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 2022 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.
Please note that Book Depository closed down it’s website on April 26, 2023.
Waterstones currently ships to the United States but there will be an international shipping fee. You can also try with the British bookstore, Blackwell’s, also with Wordery.com. Now on with the recommendations!
Featured Book of the Month
Sisters of Sword and Shadow by Laura Bates
What if the Knights of the Round Table had been women? An epic fantasy from the UK’s leading and bestselling feminist writer Laura Bates – perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J. Maas.
This afternoon Cass’s older sister will be married. Soon she will be too. Gone will be days of running through fields and feeling the earth between her toes. So when a beautiful leather-clad woman rides up and offers to take her away, Cass doesn’t hesitate to join her.
Cass is introduced to the Sisterhood of Silk Knights – a group of women training to fight and working to right the wrongs of men. Cass is drawn into a world of ancient feuds, glorious battles, and deadly intrigue, where soon discovers she holds a power that could change the destiny of her sisterhood.
‘An interesting thing happens, when a man is defeated in combat by a woman.’
‘He tells nobody.’(Credit: Simon & Schuster UK)
The Christmas Jigsaw Murders by Alexandra Benedict
This Christmas, a killer takes family games to a murderous new level.
On 19th of December, renowned puzzle setter, loner and Christmas sceptic Edie O’Sullivan finds a hand-delivered present on her doorstep. Unwrapping it, she finds a jigsaw box and, inside, six jigsaw pieces. When fitted together, the pieces show part of a crime scene – blood-spattered black and white tiles and part of an outlined body. Included in the parcel is a message: ‘Four, maybe more, people will be dead by midnight on Christmas Eve, unless you can put all the pieces together and stop me.’ It’s signed, Rest In Pieces.
Edie contacts her nephew, DI Sean Brand-O’Sullivan, and together they work to solve the clues. But when a man is found near death with a jigsaw piece in his hand, Sean fears that Edie might be in danger and shuts her out of the investigation. As the body count rises, however, Edie knows that only she has the knowledge to put together the killer’s murderous puzzle.
Only by fitting all the pieces together will Edie be able to stop a killer – and finally lay her past to rest. (Credit: Simon & Schuster UK)
The Dead of Winter by Stuart MacBride
It was supposed to be an easy job.
All Detective Constable Edward Reekie had to do was pick up a dying prisoner from HMP Grampian and deliver him somewhere to live out his last few months in peace.
From the outside, Glenfarach looks like a quaint, sleepy, snow-dusted village, nestled deep in the heart of Cairngorms National Park, but things aren’t what they seem. The place is thick with security cameras and there’s a strict nine o’clock curfew, because Glenfarach is the final sanctuary for people who’ve served their sentences but can’t be safely released into the general population.
Edward’s new boss, DI Victoria Montgomery-Porter, insists they head back to Aberdeen before the approaching blizzards shut everything down, but when an ex-cop-turned-gangster is discovered tortured to death in his bungalow, someone needs to take charge.
The weather’s closing in, tensions are mounting, and time’s running out – something nasty has come to Glenfarach, and Edward is standing right in its way…(Credit: Transworld Publications)
Big Ben Strikes Eleven: A London Mystery by David Magarshack
The discovery of Sir Robert Boniface’s body on the floor of his blue limousine was made quite accidentally on a sultry Friday evening towards the end of June. The industrial and financial tycoon, and former stalwart of the British Cabinet, had been shot in the head and left in the quiet Vale of Health alongside London’s Hampstead Heath. Nearby, a rejected portrait of Sir Robert is found riddled with bullets in the studio of the now- missing romantic artist Matt Caldwell.
As it hurtles towards its feverish denouement under the bells of the capital’s most famous clock, this closely observed and stylish study of both character and motive transports the reader from the Stock Exchange to Scotland Yard. It asks the question of what it means to be crooked and how immense power corrupts.
First published in 1934, this novel is now extremely rare, and is long overdue its rediscovery. (Credit: British Library Crime Classics)
Playing Games by Huma Qureshi
Hana has a perfect job, a perfect home, a perfect marriage. It is her younger sister Mira who is a mess. But Hana wants children and her husband is hesitating, and perhaps her control is slipping.
Mira dreams of a creative life but she’s stuck working at a local café. She hates her flatmate and Hana’s dismissal of her writing but she can’t find the right inspiration.
One night, a fight between Hana and her husband sparks something in Mira: the words ring in her head and she starts typing. But what can you borrow from your sister? And what can be forgiven? (Credit: Hodder & Stoughton)
Good Material by Dolly Alberton
Every relationship has one beginning. This one has two endings.
Andy loves Jen. Jen loved Andy. And he can’t work out why she stopped. Now he is…
1. Without a home
2. Waiting for his stand-up career to take off
3. Wondering why everyone else around him seems to have grown up while he wasn’t looking
Set adrift on the sea of heartbreak at a time when everything he thought he knew about women, and flat-sharing, and his friendships has transformed beyond recognition, Andy clings to the idea of solving the puzzle of their broken relationship. Because if he can find the answer to that, then maybe Jen can find her way back to him.
Andy still has a lot to learn, not least his ex-girlfriend’s side of the story. (Credit: Penguin Books)
Restless Dolly Maunder by Kate Grenville
Dolly Maunder is born at the end of the nineteenth century, when society’s long-locked doors are just starting to creak ajar for determined women. Growing up in a poor farming family in rural New South Wales, Dolly spends her life doggedly pushing at those doors. A husband and two children do not deter her from searching for love and independence.
Restless Dolly Maunder is a subversive, triumphant tale of a pioneering woman working her way through a world of limits and obstacles, who is able – despite the cost – to make a life she could call her own. (Credit: Canongate Books)
The Coiled Serpent by Camilla Grudova
A little girl throws up Gloria-Jean’s teeth after an explosion at the custard factory; Pax, Alexander, and Angelo are hypnotically enthralled by a book that promises them enlightenment if they keep their semen inside their bodies; Victoria is sent to a cursed hotel for ailing girls when her period mysteriously stops. In a damp, putrid spa, the exploitative drudgery of work sparks revolt; in a Margate museum, the new Director curates a venomous garden for public consumption.
In Grudova’s unforgettably surreal style, these stories expose the absurdities behind contemporary ideas of work, Britishness and art-making, to conjure a singular, startling strangeness that proves the deft skill of a writer at the top of her game. (Credit: Atlantic Books)
Normal Women: 900 Years of Making History by Philippa Gregory
One of our foremost historical novelists, Philippa Gregory, makes history.
We have fallen into the belief that women were absent from great events, and ineffectual in normal times.
Through a radical reframing of the conventional eras of our history, Normal Women will tell the story of our nation – not with the rise and fall of Kings and the occasional Queen – but through social and cultural transition, showing the agency, persistence and effectiveness of women in society.
Through the stories of the soldiers, guild widows, highwaywomen, pirates, miners and ship owners, international traders, theatre runners and ‘female husbands’ Normal Women will redefine ‘normal’ female behaviour to include heroism, rebellion, crime, treason, money-making, jousting and sainthood. And much rioting.
Philippa Gregory has been working on this book for over ten years. It is the work of a lifetime from one of our greatest historical storytellers. (Credit: HarperCollins UK)
Body of Truth by Marie Cassidy
Dr Terry O’Brien has recently arrived in Ireland from Scotland to take up a position as State Pathologist when a high-profile murder occurs. The victim is Rachel Reece, host of a popular true crime podcast on unsolved murders of Irish women and niece of a prominent politician.
As Terry gathers evidence to help with the police investigation, she becomes convinced that they are following the wrong line of inquiry and begins her own research. She soon finds herself in the thick of cold cases of murdered Irish women, with questions mounting.
What did Rachel Reece find out about the unsolved murder of Eileen McCarthy before she died? Who is sending ominous messages to Terry and what do they mean? And why is she increasingly at odds with her superiors?
Terry knows that the pathology never lies. But when her forensic skills reveal something that might hold the key to the case, little does she know the deadly risk of revealing the truth . . .(Credit: Hachette Books Ireland)
A Thousand Golden Cities: 2,500 Years of Writing from Afghanistan and its People edited by Justin Marozzi
Expected Publication Date: November 16
In the Western mind, Afghanistan has come to mean many things in recent decades, most of them bad. Partly thanks to the relentless media coverage of the “War on Terror”, it has become synonymous above all with war and terrorism – from the Taliban to Al Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State – crushing levels of poverty and immiseration. In ways which would have been familiar to both Herodotus in the fourth century BC and Ibn Khaldun in the fourteenth AD, it has also come to represent the latest testing ground for imperial hubris and overexpansion, another tomb in the “graveyard of empires”.
This is an extraordinarily reductive and one-dimensional portrait of a nation. Afghanistan is, and always has been, vastly more interesting than that. Its long and tumultuous history at the centre of the world, at the heart of cultural exchanges between East and West, encompasses high culture, low politics, domestic dynasties, international adventures, Great Power rivalry and a completely compelling vein of skulduggery.
This anthology will celebrate this rich, engrossing heritage with a captivating blend of history and geography, religion and culture, politics and poetry, drama and memoir, home-grown fiction and the self-serving literature of invaders. It will celebrate Afghan voices as much as those of foreigners who, for better or worse, have been bewitched by this staggeringly beautiful mountain kingdom. (Credit: Bloomsbury Publishing)
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