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The Waterstones Round Up: April's Best Books

Posted on 29th March 2021 by Mark Skinner

As we settle into spring, it's time to welcome another beguiling batch of fresh publishing from across all genres. The great Haruki Murakami returns with a scintillating collection of stories, whilst Mel Giedroyc delivers her delightfully witty debut novel and Saima Mir's The Khan stakes its claim as one of the touchstone crime thrillers of the year. Meanwhile, non-fiction is bursting with goodies, from Tim Marshall's wonderfully accessible blend of geography and geopolitics to Anita Sethi's powerful account of the healing power of nature and the Reverend Richard Coles's deeply moving memoir of grief and loss.

 

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Once more bending fictional forms to his will, Murakami delivers a hypnotic collection of short stories ranging from jazz to baseball to intricately crafted dreamscapes, all narrated in the first person.
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A house unwilling to give up its secrets and a teenager with an enquiring mind; Gnuse’s acute dissection of grief, memory and unlikely friendships plays equally well as sinister thriller and poignant meditation.
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With her household on the edge of ruin, a woman who’s lost her zest for life suddenly propels herself into action in this smart, funny and heart-warming tale of familial love and determination from the beloved presenter.
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Steeped in a sense of ominous dread and rendered in precise, emotionally acute prose, Greengrass follows up the acclaimed Sight with the tale of a small band of individuals preparing for the onset of a slow-moving catastrophe.
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The award-winning author of If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things delivers a profoundly humane and engrossing exploration of an Antarctic researcher brought low by tragedy and desperate to communicate with the outside world.
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A coincidence reunites Addie with her ex on a road trip to a friend’s wedding in this funny and moving third novel from the bestselling author of The Flatshare and The Switch.
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Linking five generations of formidable Latina women through the handing down of a highly significant book, Garcia’s novel perfectly captures the universal struggles of family, gender and racial politics with tenderness and passion.
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A woozily atmospheric magic realist novel peopled by a cast of quirky, unforgettable characters, This One Sky Day charts the troubled course of true love across an enchanted twenty-four hours.
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With her wonderfully executed debut that reimagines the classic tale of Theseus, Ariadne and the Minotaur, Jennifer Saint joins the likes of Madeline Miller and Pat Barker in forging mesmerising retellings of ancient Greek myths from a female perspective.
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Filled with care, grief and hope, this dazzlingly unique debut about a year in the life of a woman dedicated to her small brood of four chickens is an arresting meditation on choices and motherhood.
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The Saxon halls of Mercia play host to a stirring tale of forbidden love whilst, in the present day, dreams and visions threaten to unearth a mystery that has lain buried in the Welsh hills for a thousand years, in Erskine’s magical novel.
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A blistering recreation of the capital at the tail end of the 1970s, Quinn’s visceral narrative finds four strangers caught up in a perfect storm of strikes, bombings and punk rock as a nation shifts irrevocably to the right.
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Following a young British-Asian lawyer who’s broken away from her family’s criminal background after her father’s murder, The Khan is a gripping and multifaceted crime thriller that explores the meaning of community and justice with breathtaking dexterity.
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Witchcraft, dastardly plots and a devotion to truth lead James Marwood and Cat Lovett to discover a secret at the very heart of the royal court in the new thrilling novel from the master of historical crime.
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The author of former Waterstones Thriller of the Month Firewatching delivers another scorching blast of Sheffield Noir embroils DS Adam Tyler in the esoteric world of ‘night hawkers,’ nocturnal treasure hunters bent on unearthing ancient relics.
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Another electrifying psychological thriller from the author of We Know You Know focusing on the deadly rivalry at the heart of an elite production of Swan Lake.
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The third page-turning instalment of Jeffrey Archer’s bestselling series, Turn a Blind Eye sees Detective Inspector William Warwick tackling a dangerous corruption case at the heart of the Metropolitan Police Force.
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Moving between South Carolina and Quebec, The Bone Code sets Kathy Reichs’s iconic forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan on a hunt for truth about a hideous murder case and a terrifying disease outbreak in Charleston.
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Another pitch-perfect slice of psychological chills from the You series finds Joe Goldberg determined to settle down in a new town – until a female librarian catches his eye.
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Based on the traditional folk ballad The Two Sisters, Holland’s evocative period fantasy finds magical strangers and warring tribes entrap a regal family in Dark Ages Britain.
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Published to coincide with the 42nd anniversary of the original publication of Douglas Adams’s comic sci-fi classic, this stunning edition boasts gorgeous new artwork from former Waterstones Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell, that fit the text perfectly.
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As a virus that kills only men sweeps the globe, society is forced to adjust to a new world order in this provocative, poignant and yet ultimately hopeful page-turner from a bold new voice.
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Swathed in an ominous sense of creeping dread punctuated by blasts of chilling violence, this riveting horror from the author of the Alice series serves up unseen monsters and sinister strangers on a remote mountainside.
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Emotionally charged yet clear-sighted and reflective, the Reverend Richard Coles's account of grief in the wake of his partner’s sudden death provides much comfort and profound insight into the nature of life, death, religion and community.
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Recounting a life blighted by family tragedy and serious addiction issues, the second son of US President Joe Biden describes how he has turned his life around in this intensely personal and ultimately uplifting memoir.
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A heartbreaking yet inspirational account of battling adversity and coping with uncertainty about the future, Kate Garraway’s profoundly moving memoir details her husband’s long-term fight against Covid-19 and the repercussions for herself and their family.
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The indie pop icon and bestselling author of Bedsit Disco Queen and Another Planet gifts the reader with a window into her friendship with Go-Betweens drummer Lindy Morrison in this characteristically witty and affectionate volume.
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The British folk icon reflects on his journey of musical discovery, from his days in Fairport Convention and beyond, with a focus on a period of extraordinary creative vigour, social revelation and personal transformation.

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A worthy addition to the massed ranks of books aiming to decipher the mystique of Bob Dylan, this incisive, lyrical analysis of the troubadour’s many faces makes for compelling reading.
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A fascinating account of one of the supreme British female humorists reveals how the author of Excellent Women and Jane and Prudence went largely unheralded in her lifetime, her comedic genius only recognised by a few high-profile fans who kept her flame alive.
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The bestselling author of the Roasting Tin series turns her attention to summer cooking vegetarian-style with this accessible book of delicious plant-based recipes, perfect for the barbecue.
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Following on from her bestselling Zaitoun and The Saffron Tales, Yasmin Khan returns with a stunning collection of recipes and stories that bring the tastes, smells, history and culture of the Eastern Mediterranean straight into your kitchen.
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Accompanying Blanc’s ITV series, the recipes in Simply Raymond are born out of both the practical limitations and emotional connections of lockdown, with these simple, comforting dishes standing as a testament to his late mother’s home cooking.
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Putting the conflicting demands of modern work culture and self-care mantras under the microscope, Grace Beverley offers a refreshing and practical take on motivation and productivity.
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The Instagram phenomenon and author of Good Vibes, Good Life returns with another indispensable guide to reclaiming positivity in the face of trauma by fostering self-love and inner healing.
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Exploring both mental and physical empowerment, Stronger is an inspiring blend of memoir and manifesto, shaking off long-held, mistaken ideas about women and strength.
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Ten hotspots for the future of geopolitics explored with clarity and wit in this cogently argued volume from the foreign affairs journalist and author of Prisoners of Geography and Worth Dying For.
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In captivating prose filled with chilling detail, Morgan chronicles the legal history of homicide, showing how killers, victims, lawyers and judges have all played a part in making the UK murder law what it is today.
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The bestselling author of Talking to Strangers returns with an eye-opening volume that explores a group of idealistic strategists whose well-intentioned plans and technological innovations veered in a new direction after the outbreak of the Second World War.
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From the author of the bestselling Chernobyl comes a riveting dissection of the strategies, misjudgments and brinkmanship that marked the Cuban Missile Crisis – four weeks in 1962 that brought the world closer to nuclear Armageddon than it has ever been before or since.
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The bestselling author of The Hare with Amber Eyes paints a fascinating portrait of the eminent French art collector Count Moise de Camondo and sheds light on the hitherto hidden layers of his family history.
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In this exquisitely crafted biography of the Duchess Countess Elizabeth Chudleigh, who was tried for bigamy in 1776, Ostler paints a fascinating portrait of a woman who vehemently refused to conform to the social norms of her time.
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Through the work of iconic figures such as Sigmund Freud, Andrea Dworkin and Malcolm X, the author of The Lonely City and Funny Weather delivers both an exultant celebration and trenchant critique of bodily freedom and the body’s connection to human rights.
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An empowering, comprehensive roadmap for building a satisfying career, Millennial Black offers practical advice for young Black women at the workplace, along with inspiring interviews and wisdom from the likes of June Sarpong and Candice Brathwaite.
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Provocative but informed, Eyal’s penetrating dissection of the iniquities of globalisation draws in lessons from both past and present to deliver a compelling argument against hollow institutions and the arrogance of political elites.
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A brilliantly accomplished mix of powerful memoir and revelatory nature writing, Sethi’s account of finding solace in the Northern countryside following a traumatic racial attack is a defiant act of reclamation and an astonishing piece of testimony.
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The author of How to Read Water returns with another revelatory guide, this time highlighting the oft-neglected signs that reveal how the weather is changing and adapting.
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In a gloriously illustrated follow-up to his bestselling Around the World in 80 Trees, Drori takes the reader on a botanical journey acrossthe world, exploring the science, history and cultural significance of a fascinating range of plants.
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From surprising details on space travel to explaining why the dinosaurs faced extinction, astronomer Florian Freistetter explores the history of the cosmos and our place in it through a fascinating account of one hundred stars.
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