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David Grossman runs away with prestigious Man Booker International Prize 2017

Israeli author David Grossman and his translator Jessica Cohen has won this year’s Man Booker International Prize for his intriguingly named book A Horse Walks Into a Bar. It’s the story of a stand-up comedian and his on-stage break-down, but is, according to reviews, ‘neither remotely funny nor an easy read’. Rather it’s a parable for dysfunctional people and societies. Not sure if it goes into the beach read category, but I will buy it for my holiday anyway.

The Guardian Review A Horse Walks Into a Bar

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I’d Die for You and Other Lost Stories

‘A basket of many coloured skies’

This is a beautifully produced scholarly edition of 18 of Fitzgerald’s short stories, none published in his lifetime. Varying in length from three pages to thirty, these stories are peopled not so much with the glamorous but damaged Jazz Age characters familiar to us from his novels but with a poorer, sadder, post-Depression cast including drunks, travelling salespeople, hypochondriacs, divorcing couples, movie producers, starlets, has-beens, and – overwhelmingly – the unwell. The best of these stories glitter with the author’s wit and familiar ability to demolish a character’s pretentions in a sentence. The others, more plodding, will appeal nevertheless to Fitzgerald fans for the light they shine on his preoccupations and problems, and for the glimpse they afford into the seedier side of 1930s small-town American life.

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Naomi Alderman and The Power wins Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017

The Power by Naomi Alderman was just announced the winner of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017. The Power is a clever imagining of a world in which women (literally) have the power. Alderman blends science fiction with dystopian global politics, Think The Hunger Games meets late Jeanette Winterson with a dash of Malorie Blackman, this is a book your teenage daughter will love. If you like YA feminist fantasy you’ll enjoy it; but The Handmaid’s Tale it ain’t.

Full review The Power by Naomi Alderman


Bookstoker Young Readers

13 Reasons Why

A contentious handling of teen suicide in the novel of the much hyped Netflix series

New and Collected Poems for Children

An exuberant journey to the heart of childhood imagination

The Private Blog of Joe Cowley: Straight Outta Nerdsville by Ben Davis

Cheerfully asinine teen diary, for the big kids in your life.

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A Gentleman in Moscow

A Tsarist Count surviving in revolutionary Russia

It’s 1922. We are in Moscow’s most distinguished hotel and one of its permanent guests, the unrepentant aristocrat Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, has just been sentenced to a life in exile inside the hotel ‘never to set foot outside of The Metropol again.’ So starts A Gentleman in Moscow, a novel that it’s nearly impossible not to fall in love with, a true, yes I will say it, feel good story. It’s not going to change your life, but Amor Towels’ book (also author of Rules of Civility) will entertain and delight with wonderfully crafted characters and enviably elegant writing.

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Fancy a historical fiction novel? Here are some of our favourites.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

If you read one book this year, let this be it

The Quincunx

Lose yourself in this epic historical novel

The Blue Flower

Historical fiction at it's best. A modern classic.

The Leopard

Sensual, sensuous and melancholic Italian classic

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Golden Hill

A brilliant debut novel about New York in its infancy

New York, a small frontier town on the tip of Manhattan Island, 1746. One rainy autumn night, a mysterious, handsome stranger, fresh off the long Atlantic crossing from England, turns up at a counting house on Golden Hill Street in Manhattan. The enigmatic young man has a suspicious yet compelling proposition. From his pocket, he produces what seems to be a promissory note for a thousand pounds that he wishes to cash. An enormous sum of money in 1746, this bill has the power to shake the whole local economy as well as the political establishment. And, amiable and charming though Smith is, he won’t explain who he is or where he comes from, let alone what he is planning to do in the colonies that requires so much money.

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The Handmaid’s Tale

Back to the future in this creepy, dystopian tale

I devoured Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin and Alias Grace when they came out quite a few years ago, but somehow missed The Handmaid’s Tale. That was a mistake. Atwood’s dystopian, futuristic story about a totalitarian regime where women’s bodies are political currency has become a modern classic since it was published in 1985. Even more relevant now with religious and political extremism on the rise, The Handmaid’s Tale is about to come out as a TV-series. I suggest reading it first. It’s creepy, it’s dark and it’s a page-turner that will keep you reading long into the night.

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