The Best Foreign Fiction & Non-fiction We Published in March

Bring Me Back

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

A young British couple is driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she’s not inside. No one ever sees her again.

Ten years later he’s engaged to be married; he’s happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She’s turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his wife is the sister of his missing first love.

As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?


City of Brass

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say ‘be careful what you wish for…’


Soon

Soon: An Overdue History of Procrastination, from Leonardo and Darwin to You and Me by Andrew Santella

Like so many of us, including most of America’s workforce, and nearly two-thirds of all university students, Andrew Santella procrastinates. Concerned about his habit, but not quite ready to give it up, he set out to learn all he could about the human tendency to delay. He studied history’s greatest procrastinators to gain insights into human behavior, and also, he writes, to kill time, ‘research being the best way to avoid real work’.

He talked with psychologists, philosophers, and priests. He visited New Orleans’ French Quarter, home to a shrine to the patron saint of procrastinators. And at the home of Charles Darwin outside London, he learned why the great naturalist delayed writing his masterwork for more than two decades.


Mind Time

Mind Time: How ten mindful minutes can enhance your work, health and happiness by Michael Chaskalson and Dr Megan Reitz

It takes just ten minutes a day to train your mind – you will feel more awake, more alive and more creative. Using these carefully researched exercises you can increase your attention span, realize your potential and use your mind to its full capacity. Yes, just ten … short … minutes.

Nearly half of our waking hours are spent thinking about something other than what we are doing. We are only aware of a tiny fraction of what we are thinking, feeling and sensing – so we’re barely conscious of how and why we behave the way we do. This book sets out to help you get your mind out of the ‘automatic’ mode more often.


Other Minds

In Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent LifePeter Godfrey-Smith, a distinguished philosopher of science and a skilled scuba diver, tells a bold new story of how nature became aware of itself – a story that largely occurs in the ocean, where animals first appeared.

Tracking the mind’s fitful development from unruly clumps of seaborne cells to the first evolved nervous systems in ancient relatives of jellyfish, he explores the incredible evolutionary journey of the cephalopods, which began as inconspicuous molluscs who would later abandon their shells to rise above the ocean floor, searching for prey and acquiring the greater intelligence needed to do so – a journey completely independent from the route that mammals and birds would later take.


Sky at Our Meet

The Sky at Our Feet by Nadia Hashimi

In the tradition of Rebecca Stead and Thanhha Lai, this adventurous and emotionally charged novel by New York Times bestselling author Nadia Hashimi shows the fierce love of a family determined not to be torn apart.

Jason has just learned that his Afghan mother has been living illegally in the United States since his father was killed in Afghanistan. Although Jason was born in the US, it’s hard to feel American now when he’s terrified that his mother will be discovered — and that they will be separated.

When he sees his mother being escorted from her workplace by two officers, Jason feels completely alone. He boards a train with the hope of finding his aunt in New York City, but as soon as he arrives in Penn Station, the bustling city makes him wonder if he’s overestimated what he can do.

After an accident lands him in the hospital, Jason finds an unlikely ally in a fellow patient. Max, a whip-smart girl who wants nothing more than to explore the world on her own terms, joins Jason in planning a daring escape out of the hospital and into the skyscraper jungle — even though they both know that no matter how big New York City is, they won’t be able to run forever.


Flamingo Boy

Flamingo Boy by Michael Morpurgo

A stunning new classic from master storyteller Michael Morpurgo for readers of 9+, in the vein of Private Peaceful and The Butterfly Lion.

This is a landmark new novel from the nation’s favourite storyteller, set in the unique landscape of the Camargue in the South of France during WW2. There, a young autistic boy lives on his parents’ farm among the salt flats, and the flamingos that live there. There are lots of things he doesn’t understand: but he does know how to heal animals. He loves routine, and music too: and every week he goes to market with his mother, to ride his special horse on the town carousel.

But then the Germans come, with their guns, and take the town. A soldier shoots a flamingo from the sky, and it falls to earth terribly injured. And even worse is to come: the carousel is damaged, the horses broken. For this vulnerable boy, everything is falling apart.


Dying for a Paycheck

Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance —  and What We Can Do About It by Jeffrey Pfeffer

In Dying for a Paycheck, Jeffrey Pfeffer exposes the infuriating truth about modern work life: even as organizations allow management practices that literally sicken and sometimes kill their employees, those policies do not enhance productivity or the bottom line. Instead, they diminish employee engagement, increase turnover, reduce job performance and drive up health costs. Exploring a range of important topics, including layoffs, health insurance, work-family conflict, autonomy, and why people remain in toxic environments, Pfeffer offers guidance and practical solutions all of us — employees, employers, and the government — can use to enhance workplace wellbeing.

Dying for a Paycheck is a clarion call for a social movement focused on human sustainability. Pfeffer makes clear that the environment we work in is just as important as the one we live in, and with this urgent book, he opens our eyes and shows how we can make our workplaces healthier and better.


Edge

Edge: Leadership Secrets from Football’s Top Thinkers by Ben Lyttleton

‘I devoured this. Lyttleton’s journey to the fringes of sporting thought, greedily absorbing innovations as he goes, translates into a pacy, thought-provoking work that reveals just how nuanced sporting – and indeed business – success is in the modern world.’ Duncan Craig, The Sunday Times

What is talent? How do you get the best out of yourself? What are the secrets of leadership?

In Edge, Ben Lyttleton gets unprecedented access to some of the world’s top football clubs to discover their innovative methods for developing talent – and reveals how we can use them in our everyday lives. Elite teams now look for an edge by improving the intangible skills of their players ‘above the shoulder’. Liverpool’s approach to talent will make you more creative. Chelsea’s culture will improve your resilience. Didier Deschamps will improve your leadership skills. Xavi Hernandez will help you make better decisions. But how? Football is the most hot-housed, intense, financially profitable talent factory on the planet. It’s time we woke up to the lessons it can provide.


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