Five new books to read this week

Are you looking for a detective thriller or an adorable children’s book? This week’s releases have you covered…


1. The Long Knives by Irvine Welsh is published in hardcover by Jonathan Cape. Available August 25

There’s been “a homicide” and Detective Ray Lennox is on the case again. In the second installment of Irvine Welsh’s Crime Trilogy – which is now a TV series starring Dougray Scott – a deputy was castrated and left bleeding in a warehouse in Leith. As Lennox teeters from Edinburgh to London and back, the various strands of his chaotic world unfold at a dizzying pace. Falling back on alcohol and drugs to cope with his own problems, he questions the issue of gender identity in the case and closer to home. As the victims begin to pile up, the larger question is: who are the real victims here? The dialogues are a delight but not for the faint-hearted. It’s lively, fearless, passionate and brilliant.
(Review by Emily Pennink)

2. Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid is published in hardcover by Hutchinson Heinemann. Available August 30

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novels have previously followed fictional rock stars and Hollywood royalty, but her latest offering veers away from showbiz for the surprisingly cutthroat world of tennis. Carrie Soto was a 37-year-old retired champion when she decided to return to the sport to claim her winning record from British player Nicki Chan. Not all women worry about winning a Grand Slam, but many can probably relate to Soto’s challenges of growing older, wanting it all and trying to manage a fiercely competitive spirit as the world expects women remain silent and smile kindly. It is for these reasons that you find yourself supporting the star, despite an attitude that is not about endearing yourself to others. Jenkins Reid has written another page-turner that will have you hooked, from first serve to match point.
(Review by Eleanor Barlow)

3. Emma Donoghue’s Haven is published in hardcover by Picador. Available now

Emma Donoghue’s literary repertoire seems to know no bounds. His latest novel follows three monks in seventh-century Ireland as they set out to found a new monastery. After Prior Artt had a dream telling him to leave the sinful world behind him, he set off down the River Shannon with nothing more than a small boat and two companions. Believing isolation will bring them closer to God, the three monks struggle to build a new life on a chunk of rock in the Atlantic. As they wait for God to provide, faith and obedience begin to struggle against survival. Donoghue’s unnerving prose thickens the intensity of a slow-burn novel that simmers with passion, devotion and self-preservation.
(Review by Rebecca Wilcock)


4. How to Read Now by Elaine Castillo is published by Atlantic Books. Available now

It is a direct collection of essays aimed at highlighting the inherited truths and assumptions made by writers, directors, and philosophers when they set out to tell a story. How To Read Now bravely exposes what Costello identifies as elitist, colonialist and cisgender privilege in a range of classic and popular literature and film, including the writings of Henry James, Joan Didion and JK Rowling. Well-written and passionately argued, you might find this book both thought-provoking and problematic, falling somewhere between educated literary criticism and bitter diatribe. Costello’s writing is brash and at times arrogant, but does at least some degree of success in making you question your own reading choices and publishing motives in general. If you can handle the argumentative style, you will no doubt come away with a more critical eye and a more honest understanding of your own inherited truths.
(Review by Scarlett Sangster)

Children’s book of the week

5. A Pair Of Pears And An Orange by Anna McGregor is published in hardcover by Scribe. Available now


Parents and children will be delighted by the adorable illustrations of A pair of pears and an orange. After all, who wouldn’t want to see fruit come to life, ride a bike and play ping pong? It may be a fruit story, but it is an infinitely relatable story. Big Pear and Little Pear still play together, but their games change when a new friend, Orange, joins them and Big Pear begins to feel left out. It’s a story of making new friends, opening up to new experiences, and navigating jealousy. It certainly helps the illustrations to be sweet and there is a message for every child.
(Review by Prudence Wade)


1. Kevin Bridges’ Black Dog
2. Genesis of Chris Carter
3. Sunyi Dean’s Book Eaters
4. Girlcrush by Florence Given
5. The Twist of a Knife by Anthony Horowitz
6. Chemistry Lessons by Bonnie Garmus
7. Her Majesty’s Royal Coven by Juno Dawson
8. Jess Kidd’s Nightship
9. Murder Before Evensong by Reverend Richard Coles
10. Isaac and the Egg by Bobby Palmer
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. Deliciously Ella How To Go Plant-Based by Ella Mills (Woodward)
2. How to Live When You Might Be Dead by Deborah James
3. Why hasn’t anyone told me this before? by Dr. Julie Smith
4. Jane’s Patisserie Celebrate! by Jane Dunn
5. Revenge of Tom Bower
6. James Acaster’s Guide to Quitting Social Media by James Acaster
7. Kitchen Sanctuary by Nicky Corbishley
8. Femina by Janina Ramirez
9. House arrest by Alan Bennett
10. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. James Acaster’s Guide to Quitting Social Media by James Acaster
2. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
3. Anthony Horowitz’s Twist of a Knife
4. The inky heart of Robert Galbraith
5. Why hasn’t anyone told me this before? by Dr. Julie Smith
6. Terrifying Kindness by Jo Browning Wroe
7. Atomic Habits by James Clear
8. It’s All True by Miriam Margolyes
9. Chemistry Lessons by Bonnie Garmus
10. Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club
(Compiled by Audible)

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