September 2018 : New Titles
A personal selection from a plethora of titles …
Graphic novel. Tells of trauma and family life in the aftermath of the Second World War as experienced by 11-year-old Ralph whose father returns from the fighting a changed man.
New Internationalist Publications Ltd, £12.99, 6th September 2018, 9781780264424
Paris is the setting du jour this month (see also Love is Blind and French Exit) but Faulks succeeds in making the city both unfamiliar and unsettling. Teenager Tariq has run away from his home in Morocco in search of adventure and, more prosaically, a job and somewhere to live. He meets Hannah, a 31-year-old American academic who is researching the lives of women during the German occupation of the city in 1940-44. As both explore the city-Tariq on foot and the Paris Metro, Hannah through the audio recordings made by women who lived through the occupation-the ghosts of the past become visible in the present.
Hutchinson, £20.00, 6th September 2018, 9781786330215
A middle-aged family man living in California receives an anonymous message that draws him back to his wild youth in Paris, to where he moved, aged 21, to live the artist’s life….
John Murray Publishers Ltd, £18.99, 11th September 2018, 9781848543201
In 1935 a village was deliberately submerged to make way for a new reservoir but now, in the present day, a fierce summer has dried the water up, and long-hidden secrets are threatening to surface.
HQ, £7.99, 20th September 2018, 9780008274481
Unfolding against the backdrop of the 20th century, this is the story of a 70-year marriage between Harry and Evelyn who meet at Battersea Library. British-Canadian writer Page was longlisted for the Orange Prize in 2002 for The Story of My Face.
And Other Stories, £10.00, 6th September 2018, 9781911508281
Following on from The Adventures of a Young Naturalist, here are the further adventures of the young Sir David, from Madagascar and New Guinea, to the Pacific Islands and the North Territory of Australia.
Two Roads, £25.00, 28th August 2018, 9781473666641
The story of three daredevil First World War pilots held in Holzminden, Germany’s infamous POW prison, and how they organised one of the greatest escapes of the conflict by constructing a tunnel which allowed a handful of prisoners to make it to neutral Holland, and then back to Britain. The story has already been optioned for film by Film 4/Element….
John Murray Publishers Ltd, £20.00, 23rd August 2018, 9781473686779
This prize-winning and visually stunning book by a Norwegian map enthusiast engagingly explains the ways in which maps have changed the world. From the mysterious symbols of the Stone Age to the advent of Google Earth, it takes in visionary geographers, and heroic explorers, along with unknown heroes of the map-making world, covering both ancient and modern, illuminating art, science, technology, politics, power and ambitions along the way. Translated by Alison McCullough, it’s gone straight to the top of my Christmas present list….
Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, £30.00, 6th September 2018, 9781473688629
Roberto Saviano, authorof Gomorrah, is an admirer of this account of how Galicia, a sleepy, windswept corner of Spain, became the cocaine gateway to Europe. The Spanish edition sold over 30,000 copies but is now embargoed after a former mayor brought legal action against the author.
Zed Books Ltd, £12.99, 6th September 2018, 9781786993021
From the fury of the Punic War to the icy waters of Dunkirk, a visual journey through 5,000 years of combat, detailing more than 90 important historic battles. Foreword by Sir Tony Robinson.
DK, £20.00, 30th July 2018, 9780241301937
This “ultimate collection of the greatest pieces of classical music ever written” profiles more than 90 pieces by celebrated composers, along with biographies and quotes, and a foreword by Katie Derham….
DK, £17.99, 3rd September 2018, 9780241301975
I love the sound of this “intimate and haunting” memoir by the two-time Academy Award and three-time Emmy-winning actress. She writes for the first time about her early life and career, looking back on a challenging and lonely childhood, and the powerful emotional legacy that shaped her journey as daughter and mother. “A natural-born writer,” says S&S….
Simon & Schuster Ltd, £20.00, 20th September 2018, 9781471175756
This panoramic social history sets out to chronicle the lives of hundreds of British people of all classes who lived in India from shortly after the reign of Elizabeth I to well into that of Elizabeth II. Gilmour takes in the ordinary lives of those little written about before: soldiers, officials, businessmen, doctors, planters, engineers and more, as well as their children, wives and sisters.
Allen Lane, £30.00, 6th September 2018, 9780241004524
Billed as Hastings’ magnum opus and a “masterful chronicle of one of the most devastating international conflicts of the 20th century”, this new history of the Vietnam War is based on three years of extensive research, much of it conducted in Vietnam itself-to affect a change of perspective that is long overdue. We are still wont to think of the war as an American tragedy, says Hastings. And yet, it was overwhelmingly a Vietnamese tragedy in which 40 Vietnamese died for every American….
William Collins, £30.00, 20th September 2018, 9780008132989
Incorporating Hildebrand’s award-winning design flair, a celebration of 100 powerful personalities from the chilli family, telling their stories and offering advice on “how to deploy the little demons to best effect”….
Thames & Hudson Ltd, £16.95, 1st September 2018, 9780500021835
From 6th-century Babylon to 21st-century US, an eye-catching visual history of dissent through 180 objects selected by Ian Hislop. From badges and shadow puppets to coins and teapots, the objects reveal small acts of disobedience by ordinary people, with messages hidden in plain sight, and provide a reminder of the ways in which people have always subverted concepts of authority. Accompanies a British Museum exhibition (September 2018 to January 2019).
Thames & Hudson Ltd, £25.00, 6th September 2018, 9780500480410
Authorised biography of the actor, best known for his role as Tom Good in BBC sitcom “The Good Life”, who also appeared on stage, and in many other small screen series including “Doctor Who”. Includes interviews with the likes of Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh and Brian Blessed….
Constable, £20.00, 27th September 2018, 9781472129222
First collection of poster art from the films of Ray Harryhausen, from “Mighty Joe Young” to “Clash of the Titans”….
Titan Books Ltd, £29.99, 4th September 2018, 9781785656781
Revealed for the first time, the “astonishing” true story of Eric Roberts, the former bank clerk from Epsom at the heart of Operation Fifth Column, the secret Second World War operation to flush out traitors and Nazi sympathisers on British soil. Roberts-codenamed Jack King-penetrated the Communist Party, the British Union of Fascists and then played his greatest role as Hitler’s man in London….
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £20.00, 6th September 2018, 9781474605113
“Norwegian Wood meets The Tao of Pooh meets a flock of Swedish sheep” is the billing for this “playful, profound and philosophical diary”, written by a literary academic, turned novice shepherd. “Am I the one caring for the sheep, or are they caring for me?,” Linden asks as he finds both companionship and a moral framework for the lives we lead, in his flock….
Quercus Publishing, £9.99, 20th September 2018, 9781787472693
In the same mould as Icon’s Queer: A Graphic History, a useful and idiosyncratic comic book introduction to the political history of the Land of the Free. “Upbeat and optimistic”, it reminds us that “one awful president cannot sink history’s most powerful democracy”. Published ahead of the US mid-term elections….
Icon Books Ltd, £12.99, 6th September 2018, 9781785783456
Any new true tale by Ben Macintyre is a must-read as far as I’m concerned, but this one feels particularly timely. It concerns the life of double agent Oleg Gordievsky, a senior KGB officer who supplied his British spymasters with priceless secrets for over a decade. In 1985, however, he stood in central Moscow with a Safeway bag, its logo the signal that he needed out. What follows is a tale of espionage, betrayal and courage that changed the course of the Cold War forever….
Viking, £25.00, 20th September 2018, 9780241186657
Scrutinises how declining social mobility affects us all, and what we can do about it; despite repeated government pledges, Britain still has one of the lowest rates of social mobility in the Western world.
Pelican, £8.99, 27th September 2018, 9780241317020
Information is sketchy but this is a follow-up to the former MI5 undercover surveillance officer’s bestselling Soldier Spy. An ITV1 series is very close to being greenlit, I’m told….
Macmillan, £20.00, 20th September 2018, 9781509864096
The materials scientist and author of the award-winning Stuff Matters with the first popular science book about liquids and their amazing and mysterious properties, including why fluids flow up a tree but down a hill, why oil is sticky, and how to make the perfect cup of tea.
Viking, £16.99, 6th September 2018, 9780241977293
In this “style guide by stealth”, the English professor author of On Roads and Shrinking Violets explains how to find the ideal words, and craft the perfect sentences, in order to arrive at “verbal constellations of extraordinary grace”….
Viking, £14.99, 27th September 2018, 9780241978498
From strange ways to distort reality to the hacks that can improve memory, everything you need to know about your brain is crammed into this eye-opening illustrated New Scientist book, featuring essays, infographics and “try this at home” experiments….
John Murray Publishers Ltd, £20.00, 20th September 2018, 9781473629325
Illustrated survey of over 300 international tattoo artists working today, including Duncan X, Tomas Tomas, Scott Campbell, the Leu family and Stephanie Tamez. It explores the connections between tattoo culture today and seminal figures and developments in the recent past.
Laurence King Publishing, £50.00, 1st June 2018, 9781786270757
You don’t have to be a journalist to be riveted by this study of the state of news reporting-how we read it, who controls it, and why it matters. Reflecting on his own career from his days on the Cambridge Evening News to his 20 years as editor of the Guardian, during which time the paper broke such seismic stories as the Edward Snowden revelations and Wikileaks, Rusbridger offers a stirring defence of quality journalism….
Canongate Books Ltd, £20.00, 6th September 2018, 9781786890931
In this “exquisite infographic masterpiece” in the vein of his stunning 2017 book Apollo, Scott explores in detail 43 of the most majestic architectural constructions created by human beings in 23 countries around the world, including Stonehenge, the Burj Khalifa, the Taj Mahal, and the Shard. “The perfect Christmas gift book for anyone interested in architecture, engineering, design and creative infographics.”…
Wildfire, £25.00, 6th September 2018, 9781472247896
Shepherd is the UK’s foremost forensic pathologist, his job is to understand deaths which may have no natural cause, and his findings are crucial to the pursuit of justice. In this compelling-sounding book, billed as “a real-life Silent Witness”, he looks back on some of the high-profile cases he has been involved in as an expert witness-including 9/11, the Bali bombing, and the death of Princess Diana. He also considers the personal costs of a career in which he has been constantly driven by the challenge to find out the truth….
Michael Joseph Ltd, £20.00, 20th September 2018, 9780718182717
Delightful and fascinating book of 60 mazes around the world, including the mosaic labyrinth in the Cathdrale du Sacr Coeur in Algiers and the Folhammer maze in Gotland, Sweden. Includes birds-eye views of each maze so you can make your own journey around them.
Laurence King Publishing, £24.99, 1st September 2018, 9781786273222
This absorbing German bestseller from the publisher of The Hidden Life of Trees (and indeed Peter Wohlleben is an admirer) journeys inside the life of a beehive and reveals, in the process, fascinating discoveries from the latest honeybee research.
Black Inc., £16.99, 27th September 2018, 9781760640903
The nephew of Alan Turing, himself a code-breaking expert, tells the inside story of how Enigma was broken, drawing on recently declassified archives in France and the US, and previously unexplored Polish material, and interviews with the families of hitherto unsung Polish codebreakers who continued working for Britain during the early years of the Cold War.
The History Press Ltd, £20.00, 3rd September 2018, 9780750987820
The renowned First World War historian tells the story of 1918 in soldiers’ own words and photographs, the latter drawn both from his own interviews with veterans, and his outstanding collection of 5,000 images, many of which have never been published before. Van Emden will be the face of the BBC’s commemoration coverage, I’m told….
Pen & Sword Military, £25.00, 30th September 2018, 9781526735553
The gripping, hitherto untold-and deeply sad-story of the real-life US child abduction that inspired Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita: that of Sally Horner in 1948. Publication of this “stylish”, literary true crime story by Weidenfeld is appropriate too given that it was the first UK publisher of Lolita itself….
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £16.99, 11th September 2018, 9781474605595
Paperbacks : Fiction
Software engineer and loner Lois must keep the sourdough starter of her favourite takeaway alive when the restaurant closes down, in a novel called “genius-level observant, wonderfully written and absolutely brilliant” by the Mail. Sloan is the author of Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, which Atlantic says sold more than 100,000 copies….
Atlantic Books, £8.99, 6th September 2018, 9781786494115
Paperbacks : Non-fiction
A collection of essays from the novelist, ranging from Nabokov to the US elections.
Vintage, £10.99, 20th September 2018, 9780099488729
The eccentric diaries of the owner of The Bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland’s biggest second-hand bookshop. The hardback sold over 25,000 copies, says Profile. “Warm, witty and laugh-out-loud funny,” found the Mail. Profile has come up with a charming cover, and Bythell’s bone-dry, acerbic account of the trials and tribulations of bookselling is impossible not to warm to. I have also developed a bit of a crush on Bythell’s possibly-even-more-eccentric assistant Nicky, a Jehovah’s Witness who at one point calmly informs him that come the apocalypse and his annihilation, she’ll be snaffling all his stuff….
Profile Books Ltd, £8.99, 25th July 2018, 9781781258637
A journey around the world via its best bookshops.
MacLehose Press, £8.99, 6th September 2018, 9780857054463
The Nobel Prize winner’s essays on subjects from Daniel Defoe to Samuel Beckett….
Vintage, £9.99, 6th September 2018, 978178470565
Clinton’s account of the presidential election-“In the past, for reasons I try to explain, I’ve often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net. Now I’m letting my guard down”-was a Sunday Times bestseller. “Pleasingly vengeful and often darkly funny,” said the Sunday Times. The Observer found that it was “more gossipy… Meaner, more entertaining and more wrong-headed than anything she or her speechwriters have written before”. S&S promises digital and social media marketing; no word yet as to whether Clinton will provide additional material for the paperback, but my fingers are crossed….
Simon & Schuster Ltd, £9.99, 1st September 2018, 9781471166969
A full-colour tribute to the British soldier during the First World War, featuring images of uniforms, medals and ephemera to bring his world to life. A new chapter is included in the paperback, detailing remembrance.
The History Press Ltd, £20.00, 3rd September 2018, 9780750981460
A compendium for Steely Dan fans, collecting some of the best interviews with Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, along with reviews and commentary on the band’s songs….
Constable, £9.99, 6th September 2018, 9781472127549
A history of colours and the stories behind them, from imperial purple to scarlet women. “Charming,” said the FT, of a book which John Murray hopes will be “the perfect next step for all fans of colouring books”….
John Murray Publishers Ltd, £12.99, 6th September 2018, 9781473630833