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Graham Norton Recommends His Top 5 Reads of 2018

Posted on 7th December 2018 by Martha Greengrass

Following up on the promise of his widely acclaimed debut, Holding, Graham Norton's new novel, A Keeper, is a deft, humane and keenly observed novel of secrets and consequence. Ranging from the Hebrides to Harlem, the author recommends his five favourite novels of 2018, exclusively for Waterstones.

Now We Shall be Entirely Free by Andrew Miller

This was an unexpected treat. I'm not normally a fan of historical fiction but this tale has enough tension and oddness to give it a very contemporary feel. It will also make you want to visit the wilds of Scotland.

£18.99
Hardback
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Andrew Miller, author of Ingenious Pain and the Costa Book Award-winning Pure turns his considerable talents to a story of justice and revenge in the shadow of the Napoleonic War. Lightly wearing its considerable research, Now We Shall Be Entirely Free fuses menacing thriller and historical novel into a very contemporary examination of combat’s aftermath and its price for all involved.

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Wild Fire by Ann Cleeves

Apparently this is going to be the last in the Shetland series but it was the first one I've read. Brilliantly plotted with the sort of fully fleshed out characters one rarely finds in crime fiction it made me want to read all the previous. Oddly this story will also make you want to visit the wilds of Scotland!

£16.99
Hardback
Out of stock
From award-winning and Sunday Times top five bestseller Ann Cleeves comes the captivating eighth, and final, novel in the Shetland Series featuring DI Jimmy Perez. As Perez is forced to return to the islands for a knotty and unforgiving case, he must also face his own demons and a reckoning that will test him more than he can know, in his most personal case to date.

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Christodora by Tim Murphy

This book was published a couple of years ago and it was on my "to read" pile for quite a while. I was sorry I'd waited. It is a compelling family saga that gives a fascinating insight into he New York AIDS activists of the eighties. It is also one of the best depictions I've read of addiction. Not for the faint hearted.

£9.99
Paperback
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A novel of great scope and ambition, Christodora is a bold and poignant portrait of the bohemian Manhattan of sex, drugs, art, and activism, from the early 1980s into the near future. Vividly describing the lure and consequence of addiction and the scars, for a community, of the AIDS epidemic, it's a powerful story of a community and a city in flux.
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The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara

If you have seen the documentary Paris is Burning then you'll recognise some of the characters in this book. Taking real life events and mixing them with fiction Cassara has written a heart breaking tale of gay men struggling to survive in a world of clubbing and drugs. It is also an unexpected love story.

£8.99
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A gritty and gorgeous debut inspired by the real House of Xtravaganza made famous by the seminal documentary Paris Is Burning. Told with wit, rage, tenderness, and fierce yearning, it sings with the authentic voices of 1980’s New York LBGT underground scene. Cassara blends tragedy and hope in a story of love, family, and the dynamism of the human spirit.
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A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale

Again it took me a while to get around to reading this one, but what an extraordinary unexpected book this is! An historical novel that spans continents it is at its heart the story of a man finding love against all the odds. 

£8.99
Paperback
10+ in stock
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Forced to abandon his wife and child, shy, conventional Harry Cane signs up for emigration to the newly colonised Canadian prairies. Yet, despite its punishing demands, it is here that Harry will find a will to truly live. In this exquisite journey of self-discovery, Patrick Gale crafts an exploration of secrets, sexuality and, ultimately, of great and transformative love.
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