July 2017 : New Titles
A personal selection from a plethora of titles …
Set over five decades in a changing America, this examines the lives of fathers and sons and what it means to be a good man through the story of Nelson, a lonely 13-year-old at the start of the novel, and his friend Jonathan.
Picador, £12.99, 13th July 2017, 9781509827893
Described as a fierce meditation on race, identity, sex and death, this is the story of Thandi, who is both American and South African but doesn’t feel wholly either, and whose mother is dying.
Fourth Estate Ltd, £12.99, 13th July 2017, 9780008245931
When Martin Gilmour won a scholarship to an expensive prep school, he left his humdrum suburban life behind and gained admission to a privileged world. Though he is acutely aware of his outsider status, Gilmour meets the dazzling and wealthy Ben Fitzmaurice, whom he follows to Cambridge, and then out into the world. The novel moves between Ben’s lavish 40th birthday party and the past, revealing the secret that has bound the two men together. A cleverly structured, gripping read about obsession and betrayal which takes the reader into the heart of the Establishment. I couldn’t put this down.
Fourth Estate Ltd, £12.99, 13th July 2017, 9780008194260
A Western woman takes a job as nanny to two-year-old Yuki Yoshimura in Tokyo. As she becomes increasing attached to her small charge, she realises that the Yoshimura household is not quite as it first seemed. From the author of Lillian on Life (“so fresh and clever and subversive,” says Kate Atkinson).
John Murray Publishers Ltd, £16.99, 7th January 2016, 9781848549623
Sceptre, £12.99, 27th July 2017, 9781473662261
Two leading contemporary poets with a selection of their favourite verse from the past 500 years, from Shakespeare and Blake to Sylvia Plath and T S Eliot. “Set to establish itself as a classic anthology of our time,” says Penguin.
Particular Books, £25.00, 3rd November 2016, 9780141392486
A woman with failing sight hires a teenage girl to read the recently discovered journals kept by her father, hoping to uncover a childhood mystery. But the journals reveal more secrets than she ever anticipated.
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £14.99, 6th July 2017, 9781474605007
Fans of his earlier novels Curtain Call and Freya will be pleased to know that many of those characters return here, although this is emphatically not a sequel. This novel centres around Nat Fane, the vain and rather self-regarding screenwriter who won an Oscar early in his career but now desperately needs another hit with Eureka, an adaptation of a Henry James short story he is writing for the German wunderkind director Reiner Werther Kloss. Add to that sex, drugs, a young ingnue hoping for her big break, and a dodgy gangster, and you have a hugely entertaining read set in London’s Swinging Sixties.
Jonathan Cape Ltd, £14.99, 6th July 2017, 9781910702529
The Second World War as seen through the eyes of the inimitable cartoonist Carl Giles. The best of his wartime cartoons are brought together here, including many that have not seen the light of day in more than 75 years. “A brilliantly funny chronicle of the nation’s finest hour.”
Random House Books, £12.99, 6th July 2017, 9781847948090
“Grapes are sensitive on one hand and sturdy on the other. The saying goes that you need to plant them where nothing else grows.” While grape variety is important, a lot can be learned about wine by considering the different soils in which grapevines are grown, says the author, an award-winning US wine writer.
Countryman Press Inc., £20.00, 28th July 2017, 9781581573848
“Ground-breaking” biography of the man who led Britain’s code-breaking efforts in both World Wars, from being recruited to Room 40 in 1914 to heading up GCHQ post-war (Charles Dance played the role of Denniston in “The Imitation Game”). Written with the support of the Denniston family and GCHQ.
Frontline Books, £25.00, 30th July 2017, 9781526709127
Based on the radio series he originally produced for the BBC World Service (the podcast of which was No.1 on iTunes last Christmas), the ever-engaging Harford profiles 50 tools and ideas that have had far-reaching and unexpected consequences, from the tally-stick to Bitcoin, the canal lock to the jumbo jet, and barbed wire to the barcode. With each step, readers will build up an understanding of where we are, how we got here and where we might be going next. Fifty Things That Shaped the Modern Economy is currently being aired on BBC Radio 4, and I highly recommended it.
Little, Brown, £18.99, 6th July 2017, 9781408709115
Having written counter-cultural books about psychologist Timothy Leary and the band KLF, Higgs turns to one of Britain’s oldest roads: Watling Street, first formed by prehistoric feet, and now more often known as the A2, the A5 and the M6 Toll. He journeys its entire length from Dover to Anglesey in search of the below-the-surface history of Britain, encountering Chaucer, Dickens, James Bond, Bletchley Park code-breakers, Boudicca and Capability Brown. One of those books where you constantly find yourself underlining pithy quotes, it’s a compelling study of the origins of our national identity, at a time when it’s becoming more complex than ever.
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £16.99, 13th July 2017, 9781474603478
BBC investigative reporter and Guardian journalist tells the stories of 12 secret deals that revolutionised everything we do, including our money, the food we eat, what we buy and the drugs we take to stay well. A prime-time four-part BBC2 series based on the research for the book will be aired in autumn 2017.
Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, £20.00, 13th July 2017, 9781473646391
The sequel to History of a Pleasure Seeker, which is being made into a television series, is set in 1914 Cape Town, where former tutor Piet Barol and singer Stacey Meadows are styling themselves as the Vicomte and Vicomtesse de Barol. “Utterly entrancing,” said the Mail on Sunday.
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £8.99, 13th July 2017, 9781474602358
When New Yorker journalist Collins falls for a Frenchman, she sets out to learn the language. A New York Times book of the year.
Fourth Estate Ltd, £8.99, 13th July 2017, 9780008100629
The story of how Margaret Ann Bulkley lived as Dr James Barry, one of the most respected surgeons of the 19th century. “An astounding story-of obstinacy, ambition, genius, fearlessness and pioneering feminism,” said the Mail.
Oneworld Publications, £9.99, 6th July 2017, 9781786071194
A new biography of the novelist, drawing on previously unpublished material and reviewed as “exemplary” by the Daily Mail.
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £10.99, 6th July 2017, 9781780224862
A history of the British flag, revised and updated to cover the (turbulent) last 10 years.
Atlantic Books, £9.99, 3rd August 2017, 9781786491480
A history of one year in the life of Winston Churchill-1900-when he was in South Africa covering the Boer War, was captured, escaped, enlisted and liberated the men he was imprisoned with. “A tremendously readable and enjoyable book,” said the New York Times Book Review.
Penguin Books Ltd, £9.99, 6th July 2017, 9780141984193
This memoir of the Holocaust was recently discovered in an attic, and it is extraordinary. The author, a literary journalist in Vienna and friend of Stefan Zweig, recounts his wartime experiences, from the Anschluss in Austria, to Paris during the phoney war and under occupation, and his time in two French concentration camps. Written partially while he was in hiding in a convent in the Dordogne during the war, and completed in 1945, it is raw, furious and bitingly acerbic. The translator is Scheyer’s step-grandson, and Profile says he will be available for publicity.
Profile Books Ltd, £8.99, 6th July 2017, 9781781256008