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New Releases

A Net for Small Fishes

£16.99

Frances Howard has beauty and a powerful family – and is the most unhappy creature in the world.

 

Anne Turner has wit and talent – but no stage on which to display them. Little stands between her and the abyss of destitution.

 

When these two very different women meet in the strangest of circumstances, a powerful friendship is sparked. Frankie sweeps Anne into a world of splendour that exceeds all she imagined: a Court whose foreign king is a stranger to his own subjects; where ancient families fight for power, and where the sovereign’s favourite may rise and rise – so long as he remains in favour.

 

With the marriage of their talents, Anne and Frankie enter this extravagant, savage hunting ground, seeking a little happiness for themselves. But as they gain notice, they also gain enemies; what began as a search for love and safety leads to desperate acts that could cost them everything.

 

Based on the true scandal that rocked the court of James I, A Net for Small Fishes is the most gripping novel you’ll read this year: an exhilarating dive into the pitch-dark waters of the Jacobean court.

A Tale of Two Lock-Downs

£7.00

This is Mike Smith’s second book arising from the Coronavirus Pandemic which arrived in this country at the beginning of 2020.

 

Mike hopes that this book, along with his first book, Dreaming of Onions, will prove to be not only pleasurable read now but become increasingly interesting as the months and years roll on…

 

The cover picture shows a section of Parsons Lane, Howden, the town where Mike lives, with The Ashes Playing Field beyond the hedge to the left.

Abolishing the Police

£8.00

Publication date: 7th June 2021

 

“This is the first time we are seeing… a conversation about defunding, and some people having a conversation about abolishing the police and prison state. This must be what it felt like when people were talking about abolishing slavery.” – Patrisse Cullors, Black Lives Matter.

 

Abolishing the Police (An Illustrated Introduction) is both a contribution to this conversation and an invitation to join it. It provides rigorous and accessible analyses of why we might want to abolish the police, what abolishing them would involve, and how it might be achieved, introducing readers to the rich existing traditions of anti-police theory and practice.

 

Its authors draw on their diverse on-the-ground experiences of political organising, protest, and resistance to policing in the UK, France, Germany, and the United States, as well as their original research in academic fields ranging from law to security studies, political theory to sociology to public health.

 

Without assuming any prior specialist knowledge, they present the critical tools and insights these disciplines have to offer to ongoing struggles against the injustices of policing (and consider, in turn, what these disciplines must learn from these struggles.)

Bowie, Cambo & All the Hype

£12.99

SIGNED COPIES

 

Bowie, Cambo & All the Hype traces the extraordinary and pivotal friendship between David Bowie and drummer John Cambridge, from the time when Bowie made his first major career breakthrough in 1969 to his death from cancer in 2016. Drummer, musician and friend John ‘Cambo’ Cambridge lived with Bowie at Haddon Hall when he had his first hit record ‘Space Oddity’ and toured with him in Junior’s Eyes. He was there for him at many key moments – when Bowie lost his father, passed his driving test, played his first Glam Rock gig with Hype, even acting as best man when Bowie married Angela Barnett in 1970. And if John had not persuaded his former Rats colleague Mick Ronson to join Bowie in February 1970, there might never have been a Ziggy Stardust or the stellar career which followed. In Bowie, Cambo & All the Hype we get a backstage pass to key people and events during those crucial early years. This is a heartfelt story of a unique friendship.

Case Study

£14.99

“I have decided to write down everything that happens, because I feel, I suppose, I may be putting myself in danger.” London, 1965.

 

An unworldly young woman believes that a charismatic psychotherapist, Collins Braithwaite, has driven her sister to suicide. Intent on confirming her suspicions, she assumes a false identity and presents herself to him as a client, recording her experiences in a series of notebooks. But she soon finds herself drawn into a world in which she can no longer be certain of anything. Even her own character.

 

In Case Study, Graeme Macrae Burnet presents these notebooks interspersed with his own biographical research into Collins Braithwaite. The result is a dazzling – and often wickedly humorous – meditation on the nature of sanity, identity and truth itself, by one of the most inventive novelists writing today.

Collected Poems

£25.00

John Anthony Burgess Wilson (1917-93) was an industrious writer. He published over fifty books, thousands of essays and numerous drafts and fragments survive. He predicted many of the struggles and challenges of his own and the following century.

 

Burgess’s most famous book is A Clockwork Orange (1962), later adapted into a controversial film by Stanley Kubrick. The linguistic innovations of that novel, the strict formal devices used to contain them, and its range of themes are all to be found too in Burgess’s poetry, an area of his work where he was at once most free and most experimental. His flair for words, formal discipline, experimentalism, and fondness for variousness mark every page.

Cures

£10.99

From a sapient pig to human extinction, syphilis to broken bones, a woman who births rabbits to changelings in the crib, this collection explores the full range of human fallibility as well as the eternal quest for hopefulness.

 

Cures is filled with strange characters: volcanic women, a rat catcher on the brink of retirement, a bonesetter, a drunkard, a mermaid; the collection is brimful with both the uncanny and the familiar, exploring the joys of parenthood, the folly of dissipation and reflecting on lives lived – mixing words in search of a tonic.

Drawing on Previous Learning

£10.00

An eclectic collection of poems from the unique perspective of a poet who has spent much of his life at the hard edge of education.

 

These poems reflect the emotions and experience of being a teacher as well as the thoughts and feelings about everything that externally impinges on teaching English. While the collection will have broad appeal to fellow practitioners, it will also resonate with anyone and everyone who has attended school.

 

Mike Ferguson’s poems about teaching and examining were written over a 30 year period as an English teacher, and over 35 years as an examiner of English Literature at GCSE level. The eclecticism comes not only from reflecting over a long period of time but, more pertinently, on a varying focus of style and the experiences themselves.

 

Ferguson’s most recent writing is almost exclusively ‘experimental’ in vein. A small core of poems are sonnets. A number of poems air the poet’s political and critical views on education.

I, From Nothing

£14.00

Luísa from Nothing, born Matilde Boshoff in 1911, is the last living heiress of Nothing, a vast estate in the wine countryside north of the Portuguese capital. Without heirs of her own, the only way to save Nothing from the nothingness of disappearance is to accept living. In anonymous company, Luísa tells the story of Nothing and the paradox of a place name that nullifies existence. Luísa is also a non-existence, with a name she never took but in which she has lived from birth.

 

Going back to the early 19th century when Nothing was created out of the chaos of the Napoleonic Invasions, Luísa traces the story of her family and its intersection with Portuguese and world history in a place where oddities and unpronounceable possibilities were always as natural occurrences as ghosts and werewolves. After a life of losses and brushes with the unfathomable, Luísa realises Nothing is her own eternal self.

 

Based on true events and characters…

It’s Always Summer Somewhere

£20.00

Felix White, for reasons often beyond him, has always been deeply in love with cricket. His passion for the game is at the fore on the BBC ‘s number one cricket podcast and 5Live show, Tailenders, which he co-presents with Greg James and Jimmy Anderson. It’s Always Summer Somewhere is his funny, heartbreaking and endlessly engaging love letter to the game.

 

Felix takes us through his life growing up in South West London and describes how his story is forever punctuated and given meaning by cricket. Through his own exploits as a slow left arm spinner of ‘lovely loopy stuff’, to the tragic illness of his mother, life with The Maccabees and his cricket redemption, Felix touches on both the comedic and the tragic in equal measure. Throughout, there’s the ever-present roller coaster of following the England cricket team. The exploits of Tufnell (another bowler of ‘lovely loopy stuff’), Atherton, Hussain et al, are given extra import through the eyes of a cricket-obsessed youth. Felix meets them at each signposted moment to find out what was really behind those moments that gave cricket fans everywhere sporting memories that would last forever, sending the book into an exploration of grief, transgenerational displacement and how the people we’ve known and things we’ve loved culminate and take expression in our lives.

 

It’s Always Summer Somewhere is an incredibly honest detail of a life lived with cricket. It offers a sense of genuine empathy and understanding not just with cricket fans, but sports and music fans across the world, in articulating our reasons for pouring so much meaning into something that we simply cannot control. Culminating in the heart-stopping World Cup Final in 2019, the book finally answers that question fans have so often asked… what is it about this game?

Last Chance Texaco

£20.00

This troubadour life is only for the fiercest hearts, only for those vessels that can be broken to smithereens and still keep beating out the rhythm for a new song.

 

Last Chance Texaco is the first-ever no-holds-barred account of the life of two-time Grammy Award-winner Rickie Lee Jones, in her own words. It is a tale of desperate chances and impossible triumphs, an adventure story of a girl who beat the odds and grew up to become one of the most legendary artists of her time, turning adversity and hopelessness into timeless music.

 

With candour and lyricism, the ‘Duchess of Coolsville’ (Time) takes us on a singular journey through her nomadic childhood, to her years as a teenage runaway, through her legendary love affair with Tom Waits, and ultimately her longevity as the hardest working woman in rock and roll. Rickie Lee’s stories are rich with the infamous characters of her early songs – ‘Chuck E’s in Love,’ ‘Weasel and the White Boys Cool,’ ‘Danny’s All-Star Joint’ and ‘Easy Money’ – but long before her notoriety in show business, there was a vaudevillian cast of hitchhikers, bank robbers, jail breaks, drug mules, a pimp with a heart of gold, and tales of her fabled ancestors.

Learwife

£14.99

AN OBSERVER BEST DEBUT NOVELIST OF 2021
‘Seductive . . . Gorgeous’ The Times
‘A fresh perspective on an age-old tale’ Irish Times

 

I am the queen of two crowns, banished fifteen years, the famed and gilded woman, bad-luck baleful girl, mother of three small animals, now gone. I am fifty-five years old. I am Lear’s wife. I am here.’

 

Word has come. Care-bent King Lear is dead, driven mad and betrayed. His three daughters too, broken in battle. But someone has survived: Lear’s queen. Exiled to a nunnery years ago, written out of history, her name forgotten. Now she can tell her story.

 

Though her grief and rage may threaten to crack the earth open, she knows she must seek answers. Why was she sent away in shame and disgrace? What has happened to Kent, her oldest friend and ally? And what will become of her now, in this place of women? To find peace she must reckon with her past and make a terrible choice – one upon which her destiny, and that of the entire abbey, rests.

 

Giving unforgettable voice to a woman whose absence has been a tantalising mystery, Learwife is a breathtaking novel of loss, renewal and how history bleeds into the present.

Lessons in Chemistry

£14.99

Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing.

 

But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute take a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans, the lonely, brilliant, Nobel Prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with – of all things – her mind. True chemistry results.

 

But, like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why, a few years later, Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show, Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (‘combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride’) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook – she’s daring them to change the status quo.

Lessons in Love and Other Crimes

£9.50

Tesya has reasons to feel hopeful after leaving her last job, where she was subjected to a series of anonymous hate crimes. Now she is back home in London to start a new lecturing position, and has begun an exciting, if tumultuous, love affair with the enigmatic Holly. But this idyllic new start quickly sours. Tesya finds herself victimized again at work by an unknown assailant, who subjects her to an insidious, sustained race hate crime. As her paranoia mounts, Tesya finds herself yearning for the most elemental desires: love, acceptance, and sanctuary. Her assailant, meanwhile, is recording his manifesto, and plotting his next steps.

 

Inspired by the author’s personal experiences of hate crime and bookended with essays which contextualise the story within a lifetime of microaggressions, Lessons in Love and Other Crimes is a heart-breaking, hopeful, and compulsively readable novel about the most quotidian of crimes.

LISTEN

£7.99

An anthology of writing and art works that simply respond to the work “listen” – through poems, paintings, photos, stories, songs, gardens and much more – all about listening and the importance of silence.

 

The artwork and writing in this anthology explore different perspectives on what it means to listen: from listening to music and the environment with one ear to listening to people with the other.

Love after Love

£8.99

Meet the Ramdin-Chetan family: forged through loneliness, broken by secrets, saved by love.

 

Irrepressible Betty Ramdin, her shy son Solo and their marvellous lodger, Mr Chetan, form an unconventional household. Happy in their differences, they build a home together. Home: the place keeping these three safe from an increasingly dangerous world – until the night when a glass of rum, a heart to heart and a terrible truth explodes the family unit, driving them apart.

 

Brave and brilliant, steeped in affection, Love After Love offers hope to anyone who has loved and lost and has yet to find their way back.

Many Different Kinds of Love: A Story of Life, Death and the NHS

£14.99

A national treasure’s journey to the brink and back. ‘Will I wake up?’ ‘There’s a 50:50 chance.’Michael Rosen wasn’t feeling well. Soon he was struggling to breathe, and then he was admitted to hospital, suffering from coronavirus as the nation teetered on the edge of a global pandemic.

 

What followed was months on the wards: six weeks in an induced coma, and many more weeks of rehab and recovery as the NHS saved Michael’s life, and then got him back on his feet. Throughout Michael’s stay in intensive care, a notebook lay at the end of his bed, where the nurses who cared for him wrote letters of hope and support. Embarking on the long road to recovery, Michael was soon ready to start writing about his near-death experience.

 

Combining stunning new prose poems by one of Britain’s best loved poets and the moving coronavirus diaries of his nurses, doctors and wife Emma-Louise Williams, this is a beautiful book about love, life and the NHS. Featuring original illustrations by Chris Riddell, each page celebrates the power of community, the importance of kind gestures in dark times, and the indomitable spirits of the people who keep us well.

Motherborn

£12.00

Mysticism is history. Chinna de Kock has awoken to the fact that she cannot override the virus mutating at warp speed inside her. Traumatised by events in her Cambridge lab, she has stopped eating and speaking, but her calculations allow her to feel, map and assess her way forwards. With her estranged mother Elektra riding out the pandemic in Bali, these mathematical incantations are her only hope for survival.

 

Enter Jill Purce, a cult ’70s documentary maker who Chinna, from her grandmother’s bed in Sumatra, watches fervently. Chinna is enamoured: by Jill and her belief in the vitality of change, and by the piercing gaze of her son, Chinna’s professor Merlin, whose vision of fungi as flesh, life as polyphony, has turned viral.

 

Exuberant and unforgettable, Nada Holland takes the reader beyond easy stoicism and into more puzzling terrain. Uncovering the mysteries that bring together East and West, future and past, and mother and daughter, Motherborn is a celebration of our emergent and entangled life on earth.

Patience

£18.99

SIGNED BOOKPLATE INSIDE

 

If you were offered a chance to cure your child’s disease, would you take it?

 

‘A thought-provoking, compelling and entertaining read. I could barely put the book down until its equally heart-wrenching and heart-warming ending. A wonderful, smart and funny book – I know readers will absolutely love it’ Louise Fein, bestselling author of People Like Us

 

The Willows have been through a lot. Louise has devoted her life to caring for her disabled youngest daughter. Pete works abroad, almost never seeing his loved ones. And their eldest, Eliza, is burdened by all the secrets she’s trying to keep from her overloaded family.

 

Meanwhile, Patience observes the world while trapped in her own body. She laughs, she cries, she has opinions and knows what she wants. But those who love her most – and make every decision about her life – will never know.

 

Or will they? When the Willows are offered the opportunity for Patience to take part in a new gene therapy trial to cure her Rett syndrome, they face an impossible dilemma. Are the very real risks worth the chance of the reward, no matter how small?

Siphonophore

£10.99

MacGregor is desperate to return home. Unfortunately, he’s marooned in the Gulf of Darién, following independent Scotland’s doomed colonisation attempt at the end of the 17th century. Worse still, he’s a character in a novel whose author is dying, and he’s running out of time.

 

As the author’s preoccupations, memories and spiralling thoughts start to pollute MacGregor’s world, he finds his narrative eroding and his escape routes blocked. Desperately clinging to hope, MacGregor is determined to keep his Creator writing long enough to deliver him home. But will he be able to drive the story to its end before his Creator reaches theirs?

Slug

£14.99

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

 

‘An intoxicating mixture of poetry and prose, Slug is a taboo-busting delight’ SCOTSMAN

 

‘One of the best poets we have’ MATT HAIG

 

The new collection of poetry and prose from the Ted Hughes Award-winning author of Nobody Told Me. From Finnish saunas and soppy otters to grief, grandparents and Kellogg’s anti-masturbation pants, Slug is a book which holds a mirror lovingly up to the world, past and present, through Hollie’s driving, funny, hopeful poetry and prose. Slug is about the human condition: of birth and death and how we manage the possibilities in between.

Spirit of Place

£12.99

When we look at the landscape, what do we see? Do we experience the view over a valley or dappled sunlight on a path in the same way as those who were there before us? We have altered the countryside in innumerable ways over the last thousand years, and never more so than in the last hundred. How are these changes reflected in – and affected by – art and literature?

 

Spirit of Place offers a panoramic view of the British landscape as seen through the eyes of writers and artists from Bede and the Gawain-poet to Gainsborough, Austen, W. G. Sebald and Barbara Hepworth. Shaped by these distinctive voices and evocative imagery, Susan Owens describes how the British landscape has been framed, reimagined and reshaped by each generation. Each account or work of art, whether illuminated in a manuscript, jotted down in a journal or constructed from sticks and stones, holds up a mirror to its maker and their world.

 

With 80 illustrations

Summerwater

£8.99

It is the summer solstice, but in a faded Scottish cabin park the rain is unrelenting. Twelve people on holiday with their families look on as the skies remain resolutely grey. A woman goes running up the Ben as if fleeing; a teenage boy chances the dark waters of the loch in his kayak; a retired couple head out despite the downpour, driving too fast on the familiar bends.

 

But there are newcomers too, and one particular family, a mother and daughter with the wrong clothes and the wrong manners, start to draw the attention of the others. Who are they? Where are they from? Should they be here at all? As darkness finally falls, something is unravelling . . .

 

From the acclaimed author of Ghost Wall, Sarah Moss’ Summerwater is a devastating story told over twenty-four hours in the Scottish highlands, and a searing exploration of our capacity for both kinship and cruelty in these divided times.

The Comfort Book

£16.99

Reflections on hope, survival and the messy miracle of being alive

 

It is a strange paradox, that many of the clearest, most comforting life lessons are learned while we are at our lowest. But then we never think about food more than when we are hungry and we never think about life rafts more than when we are thrown overboard.

 

The Comfort Book is a collection of consolations learned in hard times and suggestions for making the bad days better. Drawing on maxims, memoir and the inspirational lives of others, these meditations celebrate the ever-changing wonder of living. This is for when we need the wisdom of a friend or a reminder we can always nurture inner strength and hope, even in our busy world.

 

A book of timeless comfort for modern minds.

The Essence of an Hour

£12.99

“Youth is a dream, a form of chemical madness.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald


It’s 1941, the last summer of American innocence, and eighteen-year-old Lillie Carrigan is desperate to love and be loved, to lose her virginity, to experience her life’s great, epic romance. Preoccupied with whiskey and cigarettes, sex and Catholic guilt, Lillie unknowingly sets in motion events leading to death and estrangement from her two best friends.

 

A decade on, Lillie is still haunted by the ghosts of that summer. Did she act solely out of youthful naivety and adolescent jealousy? Or perhaps there were darker forces at work: grief, guilt, sexual assault, and the double standards of her strict religious upbringing. Searching for patterns and meaning in the events of that year, and anxious to understand the person she has become, Lillie reflects on the darkness of her tarnished youth and confesses her sins.

The Five Wounds

£16.99

JULY INDIE BOOK OF THE MONTH

 

It’s Holy Week in the town of Las Penas, New Mexico, and thirty-three-year-old unemployed Amadeo Padilla is to play Jesus in the Good Friday procession. He is preparing feverishly for this role when his fifteen-year-old daughter Angel shows up pregnant on his doorstep.

 

Vivid, darkly funny, and beautifully rendered, The Five Wounds spans the baby’s first year as five generations of the Padilla family converge: Amadeo’s mother, Yolanda, reeling from a recent discovery; Angel’s mother, whom Angel isn’t speaking to; and Tio Tive, keeper of the family’s history. In the absorbing, realist tradition of Elizabeth Strout and Jonathan Franzen, Kirstin Valdez Quade brings to life the struggles of her characters to parent children they may not be equipped to save.

The Importance of Being Interested

£17.99

SIGNED COPIES AVAILABLE

 

A delightful and scintillating hymn to science.’ Carlo Rovelli

 

Comedian Robin Ince quickly abandoned science at school, bored by a fog of dull lessons and intimidated by the barrage of equations. But, twenty years later, he fell in love and he now presents one of the world’s most popular science podcasts. Every year he meets hundreds of the world’s greatest thinkers.

 

In this erudite and witty book, Robin reveals why scientific wonder isn’t just for the professionals. Filled with interviews featuring astronauts, comedians, teachers, quantum physicists, neuroscientists and more – as well as charting Robin’s own journey with science – The Importance of Being Interested explores why many wrongly think of the discipline as distant and difficult. From the glorious appeal of the stars above to why scientific curiosity can encourage much needed intellectual humility, this optimistic and profound book will leave you filled with a thirst for intellectual adventure.

The Ormering Tide

£14.00

PUBLISHED 22/03/2021

 

 

The Ormering Tide is a coming of age story set amidst a series of darkly foreboding events. Rozel lives with her triplet older brothers and her parents in the bay of a small island. One of her brothers goes missing and the family’s landlord, Mr Willow, is implicated as the menacing truths are discovered. The island is rich with nature; and the islanders’ lives and the steady passing of the seasons contrast sharply with the realities of violence and inevitable revelations. The Ormering Tide explores the inherent human need to keep – and bury – secrets.

 

 

Kathryn Williams’ first novel, The Ormering Tide, is about processing the past, after the fact. This is a brooding and astonishing debut from the Mercury Music Prize nominated singer-songwriter.

 

 

The Ormering Tide shines as brightly as the beautiful shell from which this novel draws its title and is as impressive and adventurous as the author’s music.

The Service

£9.99

Lori works illegally in a rented flat in central London, living in fear of police raids which could mean losing her small daughter and her dream of a new life. Freya is a student who finds she can make far more money as an escort than she could in an office; life, after all, is already a tangle of madness and dissociation. And Paula is a journalist whose long-term campaign against prostitution has brought her some strange bedfellows.

 

After a shock change to the law, with brothels being raided by the authorities, lives across the country are fractured. As a threat from Lori’s past begins to catch up with her, the three women are increasingly, inevitably drawn into each other’s orbit. The Service is a powerful and challenging novel about womens bodies, sex and relationships, mental health, entitlement, authenticity, privilege and power – as shocking as any dystopia, but touching and deeply humane.

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