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Fragments of Truth: Dr Thomas Halliday on Interpreting the Past

In his mesmerising Otherlands – our Non-Fiction Book of the Month for February award-winning palaeobiologist Thomas Halliday invites the reader on a tour of deep time through a series of ancient environments across all seven continents, revealing how much fascinating information is grounded in the fossil record. In this exclusive piece, the author talks about the challenges of bringing such ancient past to life, and the vital interplay of facts and imagination in this process.

The Waterstones Podcast - Cariad Lloyd, Michael Rosen and Chloe Hooper

An honest conversation about life, death, grieving and getting better.

Tania Branigan on the Poisonous Legacy of Mao's Cultural Revolution

In her new book Red Memory, the Guardian's lead writer and former China correspondent Tania Branigan explores the harrowing afterlife of Mao's Cultural Revolution through eyewitness testimony, unravelling the long-silenced memories – and attempts to forget – of those who lived through it. In this exclusive piece, the author discusses how the annihilation of trust during the execrable decade of 1966-76 continues to shape Chinese society today.

Encountering a Lost World: A Conversation Between Michael Frank and Maira Kalman

One of only a handful of Jews from Rhodes to survive the Holocaust, Stella Levi has experienced a full and eventful life - which she recounted to Michael Frank over a hundred afternoon encounters. The resulting book, One Hundred Saturdays, is a vibrant and inspirational meditation on survival, storytelling and a life well lived. To mark Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday 27 January, we present an enlightening conversation between Frank and the seminal artist Maira Kalman, who provided the breathtaking illustrations for this very special volume.    

Caroline Dodds Pennock on the Indigenous American Transformation of Europe

A fascinating and vital contribution to a fair and more balanced telling of the past, Caroline Dodds Pennock's On Savage Shores sheds new light on transatlantic history by exploring the impact of the Indigenous American presence in early modern Europe and its enduring legacy in our daily lives. In this exclusive piece, Pennock discusses the transformation of the 'Old World' through the commodities and knowledge that started arriving in Europe with Native Americans from as early as the 1490s.

The Waterstones Round Up: February's Best Books

With a luminous new novel from Salman Rushdie, immersive fantasy from Samantha Shannon, breathtaking biography from Blake Morrison and powerful political argument from Bernie Sanders, there is a huge amount to recommend in February's crop of publishing. Discover the books you really should be reading courtesy of the Waterstones Blog.  

Professor Dacher Keltner on Why We Need More Awe in Our Lives

In his inspiring new book Awe, Dacher Keltner – Professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley – draws on his pioneering research in the science of this mysterious emotion, revealing why everyday wonder is so good both for our mental and physical health. Read about why we all need more awe in our lives – and how we might find it – in this exclusive piece from the author. 

Jay Shetty on How Pop Culture Has Skewed Our Ideas About Romance

In his new book 8 Rules of Love, the bestselling author of Think Like a Monk Jay Shetty shares his eight key principles for managing our emotions and expectations when it comes to love and for building more fulfilling relationships through self-awareness. We are delighted to treat the readers of our blog to an exclusive piece from Shetty on how films, pop songs and the advertising industry have contorted our notions of romance and how we might want to approach romantic relationships instead. 

Sheila Liming on the Benefits of Hanging Out

Starting with the assumption that hanging out to adults is what play is to children, Sheila Liming's brilliant new book Hanging Out: The Radical Power of Killing Time argues that as our lives get increasingly fractured and hectic, there is a quiet revolution to be had in terms of how we choose to spend our time. In this exclusive piece the author discusses why taking out time to simply hang out with your friends, family and colleagues can be one of the most beneficial and productive things we can do for ourselves and each other.

Johann Hari on the Crisis of Our Collective Attention

In Stolen Focus – our Non-Fiction Book of the Month for January – the internationally bestselling author of Chasing the Scream and Lost Connections Johann Hari explores twelve factors that wreak havoc on our focus, both individual and collective. By shining a light on these common and often deep-rooted attention thieves, Johann Hari shows how we can take back control of our minds and concentrate on what really matters. In this exclusive piece, he discusses the threats that the loss of our collective and political focus is posing to our democracy. 

The Waterstones Round Up: January's Best Books

A new year means new books - lots of new books. As the last of the turkey sandwiches are polished off and the Christmas tree is returned to the attic, it's time to turn our attention to the great publishing coming your way this January. From the thrilling return of one of literature's most controversial figures to the royal autobiography to end all royal autobiographies; explore the delights on offer this month.

The Books You Need to Read in 2023

This is the blog we know you've all been waiting for. We present the top 10 titles for 2023 in fiction, non-fiction and children's books; a glorious mix of masterful storytelling, compelling subject matter and page-turning thrills. And if you are hungry for more, don't miss our three category blogs for an even deeper dive into next year's literary riches.