06 June 2017 UK Books

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UK Books + Archive

June 2017 : New Titles

A personal selection from a plethora of titles …



Ms Ice Sandwich (Japanese Novellas)

Ms Ice Sandwich

by Mieko Kawakami


Part of Pushkin’s lovely Japanese novella series this is a quixotic tale about first love featuring a boy with a crush on a lady who works in a supermarket.

Pushkin Press, £7.99, 16th March 2017, 9781782273301

Short Ride on a Fast Machine

Short Ride on a Fast Machine

by Magnus McGrandle


A young cycle courier is sent from London to Norway to pick up a stuffed owl for a mysterious client. McGrandle is a senior producer on the BBC national news and graduate of the Faber Academy.

Sandstone Press Ltd, £8.99, 15th June 2017, 9781910985687

A Book of American Martyrs

A Book of American Martyrs

by Joyce Carol Oates

A controversial abortion provider is shot dead outside his clinic in the Midwest by a Christian extremist. Oates’ latest novel explores American society through some of its most divisive issues: abortion, gun crime and capital punishment.

Fourth Estate Ltd, £16.99, 1st June 2017, 9780008221676

The Woolgrower’s Companion

The Woolgrower’s Companion

by Joy Rhoades

Australia, 1945, and a struggling sheep farm in New South Wales takes on two Italian POWs to help with the work as all able-bodied men have enlisted. The daughter of the house is drawn to one of them. A love story inspired by the author’s own grandmother.

Chatto & Windus, £12.99, 8th June 2017, 9781784741341

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness: ‘The Literary Read of the Summer’ - Time

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

by Arundhati Roy

After her much-loved Booker Prize-winning debut The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy appeared to renounce fiction altogether. But here, 20 years later, is her second. It begins with a birth in Shahjahanabad, the walled city of Old Delhi, where to a mother’s shock her baby has both male and female genitalia. The baby, named Aftab, grows up to decide she is Anjum and joins a community of Hijras. The politics of modern India will shape Anjum’s life, as it does all the outcasts and misfits in Roy’s sweeping novel.

Hamish Hamilton Ltd, £18.99, 6th June 2017, 9780241303979

A Thousand Paper Birds

A Thousand Paper Birds

by Tor Udall

Set in Kew Gardens over a calendar year this reveals the stories of five strangers, linked together by the mysterious death of one woman. An exploration of love, grief, nature and the supernatural as intricately plotted as origami, says Bloomsbury.

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, £16.99, 15th June 2017, 9781408878637


Koh-i-Noor: The History of the World's Most Infamous Diamond

Koh-I-Noor: The History of the World’s Most Famous Diamond

by William Dalrymple

The renowned historian and travel writer teams up with the BBC TV and radio journalist (and author of the terrific Sophia) to present a comprehensive and authoritative multi-faceted history of the Koh-i-Noor diamond. Given to Queen Victoria by the 10-year-old Maharajah of the Punjab in 1849, the jewel then entered a fog of mythology based on Delhi bazaar gossip from which the authors aim to rescue it. Demythologised it may be, but it remains a glittering tale of greed, murder, torture and colonialism. There’s something forever irresistible about diamonds.

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, £14.99, 15th June 2017, 9781408888841

Collecting the World: The Life and Curiosity of Hans Sloane

Collecting the World: The Life and Curiosity of Hans Sloane

by James Delbourgo

First major biography in over 60 years of the founder of the British Museum who gave his name to Sloane Square, Sloane Street (and therefore Sloane Rangers too), and Hans Crescent. A young doctor from Northern Ireland who became physician to the king, he was an important figure in the history of collecting, and in 18th-century intellectual and social life.

Allen Lane, £25.00, 1st June 2017, 9781846146572

How Food Works: The Facts Visually Explained (Dk)

How Food Works: The Facts Simply Explained

by Dorling Kindersley

Is red wine good for your heart? Are superfoods all they are cracked up to be? How important are sell-by dates and what actually makes food organic? Debunking common food myths, this comprehensive compendium aims to enlighten us both about food production, and the science of nutrition.

Dorling Kindersley £14.99, 1st June 2017, 9780241289396

That’s The Way It Crumbles: The American Conquest of the English Language

That’s the Way it Crumbles: The American Conquest of English

by Matthew Engel

In this “part battle cry, part love song, part elegy”, Engel traces the American invasion of our language from the early days of the New World, via the influence of Edison, the dance hall and the talkies, right up to the Apple and Microsoft-dominated present day. Fall, fries, movie, yeah, betcha and hassle are among the Americanisms to which he objects.

Profile Books Ltd, £16.99, 15th June 2017, 9781781256688

A Short History of Britain in Infographics

A Short History of Britain in Infographics

by Ray Hamilton

From the stomach-churning scope of Henry VIII’s enormous food intake to the anatomy of a Spitfire, an infographic guide to the best bits of Blighty, from prehistoric times to the information age.

Summersdale Publishers, £9.99, 8th June 2017, 9781786850294

The Spice Tree: Indian Cooking Made Beautifully Simple

The Spice Tree

by Nisha Katona

Cookbook which aims to become your spice Sherpa by navigating you through the simple ancient formulas of the Indian kitchen that are second nature to billions via 80 recipes. Katona’s Spice Tree is the striking and clever infographic at the book’s heart, illustrating the three-spice formulas that enable you to cook perfect, authentic curries.

Ebury Press, £20.00, 15th June 2017, 9781785035470

First Confession: A Sort of Memoir

First Confession

by Chris Patten

The chancellor of Oxford University, former MP, Conservative party chairman, BBC chairman, papal advisor and last governor of Hong Kong tells the whole story of his life in politics. We are promised new material on the Thatcher and Major eras, the BBC and the Vatican, along with “many wry insights” into the “great, and not so great”. He has a reputation as one of the more readable of politician-writers.

Allen Lane, £20.00, 29th June 2017, 9780241275597

Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World

Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World

by Laura Spinney

Billed as “the true story of the 20th century’s greatest killer”, a history of the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-20 which is estimated to have killed between 50 and 100 million people globally. Spinney draws on the latest research in virology, psychology, economics and more to give due prominence to a catastrophe that changed humanity for decades but is mostly regarded as a footnote to World War One.

Jonathan Cape Ltd, £20.00, 1st June 2017, 9781910702376

Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen (Pelican Introductions)

Basic Income

by Guy Standing

Billed as the essential guide to understanding the real economics behind the idea of a universal basic income, a policy being increasingly adopted. Standing is co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network. Also out this month in similar vein, Universal Basic Income: Pennies from Heaven by Paul O’Brien (History Press, 1845883676).

Pelican, £8.99, 4th May 2017, 9780141985480

Bleaker House: Chasing My Novel to the End of the World

Bleaker House: Chasing My Novel to the End of the World

by Nell Stevens

Fresh from a creative writing masters at Boston University, Stevens is given the opportunity to spend three months in a location of her choice in order to write her novel. Deciding to venture as far from her comfort zone as possible, she chooses a winter sojourn on Bleaker Island (official population: two) in the Falklands archipelago, a blasted treeless place of penguins, whale skeletons, sinister birds of prey, tumultuous seas and almost constant howling winds. The number of words she plans to write daily is more than double the number of calories she has budgeted to eat. Her food supply comes in packets, Wi-Fi is virtually non-existent, and she has but one physical book (Bleak House) and one film (“Eat, Pray, Love”) to sustain her. By the end of her stay on Bleaker, however, isolation has done interesting things to her, and equally interesting things to her novel. I wolfed this wholly original part-memoir, part travelogue, part short story collection in one sitting, and adored it. As well as being funny, edgy, confiding, and ever so slightly horrifying, it’s also a fascinating reflection on writing: how it is taught, and how it is learned. And you’ll never look at a potato-or a Ferrero Rocher chocolate-in quite the same way again.

Picador, £12.99, 1st June 2017, 9781509824410





Invincible Summer

Invincible Summer

by Alice Adams


The lives of four university friends diverge as they enter their thirties. “Irresistible,” said the New York Times, and I really enjoyed it; a lovely, quality summer read.

Picador, £7.99, 1st June 2017, 9781509814725

The Dark Flood Rises

The Dark Flood Rises

by Margret Drabble


Drabble’s story of ageing Fran questions what makes a good life and a good death. “With its echoes of Simone de Beauvoir and Samuel Beckett, this quiet meditation on old age seethes with apocalyptic intent . . . Brilliant,” said the Guardian.

Canongate, £8.99, 17th June 2017, 9781782118336

Hot Milk

Hot Milk

by Deborah Levy


The Man Booker-shortlisted exploration of womanhood through the stories of a mother and a daughter. Penguin is also reissuing Levy’s The Unloved.

Penguin , £8.99, 17th June 2017, 9780241968031


Curation: The power of selection in a world of excess

Curation: The Power of Selection in a World of Excess

by Michael Bhaskar


The digital publisher explores how, in a world flooded by data, curation has become crucial in order to make sense of the world.

Piatkus Books, £9.99, 1st June 2017, 9780349408712


I Read the News Today, Oh Boy: The short and gilded life of Tara Browne, the man who inspired The Beatles’ greatest song

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy: The Short and Gilded Life of Tara Browne, the Man Who Inspired the Beatles’ Greatest Song

by Paul Howard


The life story of the young Irishman who inspired the Beatles song “A Day in the Life”.

Picador, £9.99, 1st June 2017, 9781509800049


Quid Pro Quo: What the Romans Really Gave the English Language

Quid Pro Quo: What the Romans Really Gave the English Language

by Peter Jones


The author of Veni Vidi Vici, which has sold over 25,000 copies to date, according to Atlantic, takes a tour through the Latin roots of the English language.

Atlantic Books, £9.99, 1st June 2017, 9781782399339

Paper: A World History

Paper: A World History

by Mark Kurlansky


A history of paper and how it has shaped the world over the past two millennia, as we prepare to go “paperless”.

WW Norton & Co, £12.99, 23rd June 2017, 9780393353709

Pinpoint: How GPS is Changing Our World

Pinpoint: How GPS is Changing Our World

by Greg Milner


As someone with a terrible sense of direction who relies wholeheartedly (and happily) on their satnav, Pinpoint has worried me enough about what I’m doing to my brain that I’ve been trying to cope without my GPS for the past few weeks.

Granta Books, £9.99, 1st June 2017, 9781847087096

A Life in Questions Paperback by

A Life in Questions

by Jeremy Paxman


The “Newsnight” legend reflects on his four-decade career. “Funny, sad and revealing,” said the Times.

William Collins, £8.99, 1st June 2017, 9780008128333

Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s

Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s

by Anne Sebba


Testimonies from the women who lived in Paris under occupation during the Second World War, from spies to Nazi wives, from native Parisiennes to Americans, aristocrats and artists. Sebba is the author of That Woman, a biography of Wallis Simpson that hit the Sunday Times charts and has, according to W&N, sold 33,000 hardbacks, 12,000 trade paperbacks and 60,000 mass-market paperbacks to date. This latest is a mesmerising dive into life in an occupied city, repeatedly throwing up the question of how, surrounded by morally grey options, we ourselves might act.

Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ), £9.99, 8th June 2017, 9781780226613