5 new books to read this week

Bolu Babalola’s new novel is Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club July Pick…

Fiction

1. No Country For Girls by Emma Styles is published in hardcover by Sphere, priced at £16.99 (ebook £9.99). Available July 21

Accidental Outlaws Nao and Charlie’s paths collide when they are both inadvertently involved in a gold theft – and suddenly find themselves on the run for murder. Leaving a trail of destruction in their wake, the two unlikely traveling companions flee for their lives in their victim’s ute. Each of their harrowing personal stories unfolds as their past catches up with them, and they reluctantly bond through life and death. An absolute triumph of a debut, Emma Styles skillfully captures the character’s courage and tenacity in a thrilling chase through faraway Australia. You’ll be gripped from the first page of this perfectly paced thriller. Styles masterfully blend dark humor with tension in spades and poignant family drama, showcasing two new literary heroines for modern fiction. 10/10 (Review by Rebecca Wilcock)

2. Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola is published in hardcover by Headline Review, priced at £16.99 (ebook £7.99). Available now

Kiki Banjo uses her Brown Sugar radio platform to make sure the women at Whitewell University know how to avoid players and men who will break their hearts. Then she meets Malakai – tall, handsome, handsome and the new “Wasteman of Whitewell” as far as she is concerned. But when Kiki and Malakai find reasons for each other to get into a fake relationship, her preconceptions about Malakai are tested. Kiki must learn to trust, not only when it comes to men, but also when it comes to her new best friends, after a traumatic time at school. Set in the center of Blackwell, the university’s Afro-Caribbean society, this bubbly, self-assured novel explores a range of issues – such as casual white fellow racism and revenge porn – with a light-hearted twist. Babalola truly captures the exhilarating excitement and connection that comes with first love. The novel, although set in the UK, has a fresh, transatlantic feel, making it perfect for fans of Sex Education and Dear White People. 9/10 (Review by Catherine Lough)

3. The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell is published in hardcover by Century, priced at £16.99 (ebook £9.99). Available July 21

(Century/AP)

Although you can read The Family Remains as a standalone novel, it all makes a whole lot more sense if you’ve read the first episode: The Family Upstairs. When human bones are discovered on the banks of the Thames, an investigation is sparked into who was murdered – and it all comes back to the house of horrors from the first book. The Family Remains jumps between perspectives, including a young jewelry designer who meets an enigmatic older man, siblings who have just made a lot of money and escape a grim past, and the Inspector trying to do everything replenish. While The Family Remains is good at building tension and drama, slowly feeding in information as the plot reaches its crescendo, the finale falls a bit flat – you’d expect a lot more twists, but there is really nothing unexpected. It makes for an indulgent beach read – but not much more than that. 6/10 (Review by Prudence Wade)

nonfiction

4. Sound Within Sound by Kate Molleson is published as a hardcover edition by Faber & Faber, priced at £18.99 (ebook £8.99). Available now

In Sound Within Sound, Kate Molleson aims to introduce us to not only the music of her chosen canon of 20th century classical composers, but also their lives, their passions and their struggles. Despite the potentially brainy subject matter, his tone is conversational, inviting us to share in his enthusiasm for opening the doors of the exclusive classical music club to these “outsiders”. Molleson likes eccentrics, and the more revolutionary, the better. The traditional keyboard is turned upside down, the concept of the octave reversed, women take center stage, and the emerging cities of Africa and South America are the new European salons of the 18th and 19th centuries. This book takes us on a roller coaster ride on a musical journey into the long overdue future. The reader is immediately eager to hear the works mentioned on the page. It’s a great project and a great read.9/10(Victoria Barry)

Children’s book of the week

5. The Worries: Shara And The Really Big Sleepover by Jion Sheibani is published in paperback by Puffin, priced at £7.99 (ebook £4.99). Available July 28

Jion Sheibani continues his The Worries series with the story of Shara, who tries to keep everything together for her little brother, Keita, when their mother goes on vacation and they stay at Grandpa’s for the first time. However, things begin to fall apart when Shara and Keita are visited by the real-life manifestations of their Worries – including a gloopy slime creature called Scared and a mini dinosaur-style Worry called Reece Sponsable – all set to cause mayhem. Anxious feelings can sometimes be difficult for children to express – The Worries is a brilliant way to visualize these concerns, hopefully opening up important conversations. Although the concept seems remarkably similar to the Pixar movie Inside Out, it’s still a great story with charming illustrations. 7/10 (Review by Prudence Wade)

BOOK TABLES FOR THE WEEK ENDING JULY 16

RECORDED (FICTION)1. The House of Fortune by Jessie Burton2. Murder Before Evensong by Reverend Richard Coles3. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin4. Chemistry lessons by Bonnie Garmus5. The Partisan by Patrick Worrall6. Lore Olympus Volume 2 by Rachel Smythe7. Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart8. Elektra by Jennifer Saint9. An Italian in Brooklyn by Santa Montefiore10. Honey and Spices by Bolu Babalola (compiled by Waterstones)

RECORDED (NON-FICTION)1. The Escape Artist by Jonathan Freedland2. Why hasn’t anyone told me this before? by Dr. Julie Smith3. House arrest by Alan Bennett4. Hong Kong Newspapers by Chris Patten5. Regenesis by George Monbiot6. Russia by Antony Beevor7. Boyfriends of Michael Pedersen8. The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse by Charlie Mackesy9. Happy-Go-Lucky by David Sedaris10. Chums by Simon Kuper (Compiled by Waterstones)

AUDIO BOOKS (FICTION AND NON-FICTION)1. This Is True by Miriam Margolyes2. Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre3. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens4. One Last Secret by Adele Parks5. Why hasn’t anyone told me this before? by Dr. Julie Smith6. Atomic Habits by James Clear7. Chemistry lessons by Bonnie Garmus8. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett9. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman10. Circe by Madeline Miller (Compiled by Audible)

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