Five new books to read this week

Five New Books To Read This Week
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By Prudence Wade, PA

Ahead of London Fashion Week in February, designer Harris Reed has released his fashion manifesto…


1. The Gallopers by Jon Ransom is published in hardback by Muswell Press. Available January 25th


The Gallopers by Jon Ransom
(Muswell Press/PA)

Set against the bleak and unforgiving backdrop of post-war North Norfolk, The Gallopers is the tale of young man’s quest to discover the truth about his mother’s disappearance and navigate the treacherous tides of love and betrayal. When Jimmy Smart, a tight-lipped showman, arrives at the barn owned by Eli’s aunt, Eli is plunged into uncharted waters – and he finds that he is soon out of his depth. Whilst stones are thrown at the cottage windows and the locals shun the family, the curse of his aunt’s field and its hidden secret mirrors Eli’s own deep-rooted sense of shame. But when he turns to Jimmy Smart for reassurance, he realises that Jimmy is not all that he seems. Moving between the grim reality of 1953 to a fictional arena in the Aids epidemic of 1988, The Gallopers explores the social stigma of forbidden love and the ramifications for those who wish to express that love, even when the stakes are at their highest. Gritty and unsettling, Jon Ransom has crafted a story of discovery and loss, the circularity of life and the shockwaves which ripple out from the centre of tragedy.
(Review by Hannah Colby)

2. Wild Houses by Colin Barrett is published in hardback by Jonathan Cape. Available January 25th


Wild Houses by Colin Barrett
(Jonathan Cape/PA)

Wild Houses is the debut novel of renowned short story writer Colin Barrett. Set in rural Ireland, the open countryside offers not freedom, but entrapment. Local drug dealers Gabe and Sketch choose to pursue a debt by abducting Doll, the brother of the man who owes them. There is comedy in the incompetence of how this clumsy act of criminality plays out, but what Wild Houses is really about is the interconnectedness and over-familiarity of small communities, and the impossibility of escaping judgment and escaping demons. Barrett tells this tale with his extraordinary eye for detail, which elevated his short stories, and his lyrical talent for description. The actual story at the heart of the book ultimately seems a little mundane, but the way in which it is told is anything but.
(Review by Ian Parker)

3. Come And Get It by Kiley Reid is published in hardback by Bloomsbury Publishing. Available January 30th



Kiley Reid’s follow-up to smash hit Such A Fun Age feels a lot more pedestrian. Like her previous book, it follows multiple perspectives – this time we have Millie, a black woman and an RA at a university; Agatha Paul, a white visiting professor who has just gone through a break-up; and Kennedy, a white student struggling to fit in. The loose story arc is Agatha paying Millie to listen in on some of the other students’ conversations, which she then writes up as first person-style money stories for Teen Vogue – and the two soon fall into some kind of a relationships Reid writes characters well and it’s engaging, but the plot is a bit meandering until it accelerates all of a sudden with a pretty grim happening involving Kennedy. The ending feels vaguely unsatisfactory – while readable, it leaves you wondering what the point was.
(Review by Prudence Wade)


4. Fluid: A Fashion Revolution by Harris Reed is published in hardback by Quadrille. Available now


Fluid is a stunning book, full of pictures of designer Harris Reed’s opulent clothes – worn by Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Sam Smith, Iman and more. It’s gorgeous – but is also so much more than just a coffee table book. It’s part-autobiography, part-fashion manifesto – tracking Reed’s journey discovering fashion as means of armour and creativity, while also highlighting why style shouldn’t be constrained by stereotypical ideas around gender. It dives into the history of gender fluidity in fashion, making for an infinitely readable and powerful book. Reed is fast becoming one of the most prominent names in fashion, and this is the perfect window into his world.
(Review by Prudence Wade)

Children’s book of the week

5. PLEASE! by Simon Philip, illustrated by Nathan Reed, is published in paperback by Bloomsbury Children’s Books. Available now

For parents who want to teach their kids good manners, storytime can feel like the ideal way to instil the notion of ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Simon Philip (author of the hugely popular ACHOO! about the importance of covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze) is back with a surreal tale about a boy who forgets to say the ‘magic word’ when ordering an ice cream. The consequences are a tad extreme – being kidnapped by alien toads and taken on an adventure through space, a croc-infested jungle and a fairy tale land, where very strange things happen – and at three-and-a-half years old, my child is probably a little young to understand that forgetting to say ‘please’ isn’t as catastrophic as the book makes out. But those slightly older would laugh at the ridiculousness of it all and the message would probably hit just right. The illustrations by Nathan Reed are wonderful and the snappy rhyming prose will keep kids hooked to the end.
(Review by Lauren Taylor)


1. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
2. Faebound by Saara El-Arifi
3. The Beholders by Hester Musson
4. Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros
5. The Last Devil To Die by Richard Osman
6. The Atlas Complex by Olivie Blake
7. Voyage Of The Damned by Frances White
8. The Secret by Lee Child & Andrew Child
9. The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose
10. Ruthless Vows by Rebecca Ross
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. Charles III by Robert Hardman
2. Politics On The Edge by Rory Stewart
3. Bored Of Lunch Healthy Slow Cooker: Even Easier by Nathan Anthony
4. The Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World by Bettany Hughes
5. How They Broke Britain by James O’Brien
6. Unruly by David Mitchell
7. Pinch Of Nom Express by Kay Allinson & Kate Allinson
8. Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays The Rent by Judi Dench
9. Friends, Lovers And The Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry
10. Deliciously Ella Healthy Made Simple by Ella Mills
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. Atomic Habits by James Clear
2. Unruly by David Mitchell
3. Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake
4. None Of This Is True by Lisa Jewell
5. Charles III by Robert Hardman
6. The Brief by Simon Michael
7. Ultra-Processed People by Chris van Tulleken
8. How They Broke Britain by James O’Brien
9. The Diary Of A CEO by Steven Bartlett
10. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
(Compiled by Audible)

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