The Penguin team spend the majority of our day talking about books, and the rest of it reading them. Here are our favourite new reads for May.
Christie Watson, a nurse for twenty years, crafts a searingly powerful response to questions such as: how much do we appreciate the work of a nurse? What value do we place on compassion and kindness?
Through a series of heart-stirring first-hand examples, we come to understand that often it’s only when we’re at our most vulnerable and fragile that we truly realise the value of a kind word, a gentle touch, or a shared silence.
Moving, eloquent and highly topical, I believe there’s no better time to read this book than right now.
Fans of bestseller Elizabeth is Missing are in for a treat this month with a brand new novel from author Emma Healey. Whistle in the Dark begins when Jen is reunited with her teenage daughter Lana, who has been missing for the past four days. No one knows what has happened – Lana seems to be keeping secrets, and although the police investigation is winding down, Jen’s suspicions begin to build. I was amazed at the way the tension builds, and lasts, right until the last page, and I also really enjoyed the exploration of what happens when when an ordinary family are faced with an extraordinary situation. If you are looking for your next book club read, then this one will really keep the conversation going until the early hours.
Last year the Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimated that by 2050 there would be more plastic in the oceans than fish. It’s facts like this, that have made me reassess my use of plastics and want to know more about what I can do to cut down. Martin Dorey’s No. More. Plastic is the perfect book for this purpose – it's short, packed full of all the information you need, and features handy ‘what you can do now’ takeaway tips at the end of every chapter. I have now overhauled everything from my beauty bag to the way I buy milk. For anyone wanting to make a small or big change to our environment, but unsure about how to do it – this one’s for you. Once you have the right information, it’s not hard, and it only takes two minutes.
Alice Palmer Brown
This month, I was in need of a book so filled with loveliness that I could be transported elsewhere, if only for a short while. Thankfully this was the perfect book to do that. Short, sweet and unexpectedly affecting, it tells the story of two troubled strangers who begin to send each other letters. Tina, trapped in a marriage she doesn’t remember choosing, writes to museum curator and widower Anders, not expecting a reply. But so begins a journey of friendship, joy and self-discovery – until one of them suddenly stops writing… If you like epistolary novels and reads that lift you out of the humdrum of daily life, then this wonderful book is for you.
The final collection from one of the great masters of the short story is all about relationships conducted from a distance. In Trevor’s hands, tales that could veer toward the macabre are instead filled with wit and surprise, and the book showcases, at the height of his powers, an author whose legacy will be seen in the work of generations of writers still to come. Don’t miss this book if you just want to get lost in captivating worlds, beautifully constructed.
More favourites out this month