Mid-May already and with the Bank Holiday towards the end of the month comes the biggest book Festival in the UK and probably the world. … Hay (23 – 31 May) – and if you are planning to come then we’d love to see you at the Lovereading4kids Browse-a-Book Zone in the Make and Take tent. Read on for lots more booky highlights for May including our favourite eBooks and a sneak peak at some stunning June titles …
Something for e-veryone this month and plenty to kindle your fire. Particularly note(book)worthy are …
|The Infidel Stain by M J Carter – Eagerly awaited sequel to The Strangler Vine, murky sleuthing in grimy Victorian London.||The Cellar by Minette Walters – A creatively taut, terrifyingly original and chilling read from a C.W.A.award-winning author.||No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary – Stunning crime-writing. Beautiful, touching and terrifying sequel to Someone Else’s Skin.||The Museum of Things Left Behind by Seni Glaister – Humour, satire, misunderstandings and pure farce rip through the pages.|
It’s always hard to know what to get Dad for Father’s Day. Cards don’t last and a new cricket bat is too expensive. Guess what? We think that a book is a grand idea! And to persuade you that we’re right, we’ve compiled a whole shelf of titles perfect to put a smile on his face.
A perfect fiction title could be the latest Gerald Seymour, Vagabond, and this one is particularly exciting as he returns to Northern Ireland, the setting of his first novel, Harry’s Game. It is thriller and suspense at its best, great writing too and once you are hooked, you’ve got lots to indulge in to find your favourite as this is his 30th novel.
Free Pre-publication Extracts for Eager Readers
Here you get to read extracts of great titles before they hit the shelves. Simple as that. This month, try:
Dacre’s War by Rosemary Goring – Commanding follow-up to After Flodden, a vivid, vengeance-filled and heart-thumping hop down the rabbit-hole of History. Or My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologies by Fredrik Backman (Author of one of our top books of last year – A Man Called Ove) – Quirky, gorgeous, unique, enchanting, imaginative and just a real treat of a read. Get it. Read it. Love it. Tell your friends. And new for YA readers How to be Bad by E Lockhart. A new novel from the author of the highly acclaimed We Were Liars. A road trip to Miami breaks hearts and tests friendships.
Crime guru Maxim Jakubowski has pushed the boat out for his top picks for immersive escapism this month. He’s gone all Dickensian on us (and why not?) with two great 19th Century tales in two great cities. His flights of fancy also take in Florida and Cuba and the swinging ‘60s in London’s colourful Carnaby Street. There are people (literally) living in the clouds and investigative intrigue in Istanbul, Paris and Osaka. Phew. Whether you’re in for the long haul or just dipping your toe, see his top picks for May here.
Books to read “On the Beaches” – Winston Churchill
Another great idea for Father’s Day and a stunning addition to our WWII category are two books that celebrate the 50th anniversary of the death of the Greatest Briton and 75 years since his seminal “finest hour” speech:
The Telegraph on Winston Churchill – with a Foreword by Boris Johnson, a fascinating, illuminating collection of articles from the archives.
First Lady: The Life and Wars of Clementine Churchill by Sonia Purnell – Churchill was quoted as saying he couldn’t have won the Second World War without her and in First Lady we learn how this true marriage of love and mind came about and carried through to the end.
What? You didn’t know that Fern Britton, much loved, warm, witty and wonderful TV host, is a novelist? She is you know. And her titles A Good Catch and A Seaside Affair will be brilliant beach-towel books this summer. Imaginative and enjoyable, these are stories you’ll lap up as the waves lap at your toes.
Fans of new fiction should pop over to our Book Awards section to see the recently announced shortlist of books for this year’s Desmond Elliott Prize, where a panel of three judges are asked to look for a debut novel which has a compelling narrative, arresting characters and which is both vividly written and confidently realised.
And just announced is The Bookseller’s Book of the Year which this year, for the first time was won by a crowdfunded novel called The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth … A post-apocalyptic novel set in 1066 – unlike anything else you will read this year… See the shelf below for more details.
Talking Trouble … Non Pratt, if you haven’t heard, is a publisher-cum-author and a leading light in YA Fiction. Her bittersweet contemporary relationship tales get right to the centre of what it is to be young today. Check out Trouble and Remix: funny, touching, terrifying and real, both of them. Then come and see her at one of our Hay Festival events!
The ‘Bane’ of Your Life … A perfect gift for Shadowhunter fans, (who incidentally, can download eBook versions of Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices, here) Cassandra Clare has brought out a lavishly illustrated version of The Bane Chronicles. Engrossing and enlightening, emotionally enveloping short stories which our panel of teen reviewers absolutely loved.
A Gem of a Trilogy … The Moonstone Legacy by Diana De Gunzburg and Tony Wild is an action-packed adventurous tale with an added magical touch of the mystical dancing across the pages. A treat of three books in one, we follow brave and capable Lizzy as she struggles to break a family curse. Short punchy chapters and beautiful descriptive detailing make this extremely readable.
Full Marks for Horror … Chilling and thrilling, like watching TV from behind the sofa, Graham Marks’ additions to the Red Eye Series for kids aged 13+ are scaring, daring and hair-raising. Latest to join the horror show is Bad Bones, an unravelling nightmare that will have them hiding under the duvet and unable to stop reading. See all Red Eye titles here.
P.S. Do watch out for the TV adaption of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke first published back in 2005 and due to broadcast Sunday 17th May. One of our editorial experts, Sarah Broadhurst, said of the book ‘A very special book indeed, magical in all its senses … highly imaginative with many layers and intricate sub-plots and is totally compelling. A highly intelligent alternative history which I urge you to read and become totally hooked.’
Why not do a ‘Game of Thrones’ and watch the TV then go back and read the book to really understand and enjoy it.