What we are reading in June

As part of the Penguin team we spend the majority of our day talking about books, and the rest of it reading them.

Here are five of our favourite brand new books out this month. 

The Death of Mrs Westaway

Ruth Ware

We may be heading into the summer months but it rarely stops me indulging in something a little dark and chilling. The Death of Mrs Westaway is layer upon layer of secrets, deception and mystery. Harriet 'Hal' Westaway is a young girl quite alone in the world until she receives a letter from a solicitor stating she has been left an inheritance in her grandmother's will. Hal knows this is a case of mistaken identify but in desperation she boards a train to the family's country estate in Cornwall, a journey that will change her life.

I thought I had the story sussed from quite early in the book but how wrong I was. Do not underestimate the power of Ruth Ware - she will have you guessing until the last.

Sarah McKenna

Elizabeth and her German Garden

Elizabeth von Arnim

Elizabeth and her German Garden is a delightful little novel, perfect for reading while in your own garden, or out on a sunny summer day. Through her diary entries we read about Elizabeth arriving at a grand, but run-down, house and discovering her freedom through the reinvigorating powers of gardening (though she’s not always very successful!). We also read about her husband (referred to as The Man of Wrath), her children (referred to as the April baby, May baby etc) and how tiresome house guests can be when all she wants to do is spend time amongst the flora in her garden. This semi-autobiographical novel is truly charming and it’s not hard to see why it was a success when it was first published in the late 1800s and has remained in print since.

Indira Birnie


Michael Ondaatje

Warlight is crammed with mystery. It tells of an unexpected abandonment of a mother and father, of secrets buried deep in archives, of traces found in maps and river ways and of the flickering half truths of childhood memories. Set in London in 1945, Ondaatje conjures up a shape-shifting enigmatic city, peopled with morally ambivalent characters who flit in and out of the long, dark shadows of an almost over war. Vivid and beguiling, from the author of The English Patient.

Claire Wilshaw

10 Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now

Jaron Lanier

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and at a time when many people are questioning their online presences, Ten Arguments makes a convincing case for why deleting our profiles is best for our overall wellbeing. With thought provoking headlines each chapter is written in a digestible and fun way while making you think 'wow I really didn't know that!' It has even prompted me to remove some access to my social media accounts. So if you are wondering if Facebook is giving you true happiness, then this is the book for you. 

Alice Palmer-Brown


Frank Gardner

Ultimatum is without a doubt one of the most tense books I’ve ever read. It has everything you need from a political thriller - undercover operations, secret military bases, double agents, and a pretty serious ticking clock situation. This heart-stopping adventure feels like a dangerous cocktail of Argo, Homeland and Spooks, and it will grip you - and often horrify you - from beginning to end.

Zainab Juma

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