Must-reads of 2020

January book releases

Fiction books

The Other People by C.J. Tudor (23 Jan) For fans of The Chalk Man and The Taking of Annie Thorne, C. J. Tudor returns with another gripping mystery. The Other People is a story of a five-year-old girl who is kidnapped, and the father who never gives up his search to find her. A story guaranteed to chill you to your core.

Baby by Philippa Rice (16 Jan) Baby: A Soppy Story is a collection of comics by New York Times bestselling graphic novelist Philippa Rice, based on real-life moments with her baby. A heartwarming and intimate view on the everyday moments of parenthood. 

  • The Other People

  • She sleeps, a pale girl in a white room . . .

    Driving home one night, stuck behind a rusty old car, Gabe sees a little girl's face appear in the rear window.
    She mouths one word: 'Daddy.'
    It's his five-year-old daughter, Izzy.
    He never sees her again.

    Three years later, Gabe spends his days and nights travelling up and down the motorway, searching for the car that took his daughter, refusing to give up hope, even though most people believe that Izzy is dead.

    Fran and her daughter, Alice, also put in a lot of miles on the motorway. Not searching. But running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people who want to hurt them.

    Because Fran knows the truth. She knows what really happened to Gabe's daughter. She knows who is responsible. And she knows what they will do if they ever catch up with her and Alice . . .

  • Buy the book

Non-fiction books

The Squiggly Careers by Helen Tupper, Sara Ellis (9 Jan) Start the year by re-imagining your career path and ditch the ladder. The Squiggly Careers embraces the fluidity and frequency of moving between roles, industries and even careers. It’s packed with insights from experts about the changing shape of work.

Mindfulness for Mums by Izzy Judd (9 Jan) In her first book, Dare to Dream, Izzy Judd shared her personal account of fertility struggles and IVF. Now a mother of two, Judd brings together a brilliant and inspiring collection of simple activities and exercises to help mothers find their own piece of calm.

 

  • The Squiggly Career

  • 'Like going one-to-one with a personal career coach, it's impossible to leave this book without having a massive personal breakthrough' Bruce Daisley, author of The Joy of Work

    Career ladders and jobs for life are a thing of the past

    Today, we're living in a world of squiggly careers, where moving frequently and fluidly between roles, industries, locations, and even careers, is becoming the new normal. Squiggly careers can feel stressful and overwhelming, but if you know how to make the most of them, they can be full of opportunity, freedom and purpose.

    And to make the most of our increasingly squiggly careers we need to answer some important questions: What am I good at? What do I stand for? What motivates and drives me? Where do I want to go in the future?

    In The Squiggly Career, you'll learn how to:
    - Play to your super strengths
    - Discover your values
    - Overcome your confidence gremlins
    - Build better support networks
    - Explore your future possibilities

    Packed with insights about the changing shape of work, exercises to fuel your growth, and tips and inspiration from highly successful people, this book will help you be happier, and ultimately more successful in your career.

  • Buy the book

Children's books

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting (2 Jan) Everyone’s favourite doctor who can speak to animals heads for the high seas with his assistant Tommy Stubbins. But they end up shipwrecked on the mysterious Spidermonkey Island where they meet the equally mysterious Great Glass Sea Snail. Read this fantastical tale before the new film – featuring Robert Downey Jr. – comes out.

Unlocking the Universe by Stephen and Lucy Hawking (9 Jan) How did the universe begin? How did we get humans to land on the moon? Unlock your mind in 2020 with this collection of essays, incredible facts and astonishing photographs from Professor Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest scientists of our time.

 

  • Unlocking the Universe

  • What would it have been like to walk the lava-filled earth four and a half billion years ago when it first existed?

    Did you know that before life existed on earth it could have come from the dusty surface of Mars?

    How would it feel to stand beside an erupting volcano? Or take your first step on the surface of the moon?

    And what would you do if robots took over the world?

    Prepare to unlock the secrets of the universe with Lucy and Stephen Hawking in this incredible collection of writing by scientists from all over the globe.

    Beautifully illustrated and absolutely bursting with incredible facts and figures, this is the perfect guide to everything you've ever wanted to know about our world and beyond.

    Where will you begin?

  • Buy the book

February book releases

Fiction books

Actress by Anne Enright (20 Feb) Booker Prize-winner Anne Enright returns with an intensely moving story about the highs and lows of stardom. Norah’s mother Katherine is a successful star but as she starts to uncover her mother’s secrets, their lives unravel with disastrous results. A scintillating examination of the corrosive nature of celebrity.

Bad Island by Stanley Donwood (13 Feb) From the primaeval wilderness to the raising towers of stone and smoke, Bad Island is a starkly beautiful graphic novel with an impactful message. Working in his distinctive, monochromatic lino-cut style, Stanley Donwood carves out a mesmerising, stark parable on environmentalism and the history of humankind. Donwood is a cult graphic designer and long-time Radiohead collaborator.

 

  • Bad Island

  • From cult graphic designer and long-time Radiohead collaborator Stanley Donwood comes a starkly beautiful graphic novel about the end of the world.


    A wild seascape, a distant island, a full moon. Gradually the island grows nearer until we land on a primeval wilderness, rich in vegetation and huge, strange beasts. Time passes and things do not go well for the island. Civilization rises as towers of stone and metal and smoke, choking the undergrowth and the creatures who once moved through it. This is not a happy story and it will not have a happy ending.


    Working in his distinctive, monochromatic lino-cut style, Stanley Donwood carves out a mesmerizing, stark parable on environmentalism and the history of humankind.

    Praise for Stanley Donwood:

    'I've read lots of his stuff and it's always good and I am in no way biased' Thom Yorke, lead singer of Radiohead

  • Buy the book

Non-fiction books

The Mathematics of the Gods and the Algorithms of Men by Paolo Zellini (27 Feb) Mathematician and philosopher Paolo Zellini offers a brief cultural and intellectual history of mathematics showing how the evolution of mathematical thought is linked with philosophical, existential and religious questions. Zellini is the bestselling author of A Brief History of Infinity.

Wintering by Katherine May (6 Feb) Author Katherine May has long been an advocate for how the natural world can benefit our mental and emotional wellbeing. In Wintering, May recounts her own year-long journey through winter and how she found strength and inspiration when life felt frozen.

 

  • Wintering

  • This is wintering. It is the courage to stare down the worst parts of our experience and commit to healing them the best we can.

    Wintering, the dormant periods in our lives, the dark moments we endure – which can be brought about through myriad of ways; from the death of a loved one to a sudden change in circumstances or mental health issues – can be lonely, damaging and catch us off guard.

    Katherine May recounts her own year-long journey through winter, and how she found strength and inspiration when life felt frozen. Part memoir, part exploration of a human condition, Wintering explores the healing nature of the great outdoors to help us overcome and embrace our own wintering experiences, and how, much like nature, we can learn to appreciate these low periods, and what they have to teach us, before the ushering in of a new season.

  • Buy the book

Children's books

Topsy and Tim: On the Farm anniversary edition by Jean and Gareth Adamson (6 Feb) Can you believe it’s been 60 years since we all met Topsy and Tim? In this special anniversary edition – with original artwork – the twins are off to the farm to help collect eggs, milk cows and feed a calf.

Charlie Morphs Into a Mammoth by Sam Copeland (6 Feb) It may be Charlie McGuffin’s third adventure, but he’s still struggling to control his ability to turn into animals. And it doesn’t help that his parents keep arguing. And that animals keep disappearing around town. And that he doesn’t have a date to the school dance…

 

  • Topsy and Tim: On the Farm anniversary edition

  • Topsy and Tim are the twins who have entertained, guided and delighted children for 60 years. To celebrate the 60th anniversary of publishing, Topsy and Tim: On the Farm is a gorgeous new edition of one of the very first stories about these loveable twins, complete with original artwork.

    Topsy and Tim find fun and adventure in the real world. Their engaging stories are reassuring for young children having first experiences of their own. In this special anniversary edition of On the Farm, join the twins as they help collect the eggs, bring the cows to be milked and even feed a calf.

  • Buy the book

March book releases

Fiction books

Dragman by Steven Appleby (12 Mar)  Dragman is Steven Appleby’s first long-form graphic thriller. Inspired by the superhero comics he read as a child and informed by his own secret life as a transvestite, August Crimp gains his superpowers by wearing women’s dresses and embarks on battles greed, evil and his own self-doubt in a fight to save himself, his marriage – and the human soul.

Marilou is Everywhere by Sarah Elaine Smith (26 Mar) A haunting debut about two girls on the margins of society in rural Pennsylvania. Jude is a beautiful, intelligent and mixed-race but when she disappears a younger girl, Cindy from a white trash family, slips out of her own life and into the space Jude left. A heartbreaking story about the desperation to escape.  

 

  • Marilou is Everywhere

  • Richly atmospheric and darkly unforgettable, an astonishing American debut about lost innocence and life on the ragged margins of society

    'Lyrical, sexy, humane, and just a total pleasure to read' Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot

    'Remarkable. Fiction debuts this accomplished don't come along very often... Smith is a writer of immense talent and rare imagination [and] this novel reads like a miracle' - NPR

    'To be honest, we just weren't looking that hard. Nobody knew where to search and it was summer vacation anyway - but that wasn't the reason nobody looked for Jude.'

    One summer, a teenager disappears from Deep Valley, Pennsylvania. Jude, nicknamed Marilou, is beautiful, intelligent, and mixed race. The alarm is raised, the cops search for her - but not as hard as they would if she were a white girl. Watching this mystery unfold is Cindy, a younger girl from a white trash family, who has idolised Jude for years. And so, in the absence of anyone to give a damn about her, Cindy starts to slip out of her own life and into the space Jude left behind...

    Marilou Is Everywhere is a story about the desperation to escape - and the terrible, intimate crimes we commit to do so. Swimming in the rich melancholia of rural America, it is a fall from grace, a moral provocation, and a heartbreaking account of life in the margins.

    'One of the most exquisitely written books I've read in a long time. A haunting novel about craving escape so badly you're willing to erase yourself, by a writer I would follow anywhere' Julie Buntin, author of Marlena

  • Buy the book

Non-fiction books

Life: A User’s Manual by Julian Baggini, Antonia Macaro (5 Mar) Renowned existential psychotherapist and philosophical counsellor Antonia Macaro and bestselling philosopher Julian Baggini cover topics such as bereavement, luck, free will and relationships, and guide us through what the greatest thinkers to ever walk the earth have to say on these subjects, from the Stoics to Sartre.

 

  • Life: A User’s Manual

  • How should I live?
    What is my purpose?
    Can I find happiness?

    Ever felt as though life would be simpler if it came with an instruction manual? There are no easy answers to the big questions. And life does not follow a straight path from A to B.

    Since the beginning of time, people have asked questions about how they should live and, from Ancient Greece to Japan, philosophers have attempted to solve these questions for us. The timeless wisdom that they offer can help us to find our own path. In this insightful, engaging book, renowned existential psychotherapist and philosophical counsellor Antonia Macaro and bestselling philosopher Julian Baggini cover topics such as bereavement, luck, free will and relationships, and guide us through what the greatest thinkers to ever walk the earth have to say on these subjects, from the Stoics to Sartre.

    Discover advice from the world's greatest thinkers on questions like:
    Is there a right way to grieve?
    What is free will?
    How can we learn from past mistakes?
    Do we make our own luck?

  • Buy the book

Children's books

Mummy Fairy and Me: Mermaid Magic by Sophie Kinsella (5 Mar) Ella’s mummy may be a fairy, but her magic keeps going wrong. However, Ella doesn’t mind too much, especially when it means she gets to swim with real mermaids! This fourth book in the series is perfect for five to seven-year-olds.

Find The Spy by Zoë Armstrong & Shelly Laslo (19 Mar) Ever wanted to have a go at being a spy? Well, now you can! Find the real-life spies hidden throughout this book, and learn some amazing facts and top-secret skills during your search – such as coding messages and dressing in disguise.

  • Mummy Fairy and Me: Mermaid Magic

    Mummy Fairy

  • The fourth book in this magical series for 5-7 year olds, from global bestselling author Sophie Kinsella.

    My mummy looks normal, like any other mummy . . . but she's not. Because she can turn into a fairy. All she has to do is stamp her feet three times, clap her hands, wiggle her bottom and say 'Marshmallow' . . . and POOF! She's Mummy Fairy.

    Ella's family has a BIG secret - her mummy is a fairy! But sometimes Mummy Fairy's magic goes wrong, and then it's up to Ella to help. In this fourth enchanting book, Mummy Fairy and Ella decorate the kitchen with magic colouring pencils, catch a robber on Ella's school trip - and swim with real mermaids!

  • Buy the book

April book releases

Fiction books

Us Three by Ruth Jones (16 Apr) Ruth Jones’ debut, Never Greener, became a number one bestseller in 2018 and now she returns with a story about friendship. Us Three follows three best friends as their friendship is shaken to the core after a trip of a lifetime. A pacy read packed with all the warmth and humour Jones is known for. 

If I had Your Face by Frances Cha (23 Apr)  If I had Your Face is set in contemporary Seoul and follows the stories of four young women struggling to survive as they navigate their modern but harsh city. A glitteringly dark and unsettling debut novel.

  • If I Had Your Face

  • A glitteringly dark and unsettling debut novel about four young women struggling to survive in contemporary Seoul

    If I Had Your Face plunges us into the mesmerizing world of contemporary Seoul - a place where extreme plastic surgery is as routine as getting a haircut, where women compete for spots in secret 'room salons' to entertain wealthy businessmen after hours, where K-Pop stars are the object of all-consuming obsession, and ruthless social hierarchies dictate your every move.

    Navigating this cut-throat city are four young women balancing on the razor-edge of survival: Kyuri, an exquisitely beautiful woman whose hard-won status at an exclusive 'room salon' is threatened by an impulsive mistake with a client; her flatmate Miho, an orphan who wins a scholarship to a prestigious art school in New York, where her life becomes tragically enmeshed with the super-wealthy offspring of the Korean elite; Wonna, their neighbour, pregnant with a child that she and her husband have no idea how they will afford to raise in a fiercely competitive economy; and Ara, a hair stylist living down the hall, whose infatuation with a fresh-faced K-Pop star drives her to violent extremes.

    "Make way for Frances Cha, an entrancing new voice who guides us into the complexities and contradictions of modern-day Seoul, a dissonant, neon world that is ripped open to bare the same universal and human challenges that face us all. I devoured it in a single sitting, and so will you." - Janice Lee, NYT Bestselling Author of THE PIANO TEACHER and THE EXPATRIATES

    "Few American novelists know Seoul the way Frances Cha does and in her intimate, panoramic debut, she brings that dazzling city to life. There are voices here you haven't heard before ... An enthralling read from the very first page." --Ed Park, Author of PERSONAL DAYS and Hemingway Foundation / PEN Award Finalist

  • Buy the book

Non-fiction books

A History of Britain in 12 Maps by Philip Parker (6 Feb) A fresh take on the history of Britain with a dozen maps selected from critical points in the last two thousand years of British history. Through fascinating analysis, Philip Parker details how the country came to be the way it is today, and how the past is a guide to where we might go from here.

 

  • A History of Britain in 12 Maps

    New History of Britain

  • Pre-order this fascinating analysis of a dozen maps selected from critical points in the last two thousand years of British history.

    With the uncertainty of Brexit looming, Britain as we know it is on the brink of defining change. With current borders being disputed and, with them, identities challenged, this book will provide a brilliant insight into how our country's borders have always been, and always will be, in a state of change.

    From the Celtic period when 'Britain' was just a patchwork of tribal kingdoms; to the height of the empire a century ago, when the whole of Ireland, India, Australia, much of Africa, Asia and the Americas were marked as British; through to the present-day when Britain's shape and extent is once more in question, these maps dramatically chart the political and cultural evolution of the nation.

    By focusing on these maps Philip Parker reveals how Britain came to be the way it is today, and how the past is a guide to where we might go from here.

  • Buy the book

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