Books to watch out for in May
Here are a few of the many books being unpacked in our libraries this month. If you don’t see what you want on the shelves, you can request books at the your library or online through our catalogue.
These two fascinating non-fiction books will be going on my reading list.
Lucy Worsley Jane Austen at Home
This telling of the story of Jane’s life shows us how and why she lived as she did, examining the rooms, spaces and possessions which mattered to her, and the way in which home is used in her novels to mean both a place of pleasure and a prison.
Annie Gray The Greedy Queen
This is both a biography of Britain’s most iconic monarch, and a look at the changing nature of cooking and eating in the Victorian era. From her early years living on milk and bread under the Kensington system, to her constant indigestion and belligerent over-eating as an elderly woman, her diet will be examined, likes and dislikes charted, and the opinions of those around her considered.
Literary event of the month is surely the publication of a new novel by the author of Nora Webster and Brooklyn. Here he turns to Greek tragedy.
Colm Toibin House of Names
On the day of his daughter’s wedding, Agamemnon orders her sacrifice. His daughter is led to her death, and Agamemnon leads his army into battle, where he is rewarded with glorious victory. Three years later, he returns home and his murderous action has set the entire family – mother, brother, sister – on a path of intimate violence.
We featured Laline Paull’s debut novel The Bees as a Readers Group book. Now it’s time for that difficult second novel.
It’s the day after tomorrow and the Arctic sea ice has melted. While global business carves up the new frontier, cruise ships race each other to ever-rarer wildlife sightings. The passengers of the Vanir have come seeking a polar bear. What they find is even more astonishing: a dead body. An electrifying story of friendship, power and betrayal
The second novel in the Six Tudor Queens series. Can Alison Weir offer a new take on Anne Boleyn?
Alison Weir Anne Boleyn. A Royal Obsession
An unforgettable portrait of the ambitious woman whose fate we know all too well, but whose true motivations may surprise you. Fresh from the cultivated hothouse of Renaissance France, Anne draws attention at the English court. A nobleman, a poet and a king vie for her love. She has a spirit worthy of a crown – and a crown is what she seeks.
Stories linked to My Name is Lucy Barton but this can be read as a standalone book if you haven’t read it.
Elizabeth Strout Anything is possible
Years ago, Lucy Barton, a successful New York writer, spent time in hospital, with her mother at the foot of her bed to keep her company. Avoiding the distance between them, they spoke at length about people from their home town, the rural, dusty town of Amgash, Illinois. Writing these stories, Lucy imagines the lives of the people that she especially remembers. And the people she has imagined that, in small ways, have remembered her too. For isn’t it true that we all hope to be remembered? Or to think in some way – even fleetingly – that we have been important to someone?
While you wait for Paula Hawkins new book Into the Water, here are two alternative psychological thrillers to try.
Christobel Kent The Day She Disappeared
Have you ever had that sense that you’re being watched? And you turn, suddenly, but it’s just a curtain, blowing in the wind? Or the dress hanging in the doorway? Nat knows something’s wrong. Her best friend, Beth, would never have upped and left without saying goodbye to her. But no one believes that Beth was taken – she is a fly-by-night, a party girl who can’t be trusted. No one’s listening to Nat. But someone is definitely watching her.
Claire Kendall The Second Sister
Ten years ago, Ella’s sister Miranda vanished without trace. Now thirty, the same age as Miranda when she disappeared, Ella has grown to look dangerously like the missing woman. Ella becomes convinced that the man who took Miranda is watching her family. To Ella, this is an opportunity as much as a prospect of fear. It makes her more determined than ever to find out what happened to the beautiful and mysterious Miranda. Because who better than a sister to see what the police overlooked and to understand the missing woman?
The Hogarth Shakespeare series continues with Tracy Chevalier’s take on Othello.
Tracy Chevalier New Boy
Arriving at his fourth school in six years, diplomat’s son Osei Kokote knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day – so he’s lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can’t stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players – teachers and pupils alike – will never be the same again.
And out in paperback this month:
Eowyn Ivey To the Bright Edge of the World
Lieutenant Colonel Allen Forrester receives the commission of a lifetime when he is charged to navigate Alaska’s hitherto impassable Wolverine River, with only a small group of men. Forrester leaves behind his young wife, Sophie, newly pregnant with the child he had never expected to have. Adventurous in spirit, Sophie does not relish the prospect of a year in a military barracks while her husband carves a path through the wilderness. What she does not anticipate is that their year apart will demand every ounce of courage and fortitude of her that it does of her husband.
Sarah Perry The Essex Serpent
London 1893. When Cora Seaborne’s controlling husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness. Retreating to the countryside with her son, she encounters rumours of the ‘Essex Serpent‘, a creature of folklore said to have returned to roam the marshes. Setting out on its trail, she collides with local minister William Ransome, who thinks the cure for hysteria lies in faith, while Cora is convinced that science offers the answers. Despite disagreeing on everything, he and Cora find themselves drawn together, changing each other’s lives in unexpected ways.