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Best Books to Look Out for in April 2018

From eagerly-anticipated debuts and world-bending adventures in time to the chilling lessons of history, we round up the books to put on your reading list this April.

Larchfield's Polly Clark on W.H. Auden in Helensburgh

Author Polly Clark, author of our Scottish Book of the Month for March, Larchfield, uncovers how she found solace and inspiration in the little-known story of W.H. Auden's time in Helensburgh.

Peter Godfrey-Smith: A Long Waltz with Cephalopods

Peter Godfrey-Smith, the author of our eye-opening Non-Fiction Book of the Month for March, Other Minds, takes us on an exclusive diver's tour of the deep.

Best Books to Look Out For in March 2018

From electric thrillers to curtain-lifting inside stories, we round up the books you should have on your radar this March.

A Wonder and a Mystery: Jenny Nimmo on Writing The Snow Spider

Our Children's Book of the Month for November is the spellbinding children’s classic, The Snow Spider by Jenny Nimmo. Set in twentieth century Wales, the tale is as much a love letter to the Welsh countryside as it is to Welsh mythology. It tells the story of a young boy, Gwyn, who receives five mysterious birthday gifts that reveal to him his latent magical powers; on realising he can enter another, mystical realm he goes in search of his missing sister, Bethan. A touching and heart-warming tale, it is the perfect wintry children’s read. 

In the thirty years since the book’s publication, The Snow Spider has been a perennial children’s favourite. Jenny Nimmo reflects on the continuing popularity of the book, written some thirty years ago whilest living with her family in remotest Wales.

Running with the Wolves: An Introduction to The Bloody Chamber

Running with the Wolves: An Introduction to The Bloody Chamber

Posted on 7th Nov, 2016 by Martha Greengrass & Sally Campbell

Our Rediscovered Classic for November, The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter, is an extraordinary and vital collection of stories. While her feminist contemporaries reviled fairy-tales for reinforcing gender stereotypes, Carter chose instead to twist, re-style and transform them.  She irreverently boiled down ancient, ridged archetypes and modelled in their place a dark, new,  wholly original world of wonder and delight; in creating this world, filled with pitch-black humour, dazzling intelligence and just a touch of anarchy, she changed the fairy-tale forever. Waterstones Online’s Martha Greengrass has written the following introduction to The Bloody Chamber.

On Golden Hill with Francis Spufford

On Golden Hill with Francis Spufford

Posted on 21st Jun, 2017 by Sally Campbell

It has been immensely satisfying over the months to watch Francis Spufford’s first excursion into fiction Golden Hill hoover up the literary prizes. We saw its potential back in the autumn and crowned it our Fiction Book of the Month for October, and since this rollicking tale of a nascent Manhattan has gone on to nail both the Costa First Novel Award and the RSL Ondaatje Prize, the latter fittingly awarded to works that particularly evoke the spirit of a place. Now winner of the prestigious Desmond Elliott Prize 2017, Francis Spufford – both in words and his own video, shot on the city’s streets – takes us to the very heart of New York.

Elizabeth Strout on writing Olive Kitteridge

Our Fiction Book of the Month for August is Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Olive Kitteridge. In an interview with the Guardian, Strout said she has begun all five of her novels 'always, always' with a person, adding, 'I’m just interested in character.' Here, she tells the story of how she created the character of Olive Kitteridge which in turn led her to create the award-winning novel

Rediscovered Classic: Towards The End of The Morning

Rediscovered Classic: Towards The End of The Morning

Posted on 28th Apr, 2016 by Peter Whitehead

Michael Frayn's skewering of the press remains as relevant as ever.

Thriller of the Month: The Cartel

Thriller of the Month: The Cartel

Posted on 28th Apr, 2016 by Peter Whitehead

Winslow's complex epic The Cartel has been described as the ‘War and Peace of dope-war books’.

Children's Book of The Month: The Girl of Ink & Stars

Children's Book of The Month: The Girl of Ink & Stars

Posted on 29th Apr, 2016 by Peter Whitehead

The Girl of Ink & Stars is the much-anticipated choice for our Children’s Book of the Month. That rare thing – a genuinely timeless, heart-on-its-sleeve adventure – this fictional debut from Oxford-based Kiran Millwood-Hargrave is as beautifully produced as it is written.

Non-fiction Book of the Month: The Last Act of Love

Non-fiction Book of the Month: The Last Act of Love

Posted on 29th Apr, 2016 by Peter Whitehead & Martha Greengrass

For some years, Cathy Rentzenbrink was a fellow soldier-in-arms at Waterstones, beginning her career as a bookseller across several of our stores in London. Ultimately she fled the nest to become Project Director to the charity Quick Reads and now, as a full-time writer and books journalist, a familiar voice in British publishing. Regional buyer Martha Greengrass introduces Cathy’s heartbreakingly honest memoir, The Last Act of Love.