By Rachel Heng
They leave us no choice. AS FEATURED ON BBC.COM. A 2018 DEBUT TO WATCH OUT FOR AS SELECTED BY INDEPENDENT, GRAZIA, THE BOOKSELLER AND THE RUMPUS AND AN ELLE, STYLIST AND I MAGAZINE RECOMMENDED SUMMER READ.'Original and subversive.' Independent'Thought-provoking, moving, worryingly convincing - and ultimately hopeful.' Irish Times'A provocative new author. A fascinating debut novel. Read it!' Jeff VanderMeer, author of the Southern Reach trilogy'Life-affirming . . . "Be careful what you wish for" has never been so chilling, or so gripping' Erin Kelly, author of He Said/She Said********What are you doing to help yourself? What are you doing to show that you're worth the resources? In a near-future world, medical technology has progressed far enough that immortality is now within grasp -but only to those who show themselves to be deserving of it. These people are the lifers: the exercisers, yogacisers, green juicers and early nighters. Genetically perfect, healthy and wholesome, one hundred-year-old Lea is the poster girl for lifers, until the day she catches a glimpse of her father in the street, eighty-eight years after their last encounter. While pursuing him, Lea has a brush with death which sparks suspicions. If Lea could be so careless, is she worthy of immortality? Suicide Club wasn't always an activist group. It began as a set of disillusioned lifers, gathering to indulge in forbidden activities: performances of live music, artery-clogging meals, irresponsible orgies. But now they have been branded terrorists and are hunted by the state. And Lea has decided to give them a call.'Chilling . . . Through crisscrossing stories about love and loss, suffused in some wonderful and heartbreaking prose, she takes the reader on a journey to truly understand the question: who wants to live forever?' Stylist********'Addictive' Sun'Gripping' Red'Clever, bold and makes you think about the value of life' Good Housekeeping'The future is here. Let's welcome one of its stars. Talented and ferociously intelligent, Heng has produced a glittering debut.' Joanna Briscoe, author of You'If the styling is satirical . . . Heng isn't playing for laughs . . . the fascinating and compelling scenario on show here ultimately forces you to question nothing less than the meaning of life' Metro
A Shout in the Ruins
By Kevin Powers
'Achingly relevant' - Grazia'An American Civil War epic [which] confirms Powers as a significant talent' - Andrew Motion, Observer'Contains moments that burn' Daily Mail A stunning novel about violence, power and love by Kevin Powers, the acclaimed author of The Yellow Birds and winner of both the 2012 Guardian First Book Award and the Hemingway/PEN Award. A nighttime whipping in a lamplit barn.A ruined leg tossed onto a pile of discarded limbs. A hand snuffing out a desperate cry behind a bedroom's locked door.In A Shout in the Ruins, 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.Written with the same emotional intensity, harrowing realism, and poetic precision that made The Yellow Birds one of the most celebrated novels of the past decade, A Shout in the Ruins cements Powers' place as one of the most important novelists of our time.'Beautifully formed sentences express unsettling truths about humanity, yet tendrils of hope emerge, showing how love and kindness can take root in seemingly barren earth.' - Sarah Johnson, Booklist
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 John Le Carré
The murdered man had been an agent - once, long ago. But George Smiley's superiors at the Secret Service want to see the crime buried, not solved. Smiley will not leave it at that, not when it might lead him all the way to Karla, the elusive Soviet spymaster . . .Smiley's People is a thrilling confrontation between one of the most famous spies in all fiction and his Cold War rival, Karla. Like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Honourable Schoolboy, it is as tense and unforgettable as only le Carré's novels can be.
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 . . .
By Thomas Keneally
REISSUED AS A SCEPTRE 30TH CLASSIC, with a new afterword by the author.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 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.
Searching For Schindler
By Thomas Keneally, Humphrey Bower
In 1980 Thomas Keneally walked into a shop in Beverley Hills to buy a briefcase, an impulse that was to change his life. For the owner, Leopold Pfefferberg, had a story he'd been trying to interest writers and Hollywood in for years. It was the story of Oskar Schindler. In SEARCHING FOR SCHINDLER, Keneally describes how he went on to discover the full, extraordinary tale of the Aryan who risked his life to save hundreds of Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland, interviewing many of the survivors around the world. Here, for the first time, he fills in what happened to them, as well as to Schindler and his wife, in the decades after the war. And he gives a fascinating account of how his novel SCHINDLER'S ARK was published, its controversial winning of the Booker Prize, and the long road to its becoming the phenomenally successful film Schindler's List.Filled with entertaining anecdotes about the many people involved, from Steven Spielberg and Liam Neeson to Keneally's own family, SEARCHING FOR SCHINDLER gives a unique insight into the creation of a modern classic. Paying tribute to the irrepressible Poldek, it sheds renewed light on a remarkable instance of humanity amid the greatest inhumanity mankind has known.(P)2008 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
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 Nick Papadimitriou
AN INDEPENDENT BOOK OF THE YEAR An extraordinary book by a man with a unique and inspiring perspective, SCARP will change the way you view the places and spaces around you, and reveal a forgotten London you never knew existed.Nick Papadimitriou has spent a lifetime living on the margins, walking and documenting the landscapes surrounding his home in Child's Hill, North London, in a study he calls Deep Topography. Part meditation on nature and walking, part memoir and part social history, his arresting debut is first and foremost a personal inquiry into the spirit of a place: a 14-mile broken ridge of land on the fringes of Northern London known as Scarp. Conspicuous but largely forgotten, a vast yet largely invisible presence hovering just beyond the metropolis, Scarp is a vast storehouse of regional memory. We join the author as he explores and reimagines this brooding, pregnant landscape, meticulously observing his surroundings, finding surprising connections and revealing lost slices of the past. SCARP captures the satisfying experience of a long, reflective walk. Whether talking about the beauty of a bird or a telegraph pole, deaths at a roundabout or his own troubled past, Papadimitriou celebrates the poetry in the everyday. His captivating prose reveals that the world around us is alive and intrinsically valuable in ways that the trappings of day-to-day life lead us to forget, and allows us to re-connect with something more authentic, more immediate, more profound.
By Lyall Watson
In this classic study of the supernatural , Lyall Watson challenges scientific orthodoxy by applying new criteria to the investigation of the unknown. Probing the "soft edges" of science, Watson dispenses with the distinction between the natural and the supernatural and focuses on Supernature; those phenomena that are not wholly paranormal, but which are not classified as natural occurrences according to traditional science. With both scientific objectivity and a wide-eyed sense of wonder at the mysteries of the universe, this fascinating and open-minded study proves beyond doubt that science is stranger than the supernatural. 'A fascinating feast of cosmic law and order...compelling reading' New Scientist
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.
Showbusiness - The Diary of a Rock 'n' Roll Nobody
By Mark Radcliffe
In his first book, Mark Radcliffe recalls his less-than-glittering rock career in a succession of bands which all ended in ignominy and frustration. Combining his trademark humour with an acute eye for the ridiculous, Mark admits his part in bands like The Berlin Airlift (hastily named during a history lesson), the life-changing punk revolution in Bob Sleigh and The Crestas and even a flirtation with thirty-something pub rock. Interwoven with the musical disasters is the appealing rites-of-passage story of a middle-class grammar school boy who finally leaves Bolton for university. Splattered with memorable episodes and Viz-like characters, SHOWBUSINESS retraces the steps that should have led Mark to headlining Wembley Arena, but which took him to Radio 1 instead.
Schindler's Ark (flipback edition)
By Thomas Keneally
In the shadow of Auschwitz, a flamboyant German industrialist defied the SS and risked his life to protect Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland. His name was Oskar Schindler.Thomas Keneally's unforgettable novel recreates the story of this unlikely angel of mercy, and of the people he saved. Winner of the Booker Prize in 1982, it was subsequently dramatised as the Oscar-winning film Schindler's List.'Keneally has done marvellous justice to a marvellous story' THE SUNDAY TIMES'Brilliantly detailed, moving, powerful and gripping' THE TIMES
A Sky Full of Kindness
By Rob Ryan
With magical, intricate papercuts Rob Ryan tells the story of two birds about to become parents for the first time. From the hopes for their unborn child to the fears about their own state of readiness, A SKY FULL OF KINDNESS captures the intense and contradictory feelings of an unconditional love.