City On Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg
New Year’s Eve, 1976. Teenager Sam clings to life after being shot in Central Park. Who wanted her dead? Why did she change her plans and head uptown? This mystery brings together a cast made up of the broadest spectrum of New York’s citizens whose stories connect in unexpected ways. City On Fire combines fiction and real events, using ephemera like e-mails, hand-written diaries, illustrations, and maps to create an engaging authenticity. Compared by prospective publishers to authors like Pynchon, Wolfe, Wallace and Chabon, we think it will set the book world on fire this year.
The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz
Building on Larsson’s previous work, Swedish author David Lagercrantz brings back the duo of punk computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist in a new instalment of the Millennium series. Blomkvist receives a late night phone call from a trusted source claiming to have information vital to the United States about a dangerous new threat. Salander and Blomkvist join forces again and find themselves tangled in a lethal web of governments, spies and cyber-criminals to uncover a secret that someone will kill to protect.
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
Zacharias Wythe is the first African Sorcerer Royal, charged with solving the problem of England’s dwindling supplies of magic. Travelling to the edge of the Fairy world, his investigations lead him to Prunella Gentleman, a young lady trying to escape a special school for girls troubled by the indelicate problem of possessing magical powers. The two lock horns but know that together they can change the nature of magic in England and beyond. Anyone who enjoyed Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell will be enchanted by this glorious mix of magic, history and humour set in a vivid alternative Regency England. Zen Cho will visit ABC Amsterdam in November this year.
Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving
Born to a woman of low morals, Juan Diego grew up in a rough area of Mexico but went on to become a famous writer. He travels to the Philippines where he meets interesting people of the sort that Irving creates so wonderfully. But his thoughts are back in Mexico, and he finds himself living more in his past than in his present… until the two halves of his life collide. Irving explores his favourite motifs of absent fathers, questionable mothers, Catholicism, fate and memory in a beautiful novel written with the warmth, humour and unique voice that has made him such a beloved author.
Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan
One afternoon in May, the artful Dewi Ayu, once the most popular prostitute in Halimunda, rises from her grave after being dead for 21 years. After this astonishing start, she and her four daughters are then beset by incest, murder, bestiality, rape, insanity, monstrosity and the undead in this translation of a new novel by a lauded Indonesian author. With shades of Gogol, Márquez and the Mahabharata, it draws on Asian folklore and fairy tales with all their horrors and bawdy wit to tell the story of Indonesia from the last days of Dutch rule up to the despotic reign of Suharto.
Purity by Jonathan Franzen
Pip is an ordinary girl struggling with crippling student debt. She has a strained relationship with her mother, who refuses to reveal who her father is. Hoping to escape poverty and discover more about her origins, she accepts an internship with Project Sunlight, an outfit similar to Wikileaks operated by Andreas Wolf, a world-famous provocateur in exile, who seems unusually interested in her. The author of The Corrections takes his favourite themes of dysfunctional families and fractured societies and twists them into a skilfully crafted, perfectly observed and tautly plotted thriller about politics big and small, and the nature of goodness, that manages to be both beach read and literary masterpiece in one.
Humans Are Underrated by Geoff Colvin
As technology advances, it is becoming increasingly likely that computers will take over many of the tasks that people do now, from driving cars to making legal decisions, and do them faster, more reliably and cheaper. What will humans do then? Colvin argues that we should focus on utilising our uniquely human skills of empathy, creativity, humour, relationships and storytelling. These skills can promote more devoted customers and more effective teams, strengthening culture and stimulating ideas. And they can be cultivated. Through research, practical case studies and insights, this exciting book shows that we already have what it takes to be great.
The Wikileaks Files by Julian Assange et al.
In 2010, the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks released thousands of sensitive US State Department cables revealing secrets about covert operations, cover-ups, human rights violations, and the US government’s true opinions of its supposed friends and enemies. Here a team of journalists, professors, and writers analyses the most significant cables, providing solid context and outlining their historical significance. With a lengthy and insightful introduction by Julian Assange, this is the only overview approved by the Wikileaks foundation, and it makes the huge amounts of data accessible to a wider audience for the first time.
Winter is Coming by Garry Kasparov
Master chess player Garry Kasparov has long been an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin, but he has been equally critical of powerful western democracies for negotiating with rather than confronting him. Putin’s Russia, like ISIS or Al Qaeda, he argues, defines itself in opposition to the free countries of the world, and with its vast resources and nuclear capabilities it has grown into a global threat. With passion and conviction, Kasparov urges the West to take a strong stand against him, not via conflict but through economics and diplomacy to avoid a new cold war.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
In this guide to living a more creative life, the author of Eat, Pray Love gives insights into the magical nature of creativity and how we can uncover the “strange jewels” buried within us: by living courageously, giving ourselves permission to create and fuelling our lives with curiosity rather than fear. With warmth, sincerity, grace and humour, she illustrates these ideas with stories from her own life and those of her friends and the people who inspire her, to inspire all of us to lead our lives without limits.
Love Style Life by Garance Doré
French photographer, illustrator and author Doré is best known for her fashion blog www.garancedore.fr. Her knack for making style fun and accessible via a mix of portrait photography, illustrations, collages and storytelling has propelled her to fashion’s A-List. In her first book, she talks about fashion, cosmetics and shopping, but she also goes deeper to reveal what makes a woman truly beautiful and elegant, inside and out. Full of Parisian sensibility, the book shares candid wisdom on everything from mixing Zara with Chanel to falling in love and to living a life that is more authentically you.
The Well of Being by Jean-Pierre Weill
Based on the teachings of Ramchal, an 18th-century Italian Jewish rabbi, mystic and philosopher, Weill’s picture book for adults explains how the stories we tell ourselves and the masks we wear obscure the truth of who we really are and prevent us from being truly alive in each moment. Illustrated by exquisite watercolour paintings that are quiet and evocative, the simple text is a secular scripture that is neither religious nor scientific and yet is as grounding and elevating as both. Wonderful, in every sense of the word.