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 Books of the Month:
The Last Party By Clare Mackintosh
On New Year’s Eve, Rhys Lloyd has a house full of guests.
His lakeside holiday homes are a success, and he’s generously invited the village to drink champagne with their wealthy new neighbours. This will be the party to end all parties. But not everyone is there to celebrate. By midnight, Rhys will be floating dead in the freezing waters of the lake.
On New Year’s Day, DC Ffion Morgan has a village full of suspects.
The tiny community is her home, so the suspects are her neighbours, friends and family – and Ffion has her own secrets to protect.
With a lie uncovered at every turn, soon the question isn’t who wanted Rhys dead… but who finally killed him. In a village with this many secrets, a murder is just the beginning. (Credit: Little, Brown Book Group)
If you are willing to wait, the US Publication comes out in November.
Hide and Seek by Andrea Mara
When Joanna and her family move into their new house, she’s sure they’ve found their forever home. Until she learns about its dark past: thirty years ago, it was home to three-year-old Lily Murphy, who disappeared during a game of hide-and-seek and was never seen again. Joanna is determined to find out all she can about the little girl’s disappearance, and the inhabitants of this close-knit neighbourhood are all too eager to speculate. But the more she learns, the closer she’s drawn towards her own dark family secrets – secrets she’s spent years trying to hide. Joanna soon realises her own memories are key to uncovering the truth about what happened to Lily Murphy. But someone will go to any lengths to stop her from remembering . . .(Credit: Transworld Publishers)
Cuts Both Ways by Candice Brathwaite
London is all Cynthia knows, so when her parents abruptly uproot the family after a traumatic incident, to a place where there is only one bus an hour and the faint smell of horse manure continuously permeates the air, it’s a culture shock, to say the least. As is transitioning to a private school.
At her new school, Cynthia is one of the only black students. Goofy Thomas, her white lab partner, immediately takes her under his wing. He’s kind and sweet, and her parents are pleased – someone like Thomas will be good for her ‘future prospects’.
As much as Cynthia likes Thomas though, she can’t help noticing Isaac, the only other black student in her year. He is aloof and doesn’t seem to like her, but there’s something about him she cannot quite get enough of…
But when it turns out both boys have been keeping secrets from her, secrets that link back to the life Cynthia thought she had left behind in London, she realises that not everything is as it seems.
Will Cynthia be able to forgive the lies and follow her heart? (Credit: Hachette Children’s Group)
The Party House by Lin Anderson
Devastated by a recent pandemic brought in by outsiders, the villagers of Blackrig in the Scottish Highlands are outraged when they find that the nearby estate plans to reopen its luxury ‘party house’ to tourists.
As animosity sparks amongst the locals, part of the property is damaged and, in the ensuing chaos, the body of a young girl is found in the wreck. Seventeen-year-old Ailsa Cummings went missing five years ago, never to be seen again – until now.
The excavation of Ailsa’s remains ignites old suspicions cast on the men of this small community, including Greg, the estate’s gamekeeper. At the beginning of a burgeoning relationship with a new lover, Joanne, Greg is loath to discuss old wounds. Frightened by Greg’s reaction to the missing girl’s discovery, Joanne begins to doubt how well she knows this new man in her life. Then again, he’s not the only one with secrets in their volatile relationship…(Credit: Pan Macmillan)
The Black House by Carole Johnstone
Maggie Mackay has been haunted her entire life. No matter what she does, she can’t shake the sense that something is wrong with her. And maybe something is…
When she was five years old, without proof, Maggie announced that someone in the remote village of Blairmore in the Outer Hebrides had murdered a local man, sparking a media storm.
Now, Maggie is determined to discover what really happened and what the villagers are hiding. But everyone has secrets, and some are deadly. As she gets closer to the horrifying truth, Maggie’s own life is in danger…(Credit: HarperCollins UK)
If you are willing to wait, the US Publication comes out in January 2023.
Our Tower by Joseph Coelho and Richard Johnson
This magical story follows three children living in a tower block, as they embark on a fantastical adventure which helps them see their home in a new light.
A deeply personal story written by the award winning poet Joseph Coelho, drawn from his own experience growing up in a tower block and looking for adventure. This story is a celebration of, and a reclaiming of tower blocks as a place where magic and adventure can happen.
It’s a modern-day fable that shows the children of a tower block travelling to a strange, magical world inside a tree and meeting an old man with supernatural powers, only to realise that the magic they’d been looking for had been in their tower all along.
Beautiful illustrations complement the poetic narrative, creating an enchanting story which children and adults alike will fall in love with.
This powerful story is about how society separates ‘urban’ spaces from the countryside, but the reality is that nature is everywhere, and everyone should have access to it. (Credit: Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd)
Kill Joy by Holly Jackson
Pippa Fitz-Amobi is not in the mood for her friend’s murder mystery party. Especially one that involves 1920’s fancy dress and pretending that their town, Little Kilton, is an island called Joy. But when the game begins, Pip finds herself drawn into the make-believe world of intrigue, deception and murder.
But as Pip plays detective, teasing out the identity of the killer clue-by-clue, the murder of the fictional Reginald Remy isn’t the only case on her mind…(Credit: HarperCollins UK)
None Of The Above by Travis Alabanza
In None of the Above, Travis Alabanza examines seven sentences people have directed at them about their gender identity. Sentences that have stayed with them; sentences that have impacted them for better and for worse; sentences that speak to the broader issues raised by a world that insists that gender must be a binary.
Through these sentences, which include some of their most personal transformative experiences as a Black mixed-race, working-class, non-binary trans person, Travis Alabanza turns a mirror back on society, giving us reason to question the very framework in which we live and the ways we treat each other. (Credit: Canongate Books Ltd)
Belonging: Natural Histories of Place, Identity and Home by
Reflecting on family, identity and nature, Belonging is a personal memoir about what it is to have and make a home. It is a love letter to nature, especially the northern landscapes of Scotland and the Scots pinewoods of Abernethy – home to standing dead trees known as snags, which support the overall health of the forest.
Belonging is a book about how we are held in thrall to elements of our past. It speaks to the importance of attention and reflection, and will encourage us all to look and observe and ask questions of ourselves.
Beautifully written and featuring Amanda Thomson’s artwork and photography throughout, it explores how place, language and family shape us and make us who we are. (Credit: Canongate Books Ltd)
Girl Crush by Florence Given
Expected Publication Date: August 16
GIRLCRUSH is a dark feminist comedy by bestselling author Florence Given. In Given’s debut novel, we follow Eartha on a wild, weird and seductive modern-day exploration as she commences life as an openly bisexual woman whilst also becoming a viral sensation on Wonder Land, a social media app where people project their dreamselves online. But as her online self and her offline self become more and more distanced, trauma from her past comes back to haunt and destroy her present. Eartha must make a choice: which version of herself should she kill off? (Credit: Octopus Publishing Group)
Black and Female by Tsitsi Dangarembga
Expected Publication Date: August 18
In these essays, the award-winning writer dissects the nervous condition of being not only Black, and not only a woman, but also quote-unquote ‘postcolonial’. Weaving together the experiences, events, intersections, and negotiations of her multifaceted identity, Dangarembga offers a powerful vision of Black liberation. (Credit: Faber & Faber)
The Queen of Dirt Island by Donal Ryan
Expected Publication Date: August 18
The Aylward women of Nenagh, Tipperary, are mad about each other, but you wouldn’t always think it. You’d have to know them to know – in spite of what the neighbours might say about raised voices and dramatic scenes – that their house is a place of peace, filled with love, a refuge from the sadness and cruelty of the world. Their story begins at an end and ends at a beginning. It involves wives and widows, gunrunners and gougers, sinners and saints. It’s a story of terrible betrayals and fierce loyalties, of isolation and togetherness, of transgression, forgiveness, desire, and love. About all the things family can be and all the things it sometimes isn’t. From the prize-winning author of Strange Flowers and The Spinning Heart, The Queen of Dirt Island is a celebration of fierce, loyal love and the powerful stories that bind generations of women together. (Credit: Transworld Publishers Ireland)
Without Warning & Only Sometimes by Kit De Waal
Expected Publication Date: August 18
From the award-winning author of MY NAME IS LEON, THE TRICK TO TIME and SUPPORTING CAST comes a childhood memoir set to become a classic: stinging, warm-hearted, and true. Kit de Waal grew up in a household of opposites and extremes. Her haphazard mother rarely cooked, forbade Christmas and birthdays, worked as a cleaner, nurse and childminder sometimes all at once and believed the world would end in 1975. Meanwhile, her father stuffed barrels full of goodies for his relatives in the Caribbean, cooked elaborate meals on a whim and splurged money they didn’t have on cars, suits and shoes fit for a prince. Both of her parents were waiting for paradise. It never came. Caught between three worlds, Irish, Caribbean and British in 1960s Birmingham, Kit and her brothers and sisters knew all the words to the best songs, caught sticklebacks in jam jars and braved hunger and hellfire until they could all escape. WITHOUT WARNING AND ONLY SOMETIMES is a story of an extraordinary childhood and how a girl who grew up in house where the Bible was the only book on offer went on to discover a love of reading that inspires her to this day. (Credit: Headline Publishing Group)
My Other Husband by Dorothy Koomson
Expected Publication Date: August 18
Cleo Forsum is a bestselling novelist turned scriptwriter whose TV series, ‘The Baking Detective’ is a huge success. Writing is all she’s ever wanted to do, and baking and murder stories have proved a winning combination.
But now she has decided to walk away from it all – including divorcing her husband, Wallace – before her past secrets catch up with her. As Cleo drafts the final ever episodes of the series, people she knows start getting hurt. And it’s soon clear that someone is trying to frame her for murder.
She thinks she knows why, but Cleo can’t tell the police or prove her innocence. Because then she’d have to confess about her other husband…(Credit: Headline Publishing Group)
These Are The Words by Nikita Gill
Expected Publication Date: August 18
Gold. Theft. Murder. A road trip to die for.
‘It’s not exactly how I imagined the week starting. An accessory to murder. On the run in the victim’s vehicle…’
Charlie and Nao are strangers from different sides of the tracks. They should never have met, but one devastating incident binds them together forever. A man is dead and now they are unwilling accomplices in his murder there’s only one thing to do: hit the road in the victim’s twin cab ute, with a bag of stolen gold stashed under the passenger seat.
Suddenly outlaws, Nao and Charlie must make their way across Australia’s remote outback using only their wits to survive. They’ll do whatever it takes to evade capture and escape with their lives…(Credit: Little, Brown Book Group)
The Last Colony: A Tale of Exile, Justice and Britain’s Colonial Legacy by Philippe Sands
Expected Publication Date: August 21
After the Second World War, new international rules heralded an age of human rights and self-determination. Supported by Britain, these unprecedented changes sought to end the scourge of colonialism. But how committed was Britain?
In the 1960s, its colonial instinct ignited once more: a secret decision was taken to offer the US a base at Diego Garcia, one of the islands of the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, create a new colony (the ‘British Indian Ocean Territory’) and deport the entire local population. One of those inhabitants was Liseby Elyse, twenty years old, newly married, expecting her first child. One suitcase, no pets, the British ordered, expelling her from the only home she had ever known.
For four decades the government of Mauritius fought for the return of Chagos, and the past decade Philippe Sands has been intimately involved in the cases. In 2018 Chagos and colonialism finally reached the World Court in The Hague. As Mauritius and the entire African continent challenged British and American lawlessness, fourteen international judges faced a landmark decision: would they rule that Britain illegally detached Chagos from Mauritius? Would they open the door to Liseby Elyse and her fellow Chagossians returning home – or exile them forever?
Taking us on a disturbing journey across international law, The Last Colony illuminates the continuing horrors of colonial rule, the devasting impact of Britain’s racist grip on its last colony in Africa, and the struggle for justice in the face of a crime against humanity. It is a tale about the making of modern international law and one woman’s fight for justice, a courtroom drama and a personal journey that ends with a historic ruling.(Credit: Orion Publishing Co)
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