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The Waterstones Round Up: May's Best Books

Posted on 28th April 2021 by Mark Skinner

This May we welcome the new gothic page-turner from Elizabeth Macneal, author of former Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month The Doll Factory, as well as the conclusions to bestselling series by Lucinda Riley and Alison Weir and electrifying debuts from Mateo Askaripour and Rahul Raina. In non-fiction, Max Hastings and Alice Roberts deliver compelling history volumes whilst Tom Kerridge breaks out the barbecue and Noise brings together a trio of intellectual heavyweights to analyse how we make crucial decisions. 


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The author of The Doll Factory serves up another slice of gothic Victoriana centred upon a girl who is kidnapped only to be thrust into the world of the circus.
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Coming soon - 27/05/2021
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An irresistible slice of satire, Askaripour’s blazing debut takes a scalpel to America’s sales force and office culture through its incisive, firecracker of a story about race, capitalism and ambition.
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£20.00 £16.99
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Coming soon - 27/05/2021
In this mesmerising seventh instalment in her bestselling series, Lucinda Riley sets the six D'Apliese sisters on a global quest for the last missing piece that might unite their family at last.
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Ranging across three generations of women and embracing themes of love, regret and self-discovery this sweeping novel from the author of Hideous Kinky is a hymn to female longing and relationships.
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Set in the seedy yet complex milieu of Pompeii’s brothels, Harper’s masterful first historical novel follows Amara and her fellow ‘she-wolves’ through a city where opportunity is rife for even the lowest born slave.
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Coming soon - 23/05/2021
The author of Daisy Jones and the Six returns with a wonderfully juicy recreation of the glamour and excess of 1980s California, and one night that will bring the shimmering world of the Riva family crashing down around them.
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The culmination of Weir’s sweeping Tudor saga focuses on the last of Henry VIII’s sextet of wives, Katharine Parr, and tells a compelling tale of religious suppression, unrequited love and regal duty.
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A reliable blackmail formula mixes with the unpredictability of life in this brilliantly thought-provoking satirical thriller that shrewdly and riotously dissects the huge inequalities of Indian society.
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Written with tremendous empathy and compassion, Capes’s electrifying debut charts the coming-of-age of Bess – teenage, pregnant and living on the edge of society – and what it means to be young and neglected in twenty-first century Britain.
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Set against the evocative backdrop of an Italian city and told in Lahiri’s hypnotic prose, Whereabouts traces one woman’s thoughts, dreams and solitary wanderings as they culminate in one life-changing moment.
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Fizzing with riotous dialogue, scandal and empathy, The Rules of Revelation maps the intertwining paths, obsessions and dreams of a diverse group of individuals in present day Ireland.
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When 18-year-old TJ’s mother suddenly disappears, he must dig deep into his family’s past in attempt to reach her again in this Belfast-set, heart-breaking study of the cost of unconditional love.
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At once a timeless and touchingly singular story of regret and redemption, Panenka follows fifty-year-old Joseph in his attempts to make amends across the void created by his past mistakes.
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A darkly atmospheric crime thriller that shades at times into horror, Sixteen Horses finds a forensic veterinarian trapped in a fading seaside town as a series of gruesome mutilations bring buried secrets to light.
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A woman who loves visiting country houses faces a dreadful end in the chilling seventeenth part of Peter James’s bestselling series featuring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace.
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From the bestselling author of Just My Luck comes a shocking, immersive thriller about disappearing women, dark secrets and toxic relationships.
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A thrilling mystery with an intricate web of deception at its heart, The Perfect Lie revolves around a woman accused of her detective husband’s murder.
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Deaver’s maverick investigator Colter Shaw is on the trail of the sinister espionage company responsible for his father’s murder and his brother’s disappearance in the third, pulsating instalment of the series.
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The debut thriller from the high-profile US politician and activist deploys all Abrams’s insider knowledge of intrigue and duplicity on Capitol Hill, as a young law clerk must unravel a trail of clues that leads all the way to the White House.
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Charting the desperate last-chance mission of a lone astronaut to safeguard our planet, Project Hail Mary is a riveting interstellar adventure from the bestselling author of The Martian.
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Coming soon - 23/05/2021
With breathtaking world-building and remarkably assured plotting, Thomas’s bewitching debut sees a girl burdened by her magical abilities descend into a London filled with the supernatural and enchanted.
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A mythical immortal and a lethal assassin set Corayne an-Amarat on a deadly quest to protect the realm from an all-powerful force in the first of a new series from the author of Red Queen.
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£18.99
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From the bestselling author of Children of Time, this magisterial space saga follows the crew of a lone rescue vessel travelling the galaxy after the destruction of Earth, with the future of humanity in their hands.
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Journalist, presenter and transgender rights activist Paris Lees delivers an incredibly accomplished memoir of a youth in a dead-end town in the East Midlands, written in an evocative vernacular style and boasting a cast of finely-drawn, memorable characters.
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Packed full of Rogen’s wisecracking humour, Yearbook tells the story of the Hollywood actor’s life to date - from barmitzvahs to celluloid success – through tall tales, anecdotes and scurrilous gossip about his celebrity pals.
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Illuminating the glitterati of the post-war world from Princess Margaret to Grace Kelly, these extracts from Vickers’s diaries from his years spent researching his former employer, the notorious photographer Cecil Beaton, are a wickedly indulgent immersion in a now vanished world.
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The TV favourite and star of The Repair Shop opens up about his troubled youth and experiences of racism, and how he turned his life around to become a leading restorer and national treasure in this warm, inspirational memoir.
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Concluding the triptych of Levy’s ‘living autobiography,’ Real Estate focuses on the ambiguities associated with the phrase ‘female property’ in characteristically masterful and enlightening prose.
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On the centenary of the publication of Women in Love, Wilson traces the mercurial early career of D.H. Lawrence, attempting to untangle the truth about one of the most complex and divisive of modernist writers.
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One of the most unconventional footballers of the pre-Premier League age, Pat Nevin delivers a characteristically thoughtful and eloquent memoir of a future ordained by ability rather than intention.
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£22.00 £18.99
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From barbecue to campfire, Tom Kerridge celebrates the endless culinary possibilities of outdoor cooking in this mouth-watering volume, packed with tips and stunning recipes, including veggie mains, desserts and drinks.
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Providing first aid to every food craving, the author of The Borough Market Cookbook serves up a tantalising selection of exciting recipes, ingeniously arranged by their flavour profiles, from fresh and fragrant to cheesy and creamy.
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£26.00 £22.99
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As much a tribute to the values of traditional family cooking as it is to the rich and diverse cuisine of Singapore, Haigh’s tantalising cookbook showcases a range of delicious dishes, from Nonya-spiced braised duck stew to Miso apple pie.
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Coming soon - 16/05/2021
Filled with hope and compassion and peppered with humour, You Will Get Through This Night is a guide to taking control of your mental health, with practical advice for every stage of the journey.
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Coming soon - 25/05/2021
The popular TV personality behind the Instagram fitness sensation TRAINWRIGHT, Mark Wright shares his invaluable guide to getting in shape and saying goodbye to lockdown sluggishness and inertia.
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In this compassionate book filled with humour and honesty, mother-of-five and globally renowned entrepreneur Anya Hindmarch shares her best tips for tackling the stresses of everyday life.
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The master historian of the Second World War produces another nail-biting volume that reads with the pace and style of fiction, this time spotlighting the brutal battle of attrition that secured Malta’s survival.
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A deeply fascinating glimpse into the murky world of prehistory, Professor Roberts deftly deconstructs what we can learn from seven burial sites of the earliest Britons.
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Through the prism of the famous Innsbruck Café Schindler, this immersive slice of family history unspools a compelling panorama of Europe in the first half of the twentieth century and the oft neglected fate of Austria-Hungary’s Jewish population.
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Richardson recounts one of the most thrilling stories in archaeological history in bravura style, as a working-class boy-turned-scholar discovers a vanished city, dabbles in espionage and takes tea with all-powerful rulers.
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In captivating prose, Fraser chronicles the events that led Caroline Norton, a nineteenth-century poet and pamphleteer, to become a pioneering women’s rights activist at a time when married women and their children were considered their husband’s property.
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An engrossing addition to the hugely popular Shortest History series, Dyer’s whistle-stop tour of conflict from ancient times to the nuclear age is clear, concise and absolutely riveting.
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In characteristically riveting prose, the author of The Big Short tells the eye-opening, shocking story of the group of maverick scientists who foretold the coronavirus pandemic.
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Coming soon - 18/05/2021
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Uniting the acclaimed authors of Thinking Fast and Slow and Nudge, Noise is a deeply fascinating dive into the world of decision making and how to successfully separate the distracting hubbub of others from the core action at hand.
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Collating Dawkins’s pieces on great science writers and the theories that they espouse, Books Do Furnish a Life is a masterful compendium of lightly-worn learning and confirmation of the author’s remarkable insight.
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A towering figure in the history of conservation, Sir Peter Scott founded the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and also the Worldwide Fund for Nature and this absorbing volume is a treasure trove of articles and broadcasts that paint a vivid picture of a truly remarkable individual.
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Expanded from her original New Yorker essay, Adichie’s characteristically powerful and enlightening meditation on the nature of grief is a searchingly honest and eloquent slice of life-writing.
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Coming soon - 16/05/2021
Inspired by Green’s phenomenally popular podcast of the same name, this eclectic collection of beautifully crafted essays touches on everything from spherical bacteria to Taco Bell breakfast menus – all linked by their relevance to this current, Anthropocene age.
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Gloriously earthy and accessible, McNish’s mash-up of prose and poetry covers the modern female condition with lashings of wit, intelligence and irreverent wisdom.
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Chosen from countless images submitted by members of the public during the pandemic and championed by the Duchess of Cambridge, Hold Still is a remarkable photographic record of the British nation in 2020.
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