19 July 2023

5 new books to read this week

19 July 2023

TV presenter Anita Rani’s first work of fiction has got a glowing review…


1. The Baby Does A Runner by Anita Rani is published in hardback by Zaffre, priced £14.99 (ebook £11.99). Available July 20

In her debut novel, TV presenter Anita Rani introduces us to Baby, a British-Indian female in her 30s who’s stuck in life. After discovering love letters addressed to her late grandad – by a woman who isn’t her grandmother – Baby decides to venture to India to uncover family secrets. As we join Baby on this adventure, we’re reminded about the generational impact of the partition of India. Readers are taken on a journey of love and loss while uncovering how the partition changed lives in Pakistan and India. The captivating story – which I read in just one day – encourages us to recognise and respect our family history. Baby Does A Runner serves as a powerful reminder to South Asian women that we would not be here today were it not for the suffering and strength of our past generations.10/10(Review by Maryam Munir)

2. The Ghost Ship by Kate Mosse is published in hardback by Mantle, priced £22 (ebook £12.99). Available now

This is the third instalment in Kate Mosse’s series, the Joubert Family Chronicles, inspired by the Huguenot migration. The story carries us from France to Amsterdam and the Canary Islands across a decade, and tells the extraordinary tale of ordinary woman driven by religious war and displacement, centred on the sweeping illicit love story of Louise Reydon-Joubert and her desire for an independent and unconventional life on the high seas. The 17th century was a turbulent time and Louise faces these problems head on. Her love of the sea, her difficult past and her desire to captain her own ship sets her on a course of love, pirates, murder, and the slave trade that finds her at the mercy of forces she’s unable to contain. As captain of the Ghost Ship, she hunts pirates to liberate the enslaved. If caught, the stakes are high, with death the likely judgement. This book is beautifully written and engaging from the first page, keeping you guessing until the end.9/10(Review by Amanda De Beer)

3. Ordinary Human Failings by Megan Nolan is published in hardback by Jonathan Cape, priced £16.99 (ebook £8.99). Available now

Nolan’s sophomore novel is set in a London council estate and mainly follows the story of the Green family, who turned up mysteriously a decade ago. After the body of a young child is discovered, the court of public opinion has ruled the family is guilty of all charges. The reality is unveiled by ambitious and hungry young journalist Tom Hargreaves, who attempts to convince the family to tell their story. It’s an ambitious novel, and the story is told beautifully. It could easily be a little longer, as some elements feel a little rushed, however, and those expecting a murder mystery will be disappointed. Instead, this novel takes a magnifying glass to the media’s response to tragic incidents, especially where ‘troubled’ families are involved.8/10(Review by Lauren Gilmour)


4. What About Men? by Caitlin Moran is published in hardback by Ebury Press, priced £22 (ebook £9.99). Available now

After years of banging the drum for women, bestselling author, columnist, feminist and social commentator Caitlin Moran has turned her attention to men and their challenges – and indeed, she reveals many in this examination of their insecurities, anxieties and challenges. Interviewing a variety of men, she has come to believe that, actually, they have it harder than women at the moment, and no support network equivalent to the feminist movement. She covers issues ranging from boys falling behind in education, porn addiction, and the rise in online misogyny, as well as male friendships, banter, body image and fashion pressures. As always, her prose is peppered with humour – but it’s clear that the problems of men need addressing and Moran has provided a solid template to open up that conversation.8/10(Review by Hannah Stephenson)

Children’s book of the week

5. Who Lives Here? by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Rebecca Cobb, is published in hardback by Macmillan Children’s Books, priced £12.99 (no ebook). Available July 20

One name that is synonymous with children’s publishing in the 21st century is Julia Donaldson, whose lyrical picture books have sold over 17 million copies worldwide and become undeniable modern classics – including The Gruffalo, Room On The Broom and What The Ladybird Heard. Once more in partnership with illustrator Rebecca Cobb, here Donaldson presents a pre-school age lift-the-flap picture book following a little boy as he searches for his friend Dan, knocking on every door in the street until he finds him – and discovering a host of colourful characters along the way. Beautiful illustrations with surprising hidden designs are complemented by alliterative language and buoyant rhyming, making this a treat of a read for young children.9/10(Review by Holly Cowell)


HARDBACK (FICTION)1. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros2. Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Törzs3. Yellowface by Rebecca F Kuang4. The Ghost Ship by Kate Mosse5. A Death In The Parish by Reverend Richard Coles6. Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah7. Penance by Eliza Clark8. The Trial by Rob Rinder9. Kala by Colin Walsh10. Ordinary Human Failings by Megan Nolan(Compiled by Waterstones)

HARDBACK (NON-FICTION)1. Beyond The Story by BTS & Myeongseok Kang2. What About Men? by Caitlin Moran3. Pax by Tom Holland4. Ultra-Processed People by Chris van Tulleken5. But What Can I Do? by Alastair Campbell6. The Wager by David Grann7. Hitler, Stalin, Mum And Dad by Daniel Finkelstein8. Material World by Ed Conway9. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse by Charlie Mackesy10. The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom – The Complete Official Guide(Compiled by Waterstones)

AUDIOBOOKS (FICTION AND NON-FICTION)1. The Trial by Rob Rinder2. Atomic Habits by James Clear3. Ultra-Processed People by Chris van Tulleken4. What About Men? by Caitlin Moran5. The Only Suspect by Louise Candlish6. Mythos by Stephen Fry7. Outlive by Peter Attia & Bill Gifford8. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman9. Spare by The Duke of Sussex10. The Fellowship Of The Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien(Compiled by Audible)

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