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The Waterstones Round Up: October's Best Books

Posted on 1st October 2020 by Mark Skinner

Stephen Fry, Hilary Mantel, David Attenborough, Nigella Lawson, Andrew Marr. October's publishing reads like a veritable roll-call of national treasures and that barely scratches the surface of a remarkable month in books. Fiction sees the return of Victoria Hislop and Bernard Cornwell, whilst Crime & Thrillers boasts peerless new books by Ian Rankin and Lee Child (alongside his little brother, Andrew). Meanwhile, everybody from Philip Schofield to Romesh Ranganathan to Claudia Winkleman is here to provide sparkling memoirs packed with entertaining anecdotes. That to-be-read pile is about to get a whole lot longer...  


Fiction

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Covering everything from Tudor biography to the Virgin Mary with precision, flair and wit, this collection of Hilary Mantel’s essays and reviews for the London Review of Books pulsates with originality and insight.
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Already a millennial icon thanks to her Waterstones Books of the Year-shortlisted memoir Everything I Know About Love, Dolly Alderton turns her scalpel-sharp pen to fiction, with this big-hearted debut about the unravelling of a seemingly successful life.
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Seething with intrigue, divided loyalties and epic battles, War Lord brings Uhtred’s magnificent story - and the Last Kingdom series itself - to an epic conclusion.
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In this highly anticipated sequel to her bestselling The Island, Hislop returns to the isle of Spinalonga in a nuanced and absorbing tale of hope and tragedy.

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After captivating readers with his formidable Mythos and Heroes, Fry turns his attention to another great narrative from Ancient Greece, exploring the timeless human passions that beat at the heart of this iconic old story of heroism, love, despair and revenge.

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Set amidst the brutality of Idi Amin’s Uganda, Makumbi's wise and tender novel is a hymn to survival, rebellion and the enduring power of the female spirit.
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With her uncanny ability to provoke a profound emotional reaction in her readers, Picoult delivers another slice of brilliantly affecting storytelling with this story of a plane crash survivor at a crossroads in their life.
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Peeling back the layers of idealism of the Swinging Sixties, Boyd’s witty and humane novel charts the emotional knots of the titular threesome, during the shooting of a Brighton-set movie.

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Moving between 1980s small town Ireland and New York, Home Stretch is a searing story of responsibility, blame and a young man’s quest for oblivion, from the author of A Keeper.
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Bringing together classic and new Irish short stories from Bram Stoker to Sally Rooney, The Art of the Glimpse is a paean to the intimate and expressive power of fiction.
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Boasting Dawn French’s unique brand of unfailing wit and authentic emotional warmth, Because of You is a funny, uplifting tale of mothers and daughters and the family bonds that make us who we are.
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A wild and unsettling story about alienation and not fitting in from the bestselling author of Convenience Store Woman.
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Crime & Thrillers

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Centred on the disappearance of his daughter’s husband and a set of family secrets that the maverick detective isn’t sure that he wants to uncover, A Song for the Dark Times is an intensely personal case for John Rebus.

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Heralding a new dawn for Jack Reacher, The Sentinel is co-written by Lee Child and his younger brother Andrew - but never fear, our favourite moral avenger is still in muscular form, stepping in to right the wrongs done to a band of country musicians.

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Featuring fugitive detectives, a twice-dead leper and a stalking demon, The Devil and the Dark Water is a deliciously sinister period chiller set on a blighted sea voyage to Amsterdam from the author of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.

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Fuelled by Archer’s consummate storytelling, the second outing for DS William Warwick brings him in contact with an old foe and a criminal network of chilling ingenuity.
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Darkly evocative and fuelled by Banville’s wintry wit, Snow explores the religious tensions in mid-twentieth century Ireland through a masterfully nuanced take on a classic whodunit.
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Set amidst the secrets, passions and power play of the thespian world, Camilleri's twenty-sixth Inspector Montalbano novel is a slice of contemporary crime fiction at its finest.
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Science Fiction & Fantasy

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A satanic pact and a woman forced to wander the world in anonymity; The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a tour de force of imagination and epic storytelling.
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Opening a dazzling new fantasy epic from the author of the Witcher stories, Tower of Fools sees doctor-magician Reynevan fight injustice in an old Europe ravaged by religious wars and hostility to new ideas.
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Biography

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From the broom cupboard to This Morning, the veteran television presenter recalls a career littered with very public highs and very private anguish.
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Romesh Ranganathan takes a long, hard and hilarious look at adulthood and its various stumbling blocks, from family crisis to flat pack furniture in this furiously funny book.

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Beloved broadcaster and journalist Claudia Winkleman shares confidences in her brilliantly witty debut collection of essays, celebrating friendship, family and the little things that help us get through the day.

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In Limitless, the nation’s favourite astronaut, Tim Peake, shares his inspiring life story from military duty in Northern Ireland and Afghanistan to the European Space Agency and the infinite cosmos.
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From the author of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher comes the chilling true story of a woman and the phantasms that tormented her, as Europe teetered on the brink of war.
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Mapping Dick and Angel Strawbridge’s extraordinary project of bringing an abandoned French castle back to life, A Year at the Chateau tells the complete story of the undertaking, first explored in the Channel 4 show Escape to the Chateau.
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Brimming with his distinctive dry humour and wordplay, the poet laureate of Punk holds forth about his sprawling, idiosyncratic career and the stars and artists with whom he has worked and been championed by.
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From managing anxiety to coping with bad hair, the highs and lows of life during lockdown from the witty and thoughtful pen of Dawn O’Porter.
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To celebrate his 80th birthday, the revered comic actor shares the wit and wisdom that he has amassed during his stellar career in showbusiness.
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A rollicking rock n roll tale of wild creativity and intense self-expression, Let Love Rule is Lenny Kravitz’s turbo-charged memoir of life in the music industry.
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Sport

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Arsene Wenger tells the extraordinary story of his stellar managerial career in his own words, charting a path from his early days at Nancy to his two decades plus of iconic success with Arsenal.
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Musing on everything from political correctness to Zoom meetings, the cricketing icon holds court with wit and common sense.

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Packed full of outrageous anecdote and hilarious memories, Haskell’s rollicking memoir exposes rugby union in all its excess, controversy and brilliantly entertaining bad behaviour.
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The pundit and former England player provides a thrilling glimpse into the start of a spectacular career.

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Home & Lifestyle

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With witty essays about food and tantalising recipes from her kitchen, Nigella shares her culinary philosophy in this delicious volume.
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The kings of comfort food cook up a vegetarian and vegan storm in another mouthwatering collection of unbeatably tasty dishes.

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The ultimate guide to Afro, textured and curly hair from the first black woman inducted into the British Hairdressing hall of fame, Good Hair is a pioneering and long-overdue volume.
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From the bestselling author of the delightful How to Fail, Failosophy is a funny, warm and whip-smart guide for when things do not go to plan.
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Providing readers with the benefit of Fox’s experience enduring extreme mental and physical pressures, Life Under Fire transplants the challenges of elite combat to the everyday stresses and strains of modern life in an invaluable guide to fostering resilience and inner strength.

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With his inimitable humour and laid-back charm, Bill Bailey contemplates the nature of joy and gratification in this brilliantly uplifting collection of essays.
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Essays & Politics

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Curated by the authors of Slay in Your Lane and boasting a foreword from Bernardine Evaristo, Loud Black Girls is a dynamic anthology of writing on the modern Black female experience from a host of powerful new voices.
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A welcome corrective to the inflexible tribalism of modern political discourse, this thoughtful and entertaining volume from the broadcaster and author of How To Be Right pays tribute to the power of changing your mind.

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The nation’s most forensic political biographer tackles the life and career of the incumbent Prime Minister in characteristically combative style.
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Nature & Pets

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Empowering and inspiring, Attenborough’s new autobiography sends a powerful message about the crucial importance of will in tackling the climate crisis and preserving our precious ecosystem for generations to come.

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Britain’s Supervet and the author of the bestselling Listening to the Animals returns with more touching stories from the frontline of veterinary medicine.

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From Greyfriars Bobby to Paul the Octopus, beloved presenter and author Clare Balding highlights one hundred remarkable creatures who have left their mark on our world.

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History

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From Winston Churchill to Dusty Springfield, the always engaging Andrew Marr explores the figures who have shaped and shaken Britain since the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

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The perfect volume for the post-truth age, The Hitler Conspiracies finds renowned historian Richard Evans exploring five popular myths about the Third Reich.
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In this first-ever authorised history of the ultra-secret Government Communications Headquarters, Professor John Ferris digs deep into the past of Britain's biggest cyber-intelligence agency.
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From Egyptian soldiers in the Roman army to modern-day migrants, Otele tells the intertwining story of Africans and Europeans through the centuries in lucid, engaging prose.
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The women of Greek myth revisited and reassessed with wit and integrity by the acclaimed classicist, comedian and author of A Thousand Ships.

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£35.00
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Whether strategic, tactical or generated for propaganda purposes, maps were a cornerstone of military operations during World War II, and this deluxe volume is the definitive analysis of their worth.
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Narrating the incredible exploits of this powerful aircraft and the men who flew it in battle, Harrier 809 tells a thrilling true story of courage and resourcefulness in the heart of the Falklands War.
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Recounting an ordinary German's transformation into a member of the Nazi party, Daniel Lee re-examines the narratives of responsibility and blame for what took place in the Third Reich.

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The fruit of three decades research, Rees’s monumental dual biography of the Second World War’s most ruthless tyrants sets a new standard in the field.
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