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The Waterstones Round Up: June's Best Books

Posted on 18th May 2020 by Mark Skinner

Hugely exciting debuts jostle for position with great new books from veteran authors this June. From captivating character studies to whip-smart thrillers, and from uplifting lifestyle volumes to penetrating biography and history, get your literature fix right here.     

Fiction

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Spanning the 1950s to the 1990s and from the Deep South to California, Bennett’s stunning novel follows the journeys of two estranged twin sisters leading very different lives – to the extent of adopting different racial identities.
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Immensely moving and emotionally powerful, Messina’s novel of hope and consolation in the face of unimaginable loss is possessed of a rare empathetic pull. Perfect for fans of The Beekeeper of Aleppo, The Phone Box on the Edge of the World is a heartbreaking work of contemporary fiction.
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A striking, sharp and tightly-woven debut about prejudice and abuse in a small Texas oil town. Wetmore tells a galvanizing, complex tale with nuance, while letting the moral urgency of her topic shine through. This devastating, brave novel marks the arrival of a strong new voice in American fiction.
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With Tokyo and a stray cat at its heart, Bradley’s debut is a tender and darkly comic story about belonging and loneliness. A mesmerising, finely observed journey into the intersecting lives, cultures and identities of a metropolis, The Cat and the City announces the arrival of a masterful new voice in fiction.

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Set in a stunning South Carolina resort, The House on Fripp Island is a beautifully-crafted, atmospheric novel full of secrets, with characters that leap off the page. As two families come together to share a holiday house, emotions and tensions soon mount. Kauffman has created an insightful family saga combined with an atmospheric, suspenseful whodunit.
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Light, frothy and romantic, Sunny Days and Sea Breezes is the perfect comfort read from the bestselling master of upbeat fiction. A delightful story of fresh starts and picturesque houseboats – and equally picturesque neighbours – this is a joyous, warming hug of a read.
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Intertwining wry, sharp acuity with passion and longing, Campbell’s astonishing debut of a young woman who looks back on a formative affair is a profound meditation on love, pain, denial and the power of memory. At once forensic and deeply touching, This Happy heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice in fiction.
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Impressive and nuanced, The Blind Light is a story of loyalty and the meaning of home and country, told through two generations of a family. With a stunning ability to evoke the sense of time, place and the effects of global events on individuals, Evers’s novel offers a sweeping social history of Britain from the 1950s to the present day.
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A compelling, character driven thriller set on a breezeblock university campus, The Truants is a very modern coming-of-age tale incorporating issues of belonging and toxic friendships within a fast-moving, wire-taut narrative.
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Set in a near-future fertility clinic where the babies are destined for the rich and powerful, The Farm asks big questions about how much of ourselves we are prepared to trade for a comfortable life.
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At once raw, tender and compelling, Sweet Home is a stunning debut collection that brilliantly observes the intimate sorrows and surprises that occur under the surface of our daily lives. In ten stories set in her native Belfast, Erskine proves her gift for creating unforgettably life-like characters, sparkling dialogue and dark comedy.
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Crime & Thrillers

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Few thriller writers are as respected by their peers as Karin Slaughter, and this pulsating addition to the case files of Will Trent and Sara Linton is an utterly compelling tale of a killer on the loose and a historic miscarriage of justice. Written with all of the author’s customary flair, The Silent Wife is a powerhouse of suspense and excitement.

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Set amongst the ‘water rats’ of the Thames riverboat community, Candlish’s disquieting thriller probes the enmity that lies beneath the surface of friendships as well as the fatal unreliability of memory.

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The author of the bestselling Codename Villanelle and No Tomorrow returns with the third, dazzling instalment of the Killing Eve series. Set in wintry St Petersburg, Die for Me sees Eve and Villanelle on the run, finding themselves ever deeper entangled in a game of intelligence, obsession, conspiracy and murder.
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The second outing for Ranger Darren Matthews, Heaven My Home blends a twisty, high-paced thriller with a powerful, angry portrait of Trump’s America.
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Soaring above the mean streets of Edinburgh to an interstellar conspiracy involving doomed space shuttles and vanished satellites, this early Rankin classic is available for the first time in 25 years. A breathless international thriller very different to the hard-edged Tartan noir of Rebus, Westwind is ripe for rediscovery.
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Grisham serves up another engrossing slice of legal Southern gothic with this pulsating tale of wrongful conviction and small town conspiracy set in the oppressive Florida heat. Combining Grisham’s expert plotting chops with a rich account of the prejudice and bigotry of the Southern legal system, The Guardians is another masterly exercise in sophisticated suspense from a born storyteller.
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The Queen of Gangland Crime serves up another steely slice of treachery and retribution, where family is everything until the firm is threatened. Punchy, violent and utterly absorbing, No Mercy truly is vintage Martina Cole.
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Peter James’s excursions into horror prove every bit as engrossing as his bestselling crime fiction, and the follow-up to The House on Cold Hill mines the same rich atmosphere of unease and encroaching dread. Eerie and sinister, the return to the titular abode uncovers a host of disturbing goings-on.
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£8.99
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The reigning king of the wartime spy novel, Alan Furst delivers another superior slice of espionage set in occupied Paris. Steeped in intrigue and paranoia, Under Occupation invokes resistance safe houses and top secret documents in a thrilling journey into the heart of enemy territory.
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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror

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Grant’s ingenious reboot of Les Misérables maps the adventures of daring young thief Eponine in a fantastical version of nineteenth-century Paris, plagued by ruthless guilds and sinister royals.
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The Empire of Gold brings the epic Daevabad Trilogy to a majestic conclusion. The magical city of Daevabad has been conquered and the hopes for resurrection and peace seem far-fetched. Opulent and passionate, this high-octane Middle Eastern fantasy is filled with subversive politics, tantalising use of mythology and endless suspense.

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From the feverish imagination behind World War Z comes a chilling narrative like no other, as the freshly discovered journals of a massacre survivor posit the horrifying suggestion of supernatural forces at work. Dark, gripping and visceral, Devolution is a unique journey into terror.

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£8.99
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Following on from the events in Nevernight and Godsgrave, Darkdawn brings to a close a gripping story of fearful rivalry, undercover conspiracy and brutal retribution. Told with Kristoff’s blend of black humour and enthralling world-building, this is a breath-taking third act to a thrilling fantasy drama
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£7.99
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Set in Trier, Germany, The October Man transports Aaronovitch's cocktail mix of high concept fantasy and gripping crime thriller to an inviting new locale - and features an intriguing new protagonist.
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High-octane, biochemical sci-fi penned by the screenwriter of Jurassic Park sounds mouth-wateringly irresistible and so Cold Storage proves. A thrilling race-against-time to destroy a rogue, planet-threatening fungus, Koepp’s deliriously enjoyable novel strikes notes of broad comedy and endearingly goofy characterisation amidst the mayhem.
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Food & Drink

£26.00
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A revelatory journey into the world of traditional Ukrainian summer kitchens, filled with evocative photography and gorgeous traditional recipes from borsch to poppy-seed babka.
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With their uplifting, relaxed and inspiring approach to improving our health through food, the Hairy Bikers return with another fantastic cookbook. Filled with 80 mouth-watering recipes, The Hairy Bikers Eat to Beat Type 2 Diabetes celebrates varied, interesting and fun ways to create delicious meals that will be good for both your blood-sugar and your taste buds.
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£17.99
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Bringing the hugely popular trend of one-dish wonders into the world of baking, Edd Kimber introduces a treasure trove of no less than seventy savoury and sweet delights, all realisable in a 9x13 tin.
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Health & Lifestyle

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The celebrated Skincare Queen shares all her expert tips in this ultimate go-to guide for attaining the perfect complexion, choosing the right products and understanding your skin’s unique needs.
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Perfect for those seeking inner peace and tranquillity at times of great stress or anxiety, Secret Yoga Club introduces calming routines and techniques with a proven track record of transformative success. Beautifully presented and written with clarity and poise, this is soothing balm for troubled times.
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£16.99
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In this powerful and frank account of what it is to live with depression, actor Denise Welch discusses her battle with this ‘unwelcome visitor’. Sharing her own journey, from self-destruction to self-acceptance, Welch’s life-affirming humour and honesty is a well of solace for anyone whose life has been affected by depression.
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£8.99
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Few people know more about the different manifestations of fear than Special Forces point man Ant Middleton. But rather than being a negative energy, he uses it to drive him on. In The Fear Bubble, he outlines the philosophy that has seen him through tight spots around the world and which can also be utilised by mere mortals in everyday life.
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Where The Courage To Be Disliked imparted the wisdom of nineteenth century psychologists, this inspirational follow-up concentrates on the theories of the twentieth century. Insightful, clear and undeniably powerful, The Courage To Be Happy will revolutionise the way you look at life.
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Biography & Sport

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Showing how the events in Dickens’s life galvanized his novels, Wilson paints a fascinating, nuanced portrait of the man who shaped our very idea of the nineteenth-century.
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In a thoroughly inspiring tale of overcoming all odds, Muay Thai kickboxing champion and captain of the British team, Ruqsana Begum shares her incredible journey to stardom.
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£9.99
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Uniquely successful and unquestionably talented as he may be, it is Sam Warburton’s intelligence and strategic thinking that set him apart on the rugby field. This memoir from the former Welsh captain is searching, analytical and perceptive, and provides a rounded and revealing portrait of a great player and inspired leader.
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£9.99
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The versatile Anfield hero answers the fans' burning questions about life as an elite footballer. Covering the pitch, dressing room and beyond, Milner dispatches his responses with all the authority that he demonstrates on the playing field.
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Essays & History

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Women Don’t Owe You Pretty is an accessible entry point into progressive feminist discussion, covering topics such as body image, toxic beauty standards, and identity-building in a world still plagued by misogyny and sexism.
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£25.00
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Historian James Holland, the bestselling author of Normandy ‘44, presents the complete history of the RAF from its beginnings in the First World War to the present day. Using photographs and documents from the RAF archives, Holland constructs a vivid account of the force’s extraordinary technical developments and acts of heroism throughout last century’s biggest conflicts.
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£9.99
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In Inferior, Angela Saini skewered the lies trotted out by misogynists as scientific fact. Now, with Superior, the science journalist and broadcaster tackles similarly pernicious untruths about race and eugenics. With rationalism and detailed research, Saini picks apart the dangerous arguments of race scientists and challenges their chilling resurgence in the 21st century.
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£10.99
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De Courcy’s riveting account of life in the bohemian bubble of the wartime Cote d’Azur pulls off a delicate balancing act, between revelling in high glamour and exposing the hardship and suffering of the French people under Nazi Occupation. Straddling both milieus is the controversial Coco Chanel, impossibly chic and prodigiously gifted, yet seemingly immune to the agonies of others.
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£8.99
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A hitherto neglected true wartime story jam-packed with incident, intrigue and derring-do, SAS Shadow Raiders pits a hardened band of elite warriors against a mysterious German invention and shadowy enemy operatives. Another compulsive book from Damian Lewis, this breathless yarn reads like the most breathless fiction.
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Nature & Travel

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Turning some deep-rooted assumptions on their head, The Bird Way takes a new radical look at the habits and behaviours of our feathered friends.
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£20.00
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Mixing history, mythology, biology and his exceptional field skills, Oates crafts a supreme biography of this most elusive of British butterflies.

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£8.99
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From the author of The Meaning of Birds, Rewild Yourself introduces 23 mesmerising ways to find a deeper connection with the natural world, regardless of where we live.
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A lyrical, highly evocative account of Marsden’s journey from Cornwall to a small Scottish archipelago, The Summer Isles resounds with colourful characters and poetic description. Mining a rich seam of Celtic mythology and romantic pagan history, this is mesmerising travel writing of the highest order.
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