Recommended Reads

Where The Crawdads Sing - Delia Owens

Kya has survived for years alone on the marsh, learning in her own unique way about the nature that surrounds her. When she attracts the attention of two very different young men from the nearby town, she gradually embraces a new way to live, until the unthinkable happens.

The Mirror and the Light - Hilary Mantel

The long-awaited and triumphant conclusion to her Thomas Cromwell trilogy. Now all of England lies at his feet, ripe for innovation and religious reform. But as fortune’s wheel turns, Cromwell’s enemies are gathering in the shadows and the question remains: how long can anyone survive under Henry’s cruel and capricious gaze?

The Binding - Bridget Collins

In the house set deep in the marshes, Emmett learns the skills to make exquisitely beautiful volumes as a Book binder's apprentice, every one as unique as the last and each holding a dark and peculiar secret: a person’s most unconscionable memories. And to Emmett, they whisper in the darkness. Then one day he discovers a book with his own name on it and is forced to choose between forgetting and the dreadful, tantalising promise of remembrance.

The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time. But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

So Much Life Left Over – Louis de Bernieres

Set between the wars of the 20th century and based on de Bernieres’ family story, this novel uses his trademark blend of heartbreak and humour.

Firefly – Henry Porter

Naji is a young Syrian boy who knows too much about an ISIS terror cell, trying to escape to Europe. They are hot on his heels and so are MI6, amongst others. Who are the good guys and will they get to him in time? Consistently intelligent and fast-moving.

Normal People – Sally Rooney

Connell is the popular boy in school – athletic and bright. Marianne’s background is affluent and complex and she is an outsider at school. This is the story of their relationship – fabulous dialogue full of insight into what it is to be young in the 21st century.

Love is Blind – William Boyd

Young pianist Brodie Moncur escapes from the dour Scottish ,manse of his childhood for a life of colour in Paris…..and falls in love. This picaresque adventure is trademark Boyd: full of entertainment and insight.

The Volunteer – Jack Fairweather

In the Summer of 1940, after the Nazi occupation of Poland, an underground operative called Witold Pilecki accepted a mission to uncover the fate of thousands of people being interned at a new concentration camp on the border of the Reich. His mission was to report on Nazi crimes and raise a secret army to stage an uprising. It was only after arriving at the camp that he started to discover the Nazi’s terrifying plans. Over the next two and half years, Witold forged an underground army that smuggled evidence of Nazi atrocities out of Auschwitz. His reports from the camp were to shape the Allies response to the Holocaust – an enthralling story of resistance and heroism against the most horrific circumstances, and one man’s attempt to change the course of history

A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles

Considered an unrepentant aristo Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced by a Bolshevik tribunal to indefinite house arrest in the Hotel Metropol.  The most charming witty novel you will read this year.

Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng

In an affluent American suburb the Richardson family go about their entitled lives but all that changes when they rent a property to enigmatic artist Mia and her teenage daughter.

Ng delivers a wonderful contemporary novel with an ethical dilemma at its heart.

The Skylark’s War – Hilary McKay

Set in the years leading up to WW1, this hugely engaging story of a girl growing up without a mother and with a hopelessly inadequate father is the best children’s book we have read in a while. With echoes of the Railway Children, this was the 2018 Costa winner.