From Translated Bestsellers to a Transatlantic Prizewinner
Presenting Your Books of the Month for April
Our adult selection this month has a somewhat international twist. After an incredible 14-week run at the top of the German fiction charts, Maja Lunde's The History of Bees is a sobering and prescient account of a planet gradually losing its primary key to life. The history and future of Europe's most powerful economic force is vivaciously examined in James Hawes' The Shortest History of Germany, whilst our thriller choice, The Invisible Guardian, submerges us in the terrifying pagan superstitions of the Basque Country. It too was a runaway European bestseller, its author Dolores Redondo drawing immediate comparison as the Spanish Stieg Larsson.
Finally our extraordinary Waterstones Children's Book of the Year winner, The Hate U Give, continues its position as our Children's Book of the Month. You can watch our interview with author Angie Thomas here.
Fiction Book of the Month
Across a sweep of 250 years, Maja Lunde’s utterly chilling debut unspools the story of our civilisation’s near-ruin. From home counties England of 1851 to a future China at the end of this century, we witness the collapse of the bee, the prime pollinator and herald of life across the globe.
Lunde presents this catastrophe through the lens of three parents, their lives shaped by the presence or loss of bees, and all in their way harbouring ambitions for their children’s future. Circumstance however casts an ever-deepening shadow, the small scientific obsessions of a Victorian biologist ultimately eclipsed by 2098’s sheer need for survival. The human story, however, remains the same, in a brilliant novel of intimate and sometimes frightening prescience.
Non-Fiction Book of the Month
In a little over 225 pages, James Hawes distils some two millennia of history into one exhilarating sprint of a country’s genesis and future. Far more than a simple overview of Germanic progress, The Shortest History of Germany serves too as a virtual CV of Europe, from the shadow of Caesar’s Rome to the schisms of Brexit, offering a real wealth of understanding to what both binds and divides us.
Witty, opinionated, almost roguishly confident, for anyone looking to understand what makes Europe’s most powerful economy tick, Hawes’s guide is the perfect portable companion.
Thriller of the Month
Basque Country: a land of secrets, mythology and superstition. The discovery of a teenager - brutally murdered, her body left on the banks of the River Baztán – opens a nightmarish door to the past for Inspector Amaia Salazar.
Cautious, astute, Salazar is a woman of logic and reason, but as her investigation grows deeper, the ancient pagan belief of the local community begins to eat at her resolve: is she in the pursuit of a deranged ritualistic killer, or something even less human? A runaway bestseller in Redondo’s native Spain.
Children's Book of the Month
'...a rollicking thriller and a deeply enjoyable read. No wonder it has been at the top of the New York Times's young adult bestseller list for weeks.' - The Times
A truly ground-breaking work of fiction, destined to become a future classic, The Hate U Give is a gripping, fierce and unflinching novel of one girl’s struggle for justice. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, the story belongs to sixteen-year-old Starr, a young girl split between two worlds who finds herself the witness to a fatal shooting. Powerful and unforgettable, her story exposes divisions of class, racial inequality and the misuse of power, opening up a fault line that lies at the very heart of modern America.
Scottish Book of the Month
‘Nicolson calls on Heaney and Yeats, Melville and Milton to illuminate his observations,’ noted the Financial Times, ‘but it’s often his own writing that shines most brightly.’
The Seabird’s Cry is a gorgeous and sobering portrait of our hardy seabirds, beautiful and mysterious creatures now so at risk by our sheer thoughtlessness. Accompanied by Kate Boxer’s evocative illustrations, Adam Nicolson surveys ten species of ocean-going birds, from the familiar puffin to the enigmatic, storm-riding fulmars. Fusing science and literature to find the essence of these fabulous creatures, The Seabird’s Cry is a revelation.