Five new books to read this week

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

Bolu Babalola’s new novel is the July pick for Reese Witherspoon’s book club…


1. No Country For Girls by Emma Styles is published in hardback by Sphere. Available July 21st



Accidental outlaws Nao and Charlie’s paths collide when they both inadvertently become involved in a gold theft – and suddenly find themselves on the run for murder. Leaving a trail of destruction in their wake, the two unlikely travel companions flee for their lives in their victim’s ute. Each of their heartbreaking personal stories unravel as their pasts catch up on them, and they reluctantly bond over life and death. An absolute triumph of a debut, Emma Styles expertly captures character grit and tenacity in a thrilling cross-country chase through remote Australia. You’ll be gripped from the first page of this perfectly-paced thriller. Styles masterfully interlaces dark humour with tension by the bucketload, and poignant familial drama, introducing two new literary heroines for modern fiction.
(Review by Rebecca Wilcock)

2. Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola is published in hardback by Headline Review. Available now



Kiki Banjo uses her Brown Sugar radio platform to make sure the women of Whitewell University know to avoid players and men who will break their hearts. Then she meets Malakai – tall, handsome, seductive, and the new “Wasteman of Whitewell” as far as she is concerned. But when both Kiki and Malakai find mutual reasons for embarking on a fake relationship, her preconceptions about Malakai are put to the test. Kiki must learn to trust, not only when it comes to men, but also when it comes to her new best friends, following a traumatic time at school. Set within the hub of Blackwell, the university’s Afro-Caribbean society, this sparkling and self-assured novel explores a range of issues – such as casual racism from fellow white students and revenge porn – with a lightness of touch. Babalola really captures the heady infatuation and connection that comes with first love. The novel, whilst set in the UK, has a fresh, transatlantic feel, making it perfect for fans of Sex Education and Dear White People.
(Review by Catherine Lough)

3. The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell is published in hardback by Century. Available July 21st

The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell


While you can read The Family Remains as a standalone novel, everything makes a lot more sense if you’ve read the first instalment: The Family Upstairs. When human bones are discovered on the banks of the Thames, an investigation is triggered into who was murdered – and it all links back to the house of horrors from the first book. The Family Remains jumps between perspectives, including a young jewellery designer who’s met an enigmatic older man, siblings who have just come into a lot of money and are escaping a sinister past, and the inspector trying to piece everything together. While The Family Remains is good at building up tension and drama, slowly drip-feeding information as the plot reaches its crescendo, the finale falls a bit flat – you expect a lot more twists and turns, but there really isn’t anything that unexpected. It makes for an indulgent beach read – but not much more than that.
(Review by Prudence Wade)


4. Sound Within Sound by Kate Molleson is published in hardback by Faber & Faber. Available now

In Sound Within Sound, Kate Molleson aims to introduce us not only to the music of her chosen canon of 20th-century classical composers, but to their lives, their passions and their battles. Despite the potentially highbrow subject, her tone is conversational, inviting us to share in her excitement at opening the doors of classical music’s exclusive club to these ‘outsiders’. Molleson loves an eccentric, and the more revolutionary the better. The traditional keyboard is disrupted, the concept of the octave overturned, women occupy the centre stage, and the emergent cities of Africa and South America are the new 18th and 19th-century European salons. This book takes us on a rollercoaster of a musical journey into the future which is long overdue. The reader is immediately anxious to hear the works conjured up on the page. This is a great project and an excellent read.
(Victoria Barry)

Children’s book of the week

5. The Worries: Shara And The Really Big Sleepover by Jion Sheibani is published in paperback by Puffin. Available July 28th

Jion Sheibani continues her series of The Worries with the story of Shara, who’s trying to keep everything together for her little brother, Keita, when their mother goes on holiday and they stay over at granddad’s house for the first time. However, things start to fall apart when Shara and Keita are visited by the real-life manifestations of their worries – including a gloopy slime creature called Scared and a mini dinosaur-style worry called Reece Sponsable – all set on causing chaos. Anxious feelings can sometimes be tough for kids to articulate – The Worries is a brilliant way of visualising these concerns, hopefully opening up important conversations. While the concept does feel remarkably similar to the Pixar movie Inside Out, it’s still a sweet story with charming illustrations.
(Review by Prudence Wade)


1. The House Of Fortune by Jessie Burton
2. Murder Before Evensong by Reverend Richard Coles
3. Tomorrow, And Tomorrow, And Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
4. Lessons In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
5. The Partisan by Patrick Worrall
6. Lore Olympus Volume Two by Rachel Smythe
7. Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart
8. Elektra by Jennifer Saint
9. An Italian Girl In Brooklyn by Santa Montefiore
10. Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. The Escape Artist by Jonathan Freedland
2. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Dr Julie Smith
3. House Arrest by Alan Bennett
4. The Hong Kong Diaries by Chris Patten
5. Regenesis by George Monbiot
6. Russia by Antony Beevor
7. Boy Friends by Michael Pedersen
8. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse by Charlie Mackesy
9. Happy-Go-Lucky by David Sedaris
10. Chums by Simon Kuper
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. This Much Is True by Miriam Margolyes
2. Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre
3. Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
4. One Last Secret by Adele Parks
5. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Dr Julie Smith
6. Atomic Habits by James Clear
7. Lessons In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
8. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
9. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
10. Circe by Madeline Miller
(Compiled by Audible)

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