Five things we loved this week
Our literary round-up of the last seven days
1. The Terry Pratchett Element
Scientists have discovered that the Discworld is in fact real and can be reached by taking junction 3 travelling eastbound on the M8, in Scotland …No, sorry, that’s entirely false. But they have discovered four new elements and a petition is underway to name one of them (which is currently called no. 117 and can be heard shouting “I am not a number!” in the voice of Patrick McGoohan) ‘Octarian’, the colour that only wizards and cats can see in the Discworld. Good luck, we say.
2. Debuts are the new black
If dark, intelligent thrillers by brand new authors are your thing, then January may be your month. We have two for you. The Widow by Fiona Barton, tipped to be this year’s The Girl on The Train, has been described by Publishers Weekly as a tale told with “realism and restraint that add to its shattering impact"; while Stylist magazine said of reading Nicholas Searle’s debut The Good Liar, “you will have your socks knocked, nay, blown off.” Two pairs of socks advised.
3. The Trouble With Goats and Sheep
No, this is not a book about animal husbandry. The Trouble with Goats and Sheep is the much-talked-about new novel, released on January 28th, soon to become a sensation. It is a warm, hilarious and charming coming-of-age whodunit, set in a tight-knit community in the 1970’s. During the heat wave of 1976, two ten-year-old girls turn amateur sleuths when the lady from number 10 vanishes. Pretty soon, they realise everybody in their neighbourhood has a secret…
4. Bake my day (ahem, sorry)
Nadiya Hussain, winner of last year’s Great British Bake Off competition, is currently writing a children’s book. Will it feature baking though? Yes, of course it will. The book will feature stories and recipes for you to read and make with your child/ren. Careful attention has been paid to the time of day each story suits, with some for early morning, some for lunch and some for bedtime. Clever.
5. Apple Tree Adaptation
On release, Louise Dougherty’s chilling courtroom drama, Apple Tree Yard, received glowing reviews from other crime writers: Ian Rankin called it “Brilliant and bruising”, while Val McDermid said “Just finished Apple Tree Yard ... Realised I'd been holding my breath for last 40 pages. Gripping.”. Well, now the BBC are bringing it to the small screen with a cast including Emily Watson and Ben Chaplin. As it is set to be just as fantastic as the book, all we caution is: please remember to breathe.
In the beginning there was ...a turtle. Somewhere on the frontier between thought and reality exists the Discworld, a parallel time and place which might sound and smell very much like our own, but which looks completely different. Particularly as it's carried though space on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown). It plays by different rules.
Yvonne Carmichael has worked hard to achieve the life she always wanted: a high-flying career in genetics, a good relationship with her husband and their two grown-up children. Then one day she meets a stranger at the Houses of Parliament and, in the dark, secret corners of London, begins an impulsive and passionate affair with him.
Jean Taylor's life was blissfully ordinary. Glen was all she'd ever wanted: her Prince Charming. Until he became that man accused, that monster on the front page. Jean was married to a man everyone thought capable of unimaginable evil. But now Glen is dead and she's alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms.