Fire Rush by Jacqueline Crooks has recently been longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction…
1. Old God’s Time by Sebastian Barry is published in hardback by Faber & Faber, priced £18.99 (€20.42). Available now
'Extraordinary.' Irish Times
'Spectacular.' Irish Independent
We are so thrilled that Sebastian Barry's stunning new novel Old God's Time has gone straight to No. 1 in Ireland in its first week! 🎉🎉 pic.twitter.com/ahjRZqk9VP
— Faber Books (@FaberBooks) March 5, 2023
A dense, lyrical and profoundly sad novel, Old God’s Time explores the reverberations of one of the bleakest episodes in Ireland’s history.
Tom Kettle, a former policeman now in his 60s, is relaxing into retirement in a scenic coastal town.
He spends his time observing his neighbours – an actress in hiding from her vicious husband and a cellist who shoots birds from his balcony – and immersing himself in memories of his beloved wife, June.
But his nostalgic reveries are interrupted by a visit from two detectives. They’re working on a cold case, one with special significance for Tom. And as the details emerge, it becomes clear that Tom is hiding terrible secrets – even from himself.
This is a beautifully written book, and Tom is an unforgettable character – a gentle, damaged soul who savours small pleasures and the beauty of the world, despite the ugliness of some of the people in it.
(Review by Jackie Kingsley)
2. Fire Rush by Jacqueline Crooks is published in hardback by Jonathan Cape, priced £16.99 (ebook £9.99). Available now
'I felt charged and changed' @BernardineEvari
'It stands head and shoulders above most debuts' @Telegraph
We are so excited to publish the sensational FIRE RUSH by Jacqueline Crooks today @vintagebooks ❤️🧡💛 pic.twitter.com/PmTqWZbgWn
— Jonathan Cape (@JonathanCape) March 2, 2023
In late 1970s London, young factory worker Yamaye seeks the spirit of her lost mother and spends her weekends dancing the night away with friends at a club called The Crypt.
But just as her horizons are expanding, tragic events break the bonds of youth and send her on a very different voyage of discovery. Against the backdrop of race riots, she must escape home, navigate the backstreets of Bristol, and find her way to her Jamaican roots. Yamaye’s connection to the music is deeper than nights in the dancehall – she feels the power of songs passed down to her and though her search for truth sends her riddles and false hope, she can always return to the music.
Jacqueline Crooks’ lyrical debut dances to the rhythm of the reggae music that pulses throughout it, in a powerful portrait of black womanhood in late 20th century Britain and beyond.
(Review by Ian Parker)
3. Nothing Special by Nicole Flattery is published in hardback by Bloomsbury Publishing, priced £16.99 (ebook £11.89). Available now
Author of #NothingSpecial, @nicoleflattery, chooses five books that influenced writing her debut novel for @bookshop_org_UK 📚
Find out more here: https://t.co/GiRh0Vqgq0 pic.twitter.com/FHBcmuizbF
— Bloomsbury Books UK (@BloomsburyBooks) March 6, 2023
This dazzling debut is a character-led journey through New York in the 1960s. 17-year-old Mae gets a job as a typist in Andy Warhol’s famous studio, where she is introduced to the secret world of the artist and his various associates.
Not only does this novel show the glamorous side of Warhol’s world, but also the seedy underworld that was kept away from the newspapers and photographers.
A little thin on the plot, Mae’s character development through the novel is what will keep you reading, as she makes the change from impressionable high-school dropout, to a stoic cynic, in the space of just a few months. It is a beautifully written debut by Nicole Flattery, who has a promising future ahead of her.
(Review by Lauren Gilmour)
4. Hags: The Demonisation Of Middle-Aged Women by Victoria Smith is published in hardback by Fleet, priced £20 (ebook £11.99). Available now
It's my book publication day! Thank you to all the brilliant women who talked to me about hagdom and encouraged me with this! pic.twitter.com/7przTGtfwE
— Victoria Smith (@glosswitch) March 2, 2023
Victoria Smith’s Hags is a brilliantly witty, engaging, and insightful book; a righteous polemic which examines and questions why middle-aged women are hated – and, crucially, what this means for women today.
It covers a broad range of themes – everything from care work to sex and beauty – and looks at how it relates to middle-aged women.
From early modern witches to today’s ‘Karens’, Smith explores in great depth the ageism and misogyny directed at older women through history, and draws on a multitude of perspectives and experiences, including her own, to examine why these women are treated with such vitriol and disdain. Hags is a punchy, thought-provoking, and thoroughly enjoyable read.
(Review by Eleanor Fleming)
Children’s book of the week
5. I, Spy: A Bletchley Park Mystery by Rhian Tracey is published in paperback by Piccadilly Press, priced £7.99 (ebook £5.99). Available now
We are SO excited that @kidsblackwell have selected I, Spy by Rhian Tracey for their Children's Book of the Month! https://t.co/QrtGU76pdE pic.twitter.com/zQZvfhA6XXAdvertisement
— Piccadilly Press 📖✨ (@PiccadillyPress) March 1, 2023
If you know any children who love reading stories set during World War II, then this mystery from Rhian Tracey could be right up their street.
I, Spy is an adventure set in Bletchley Park (once the top-secret home of war codebreakers) in 1939, and tells the story of Robyn, a 12-year-old girl who has her heart set on finding out what is really going on behind closed doors.
Together with her friends Mary and Ned, Robyn embarks on a journey to discover the truth – including decoding exactly what the tight-lipped adults actually mean. As well as being full of twists and turns, the novel is educational to boot, introducing children to issues such as evacuation and the use of carrier pigeons in intelligence gathering. It also has a simple map at the front of the book – always a brilliant aide to helping children visualise the action.
(Review by Jane Kirby)
BOOK CHARTS FOR THE WEEK ENDING MARCH 11
1. Old Babes In The Wood by Margaret Atwood
2. In Memoriam by Alice Winn
3. Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton
4. A Day Of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon
5. Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati
6. Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes
7. Old God’s Time by Sebastian Barry
8. Lady MacBethad by Isabelle Schuler
9. The Adventures Of Amina Al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty
10. It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover
(Compiled by Waterstones)
1. Ultimate Air Fryer Cookbook by Clare Andrews & Air Fryer UK
2. The Earth Transformed by Professor Peter Frankopan
3. Spare by The Duke of Sussex
4. Mary Berry’s Baking Bible by Mary Berry
5. The State Of Us by Jon Snow
6. Strong Female Character by Fern Brady
7. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse by Charlie Mackesy
8. Why Women Grow by Alice Vincent
9. Bored Of Lunch by Nathan Anthony
10. It’s OK To Be Angry About Capitalism by Bernie Sanders
(Compiled by Waterstones)
AUDIOBOOKS (FICTION AND NON-FICTION)
1. Spare by The Duke of Sussex
2. Atomic Habits by James Clear
3. Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes
4. Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
5. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
6. Lessons In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
7. Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent
8. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
9. Strong Female Character by Fern Brady
10. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Dr Julie Smith
(Compiled by Audible)