Bookseller Choices: June 2015

Bookseller Choices: June 2015

Adult titles

Patrick Neale - Jaffé & Neale Bookshop & Café - Co-Owner

Jean-Paul Didierlaurent
The Reader on the 6.27
Pan Macmillan, 4th June, £12.99, 9781447276463

Guylan Vignolles has the hated job of feeding a book pulping machine. His act of rebellion is to read random pages of the discarded books out loud on his morning commute. He is also trying to recover the leg of a work colleague. This is a beautifully witty, sensitive and charming read.

Simon Mawer
Little, Brown, 4th June, £16.99, 9781408706213  

Simon Mawer, the often Booker longlisted  author, has written a smart and gripping cold war thriller. Marian Sutro survived Ravensbruck and struggles to fit into peacetime Britain. Her fascination with a Russian diplomat complicates her life once more  and her past life sucks her into the complexity of the arms race. This reminded of William Boyd’s Restless, which is high praise.

Franz-Olivier Giesbert
Himmler’s Cook
Atlantic, 4th June, £12.99, 9781782394129

This title is deceptive. The book tells the tale of Rose, whose 105 years mean she’s seen a lot of history. She’s still running a restaurant in Marseilles and expects no one’s sympathy - in fact, she’s happy to wield a revolver. She’s experienced the Armenian Genocide, Hitler’s era, and befriended Simone de Beauvoir. There’s murder, darkness and huge laughs in this wonderful and strange novel.

Jason Wilson
Living in the Sound of the Wind: A Life of W H Hudson, Naturalist and Writer from the River Plate  
Little Brown, 19th June, £18.99, 0781472106353

You don’t need to know anything about W H Hudson to revel in this wonderful biography of a fascinating man. Brought up in Argentina, he then travelled to London in the 1870s , befriending Joseph Conrad, and became a brilliant nature writer. If that isn’t enough, Jason Wilson interweaves his own interesting life into this beautiful book.

Hot Pick:

Matt Haig
Reasons To Stay Alive
Canongate, £9.99, 9781782115083

I recommend Matt Haig’s novel The Humans at least once a day. It’s no surprise then that, following a severe bout of depression, Haig has written a frank, clear and hugely helpful book about dealing with mental illness. If you don’t already, follow him on Twitter and then do yourself a massive favour and read this book.

Bea Carvahlo - Waterstones - Non-fiction buyer

Simon Mawer
Little, Brown, 4th June, £16.99, 9781408706213

As one woman struggles to adapt to post-war life she finds herself catapulted into the shady world of Cold War espionage. Booker-shortlisted author Simon Mawer paints a vivid and compelling portrait of this turbulent time in our history.

Olia Hercules
Mitchell Beazley, 4th June, £25, 9781784720384

Olia Hercules’s star is set to rise with this impressive debut: a glorious celebration of the flavours from Ukraine and beyond. With inspiring recipes, a striking jacket, and a considerable buzz building, this is a sure-fire hit for the summer.

Suzanne O’Sullivan
It’s All in Your Head
Chatto & Windus, 4th June, £14.99, 9780701189266

A neurologist’s examination of psychosomatic illnesses, and their very real consequences, via case studies of some of her most memorable patients. An important and fascinating book on a little-understood subject which is as accessible as it is expertly written.

Laurence Scott
The Four Dimensional Human
William Heinemann, 18th June, £20, 9780434023110

A highly original look at modern life which considers how our lives are being changed by the digital landscape in which we now live.  Scott has already scooped the Jerwood Prize for this: it is definitely one to watch.

Hot Pick:

Helena Atlee
The Land Where Lemons Grow
Penguin, 2nd April, £9.99, 9780241952573

Out in paperback for Easter, a wonderful look at how Italy’s history has intertwined with that of its citrus fruits. Full of charm, and with writing as sharp as its subject, this is the perfect summer read in its new format.  

Children’s titles

Marilyn Brocklehurst - Norfolk Children’s Book Centre - Proprietor

Katherine Woodfine
The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow
Egmont, 4th June, £6.99, 9781405276177

A robbery takes place in newly opened and very stylish Sinclair’s Department Store in Piccadilly. Recently orphaned shopgirl, Sophie, is determined to solve the theft of the clockwork sparrow. Packed with delightful Edwardian detail and colourful characters, this book will be popular with children who enjoy an engaging and entertaining thriller.

Will Mabbitt, illustrated Ross Collins
The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones
Puffin, 4th June, £6.99, 9780141355146

This ridiculous tale of pirates kidnapping feisty Mabel Jones offers young readers a roller coaster read full of utterly daft jokes and truly awful puns. Ross Collins’ lively pictures enhance the excitement perfectly and an interfering narrator speeds the story to a satisfying if poignant conclusion.

Elizabeth Laird
Dindy and the Elephant
Macmillan, 4th June, £6.99, 9781447272403

Nine year old Dindy describes her protected life behind the fence of her family's tea plantation compound in India in the 1940s, with just her demanding little brother and the servants for company. A sudden plan to  move to Scotland causes Dindy anxiety about an insecure and unknown future. Elizabeth Laird shows how children are expected to deal with the consequences of life choices made by their parents.

Robyn Schneider
Extraordinary Means
Simon and Schuster, 4th June, £7.99, 9781471115486

Lane is devastated as his promising future is put on hold when he catches a rare and incurable form of TB and is sent to an isolation unit. His attitude changes as friendships are formed and emotions run high. This is a moving and thought-provoking story which will be very popular with John Green fans.

Laura Jarratt
In Another Life
Egmont,  4th June, £7.99, 9781405271196

American Hannah accompanies her father to England when her sister is reported missing from the hotel where she works. Hannah determines to find out what happened to her sister, and while questioning the hotel staff she meets someone destined to play an important role in her life, and in the unravelling of the mystery. This is is page-turner of a murder mystery and will be a popular summer read for teenagers.