5 new books to read this week

Sort through last minute Christmas gifts with this week’s new releases…

fiction

1. The End Of Nightwork by Aidan Cottrell-Boyce is available in hardcover from Granta at £12.99 (eBook £12.99). Available January 5th

Tensions between generations take on eerie forms in Aidan Cottrell-Boyce’s whimsical first novel. Born into an unhappy family and father to a sloppy toddler, Pol has an illness that gives him a unique perspective on the struggle between young and old. When he was 13, he turned 10 overnight. Now, as he awaits his next episode of accelerated aging, he ponders the writings of the 17th-century visionary Bartholomew Playfere, whose apocalyptic predictions are beginning to come true as young people are cheated of resources and left with the legacy of climate change , turn against them elders. This is very much a novel of ideas that don’t all come together and can feel bogged down in day-to-day details, especially in the beginning. But the final sections are thought-provoking and offer genuinely chilling moments when Pol’s fragile existence is threatened.7/10 (review by Jackie Kingsley)

2. Alone With You In The Ether by Olivie Blake is available as a hardcover edition of Tor priced at £18.99 (eBook £8.99). Now available

This is a contemporary love story that takes a while to warm up to. However, once you get into it, there are a few moments to think about. The story is based on two main characters, Aldo and Charlotte, who meet each other by chance. They have a turbulent relationship from start to finish as both have strong disorders that are distinct from each other – hers leads her to undergo court-ordered psychotherapy and his father checks on him regularly. Their personalities and traits are quite extreme, meaning they rely on each other against the recommendations of people close to them. It’s worth reading – the book can be quite exciting at times – but it’s written in a rather unusual style that may not appeal to everyone. 7/10 (review by Joanne Brennan)

3. The Easy Life by Marguerite Duras, translated by Emma Ramadan and Olivia Baes, is published in paperback by Bloomsbury Publishing at £12.99 (eBook £10.39). Now available

Francine is 25 years old and lives with her family on a farm. A strange collection of people, each family member possesses special qualities that make them difficult to relate to. The story follows Francine as she leaves to clear her head after a family tragedy. Three deaths occur in this book, but it’s like nothing happens at all. All major plot points are quickly skipped, and the rest of the book is filled with Francine’s thoughts, which become increasingly confusing and contradictory as the book progresses. This perhaps reflects Francine’s state of mind and confusion about her place in the world, but it makes the story very difficult to follow as a whole. 5/10 (Randy Bainbridge review)

nonfiction

4. Novelist As A Vocation by Haruki Murakami, translated by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen, is published in hardcover by Harvill Secker, priced at £18.99 (eBook £9.99). Now available

It’s not easy to resist the temptation to get a glimpse into the mind and thoughts of one of the most celebrated writers in the literary world. Add to that Haruki Murakami’s effortless flow and storytelling style, and the product is his highly readable (and entertaining) latest work, Novelist As A Vocation. The 73-year-old Japanese author, who says he’s not a fan of public glamor or the attention of other writers, offers a rare insight into his thoughts on writing, career to date, creativity and more. And as with all his work, there’s something magnetic that pulls you into the narrative so that by the time the last page is turned, you’ve invested more than you thought. It is highly recommended reading for anyone looking to start a writing career. 8/10 (Review by Kerri-Ann Roper)

children’s book of the week

5. A Pack Of Your Own by Maria Nilsson Thore, translated by Annie Prime, is published in hardcover by Pushkin Children’s Books at £12.99 (no e-book). Now available

Who doesn’t love dogs, right? Here we find a lonely dachshund who has a hard time fitting in with the other dogs in the park. They wonder if they can imitate their peers, become someone different and act like the others so they can become part of the fun looking pack. After trying too hard to change himself to make friends, the dachshund gives up and decides that maybe the best way to happiness is to be himself – and then things change. Another dog befriends them as they are also not afraid to stand out from the crowd. A charming, beautifully illustrated story that proves that we can always be ourselves and still navigate the world without having to conform to social norms when it doesn’t feel natural to us. It’s not overly complicated – the book contains a simple – often overlooked – message for both children and adults to not be afraid to be yourself. 8/10 (Review by Karen Shield)

BOOK CHARTS FOR THE WEEK ENDING DECEMBER 17TH

HARDBACK (FICTION)1. The Satsuma Complex by Bob Mortimer2. Chemistry Lessons by Bonnie Garmus3. The Missed Bullet by Richard Osman4. The Inky Heart by Robert Galbraith5. It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover6. She and Her Cat by Makoto Shinkai & Naruki Nagakawa7. No Plan B by Lee Child & Andrew Child8. Act of Forgetting by Robert Harris9. Babylon by RF Kuang10. A Heartful of Tombstones by Ian Rankin (compiled by Waterstones)

Hardcover (non-fiction)1. Private Eye Annual: 2022 by Ian Hislop2. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse: The Animated Story by Charlie Mackesy3. The Story of Art Without Men by Katy Hessel4. One by Jamie Oliver5. Elizabeth of Gyles Brandreth6. Guinness World Records 2023 by Guinness World Records7. Diddly Squat by Jeremy Clarkson8. Pinch Nom: Enjoy by Kay Allinson & Kate Allinson9. Viz Annual 2023 by Viz Magazine10. Madly, Deeply by Alan Rickman (compiled by Waterstones)

AUDIOBOOKS (FICTIONAL AND FACTICIAL)1. KL Slater’s girlfriend2. Substitute for The Duke of Sussex3. The Missed Bullet by Richard Osman4. Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry5. Atomic Habits by James Clear6. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman7. The Inky Heart by Robert Galbraith8. Chemistry lessons by Bonnie Garmus9. Geneva by Richard Armitage10. The Satsuma Complex by Bob Mortimer (compiled by Audible)

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/pol-fiction-granta-charlotte-tor-b2249151.html 5 new books to read this week

JOE HERNANDEZ

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