Five new books to read this week

Five New Books To Read This Week
Share this article

By Prudence Wade, PA

Labour MP Chris Bryant has written a powerful historical account about homosexuality in the time of Charles Dickens…


1. The List Of Suspicious Things by Jennie Godfrey is published in hardback by Hutchinson Heinemann. Available now



The List Of Suspicious Things by Jennie Godfrey is her debut novel and is based on her childhood in West Yorkshire in the 1970s. It’s a beautifully written story about friendship, family and the untold secrets hidden beneath the surface. Miv has her own family issues – her mother has stopped speaking, her Aunty Jean has moved in and her dad is clearly stressed. Not to mention the Yorkshire Ripper murders. A move down South is discussed and this fires Miv’s drive to solve the case of the disappearing women – stopping the need to move. Miv and her friend Sharon decide to make a list of all the suspicious people within their community and their search for the truth reveals more secrets than they thought possible. This coming-of-age novel touches on a number of themes; family, friendship, love, suicide, mental health, betrayal, heartbreak, loss and murder. This is a touching novel that will have you in tears, shock, laughter and horror – allowing you to connect to your childhood and coming-of-age in a way that will bring back lots of memories.
(Review by Amanda De-Beer)

2. Every Smile You Fake by Dorothy Koomson is published in hardback by Headline Review. Available now



At the centre of Every Smile You Fake is profiler and therapist Kez Lanyon – and it’s clear there’s a whole other layer to her as the book goes on. She finds a baby in her car – and she suspects the mother is Brandee, a social media star who has gone into hiding, removing herself from the online world. Kez begins her search for Brandee and gets pulled back into a world she hoped she had left forever. Dorothy Koomson has written a twisty tale that taps into child exploitation, the church of online influencers, pseudo psychology and radicalisation – and it doesn’t seem too far-fetched, as in the last year, similar stories have been in the news. Each chapter is more addictive than the last, as the backgrounds of the characters are unpicked as their lives unravel, with Koomson shining a light on the darker side of living life online.
(Review by Rachel Howdle)

3. The Trials Of Lila Dalton by L. J. Shepherd is published in hardback by Pushkin Vertigo. Available now

The Trials Of Lila Dalton is an incredibly inventive debut from barrister L.J. Shepherd. She draws upon her day job to write a new type of courtroom drama, one with a dystopian slant. Lila Dalton suddenly wakes up and finds she’s leading the defence of a man accused of something horrific – but she doesn’t know how she got there and can’t remember anything from two seconds earlier. Luckily, her brain seems to have retained information of how to actually be a lawyer – but then the real mystery begins, as she tries to find out who she is and why she’s in this courthouse on a strange island, with her phone tapped and death threats slid under her door. It’s a gripping read that’s incredibly well paced – you’ll race through the chapters, desperate to find out the truth. While the ending perhaps tries too many things and gets a bit overcomplicated, it’s still a brilliant read and a satisfying finale.
(Review by Prudence Wade)


4. James And John: A True Story Of Prejudice And Murder by Chris Bryant is published in hardback by Bloomsbury Publishing. Available now

James Pratt and John Smith were sent to the gallows in the 1830s for engaging in an offence deemed so “unnatural” that it could not even be mentioned. Historian, author and MP Chris Bryant examines why, unlike other countries at the time, Britain was so vehemently against gay sex that it was a capital offence. His forensic post-mortem of the James and John case strips this great reforming era back to reveal underlying hypocrisy, social injustice and deep-seated homophobic prejudice. The fleshy visceral heart of Bryant’s social history set in the teeming streets of Charles Dickens’ London has been brilliantly stitched together from archives, records and correspondence. There are many intriguing and amusing nuggets to be found in this rich patchwork of a story, putting into ever more painfully sharp relief the horror of what happened to these two men. This is an astonishing piece of work.
(Review by Emily Pennink)

Children’s book of the week

5. Dim Sum Palace by X. Fang is published in hardback by Pushkin Children’s Books. Available now

Sometimes children’s books don’t need to have a teachable lesson behind it all – sometimes they can just be joyfully silly, as is the case with Dim Sum Palace. Visual artist X. Fang has dreamed up a captivating debut picture book, telling the story of Liddy – who’s so excited to eat at the Dim Sum Palace tomorrow that she can’t sleep. So when a delicious smell travels into her room, Liddy obviously follows it – straight into a kitchen, where she somehow finds herself folded into a dumpling. It’s surreal in an incredibly fun way and this, coupled with the sensory overload of the food, is reminiscent of the iconic food scene in Studio Ghibli film Spirited Away. The illustrations are unlike most of the other children’s books out there, making for a unique read that will go down a storm at bedtime.
(Review by Prudence Wade)


1. Sunbringer by Hannah Kaner
2. The Fury by Alex Michaelides
3. House Of Flame And Shadow by Sarah J. Maas
4. Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros
5. The Island Swimmer by Lorraine Kelly
6. Red Side Story by Jasper Fforde
7. Faebound by Saara El-Arifi
8. The List Of Suspicious Things by Jennie Godfrey
9. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
10. Fourteen Days by Margaret Atwood et al
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. Bored Of Lunch Healthy Slow Cooker: Even Easier by Nathan Anthony
2. How AI Thinks by Nigel Toon
3. Politics On The Edge by Rory Stewart
4. Empireworld by Sathnam Sanghera
5. Charles III by Robert Hardman
6. How They Broke Britain by James O’Brien
7. Pinch Of Nom Express: Fast, Delicious Food by Kay Allinson & Kate Allinson
8. My Mother And I by Ingrid Seward
9. The Diary Of A CEO by Steven Bartlett
10. The Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World by Bettany Hughes
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. Atomic Habits by James Clear
2. Unruly by David Mitchell
3. The Island Swimmer by Lorraine Kelly
4. None of This Is True by Lisa Jewell
5. A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
6. The Diary Of A CEO by Steven Bartlett
7. The Fellowship Of The Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
8. Ultra-Processed People by Chris van Tulleken
9. How They Broke Britain by James O’Brien
10. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
(Compiled by Audible)

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by