As days get shorter and colder, there's nothing nicer than tucking up on the sofa under a blanket with a good book. Whether you want a page-turning thriller, a gripping historical novel or a feel-good read, we've got some great choices out this month.
Trio by William Boyd
It’s the summer of 68 and a film called Emily Bracegirdle’s Extremely Useful Ladder To The Moon is shooting in Brighton. It brings together three very different people: Elfrida, a failing novelist with a drink problem, Talbot, a married film producer who is hiding his sexuality and Anny, a glamorous film star with a dangerous ex-husband. The characters are wonderfully written and I loved escaping to the gossipy world of the film set.
Because Of You by Dawn French
French’s first novel in five years is the moving story of two women whose lives become entwined after they both give birth in the same hospital ward on New Year’s Day. Hope leaves hospital with a baby girl but Anna leaves with empty arms. This book about mothers and daughters, love and loss is French's best yet.
Just Like You by Nick Hornby
This unusual love story between 40-something Lucy and 20-something Joseph is tender and timely. Set against the backdrop of Brexit, it explores whether love really is all you need. I was so invested in their relationship that I read the book in one sitting!
Home Stretch by Graham Norton
The third novel from the TV presenter is another compelling, moving read. It’s 1987 and a car accident in a small Irish community changes the lives of many of its inhabitants, especially that of teenager Connor who was at the wheel. Norton writes so well about small communities and the ways secrets can fester within them.
The First Woman by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
The award-winning author of Kintu returns with a powerful coming-of-age tale set in Uganda. This is the story of teenage Kirabo as she searches for her mother, a woman she doesn’t remember. Kirabo is a fantastic character – headstrong and curious – and the way Ugandan myths are woven through the story is mesmerising.
The Haunting Of Alma Fielding by Kate Summerscale
This spooky narrative non-fiction is as gripping as any thriller and the perfect read for cold winter nights. Summerscale delves deep into historical archives to bring to life the strange story of a woman whose home appears to be haunted by what becomes known as the Croydon Poltergeist - think china flying across the room and stolen objects appearing in strange places - but not all is as it seems.
The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths
Peggy Smith is a ‘murder consultant’ who plots deaths for authors. When she’s found dead it doesn't seem suspicious - until a card that reads ‘We’re coming for you’ is found amongst her belongings. The eclectic cast of characters and literary references make this an entertaining mystery for book-lovers.
What Are You Going Through by Sigrid Nunez
Fans of Rachel Cusk will love this thoughtful, wise novel, narrated by an unnamed woman who is visiting a friend with terminal cancer. As she sits by her friend’s side, she tells her stories of the people she’s encountered, including a run-in with an ex. A complex read that demands the reader's attention but is all the more satisfying for it.
Jack by Marilynn Robinson
Robinson has won pretty much every prize going for, including the Pulitzer and the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Her latest novel is the fourth in the Gilead series and is the story of the fraught but life-changing relationship between John Ames Broughton, a white man who has recently been released from prison, and Della Miles, an African American school teacher, in 1950s St Louis.
Help Yourself by Curtis Sittenfeld
This collection of short, sharp, thought-provoking stories is perfect for these times. Whether it’s friends falling out after a racist encounter at a birthday party or an artist wanting to be paid for her work, Sittenfeld combines wry humour with unflinching insight to hold a mirror up to our collective prejudices and modern mores.
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