Are you looking for your next great read? Why not try out the books from across the pond? Despite from what governments say, books are essential and are needed now, more than ever. So if you are need of a variety and want to read diverse stories, then I suggest you try out some British and Irish titles!
We may have left 2021 behind, but the pain and struggles of last year are still being faced, especially independent bookstores. Continue to support indie bookstores by shopping on Bookshop.org and Hive.co.uk.
You can buy these titles from BookDepository.com, a subsidiary of Amazon. They provide free international delivery, although this is being affected right now due to the pandemic. You can also try with the British bookstore, Blackwell’s, also with Wordery.com. Now on with the recommendations!
Featured Book of the Month:
The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett
Expected Publication Date: January 13
It’s time to solve the murder of the century…
Forty years ago, Steven Smith found a copy of a famous children’s book, its margins full of strange markings and annotations. He took it to his remedial English teacher, Miss Isles, who became convinced it was the key to solving a puzzle. That a message in secret code ran through all Edith Twyford’s novels. Then Miss Isles disappeared on a class field trip, and Steven’s memory won’t allow him to remember what happened.
Now, out of prison after a long stretch, Steven decides to investigate the mystery that has haunted him for decades. Was Miss Isles murdered? Was she deluded? Or was she right about the code? And is it still in use today? Desperate to recover his memories and find out what really happened to Miss Isles, Steven revisits the people and places of his childhood. But it soon becomes clear that Edith Twyford wasn’t just a writer of forgotten children’s stories. The Twyford Code has great power, and he isn’t the only one trying to solve it… (Credit: Profile Books Ltd)
The Sad Ghost Club Volume Two by Lize Meddings
Ever felt anxious or alone? Like you don’t belong anywhere? Like you’re almost… invisible? Find your kindred spirits at The Sad Ghost Club. (You are not alone. Shhh. Pass it on.)
When two strangers meet at a party and realise they both feel different from everyone else there, they start the The Sad Ghost Club – a secret society for the anxious and alone, a club for people who think they don’t belong.
But when a third ghost wants to join the club, things get a bit more complicated. Can the two ghosts overcome their insecurities and uncertainties in their new friendship, and find a way to welcome new members to the club?
Stunningly illustrated, this is Volume 2 in a new graphic novel series, for fans of Heartstopper and Jennifer Niven, and for anyone who’s ever felt invisible. (Credit: Hachette Children’s Group)
(Dis)connected: How to Stay Human in an Online World by Emma Gannon
Millennials might have grown up online but now they want to log off. And it’s not just millennials. A year of lockdowns, Zoom meetings and reduced physical contact has made us more dependent on the internet than ever before – but has it lost its humanity?
Our focus on community and real connection has been sent off-course and we’re becoming more aware of how the algorithm manipulates us and how our data has made us a product to be sold. So, where do we go from here and how can we get back on track? (Dis)connected examines these topics and offers tangible tips and advice for those of us who might feel a little lost right now and want to find themselves again. (Credit: Hodder & Stoughton)
The Blue Book of Nebo by Manon Steffan Ros
Dylan was six when The End came, back in 2018; when the electricity went off for good, and the ‘normal’ 21st century world he knew disappeared. Now he’s 14 and he and his mam have survived in their isolated hilltop house above the village of Nebo in north-west Wales, learning new skills, and returning to old ways of living. Despite their close understanding, the relationship between mother and son changes subtly as Dylan must take on adult responsibilities. And they each have their own secrets, which emerge as, in turn, they jot down their thoughts and memories in a found notebook – the Blue Book of Nebo. In this prize-winning novel, Manon Steffan Ros not only explores the human capacity to find new strengths when faced with the need to survive, but also questions the structures and norms of the contemporary world.(9Credit: Firefly Press Ltd.)
Win Lose Kill Die by Cynthia Murphy
An explosive new YA thriller, from the author of Last One To Die.The students at Morton Academy are high-achievers, selected based on academic excellence. So when a series of murders target the school’s brightest and best, the pressure is on. (Credit: Scholastic)
The Revelry by Katherine Webber
A story of best friends, bad luck and the consequences of breaking the rules in a town built on secrets and superstitions.
Growing up in Ember Grove, Bitsy Clark knows better than to break the rules around the Revelry, the mysterious end-of-year party in the woods. So when her best friend, Amy, persuades her to sneak in, Bitsy is full of misgivings.
Misgivings that she should have listened to, because it’s after the Revelry that Bitsy’s luck turns and her life starts to unravel. For Amy it’s the opposite, as if she’s been blessed with good fortune. Soon Bitsy is convinced that the Revelry has tied the two friends together in a curse that only she can break…(Credit: Walker Books UK)
Hare House by Sally Hinchcliffe
Hare House is not its real name, of course. I have, if you will forgive me, kept names to a minimum here, for reasons that will become understandable …
In the first brisk days of autumn, a woman arrives in Scotland having left her job at an all-girls school in London in mysterious circumstances. Moving into a cottage on the remote estate of Hare House, she begins to explore her new home – a patchwork of hills, moorland and forest. But among the tiny roads, dykes and scattered houses, something more sinister lurks: local tales of witchcraft, clay figures and young men sent mad.
Striking up a friendship with her landlord, Grant, and his younger sister, Cass, she begins to suspect that all might not be quite as it seems at Hare House. And as autumn turns to winter, and a heavy snowfall traps the inhabitants of the estate within its walls, tensions rise to fever pitch. (Credit: Pan Macmillan)
The Secrets Act by Alison Weatherby
Codebreaker. Friend. Spy?
Pearl and Ellen work at top-secret codebreaking HQ, Bletchley Park.
Pearl is the youngest. A messenger at sixteen, she’s untidy, lively, bright, and half in love with the wrong boy, Richard. Her circle of friends overlaps with his – the dashing young men on their motorcycles who courier the secrets that Bletchley deciphers.
Ellen is a codebreaker. Reserved, analytical and beautiful. She never expected to get close to a girl like Pearl – or fall for a chap like Dennis.
But when tragedy strikes, their logical world is upended, with both friends caught in a spy plot that rocks the very heart of the war effort. Who can they turn to now? Who can they trust? And above all, can they unmask the traitor in their midst before it’s too late? (Credit: Chicken House)
The Winter Guest by W.C. Ryan
A gripping, unsettling historical mystery with a classic feel, for fans of Agatha Christie ‘Haunting and exquisitely written. Part intricate mystery and part ghost story. This book will stay with me for a long time’ Anna Mazzola ‘A beautifully taut and evocative thriller’ Sarah Hilary The drive leads past the gate house and through the trees towards the big house, visible through the winter-bared branches. Its windows stare down at Harkin and the sea beyond . . . January 1921. Though the Great War is over, in Ireland a new, civil war is raging. The once-grand Kilcolgan House, a crumbling bastion shrouded in sea-mist, lies half empty and filled with ghosts – both real and imagined – the Prendevilles, the noble family within, co-existing only as the balance of their secrets is kept. Then, when an IRA ambush goes terribly wrong, Maud Prendeville, eldest daughter of Lord Kilcolgan, is killed, leaving the family reeling. Yet the IRA column insist they left her alive, that someone else must have been responsible for her terrible fate. Captain Tom Harkin, an IRA intelligence officer and Maud’s former fiance, is sent to investigate, becoming an unwelcome guest in this strange, gloomy household. Working undercover, Harkin must delve into the house’s secrets – and discover where, in this fractured, embattled town, each family member’s allegiances truly lie. But Harkin too is haunted by the ghosts of the past and by his terrible experiences on the battlefields. Can he find out the truth about Maud’s death before the past – and his strange, unnerving surroundings – overwhelm him? (Credit: Bonnier Zaffre)
Breaking Point by Edel Coffey
Expected Publication Date: January 20
An innocent mistake. A lifetime of guilt. Susannah is pulled in every direction, every day; as a doctor, a researcher, a professor, a wife, a mother and a woman. She doesn’t realise it, but she is at breaking point. After a frantic morning, with a disrupted routine and an emergency call from work, Susannah leaves her young daughter in the car on a hot day. It is hours before she realises her mistake, but it is too late. Adelaide is a reporter covering Susannah’s negligence trial. The story is all too familiar, stirring up the ghosts of her own long-buried past. As Adelaide and Susannah circle closer to each other, as the jury considers its verdict, both women are forced recognise that they are both already living out the worst punishment imaginable. But what will the court say? (Credit: Little, Brown Book Group)
Everything You Need to Know About the Menopause (but were too afraid to ask) by Kate Muir
Expected Publication Date: January 20
Muir draws on interviews with the leading medical experts in the field, interlaced with her own tumultuous journey through the menopause and the personal stories of women from all walks of life, sharing their varied experiences and hard-earned wisdom.
Muir also questions why the current medical establishment is getting the menopause so wrong, as she debunks the myths that surround hormone replacement therapy and exposes the sloppy science and hysterical headlines that have had a negative impact on women’s health for the last twenty years.
It’s essential that we understand the biology of our own bodies during this critical period that will define the latter half of our lives. With the help of a panel of doctors, scientists and health experts, Muir unpacks the science behind hormones and ageing, and takes a close look at the different options available for treating both body and mind during the profound changes that take us into midlife and beyond. (Credit: Simon & Schuster UK)
Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman
Expected Publication Date: January 27
A pure pleasure of a novel set in Georgian London, where the discovery of a mysterious ancient Greek vase sets in motion conspiracies, revelations and romance.
London, 1799. Dora Blake is an aspiring jewellery artist who lives with her uncle in what used to be her parents’ famed shop of antiquities. When a mysterious Greek vase is delivered, Dora is intrigued by her uncle’s suspicious behaviour and enlists the help of Edward Lawrence, a young antiquarian scholar. Edward sees the ancient vase as key to unlocking his academic future. Dora sees it as a chance to restore the shop to its former glory, and to escape her nefarious uncle.
But what Edward discovers about the vase has Dora questioning everything she has believed about her life, her family, and the world as she knows it. As Dora uncovers the truth she starts to realise that some mysteries are buried, and some doors are locked, for a reason. (Credit: Vintage Publishing)