Books of the Month: May 2020

Books of the Month: May 2020

Every month, The Bookseller's expert previewers highlight a selection of the new fiction, non-fiction, children's and paperback titles coming out. Here, we share their top picks for May's new releases.

Please note, given the present COVID-19 situation, all publication dates are subject to change.

  1. 1

    Fiction Book of the Month

    When the Lights Go Out by Carys Bray
    Publisher: Hutchinson
    RRP: £14.99
    Publication date: November 12th 2020 [originally scheduled for May 7th]
    ISBN: 9781786332349

    Books editor Alice O'Keeffe selected Carys Bray's When the Lights Go Out as her May Book of the Month. When the Lights Go Out examines the intricacies of family life, against the backdrop of climate change. O'Keeffe says: "A beautifully written, intimate novel about a marriage in crisis and a community on the brink, shot through with compassion and humour. Don't miss it."

    Subscribers can read the full May 2020: Fiction Previews here.

  2. 2

    Non-Fiction Book of the Month

    Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake
    Publisher: The Bodley Head Ltd
    RRP: £20
    Publication date: 3rd September 2020 [originally scheduled for May 7th]
    ISBN: 9781847925190

    This "astounding, mind-altering" and "captivating" debut is non-fiction previewer Caroline Sanderson's May Book of the Month. In Entangled Life, Sheldrake explores the world of fungi: organisms that, neither plant nor animal, are found throughout the earth, the air and in our bodies, though 90% of their species remain undocumented. Sanderson says: "I promise you you'll never look even at the mildew in the bathroom, the mould on your marmalade, or mushrooms in the supermarket in the same way again."

    Subscribers can read the full May 2020: Non-Fiction Previews here.

  3. 3

    Children's Book of the Month

    The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke, Ayesha L Ruio (illus)
    Publisher: Puffin
    RRP: £12.99
    Publication date: 23rd July 2020 [originally scheduled for 14th May]
    ISBN: 9780241417461

    This book was acquired by Puffin in a "significant" pre-empt deal and has been selected as Book of the Month by children's previewer Fiona Noble. The Unadoptables features "beautiful but accessible writing, thrilling action, a hint of magic and unforgettable characters are delivered with wit, wisdom and heart in an enviably distinctive voice." The story of unforgettable friendship and family sparks excitement for what Tooke might write next.

    Subscribers can read the full May 2020: Children's Previews here.

  4. 4

    Paperback Book of the Month

    Lowborn: Growing Up, Getting Away and Returning to Britain's Poorest Towns by Kerry Hudson
    Publisher: Vintage
    RRP: £8.99
    Publication date: 6th August 2020 [originally scheduled for 14th May]
    ISBN: 9781784708603

    Paperback previewer Alison Flood describes her May Book of the Month as "moving and devastating", as Kerry Hudson unpacks her working-class childhood in this memoir. In Lowborn, Hudson moves between her childhood memories, her attempts today to discover why and when she was put into, and then removed, from care as a small child, and her visits as an adult to the multitude of towns and houses she was brought up in.

    Subscribers can read the full May 2020: Paperback Previews here.


    For more expert opinions on new book releases, check out the Books in the Media site, which pulls together all the latest book reviews.