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Waterstones Round-Up: The Best Books to Look Out For in March 2019

Posted on 20th March 2019 by Martha Greengrass

Ancient folklore, Invisible Women, a Pinch of Nom and a seasonal return to Spring: your reading recipe for March.

Fiction

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Having captured the dying embers and slumbering promise of Autumn and Winter in 2017 and 2018, Ali Smith turns to new beginnings for the third novel in her peerless seasonal quartet. Interweaving mythical, ancient and primal ideas about the years’ changing faces with a startling immediacy that is fresh, funny and poignant Spring captures - wholly and ineffably – the moment we are in.
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£12.99 £10.99
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Proving why she’s so often described as the heir to Sue Townsend, Nina Stibbe triumphs in a very funny novel of growing pains set amidst the bright(ish) lights of 1980’s Leicester. Wickedly funny, bittersweet and with shades of Barbara Pym and Jane Austen in its wry observance of everyday life, this is a glorious breath of fresh air.
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£18.99 £16.99
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Daringly inventive, Siri Hustvedt’s seventh novel is a flight of superb imagination. Carrying echoes of Hustvedt’s own life, the novel follows a young woman as she attempts to find her identity and her voice amidst the noise of New York. Facing, head on, the challenges of Trump-era America and pulling at the narrative threads of sexual expression and economic freedom, it is writing to savour.
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A mesmeric novel of fame, love, music and what happens when luck runs out and the lights go down. This story of the stratospheric rise of a band whose sound defined an era and whose sudden, cataclysmic split left a trail of unanswered questions in its wake is intoxicatingly written. With a cast of characters to instantly fall for, it’s a nostalgia-fuelled trip into the hedonistic world of 70's L.A
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The bestselling author of The Outcasts drips poison aplenty into an unforgettable drama-cum-thriller of art, avarice, inheritance and familial cruelty. Moving from the class-riven confines of London to faded grandeur in the South of France, Sadie Jones’s deceptively quiet novel explodes midway through. Compulsively readable, unbearably tense, insidiously coiled - The Snakes contains multitudes.
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£12.99 £9.99
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One of the most exciting new voices to emerge in print in the last decade, Max Porter’s evocative, original and desperately moving first novel, Grief is the Thing with Feathers, won a host of accolades. His second novel, Lanny, is no less astonishing. Infused with folklore and lyricism it’s a gripping meditation on imagination's deep-rooted influence on communities and individuals.
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Crime & Thrillers

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As sharp and finely plotted as ever, Donna Leon’s 28th Brunetti mystery delves deeply into the relationship between fathers and sons. Encompassing the murky territory of Venetian inheritance law and with twists hanging on the threads of hearsay, there’s plenty to keep readers enthralled from cover to cover.
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Nuanced characterisation drives this excellent debut thriller, the first in what promises to be a winning new detective series. Moving between the time of a teenage girl’s disappearance after a camping trip gone wrong, and the discovery of her body 30 years later, Lodge’s novel explores what time and guilt might do to relationships left stranded on the rocks of one night’s mistakes.
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Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Anyone who revelled in the brilliant splicing of Regency-era politics and fantasy fairydom in Zen Cho’s award-winning debut Sorcerer to the Crown will thrill to be back in her world, but new readers shouldn’t be deterred from starting here. Moving from the enchanted witch-isle of Janda Baik to the rivalry-riven domain of the newly appointed Sorceress Royal, Cho’s story is a pure pleasure to read.
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This excellent debut novel from author Temi Oh brings together the cabin-fever adrenaline of a space mission gone wrong with an intense and thought-provoking human drama of identity and belonging. Following ten strangers as they leave Earth on a 23-year mission to a new home world, Oh’s novel grips even as it asks important questions about the choices we make and why.
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History & Politics

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Coming soon - 27/06/2019
Awaiting publication
Former war reporter Jack Fairweather brings an expert’s understanding to the first history of Witold Pilecki, the Polish resistance agent who infiltrated Auschwitz. Impeccably researched and grippingly written, Fairweather’s important book illuminates the life of a forgotten hero, providing a significant new perspective on the horrors of the final solution and those who fought to prevent it.
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Following on from Among the Bohemians and Millions Like Us, Virginia Nicholson continues her engaging account of women’s lives in the twentieth century. Ranging widely from sexual emancipation and fashion to the rise of the Women’s Liberation Movement, it is packed with fascinating detail. An enjoyable and highly readable companion to the lives of real women in Britain’s swinging ‘60’s.
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Brilliantly told and charmingly eccentric, Naoko Abe’s winning history takes as its subject the wealthy baronet’s son who fell in love with cherry blossom. Abe’s use of the cherry blossom as a way into a wider discussion of nationalism, modern Japanese history, and the quest for biodiversity is ingenious. The result is a captivating book that captures Japan’s pell-mell drive towards modernity.
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The mercurial spymaster, war-hero, politician and enigma Airey Neave is ably unmasked in this succinct and absorbing biography. Combining well-marshalled evidence with a journalist’s eye for a story, Bishop's account moves swiftly from Neave’s illustrious war career and his Cold War career, culminating in a thorough deconstruction of the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death.
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Historian Sarah Knott uses her own experiences of motherhood as a doorway into an impressively wide-ranging study of motherhood. Arranged thematically, Knott darts between locations and historical moments, illuminating points of difference and common ground. A considered and long-overdue history that has much to say about how we view and value maternity today.
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A leading economist and former head of India’s Central Bank, Raghuram Rajan makes a convincing case, in this lively, accessible book, that successful communities are essential to a thriving global economy. Arguing against the prevailing trend towards the cult of the individual, Rajan posits that a more equal society is key to preventing radical political populism, terrorism and authoritarianism.
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£25.00
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Gorgeously packed in gold foil and packed with exciting and illuminating scholarship, this beautiful book is a treat. Astoundingly comprehensive, Tim Mackintosh-Smith’s book is a survey of multiplicity, taking in the rich tapestry of influences – tribal, artistic, geographical, religious, linguistic - that have shaped Arabic culture over the last 3,000 years.
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Science & Nature

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From nettles and wild garlic to sea kale and rock samphire, John Wright’s expert seasonal guide is the perfect invitation to sample the wonderful free produce just beyond your doorstep. Charmingly presented and packed with interesting detail, it’s a bookshelf staple for anyone wanting to awaken or dust off their foraging skills.
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A two-time winner of the Wainwright Prize for nature writing, John Lewis-Stempel returns with a love-letter to an oft-overlooked habitat. Moving from the flora and fauna – both above and below water - which depend on the pond for their survival to the wider implications for our wider ecosystem of its destruction, Lewis-Stempel paints a vivid picture of a mysterious and wonderful environment.
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£16.99 £13.99
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Published at the outset of Women’s History Month, Caroline Criado Perez’s eye-opening book provides a startling perspective on the unseen bias at work in our everyday lives. Marshalling a wealth of data with precision and insight, as the Times affirms, ‘Invisible Women is a game-changer; an uncompromising blitz of facts, sad, mad, bad and funny, making an unanswerable case and doing so brilliantly
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‘This refreshing book’, writes Cathy Rentzenbrink in the Times, ‘wants you to think of your child as a person not a project.’ Eschewing quick-fix answers and illusory perfection, psychotherapist, author and presenter Philippa Perry’s common sense driven book encourages a more realistic, empathetic approach to raising a child. An insightful guide to kinder, happier and more rewarding parenting.
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A brilliant new narrative on sleep deprivation - its causes and effects - through the case studies of one of the world's leading experts. In this ground-breaking book, Dr Guy Leschziner takes us on a fascinating journey through the nocturnal brain to illustrate the neuroscience behind nightmares, night terrors and sleep walking.
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Biography

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Following on from his previous volumes of memoir, The Co-op's Got Bananas and A Life in the Day, Hunter Davies is both a gently funny book about growing older and a moving tribute to his late wife, the author Margaret Forster. Tackling what it means to be alone and the challenges of ageing, Happy Old Me is a wise and uplifting guide to getting on with getting on in life.
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A funny and heart-warming love letter to childhood, family and growing up, Till the Cows Come Home is Sara Cox's wonderfully written, funny coming of age memoir of growing up in 1980s Lancashire. This funny, big-hearted, often moving telling of Cox's semi rural upbringing is not what you'd expect from the original ladette, and one of radio's most enduring and well loved presenters.
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£30.00
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Acclaimed biographer Fiona MacCarthy impresses with this mesmeric, lavishly illustrated, three-act history of the man behind the Bauhaus. Drawing comparisons with William Morris – to whom Gropius was often likened – McCarthy explores his drive towards a post-war craft aesthetic, fused with political idealism, as well as exploring his fascinating personal life and the women who loved him.
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£20.00 £16.99
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Attempting to balance the opposing myths of Wallis Simpson as avaricious socialite or misunderstood femme fatale, Anna Pasternak brings sympathy and understanding to her take on the woman who wouldn’t be Queen. Making judicious use of personal correspondence Pasternak unveils the life of a woman both courted and caught by a fairy tale promise undermined by gossip and entitlement.
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Journeying from Damascus to the concert halls of Europe, The Pianist of Yarmouk is the story of a man who dared to defy the authorities and make music amidst the madness. Dragging his piano out day after day, Aeham Ahmad became a global symbol of courage and resilience. Offering a rare insight into life in Syria, his story is an extraordinarily moving testament to the endurance of hope.
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Home & Lifestyle

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Sharing delicious home-style recipes with a hugely engaged online community, pinchofnom.com has become the UK's most visited food blog, helping millions of people to cook well and lose weight. A must for both novice and experienced home-cooks this debut cookbook is packed with flavourful and satisfying meals - all of which are compatible with the principles of Weight Watchers and Slimming World.
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