Five books to read this week

Looking for gritty crime thrillers or adorable children’s books? This week’s releases cover…


1. The Long Knives by Irvine Welsh is published in hardcover by Jonathan Cape. Available August 25th

A “homicide” has occurred, and Detective Ray Lennox is again involved. In the second installment of Irvine Welsh’s crime trilogy – now a TV series starring Dougray Scott – a MP is castrated and left to bleed in a Leith warehouse. When Lennox travels from Edinburgh to London and back, parts of his chaotic world play out at dizzying speed. He relied on alcohol and drugs to solve his problems, thinking about gender identity in cases closer to home. As casualties begin to mount, the broader question is: Who are the real victims here? Conversation is a joy, but not for the faint of heart. It’s sharp, fearless, passionate and talented.
(reviewed by Emily Pennink)

2. Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Carrie Soto is back, published in hardcover by Hutchinson Heinemann. Available August 30

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novels have previously followed fictional rock stars and Hollywood royalty, but her latest take turns from showbiz to the surprisingly brutal world of tennis. Carrie Soto was a 37-year-old retired champion when she decided to return to the sport to take back her winning record from Britain’s Nicki Chan. Not every woman worries about winning a grand slam, but many may think about the challenges Soto faces, like getting older, wanting everything, and trying to manage an intense kind of turmoil at a time when the world wants women to be quiet and smiling. Competitive spirit. It’s for these reasons that you find yourself supporting stars, even though the attitude isn’t meant to please others. Jenkins Reid has written yet another page turner that will fascinate you from first serve to match point.
(reviewed by Eleanor Barlow)

3. Haven by Emma Donoghue Hardcover published by Picador.available now

Emma Donoghue’s literature seems endless. Her latest novel tells the story of three monks in 7th century Ireland who set out to build a new monastery. After Prior Artt had a dream that told him to leave the world of sin, he set off down the River Shannon with a small boat and two companions. Believing that isolation would bring them closer to God, three monks work to build a new life on a boulder in the Atlantic Ocean. Faith and obedience begin to fight for survival as they wait for God to provide. Donoghue’s disturbing prose fleshes out this slow-burning novel with passion, dedication, and self-preservation.
(review by Rebecca Wilcock)


4. How To Read Now by Elaine Castillo is published by Atlantic Books.available now

This is a collection of straight essays designed to highlight the truths and assumptions that writers, directors, and philosophers have inherited when they set out to tell their stories. How to Read Now bravely exposes the elitism, colonialism and cis-gender privilege that Costello has identified in a range of classical and popular literature and films, including the work of Henry James, Joan Didion and JK Rowling. Well-written and hotly debated, you may find this book both thought provoking and problematic, somewhere between educated literary criticism and fiery rant. Costello’s writing is reckless and occasionally arrogant, though at least partly successful in making you question your own reading choices and the motives behind publishing in general. If you can live with the argumentative style, you will undoubtedly take a more critical eye and a more honest understanding of your own inherited truths.
(Scarlett Sangster commented)

Children’s Books of the Week

5. A Pear of Pears and An Orange by Anna McGregor is published in hardcover by Scribe.available now


Adorable illustrations in a pair of pears and an orange will delight parents and children alike. After all, who doesn’t want to see fruit come to life, ride a bike and play ping pong? This may be a story about fruit, but it’s an infinitely relevant story. Big pear and little pear always play together, but their game changes when new friend Orange joins and Big pear starts to feel left out. It’s a story about making new friends, opening up to new experiences, and navigating jealousy. This certainly contributes to the sweetness of the illustrations, there is a message for every child.
(prudent Wade commentary)

Book List for the Week of August 20

Hardcover (Fiction)
1. Kevin Bridges’ Black Dog
2. The Genesis of Chris Carter
3. The Book Eater by Dean Sun Yi
4. Girlcrush, Given in Florence
5. The Twist of the Knife by Anthony Horowitz
6. Bonnie Garmus’s Chemistry Class
7. “Her Majesty’s Royal Gathering” by Juno Dawson
8. Jesse Kidd’s Night Boat
9. Reverend Richard Coles Murdered Before Evening Song
10. “Isaac and the Egg” by Bobby Palmer
(compiled by Waterstone)

Hardcover (non-fiction)
1. Deliciously Ella How To Go Plant-Based by Ella Mills (Woodward)
2. How to Live When You Might Die by Deborah James
3. Why hasn’t anyone told me this before?Dr. Julie Smith
4. Jane’s Patisserie Celebrate!by Jane Dunn
5. Tom Ball’s Revenge
6. James Acaster’s Guide to Exiting Social Media James Acaster
7. Kitchen Sanctuary by Nicky Corbishley
8. Femina by Janina Ramirez
9. Alan Bennett’s house arrest
10. Charlie McCasey’s Boys, Moles, Foxes and Horses
(compiled by Waterstone)

Audiobooks (fiction and non-fiction)
1. James Acaster’s Guide to Exiting Social Media James Acaster
2. Where Delia Owens’ Crawdads Sing
3. The Twist of the Knife by Anthony Horowitz
4. Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith
5. Why hasn’t anyone told me this before?Dr. Julie Smith
6. The Terrible Kindness of Jo Browning Wroe
7. James Clear’s Atomic Habits
8. It’s so real by Miriam Margolyes
9. Bonnie Garmus’ chemistry class
10. Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club
(compiled by audio)

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