Summer is a great time to catch up on prizewinners from the previous 12 months, return to old favourites or for a bit of personal development. Here are our top five suggestions.
If you’re still trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list this holiday season, these books also make great presents. For more information on these titles and other gift suggestions, click here.
Silverview is John le Carré’s last complete novel and, as always, is a gripping read for fans of spy thrillers and people interested in how politics shape the decisions we make. Julian Lawndsley has quit his high-flying job in the city, exchanging it for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small seaside town. One evening Julian is interrupted by Edward, a Polish émigré living in Silverview, the big house on the edge of town. He seems to know far too much about Julian’s family and is very interested in the inner workings of his bookshop.
When a letter is delivered to a spy chief in London warning him about a dangerous leak, investigations lead to a quiet town by the sea. . . You can read an extract here.
Atlas of the Heart is the first major work from Dr Brené Brown in three years. Brown is the bestselling author of The Gifts of Imperfection and Dare to Lead and the host of two wildly popular podcasts, and in this book takes us on a journey through 87 of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. By mapping the necessary skills and providing an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the ability to build better connections with each other. This is a beautiful hardback with colour illustrations.
Why are we showing you a book that was published 23 years ago?! Because early next year, the sequel Again, Rachel will be hitting shelves (and can be pre-ordered now)! So now’s the perfect time to re-read — or discover for the first time — Rachel’s Holiday, in which you meet Rachel Walsh, a twenty-seven-year-old whose fondness for recreational drugs has led to her family forking out for a spell in Cloisters. Rachel is hoping for a holiday with wall-to-wall jacuzzis and celebrity spotting but instead gets the embarrassment of group therapy, and a dearth of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. A funny and moving classic.
If you like to use the holidays to catch up on the best books of the year, we recommend the 2021 Booker Prize winner, The Promise by Damon Galgut. The Guardian reviewer calls it ”spectacular . . . a strong, unambiguous commentary on the history of South Africa and of humanity itself.” It's a taut and menacing novel, structured around four funerals, that charts the crash and burn of an Afrikaans family, the Swarts, who have failed in their promise to the Black woman who has worked for them her whole life. You can start reading here.
The latest gripping “what would I do in this situation?” medical drama from Eileen Merriman, Double Helix, is perfect for fans of TV shows like Grey's Anatomy. Emily knows Jake isn’t like his father and he would never leave her willingly, but if he’s inherited his mother’s genes then Huntington’s disease is more than likely to take him away. Bookstagrammer @alexandras_reads said “Double Helix is a beautifully written and incredibly compelling story, which will make you wonder about whether you would like to know how you will die. But more than that, it will make you contemplate how you would like to live . . .” Start reading here.
Need help finding your next great beach read? This collection has every kind of reader covered.
The bestselling author of Gifts of Imperfection and Dare to Lead on the vastness of human emotion.
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Turn reading over the summer into a game! Download and print off our book bingo sheet for inventive ways to enjoy a story and try different genres. Read under a tree; read a non-fiction book, visit a library; are you up to the challenge?
Five students get detention, only four leave alive. How far would you go to protect your secrets?
From Earth’s very origins, weather has exerted its mercurial influence and shaped the world we know. Wielding tempests and storms, weather has the power to disrupt and destroy; yet at its most gentle, it can relieve and restore.
He kept trying new things, experimenting and, most importantly, he kept making stuff. Creative, unusual and funny stuff. Eventually, Taika thought he’d try to make a short film . . .
Hirini never thought he would become a musician. He couldn't read music, but he was good at listening and very dedicated, so he taught himself.
Meri worked and worked and worked. ‘I’ll never give up,’ she vowed. She could see a better future for Māori women, and knew they deserved it.
Secrets, thrills, heartbreak, and adventure. . . we bet we've got your favourite new read covered!
The shortlist for the 2021 Booker Prize has been announced, with four Penguin Random House novels named.