Books · International · Preview

Preview: The Best of Foreign Fiction & Non-fiction in August

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My Absolute Darling | Gabriel Tallent

A brilliant and immersive, all-consuming read about one fourteen-year-old girl’s heart-stopping fight for her own soul.

At 14, Turtle Alveston knows the use of every gun on her wall; that chaos is coming and only the strong will survive it; that her daddy loves her more than anything else in this world. And he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her with him.

She doesn’t know why she feels so different from the other girls at school; why the line between love and pain can be so hard to see; why making a friend may be the bravest and most terrifying thing she has ever done. And what her daddy will do when he finds out …

Sometimes strength is not the same as courage. Sometimes leaving is not the only way to escape. Sometimes surviving isn’t enough.


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Behold The Dreamers | Imbolo Mbue

New York, 2007: a city of dreamers, all jostling for a place on the ladder of success. Jende  Jonga, newly arrived from Cameroon, has just set his foot on the first rung. He is a chauffeur to Clark Edwards, a senior partner at Lehman Brothers – a man too preoccupied to check the paperwork of his latest employee. Jende’s job draws him, his wife Neni and their young son into the privileged orbit of the city’s financial elite. And when Clark’s wife Cindy offers Neni work and takes her into her confidence, the couple begin to believe that the land of opportunity might finally be opening up for them.

But there are troubling cracks in their employers’ facades, and when the deep fault lines running beneath the financial world are exposed, the Edwards’ secrets threaten to spill out into the Jonga’s lives. Faced with the loss of all they have worked for, each couple must decide how far they will go in pursuit of their dreams – and what they are prepared to sacrifice along the way.


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Every Last Lie | Mary Kubica

She always trusted her husband. Until he died.

Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. But when Maisie starts having nightmares, Clara becomes obsessed that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident.

Who wanted her husband dead? And, more importantly, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out the truth – even if it makes her question whether her entire marriage has been a lie…


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Carnivore | Jonathan Lyon

Meet Leander: lover, fighter, liar. He learnt a long time ago that nothing is as intoxicating as blood. But whether it’s his or someone else’s doesn’t matter anymore. There’s a mysterious pain in every muscle of his body – and it’s got so bad that he’ll do anything to escape it.

Up to now, it’s been his secret. But it’s hard to remain invisible when you leave a trail of destruction everywhere you do go. So, when he comes to the attention of one of London’s most infamous criminals, Leander decides to put his appetite for violence to the ultimate test. Let the villain win.

Let the villain win.


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Godsgrave | Jay Kristoff

From the bestselling author, Jay Kristoff, comes the second book in the Nevernight Chronicles

Mia Corvere, destroyer of empires, has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry do not believe she has earned it.     Her position is precarious, and she’s still no closer to exacting revenge for the brutal death of her family. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself. When it is announced that Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself into slavery for a chance to fulfil the promise she made on the day she lost everything.

Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold, secrets are revealed and the body count rises within the collegium walls, Mia will be forced to choose between her loyalties and her revenge.


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Annie Darling | True Love at The Lonely Hearts Bookshop

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good job, four bossy sisters and a needy cat must also have want of her one true love. Isn’t it? 

Verity Love – Jane Austen fangirl and an introvert in a world of extroverts – is perfectly happy on her own (thank you very much), and her fictional boyfriend Peter is very useful for getting her out of unwanted social events. But when a case of mistaken identity forces her to introduce a perfect stranger as her boyfriend, Verity’s life suddenly becomes much more complicated.

Johnny could also use a fictional girlfriend. Against Verity’s better judgement, he persuades her to partner up for a summer season of weddings, big number birthdays and garden parties, with just one promise – not to fall in love with each other…


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The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers | Paul Kennedy

WINNER OF THE WOLFSON HISTORY PRIZE

Paul Kennedy’s international bestseller is a sweeping account of five hundred years of fluctuating economic muscle and military might.

Kennedy’s masterwork begins in the year 1500, at a time of various great centres of power including Minh China, the Ottomans, the rising Mughal state, the nations of Europe. But it was the latter which, through competition, economic growth and better military organisation, came to dominate the globe – until challenged later by Japan, the Soviet Union, and the United States. Now China, boosted by its own economic prowess, rises to the fore. Throughout this brilliant work, Kennedy persuasively demonstrates the interdependence of economic and military power, showing how an imbalance between the two has historically led to spectacular political disaster. Erudite and brilliantly original, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the politics of power.


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Seoul Man | Frank Ahrens

When Frank Ahrens, a middle-aged bachelor and eighteen-year veteran at the       Washington Post, fell in love with a diplomat, his life changed dramatically. Following his new bride to her first appointment in Seoul, South Korea, Frank traded the newsroom for a corporate suite, becoming director of global communications at Hyundai Motors. In a land whose population is ninety-seven percent Korean, he was one of fewer than ten non-Koreans in a company of 5,000 employees.

For the next three years, Frank travelled to auto shows and press conferences around the world, pitching Hyundai to former colleagues while trying to navigate cultural differences at home and at work. While his appreciation for absurdity enabled him to laugh his way through many awkward encounters, his job began to take a toll on his marriage and family. Eventually, he became a vice president—the highest-ranking non-Korean in the history of Hyundai—but at an untenable price.

Filled with unique insights and told in his engaging, humorous voice, Seoul Man sheds light on a culture few Westerns know, and is a delightfully funny and heartwarming adventure for anyone who has ever felt like a fish out of water — all of us.


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Gobi: A Little Dog with a Big Heart | Dion Leonard

The inspirational true story of Gobi, the little dog who captured the hearts of the world, retold in a stunningly illustrated picture book for the youngest of readers.

In 2016, Dion Leonard, an ultramarathon runner, stumbled across a little stray dog while competing in the gruelling 155-mile race across the Gobi Desert. The pup earned the name ‘Gobi’, as she went step for step with Dion, keeping pace with him for nearly 80 miles. What Gobi lacked in size, she made up for in heart. Gobi tells the story of a life changing friendship between one man and a little stray dog with a lot of spirit. Perfect for fans of A Street Cat Named Bob aged three and up.


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Kevin | Rob Biddulph

The glorious new picture book from the bestselling, award-winning author of       Blown Away and GRRRRR!, all about one boy, one Kevin, and one very special friendship…

Sid Gibbons is in trouble again! Time to think fast…

When Sid makes yet another mess, and his mum is at the end of her patience, Sid does what every quick-thinking kid would do – he blames it on his big, furry, vanilla-and-pink friend Kevin! And while it seemed like a good idea at the time, Sid gets an unexpected surprise when he finds Kevin and his world might not be so imaginary after all – and while his friend might be make-believe, his feelings are very real.

Kevin is a beautifully illustrated rhyming tale of friendship, kindness and stepping up, from a rare picture book talent. The perfect story for any child, from age three and up.


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Ramona Blue | Julie Murphy

Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever.        Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family.

Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever.        The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s        friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.


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Editing Emma | Chloe Seager

When sixteen-year-old Emma is ghosted by the love of her life Leon Naylor, she does what any normal girl would do. Emma spends the summer lurking in her bedroom, avoiding all human contact (and the shower), surrounded by the collection of chewit wrappers she saved from packs Leon gave her, back when he actually acknowledged her existence…

But seeing Leon suddenly ‘In a relationship’ on Facebook with the perfect Anna spurs  Emma into action and she embarks on a mission to make positive changes to her life (or ‘edits,’ if you will) and vows to use the Internet for more than obsessively stalking Leon’s activities! Instead, she will use it for good and noble causes like finding someone who will actually be nice to her and recording her findings for the rest of the world to see (i.e. BFF Steph and her mum) on her new ‘Editing Emma’ blog. But Emma soon discovers her ‘habit’ is harder to break than she first thought — turns out she’s not the only one ‘editing’ herself online (thank you Tinder for finding her mom’s profile, age 35, really?) and that life through an Instagram filter isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. But it could be worse, she could have outed her best friend, accidentally chatted up a twelve-year-old boy and revealed to the world why Leon Naylor is worth no girl’s time or virginity… oh no wait, that’s exactly what happened…


(All books are available at all leading booksellers, online and offline.)

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