Arts & Culture

The Book-It-List July

Finished reading your latest muse and feeling the effects of another book-hangover?

The best way to get over your latest ex-book is to slip between the covers of your new love; so why not try one of these on for size.

by Andrew Hirst

The Whalebone Theatre

by Joanna Quinn

This utterly captivating book is a ravishing coming-of-age story set in the shadow of an oncoming war. The playful language takes us on an epic romp with a girl who elects to defy convention and find her own path through life. It is difficult not to fall in love with the characters and a plot which takes you a journey in all sorts of unexpected directions. 

Cristabel Seagrave has always wanted her life to be a story, but there are no girls in the books in her dusty family library. For an unwanted orphan who grows into an unmarriageable young woman, there is no place at all for her in a traditional English manor. But from the day that a whale washes up on the beach at the Chilcombe estate in Dorset, and twelve-year-old Cristabel plants her flag and claims it as her own, she is determined to do things differently. With her step-parents blithely distracted by their endless party guests, Cristabel and her siblings, Flossie and Digby, scratch together an education from the plays they read in their freezing attic, drunken conversations eavesdropped through oak-panelled doors, and the esoteric lessons of Maudie their maid.

This is definite contender of my favourite book of the year. A book in which it is easy to escape from the everyday world. I finished this book in record time and felt the imediate urge to flip to page one and read it again, the sure fire sign of a book which will become a close friend.

Release date: Out Now

The lies I tell

by Julie Clark

Meg. Maggie. Melody. Different names for the same person, depending on the town, depending on the job. She’s a con artist who erases herself to become whoever you need her to be. Nothing about her is real. She slides alongside you and tells you exactly what you need to hear, and by the time she’s done, you’ve likely lost everything. The Lies I Tell is a twisted domestic thriller that dives deep into the psyches and motivations of two women and their unwavering quest to seek justice for the past and rewrite the future.

Release date: 21 June

Love Marriage

by Monica Ali

Yasmin Ghorami has a lot to be grateful for: a loving family, a fledgling career in medicine, and a charming, handsome fiance, fellow doctor Joe Sangster. But as the wedding day draws closer and Yasmin’s parents get to know Joe’s firebrand feminist mother, both families must confront the unravelling of long-held secrets, lies and betrayals. 

Love Marriage is a story about who we are and how we love in today’s Britain – with all the complications and contradictions of life, desire, marriage and family. What starts as a captivating social comedy develops into a heart-breaking and gripping story of two cultures, two families and two people trying to understand one another.

Release date: Out Now

Lessons in Chemistry

by Bonnie Garmus

Chemist, Elizabeth Zott, is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth would be the first to point out that there is no such thing.

But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute take a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans, the lonely, brilliant, Nobel-prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with – of all things – her mind. True chemistry results.

Like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later, Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show, Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (‘combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride’) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.

Release date: Out Now

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