Five new books to read this week

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

Melvin Burgess makes his adult fiction debut…


1. Loki by Melvin Burgess is published in hardback by Coronet. Available now



This debut adult novel from children’s fiction author Melvin Burgess is a spirited retelling of Norse mythology through the eyes of the trickster god Loki. Vain, boastful and cunning yet witty and insightful, the decidedly unreliable narrator takes readers on an episodic tour through ancient tales, highlighting the god of mischief-making’s key roles and casting scorn on other deities. We learn of Loki’s birth, his friendship with god-ruler Odin, the arrival of his extraordinary children, a rivalry with god of thunder Thor and his passionate love for Odin’s child Baldr. Bawdy, violent and tragic stories are recounted in a sardonic and playful tone, but not without moments of tenderness. They explore serious themes: from corrupt politics and power to the treatment of gender, sexuality and love. Loki aims to challenge previous perceptions and the authority of the patriarchal gods by exposing their dubious morality, lies and brutality. It’s a rollicking read.
(Review by Tom Pilgrim)

2. The Dazzle Of The Light by Georgina Clarke is published in paperback by Verve Books. Available now



What could a well-off aspiring journalist have in common with a ruthless thief? More than you’d think, if Georgina Clarke’s latest novel The Dazzle Of The Light is anything to go by. Set in the 1920s, the book follows the lives of Ruby Mills, a shoplifter with ambitions of a better life, and Harriet Littlemore, who is set to wed a politician tipped to be the next prime minister. The unlikely acquaintances are thrown together in a series of encounters. Inspired by the real-life activities of the Forty Thieves all-female crime syndicate, Clarke creates a great snapshot of life in London after the First World War. Jewellery thefts, cocktails at the Savoy and trips to the finest department stores provide excellent escapism, interspersed with the brutal reality of how class and gender shaped lives in post-war Britain.
(Review by Eleanor Barlow)

3. The Sanctuary by Emma Haughton is published in hardback by Hodder & Stoughton. Available November 24th

Zoey first enters The Sanctuary against her will. While the initial plot focuses on Zoey and revealing the reasons why she has been brought there, the story develops to reveal a killer is on the loose – increasing the sense of remoteness even further. This descriptive novel will take you through a whirlwind of emotions. Who is telling the truth? What is going on behind closed doors? An exciting read that’ll keep you guessing, The Sanctuary reels you in with beautiful descriptions of this remote location, where you realise a lot more is going on than meets the eye. With many interesting characters to unpick, it is hard to know who you can trust. Despite this, the novel includes some really heart-warming scenes too, breaking up the mystery and sense of dread. This was a gripping read that was difficult to put down.
(Review by Randy Bainbridge)


4. The Fall Of Boris Johnson by Sebastian Payne is published in hardback by Macmillan. Available now

Sebastian Payne’s rapidly produced account of Boris Johnson’s final months in Downing Street offers a compelling behind-the-scenes view of the former prime minister’s downfall. The Financial Times journalist paints a picture of a dysfunctional Number 10, where the PM was often absent at crucial moments and officials repeatedly failed to establish the facts on the Partygate and Pincher scandals before issuing denials that later proved to be false. Much of the book may already be known to Westminster obsessives, but Payne’s account of the final few days in ‘The Bunker’ provides new insider details on Johnson’s frantic attempts to save his premiership. But despite the efforts of the final chapter, The Fall Of Boris Johnson does not really add much to discussions of how far he was responsible for his own downfall. It is a good first rough draft of history, but there will be plenty more to be said.
(Review by Christopher McKeon)

Children’s book of the week

5. My Name Is Malala by Malala Yousafzai, illustrated by Mariam Quraishi, is published as a board book by Puffin. Available now

Few stories are as inspirational as Malala Yousafzai’s, and this simple but impactful board book will introduce young readers to her life. With colourful, sweet illustrations and easy-to-follow sentences, each page outlines an aspect of who Yousafzai is – that she is a friend, a Muslim, a reader, and so on. It ends with a short outline of the 25-year-old activist’s life, and while it doesn’t go into huge amounts of detail – this is a book for young children, after all – there are plenty of important themes, and it will no doubt provide food for thought and topics for future conversations. It’s hopeful and inspiring – just like Yousafzai herself.
(Review by Prudence Wade)


1. The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman
2. It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover
3. No Plan B by Lee Child & Andrew Child
4. The Satsuma Complex by Bob Mortimer
5. Act Of Oblivion by Robert Harris
6. The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith
7. She And Her Cat by Makoto Shinkai & Naruki Nagakawa
8. A Heart Full Of Headstones by Ian Rankin
9. Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult & Jennifer Finney Boylan
10. Lessons In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama
2. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse: The Animated Story by Charlie Mackesy
3. Private Eye Annual: 2022 by Ian Hislop
4. Madly, Deeply by Alan Rickman
5. Guinness World Records 2023 by Guinness World Records
6. One by Jamie Oliver
7. Diddly Squat by Jeremy Clarkson
8. Gloves Off by Tyson Fury
9. Colditz by Ben MacIntyre
10. Surrender by Bono
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. Spare by The Duke of Sussex
2. Friends, Lovers And The Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry
3. Geneva by Richard Armitage
4. The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama
5. The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman
6. Atomic Habits by James Clear
7. The Satsuma Complex by Bob Mortimer
8. Surrender by Bono
9. Parenting Hell by Rob Beckett & Josh Widdicombe
10. SAS: Rogue Heroes by Ben Macintyre
(Compiled by Audible)

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