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Preview: Our Best Foreign Fiction & Non-fiction This Month

Murder On The Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express — Agatha Christie (Film tie-in edition)

‘A brilliantly ingenious story.’ — Dorothy L. Sayers, Daily Herald

‘Ingenuity at its height … the idea is utterly novel, the setting a model of realism, and the characters a versatile, attractive crew.’ — Woman’s Journal

‘A piece of classic workmanship . . . exquisite and wholly satisfying.’ — News Chronicle

‘Need it be said – the little grey cells solve once more the seemingly insoluble. Mrs  Christie makes an improbable tale very real, and keeps her readers enthralled and  guessing to the end.’ — Times Literary Supplement

Agatha Christie’s most famous murder mystery, reissued with a new cover to tie in with the hugely anticipated 2017 film adaptation.

Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside.

Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer — in case he or she decides to strike again.


1

The Bloodprint — Ausma Zehanat Khan

The author of the acclaimed mystery The Unquiet Dead delivers her first fantasy novel—the opening instalment in a thrilling quartet—a tale of religion, oppression, and political intrigue that radiates with heroism,  wonder, and hope.

A dark power known as the Talisman has risen in the land. Born of ignorance and persecution, it is led by a man known only as the One-Eyed Preacher. A superstitious patriarchy, cruel and terrifying, the Talisman suppresses knowledge and subjugates women. And it is growing. But there are those who seek to stop the oppressive spread of the Talisman. A resistance formed of the Companions of Hira – a group of rebels versed in the power of ancient scripture, a magic known as the Claim – believe they have discovered the key to destroying the One-Eyed Preacher and his fervid followers: The Bloodprint.


14

Fresh Complaint — Jeffrey Eugenides

‘Eugenides is a big and a big-hearted talent’ — Jonathan Franzen

‘Eugenides is blessed with the storyteller’s most magical gift, the ability to transform the  mundane into the extraordinary’ — New York Times

‘What was it about complaining that felt so good? You and your fellow sufferer emerging from a thorough session as if from a spa bath, refreshed and tingling?’

The first-ever collection of short stories from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Eugenides presents characters in the midst of personal and national emergencies. We meet Kendall, a failed poet who, envious of other people’s wealth during the real estate bubble, becomes an embezzler; and Mitchell, a lovelorn liberal arts graduate on a search for enlightenment; and Prakrti, a high school student whose wish to escape the strictures of her family leads to a drastic decision that upends the life of a middle-aged academic.

Jeffrey Eugenides’s bestselling novels Middlesex, The Virgin Suicides and The Marriage Plot have shown him to be an astute observer of the crises of adolescence, self-discovery and family love.

These stories, from one of our greatest authors, explore equally rich and intriguing territory. Narratively compelling and beautifully written, Fresh Complaint shows all of Eugenides’s  trademark humour, compassion and complex understanding of what it is to be human.


16

The Book of Swords — Edited by Gardner Dozois

An epic collection of fantasy tales in the grand tradition, including a never-before-published Song of Ice and Fire story by George R.R. Martin and an introduction by Gardner Dozois. 

Fantasy fiction has produced some of the most unforgettable heroes ever conjured onto the page: Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian, Michael Moorcock’s Elric of  Melniboné, Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Classic characters like these made sword and sorcery a cornerstone of fantasy fiction, and an inspiration for a new generation of writers, spinning their own tales of magical adventure. Now, in The Book of Swords, acclaimed editor and bestselling author Gardner Dozois presents an anthology of sixteen original epic stories by a stellar cast of modern masters, including George R.R. Martin, Robin Hobb, Garth Nix, Ken Liu, Daniel Abraham, Scott Lynch, Cecelia Holland, Ellen Kushner, and more on journeys into the outer realms of dark enchantment and intrepid adventure, featuring a stunning assortment of fearless swordsmen and warrior women who face down danger and death at every turn with courage, cunning, and cold steel.


19

Why Mummy Drinks: The Diary of An Exhausted Mum — Gill Sims 

A brilliant novel from Gill Sims, the author of the online sensation Peter and Jane.

It is Mummy’s 39th birthday. She is staring down the barrel of a future of people asking if  she wants to come to their advanced yoga classes, and polite book clubs where everyone claims to be tiddly after a glass of Pinot Grigio and says things like ‘Oooh gosh, are you  having another glass?’ But Mummy does not want to go quietly into that good night of women with sensible haircuts who ‘live for their children’ and stand in the playground trying to trump each other with their offspring’s extracurricular activities and achievements and boasting about their latest holidays. Instead, she clutches a large glass of wine, muttering ‘FML’ over and over again. Until she remembers the gem of an idea she’s had …


17

The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World — Maya Jasanoff

‘Enlightening, compassionate, superb’ — John Le Carré

An ambitious new history of the world at the dawn of the twentieth century  viewed through the lens of Conrad’s life and fiction, perfect for readers of Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Road; William Dalrymple’s White Mughals; Simon Sebag Montefiore’s The Romanovs 

Immigration, terrorism, the dangers of nationalism, the promise and peril of technological innovation: these forces shaped the life and work of Joseph Conrad at the dawn of the twentieth century. As Maya Jasanoff argues, Joseph Conrad described the beginnings of globalization as we recognize it today. As an immigrant from Poland to England, and in travels from Malaysia to the Congo to the Caribbean, Conrad traced an interconnected world and described it in a literary oeuvre of prophetic power. His life and work offer a  history of globalization from the inside out, and powerfully reflect the aspirations and the challenges of the modern world.

Through an expert blend of history, biography, literary criticism, and travelogue, Maya  Jasanoff traces the strands of Conrad’s experiences and the stories of his four greatest works: The Secret Agent, Lord Jim, Heart of Darkness, and Nostromo. This spell-binding narrative casts new light on his age and offers fresh insight into our own. Genre-bending,  intellectually thrilling, and deeply humane, The Dawn Watch embarks on a bold expedition to the dark heart of Conrad and our global world.


 

Blue All Rise

Blue: All Rise — Antony Costa, Duncan James, Lee Ryan and Simon Webbe, With Caroline Frost

After three No.1 platinum-selling albums, 16 million records, and two Brit Awards to their name . . .

For the first time, more than fifteen years after four boys from London were first thrown together to form what would go on to become one of the most successful and infamous groups of the boyband era, Lee, Antony, Duncan and Simon tell their full, no-holds-barred story in their own inimitable words.

With explosive new reveals, never-before-seen photos, and  all the latest updates – including Simon’s engagement and his struggle with depression, Lee’s brush with cancer, Duncan’s devastation at the passing away of his best friend, original It Girl Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, and how Antony’s adapting to fatherhood all over again, this is the story every 2000s teen has been waiting for, from four lads who’ve come out the other side older, wiser and closer than ever.


18

The Treatment — C.L. Taylor

Cecelia Ahern’s Flawed meets Never Let Me Go in the pulse-pounding YA thriller from the Top Ten Sunday Times bestselling author of The Escape.

‘You have to help me. We’re not being reformed. We’re being brainwashed.’

All sixteen-year-old Drew Finch wants is to be left alone. She’s not interested in spending time with her mum and stepdad and when her disruptive fifteen-year-old brother Mason is expelled from school for the third time and sent to a residential reform academy she’s  almost relieved. Everything changes when she’s followed home from school by the mysterious Dr Cobey,  who claims to have a message from Mason. There is something sinister about the ‘treatment’ he is undergoing. The school is changing people.  Determined to help her brother, Drew must infiltrate the Academy and unearth its deepest, darkest secrets. Before it’s too late.


What Does This Button Do

What Does This Button Do — Bruce Dickinson

A long-awaited memoir from the larger-than-life, multifaceted lead vocalist of  Iron Maiden, one of the most successful, influential and enduring rock bands ever.

Pioneers of Britain’s nascent Rock & Metal scene back in the late 1970s, Iron Maiden smashed its way to the top, thanks in no small part to the high-octane performances,  operatic singing style, and stage presence of its second, but twice-longest-serving, lead singer, Bruce Dickinson. As Iron Maiden’s frontman – first from 1981 to 1993, and then from 1999 to the present – Dickinson has been, and remains, a man of legend. But OTT frontman is just one of the many hats Bruce wears.

In addition to being one of the world’s most storied and well-respected singers and songwriters, he is an airline captain, aviation entrepreneur, motivational speaker, beer brewer, novelist, radio presenter, and film scriptwriter. He has also competed as a world-class level fencer.

Often credited as a genuine polymath, Bruce, in his own words (and handwritten script in the first instance!), sets forth many personal observations guaranteed to inspire curious souls and hard-core fans alike. Dickinson turns his unbridled creativity, passion, and anarchic humour to reveal some fascinating stories from his life, including his thirty years with Maiden, his solo career, his childhood within the eccentric British school system, his early bands and his recent battle with cancer. Bold, honest, intelligent and very funny, What Does This Button Do? is an up-close look inside the life, heart, and mind of one of the most unique and interesting men in the world; a true icon of rock.


Cat Wisdom

Cat Wisdom: 60 Great Lessons You Can Learn From a Cat — Neil Somerville

Many a domestic cat leads a good life. Pampered, well-fed and often the centre of much attention, the cat is skilful in getting its own way. In this fascinating and fun book, you can discover many of the cats’ secrets, which you too can use to great effect. Discover how to make the most of the chances to create a good impression, be more persuasive, make better use of strengths as well as get more pleasure out of your day . . . and life. 60 entries with bite-sized explanations accompanied by simple yet evocative line illustration make this the ideal gift.


13

Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (to Everyone) — Kamal Al-Solaylee

In Brown, Kamal Al-Solaylee explores the in-between space that brown people occupy in today’s world: on the cusp of whiteness and the edge of blackness. It proposes a cohesive racial identity and politics for the millions of people from the Global South and provides a timely context for the frictions and anxieties around immigration and multiculturalism that have led to the rise of populist movements in Europe and the election of Donald Trump. A daring and politically resonant work that challenges our assumptions about race, immigration and globalism and recounts the heartbreaking stories of the people caught in the middle.


12

Brave New Weed: Adventures into the Uncharted World of Cannabis — Joe Dolce

Brave New Weed, a loving rethink of all things marijuana, is likely to be a trusted
hitchhiker’s guide to this new universe.’—New York Times Book Review

Joe Dolce adventures into the fascinating ‘brave new world’ of cannabis, tracing its history and possible future as he investigates the social, medical, legal, and cultural ramifications of this surprisingly versatile plant. His travels take him on a tour of gardens and grow rooms, doctors’ offices and dispensaries, and hospitals and homemade hash-making labs, as he explores the groundbreaking developments sparked by growing cultural acceptance. Along the way, he meets world-class researchers, entrepreneurs, historians, and cultural avatars who help him paint a clear-eyed portrait of the power of weed. In dispatches from Amsterdam, Israel, California, Colorado, and more, Dolce skillfully unfolds the odd history, emerging science, and massive economic potential behind this miraculous plant.

 

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