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The Waterstones Round Up: June's Best Books

Posted on 28th May 2024 by Mark Skinner

The tantalising prospect of summer is in the air and so what could be better than soaking up the sun's rays with a great new book in your hand? From the highest quality literary fiction to delightfully gothic thrillers, and from delicious new cookbooks to riveting history, let the Waterstones Blog be your guide.   

 

Some of our most critically acclaimed authors make stellar returns this month, with the arrival of Julia Armfield's breathtaking apocalyptic family drama Private Rites, Kevin Barry's effortlessly elegant western The Heart in Winter and Rachel Cusk's uncategorisable gem Parade. Feel-good page-turners come courtesy of Kevin Kwan, Fearne Cotton and Santa Montefiore.   

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From the author of the acclaimed Our Wives Under the Sea comes a breathlessly imaginative and insightful novel set at the end of the world, as three sisters gather to administer their late architect father's estate.
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Set in the American West of the 1890s, this expansive yet psychologically intimate novel from the author of Night Boat to Tangier tracks the dangerously forbidden affair between a torrid young balladeer and the wife of a devout and powerful mine captain.
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The author of the seminal Outline trilogy delivers a tour de force of imagination and insight, as an artist known as G is followed through a multitude of lives and encounters.
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From the bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians comes an impossibly glamorous, globetrotting satire of bedhopping and scheming, as the debt-ridden future Duke of Greshambury sets out to seduce a wealthy woman and solve all his money woes.
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Intense and intimate, Twigg's firecracker debut delivers a wild story of hidden passions, power struggles and feral freedom in a women's commune on a remote farm in Kent.
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Moving between WW2 Germany and Cold War Berlin, this hauntingly beautiful debut about a mother separated from her baby boy and the daughter who years later tries to reunite the family is a quietly powerful study in trauma, hope, and individual lives altered by seismic historical moments.
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A feelgood tribute to female friendship from the author of We All Want Impossible Things, Sandwich revolves around Rocky whose contented worldview begins to tip inexorably towards change on a family holiday.
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Set on the Cornish coast, this deeply romantic tale from the bestselling author of the Deverill Chronicles finds Pixie Tate attempting to solve a two-century-old mystery at the stately St Sidwell Manor.
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Concluding North's magisterial trilogy, The Last Song of Penelope finds our heroine forced to draw upon every ounce of cunning and resilience when Odysseus returns to Ithaca.
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The much-loved broadcaster and author of Bigger Than Us and Speak Your Truth delivers her quirky and compassionate debut novel, in which put-upon Jade discovers a series of scripts enacting infuriating scenarios that are yet to happen.
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From the author of the award-winning modern classic The Mermaid of Black Conch comes a gimlet-eyed tale of murder, revolution and retribution on a Caribbean island, recounted in electrifying prose.
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The adult debut novel from the bestselling poet and illustrator, I Love You, I Love You, I Love You mines the rapture and torment of first love through an intimate and intense story of a girl secretly in love with her best friend for over a decade.
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A feel-good gem perfect for fans of Matt Haig and Gail Honeyman, Welcome to Glorious Tuga finds a zoologist taking up a post on the eponymous remote island and discovering the community she never knew she needed.
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From the bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis and Love Theoretically comes another unbeatable enemies-to-lovers romcom with a STEMinist twist, as a biotech engineer begins a secret affair with a ruthless businessman intent on a hostile takeover.
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The eagerly-awaited new gothic mystery from the author of the bestselling The Doll Factory lands this June, alongside further ecclesiastical investigations in Champton courtesy of the Reverend Richard Coles and more closed community skulduggery from Lucy Foley. Meanwhile, Saima Mir delivers the follow-up to the blistering The Khan and Rob Rinder weaves another tale of courtroom intrigue.    

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From the bestselling author of The Doll Factory comes another spellbinding gothic thriller set in nineteenth-century London and revolving around two career criminals, a Thameside mansion in mourning and a host of dark secrets.
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The much-loved rector of Champton returns in the third page-turning instalment in Coles' mega-selling series, as Canon Daniel Clement's well-planned recovery trip to a monastery turns into another knotty murder investigation.
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An utterly addictive and relentlessly tense thriller from the bestselling author of Do No Harm, Redemption finds a bitter mother swearing revenge on the man - recently released from prison - who caused the death of her son eleven years ago.
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The bestselling author of our former Thrillers of the Month The Hunting Party and The Guest List serves up another champagne-fuelled murder mystery as a Midsummer party at an age-old manor house on the Dorset coast turns deadly.
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Barrister Adam Green returns to defend a celebrity chef accused of killing the nation's favourite breakfast TV presenter in the twist-laden follow-up to Rinder's bestselling legal thriller The Trial.
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Will Trent and Sara Linton return in another heartpounding thriller from the author of After That Night, as hidden lies become a cause for murder at an exclusive mountain getaway.
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Combining the formidable talents of two thriller writing titans, Eruption is based on an unfinished manuscript by Crichton and centres on the eponymous explosive event on Hawaii.
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From cosy crime to chilling ghost stories, this immersive collection of short fiction from the creator of the Ruth Galloway novels showcases Griffiths' astonishing versatility and storytelling skills across a wide range of genres.
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Robert Hunter rides again in the thirteenth instalment in Carter's mega-selling series, as the LA Chief Medical Examiner's findings in a seemingly ordinary hit-and-run accident suggest a truly clever killer is hiding in plain sight.
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The eagerly awaited sequel to former Waterstones Thriller of the Month The Khan sees a recently rediscovered journal spell danger and betrayal for Jia, as she struggles to keep her empire together.
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Shadows creep into paradise in this stunningly atmospheric and scalpel-sharp mystery, as a young lawyer-turned-sleuth finds himself investigating a murder in an elite sanctuary spa in the Himalayas.
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Could Sarah A. Parker's spectacular When the Moon Hatched be this year's Fourth Wing? Boasting dragon riders, deadly assassins and irresistible romance, its momentum and bookseller love feel unstoppable. Elsewhere, Sarah Brooks spins a wonderfully stylish fantasy train journey and Cari Thomas continues her enchanting Threadneedle series with the marvellous Shadowstitch.  

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Spectacular romantasy perfect for fans of Rebecca Yarros and Sarah J. Maas, When the Moon Hatched teams an imprisoned assassin and a vengeful dragon rider in a quest to unravel secrets that could shatter their world.
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Following an unforgettable group of passengers on the way through the barren wasteland between Beijing and Moscow, Brookes’ enchanting period novel is a thrilling tale of mystery and danger on the Trans-Siberian Express.
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The spellbinding sequel to the bestselling Threadneedle finds Anna and Effie immerse themselves further into London's magical underworld as sinister forces seek to destroy their coven.
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The blockbuster sequel to The Serpent and the Wings of Night finds Oraja laid low after the Kejari tournament and forced to make a secret alliance with the vampire who betrayed her.
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From the author of the Children of Time series comes a deliciously witty dystopian thriller, in which a domesticated robot murders their owner after becoming infected with a dangerous new program.
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Mining smalltown close-mindedness and tensions with sly humour and gutsy prose, Flett's firecracker debut sees the titular fun fair arrive in a grey, half-dead Scottish town, sowing mayhem and jeopardy in its wake.
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Two titles from East Asia head up our selection of June's best memoirs, with the second volume of Baek Sehee's bestselling therapy diaries and Nanako Hanada's endlessly charming account of a bookseller looking for love. There's plenty for music fans this month as well with autobiographies from Paloma Faith, Rachel Stevens and Blondie's Chris Stein.  

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Baek Sehee's second volume of memoirs further explores her psychiatric sessions and struggles with dysthymia with the same empathy, insight and reassurance that made I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki a worldwide bestseller.
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Quirky, heartwarming and witty, Hanada's exquisitely written memoir of looking for love and connection in modern Tokyo is an irresistible treat for all bibliophiles.
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The popular newsreader and journalist chronicles her grandparents' lives amidst the turbulence of empire and partition in India and Pakistan in this engaging memoir of family, belonging and the nature of freedom.
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A heartbreaking yet inspiring true story of the power of music and resilience in the face of evil, The Piano Player of Budapest is an engrossing and vital Holocaust memoir.
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An evocative story of both love and abiding friendship from the heart of the music industry, Stein's memoir of his career in Blondie chronicles his relationship with the iconic Debbie Harry.
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The iconic singer and actress delivers her own unique take on motherhood and how it correlates to what it means to be a woman in this fierce, funny and passionate volume.
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One of the biggest pop stars of the noughties, Rachel Stevens tells her story of life in the celebrity spotlight in this candid and revelatory memoir.
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The bestselling author of Revenge and Rebel King delivers a captivating, revealing tour of the lives of one of world's most famous and influential power couple, David and Victoria Beckham.
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There are definite summer vibes emanating from our cookery picks this month, as the much-loved Rukmini Iyer serves up a selection of fresh vegan and vegetarian dishes, Tom Kerridge takes a tour of British cuisine and Marie Mitchell brings the flavours of the Caribbean into the nation's kitchens. 

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It's the perfect blend of ingredients as the bestselling Pinch of Nom team serve up some truly irresistible air fryer recipes that can all be prepared in less than half an hour.
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This brilliant recipe guide harnesses the magic of the air fryer to create sumptuous and quick gluten-free treats, including thin and crispy pizza and mouthwatering iced buns.
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From the author of the beloved Roasting Tin series comes an accessible and informal recipe guide for vegan and vegetarian meal inspiration.
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Accompanying a hugely enjoyable television series, Tom Kerridge Cooks Britain sees the much-loved chef travel the length and breadth of the British Isles selecting the best recipes and hero ingredients available.
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From crispy saltfish fritters to zingy lime and ginger cheesecake, Mitchell serves up eighty delicious Caribbean recipes in a debut cookbook that emphasises subtlety and delicacy over overpowering spice.
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From walking the borderlines of Europe to a celebration of democracy penned by some of our finest writers, June's history and politics books range far and wide yet all share an abundance of insight and fascinating argument. 

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Traversing Europe along twenty-one borderlines, Baston's erudite and illuminating book exposes how much of the modern map was arbitrarily drawn after the two World Wars and what effect this has had on the peoples of the continent.
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From the author of the Baillie Gifford Winner of Winners Prize-scooping 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare comes a fascinating and timely account of how Roosevelt's plans for progressive theatre were targeted by the House Un-American Committee and its message for today's culture wars.
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The author of the acclaimed Aftermath expertly recounts the rise and fall of Germany's first democratic government in this penetrating study of societal liberation, economic upheaval and shattered illusions.
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As compelling as it is comprehensive, Overy's magisterial volume about the causes of warfare and humankind's propensity for conflict explores every facet of war from biology and psychology to belief and security.
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Based on the hugely popular History Hit podcast presented by Dan Snow, this rollicking guide to Medieval England ranges from the Vikings to the Tudors and brings an exciting period of English history to vivid life.
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From the eminent scholar and author of Princes of the Renaissance and The Borgias comes a meticulously researched and revisionist account of Catherine de' Medici which seeks to rescue her reputation from accusations of witchcraft, brutality and intolerance.
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The full story behind the tragic Challenger space shuttle disaster told for the first time, Higginbotham's page-turning investigation into what went wrong highlights political infighting and heroic whistleblowers as well as putting the lives of the doomed astronauts centre stage.
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From Margaret Atwood and Mary Beard to Elif Shafak and Lea Ypi, eleven women writers, leaders, philosophers, historians and activists make a passionate and persuasive case for the ideals of democracy.
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The author of Humble Pi makes trigonometry cool, whilst a renowned anthropologist fires a warning salvo against our evolutionary biases and the doyen of British naturalism chronicles the battle for the nation's gardens in our pick of the top popular science and nature writing titles this month.

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From pulled-apart pop songs to the great pig stampede of 2012, the stand-up mathematician and author of Humble Pi presents a hilarious and highly informative guide to the wonders of trigonometry.
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Focusing on the three evolutionary biases of conformism, religiosity and tribalism, anthropologist Whitehouse lucidly explains how the facets of behaviour that have driven humanity's progress over millennia are now in danger of destroying the modern world.
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The third volume in Holiday's acclaimed Stoic Virtues series analyses the lives and values of figures such as Ulysses S. Grant and Marcus Aurelius in an insightful exploration of character, morality and conscience.
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From learning to recognise 'frenemies' to the secrets of rewarding conversation strategies, this fascinating volume from the author of The Intelligence Gap lifts the lid on the science behind the effects of social connection, showing just how important our interpersonal life is to our health and longevity.
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From being dismissed as too ridiculous to be true to taking cosmic centre stage, the remarkable story of black holes – and our evolving understanding of them – is engagingly chronicled in Chown's fascinating volume.
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Arguably our greatest living nature writer delivers a characteristically thoughtful and erudite meditation on the battle for supremacy in our gardens, between humans who are convinced of their innate superiority and other organisms quietly going about their vital business.
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