Browse books

Must-reads for 2018

Bridge of Clay

Markus Zusak

Loved THE BOOK THIEF? take a look at this!

Ten years in the making the epic new novel from the acclaimed, prize-winning, bestselling author of THE BOOK THIEF

Here is a story told inside out and back to front:

The five Dunbar brothers are living with their menagerie of animals in the perfect chaos of a house without grownups. Today, the father who walked out on them long ago is about to walk right back in.

And so the life of Clay, the quiet one with a harrowing secret, is about to change forever.

From a grandfather, whose passion for the ancient Greeks still lights up their lives, to a mother and father who fell in love over a mislaid piano, to the present day, where five sons co-exist in a house with no rules, BRIDGE OF CLAY is an sweeping portrait of how a ramshackle family, held together by stories and by love, come to unbury one boy’s tragic secret.

This tale of a young life caught in a current - a life in search of greatness and the cure for a painful past - is as intense, inspiring and ambitious as only Markus Zusak can be.

Markus Zusak's epic new novel BRIDGE OF CLAY is due out this October 2018

Never Greener

Ruth Jones

‘Ruth Jones is excellent on human nature and why we make the mistakes we do. I felt for every character. Unputdownable.’ Jojo Moyes
In her unmissable debut, actress and screenwriter Ruth Jones shows us the dangers of trying to recapture that which was once lost and failing to realise the beauty of what we already have.
We spend most of our lives wishing we were somewhere else or someone else, or looking forward or harping back. Always thinking the grass is greener on the other side. But it never is. It’s still grass. Just a different patch of it, that’s all.
The past has a habit of tracking us down. And tripping us up.

When Kate was twenty-two, she had an intense and passionate affair with a married man, Callum, which ended in heartbreak. Kate thought she’d never get over it.

Seventeen years later, life has moved on – Kate, now a successful actress, is living in London, married to Matt and mother to little Tallulah. Meanwhile Callum and his wife Belinda are happy together, living in Edinburgh and watching their kids grow up. The past, it would seem, is well and truly behind them all.

But then Kate meets Callum again.

And they are faced with a choice: to walk away from each other . . . or to risk finding out what might have been.

Second chances are a rare gift in life. But that doesn’t mean they should always be taken . . .
'I love books about gnarly, messy relationships and this one kept me gripped from the beginning. A great read.’ Jane Fallon

‘Heart-rending, provocative and astutely written, Never Greener is a love story about getting what you want and losing everything you need. Ruth’s characters will stay with me for a long time.’ Cathy Bramley

Eve of Man

Tom Fletcher (and others)



All her life Eve has been kept away from the opposite sex. Kept from the truth of her past.

But at sixteen it's time for Eve to face her destiny. Three potential males have been selected for her. The future of humanity is in her hands. She's always accepted her fate.

Until she meets Bram.

Eve wants control over her life. She wants freedom.

But how do you choose between love and the future of the human race?

EVE OF MAN is the first in an explosive new trilogy by bestselling authors Giovanna & Tom Fletcher.

Past Tense

Lee Child

From number one bestseller Lee Child, the thrilling new blockbuster featuring hero Jack Reacher. Reacher, the eternal drifter, happens by chance on the small New Hampshire town he remembers his father was supposed to have come from. But when he starts looking for his dad's old home, he finds there's no record of anyone named Reacher ever having lived there.

Never miss a story...

Join us to receive the best-read newsletter


New releases on the shelves

The Wood

John Lewis-Stempel

'Indisputably, one of the best nature-writers of his generation' (Country Life)
BBC Radio 4 'Book of the Week'

Written in diary format, The Wood is the story of English woodlands as they change with the seasons. Lyrical and informative, steeped in poetry and folklore, The Wood inhabits the mind and touches the soul.
For four years John Lewis-Stempel managed Cockshutt wood, a particular wood - three and half acres of mixed woodland in south west Herefordshire - that stands as exemplar for all the small woods of England. John coppiced the trees and raised cows and pigs who roamed free there. This is the diary of the last year, by which time he had come to know it from the bottom of its beech roots to the tip of its oaks, and to know all the animals that lived there - the fox, the pheasants, the wood mice, the tawny owl - and where the best bluebells grew. For many fauna and flora, woods like Cockshutt are the last refuge. It proves a sanctuary for John too.

To read The Wood is to be amongst its trees as the seasons change, following an easy path until, suddenly the view is broken by a screen of leaves, or your foot catches on a root, or a bird startles overhead. This is a wood you will never want to leave.

A Line Made By Walking

Sara Baume


‘When I finished Sara Baume’s new novel I immediately felt sad that I could not send it in the post to the late John Berger. He, too, would have loved it and found great joy in its honesty, its agility, its beauty, its invention. Baume is a writer of outstanding grace and style. She writes beyond the time we live in.’ Colum McCann

Struggling to cope with urban life – and with life in general – Frankie, a twenty-something artist, retreats to the rural bungalow on ‘turbine hill’ that has been vacant since her grandmother’s death three years earlier. It is in this space, surrounded by nature, that she hopes to regain her footing in art and life. She spends her days pretending to read, half-listening to the radio, failing to muster the energy needed to leave the safety of her haven. Her family come and go, until they don’t and she is left alone to contemplate the path that led her here, and the smell of the carpet that started it all.

Finding little comfort in human interaction, Frankie turns her camera lens on the natural world and its reassuring cycle of life and death. What emerges is a profound meditation on the interconnectedness of wilderness, art and individual experience, and a powerful exploration of human frailty.

Chasing the Ghost

Peter Marren

Join renowned naturalist Peter Marren on an exciting quest to see every species of wild plant native to Britain.

The mysterious Ghost Orchid blooms in near darkness among rotting leaves on the forest floor. It blends into the background to the point of invisibility, yet glows, pale and ghostly. The ultimate grail of flower hunters, it has been spotted only once in the past twenty-five years. Its few flowers have a deathly pallor and are said to smell of over-ripe bananas.

Peter Marren has been a devoted flower finder all his life. While the Ghost Orchid offers the toughest challenge of any wild plant, there were fifty more British species Peter had yet to see, having ticked off the first 1,400 rummaging in hedges, slipping down gullies and peering in peat bogs. But he set himself the goal of finding the remaining fifty in a single summer. As it turned out, the wettest summer in years.

This expert and emotional journey takes Peter the length and the breadth of the British Isles, from the dripping ancient woods of the New Forest to the storm-lashed cliffs of Sutherland. He paddles in lakes, clambers up cliffs in mist and rain, and walks several hundred miles, but does he manage to find them all?

Partly about plants, partly autobiography, Chasing the Ghost is also a reminder that to engage with wild flowers, all we need to do is look around us and enjoy what we see.

Praise for Rainbow Dust:

‘Beautifully written and thoroughly researched… a truly marvellous book’ Telegraph

‘A scholarly and captivating excursion into the history of natural history’ Independent

The Periodic Table of Feminism

Marisa Bate

The history of feminism told through its most prominent advocates, including a diverse range of international names and faces.

The Periodic Table of Feminism is an empowering, engaging and informed look at the feminist movement through the international figures who have shaped it, from Mary Wollstonecraft to Caitlin Moran by way of Simone de Beauvoir and Oprah. Featuring 130 figures as well as 10 additional ‘top ten’ lists, the book will offer new angles on famous faces as well as introduce you to some unsung heroes.

While the narrative takes the reader through feminisms struggle from the first wave to the fourth, the table offers a key to understanding how these women and the battles they fought speak to each other across time and continents: if you’re inspired by Sheryl Sandberg, prepared to be equally wowed by Frances Harper and Alison Bechdel.

With unique illustrations and pull-out quotes peppered throughout, this is an essential guide to Feminism and a place to turn to for courage and inspiration from history’s heroic women.

Our favourite 1920s classics

A Farewell to Arms: The Special Edition

Ernest Hemingway


In 1918 Ernest Hemingway went to war. He volunteered for ambulance service in Italy, was wounded and twice decorated. Out of his experience came A Farewell to Arms. Hemingway’s unforgettable book recreates the fear, the courage and the comradeship of warfare with total conviction. But A Farewell to Arms is not only a novel of war, it is also a love story of immense drama and uncompromising passion.

This special edition lifts the lid on Hemingway’s creative process. Included here are his early drafts, all 47 alternative endings and the author’s 1948 introduction, providing a fascinating glimpse into the construction of this great masterpiece.

To The Lighthouse (Vintage Classics Woolf Series)

Virginia Woolf

Mr and Mrs Ramsay and their eight children have always holidayed at their summer house in Skye, surrounded by family friends. The novel's opening section teems with the noise, complications, bruised emotions, joys and quiet tragedies of everyday family life that might go on forever. But time passes, bringing with it war and death, and the summer home stands empty until one day, many years later, when the family return to make the long-postponed visit to the lighthouse.

One of the great literary achievements of the twentieth century, To the Lighthouse is at once an intensely autobiographical and universally moving masterpiece.

The Beautiful and Damned

F. Scott Fitzgerald (and others)

Exploring the decadence of Jazz Age New York through a fictionalised version of his own marriage to Zelda Fitzgerald, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Beautiful and the Damned includes an introduction by Geoff Dyer in Penguin Modern Classics.

Anthony Patch and his wife Gloria are the essence of Jazz Age glamour. A brilliant and magnetic couple, they fling themselves at life with an energy that is thrilling. New York is a playground where they dance and drink for days on end. Their marriage is a passionate theatrical performance; they are young, rich, alive and lovely and they intend to inherit the earth. But as money becomes tight, their marriage becomes impossible. And with their inheritance still distant, Anthony and Gloria must face reality; they may be beautiful - but they are also damned.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) has acquired a mythical status in American literary history, and his masterwork The Great Gatsby is considered by many to be the 'great American novel'. In 1920 he married Zelda Sayre, dubbed 'the first American Flapper', and their traumatic marriage and Zelda's gradual descent into insanity became the leading influence on his writing. As well as many short stories, Fitzgerald wrote five novels This Side of Paradise, The Great Gatsby, The Beautiful and the Damned, Tender is the Night and, incomplete at the time of his death, The Last Tycoon. After his death The New York Times said of him that 'in fact and in the literary sense he created a "generation" '.

If you enjoyed The Beautiful and the Damned, you might like John Dos Passos' Manhattan Transfer, also available in Penguin Classics.

'A prose that has the tough delicacy of a garnet'
New York Review of Books

The Painted Veil

W. Somerset Maugham

Kitty Fane is the beautiful but shallow wife of Walter, a bacteriologist stationed in Hong Kong. Unsatisfied by her marriage, she starts an affair with charming, attractive and exciting Charles Townsend. But when Walter discovers her deception, he exacts a strange and terrible vengeance: Kitty must accompany him to his new posting in remote mainland China, where a cholera epidemic rages...

First published to a storm of protest, The Painted Veil is a classic story of a woman's spiritual awakening.

Tote bags with bold colours

shop tote bags




browse all books