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The Waterstones Round Up: February's Best Books

Posted on 4th February 2020 by Mark Skinner
As we bid the post-Christmas chill of January a firm farewell and embrace love and pancakes this February, it is time to stock up on some more great books. From the adult fiction debuts of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Kiran Millwood Hargarve to the history of seduction and a vegetarian cookbook from a culinary national treasure, February's literary bounty is positively irresistible.

Fiction

£16.99
Hardback
10+ in stock
Available
Coates’ blazing political and cultural writing is amongst the most intelligent and powerful work of the twenty-first century and here he delivers a debut novel of poetic intensity and righteous anger. Compellingly recounting the clandestine work of abolitionist cells buried in the 19th-century Deep South, The Water Dancer is a fearless and profound slice of crusading historical fiction.
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£14.99
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Taking a real-life witch trial as her inspiration, Millwood Hargrave’s adult debut weaves an atmospheric tale of self-sufficient womanhood and sexual suspicion in a tight-knit island community during the seventeenth century.
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£12.99
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A compelling and poignant tale of motherhood, deception and loss in eighteenth-century London, The Foundling is suffused with the squalor and inequality of the Georgian metropolis. Boasting Halls’s keen eye for evocative historical detail and exquisitely structured narrative, this is another mesmerising novel from a hugely exciting talent.
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£20.00
Hardback
Out of stock
There are few writers as capable of skewering the contradictions, frustrations and frictions of family life with as much humour and piercing accuracy as Marian Keyes and her latest sees her on sparkling form. When one woman's concussion leads to an outpouring of long-contained gripes and secrets, it calls into question just how civilised and 'grown-up' any of us actually are.

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£12.99
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Perfect reading for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Morrey’s luminous debut presents one of the year’s most memorable central characters in a story of heartache, pathos and ultimate redemption. Brimming with compassion and generosity of spirit, Saving Missy is a gentle, tender dissection of love, loneliness and the power of turning your life around.
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£12.99
Paperback
5+ in stock
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A landmark publication in Nam-Joo’s native country where it kick-started a nascent MeToo movement, Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 throws a grenade under the appalling misogyny and paternalism of South Korean society.
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£14.99
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Perfectly capturing the faded glamour of late 1950s Brighton, Here We Are is a wryly comic character study of a trio of end-of-the-pier entertainers and the love triangle that envelops them.
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£16.99
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A beautifully realised novel of mother-daughter relationships and the dark underbelly of fame and adulation, Actress deftly unpacks the secrets and lies of a renowned theatre performer and the effects of her notoriety on the child who idolised her. With a sharp eye for female interaction and familial subtext, Actress finds the former Booker Prize-winner on superlative form.
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£12.99
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A Girl is a Half-formed Thing swept all before it six years ago and now Strange Hotel looks set to cause a literary similar sensation with its delicately poised narrative of a woman caught between multiple hotel rooms and the rich, emotive memories that they provoke. Written with singular lyrical power, this is a gorgeous, elegant novella about the anonymous spaces that come to define us.
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£12.99
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Addressing issues of guilt, grief, identity and friendship, Napolitano’s heartwarming UK debut traces the path through life of the sole survivor of a tragic plane crash.
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Told in short snippets of crystalline prose, Weather's wry, quiet power, understated insight and keen intelligence illuminates aspects of everyday life in Trump’s America.
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£18.99 £16.99
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Exploring the relationship between two bereaved men amidst the physical and emotional carnage of the West Bank, Apeirogon is a masterpiece of characterisation and subtle political commentary.
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Crime & Thrillers 

£12.99
Hardback
Out of stock
Fresh from the bestselling success of the former Waterstones Thriller of the Month, The Hunting Party, Foley treats us to another closed community page-turner, set this time at a glamorous wedding on a remote island. Lean, pacy and terrifically twisty, The Guest List is a good, old-fashioned whodunit in distinctly twenty-first century trappings.

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£12.99
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The Memory Wood tells the tale of two adolescents and the unbearably tense game of cat and mouse that develops between the two of them when one discovers the other, who has been abducted.
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£18.99
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Ruth Galloway is pulled back into a notorious murder case in this chilling crime thriller from the ever-reliable Elly Griffiths. Channelling sinister local lore into a psychological duel between the experienced detective and a vicious mass killer, The Lantern Men finds Griffiths at the top of her game.
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£20.00
Hardback
Out of stock
The fiftieth book in the In Death series finds the unstoppable Robb in electric form, as Eve Dallas faces a race against time to catch a mercurial serial killer loose on the streets of New York. Packed with the kind of fast paced incident and expertly constructed twists that Robb has made her trademark, Golden in Death marks such an impressive anniversary in breathtaking style.

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Science Fiction & Fantasy

£18.99
Hardback
Out of stock
The new Peter Grant mystery finds the erstwhile wizarding copper immersed in the nefarious goings-on of a shady tech company. Throbbing with Aaronovitch’s trademark blend of comic fantasy and compelling crime, False Value is a bravura addition to the Rivers of London sequence.

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£12.99
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A post-apocalyptic thriller with real urgency and credibility, this electrifying debut from ‘QI elf’ Murray describes an immobile future Earth, with each side locked in permanent day and night.
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Biography

£20.00
Hardback
Out of stock
A no-holds-barred account of life inside the Westminster Bubble. Appointed speaker in 2009, Bercow’s time in Parliament has coincided with one of the most heated periods in modern history. Both a candid memoir of life in politics and a frank analysis of the personalities and policies that have defined our political landscape in recent times this is a book to shine a light on the corridors of power

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Both a colourful and entertaining memoir and a powerful denunciation of a prison system under intolerable strain, Atkins’s eye-opening account of his five year jail term in HMP Wandsworth is a riveting window into a bizarre, frequently terrifying world. Laced with mordant humour and indignant polemic, A Bit of a Stretch is an unvarnished view of life behind bars.
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£16.99
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A parent of five children aged one to seventeen, Stroud has plenty of wisdom and insight to offer women at all stages of their journey through parenting, and this beautiful, refreshingly honest account of all aspects of motherhood is required reading on a provocative topic.
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£16.99
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In this collection of heart-warming letters to her three young sons, Giovanna Fletcher lays bare the manifold wonders and unavoidable struggles of modern parenting. From touching and amusing anecdote to the difficult decisions around being a working mum and dealing with feelings of guilt, Letters on Motherhood is a tender and compassionate guide to living with little ones.
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Home & Lifestyle

£25.00
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10+ in stock
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With easily adaptable vegan alternatives for over forty of the dishes featured, the enticing recipes in The Vegetarian Kitchen have all been heartily enjoyed around the Leith family table.
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£35.00
Hardback
10+ in stock
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Truly sumptuous and exquisitely designed, The Irish Cookbook is another typically beautiful recipe guide from Phaidon. Combining an authoritative account of the country’s finest cuisine with mouth-watering images of food and locations, this is both an invaluable tool for the kitchen and a work of art for the bookshelf.
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History, Politics & Popular Science

£25.00
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A blazingly original history of the art, philosophy and practice of seduction, Strange Antics ranges broadly and nimbly across the centuries to take in the likes of Casanova, Jack Johnson and even vampiric lovers. Masterfully marshalling a wealth of fascinating information, Knox achieves a dazzling synthesis of scholarship and juicy anecdote.
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£20.00
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The Allied bombing of Dresden remains one of the most contentious and divisive operations of World War II and, in this admirably balanced and exhaustively researched account, Sinclair McKay artfully disentangles the fact from the emotive fiction of this pivotal event. Dresden is a masterful narrative history from a military historian of immense stature.

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£16.99
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Highlighting numerous fighters for female freedom, the former New Statesman scribe presents a page-turning history of feminism, neatly structured into eleven overarching themes.

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£14.99
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Tracing the path of two great lakes integral to her family history, Kassabova, shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Border, conjures a transformative account of the diversity and richness of the Balkans. Examining a series of unique cultures all within a very narrow radius, To the Lake is a deeply enlightening narrative essential for a clear understanding of the Balkan region.
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£12.99
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A clear-headed and intelligent denunciation of racist stereotypes and pernicious eugenics, Rutherford’s masterly account of genetics and its dangerous misuse through history contains all you ever need to refute hateful claims about racial superiority.
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Adopting five different identities, Ebner infiltrated a dozen extremist groups and Going Dark is her eye-opening and alarming exposé of radical ideology and what it means for the rest of us.
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£18.99
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Persuasively argued and consistently surprising, The Changing Mind argues that we should view getting older as a beneficial experience rather than a form of cognitive decay.
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£14.99
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The writer capable of making intricate mathematical theory accessible to all returns with an epic account of the ‘magicians’ who pioneered complex calculation and scientific discovery. Kaleidoscopic and entertaining, Chown’s biographical history opens the world of maths up for everybody to understand and enjoy.
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