October 2019 : New Titles
A personal selection from a plethora of titles …
Sequel to Call Me By Your Name-recently adapted into an Oscar-nominated film-with Aciman revisiting the complex lives of Elio and Oliver in the years after their first meeting.
Faber & Faber, £14.99, 29th October 2019, 9780571356829
Said to be a compelling portrait of postwar Oslo recovering from the German occupation from the award-winning Norwegian novelist and poet.
MacLehose Press, £14.99, 3rd October 2019, 9780857059154
A young Irish engineer follows a woman to Berlin and begins work on the renovation of a building in Alexanderplatz. Set against the structural evolution of the sprawling city, this is a mediation on language, memory and yearning, says Head of Zeus.
Head of Zeus, £16.99, 3rd October 2019, 9781789546248
Inspired by the little-known mission of carrier pigeons during the Second World War this tells of the National Pigeon Service whose mission was to air-drop hundreds of homing pigeons in German-occupied France.
Hodder Paperback, £8.99, 31st October 2019, 9781529311464
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 as an original commission, this imagines a dystopian future where rising sea levels have forced communities into vast population centres patrolled by armed wardens. Water is now a commodity, not a right. Jones won the 2017 BBC Short Story Award with “Cove”.
Granta Books, £12.00, 17th October 2019, 9781783785612
The sequel to bestselling The Tattooist of Auschwitz-“a touching and redemptive tale of love and selflessness”, according to the Times Literary Supplement-which has shifted a hefty 835,714 copies to date through BookScan and was a particular hit for the supermarkets. This tells the story of Cilka who has survived Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp only to be charged as a collaborator after the war. She is sent to a Siberian prison camp where she faces challenges both new and horribly familiar and must find the strength to survive. Zaffre will bring Melbourne-based Heather Morris to the UK from 17th to 26th October to promote.
Zaffre Publishing, £14.99, 1st October 2019, 9781785769047
The announcement of this second volume of memoirs by the beloved actress generated much excitement. Picking up the story with Andrews’ arrival in Hollywood, it charts her movie-making career, including the personal stories behind such classics as “Mary Poppins”, “The Sound of Music”, “Victor/Victoria” and many others. Along with anecdotes about Hollywood and Broadway and fellow stars, Andrews also reflects on her working and life partnership with Blake Edwards.
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £20.00, 15th October 2019, 9781474602167
“We spend our whole lives in one body and yet most of us have practically no idea how it works and what goes on inside it. The idea of the book is simply to try to understand the extraordinary contraption that is us.” Bryson spent three years researching this, his “magnum opus”, reading 2,500 books and interviewing doctors and scientists in the process. Each chapter considers a different part of the body, along with such subjects such as pain and cancer, through both science writing and “wry stories”.
Doubleday, £25.00, 1st October 2019, 9780857522405
This story of “human decency in the midst of barbarism” is that of Mosul Zoo, which miraculously survived during the years when Islamic State ruled the city thanks to its zookeeper Abu Laith-“Father of Lions”-and his family and helpers. They risked their lives and went hungry to keep the animals alive, and, in a final, heroic effort, smuggled them out of Iraq in a daring rescue operation.
Head of Zeus, £20.00, 3rd October 2019, 9781789540765
Chang’s Wild Swans, published in 1991, remains among my favourite biographies. Her new book also stars a trio of extraordinary women, whose lives form the subject of the best-known modern Chinese fairytale-but they are little known to Western readers. Based on extensive first-hand research and interviews, as well as Chang’s experience of growing up in Maoist China, it’s the engrossing story of the three Soong sisters from Shanghai, each of whom played a crucial role in shaping modern China, witnessing war, revolution and seismic transformations along the way.
Ching-ling (Red Sister) married the founding father of the Chinese republic and later became Mao’s vice-chair. May-ling (Little Sister) married Chiang Kai-shek, and became first lady of pre-Communist Nationalist China, and a political figure in her own right; while Ei-ling (Big Sister) was chief advisor to Chiang. All three enjoyed tremendous privilege and fame, but also endured constant attacks and mortal danger as well as heartbreak and despair. And the relationship between the three sisters was highly charged, particularly once they embraced opposing political camps.
Jonathan Cape Ltd, £25.00, 17th October 2019, 9781910702789
From sriracha to Tabasco, this “funny, feisty” stocking filler for the hot sauce lover in your life includes illustrated profiles of more than two dozen varieties of hot sauce, along with fiery facts and saucy asides.
Trapeze, £9.99, 9th October 2019, 9781409194583
“Candid and trenchant” first memoir by the veteran broadcaster, published to mark his retirement from the BBC. It covers his Cardiff childhood, his life as a journalist covering Watergate and apartheid South Africa, his time presenting BBC’s “Nine O’Clock News”, as well as his 33 years holding politicians to account on Radio 4’s “Today”. We also get Humphrys’ forceful opinions on the state of the nation, journalism and the media.
William Collins, £20.00, 24th September 2019, 9780007415571
Based in part on his own experience of events that shaped the post-war city, Jenkins shows how London has taken shape over more than 2,000 years, from the prehistoric occupants of the Thames Valley, to the preoccupied commuters of today. “Fascinating for locals and visitors alike.”
Viking, £25.00, 10th October 2019, 9780241369982
In his only official autobiography, the music legend looks back on all the drama of his extraordinary life, from the early rejection of his work with song-writing partner Bernie Taupin, to spinning out of control as a chart-topping superstar, to half-heartedly trying to drown himself in his LA swimming pool, to disco-dancing with the Queen. He writes powerfully about getting clean after a drug addiction that gripped him for a decade, finding love and becoming a father. A massive campaign is planned, and the cover is splendid, too.
Macmillan, £25.00, 15th October 2019, 9781509853311
This third and final volume of Moore’s biography covers Thatcher’s last period in office and her combative retirement. It includes the fall of the Berlin Wall, which she fought for, and the rise of the modern EU, which she feared. It lays bare her growing quarrels with colleagues and reveals the truth about her political assassination.
Allen Lane, £35.00, 3rd October 2019, 9780241324745
Fabulous photographic biography, including many unseen images by the celebrated photographer who worked with Elton John for many years. From intimate backstage shots to huge stadium concerts, we are promised the very best from his archive.
Cassell Illustrated, £30.00, 3rd October 2019, 9781788401487
Billed as a riveting and meticulously researched minute-by-minute chronicle of the February 1945 conference at Yalta between Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill. It shaped the outcome of one war-and gave birth to another.
Picador, £25.00, 17th October 2019, 9781509868742
Playful and cutely designed collection of 365 extracts sourced from the British Library’s collections, encompassing eclectic works in literature, poetry, essays and letters, along with a myriad of curious imagery.
British Library Publishing, £17.99, 10th October 2019, 9780712352543
Explaining why English has such a wide range of accents (and accent prejudice), the author, a professor of phonetics, draws on personal anecdotes and examples from the media to reveal the judgements we make about others’ voices without even noticing.
Oxford University Press, £20.00, 7th November 2019, 9780198813842
Throughout his stellar acting career, from Shakespeare to Poirot, Suchet has never been without a camera, enabling him to document his life in photographs. Combining behind-the-scenes images with “revelatory and engaging” commentary, he tells the story of his life and career, from his London upbringing to his views on religion.
Constable, £25.00, 3rd October 2019, 9781472130280
Most attractive gift book on the history of tonic water, including cocktail recipes both alcoholic and non, and illustrated with historical artwork and photographs.
Kew Publishing, £18.00, 1st October 2019, 9781842466896
Which Haruki Murakami novel shares its title with a Beatles song? In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, what is Charlie’s surname? What is Rachel Watson known as in the title of a 21st-century bestseller? Arranged in themed sections, 400 questions covering books from literary classics to modern bestsellers, and Antony Beevor to Zadie Smith.
Penguin Books Ltd, £9.99, 3rd October 2019, 9780241986035
Paperbacks : Fiction
This is the unsettling, dark and very funny story of Eleanor, who moves to a remote Australian town to work as a primary school teacher, only to find that things are very weird just below the surface. I loved it.
Fleet, £8.99, 3rd October 2019, 9780708898802
Dean Street is publishing the first 10 novels by another golden age mystery discovery, Brian Flynn. The novels were all published between 1927 and 1931, and the publisher says they are some of the rarest golden age novels out there, as many have never been reprinted since.
Dean Street Press, £9.99, 7th October 2019, 9781913054359
In the south of France in 1953 the fragile peace between the West and Soviet Russia teeters on a knife edge. When her older brother leaves to become an intelligence officer for the CIA in Paris, Eloise decides to follow him . . . with devastating consequences. From the author of The Survivors.
Simon & Schuster Ltd, £8.99, 31st October 2019, 9781471172342
This Spanish bestseller tells of Berta and Toms, who meet when they are young in Madrid. But when Toms goes to study at Oxford, he catches the eye of the secret service. “A twisty, thought-provoking tale that puts notions of truth and morality under pitiless scrutiny,” said the Guardian.
Penguin Books Ltd, £8.99, 10th October 2019, 9780241983553
One of a set of beautiful new editions of the best Japanese writers on the Vintage list, following on from Vintage’s Russian Classics and European Classics series.
Vintage Classics, £10.99, 3rd October 2019, 9781784875411
Paperbacks : Non-fiction
A miscellany exploring the life of J R R Tolkien, part of The History Press’ Inspiring Lives series.
The History Press Ltd, £9.99, 1st October 2019, 9780750992275
A history of the pirate radio station Radio Caroline.
The History Press Ltd, £10.99, 1st October 2019, 9780750992534
The actor’s memoir, from a lonely childhood to her success. “Beautifully written,” said the Sunday Times.
Simon & Schuster Ltd, £8.99, 27th June 2019, 9781471175787
The former chair of the Federal Reserve co-authors this history of capitalism in the US. The FT said that “readers will emerge from this heady blend of economic, business and political history with a sense of exhilaration that so much of the American experience could be described so vividly and insightfully”.
Penguin Books Ltd, £12.99, 3rd October 2019, 9780141989310
How global finance is making us all poorer, working for the few, not the many. “Hard-hitting, well written and informative,” said the FT.
Vintage, £9.99, 10th October 2019, 9781784705046
A history of fabric, from the threads woven by the Greek Fates to the wrappings of Tutankhamun’s mummy.
John Murray Publishers Ltd, £10.99, 3rd October 2019, 9781473659056
A scientist and the creator of the popular web comic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal take an illustrated look at the technologies which will transform our future.
Penguin Books Ltd, £9.99, 3rd October 2019, 9781846149009