‘Taylor’s magnificent new novel is Spinal Tap for literary types . . . thoroughly entertaining, knowledgeable romp through the fear and loathing of rock’s golden age. Beautifully written and consistently funny, it is also a poignant account of one man’s search for his own identity’ Mail on Sunday
‘A dazzling rollercoaster homage to an era both bacchanalian and oddly innocent’ Guardian
You may remember the Helium Kids. Back in their late ’60s and early ’70s heyday they appeared on Top of the Tops on 27 separate occasions, released five Billboard-certified platinum albums, played sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden and were nearly, but not quite, as big as the Beatles and the Stones.
Three decades later, in the big house on the outskirts of Norwich, Nick Du Pont is looking back on the rollercoaster years he spent as their publicist in a world of licensed excess and lurking tragedy.
What follows is not only the story of a rock band at a formative time in musical history, when America was opening up to English music and huge amounts of money and self-gratification were there for the taking. For the tale is also Nick’s – the life and times of a war-baby born in a Norwich council house, the son of an absconding GI, whose career is a search for some of the advantages that his birth denied him. It is at once a worm’s eye of British pop music’s golden age and a bittersweet personal journey, with cameo appearances from everyone from Elvis and Her Majesty the Queen Mother to Andy Warhol.
‘Rock and Roll is Life’ is a vastly entertaining, picaresque and touching novel inspired by the excess and trajectories of the great ’60s and ’70s supergroups, and of the tales brought back from the front line by a very special breed of Englishmen who made it big in the States as the alchemists and enablers, as well as the old making way for the new in the era of the baby boomers. At its heart is one man’s adventure, and the poignancy of the special relationships that dominate his life.
‘Turn off the television – in fact, why don’t you turn off all the lights except for the one over your favourite chair? – and we’ll talk about vampires here in the dim. I think I can make you believe in them.’
Stephen King, from the Introduction.
‘Salem’s Lot is a small New England town with the usual quota of gossips, drinkers, weirdos and respectable folk. Of course there are tales of strange happenings – but not more than in any other town its size.
Ben Mears, a moderately successful writer, returns to the Lot to write a novel based on his early years, and to exorcise the terrors that have haunted him since childhood. The event he witnessed in the house now rented by a new resident. A newcomer with a strange allure. A man who causes Ben some unease as things start to happen: a child disappears, a dog is brutally killed – nothing unusual, except the list starts to grow.
Soon surprise will turn to bewilderment, bewilderment to confusion and finally to terror . . .
In prison you see only the moves of the enemy. Prison is the hardest place to fight a battle.’
117 Days is Ruth First’s personal account of her detention under the iniquitous ’90-day’ law of 1963. There was no warrant, no charge and no trial – only suspicion.
This sparsely written and unique record tells of her experiences of solitary confinement, constant interrogation and instantaneous re-arrest on release – lightened by humorous portraits of governors, matrons, wardresses and interrogators, seen as the tools of the police state.
I was dead for 13 minutes.
I don’t remember how I ended up in the icy water but I do know this – it wasn’t an accident and I wasn’t suicidal.
They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but when you’re a teenage girl, it’s hard to tell them apart. My friends love me, I’m sure of it. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t try to kill me. Does it?
13 MINUTES by Sarah Pinborough is a gripping psychological thriller about people, fears, manuiplation and the power of the truth. A stunning read, it questions our relationships – and what we really know about the people closest to us . . .
An American in Paris falls in love with two women, one of whom he can only only imagine, in this wonderful debut. As he settles into his new office in Paris, American academic Trevor Stratton discovers a box full of century-old artifacts. The pictures, letters and objects in the box relate to the life of Louise Brunet, a Frenchwoman who lived through both World Wars. Trevor begins to piece together the story of Louise’s life: her love for a cousin who died in the war, her marriage to a man who works for her father, and her attraction to a neighbour in her building at 13 rue Therese. As he becomes enamored with the charming, feisty Louise of his imagination, he notices another alluring Frenchwoman, his clerk Josianne, who planted the mysterious box in his office, and with whom he decides he is falling in love.
With the centennial year of the United States as the target of this historical novel, Gore Vidal again mounts a glorious expedition into that grimy and intricate activity called politics. And this is politics as it ought to be: gossip, corruption, money, dinner parties, more corruption, and all the tacky panoply of power. Into the rarefied atmosphere of a world where money has begun to talk very loudly ? usually through the mouths of people called Astor ? step Charles Schuyler and his daughter Emma. Charlie is the unacknowledged bastard son of Aaron Burr; Emma is rather beautiful; and both think it is prudent to return from penury in Europe and secure a fortuitous marriage for Emma. But America is no longer a young republic; it’s a fledgling international superpower with its attendant seedy administration, dubious election campaigns, snobbery, ‘popped corn’, ‘speaking tubes’ and ‘perpendicular railways’ (lifts). It’s a world that will welcome into its social and political bosom these two attractive exotics with the right names. And it’s a world whose every political peccadillo, social slip-up and irresistible intrigue is recorded in this, the journal of Charlie Schuyler.
‘Honest, vulnerable, hilarious, and profoundly human’ Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones and the Six
From the beloved author of Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend comes a wonderful new novel about a struggling man, written entirely in lists.
Daniel Mayrock’s life is at a crossroads:
1. His bookshop is failing.
2. He’s sick of feeling useless.
3. His wife, Jill, is ready to start a family.
4. She has no idea about 1 and 2.
Dan is scared.
Then Jill gets pregnant.
And now all Dan knows is:
5. Dan loves Jill.
Brimming with Dan’s hilarious sense of humour and unique world-view, his obsessive list-making paints a picture of a man who’s willing to do just about anything for the love (and soon-to-be new love) of his life…
Praise for Matthew Green:
‘A novel as creative, brave, and pitch-perfect as its narrator . . . It has been a long time since I read a book that has captured me so completely, and has wowed me with its unique vision’ Jodi Picoult on Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend
‘A fresh, humorous exploration of what makes us vulnerable and what makes us responsible, and you can’t help but root for Daniel Mayrock even when he’s at his most mistaken. This is a love story of great pathos and beauty’ Sharma Shields, author of The Cassandra
‘What to know about this novel: 1) It’s written entirely in lists. 2) It’s about an anxious man struggling with family and financial issues. And 3) It’s an unconventional, endearing tale of impending fatherhood’ The Washington Post
‘Reasons we love 21 Truths About Love: 1. It’s deeply moving and full of emotion. 2. The protagonist is relatable (he quit his job to open a bookshop!) And so are his struggles. 3. It’s a thoughtful reflection about love and what it means to be a good person 4. Did we mention the protagonist owns a bookshop? 5. It’s one of the most unique books out today, because: 6. It’s written entirely in lists’ BookBub
Their secret love affair has lasted for decades – but will it last one more summer?
For the last twenty-eight summers, Alice and Tom have met to rekindle the passionate love affair they began all those years ago. Each married to someone else, with busy lives and happy families, they’ve managed to keep their secret, and to keep their love alive.
But nothing is forever. Tom’s wife is in the national spotlight for her controversial and increasingly popular campaign for political office, and Alice has received a diagnosis that puts her future in doubt. Could their twenty-eighth summer together also be their last?
Praise for SUMMER OF ’69:
‘Superb . . . Hilderbrand hits all the right notes about life in a tightly knit family, and this crowd-pleaser is sure to satisfy both her fans and newcomers alike.’ – Publishers Weekly
‘Hilderbrand’s first foray into historical fiction will rouse curiosity in new readers as well as devotees of her annual summer smashes.’ – Susan Maguire, Booklist
‘Hilderbrand’s characters are utterly convincing and immediately draw us into their problems, from petty to grave . . . To use the parlance of the period, a highly relevant retrospective.’ – Kirkus
‘And in that instant, he knows in his heart that today is a momentous day; come what may, he and Alice will meet again, and life will never be the same.’
Alice is stuck in an internship she loathes and a body she is forever trying to change.
Ben, also in his early twenties, is still trying to find his place in the world.
By chance they meet one day in a London park.
Ben spots Alice sitting on a bench and feels compelled to speak to her. To his surprise, their connection is instant. But before numbers are exchanged, Alice is whisked off by her demanding boss.
20 minutes later
Alone in her office toilets, Alice looks at herself in the mirror and desperately searches for the beauty Ben could see in her.
Meanwhile, having misunderstood a parting remark, Ben is already planning a trip to Glasgow where he believes Alice lives, not realising that they actually live barely ten miles apart.
Over the next 31 days, Alice and Ben will discover that even if they never manage to find each other again, they have sparked a change in each other that will last a lifetime. In 31 Days of Wonder, Tom Winter shows us the magic of chance encounters and how one brief moment on a Thursday afternoon can change the rest of your life.
The bestselling author of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series brings his trademark warmth and wisdom to his novel chronicling the lives of the residents of 44 Scotland Street that’s ‘as charming as the bohemian street in which it’s set’ (Scottish Daily Record)
The story revolves around the comings and goings at No. 44 Scotland Street, a fictitious building in a real street in Edinburgh. Immediately recognisable are the Edinburgh chartered surveyor, stalwart of the Conservative Association, who dreams of membership of Scotland’s most exclusive golf club. We have the pushy Stockbridge mother, and her prodigiously talented five-year-old son, who is making good progress with the saxophone and with his Italian. Then there is Domenica Macdonald who is that type of Edinburgh lady who sees herself as a citizen of a broader intellectual world.
In McCall Smith’s hands such characters retain charm and novelty, simultaneously arousing both mirth and empathy. 44 Scotland Street is vintage McCall Smith, tackling issues of trust and honesty, snobbery and hypocrisy, love and loss, but all with great lightness of touch. Clever, elegant and funny, this is a novel that provides huge entertainment but which is underpinned by the moral dilemmas of everyday life and the characters’ struggles to resolve them.
Contains an exclusive extract from The Department of Sensitive Crimes, the first novel in the new Detective Varg series by Alexander McCall Smith
Six colourful, comic characters inhabit A Backward Place. All but one are Westerners who have come to Delhi to experience an alternative way of life. But, far from being hippies, their ability to adapt to this exotic culture often leaves something to be desired. Etta, an aristocratic, faded beauty maintains her Parisian chic while Clarissa talks enthusiastically about the simple life but stops short of ever roughing it herself. On the other hand Bal, the one Indian protagonist, holds quite Western aspirations to Hollywood glamour.
A Backward Place humorously explores contradictions in attitudes and lifestyles and the interplay between culture and individuality. But it is also a Dickensian drama, charting the highs and lows of everyday life against the enchanting backdrop of a bustling Indian city.
Two weeks before her wedding Stevie Jonson has got the jitters. Is she finally growing up, or compromising horribly? In love or in denial? Yes, there are good reasons to get married. Babies, or at least the possibility of babies before eggs shrivel up. Sex whenever she wants it. A justification for staying in without feeling like a loser. Contentment, the shave-legs-in-front-of-him kind.
And there are very good reasons not to get married. Not wanting to sleep with him unless nothing on telly. Never sleeping with anyone else ever again. His mother. His new bald patch. Being called, ‘my wife.’ And the disconcerting reappearance of a former major crush, reminder of everything fiance isn’t. As the clock ticks, a shocking secret threatens to bring Stevie’s future crashing down around her.
A hilarious and heartfelt story about love, marriage and mating and what happens when they refuse to schedule.