Five new books to read this week

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Are you looking for a gripping thriller or a feminist retelling of the story? Make your choice…

fiction

1. Apple’s Never Fall by Liane Moriarty was published in hardcover by Michael Joseph. Now available


Liane Moriarty has to be one of Hollywood’s favorite authors. Her new novel, Apples Never Fall, follows in the footsteps of Big Little Lies and Nine Perfect Strangers, telling the story of the tennis-crazy Delaney family and the cracks in their seemingly happy life when matriarch Joy disappears. Moriarty has the ability to make you feel like you are invested in the characters almost instantly, and her expert storytelling makes the reader turn page by page to discover the hidden truths that lurk beneath the surface. The ending is fun and satisfying, but comes with a dark twist.

Apple’s Never Fall is another entertaining offer full of intrigue, suspense and surprises that will delight both readers and viewers of the TV adaptation, which is already in the pipeline.
8/10
(Review by Eleanor Barlow)

2. Ruth Ozeki’s Book of Form and Emptiness has been published as a hardback by Canongate Books. Now available


This is a strange, thought-provoking book. The Book of Form and Void is both a deeply moving story about family, loss and love, as well as a provocative lesson in mindfulness and the art of mastering inner peace.

After his father dies, Benny hears Oh voices. At first the voice is his father’s, but then he hears the voices of other things: chairs, moldy cheese, half-eaten yogurt boxes, and even books. His mother Annabelle also mourns. Empty in her own way, she draws inward and becomes a hoarder. Alone and haunted by the voices around him, Benny retreats to the library, where he discovers a different kind of family in the colorful characters that congregate there, including a homeless poet and a silver-haired girl trying to attract street performers will. Here between the books Benny has to find his own voice.
8/10
(Review by Scarlett Sangster)

3. Matrix by Lauren Groff is published as hardcover by William Heinemann. Now available

There are an abundance of characters throughout history whose narratives have vanished into the ether. Lauren Groff’s new feminist novel is inspired by the 12th century poet and lyricist Marie de France.

Groff uses Marie’s mysterious existence to kidnap the reader to a gloomy monastery in rural England, where Marie, a bastard child of the Crown and supposed half-sister of Henry II, is sent on the orders of Henry’s wife Eleanor of Aquitaine. There Marie uses her privileged upbringing to turn the fortunes of the monastery and to establish something like a utopia.

The pages are almost entirely free from men – seen but not heard – and Groff uses poetic, melodic, yet wildly written to add volume to the themes of power, ambition, and success from a women’s perspective.
8/10
(Review by Charlotte Kelly)

Non-fiction

4. Confronting Leviathan: A History of David Runciman’s Ideas is published in hardcover by Profile Books. Now available

David Runciman, professor of politics at Cambridge and creator of the Talking Politics podcast, examines the idea of ​​government – what the “modern state” is, how it works, and where it comes from. Originally conceived for the podcast, these twelve essays have a conversational tone that addresses the big questions without getting lost in footnotes. Runciman begins with Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan as the first attempt at describing a recognizably “modern” state, and each subsequent chapter discusses a different notable work and its author, some of which are well known (Wollstonecraft, Marx) and others less (Fanon , Mackinnon).

Runciman makes an excellent case for what each author contributes to understanding the problems of politics today. The book is a brilliant introduction to the subject for anyone looking to get beyond the headlines into political debates.
8/10
(Review by Joshua Pugh Ginn)

Children’s book of the week

5. The Primrose Railway Children by Jacqueline Wilson, illustrated by Rachael Dean, is published in hardcover by Puffin. Now available


Inspired by E. Nesbit’s beloved novel The Railway Children, Jacqueline Wilson has brought the story up to date. Narrator Phoebe Robinson adores her father but has the usual ups and downs with teenage sister Becks and autistic brother Perry. Their cozy suburban world is shaken when Phoebe’s father disappears and the family moves to an old cottage near Primrose Train Station.

Wilson gives voice to the nuances of complex family relationships and how the siblings respond to what is not said. Phoebe’s view of her mother and father has changed down to the last page. A soccer jersey replaces the original version’s petticoats, but Wilson stays true to the essence of the original and hopes more people will try to read it. Children don’t need to have read the original to read the original, but they need stamina – it’s over 500 pages long.
9/10
(Review by Bridie Pritchard)


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