29 Great books to look out for Autumn 2018

29 Great books to look out for Autumn 2018

If you are anything like me you will be relishing the onset of crisp, cool mornings after such a long hot summer. I cannot wait to curl up with with a pumpkin latte and a good book. This article contains some of the newest and best reads for the oncoming season.


A Little Bird Told Me

By Marianne Holmes

Preface: Its the summer of 1976, Robyn spends her days swimming and tagging after her brother. It’s the perfect summer until her mum stirs up trouble by bringing home yet another crying woman.

Her actions cause tensions in the town begin to simmer. Everyone is gossiping about her mum, a strange man is following her around, and worst of all, no one will tell Robyn the truth. But secrets will out...

Twelve years later, Robyn returns home, to a house that has stood empty for years and a town that hasn’t moved on, forced to confront the mystery that haunted her that summer.

And atone for the part she played in it.

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Nell and Lady

By Ashley Farley

Preface: When Willa’s housemaid and best friend, Mavis, dropped dead unexpectedly Willa chose to take in

her daughter despite the disapproval of her other friends and neighbours.

Mavis’ daughter Nell and Willa’s daughter Lady considered each other sisters and best friends until an incident on the night of Lady’s sixteenth birthday tore them asunder.

Now Willa is dying, and her biggest wish is to bring Nell back to the family she cut off all those years ago.

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The Labyrinth of the Spirits

By Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Preface: As a child, Daniel Sempere discovered among the passageways of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books an extraordinary novel that would change the course of his life. Now Daniel runs the Sempere & Sons bookshop but the mystery surrounding the death of his mother continues to plagues him still despite a seemingly happy life.

When Daniel believes he is close to solving this enigma, he will learn knowledge of the conspiracy comes at a terrible price.

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If Cats Disappeared From the World

By Genki Kawamura

Preface: Translated from the original Japanese version this is a a moving tale of loss and reaching out to the ones we love, of one man’s journey to discover what really matters in life. Our narrator’s days are numbered. Estranged from his family, living alone with only his cat Cabbage for company, he is unprepared for the doctor’s diagnosis that he has only months to live. Then one day, the Devil appears with a special offer: in exchange for making one thing in the world disappear, he can have one extra day of life.

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The Moscow Sleepers

By Stella Rimington

Preface: A man lies dying in a hospital in Vermont. All the nurses know is he is an academic at a nearby university but they have been instructed to call the FBI should anyone visit their patient.

News of this suspected Russian illegal soon reaches MI5 in London where Liz Carlyle has been contacted by a top secret source known as Mischa who is requesting a clandestine rendezvous in Berlin.

Meanwhile in Brussels a Russian sleeper agent who has lived undercover for years is beginning to question his role, while suspicions have been roused about a boarding school in Suffolk that has recently changed hands in mysterious circumstances.

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The Clockmaker's Daughter

By Kate Morton

Preface: My real name, no one remembers. The truth about that summer, no one else knows.

In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor. Their plan is to spend the month working on their creativity. But by the end of the summer one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.

Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing a sepia photograph , and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house.

Why does the Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?

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By Paulo Coelho

Preface: Paulo Coelho draws on experiences from his own life.

He tells the story of Paulo, a skinny Brazilian, setting off on a journey in search of a deeper meaning for his life.

Along the way he travels on the ‘Death Train to Bolivia’, then on to Peru, Chile and Argentina.

In Amsterdam he meets Karla, a young woman iwho has been waiting to find the ideal companion to accompany her on the fabled hippie trail to Nepal. Together with their fellow travellers, they embark on a trip aboard the Magic Bus, heading across Europe and Central Asia to Kathmandu.

For everyone, the journey is transformative. For Paulo and Karla it is a life-defining love story that leads to choices that will set the course of the rest of their lives.

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Bridge of Clay

By Markus Zusak

Preface: Here is a story told inside out and back to front

Five Dunbar brothers are living – fighting, loving, grieving – in the perfect chaos of a house without grown-ups. Today, the father who left them has just walked right back in.

He has a surprising request: Who will build a bridge with him?

It is Clay, a boy tormented by a long-buried secret, who accepts. But why is Clay so broken? And why must he fulfil this extraordinary challenge?

Bridge of Clay is about a boy caught in a current, a boy intent on destroying everything he has in order to become everything he needs to be. Ahead of him lies the bridge, the vision that will save both his family and himself.

It will be a miracle and nothing less.

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No Further Questions

By Gillian McAllister

Preface: You'd trust your sister with your life. But should you?

The police say she's guilty.

She insists she's innocent.

She's your sister.

You loved her.

You trusted her.

But they say she killed the person you care about most.

Martha last saw her sister when she left her babysitting. Now, she's watching Becky stand trial for murder. They are on opposite sides of the courtroom, hearing evidence that's meant to finally bring the truth to light. What happened that night? And does Martha really want to know?

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A Spark of Light

By Jodi Picoult

Preface: The Center for women's reproductive health offers a last chance at hope - but nobody ends up there by choice.

Its very existence is controversial, and to the demonstrators who barricade the building every day, the service it offers is no different from legalised murder.

Now life and death decisions are being made horrifyingly real: a lone protester with a gun has taken the staff, patients and visitors hostage.

Starting at the tensest moment in the negotiations for their release, A Spark of Light unravels backwards, revealing hour by urgent hour what brought each of these people - the gunman, the negotiator, the doctors, nurses and women who have come to them for treatment - to this point.

And certainties unwind as truths and secrets are peeled away, revealing the complexity of balancing the right to life with the right to choose.

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Becoming Mrs Lewis

By Patti Callahan

Preface: A novel about Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy travelled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.

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The House of One Thousand Eyes

By Michelle Barker

Preface: Who can Lena trust to help her find out the truth? Life in East Germany in the early 1980s is not easy for most people, but for Lena, it's particularly hard. After the death of her parents in a factory explosion and time spent in a psychiatric hospital recovering from the trauma, she is sent to live with her stern aunt, a devoted member of the ruling Communist Party. Visits with her beloved Uncle Erich, a best-selling author, are her only respite. But one night, her uncle disappears without a trace. Gone also are all his belongings, his books, and even his birth records. Lena is desperate to know what happened to him, but it's as if he never existed. The worst thing, however, is that she cannot discuss her uncle or her attempts to find him with anyone, not even her best friends. There are government spies everywhere. But Lena is unafraid and refuses to give up her search, regardless of the consequences. This searing novel about defiance, courage, and determination takes readers into the chilling world of a society ruled by autocratic despots, where nothing is what it seems.

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A Room Away From the Wolves

By Nova Ren Suma

Preface: Bina has never forgotten the time she and her mother ran away from home. Her mother promised they would hitchhike to the city to escape Bina’s cruel father and start over. But before they could even leave town, Bina had a new stepfather and two new stepsisters, and a humming sense of betrayal pulling apart the bond with her mother—a bond Bina thought was unbreakable.

Eight years later, after too many lies and with trouble on her heels, Bina finds herself on the side of the road again, the city of her dreams calling for her. She has an old suitcase, a fresh black eye, and a room waiting for her at Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, a vow of confidentiality, and dark, magical secrets. There, Bina is drawn to her enigmatic downstairs neighbor Monet, a girl who is equal parts intriguing and dangerous. As Bina’s lease begins to run out, and nightmare and memory get tangled, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will cost for her to leave . . .

In A Room Away from the Wolves, critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling author Nova Ren Suma weaves a spellbinding ghost story about who deserves a second chance, how we lie to those around us and ourselves, and what lengths girls will go to in order to save each other.

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My Mother. Barack Obama. Donald Trump. And the Last Stand of the Angry White Man

By Kevin Powell

Preface: Ten short years ago, Barack Obama became president of the United States, and changed the course of history. Ten short years ago, our America was hailed globally as a breathtaking example of democracy, as a rainbow coalition of everyday people marching to the same drum beat. We had finally overcome.

But did we?

Both the presidencies of Obama and Donald Trump have produced some of the ugliest divides in history: horrific racial murders, non-stop mass shootings, the explosion of attacks on immigrants and on the LGBTQ community, the rise of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, a massive gap between the haves and the have-nots, and legions of women stepping forth to challenge sexual violence—and men—in all forms.

In this gripping new collection of thirteen essays, My Mother. Barack Obama. Donald Trump. And the Last Stand of the Angry White Man., Kevin Powell interweaves brutally honest personal stories with the saga of America, then and now. Be it politics, sports, pop culture, hip-hop music, mental health, racism, #MeToo, or his very complicated relationship with his mother, these impassioned essays are not merely a mirror of who we are, but also who and what Powell thinks we ought to be.

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Paris Echo

By Sebastian Faulks

Preface: Here is Paris as you have never seen it before – a city in which every building seems to hold the echo of an unacknowledged past, the shadows of Vichy and Algeria.

Postdoctoral researcher Hannah and runaway teenager Tariq have little in common, yet both are susceptible to the daylight ghosts of Paris. Hannah listens to the extraordinary witness of women who were present under the German Occupation; in her desire to understand their lives, and through them her own. In the migrant suburbs, Tariq is searching for a mother he barely knew. For him in his innocence, each boulevard, Métro station and street corner is a source of surprise.

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Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist

By Eli Saslow

Preface: Derek Black grew up at the epicenter of white nationalism. His father founded Stormfront, the largest racist community on the Internet. His godfather, David Duke, was a KKK Grand Wizard. By the time Derek turned nineteen, he had become an elected politician with his own daily radio show - already regarded as the "the leading light" of the burgeoning white nationalist movement. "We can infiltrate," Derek once told a crowd of white nationalists. "We can take the country back."

Then he went to college. Derek had been home-schooled by his parents, steeped in the culture of white supremacy, and he had rarely encountered diverse perspectives or direct outrage against his beliefs. At New College of Florida, he continued to broadcast his radio show in secret each morning, living a double life until a classmate uncovered his identity and sent an email to the entire school. "Derek Black...white supremacist, radio host...New College student "

The ensuing uproar overtook one of the most liberal colleges in the country. Some students protested Derek's presence on campus, forcing him to reconcile for the first time with the ugliness his beliefs. Other students found the courage to reach out to him, including an Orthodox Jew who invited Derek to attend weekly Shabbat dinners. It was because of those dinners--and the wide-ranging relationships formed at that table--that Derek started to question the science, history and prejudices behind his worldview. As white nationalism infiltrated the political mainstream, Derek decided to confront the damage he had done.

Rising Out of Hatred tells the story of how white-supremacist ideas migrated from the far-right fringe to the White House through the intensely personal saga of one man who eventually disavowed everything he was taught to believe, at tremendous personal cost. With great empathy and narrative verve, Eli Saslow asks what Derek's story can tell us about America's increasingly divided nature. This is a book to help us understand the American moment and to help us better understand one another.

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The Wildlands

By Abby Geni

Preface: When a Category 5 tornado ravaged Mercy, Oklahoma, no family in the small town lost more than the McClouds. Their home and farm were instantly demolished, and orphaned siblings Darlene, Jane, and Cora made media headlines. This relentless national attention and the tornado's aftermath caused great tension with their brother, Tucker, who soon abandoned his sisters and disappeared.

On the three-year anniversary of the tornado, a cosmetics factory outside of Mercy is bombed, and the lab animals trapped within are released. Tucker reappears, injured from the blast, and seeks the help of nine-year-old Cora. Caught up in the thrall of her charismatic brother, whom she has desperately missed, Cora agrees to accompany Tucker on a cross-country mission to make war on human civilization.

Cora becomes her brother's unwitting accomplice, taking on a new identity while engaging in acts of escalating violence. Darlene works with Mercy police to find her siblings, leading to an unexpected showdown at a zoo in Southern California.

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Waiting For Eden

By Elliot Ackerman

Preface: Eden Malcom lies in a bed, unable to move or to speak, imprisoned in his own mind. His wife Mary spends every day on the sofa in his hospital room. He has never even met their young daughter. And he will never again see the friend and fellow soldier who didn't make it back home--and who narrates the novel. But on Christmas, the one day Mary is not at his bedside, Eden's re-ordered consciousness comes flickering alive. As he begins to find a way to communicate, some troubling truths about his marriage--and about his life before he went to war--come to the surface. Is Eden the same man he once was: a husband, a friend, a father-to-be? What makes a life worth living? A piercingly insightful, deeply felt meditation on loyalty and betrayal, love and fear, Waiting for Eden is a tour de force of profound humanity.

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Kafka's Last Trial: The Case of a Literary Legacy

By Benjamin Balint

Preface: The story of the international struggle to preserve Kafka's literary legacy.

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What the Hell Do You Have to Lose?: Trump's War on Civil Rights

By Juan Williams

Preface: Unsympathetic, ambiguous, and openly racist remarks are a hallmark of Donald Trump's public life. Perhaps no remark of his is more telling than his campaign pitch to African Americans: "What the hell do you have to lose?"

Quite a lot, as it turns out. In this vigorous and timely book, civil rights historian and political analyst Juan Williams issues the truth about just what African Americans have to lose, and how Trump is threatening to take it away.

This book is not merely a much-needed and highly visible history lesson. It signals the alarm about the Trump administration's policies and intentions, which pose a threat to civil rights without precedent in modern America.

In a polarized era, it's especially telling when moderates like Williams are prepared to stand up and shout. This book is clear-sighted, inspiring, and necessary, from an author with the experience and standing to make it heard.

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Daemon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling

By Philip Pullman

Preface: Pullman writes about his own history of enchantment with stories--from his own books to those of Blake, Milton, Dickens, and the Brothers Grimm, among others--and discusses the role of story in education, religion, and science. Daemon Voices explores the writing methods favoured by Pullman, and an exploration of storytelling itself.

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The Rise and Fall of Becky Sharp

By Sarra Manning

Preface: Becky Sharp’s childhood was characterised by dire poverty and the lack of a parental figure so when Becky ends up on Big Brother, she used the chance to try to improve her situation. She befriends naïve Amelia whilst in the house and plays on her background to get Amelia to feel sorry for her and invite her into her home.

Once she is in Amelia’s home, she gets a glimpse of the life she thinks she should be leading and determines to get it by any means.

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Into the Jungle

By Katherine Rundell

Preface: Into the Jungle contains origin stories for all Kipling's best-known characters, from Baloo and Shere Khan to Kaa and Bagheera.

From the same publisher as Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, first published by Macmillan in 1894, comes a series of short tales describing the early years of some of our favourite characters.

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Muse of Nightmares

By Lani Taylor

Preface: Sarai has lived and breathed nightmares since she was six years old.

She believed she knew every horror, and was beyond surprise.

She was wrong.

In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.

Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice - save the woman he loves, or everyone else? - while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the muse of nightmares, has not yet discovered what she's capable of.

As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel's near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with the thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?

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History vs Women

By Anita Sarkeesian

Preface: Looking through the ages and across the globe, Anita Sarkeesian, founder of Feminist Frequency, along with Ebony Adams PhD, have reclaimed the stories of twenty-five remarkable women who dared to defy history and change the world around them. From Mongolian wrestlers to Chinese pirates, Native American ballerinas to Egyptian scientists, Japanese novelists to British prime ministers, History vs Women will reframe the history that you thought you knew. The perfect read for teens (or adults!) who want the true stories of phenomenal women from around the world and across generations whose lives and accomplishments impacted both their societies and our own.

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Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince Lestat

By Anne Rice

Preface: From his meticulously restored ancestral chateau high up in the mountains of France, Prince Lestat grapples to instil a new ideology of peace and harmony among the blood-drinking community. Accustomed to welcoming the Undead from far and wide, one night he awakes to news of a ruthless attack by a group of maverick blood-drinkers.

After fleeing to investigate the terror, Lestat learns of several new enemies who despise his rule over the blood-drinking realm, and who are intent on disrupting the harmony he tries so hard to maintain. But is Lestat strong enough to take on such evil alone or will sacrifices have to be made? Will his cry for peace be heard in a world riddled with violence?

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The Dream Daughter

By Diane Chamberlain

Preface: When Caroline Sears receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970 and it seems that nothing can be done. But her brother-in-law, a physicist, tells her that perhaps there is. Hunter had appeared in their lives just a few years before – and his appearance was as mysterious as his past. With no family, no friends, and a background shrouded in secrets, Hunter embraced the Sears family and never looked back.

Now, Hunter is telling her that something can be done about her baby’s heart. Something that will shatter every preconception Caroline has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage she never knew existed. Something that will mean a mind-bending leap of faith on Caroline’s part.

And all for the love of her unborn child.

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Bloody Brilliant Women: The Pioneers, Revolutionaries and Geniuses Your History Teacher Forgot to Mention

By Cathy Newman

Preface: A fresh, opinionated history of all the brilliant women you should have learned about in school but didn’t.

In this freewheeling history of modern Britain, Cathy Newman writes about the pioneering women who defied the odds to make careers for themselves and alter the course of modern history; women who achieved what they achieved while dismantling hostile, entrenched views about their place in society. Their role in transforming Britain is fundamental, far greater than has generally been acknowledged, and not just in the arts or education but in fields like medicine, politics, law, engineering and the military.

While a few of the women in this book are now household names, many have faded into oblivion, their personal and collective achievements mere footnotes in history. We know of Emmeline Pankhurst, Vera Brittain, Marie Stopes and Beatrice Webb. But who remembers engineer and motorbike racer Beatrice Shilling, whose ingenious device for the Spitfires’ Rolls-Royce Merlin fixed an often-fatal flaw, allowing the RAF’s planes to beat the German in the Battle of Britain? Or Dorothy Lawrence, the journalist who achieved her ambition to become a WW1 correspondent by pretending to be a man? And developmental biologist Anne McLaren, whose work in genetics paved the way for in vitro fertilisation?

Were it not for women, significant features of modern Britain like council housing, municipal swimming pools and humane laws relating to property ownership, child custody and divorce wouldn’t exist in quite the same way. Women’s drive and talent for utopian thinking created new social and legislative agendas. The women in these pages blazed a trail from the 1918 Representation of the People Act – which allowed some women to vote – through to Margaret Thatcher’s ousting from Downing Street.

Blending meticulous research with information gleaned from memoirs, diaries, letters, novels and other secondary sources, Bloody Brilliant Women uses the stories of some extraordinary lives to tell the tale of 20th and 21st century Britain. It is a history for women and men. A history for our times.

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What We’re Teaching Our Sons

By Owen Booth

Preface: We’re teaching our sons about money; about heartbreak, and mountains, and philosophy. We’re teaching them about the big bang and the abominable snowman and what happens when you get struck by lightning. We’re teaching them about the toughness of single mothers, and the importance of having friends who’ve known you longer than you’ve known yourself, and the difference between zombies and vampires.

We’re teaching them about sex, although everyone would be a lot happier if the subject had never come up…

Meet the married Dads, the divorced Dads, the widowed Dads and the gay Dads; the gamblers, the firemen, the bankers, the nurses, the soldiers and the milkmen. They’re trying to guide their sons through the foothills of childhood into the bewildering uplands of adulthood. But it’s hard to know if they’re doing it right.

Or what their sons’ mothers think…

Wise and funny, touching and true, What We’re Teaching Our Sons is for anyone who has ever wondered how to be a grown up.

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