02 February 2018 UK Books

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UK Books + Archive 

February 2018 : New Titles

A personal selection from a plethora of titles …



The Only Story

The Only Story

by Julian Barnes

Unfortunately no reading material was available at the time of writing this preview, and my own rules mean I can’t make an unread title an Editor’s Choice (or Book of the Month), however much I love an author’s backlist. But Barnes is a writer at the top of his game, and I’m sure this will be unmissable. All I can tell you is that this is set in the early 1960s and features a young man, home from university for the holidays, who meets a married 48-year-old woman with two grown-up daughters at the local tennis club and begins an affair. It is, according to Cape, “a profound, achingly sad novel about love”….

Jonathan Cape Ltd, £16.99, 29th January 2018, 9781787330696

The Adulterants

The Adulterants

by Joe Dunthorne


I very much enjoyed Dunthorne’s pin-sharp skewering of the modern urban thirtysomething male trapped in a protracted adolescent state, partly caused by the sheer impossibility of getting on to the housing ladder in London. It is very, very funny. Ray, a freelance tech journalist who mostly works from home in his pants, is married to the heavily pregnant Garthene, but is still showing no signs of getting his act together. Things come to a head when Ray inadvertently becomes involved in the London riots. Dunthorne’s first novel Submarine was made into a film directed by Richard Ayoade, and his second, Wild Abandon, won the Royal Society of Literature Encore Award in 2012….

Hamish Hamilton Ltd, £12.99, 29th January 2018, 9780241305478




by Jessie Greengrass

Nothing to read yet, but this is the first novel from the author of the acclaimed short story collection An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It, which was described as “elegant, learned and melancholic” by the Daily Telegraph….

John Murray Publishers Ltd, £14.99, 22nd February 2018, 9781473652378

The Woman at 1,000 Degrees

The Woman at 1,000 Degrees

by Hallgrimur Helgason


An 80-year-old Icelandic woman looks back over her life, which was disrupted by the outbreak of war and her father’s fervent admiration of Hitler. Shipped off to supposed safety, she spent the war trekking alone across war-torn Europe….

Oneworld Publications, £16.99, 7th September 2017, 9781786071699 

Silence Under A Stone

Silence Under A Stone

by Norma Macmaster


After the partition of Ireland in 1921, a minority strict Presbyterian congregation finds itself on the “wrong” side of the border, and must cope with an increasingly dominant Roman Catholic Church….

Doubleday Ireland, £12.99, 8th February 2018, 9781781620441

This Could Hurt: A Novel

This Could Hurt: A Novel

by Jillian Medoff

A novel about the pivotal role work plays in our lives, as shown through five members of the HR department at an US firm undergoing major changes.

Harper, £20.00, 9th January 2018, 9780062660763

Hotel Silence

Hotel Silence

by Augur Ava Olafsdottir 


A divorced and lonely man buys a one-way ticket to a strangely deserted holiday resort and finds himself at the Hotel Silence. The perfect place to end it all, or somewhere to start again? From the Icelandic author of Butterflies in November, hailed as “very moving, layered and optimistic” by the FT….

Pushkin Press, £9.99, 21st February 2018, 9781782274216

Woman at Sea

Woman at Sea

by Catherine Poulain

A runaway French girl in search of freedom and adventure takes a job aboard an Alaskan fishing trawler. Based on the author’s own experiences, this was a bestseller in France, where it sold over 100,000 copies in hardback and scooped eight literary awards….

Jonathan Cape Ltd, £16.99, 15th February 2018, 9781911214588


May Made Me: An Oral History of the 1968 Uprising in France

May Made Me: An Oral History of the 1968 Uprising in France

by Mitchell Abidor


Fifty years on, a collection of oral testimonies from the mass protests which shook France in May 1968, which at the height of their fervour brought the entire economy to a halt. Included are the voices of students and workers, both in Paris and elsewhere in France.

Pluto Press, £12.99, 20th February 2018, 9780745336947


Cultural Dementia

Cultural Dementia

by David Andress


The author, professor of modern history at the University of Portsmouth, argues that we are succumbing to an attack of social and cultural dementia, in which the former great powers of the historic “West”-especially the UK, the US and France-are abandoning the wisdom of maturity and the lessons of history for “senescent daydreams of recovered youth”, stirring up old hatreds along the way….

Head of Zeus, £14.99, 8th February 2018, 9781788540049


A History of Women in 100 Objects

A History of Women in 100 Objects

by Maggie Andrews

From the corset to the Pill, the typewriter to the first pair of women’s trousers and the invention of IVF, 100 objects that document the changing role of women in society….

The History Press Ltd, £20.00, 8th February 2018, 9780750967143

Secret Pigeon Service: Operation Columba, Resistance and the Struggle to Liberate Europe

Secret Pigeon Service: Operation Columba, Resistance and the Struggle to Liberate Europe

by Gordon Corera

The BBC security correspondent with an original piece of investigation in which he reveals the Second World War operation MI14(d): the “Special Pigeon Service”. It includes the compelling story of how a priest, a flock and pigeon-transported war intelligence brought back messages from those under Nazi occupation. Delayed from January….

William Collins, £20.00, 22nd January 2018, 9780008220303

Sounds Appealing: The Passionate Story of English Pronunciation

Sounds Appealing: The Passionate Story of English Pronunciation

by David Crystal


The language expert unpacks the subtleties of pronunciation, explaining why, and how, we pronounce words as we do, taking in regional accents and the influence of class and education along the way.

Profile Books Ltd, £12.99, 18th January 2018, 9781781256091

Paradise Gardens: the world's most beautiful Islamic gardens

Paradise Gardens

by Monty Don


The TV gardener and bestselling author teams up with acclaimed photographer Moore on a journey to discover how a very different culture and climate has influenced garden design. Taking in Andaluca, Turkey, Iran and India, they explore the four areas of Islamic civilisation-Andalucan, Moghul, Persian and Ottoman-by visiting gardens that symbolise each. This “stunningly illustrated” account of that journey accompanies a BBC2 series that sounds rather glorious….

Paradise Gardens is currently on BBC iplayer and is available until 20 February:


Two Roads, £35.00, 22nd February 2018, 9781473666481

Also Human: The Inner Lives of Doctors

Also Human: The Inner Lives of Doctors

by Caroline Elton

A “groundbreaking examination of the pain, pressures and joy of medical work” by a psychologist known as the “doctor’s doctor”. For more than 20 years she has listened as doctors have unburdened themselves of the pressures of their jobs, including the obstetrician whose own fertility treatment failed, and the trainee oncologist unable to treat patients suffering from the disease that killed her father….

William Heinemann Ltd, £16.99, 15th February 2018, 9781785150906

The Oxford Illustrated History of the Third Reich

The Oxford Illustrated History of the Third Reich

by Robert Gellately (Earl Ray Beck Professor of History, Florida State University)

Written by a team of leading historians, this comprehensive new reference traces the history of the Nazi Party, from its rise under the Weimar Republic to its fall in 1945. It covers all aspects including elections, the economy, the Holocaust, architecture, photography and cinema, war and empire, and its collapse.

Oxford University Press, £25.00, 1st March 2018, 9780198728283

Why You Eat What You Eat: The Science Behind Our Relationship with Food

Why You Eat What You Eat: The Science Behind Our Relationship with Food

by Rachel Hertz


This engrossing exploration of the psychology, neurology and physiology of eating reveals intriguing facts: bringing reusable bags to the supermarket encourages us to buy more treats, watching TV alters how much we eat, and aromas can be used to curb eating.

WW Norton & Co, £20.00, 26th December 2017, 9780393243314

The Goodness of Ginger & Turmeric: 40 flavoursome anti-inflammatory recipes

The Goodness of Ginger & Turmeric: 40 flavoursome anti-inflammatory recipes

by Emily Jonzen

Ginger can help reduce the symptoms of inflammation-related ailments, while superfood turmeric is “the new kale”. This collects numerous culinary uses of both….

Kyle Books, £9.99, 15th February 2018, 9780857834621

The Rise of Yeast: How the sugar fungus shaped civilisation

The Rise of Yeast: How the sugar fungus shaped civilisation

by Nicholas P. Money (Professor of Botany and Western Program Director at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio)


Tells the surprising story of the importance of yeast in the development of human civilisation-brewing, winemaking and baking included-and considers future possible uses of yeast in biotechnology and genetic engineering.

Oxford University Press, £18.99, 22nd February 2018, 9780198749707

The Work I Did: A Memoir of the Secretary to Goebbels

The Work I Did: A Memoir of the Secretary to Goebbels

by Brunhilde Pomsel

Pomsel, who died this year, was one of the last surviving witnesses of the internal workings of the Nazi power apparatus. “Timeless and gripping”, the story of her close collaboration with Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels is also “a powerful morality tale, and a chilling study of the banality of evil”. Translated from the German by Shaun Whiteside….

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, £18.99, 8th February 2018, 9781408894491

Churchill's Confidant: Jan Smuts, Enemy to Lifelong Friend

Churchill’s Confidant: Enemy to Lifelong Friend

by Richard Steyn

The story of the unlikely friendship between the thrusting aristocrat Winston Churchill and philosophical farm boy Jan Smuts; the pair first met as enemies on either side of the Anglo-Boer War, and later as allies in the First World War. It is a rich study in contrasts, I’m told….

Originally published in South Africa in 2017 as Churchill & Smuts – The Friendship (Johannesburg, Jonathan Ball 9781868427994).

Robinson, £18.99, 30th January 2018, 9781472140760

Pearls Before Poppies: The Story of the Red Cross Pearls

Pearls Before Poppies: The Story of the Red Cross Pearls

by Rachel Trethewey


In February 1918, Lady Northliffe had the idea of asking women to donate a pearl as a tribute to the dead and wounded from the First World War, with which a necklace would be created-and auctioned at Christie’s. Thousands of donations poured in from around the world, to huge coverage in the press. Trethewey tells the story of this forgotten episode. For every copy sold, 1 will be donated to the Red Cross….

The History Press Ltd, £20.00, 8th February 2018, 9780750968294

Making a Noise: Getting It Right, Getting It Wrong in Life, Arts and Broadcasting

Making a Noise: Getting It Right, Getting It Wrong in Life, Arts and Broadcasting

by John Tusa

This absorbing memoir by the former “Newsnight” presenter, m.d. of the BBC World Service and m.d. of the Barbican Arts Centre, spans both his professional career in journalism, broadcasting and the arts, and is also an account of his childhood. He came to England from what was then Czechoslovakia when he was three. Among much else, we get the inside story of two years of internecine warfare at the top of the BBC; and his recollections of a hilarious and petty-minded few months as head of a Cambridge college….

Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £25.00, 22nd February 2018, 9781474607087

Lemonade with Zest: 40 Thirst-Quenching Recipes

Lemonade with Zest: 40 Thirst-Quenching Recipes

by April White

Cute book of lemonades from around the world, including basic recipes for lemonade and limeade, plus drinks using lemonade bases, fruits, herbs and more unusual ingredients.

Chronicle Books, £12.99, 20th February 2018, 9781452162775

Paperbacks : Fiction

These Dividing Walls: Shortlisted for the 2018 Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award

These Dividing Walls

by Fran Cooper

The grief-stricken Edward arrives in Paris and finds himself entangled in the lives of those who live in the apartments around him.

Hodder Paperback, £8.99, 8th February 2018, 9781473641563

Berlin Alexanderplatz (Penguin Classics)

Berlin Alexanderplatz

by Alfred Doblin

A new translation by Michael Hoffman of the novel about 1920s Berlin life for former prisoner Franz Biberkopf.

Penguin Classics, £14.99, 1st March 2017, 9780141191614



by Rick Gekoski

This dbut novel from the rare-book dealer Rick Gekoski tells the story of Dr James Darke, who has retreated from the world to write in his “coming-of-old-age” journal, but who finds some chinks of light returning through his feelings for his daughter and grandson. “An original and bleakly funny portrait of grief,” said the Economist….

Canongate Books Ltd, £8.99, 1st February 2018, 9781782119395

Lincoln in the Bardo: WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2017

Lincoln in the Bardo: WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2017

by George Saunders


The paperback of the Man Booker winner about Abraham Lincoln’s visit to his son’s grave, and Willie Lincoln’s time trapped in a transitional realm, between the living and the dead, is told in a symphony of voices. A virtuoso first novel from the short-story maestro. Obviously, an “extensive” marketing and publicity campaign. Saunders’ Tenth of December, which won the Folio Prize, has sold over 400,000 copies worldwide, says Bloomsbury-astonishing for a short story collection. Goodness knows what he’ll do with this novel, already a New York Times bestseller….

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, £8.99, 1st November 2017, 9781408871775

Fish Have No Feet

Fish Have No Feet

by Jon Kalman Stefansson

Longlisted for the Man Booker International, an Icelandic family saga set in Keflavk and centred on writer and publisher Ari, who returns there from Copenhagen.

MacLehose Press, £8.99, 22nd February 2018, 9780857054432


Paperbacks : Non-fiction

Creating Language (MIT Press): Integrating Evolution, Acquisition, and Processing (The MIT Press)

Creating Language: Integrating Evolution, Acquisition, and Processing

by Morten H. Christiansen (Professor, Cornell University)

A look at how language is created and at the evolution, acquisition and processing of language.

MIT Press, £24.95, 13th July 2018, 9780262535113

M: Maxwell Knight, MI5's Greatest Spymaster

M: Maxwell Knight, MI5’s Greatest Spymaster

by Henry Hemming

A biography of the great MI5 spymaster Maxwell Knight. The Mail on Sunday called it “jaw-droppingly revelatory”, and there is a television adaptation coming from Mammoth Screen….

Arrow Books Ltd, £9.99, 8th February 2018, 9781784752040

The Publishing Business: A Guide to Starting Out and Getting On (Creative Careers)

The Publishing Business: A Guide to Starting Out and Getting On

by Kelvin Smith

A companion website comes alongside this new edition of the guide to publishing.

Bloomsbury Visual Arts, £28.99, 8th February 2018, 9781474249515