Promises of Blood by David Thorne
Rather than leave his fortune to his three children, William Gove has chosen ten random people as his beneficiaries. After his death, Lawyer Daniel Connell begins the job of tracking them down, but an offhand comment reveals the shocking possibility that each of the recipients is connected to a missing person. Connell investigates and discovers that this powerful family holds many dark and twisted secrets. The third case for this appealing anti-hero has clever, well-paced plotting, pithy dialogue and compelling characters. One to devour in a single sitting.
The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel
In three intersecting stories filled with humour, tenderness and surprise, Martel considers loss, love, science and faith. In the early 1900s, Tomás discovers an old journal that hints at an extraordinary artefact that could redefine history. He sets off from Lisbon to find it. Thirty-five years later, a widowed pathologist obsessed with Agatha Christie is drawn into Tomás’s quest. And almost a hundred years after Tomás’s discovery, a Canadian senator grieving the loss of his wife rescues a lab chimp and takes it to live with him in his ancestral village in Portugal, where the quest reaches an unexpected conclusion.
Warriors of the Storm by Bernard Cornwell
In the latest episode in Cornwell’s saga of the Dark Ages, King Alfred is dead and his kingdoms have been divided between his son and daughter. Everyone who is anyone is gathered in Chester, gateway to the North, for the enthronement of the new bishop. But no one can prepare them for the storm of terror and blood that descends when Viking Ragnall Iverson sails into the nearby Mersey in a fearless attempt to invade northwards. Opening straight into the action, this is a return to form for Cornwell, always at his best when describing battles. The prose is effortless but vivid, creating a fantastic sense of place and time. Packed with action, strong characters, humour and tension, this is a colourful and absorbing adventure.
The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee
When a stranger offers her the leading role in a new opera, legendary Paris soprano Lilliet Berne realises with horror that the protagonist is based on herself, and whoever wrote it knows all the secrets of her scandalous history. Mining her memories for clues to reveal the traitor, she recalls her past as a Minnesota farm girl, circus equestrienne, courtesan, empress’s maid and soprano, and her complicated web of romance and political intrigue around real life figures like Bizet, Barnum and Napoleon III. Luminous, lush and seductive, this is a dazzling story with an ornate plot that unfurls its mystery slowly, keeping you surprised right up to the final page.
Poseidon’s Wake by Alastair Reynolds
In this standalone novel in the Poseidon’s Children trilogy, a signal is intercepted from a distant world. It is from an ancestor of the Akinaya family and suggests an ancient and devastating secret. Two members of different branches of the family set off in separate quests across space and time to reach the source of the message. But someone is unhappy with the advances their discovery may bring and causes mayhem and murder in an attempt to prevent it. There are space travelling talking elephants, a god-like woman, and machine intelligences in this immersive space opera that harks back to writers like Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein. While the ideas are huge, philosophical and fantastical, Reynolds is careful to always keep the focus on the real human concerns of relationships, character and legacy.
In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri
After a lifetime of feeling that she never truly belonged in either India or the US, the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Interpreter of Maladies uprooted herself and her family to pursue a love affair that she had started at college: one with the Italian language. Seeking fluency, she began to read and write solely in Italian. The resulting memoir describes the journey of a writer seeking a new voice, and the complex feelings and consequences of translating not only her language, but also her identity.
The Monocle Guide to Cosy Homes by Monocle
Monocle’s refreshing take on the architecture and interiors book is a realistic one, focussing on how to create a home that doesn’t just look good but can be lived in comfortably too. This inspiring global survey of homes balances practicality and aesthetics, showcasing the décor, furniture and locations that Monocle’s team loves, and profiling the gardeners, architects and designers who can help you create a house that is also a home.
Originals by Adam Grant & Sheryl Sandberg
In the Age of Disruption, how do we put forward new ideas and policies that are original and unconventional without risking everything? Via entertaining studies and stories spanning business, politics, sports and entertainment, Originals debunks myths about success and shows how to combat group-think; speak up without being silenced, find allies, choose the right time to take action and manage your fears and doubts. It will help you to not only recognise your own unique gifts but find the strength to challenge conventional wisdom and bring them to life.
Book of the People by A. N. Wilson
Having gone from faith to atheism and back again, Wilson has a unique perspective on what the Bible is and how it can and should remain relevant in the modern, secular world. In this thought-provoking book, his insight into the text is thoughtful and free of dogma, showing how it should not be read literally or as a historical document but lived and enacted, as it has been by people like Martin Luther King and Desmond Tutu. A deeply personal and very human overview of the Bible and its history.
The Kinfolk Home by Nathan Williams
Kinfolk is a slow lifestyle magazine with photo essays, recipes, profiles and practical tips to help you simplify your life so that you can spend more time with your friends, family and community. Through a vibrant mix of photography, profiles and essays, their latest book introduces the people and homes across the globe that reflect the principles of slow living. From clean-lined modern city apartments to cabins in the woods, you’ll see how personal ideals have shaped these spaces, how the spaces have shaped their occupants, and how you too can discover the essentials that will bring joy and meaning to your own home.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary by Pablo Hidalgo
The definitive guide to the characters, droids, aliens, and creatures of JJ Abrams’ new Star Wars sequel The Force Awakens. Lavishly illustrated with photos, production art and original art, it includes three exclusive and specially commissioned cutaway models from Industrial Light & Magic. A lively and authoritative text by Lucas film insider Pablo Hidalgo names and explains every costume, weapon, and accessory, making this an unmissable book for any Star Wars fan.
Excellent Daughters by Katherine Zoepf
Zoepf’s account of her conversations with women across the Middle East reveals what they think about things like sexuality, honour killings, the hijab, marriage, work and the strict segregation of the sexes. She argues that Arab women are not as suppressed as we may think. They outnumber men in universities, and some women are successfully delaying marriage to live independently and pursue careers. They also attend Qu’ranic schools and use this training to argue for more rights and freedoms from a religious perspective. Young women also played a crucial role in the anti-government protests in the Arab Spring but still, in the West, their voices are rarely heard. Heartfelt, authentic and urgent, Good Daughters shines a light on changing Arab society and gives voice to the remarkable women transforming it, one small gesture at a time.