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Extract: We Come Apart

The winners of two of the most prestigious children's fiction prizes, Brian Conaghan (winner of the 2016 Costa Children's Book Award) and Sarah Crossan (winner of the 2016 CILIP Carnegie Medal), have joined forces to create an ambitious and heartbreaking young adult novel, We Come Apart. The book is a modern tale of star-crossed lovers, Nicu and Jess, two teens with troubled homes and hidden secrets. If they are to succeed as a couple, they must navigate complex issues of cultural difference, parental expectation and their own frayed self-image. 

Conaghan won the 2016 Costa Children's Book Award for his dark, powerful story of survival, The Bombs That Brought Us Together,and Crossan was awarded last year's CILIP Carnegie Medal for her astonishing YA novel entirely in verse, One. The following extract is exclusive to Waterstones.

“I was everything a young person should be. Furious. Drunk. In love.” - Joseph Knox discusses Sirens

Joseph Knox’s Sirens is an out-of-the-darkness, nocturnal descent into the hardened criminal landscape of Manchester. Away from the eyes of the press, an M.P.’s daughter has gone missing and disgraced detective Aidan Waits has been hand-picked as the ideal man for the job; what follows is a mesmeric journey into a dread-filled urban noir. Sirens is Joseph Knox’s first novel.

Leap In: A Guide to Taking Your Swimming to the Next Level

Alexandra Heminsley won a legion of fans with her effervescent Running Like a Girl, her manifesto-cum-memoir  for anyone who has looked on with sadness at their running shoes lying discarded in the hall. Now Heminsley weaves the same magic in Leap In, her spellbinding account of challenging our basic fears of the water and rediscovering an almost spiritual new realm. Basic questions around swimming however abound, and in the following extract from the book, the author assembles her top tips toward diving into a new life of fitness and meaningful pleasure.

A Letter from Ali Land, Author of Good Me, Bad Me

It’s no secret that almost every publisher is seeking the next Gone Girl or The Girl on The Traingenerating a fair number of copycat psychological thrillers. Good Me, Bad Me is most probably the book they are looking for, with word-of-mouth already declaring this tale of serial-killing motherhood the debut of 2017. In the following letter penned by author Ali Land – a sometime nurse for Child and Adolescent Mental Health – she covers the motives behind the novel’s genesis.

A Question of Time: The Temporal Art of Julian Barnes

Waterstones Online’s Martha Greengrass considers the legacy of Julian Barnes’ writing and how his most recent novel, our Fiction Book of the Month The Noise of Time, continues to challenge our concepts of time, art and what it is to be human.

Writing the Great Fire: Andrew Taylor shares the origins of Ashes of London

Andrew Taylor has long been a familiar figure in the crime writing firmament and indeed continues to stand as the only author to twice-bag the Crime Writing Association's Historical Dagger. Even for Taylor’s experienced hand, Ashes of London, (our Thriller of the Month for January) represents something of a fresh benchmark: receiving critical adulation from the off, it seems fair to say that in its brilliantly-nuanced protagonist James Marwood, we’re witnessing the birth of who may prove to be one of the great enduring genre characters of the future, a ‘new Shardlake’ as The Times put it. For Waterstones, Andrew Taylor walks us through the inspiration for this fine slice of Restoration murder.

Cast Iron: Peter May on Researching the Final Enzo

As the publication of the final Enzo Macleod novel, Cast Iron, nears, and in an article written exclusively for Waterstones, award-winning crime writer Peter May shares some of the locations and individuals that inspired him to write the final Enzo File.

Kate Williams on the 2016 Costa Book Awards

From an original field of some 600 shortlisted books, this evening’s revelation of the five category winners inches the 2016 Costa Book Awards toward its ultimate climax at the end of this month. As the anticiaption builds even further, Chair of Judges - historian and author Kate Williams - provides her perspective on this unique and much-loved literary award.

Extract: When Breath Becomes Air

Two years following the death of its author, neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air  was posthumously published to global acclaim, working as both a candid portrait of the symptoms and treatment of cancer and as a meditative essay on what it is to prepare for death. As Being Mortal’s Atul Guwande observed, ‘the dying are the ones who have the most to teach us about life.’ As our Non-Fiction Book of the Month for January, we’re honoured to be able to present Kalanithi’s introduction to this remarkable memoir, an extract deeply affecting in itself.