Lessons and Letters from History
Presenting Our Books of the Month for October
October's crop of recommended reading provides both warnings and wisdom from the past, with a deftly executed novella about Europe's freefall into the Second World War and an anthology of eye-opening missives from history's good, bad and ugly. Elsewhere, we follow a compelling Nigerian tale of sisterly love and mass murder, and take our seats aboard the magical sleigh, Frostheart.
Fiction Book of the Month
Hitler's manipulative, insidious path to Austrian invasion told with dead-pan documentary realism and deliciously understated irony, The Order of the Day is a mordantly funny and darkly disturbing novella. Told in staccato bursts and combining expertly researched real events with precisely imagined detail, it provides a unique and disconcerting perspective both on those who spearheaded Germany’s grim descent into war and on the fresh resonance of those moments today.
Non-Fiction Book of the Month
Curated with immense skill and eye for intriguing juxtapositions by Simon Sebag Montefiore, the one hundred plus letters contained within Written in History provide a fascinating window into the private and public lives of history's greatest figures. Arranged thematically this collection of correspondence provides an enlightening parallel narrative to the linear march of conventional history, and includes missives by everybody from Rameses to Trump, by way of Elizabeth I and Nelson Mandela.
Thriller of the Month
Sharp, menacing and darkly funny, this debut novel from Nigerian author Oyinkan Braithwaite is not just an inventive take on the serial-murder thriller but also a tender examination of sibling relationships in an oppressively patriarchal society. A wickedly original story that turns the tables on the woman-as-victim trope, My Sister the Serial Killer is an addictive - and hugely satisfying - read. 'Pulpy, peppery and sinister,’ as the New York Times writes, ‘this scorpion-tailed little thriller leaves a response, and a sting, you will remember.'
Children's Book of the Month
Scottish Book of the Month
Irish Book of the Month
Welsh Book of the Month
Wonderfully democratic and inclusive, this anthology reflects the favourite poems of Great Britain, as chosen by everyone from world-famous astronauts to primary school teachers. Published to coincide with National Poetry Day, this collection explores the theme of truth through a diverse and always unpredictable range of verse, resulting in an essential store of poems to combat the increasing prevalence of concepts such as post-truth and fake news. With a beautiful introduction from Welsh songbird Cerys Matthews, Tell Me the Truth About Life is a deftly curated and timely collection.