Reading lists

Must-reads of 2019: the best new books of the year

Voyage into the planet's past and future with Robert Macfarlane, return to Gilead in Margaret Atwood's explosive follow-up to The Handmaid's Tale and celebrate the 70th anniversary of the dystopian classic Nineteen Eighty-Four. These are the books and literary moments to look out for in 2019. 


December book releases and events

Fiction books

All the Rage by Cara Hunter (26 Dec). Hunter’s DI Adam Fawley crime series has received widespread acclaim for allowing a unique insight into police investigations. In her latest instalment, a teenage girl is found wandering the outskirts of Oxford, reporting being grabbed off the street, driven to an isolated location and assaulted. Yet she refuses to press charges. Once again, Fawley must step up to investigate and unravel the mystery in this pacey thriller.

Secret Service by Tom Bradby (26 Dec). As well as being a screenwriter, journalist, and broadcaster, Tom Bradby has authored six previous novels. Perhaps it’s his job as current Anchor of ITV’s News at Ten that inspires him to pen gritty crime-thrillers. In his latest, the world is on the brink of crisis and secret MI6 officer Kate Henderson must oust a Russian mole who threatens to replace the British Prime Minister.

Non-fiction books

Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg (31 Dec). Silicon Valley legend BJ Fogg is a pioneering research psychologist and founder of the iconic Behaviour Design Lab at Stanford. Fogg shows us how to change our lives for the better, one tiny habit at a time. Based on twenty years of research and his experience coaching over 40,000 people, it cracks the code of habit formation.

November book releases and events

Fiction books

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (5 Nov).  After seven years, Morgenstern’s follow-up to The Night Circus is here. Protagonist Zachary finds a strange old book and clues that lead a subterranean library, which leads to an adventure through a series of fantastical worlds. Inspired by RPG games, keen-eyed readers will notice references to video games SkyrimBioshock and Dragon Age.

Non-fiction books

The Man in the Red Coat by Julian Barnes (7 Nov). Take a tour through Belle Epoque Paris in 1885, where the lives of three different men intertwine: one a Count, one a Prince and one a mysterious commoner, who has been the subject of a famous painting. Forensically researched, The Man in the Red Coat tells a compelling story of relations between France and Britain in the 19th century.

Don’t Be Evil by Rana Foroohar (7 Nov). Today, 80% of corporate wealth is now held by 10% of companies – the digital titans of the world including Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple. In Don't Be Evil, Financial Times columnist Rana Foroohar documents how Big Tech became the new Wall Street, exposing the threat to our democracies, our economies, and ourselves.

A Short Philosophy of Birds by Philippe J. Dubois & Elise Rousseau (7 Nov). The greatest wisdom comes from the smallest creatures. Through twenty-two little lessons of wisdom inspired by how birds live, this charming French book will help you understand these fantastical creatures.

October book releases and events

Philip Pullman, author of The Secret Commonwealth
Philip Pullman, author of The Secret Commonwealth

Fiction books

The Secret Commonwealth: The Book of Dust Two by Philip Pullman (3 Oct). Set 20 years after La Belle Sauvage, the next The Book of Dust book sees Lyra and Pantalaimon grown-up and trying to navigate their adult relationship amidst an intrepid adventure. Pulled into a dangerous faction and a lost city full of daemons, they again begin to hear whispers of the mysterious Dust…

Grand Union by Zadie Smith (10 Oct). Grand Union is the first-ever collection of stories from the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author of Swing Time, White Teeth and NW. Included are ten completely new stories alongside some of her best-loved pieces from the New Yorker and elsewhere. In this rich and varied collection of fiction, we move across genres and perspectives, from the historic to the vividly current to the slyly dystopian. A collection not to miss.

Agent Running in the Field by John le Carré (17 Oct). Master of the espionage novel, John le Carré returns this autumn. The story follows Nat, a veteran of Britain’s Secret Intelligence, but with the growing threat from Moscow, he is called for one last job. It promises to be a chilling portrait of our time.

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella (17 Oct). It may be a tad early for festivities but it’s never too early to start planning your Christmas shopping list for those tricky-to-buy-for relatives. Kinsella returns with her much-loved Shopaholic series in a laugh-out-loud Christmas-themed novel that takes a trip into the usual family calamities of the season.

Blue Moon by Lee Child (29 Oct). It is said one of Lee Child’s novels featuring hero Jack Reacher is sold somewhere in the world every nine seconds. EVERY. NINE. SECONDS. Here, the world's leading thriller writer returns with another white-knuckle read, in the 24th book in this Bond-like series.


Non-fiction books

The Body by Bill Bryson (3 Oct). Bill Bryson turns his attention inwards to explore the human body. Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories The Body: A Guide for Occupants is an attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological makeup.

Straight Outta Crawley by Romesh Ranganathan (3 Oct). Retired maths teacher turned comedian Ranganathan tells his origin story in his hilarious and irreverent autobiography. From the delights of Sri Lankan hospitality to his struggles as a child, we learn about his adolescent flirtation with a rap career and his attempts to make it in comedy.

How to Have Feminist Sex by Flo Perry (3 Oct). We talk about feminism in the workplace and dating after #MeToo, but when it comes to our sex lives, few of us are free of our own patriarchal conditioning and niggling fears. From faking it to consent, stress to kink, Flo Perry is on a mission to get more people talking openly about what they do and don't want from every romantic encounter.

Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald (3 Oct). In 2015 Helen Macdonald weaved magic with her award-winning nature book H is for Hawk, shining a light on the world of birds. Her newest book, Vesper Flights, is a collection of transcendent essays charting our relationship with wildlife - from wild boar to mushroom hunting, to migraines and bird watching. 

We Are The Weather by Jonathan Safran Foer (10 Oct). Eating Animals had a profound effect on the literary world, spurning many readers to give up meat-eating then and there. Acclaimed author Safran Foer is back, this time turning the lens on the climate crisis and what we can do about it. Told in his signature witty prose, it is an urgent call-to-arms of what we all must do to save the Earth from entering a cataclysmic state.

Children's books

The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch by Tom Fletcher (3 Oct). It’s not just elves who help Santa. Every Christmas Eve, the mysterious Winter Witch freezes time to allow him to deliver his presents around the world. However, when the delicate balance of her powers is threatened, William Trundle and the Christmasaurus must work together in the North Pole to protect it, and save Christmas!

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o and Vashti Harrison (Illustrator) (15 Oct). From Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o comes a picturebook about colourism and self-esteem. Sulwe is a girl with skin darker than everyone in her family, and everyone at school. She wishes nothing more than to blend in and be 'beautiful', like the others.  Illustrated by Vashti Harrison, Nyong'o has created a story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty.

Events and anniversaries

13th: Roald Dahl Day

September book releases and events

Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood, author of The Testaments. Photo: Liam Sharp

Fiction books

Great Goddesses by Nikita Gill (5 Sept). Artist and writer Nikita Gill takes inspiration from the greatest goddesses of Greek mythology to provide a timely dose of feminist inspiration for modern women. From Medusa to Circe, these are the mothers, warriors, creators, survivors and destroyers that still fascinate us today. 

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (10 Sept). Margaret Atwood’s sequel to the cult classic The Handmaid’s Tale picks up the story 15 years after Offred’s final scene. Although most of the plot’s details are secret, Atwood revealed ‘everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.’

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett (19 Sept). In an isolated village, girls are banished at 16 to the northern forest to brave the wilderness  - and each other - for a year. They must rid themselves of their dangerous magic before returning ‘purified’ and ready to marry. It’s The Handmaid's Tale meets Lord of the Flies - a feminist dystopia about a young woman trapped in an oppressive society, fighting to take control of her own life.

Non-fiction books

The School of Life by Alain de Botton (5 Sept). Exploring topics from enduring failure to growing more serene and resilient, bestselling author Alain de Botton brings together ten years of essential and transformative research on emotional intelligence in The School of Life, with one simple aim: to equip people with the tools to survive and thrive in the modern world.

A Year At The Circus by Jon Sopel (5 Sept). BBC North America Editor Jon Sopel takes you inside Trump’s West Wing to explore the impact of his presidency. Each chapter starts inside a famous Washington room, uncovering its history and its new resonance in the Trump era.

Where the Wild Cooks Go by Cerys Matthews (5 Sept). In her first cookbook, Cerys Matthews dishes up her favourite tastes and sounds from around the globe, mixing them in with memories of her travels, stories and poems from each country and the odd killer cocktail.

Childhood, Youth and the Dependency by Tove Ditlevsen (5 Sept). Translated into English as The Copenhagen Trilogy, this is Tove Ditlvesen’s remarkable autobiographical story: from the tragedies of girlhood and adolescence, through to the struggles of love affairs and a crippling opioid addiction.

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell (10 Sept). The highly anticipated new book from Malcolm Gladwell. Through a series of encounters and misunderstandings - from history, psychology and infamous legal cases - Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual adventure to explore why we so often get other people so wrong.

On Fire by Naomi Klein (17 Sept). For more than twenty years Naomi Klein's books have defined our era, chronicling the exploitation of people and the planet and demanding justice. On Fire gathers her impassioned writing from the frontline of climate breakdown, alongside brand-new material, to make the critical case for a Global Green New Deal.

The Unmumsy Mum A-Z by The Unmumsy Mum (19 Sept). Sarah Turner, aka The Unmumsy Mum, provides parents with another boost of self-esteem and reassurance that against the odds, we are doing a great job, with an A-Z of candid and hilarious tales from the front-line of parenthood.

Outgrowing God by Richard Dawkins (19 Sept). Written for a new generation, science writer and author of The God Delusion explains why we shouldn’t believe in God while addressing some of the most profound questions human beings face. As usual, Dawkins combines science, philosophy and comparative religion to interrogate the hypocrisies of religion.

Now We Have Your Attention by Jack Shenker (19 Sept). Although most of us may feel an ongoing disillusionment with politics, this book shines a spotlight on the groups and individuals fighting to make a difference. From the communities hollowed out by austerity to the grassroots movements tackling the climate crisis, this is the story of the people’s revolution for a better future.

The Europeans by Orlando Figes (19 Sept). A richly enthralling, panoramic cultural history of nineteenth-century Europe, told through the intertwined lives of three remarkable people: a great singer, Pauline Viardot, a great writer, Ivan Turgenev, and a great connoisseur, Pauline's husband Louis.

The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger (23 Sept). The CEO of Disney and one of Time’s most influential people of 2019 shares the lessons he’s learned while leading its 200,000 employees, exploring the principles that are necessary for true leadership.

‘Til Wrong Feels Right by Iggy Pop (26 Sept). Widely acknowledged as ‘The Godfather of Punk’, Iggy Pop's musical career has spanned five decades and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. This collection of lyrics, illustrations and original photographs alongside Iggy’s reflections will be the perfect book for fans of his genre-defining music.

Up In The Attic by Pam Ayres (26 Sept). Pam’s new collection of poetry is side-splittingly funny, while also being so reflective and profound that it often moves whole audiences to tears. With the same magic that has enchanted her fans for more than four decades, the writer, broadcaster, and entertainer’s latest collection is essential British humour at its best.

Children's books

Hey Grandude by Paul McCartney (5 Sept). Hey Grandude is an action-packed picturebook adventure celebrating the fun grandparents and grandkids can get up to. Meet Grandude - a super-cool, intrepid-explorer grandfather with some amazing tricks up his sleeve... it's the perfect bedtime story for little explorers.

The Animals Grimm: A Treasury of Tales by Kevin Crossley-Holland & Susan Varley (5 Sept). A collection of 11 Grimm fairy tales reimagined with a whole host of animal characters from the pen of award-winning author Kevin Crossley-Holland and beautifully illustrated by Susan Varley. The perfect book for introducing these incredible stories to little ones.

Events and anniversaries

August book releases and events

Ruth Ware
Ruth Ware, author of The Turn of the Key

Fiction books

The Last by Hanna Jameson (1 Aug). The Last is a new twist on traditional dystopian-apocalyptic drama, crossed with a pacey psychological thriller. In a world destroyed by nuclear war, 19 survivors wait out the destruction in a Swiss hotel. But when one of their party is discovered murdered, the group must look to their own to find who the killer is.

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware (8 Aug). An irresistible new psychological thriller from the author of The Woman in Cabin 10 and The Death of Mrs Westaway.

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (8 Aug). A beautiful, haunting and provocative fable about the power of memory and the trauma of loss from one of Japan’s greatest writers. 

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane (8 Aug). Mary Beth Keane toys with both time and perspective in her relationship-driven drama set in upstate New York, in a suburban world where two families' lives intertwine. Focusing on personal trauma, Ask Again, Yes is already a New York Times Bestseller.

The Warehouse by Rob Hart (15 Aug). In the near-distant future, massive retailer Cloud holds sway over all aspects of life. It is a company which likes to keep its secrets - and it guards them well. Now two unlikely allies must infiltrate the warehouse and take on the might of the machine – and win. To beat the system, you have be inside it...

The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy (29 Aug). Author of Hot Milk and twice Man Booker-shortlisted Deborah Levy returns with a new novel that oscillates between time zones and viewpoints while playing with the impact of memory.

Quichotte by Salman Rushdie (29 Aug). Booker Prize-winning Salman Rushdie has created a homage to Don Quixote in a reinvigorated version of the age-old tale of the travelling salesman. Inspired by Miguel de Cervantes' classic work, this is a tragicomic novel that dances with the eternal human quest for love.

Non-fiction books

What Am I Doing With My Life? by Stephen Law (8 Aug). Responding to the biggest, existential questions asked online and using the wisdom of Plato, Kant, Kierkegaard and other philosophical greats; philosopher, academic, and all-round polymath, Stephen Law, undertakes the challenge and offers answers to our modern-day concerns.

East by Meera Sodha (8 Aug). The Guardian’s very own vegan columnist brings 120 vegan and vegetarian recipes to life, made with accessible British ingredients and a zesty Eastern flavour. From quick currys to salted brownies, this cookbook will help you lessen your carbon footprint and go green(er), without scrimping on the flavour.

How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (15 Aug). Founding director of the Antiracism Research and Policy Center, Ibram X. Kendi is a crucial voice in the struggle for racial justice. He shows that when it comes to racism, neutrality is not an option and helps us recognise that everyone is, at times, complicit in racism whether they realise it or not.

This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto by Suketu Mehta (22 Aug). NYU Professor of Journalism Mehta draws on his family’s personal experiences of immigration to present an impassioned defence in a time where anti-immigration rhetoric is at an all-time high. Laced with the untold stories of ordinary people, he cuts through the fake news to detail a compelling argument of the unsung global benefits of migration. 

Plunder of the Commons: A Manifesto for Sharing Public Wealth by Guy Standing (28 Aug). Economist Guy Standing argues that austerity and neoliberal policies have reduced the UK’s shared wealth, with our assets being sold and privatised in ‘state-approved exploitation’. He outlines a bold solution that will reduce inequality and ease the current national political anxiety.

Life of the Party by Olivia Gatwood (29 Aug). A multi-faceted collection of odes, anecdotes, sonnets and prose in which poet Olivia Gatwood weaves together the trials and triumphs of growing up and explores the many ways that fear and violence can be internalised in a woman's psyche.

Children's books

Top Marks for Murder by Robin Stevens (8 Aug). Dynamic detective duo Daisy and Hazel return to Deepdean where everyone is preparing for the school’s 50th Anniversary event. While the festivities are in full swing, the girls witness a shocking crime and have to put their super-sleuthing skills to the test, once again.

A Wild Child’s Guide to Endangered Animals by Millie Marotta (29 Aug). What do the ingenious sea otter, the incredible shrinking reindeer, and the tree-dwelling baby dragon have in common? They are all at risk of disappearing from our world forever. Filled with beautiful beasts, glorious illustrations, facts and tales, this picture-led book will make you fall in love with the animal kingdom.

July book releases and events

Malorie Blackman
Malorie Blackman, author of Crossfire

Fiction books

Middle England by Jonathan Coe (4 Jul). Coe’s well-humoured satire documents a rapidly changing country grappling with xenophobia and what happens when cracks begin to appear. Yes, did we hear you say Brexit?

Supper Club by Lara Williams (4 Jul). Touted as Fleabag meets Nora Ephron’s pioneering memoir Heartburn, William tells an incisive story of female dissatisfaction in the modern-day and a hunger that cannot be satiated. 29-year-old Roberta is sick of bad men and bad sex, and so she invents the Supper Club, a secret society for hungry women. She is seeking the simple answer: if you feed a hungry woman, what will she turn into?

The End by Karl Ove Knausgaard (4 Jul). The final book in the enthralling My Struggle series and well worth the wait. Grappling with literary fame and struggling to balance his desire for writer’s solitude with his family duties, Karl Ove ensnares us again with this honest and impassioned recount, fittingly titled The End.

Knife by Jo Nesbo (11 Jul). Following the dramatic conclusion of number one bestseller The Thirst, Knife sees Harry Hole waking up with a ferocious hangover, his hands and clothes covered in blood. Not only is Harry about to come face to face with an old, deadly foe, but with his darkest personal challenge yet.

Expectation by Anna Hope (11 Jul). Compared to Sally Rooney’s Normal People, this is a heartbreaking novel about finding your way as a mother, daughter, wife, or even a rebel. Focusing on three young women living buzzy East London lives, it asks the question: what does it take to lead a meaningful life?

Target: Alex Cross by James Patterson (11 Jul, PB). A series of assassinations leaves the country in turmoil, and Alex Cross faces his biggest challenge yet in the latest instalment to the bestselling series by James Patterson.

The Vanishing Hours by Barney Norris (18 Jul). At a hotel bar in a quiet English town, two strangers meet by chance and share their stories. Hers is of an inconspicuous life, shaken by heartbreak and scattered with unfulfilled dreams. His is a dizzying tale of an unending quest for someone he lost in his youth. From the bestselling author of Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain, playwright Barney Norris creates a novel about love and abandonment.

Crossfire by Malorie Blackman (29 Jul). Perfect for fans of The Handmaid's Tale and The PowerCrossfire is the incredible new novel in iconic author Malorie Blackman's ground-breaking Noughts & Crosses series, with an incredible 1.7 million copies sold.

Non-fiction books

Last Witnesses by Svetlana Alexievich (2 Jul). Extraordinary stories about what it was like to be a Soviet child during the upheaval and horror of the Second World War, from Nobel Laureate, and author of Chernobyl Prayer, Svetlana Alexievich.

Novacene by James Lovelock (4 Jul). How far will AI have advanced three centuries from now? Discover an astounding new theory about the future of life on Earth in which author Lovelock paints the picture of a fascinating new era - the Novacene - taking place in 300 years time.

Battle Scars by Jason Fox (11 Jul). An unflinchingly honest account of Special Forces soldiering: a chronicle of operational bravery, from a career as an elite operator to the hard reality of complex PTSD.

Skint Estate by Cash Carraway (11 Jul). A hard-hitting debut memoir about impoverishment, loneliness and violence – set against a grim landscape of sink estates, police cells, refuges and peepshows. Delving into family estrangement, mental illness, alcoholism and domestic violence in working-class Britain today. 

Expedition by Steve Backshall (18 Jul). Steve Backshall offers an unflinching account of his adventures into uncharted territories around the globe, in search of world firsts. Accompanying a major 10-part series on BBC and Dave, Expedition is a journey into the unknown.

The Fox by Frederick Forsyth (25 Jul). Former RAF pilot and investigative journalist Frederick Forsyth takes a deepdive into current political conflicts which threaten the world. In his latest dramatic thriller, a 17-year-old boy with an incredible mind becomes a more valuable, and dangerous, asset than any modern weaponry.

Children’s books

The Super Cute Book of Kawaii by Marceline Smith (4 Jul). This book includes ten easy how-to projects to bring kawaii into your life including how to make a cosy kawaii home; playful, confidence-boosting styling and beauty tips; and recipes that will make your smile.

Swarm of Bees by Lemony Snicket (4 Jul). The bestselling children’s author returns with a cautionary tale of a mischievous boy who sets a swarm of bees lose on a town. Remember, it can feel good to be angry, but it can feel better to stop!

Clem and Crab by Fiona Lumbers (4 Jul). Rallying younger readers to be more aware of taking actions to save the environment, Clem and Crab tells the story of a young girl who finds, and rescues, a friendly crab stuck in a plastic bag. Through beautiful illustrations, it teaches an important lesson to little readers of how important it is to recycle and take care of the Earth.

Ten Minutes to Bed: Little Mermaid by Rhiannon Fielding (11 Jul). Do you have a little mermaid who would do anything rather than sleep? This is the perfect bedtime tale for younger readers who find nodding off difficult.

Dog Diaries: Mission Impawsible by Steven Butler, James Patterson & Richard Watson (Illustrator) (11 Jul). Join pooch Junior as he makes his way to Hollywood with his best mutt-mates in the hope of being talent-spotted. However, it doesn’t quite go to plan and his trip takes an unexpected turn for the worst - yikes! Young readers will love this laugh-out-loud canine caper.

Events and anniversaries

3rd: The Very Hungry Caterpillar was first published on this day in 1969

8th: The 70th anniversary of Nineteen-Eighty Four

12th: Remembrance of Anne Frank on her 90th birthday

June book releases and events

Clare Balding
Clare Balding, author of The Racehorse Who Learned to Dance

Fiction books

Big Sky by Kate Atkinson (18 Jun). Private investigator and former soldier Jackson Brodie returns in another literary crime novel, with a dark, sinister secret at its heart.

The Whisper Man by Alex North (13 Jun). The terrifying debut crime novel from Alex North, this psychological thriller follows a grieving father and son who are placed in mortal danger when an old serial killer appears to strike again in the sleepy village of Featherbank – decades after he was put behind bars.

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (20 Jun). Written as a letter from a son to his illiterate mother, Ocean Vuong’s debut novel explores a Vietnamese family’s history. The protagonist of the book, Little Dog, writes about race, class, masculinity, sexuality, addiction and language, in a beautifully-raw and heart-breaking way.

The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan (27 Jun). Seven-year-old Jocelyn Holt loves her nanny Hannah more than her own mother. When Hannah disappears one summer night, Jo never gets over the loss. Thirty years on, now a young widow with a daughter of her own, Jo is forced to return to her family home, and the mother she’s always despised, just as a skull is pulled out of the lake in the grounds. Could this explain her beloved nanny’s disappearance? What other secrets will that lake give up to the police?


Out of the Shadows by Walt Odets (4 Jun). Despite living in a modern and progressive world, gay men still struggle with self-acceptance, shaking off the deep-seated stigma, and escaping the infamy of the AIDS epidemic. Clinical psychologist Walt Odets draws on the stories of his patients, as well as his own personal experiences within the gay community.  

Afropean by Johny Pitts (6 Jun). Johny Pitts part memoir and part travelogue explores what it means to be black and European. Taking readers on an alternative journey through Europe, including Paris, Berlin, Lisbon, Stockholm and Moscow, Pitts takes a look at how Afropeans juggle their overlapping identities.

My Seditious Heart by Arundhati Roy (6 Jun). Booker Prize-winner Arundhati Roy has put together a collection of her political essays from the last 20 years. Touching on inequality, imperialism, and her own journey from novelist to activist, Roy’s observations, even those written two decades ago, are still shockingly relevant.

Into the Forest by Dr Qing Li (6 Jun). In How Trees Can Help You Find Happiness, Dr. Qing Li presents forest bathing as the practice of spending time in the woods for better health, happiness and a sense of calm. A pillar of Japanese culture for decades, forest bathing (known as Shinrin-Yoku to locals) is a way to reconnect with nature.

This is Not a Drill by Extinction Rebellion (13 Jun). Extinction Rebellion are inspiring a whole generation to take action on climate breakdown. This handbook offers facts to arm you, stories to empower you, pages to fill in and instructions on how to start your very own rebellion.

Taking Up Space by Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi (27 Jun). A groundbreaking exploration of the problems of diversity in education, by two extremely talented young graduates. Featuring honest conversations with students past and present, Taking up Space goes beyond the buzzwords of diversity and inclusion and explores what those words truly mean for young black girls today.

Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA and the Secret History of the Sixties by Tom O’Neill with Dan Piepenbring (27 Jun). After being asked to write a 30th-anniversary piece on the murders committed by the Manson Family, journalist Tom O’Neill spiralled into a state of obsession that took over 20 years of his life. Chaos follows O’Neill’s journey as he hunts for answers behind Charles Manson’s infamous crimes, and tries to refute the story as it was told by the LAPD, FBI and CIA.


Children’s books

The Racehorse Who Learned to Dance by Clare Balding (13 Jun). Charlie's racehorse has certainly earned the name Noble Warrior: he won the Derby against all odds and bested a bunch of nasty kidnappers. But now Noddy is facing his greatest challenge yet.

Look Up! by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola (13 Jun). Big brothers can be really annoying. Especially when they’re constantly glued to a screen! Aspiring astronaut Rocket wants her brother Jamal to enjoy the comet with her tonight, but can she encourage him to look up from his phone for once? This is an inspiring and heart-warming read for kids.

Peppa Pig: Mermaids, Unicorns and Dragons Sticker Activity Book (13 Jun). Magical creature fans will love this new activity book from Peppa Pig. Join Peppa and George as they have fun inspired by mermaids, unicorns and dragons. Including 50 shiny foil stickers as well as puzzles and activities, this makes a great rainy-day book.


May book releases and events

Tan France, star of Queer Eye and author of Naturally Tan
Tan France, star of Queer Eye and author of Naturally Tan

Fiction books

Berlin Finale by Heinz Rein (2 May). Unsettling, raw and cinematic, Berlin Finale was published in Germany in 1947 and quickly became one of the first bestselling books of the post-war period. Newly translated eighty years later, it is ripe for rediscovery as it comes to Penguin Classics.

The Porpoise by Mark Haddon (9 May). A newborn baby is the sole survivor of a terrifying plane crash. She is raised in wealthy isolation by an overprotective father. She knows nothing of the rumours about a beautiful young woman, hidden from the world. When a suitor visits, he understands far more than he should. Forced to run for his life, he escapes aboard The Porpoise, an assassin on his tail…

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer (9 May). A chance encounter sees shy college student Greer Kadetsky meet Faith Frank, a powerful and persuasive figure from the women’s movement. Faith offers Greer an opportunity that she just can’t turn down, even though it will lead Greer away from her long-term love Cory. A story about female friendship, ambition, power and finding your purpose in the world.

The Passengers by John Marrs (16 May). When someone hacks into the systems of eight self-drive cars, their passengers are set on a fatal collision course. Now the public have to judge who should survive, but are the passengers all that they first seem? The new gripping page-turning thriller from the bestselling author of The One - soon to be a major Netflix series.

The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson (16 May, PB). The President is missing. The world is in shock. But the reason he’s missing is much worse than anyone can imagine. With details only a President could know, and the kind of suspense only James Patterson can deliver.

Cari Mora by Thomas Harris (16 May). Harris makes a return with another dark and grisly tale. Cari Mora, a child soldier of the FARC, is now the housekeeper of Pablo Escobar’s former mansion. Unbeknownst to her, $25m of cartel gold is hidden somewhere in the house. And unfortunately, the ruthless Hans-Peter Schneider has his eye on it…

Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson (28 May). Frankissstein opens in 1816 with Mary Shelley composing her gothic thriller Frankenstein. We are then transported to the present-day where young transgender Doctor Ry Shelley meets (and falls in love with) renowned AI professor Victor Stein, who wants to liberate humans from the limits of their biology. However, Stein’s business partner Ron Lord is much more interested in the sexbot business.

This Storm by James Ellroy (30 May). Set during the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbour, war has been declared and anti-Japanese paranoia has reached its climax with the issue of Executive Order 9066 that sees all Japanese Americans deported to internment camps. But then a body is unearthed in a mudslide in LA and the murder victim is linked to an unsolved gold heist from 1931...

Non-fiction books

This is Shakespeare by Emma Smith (2 May). So much of what we say about Shakespeare is either not true, or just not relevant. An exciting new guide to Shakespeare’s plays, This is Shakespeare thrives on revealing, not resolving, the ambiguities of Shakespeare’s work and its changing topicality. 

Republic of Lies by Anna Merlan (2 May). From UFOs to the New World Order, the inside story of how conspiracy theories won over America. 

Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri (2 May). Straightened. Stigmatised. 'Tamed'. Erased. Black hair is never 'just hair’. From pre-colonial Africa, through the Harlem Renaissance, to today’s Natural Hair Movement and beyond, this book is about why black hair matters and how it can be viewed as a blueprint for decolonisation.

Clear Bright Future by Paul Mason (2 May). Paul Mason argues that we are still capable - through language, innovation and co-operation - of shaping our future. He offers a vision of humans as more than puppets, customers or cogs in a machine. 

Underland by Robert Macfarlane (2 May). Robert Macfarlane takes us on a journey into the worlds beneath our feet. From the ice-blue depths of Greenland's glaciers, to the underground networks by which trees communicate, from Bronze Age burial chambers to the rock art of remote Arctic sea-caves, this is a deep-time voyage into the planet's past and future.

Hard Pushed: A Midwife’s Story by Leah Hazard (2 May). No sleep for twenty hours. No food for ten. And a ward full of soon-to-be mothers… Welcome to the life of a midwife. Moving, compassionate and intensely candid, Hard Pushed is a love letter to new mothers and to Leah’s fellow midwives.

Extreme Economies by Richard Davies (9 May). In his quest for a purer view of how economies succeed and fail, Richard Davies takes the reader off the beaten path to places where part of the economy has been repressed, removed, destroyed or turbocharged. By travelling to each of them and discovering what life is really like, Extreme Economies tells small stories that shed light on today’s biggest economic questions.

Naturally Tan by Tan France (16 May). A poignant and humorous memoir from Tan France, star of the Emmy award-winning TV show Queer Eye.

Furious Hours by Casey Cep (16 May). The story of serial killer and rural preacher Reverend Willie Maxwell was the story Harper Lee wanted to tell. Despite being accused of murdering five members of his family in Alabama in the 1970s, Maxwell managed to escape justice. However, he was later shot dead by another relative who was then also acquitted. This is a true-crime story as well as a look into Lee’s own research on the shocking case.

Lowborn by Kerry Hudson (16 May). Raised by a single mother, Kerry Hudson had a turbulent childhood. She attended nine primary schools, five secondary schools, and lived in multiple B&Bs and council flats around Scotland and England. Hudson’s memoir revisits the poverty and uncertainty she grew up in but it also explores whether you can truly move on from childhood trauma.

Erebus: The Story of a Ship by Michael Palin (30 May, PB). HMS Erebus was one of the great exploring ships, a veteran of groundbreaking expeditions to the ends of the Earth. In 1848, it disappeared in the Arctic, its fate a mystery. In 2014, it was found. This is its story.

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg (30 May). In August 2018 15-year-old Greta Thunberg decided not to go to school one day. Her actions inspired millions, sparking a global movement for action against the climate crisis. Collecting her most inspirational speeches, this book brings you Greta in her own words.


Children's books

Super Duper You by Sophy Henn (2 May). Sophy Henn celebrates all the different, extraordinary and sometimes contradictory things we are in this joyful and colourful rhyming picture book. Perfect to read aloud - and then read again, and again!

The Kitchen Science Cookbook by Michelle Dickinson (30 May). This Easter, discover the perfect book to bring science into your kitchen with these easy-to-follow recipes. From sticky ice and raising raisins to balloon science and scrumptious slime, nanotechnologist Michelle empowers us to all be scientists, no matter how young or old.

April book releases and events

Sara Collins
Sara Collins, author of The Confessions of Frannie Langdon

Fiction books

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins (4 Apr). 1826, and all of London is in a frenzy. Crowds gather at the gates of the Old Bailey to watch as Frannie Langton, maid to Mr and Mrs Benham, goes on trial for their murder. The testimonies against her are damning - slave, whore, seductress. And they may be the truth. But they are not the whole truth.  

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin (4 Apr). Everyone’s seen the compromising photo of Lyla, a scholarship kid in a prestigious private school. Everyone knows that Nina’s son, expensively prepared for success since childhood, took the photo. And everyone thinks they know who to blame.

Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan (18 Apr). Britain has lost the Falklands war, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. In a world not quite like this one, two lovers will be tested beyond their understanding.

Sunfall by Jim Al-Khalili (18 Apr).  It's the year 2041 and life as we know it is over, as a natural armageddon threatens all life on earth. Combining his scientific knowledge and love of sci-fi, Jim Al-Khalili paints a very vivid picture of our planet when disaster strikes.

The Forest of Wool and Steel by Natsu Miyashita (25 Apr). Tomura is startled by the hypnotic sound of a piano being tuned, and from that moment, he is determined to discover more. Set in small-town Japan, this warm and mystical story is for the lucky few who have found their calling – and for the rest of us who are still searching.

Non-fiction books

Our Planet by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey (2 Apr). The striking photographic companion to the groundbreaking Netflix original documentary series. Revealing the most amazing sights on Earth in unprecedented ways Our Planet places itself at the forefront of a global conversation as we work together to protect and preserve our planet.

Lost Dog by Kate Spicer (4 Apr). A brilliant, life-affirming tragicomic memoir, Lost Dog is a book like no other about both modern womanhood and the relationship between human and animal.

The Heat of the Moment by Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton (11 Apr). Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, one of the most senior firefighters in the UK, has spent years researching decision-making in order to reduce the tragic numbers of firefighter deaths caused by human error. In her book she shares what she’s learned – in the heat of the moment, how do you decide who lives and who dies?

Zen: The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyo Masuno (18 Apr). Find happiness and simplify your life in this busy modern world by following easy and attainable lessons from ancient Zen practices, in this guide by renowned Japanese monk Shunmyo Masuno.

March book releases and events

Ali Smith
Ali Smith, author of Spring

Fiction books

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (7 Mar). Drift down sun-bleached streets. Lose yourself in the California sound. Find beauty in a dirty bar. Love like your life depends on it. Carry on after the party stops. Believe in what you’re fighting for. Reese Witherspoon said ‘I devoured this in a day, falling head over heels for Daisy and the band.’ 

A Vintage Summer by Cathy Bramley (21 Mar). From Sunday Times bestselling author comes A Vintage Summer. London has not been kind to Lottie Allbright. Realising it’s time to cut and run, she packs up and moves back home – but finds her family in disarray. In need of a new place to stay, Lottie takes up the offer of a live-in job managing a local vineyard. There’s a lot to learn – she didn’t even know grapes could grow so far north!

The Parade by Dave Eggers (23 Mar).  From the bestselling author of The Monk of Mokha and The Circle comes a taut, suspenseful story of two foreigners' role in a nation's fragile peace. With echoes of J. M. Coetzee and Graham Greene, this novel questions whether we can ever understand another nation's war, and what role we have in forging anyone's peace.

Spring by Ali Smith (28 Mar). From the bestselling author of Autumn and Winter, as well as the Baileys Prize-winning How to be both, comes the next installment in the remarkable, once-in-a-generation masterpiece, the Seasonal Quartet.


Non-fiction books

Mum, Tell Me by Elma van Vliet (7 Mar). The ideal gift to give and get back this Mother’s day, Mum, Tell Me is a guided journal that prompts your mother to share her memories, dreams, and wishes, asking her to record everything from her favourite band as a teenager and her childhood games to her proudest accomplishment and her first memory of you.

How Women Rise by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith (7 Mar). Inspiring and practical by turns, it identifies 12 common habits that can prove an obstacle to future success and tells you how to overcome them.

Burnout: The Secret to Solving the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski (12 Mar). This ground-breaking book explains why women experience burnout differently than men - and provides a simple, science-based plan to help women minimize stress, manage emotions and live a more joyful life.

Manual for Survival by Kate Brown (12 Mar). An astonishing historical detective story, Manual for Survival makes clear the irreversible impact of nuclear energy on every living thing, not just from Chernobyl, but from eight decades of radioactive fallout from weapons development. 

Still Water by John Lewis-Stempel (14 Mar). Written in gorgeous prose, Still Water tells the seasonal story of the wild animals and plants that live in and around the pond. It reflects an era before the water was polluted with chemicals and the land built on for housing, a time when ponds shone everywhere like eyes in the land, sustaining life for all, from fish to carthorse.. 

Tina Turner: My Love Story by Tina Turner (21 Mar, PB). Charting the full, dramatic story of one of the most remarkable women in music history and celebrating Tina Turner’s 60th year in the industry.

Children's books

The Case of the Missing Treasure: A Murder Most Unladylike Mini Mystery by Robin Stevens (7 Mar).  A brilliant and gripping mini-mystery from the bestselling author of Murder Most Unladylike. A daring thief has been robbing London's most famous museums. When Daisy's birthday treasure hunt leads them into the path of the culprit, Daisy and Hazel realise where they'll strike next - the British Museum!

February book releases and events

JoJo Moyes
JoJo Moyes, author of Still Me

Fiction books

Out of the Dark by Gregg Hurwitz (7 Feb). Assassin and all-round lethal weapon Evan Smoak seeks out corruption on the highest level, when the most hard-to-reach target appears on his hit list: the President of the United States of America. Out of the Dark is the most daring and explosive thriller yet from Hollywood screenwriter Gregg Hurwitz.

Still Me by Jojo Moyes (7 Feb, PB). This is the final chapter of the Lou Clarke trilogy which started with the tear-jerking, wonderfully unique Me Before You (also the major film staring Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke). This book finds Lou in New York – how will Lou adapt to life the other side of the pond?

Shenzhen by Guy Delisle (7 Feb). After Pyongyang, his book about the strange society that is North Korea, Delisle turned his attention to Shenzhen, the cold, urban city in Southern China that is sealed off with electric fences and armed guards from the rest of the country. The result is another brilliant graphic novel - funny, scary, utterly original and illuminating.

Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds by Gwena Bond (7 Feb). Set before the events of the TV series, this prequel novel follows Eleven's mother and her time as a test subject in the MKUltra program.

I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella (7 Feb). The irresistible new standalone from Sophie Kinsella is a story of love, empowerment and an IOU that changes everything…

Paris Echo by Sebastian Faulks (14 Feb, PB). The new novel from the bestselling author of Birdsong and Where My Heart Used to Beat. American postdoctoral researcher Hannah and runaway Moroccan teenager Tariq have little in common, yet both are susceptible to the daylight ghosts of Paris. In this urgent and deeply moving novel, Faulks deals with questions of empire, grievance and identity.

Non-fiction books

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn (7 Feb, PB). When Raynor and Moth lost the life they’d always known in one fell swoop, they decided to confront homelessness and terminal illness head-on, by walking the 630 mile South West Coast Path. Shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize and in the running for The 2018 Costa books of the year, this is an extraordinary true story of the power that nature can have in restoring hope when everything seems lost.

Diary of a Drag Queen by Crystal Rasmussen (7 Feb). Northern, working-class and shagging men three times her age, Crystal writes candidly about her search for ‘the one’. Charting her day-to-day adventures, we encounter tucks, twists and sucks, heinous overspending and endless nights spent sprinting from problem to problem in a full face of makeup.

The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams (14 Feb). A book that demands that you contemplate your own fragility and how you live your one precious life. This is the inspiring memoir by a young mother with terminal cancer.

The Source: Open Your Mind, Change Your Life by Dr Tara Swart (14 Feb). Backed up by recent discoveries in cognitive science, respected neuroscientist Dr Tara Swart shows us that we all have the power to attract what we most desire into our lives. 

Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells (19 Feb). ‘What does it mean to be entertained by apocalypse when we stare down the possibility of a real one?’ Uninhabitable Earth is the must-read book on climate change by David Wallace-Wells, author of this game-changing article in New York Magazine, that amassed over 7 million views overnight.

Mary Berry’s Quick Cooking by Mary Berry (21 Feb). The nation’s queen of home cooking brings her foolproof, delicious approach to quick fix cooking in this brand-new, official tie-in to the major BBC One series.

Threads by William Henry Searle (21 Feb). Weaving together personal stories, Threads deals with the meanings of intimacy, vulnerability and our affinities with people and places, both wild and tame. It is a deep exploration of the encounters that lend quiet networks of grace to our busy lives.

The Five by Hallie Rubenhold (28 Feb). Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are all famous for the same thing. They were murdered by Jack the Ripper. But who were these women? In a devasting narrative Hallie Rubenhold shares their lives: who they were, how they lived and who loved them.

Children’s books

Max Einstein: The Genius Experiment by James Patterson (7 Feb). James Patterson has teamed up with the world's most famous genius to entertain, educate and inspire a generation of children – with the first and only children's book series officially approved by the Albert Einstein Archives.

Charlie Changes into a Chicken by Sam Copeland (7 Feb). The first book in a hilarious new series perfect for fans of David Walliams, Kid Normal and Tom Gates.

My Mum Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson (21 Feb, PB). Tracy has returned, hand in hand with her daughter Jess, she’s ready to make her childhood dreams come true. 

F is for Feminism: An Alphabet Book of Empowerment illustrated by Carolyn Suzuki (28 Feb). This bright and bold dictionary of 26 thought-provoking words from A-Z is perfect for equipping girls and boys with the words they need to empower themselves. F is for Feminism is a great conversation starter, and will inspire and motivate activists of all ages.

Diary of Greg Heffley's Best Friend: World Book Day 2019 by Jeff Kinney (28 Feb). It’s a brand new Diary of a Wimpy Kid story for World Book Day 2019! Now it's time for readers to hear from Greg's trusty best friend, Rowley Jefferson, in a journal of his own.

Nought Forever by Malorie Blackman (28 Feb). A powerful new Noughts & Crosses story from legendary author Malorie Blackman, written for World Book Day 2019. 

Percy Jackson and the Singer of Apollo by Rick Riordan (28 Feb). When the god Apollo asks for a favour, it's never going to be straightforward. A hilarious short story from Rick Riordan, that unites Percy Jackson with the god Apollo - this edition exclusively for World Book Day 2019.

January book releases and events

Lisa Jewell
Lisa Jewell, author of Watching You

Fiction books

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus (10 Jan, PB). Two dead homecoming queens. Five years later, is the killer back? A new YA book by the bestselling author of One of us is Lying.

My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber (10 Jan). Two women – desperate to unlock the truth. How far will they go to lay the past to rest? From the winner of the Daily Mail crime writing competition comes an enthralling debut thriller about a young woman's quest to uncover her identity.

The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup (10 Jan). Introducing the nail-biting debut thriller from the award-winning creator of global TV sensation The Killing.

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield (17 Jan). An exquisitely crafted multi-layered mystery brimming with folklore, suspense and romance, as well as with the urgent scientific curiosity of the Darwinian age, Once Upon a River is as richly atmospheric as Setterfield’s bestseller The Thirteenth Tale.

Watching You by Lisa Jewell (24 Jan, PB). A gripping psychological suspense from the number one bestselling author of Then She Was Gone, as what begins as an innocent crush develops into a dangerous infatuation.

Non-fiction books

Pig Wrestling by Pete Lindsay & Mark Bawden (3 Jan). How can the story of an imaginary pig and a kindly barrista help solve any problem? Based on the authors’ work with the world’s elite sports and business performers, Pig Wrestling gives us the tools to create change whenever and wherever we need it. 

The Energy Plan by James Collins (10 Jan). In our increasingly busy and connected lives, having energy is a superpower. Learn how to fuel your body for your life. Power through the 3pm slump, feel more productive, sleep well and lose unwanted weight.

Happy Ever After by Paul Dolan (17 Jan). Free yourself from the myth of living the perfect life as Paul Dolan, bestselling author of Happiness By Design, returns to show us how we can find our own routes to happiness this new year.

The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz by Jeremy Dronfield (24 Jan). When Gustav Kleinmann and his son were seized by the Nazis in 1939, it was the start of an unimaginable ordeal. Through the horrors, there was one constant that kept them going: the love between father and son. A remarkable story of hope, family and survival.

The Joy of Work by Bruce Daisley (24 Jan). From the creator of hit podcast Eat Sleep Work Repeat comes a revolutionary re-envisioning of how to enjoy your job.

Chernobyl by Serhii Plokhy (31 Jan). Winner of the Baillie Gifford prize, historian Serhii Plokhy draws on recently opened archives to recreate the events of the night of April 26th 1986.  A moment by moment account of the heroes, perpetrators and victims of a tragedy.

Withdrawn Traces: Searching for the truth about Richey Manic by Sara Hawys Roberts and Leon Noakes (31 Jan). On 1 February 1995, Richey Edwards, guitarist of the Manic Street Preachers, went missing at the age of 27.  The book was written at the request of Richey’s sister, Rachel, and with access to all his diaries, essays, school reports and letters. 

A Short History of Brexit by Kevin O’Rourke (31 Jan). After all the debates, manoeuvrings, recriminations and exaltations, Brexit is upon us. A Short History of Brexit rises above the usual fray of discussions to provide fresh perspectives and understanding of the most momentous political and economic change in Britain and the EU for decades.

Children's books

The Whispers by Greg Howard (17 Jan). Before she disappeared, Riley's mother used to tell him stories about the Whispers, mysterious creatures with the power to grant wishes. Riley wishes for lots of things. He wishes his secret crush Dylan liked him back. He wishes the bumbling detective would stop asking awkward questions. But most of all he wishes his mother would come home…

Events and anniversaries

The 300th anniversary of Robinson Crusoe 

1st J D Salinger was born on this day in 1919

14th: Ruby Wax and Simon Amstell in conversation. Start your New Year off the right way by joining comedians Ruby Wax andSimon Amstell for an exclusive evening of rip-roaring conversation hosted by Penguin Live.

12th: Haruki Murakami’s 70th birthday

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