Top Ten UK Books… coming in November 2015
The last Books of the Month to feature titles solely from 2015 is upon us – it’s amazing how quickly time flies, especially when the books are as good as they have been this year. This month sees a fiction-heavy selection, with old and new names jockeying for position.
At the head of the pack is The Clasp, a debut novel by Sloane Crosley, the author of the much-loved I Was Told There’d be Cake. It’s a brilliant read, and one that more than delivers on the promise of her non-fiction. Elsewhere, there’s the return of one of Britain’s most mercurial talents, Rupert Thomson as well as Numero Zero, a new historical mystery from Umberto Eco. Sticking with the historical, Geraldine Brooks takes us back to the Biblical David in another spellbinding novel from the Pulitzer Prize winner.
BOOK OF THE MONTH
When three university friends – Nathaniel, Kezia and Victor – are reunited at a wealthy friend’s wedding, they soon fall into their old ways: Victor loves Kezia, Kezia loves Nathaniel, Nathaniel loves Nathaniel. It’s the same-old, same-old until a legendary necklace unwittingly sets off a bizarre and often hilarious chain of events that will shake up the trio like never before. Sparkling with wit and energy, this debut novel from the author of I Was Told There’d Be Cake is a diamond.
Thirty-five years after he became one of the sensations of European Literature with his genre-bending The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco returns, proving that his blend of strong plotting erudition and playful wit are unmatched anywhere. Numero Zero follows a hack writer, Colonna, who suddenly stumbles on the story of his life – and the Mafia, fascists and other groups are determined to stop him.
The People of the Book was a properly luxurious affair – boldly plotted, deftly written and masterly in its blend of intelligence and pace. The Secret Chord is much the same, but traces the long and incredible life of the Biblical David. Resonant, deeply felt and expertly handled, this is peerless historical fiction and one that deserves as wide a readership as The People of the Book.
Rupert Thomson is one of British fiction’s most distinctive, yet re-inventive voices – a writer of considerable power and poise no matter to what he turns his eye. In his new novel, Katherine Carlyle is a woman just like anyone else, though the nature of her birth is considered unique. At the age of nineteen, she disappears – and the secrets and pain of the past come rushing to the fore. Essential.
The Iron Warrior
The Iron Fey series has been one of the most loved and celebrated YA sequences of recent years – and this long-awaited final installment lives up to its predecessors’ brilliance. In the face of unprecedented evil and unfathomable power, Ethan’s enemies must become his allies, and the world of the fey will be changed forevermore.
Smoke and Mirrors
Taking a break from her Ruth Galloway series, Elly Griffiths transports us back to the 1950s with this new Stephens and Mephisto mystery. Brilliantly capturing the faded derelict glamour of Brighton, this creepy tale of a pair of children murdered is a must-read for fans of off-beat crime.
The Grace of Kings
Head of Zeus
Ken Liu is one the world’s most garlanded SF writers, with his short stories having won every major SF prize – but this is his debut novel, and one that begins a monumental new epic fantasy series. Emperor Mapidéré united the kingdoms of Dara, but now he lies dying. What will become of the union? Even the gods themselves are restless . . .
Carrying Albert Home
Homer Hickam is best known for his internationally bestselling memoir Rocket Boys, and there are similarities between this novel and that memoir. Again, this is a warm, funny, partly tragic tale of friendship and family. This one, however, involves a long journey – and an alligator!
As Good As Dead
For some of us, it’s probably our worst nightmare: an old friend you once let down standing at your door. This is the premise of Elizabeth Evans’ perceptive, witty and slyly astute novel of betrayal and its aftermath. Psychological drama and suspense at its best.
The Hidden Legacy
G J Minett
A plot that hinges on the reading of a will, does feel rather old-fashioned, yet The Hidden Legacy is far from old-hat. This is a clever, constantly evolving thriller that links a violent crime from the 1960s to the present day. A writer to watch.