Well here we are right in the middle of June. Though this tends to be one of the quieter months for new books before the lead up to Christmas, there are plenty of excellent new books around. It’s the perfect time to discover a new author you may never have picked up before, and here’s five of my favourites for this month:
Following on from the runaway success of his first book The Winners Bible, Dr Kerry Spackman has returned with The Ant and the Ferrari. Not only does it win June’s award for Most Creative Book Title, The Ant and the Ferrari also provokes our interest in life’s biggest questions including The Big One: what is the meaning of life? If you want anyone tackling such ideas though, it’s Dr Spackman. He’s the kind of genius that could make you feel concussed if he tried a little bit. There’s plenty of these Smart Guys churning out books on philosophy, psychology and ethics but Spackman is at the top of his field and his book is already proving a favourite with customers.
Hands up who remembers Joanna Harris’s novel Chocolat featuring heroine Vianne? Or at least the film version featuring Johnny Depp, which drove girls wild long before Twilight arrived on the scene. Peaches for Monsieur Le Cure is actually the third novel featuring Vianne and sees her return to the village where she once owned a chocolate shop. The town has changed dramatically; it’s bristling with racial tension and holds old hurt that Vianne must finally put to rest. Harris remains a wonderful writer with immaculate, sensory prose. Peaches for Monsieur Le Cure holds the same mix of mystery, magic and warmth to keep you enthralled.
Well, this is just adorable. The editor of a top dog blog, Maria Goodavage, has compiled this collection of tales about the bravery of dogs who are used to assist armed forces worldwide. Soldier Dogs is heavily focused on the American experience (what about Sarbi after all) but there are stories aplenty, telling of dogs who have consistently saved the lives of human soldiers or civilians- sometimes at the cost of their own. Especially interesting is now-famous account of the dog who led the final raid on Osama Bin Laden. Well researched and overflowing with love for our four legged friends, these are the kinds of stories you would see on an episode of Oprah and are highly recommended for dog-lovers.
Lynda La Plante really is the queen of crime fiction. The years go by but La Plante remains a sharp, purposeful writer with unparalleled skill when it comes to crafting a meaty procedural novel. Backlash is the next instalment in her popular series featuring DCI Anna Travis, an admirably brave but frustrating central character. The story concerns a cold case that Anna’s boss/former lover has been stuck on for years and it seems Anna is the one who can break it wide open. Backlash gathers some serious momentum as it builds toward the finale, and we are given enough of a glimpse into Anna’s personal life to have us waiting impatiently for the next book.
Fear not, those of you overwhelmed by the thought of reading China Mieville. His new novel Railsea is partly aimed at the Young Adult market, yet it’s still imaginative and complex. As such it’s really the perfect primer for receiving a taste of Mieville before launching onto mightier (and heavier) works. In Railsea a young man named Sham ap Soorap (go with it) lives in a world that has an ornate network of railroad tracks as a surface. Underneath these tracks is a world swarming with terrible predators, some that can be hunted. Sham ap Soorap is after a very special beast in particular, but the beast and the desperation of the hunt could claim him instead. It’s weird, richly written and a little violent, perfect for older teens and adults who continue to love everything this master touches.
What are you loving this month?