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The Waterstones Round Up: March's Best Books

Posted on 28th February 2024 by Mark Skinner

Spring into stories of all kinds this March, as we unveil the books you really can't afford to miss - from transcendent fiction to luxurious cookery and mesmerising memoirs.

 
 

A posthumous masterpiece from one of the twentieth century's greatest writers doesn't come along every day, which is why the publication of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's exquisite Until August this month is such a huge literary event. But amidst the excitement and expectation that surrounds the novel, we should certainly not ignore equally mighty works from Carys Davies - author of former Waterstones Welsh Books of the Month West and The Mission House - and Rosie Hewlett, as well as a collection of sublime music lyrics from the peerless Kazuo Ishiguro.   

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Finally published, this great final novel from the titan of Latin American fiction is a masterful dissection of sensuality, desire and regret that centres on a married woman who takes a new lover on one day every year.
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Dark and captivatingly told, Davies' intimate Shetland-set historical drama about the connections forged between strangers is a love letter to landscape, hope and human relationships.
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A breathtaking tale of loyalty, persecution and betrayal, this mesmeric retelling of Medea from the author of Medusa breathes fresh life into Greek mythology's perhaps darkest heroine.
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With his trademark blend of withering wit and wry compassion, the author of Things Can Only Get Better spins a side-splitting satire of the divisive state of modern politics as the son of a prominent left-wing couple returns from university a Conservative.
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Casting a riveting and unforgettable female perspective on history, Carr's immersive debut reimagines the imprisonment of the fallen Mary Queen of Scots and her three maids in an island castle.
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Dark, mischievous and full of verve, Akbar's electrifying debut follows a newly sober poet adrift in the American Midwest, trying to come to terms with his mother's tragic death decades prior, as the mystery of who she really was begins to unravel.
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Tackling the legacy of the British slave trade with fierce intelligence and deft characterisation, McIntosh's enthralling debut charts the fallout from the revelation of a young couple's shared surname.
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Provocative and perceptive, Greer's chillingly prescient first novel explores the growing self-awareness of a sophisticated AI robot and her dawning realisation that her life may be more fulfilling away from her controlling owner.
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A forgotten masterpiece of British modernist literature and precursor to Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier, Hilton’s extraordinary 1935 novel yields searing insights into the lives of his poor and displaced contemporaries angrily dreaming of a better and more just England.
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A fascinating window into Kazuo Ishiguro’s talent as a lyricist, this stunning volume brings together the Nobel Prize-winning author’s sixteen song lyrics written for renowned American jazz singer Stacey Kent, along with luminous illustrations from Italian artist Bianca Bagnarelli.
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A blistering companion piece to the celebrated Slug, McNish's bravura collection confronts the absurd emphasis on hate in modern society and why we are taught to be embarrassed by pleasure.
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In crime fiction this March we welcome back established Waterstones favourites, as Stuart Turton follows up the unputdownable historical mystery The Devil and the Dark Water with a similarly high-concept page-turner, and Tana French delivers another unbearably suspenseful thriller to rival her bestselling The Wych Elm. But there are also compelling new voices spinning quicksilver plotlines, in particular Jonny Sweet with his delightfully clever cosy crime tribute The Kellerby Code and playwright Suzie Miller's incendiary adaptation of her stage success Prima Facie.   

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From the award-winning author of our two former Thrillers of the Month, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and The Devil and the Dark Water comes an ingenious dystopian thriller revolving around a murder in an island paradise that holds what is left of the world.

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The bestselling author of The Wych Elm and The Searcher delivers a scintillating thriller revolving around a former Chicago cop in the West of Ireland and the lengths he will go to to protect a half-wild teenager from her own kin.
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A deft, witty homage to classic country house crime ideal for readers of Janice Hallett and Richard Osman, Sweet's irresistible whydunit centres on an extremely toxic love triangle in danger of turning deadly.
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Brilliantly adapted by Miller from her own internationally successful stage play, Prima Facie focuses on an altruistic working-class barrister who finds herself unexpectedly facing the full force of patriarchal power.
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Deftly mixing crime thriller and dystopian chiller, this dazzling clever page-turner from the author of In the Blink of an Eye finds the world's first AI detective embark upon a violent and disturbing new case.
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From the bestselling author of The Woman Who Disappeared comes another faultlessly plotted thriller revolving around festering resentments and crumbling façades, as two very different sisters decide to do a lifeswap for a week - with harrowing consequences.
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Deliciously twisty and with a cosy crime atmosphere perfect for readers of Richard Osman and Janice Hallett, Perrin's debut whodunit finds Annie investigating the murder of her great-aunt using the clues the victim painstakingly assembled herself.
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The first instalment in a characteristically playful crime series set in 1919 Kyiv from the Death and the Penguin author, The Silver Bone introduces Samson Kolchenko and a society steeped in danger, intrigue and murder.
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A true highlight of this month's fantasy publishing has to be Katherine Arden's The Warm Hands of Ghosts. Building on the atmospheric brilliance of her Winternight trilogy to tell a haunting story of war and hope, the novel takes its place alongside stunning new books from Grace Curtis and Natasha Pulley in March's SFF roster.   

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Truly haunting and deeply moving, this blazing historical fantasy from the author of The Bear and the Nightingale mines the horrors of the First World War to generate a story of ghostly soldiers and a potion that can engender oblivion.
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From the author of the acclaimed space opera Frontier comes another inclusive and utterly charming slice of science fiction set onboard an interstellar hotel full of quirky mysteries and its devoted manager who is struggling to let go.
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The author of The Half Life of Valery K and The Watchmaker of Filigree Street spins another magnificent, darkly humorous sci-fi treat, as a xenophobic Mars politician and a ballet dancer refugee from Earth agree to stage a marriage to protect their reputations.
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The bestselling author spins a compelling slice of science fiction as the fugitive Nomad becomes enmeshed in a planet's rebellion against a cruel tyrant.
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From the author of the bestselling Sistersong comes another bravura reimagining of British folklore, as two mighty female warriors join forces to quash dark powers both human and supernatural.
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The master science fiction storyteller returns with a disturbing and prescient slice of space opera, as a professor condemned to study on a forbidding alien planet that holds a tantalising secret.
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In the second part of Brett's mesmerising fantasy saga set in the world of the Demon Cycle, Olive and Darin sturggle to follow their own path in life, each increasingly affected by the legacies of their respective parents.
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One of the biggest cookery books of the year lands this March, as Anna Jones' sumptuous Easy Wins brings twelve hero ingredients to the fore in a truly beautiful and inspiring volume. We are also spoilt for invaluable self-help and personal development titles this month, with psychotherapist Joshua Fletcher's wonderfully practical guide to mental health and Zen Buddhist teacher Haemin Sunim's comforting advice.   

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In this sumptuous cookbook, the beloved A Modern Way to Eat author picks her twelve favourite ingredients to elevate your meals and shares a range of irresistible recipes from cheese and pickle roast potatoes to cherry and chocolate peanut butter sundae.

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The beloved Italian chef delivers a resounding ode to vegetables in this sumptuously colourful cookbook brimming with innovative recipes from zingy tomato sorbet to comforting pumpkin gnocchi.
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Filled with practical and helpful advice on various issues from OCD to panic attacks, And How Does That Make You Feel? is a revelatory, warm-hearted and enlightening volume about mental health and what really goes on at the therapist's office from psychotherapist Josh Fletcher.
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Zen Buddhist teacher Sunim delivers words of wisdom and reassurance for navigating life's myriad challenges in this insightful and soothing volume.
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The host and creator of the award-winning How To ADHD YouTube channel delivers a warm, affirming and helpful guide to working with the ADHD brain.
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For those who only know the more flamboyant side of drag superstar RuPaul, the searing honesty and harsh truths about his battle to becoming an LGBTQ+ icon that he discusses in The House of Hidden Meanings will come as a revelation. Elsewhere, Catherine Coldstream takes us behind the convent walls in the remarkable Cloistered and Chimene Suleyman exposes the chilling duplicity of her ex-boyfriend in The Chain.  

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Viscerally thrilling and darkly disturbing, Stevenson's rollercoaster memoir of his life as a ruthless city trader introduces an intoxicating yet amoral cast of characters who deal in trillions of dollars of other people's money every day.
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The iconic drag superstar and business mogul sweeps aside his enigmatic persona to reveal the tough upbringing and determination to succeed that saw him become a pioneering figure in the LGBTQ+ scene.
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Compelling and disturbing in equal measure, Suleyman's raw and incisive memoir traces the enormous betrayal of her boyfriend and highlights how this individual was able to manipulate and coerce so many highly intelligent and educated women.
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A multi-layered memoir of Coldstream's twelve years as a nun in Akenside Priory, Cloistered is unflinching in its depiction of both the spiritual succour a life devoted to God provides and the all-too-flawed human beings in charge of religious institutions.
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Both an emotionally raw account of living on the breadline and a heartfelt tribute to the empowering qualities of literature, King's moving and courageous memoir chronicles her inspiring escape from poverty on a Birmingham council estate.
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A stirring celebration of a truly extraordinary life, Around the World in 80 Years recounts the daredevil exploratory feats of Sir Ranulph Fiennes in heartstopping prose as well as interviews and tributes from friends and colleagues.
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Narrated with sensitivity and eloquence, the revealing memoir from historian and podcaster Charles Spencer details the scarring experiences of abuse he suffered during his five years at one of the country's top boarding schools.
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A tour de force of memoir writing from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer, A Man of Two Faces wrestles with the contradictions and confrontation of being both Vietnamese and American in a country so existentially shaped by the legacy of the Vietnam War.
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Deftly interweaving raw and powerful memoir with transcendent nature writing, Your Wild and Precious Life chronicles how the natural world helped Jensen to rebuild her life after the tragic loss of her son.
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Two members of pioneering all-female rock n' roll band The Liverbirds recount a heady true story of social change and musical innovation with wit, charm and insight.
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The acclaimed author of Nothing is True and Everything is Possible returns this month with the fascinating study of one of World War II's arch-propagandists, whilst Jenny Kleeman reckons up the value of human life in the modern world and Grace Blakeley exposes the nefarious schemes of the world's biggest corporations. 

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Unravelling a unique operation in the Second World War, this compelling, highly topical volume from the author of Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible explores British propagandist Sefton Delmer's ingenious plot to trick Hitler.
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The second instalment in Lloyd's bravura history of the First World War, The Eastern Front chronicles the bloody fighting in Eastern Europe and the Balkans through diary entries, eyewitness reports and memoirs.
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From Roman conquest to the Eiffel Tower and beyond, the author of France: A Short History pays tribute to the eternally fascinating City of Light in this pithy and highly entertaining volume.
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An absolutely enthralling blend of political history and true crime thriller, Hemming's rigorously researched account of murder, terrorism and duplicity in 1980s Northern Ireland is also a testament to one detective's dogged investigation.
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This jaw-dropping read from an acclaimed economic commentator and journalist casts merciless light on some of the world's biggest corporations from Amazon to Boeing, revealing dark truths about late-stage capitalism.
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Through a series of extraordinary encounters with everyone from modern-day slaves to Silicon Valley billionaires, journalist and documentary-maker Jenny Kleeman delivers an alarming, funny and eye-opening book about monetization, tech and the price of human life in today's world.
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Providing an immensely refreshing and long-overdue view on British politics from outside the Westminster bubble, this revelatory book from the Mayors of Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region delivers a visionary yet tangible roadmap for building a better and fairer nation for all.
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Detailing the personal struggles, political fights and joyous celebrations of seven older gay Black British men, Okundaye's groundbreaking volume chronicles a national narrative hitherto sadly neglected.
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The author of Surprise, Kill, Vanish delivers an explosive, eye-opening scenario of a nuclear attack against the United States, revealing all we are legally allowed to know about the consequences and reactions it would trigger at the Pentagon.
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Russell Jones follows up the savagely funny A Decade in Tory with another merciless sideswipe at the Conservative governments of Johnson, Truss and Sunak.
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Important, inflammatory and utterly gripping, The Furies asks searching questions about misogyny and civil disobedience by exploring the stories of three women in Alabama, India and Syria who resorted to violence to protect themselves when society failed to do so.
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Immersing herself in the disturbing world of online conspiracy theorists, BBC reporter Spring unspools a fascinating network of disinformation and paranoia with far-reaching consequences for democracy.
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Cutting-edge research is at the forefront of March's popular science writing with game-changing investigations into memory and mortality from Dr Charan Ranganath and Venki Ramakrishnan, whilst the evergreen Sarah Raven dispenses essential planting wisdom in A Year Full of Pots.

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A groundbreaking exploration of how and why memories are stored, this fascinating book from a leading neuroscientist sheds light on the latest discoveries in memory research and the quietly pervasive influence of memory on how we learn, make decisions and change.
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Blending medical science and ethical philosophy, Ramakrishnan's incisive and revelatory study into ageing and mortality draws from the latest cutting-edge research and thinking.
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From the Hubble Telescope to pulsars, the Sky at Night presenter traces the key astronomical discoveries of the past century in this endlessly enlightening and brilliantly accessible volume.
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Written with pace and a keen eye for pen portraits, Impossible Monsters comprises an engrossing account of the clash between laboratory and church that followed the discovery of the first dinosaur fossils.
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A brilliantly marshalled melange of popular science, nature writing, history and environmentalism, Bradley's definitive account of the power and majesty of the ocean holds important messages for our planet's future.
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The much-loved gardener and author of A Year Full of Veg and A Year Full of Flowers delivers an accessible and joyous guide to planting for any kind of space and location.
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So evocative of the sea that you can practically taste the salty tang on each page, Smillie's inspiring memoir-cum-travelogue chronicles her thrilling voyage of self-discovery from Lands' End to the shores of Greece.
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