where the healthy choice is the only choice.'Original and subversive.' Independent'Life-affirming' Erin Kelly, author of He Said/She SaidLea Kirino is a 'Lifer,' who has the potential to live forever - if she does everything right. She has lived her life by religiously following the state directives that ensure she remains fit and healthy. She knows she wants to live forever, and she is going to green juice, yoga-cise and meditate her way to immortality. Yet, when a brush with death brings her face to face with a mysterious group who believe in everything the state has banned, memories of now-forbidden childhood pleasures resurge alongside ghosts of her past. As Lea's long-held beliefs begin to crack, she is forced to consider: What does it really mean to live?'Addictive' Sun'Fascinating' Jeff VanderMeer, author of the Southern Reach trilogy'An intriguing idea in which Heng takes a much-needed swipe at health fascism and our obsession with youth, beauty and superfoods' Mail on Sunday
A Shout in the Ruins
By Kevin Powers
One of the Amazon Editors' Best Books of 2018Following his hugely celebrated debut novel, The Yellow Birds, Kevin Powers returns to the battlefield and its aftermath, this time in his native Virginia, just before and during the Civil War and ninety years later. The novel pinpoints with unerring emotional depth the nature of random violence, the necessity of love and compassion, and the fragility and preciousness of life. It will endure as a stunning novel about what we leave behind, what a life is worth, what is said and unsaid, and the fact that ultimately what will survive of us is love.'An American Civil War epic [which] confirms Powers as a significant talent.' Observer'Gorgeous and devastating' New York Times'Achingly relevant.' Grazia
Spaceman of Bohemia: SHORTLISTED FOR THE ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD FOR SCIENCE FICTION
By Jaroslav Kalfar
'An incredible experience... 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
By David Mitchell
Turn down Slade Alley - narrow, dank and easy to miss, even when you're looking for it. Find the small black iron door set into the right-hand wall. No handle, no keyhole, but at your touch it swings open. Enter the sunlit garden of an old house that doesn't quite make sense; too grand for the shabby neighbourhood, too large for the space it occupies. A stranger greets you and invites you inside. At first, you won't want to leave. Later, you'll find that you can't.This unnerving, taut and intricately woven tale by one of our most original and bewitching writers begins in 1979 and comes to its turbulent conclusion around Hallowe'en, 2015. Because every nine years, on the last Saturday of October, a 'guest' is summoned to Slade House. But why has that person been chosen, by whom and for what purpose? The answers lie waiting in the long attic, at the top of the stairs . . .
The Song Collector
By Natasha Solomons
Fox, as the celebrated composer Harry Fox-Talbot is known, wants to be left in peace. His beloved wife has died, he's unable to write a note of music, and no, he does not want to take up some blasted hobby. Then one day he discovers that his troublesome four-year-old grandson is a piano prodigy. The music returns and Fox is compelled to re-engage with life - and, ultimately, to confront an old family rift.Decades earlier, Fox and his brothers return to Hartgrove Hall after the war, determined to save their once grand home from ruin. But on the last night of 1946, the arrival of beautiful wartime singer Edie Rose tangles the threads of love and duty, which leads to a shattering betrayal.With poignancy, lyricism and humour, Natasha Solomons tells a captivating tale of passion and music, of roots, ancient songs and nostalgia for the old ways, of the ties that bind us to family and home and the ones we are prepared to sever. Here is the story of a man who discovers joy and creative renewal in the aftermath of grief and learns that it is never too late to seek forgiveness.
By Bernardine Bishop
There's more going on in The Street than its inhabitants realise . . . In the course of this delightful, quirky and perceptive novel an elderly soldier with incipient Alzheimer's saves the life of a remarkable child, a resting actor finds real purpose, a woman starved of love discovers it in an unexpected place and a beloved cat achieves immortality.
Shame and the Captives
By Thomas Keneally
On the edge of a small Australian town, far from the battlefields of the Second World War, a camp holds thousands of Japanese, Italian and Korean prisoners of war. The locals are unsure how to treat the 'enemy', though Alice Herman, whose young husband is himself a prisoner in Europe, becomes drawn to the Italian soldier sent to work on her father-in-law's farm. The camp commander and his deputy, each concealing a troubled private life, are disunited. And both fatally misread their Japanese captives, who burn with shame at being taken alive. The stage is set for a clash of cultures that has explosive, far-reaching consequences.
By Keith Waterhouse
No London neighbourhood more resembles the restless downstream tide of the Thames than the ragged square mile of Soho. Ask the people who live there, like Christine Yardley, drag queen by night and grey-suited accountant by day; or Len Gates, self-appointed Soho historian and bore; or Jenny Wise, former starlet and now resident lush in the New Kismet club; or even Ellis Hugo Bell, wannabe film producer who dreams of moving to LA. Daily, nightly, shift by shift, their numbers are swelled by immigrants flocking to work, eat, drink and loiter, from kitchen staff to dress designers, hookers to pushers to punters. Down into this human rabbit warren one evening slips Alex Singer, a student from Leeds in pursuit of his errant girlfriend, whose search takes him from club to pub and into contact with a rich cross-section of Soho life. Twenty-four hours, three deaths, one fire and one mugging later, seduced, traduced and befriended, Alex is on his way to the Soho Ball. In this fast, funny and superbly crafted novel, Keith Waterhouse draws a vibrant portrait of London's liveliest quarter and its eccentric inhabitants.
Sharon & Tracy & The Rest
By Keith Waterhouse
Keith Waterhouse's long-running column, which began appearing in the Daily Mail in 1986, won him numerous national press award. His characters Sharon and Tracy became a national institution, as did that venerable acadamy of English letters, the Association for the Annihilation of the Aberrant Apostrophe. The phlegmatic councillors of Clogthorpe and British Rail's brother-in-law Arnold are among the other regulars featured in this collection, which distils the wit and wisdom of a justly celebrated writer.
The Ship Of Fools
By Gregory Norminton
The characters on Norminton's purgatorial 'Ship of Fools' - a ship that's going nowhere fast - bicker and struggle for attention; telling tales that bounce off one another to form a compendium of interralated stories, running from lyrical romance to scabrous satire, by way of fairy-tale and black comedy. Often wickedly funny, always stunningly written and displaying an astonishing range of voices (the prudish nun, the bawdy old woman, the penitent drunkard, and the glutton whose stomach does all the talking - to name a few) 'The Ship of Fools' is truly a treasure chest of a novel, and an example of story-telling at its very best.
By Jess Richards
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2012 COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARDJess Richards' stunning debut will show you crows who become statues and sisters who get tangled in each other's hair, keys that talk and ghosts who demand to be buried. She combines a page-turning narrative and a startlingly original voice with the creation and subversion of myths.ON AN ISLAND OFFTHE EDGE OF THE MAP,BOYS ARE DISAPPEARINGThe day the tall men come from the mainland to trade, Mary's little brother goes missing.She needs to find him. She needs to know a secret that no-one else can tell her.
Song Yet Sung
By James Mcbride
In the tense days before the American Civil War, in the swamplands of the Maryland shore, a wounded slave girl and her visions of the future tear a community apart in a riveting drama of hope and redemption. Kidnappings, gunfights and chases ensue in this extraordinary story of violence, tragic triumph, and unexpected kindness.
The Summer Without Men
By Siri Hustvedt
After Mia Fredricksen's husband of thirty years asks for a pause - so he can indulge his infatuation with a young French colleague - she cracks up (briefly), rages (deeply), then decamps to her prairie childhood home.There, gradually, she is drawn into the lives of those around her: her mother's circle of feisty widows; the young woman next door; and the diabolical teenage girls in her poetry class. By the end of the summer without men, Mia knows what's worth fighting for - and on whose terms. Provocative, mordant, and fiercely intelligent, this is a gloriously vivacious tragi-comedy about women and girls, love and marriage, and the age-old war between the sexes.
By Bahaa Taher
As the 19th century draws to a close, the politically disgraced Mahmoud Abd El Zahir takes up his post as District Commissioner of the remote and dangerous Egyptian oasis of Siwa, knowing he has no choice. The hostile, warring natives are no surprise - but little did he expect to fall in love, his Irish wife to alienate the entire community, or a local beauty to prove a fatal ally. As the gulf between occupier and occupied, husband and wife, dreams and reality widens, tensions reach boiling point.
By Glen David Gold
From the author of CARTER BEATS THE DEVIL comes a panoramic tale of power and stardom, ambition and dreams that reaches from California in 1916 to the battlefields of France and the icy wastes of northern Russia. At the heart of its enthralling cast of characters - which includes a thieving Girl Scout, Mary Pickford, a charismatic British general and even the dog Rin Tin Tin - lies the troubled genius that was Charlie Chaplin.Here America debuts on the world stage in the Great War, Hollywood blossoms into a global phenomenon, and the cult of celebrity is born. Here, in a novel as darkly comic as it is thrilling, the modern age dawns.
The Sorrows of an American
By Siri Hustvedt
After their father's funeral, Erik and Inga Davidsen find a cryptic letter from an unknown woman among his papers, dating from his adolescence in rural Minnesota during the Depression. Returning to his psychiatric practice in New York, Erik sets about reading his father's memoir, hoping to discover the man he never fully understood.At the same time, another woman enters Erik's lonely, divorced life - a beautiful Jamaican who moves into his garden flat with her small daughter. As Erik gets drawn into the cat-and-mouse tactics of someone who appears to be stalking her, he finds out that his sister Inga is also being threatened, by a journalist in possession of a wounding secret from her past.A multi-layered novel that probes the mysteries of the heart and mind, THE SORROWS OF AN AMERICAN is compulsive, thought-provoking and profoundly affecting.
By Gregory Norminton
In the early 1990s, at an old-fashioned boarding school, two boys form an intense friendship that will shape the course of their lives. Bruno Jackson, the shy and lonely son of British expats, is infatuated by the glamorous but troubled Anthony Blunden. Taken under the wing of an idealistic English teacher, the boys are encouraged to explore the 'more serious things' of life beyond college. But in the hothouse of the school, a slight from their mentor seems of earth-shattering importance, with fateful consequences. Years later, with the memories of that time almost buried, Bruno leads a blameless, uneventful life. The sudden reappearance of Anthony forces him to revisit the dark corners of his past and to decide how far he's prepared to go to assuage his conscience. From the acclaimed writer of GHOST PORTRAIT and THE SHIP OF FOOLS, this is a gripping tale of vengeance, morality and the complex paths that can lead to redemption.
By Thomas Keneally
Made into the award-winning film 'Schindler's List'. In the shadow of Auschwitz, a flamboyant German industrialist grew into a living legend to the Jews of Cracow. He was a womaniser, a heavy drinker and a bon viveur, but to them he became a saviour. This is the extraordinary story of Oskar Schindler, who risked his life to protect Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland and who was transformed by the war into a man with a mission, a compassionate angel of mercy.
The Soldier's Return
By Melvyn Bragg
When Sam Richardson returns in 1946 from the 'Forgotten War' in Burma to Wigton in Cumbria, he finds the town little changed. But the war has changed him, broadening his horizons as well as leaving him with traumatic memories. In addition, his six-year-old son now barely remembers him, and his wife has gained a sense of independence from her wartime jobs. As all three strive to adjust, the bonds of loyalty and love are stretched to breaking point in this taut, and profoundly moving novel.